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TMHS 353: Overcoming Our Secret Stressors & How to Stop Being Hangry with Sarah Fragoso & Dr. Brooke Kalanick
When it comes to managing your health and finding a nutrition approach that works best for your body, it’s important to remember that what’s common and what’s normal are two different things. Just because certain experiences and symptoms are prevalent in our culture doesn’t mean that they’re ideal.
For instance, well-known commercials insinuate that hanger (being so hungry that you become angry) is a common, laughable state of being. While hanger is a real emotion, it’s not necessarily something you should be experiencing on a regular basis. Controlling your hanger starts with understanding what’s physiologically happening in your body.
On this episode, I’m joined by not one, but two incredible guests! Sarah Fragoso and Dr. Brooke Kalanick are here to share the science behind being hangry. You’ll learn about the five simple steps to balance your hormones, some surprising factors that could secretly be stressing you out, and how to customize your own personal healthy lifestyle with food, exercise, and stress management. Enjoy!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why practicing self-love is critical for your overall health.
- What it means to own your moment.
- How women’s health issues are often overlooked and dismissed.
- The difference between common and normal.
- What ACES stands for, and how it relates to your hormones.
- The link between cortisol and insulin.
- Main factors that influence chronic inflammation.
- The two reasons why your blood sugar can rise.
- A list of secret stressors you may not have considered.
- How people pleasing can wreck your hormones and your health.
- Why autoimmunity is more prevalent in women.
- The importance of electrolytes and the truth about being hydrated.
- Five simple habits you can implement in order to improve your health.
- What it means to opt out of overwhelm.
- How your unique carbohydrate tolerance can change over time.
- Recommendations for optimal thyroid health.
- The power of strength training for hormonal health.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
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Shawn Stevenson: You are now listening to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. For more, visit The Model Health Show (themodelhelthshow.com).
Welcome to The Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I am so grateful for you tuning in with me today.
This is a really awesome episode and this is something we've never done before. We've got not one, but two in-studio guests with me today.
This is a subject that is gaining crazy popularity in our culture, but we're not really addressing why it is.
I'm talking about being hangry. Have you ever been hangry before? Have you caught yourself being a little extra snappy if not downright evil because you are hungry?
You go from You to Gargamel in 5 seconds and it's because of what's going on with our blood sugar, for example, it's what's going on behind the scenes with our hormones.
It's not a small thing, this is something that we've got commercials about, when the person is hangry and they're just being such a diva or an angry person, they hand them a Snickers, and your problem solved.
Is it really solved? Absolutely not.
It's kind of funny to see, but in our real lives this turns up as some real issues with how we're managing our emotions and how we're managing our decisions with our food when we are hangry.
I want to make sure that you're empowered in this subject matter and talking about kind of what's going on behind the scenes with our hormones, what's happening with your thyroid, what's happening with inflammation, all these different components.
I've got The Team, The Dynamic Duo to talk about their new book "Hangry." This is "The 5 Simple Steps to Balance Your Hormones and Restore Your Joy".
All right, so we're not just looking at feeling good on the fitness side and having his outward appearance of health. We're talking about that internal biology as well and also what's going on with your emotions and how you're actually feeling.
Because ultimately, at the end of the day, even if we have a body that we're happy with, if we're not experiencing joy within ourselves, if we're not waking up each day with a sense of purpose and feeling truly alive, because there's a difference and I have experiences where I'm very, very fit but I feel a little bit like I'm dying, just because I'm not managing what's going on with my hormones.
I'm talking about specifically for me, this was maybe 11 years ago. I got myself to 4.6% body fat.
Yeah, it's a way to be super duper lean, I experimented with that, I got to that place, I saw what it was like and I just didn't feel good. I didn't feel that same level of energy.
Come to find out on a recent episode which we did really a masterclass on it, that your fat can talk, your body fat, and when it's that low you're not producing the same amount of hormones that really keep you regulated.
Leptin is one of the main languages that your fat speaks in and being able to really modulate your satiety and feeling really comfortable and empowered in your body.
But also, it's a big influence on what's happening with your thyroid, which is really the master regulator in many sense of your overall metabolism.
When we're talking about metabolism, we're really talking about turning food into energy and a big role is being played by your mitochondria. We've got fat mitochondria and we've got lean tissue mitochondria, we've got bone mitochondria, we've got all kinds.
When we get to a place where we're, again physically fit, but we can still be experiencing disquiet within our own bodies.
We want to have it all, really, and we want to be happy with ourselves from the physical side and our physical fitness, which pleased today and more than anything I'm so grateful for this episode because it's not about being perfect, and this idea of what perfection looks like for us and how we're comparing ourselves to so many other people.
It's really tuning in to what's best for us and being happy with us and really feeling empowered.
I am really excited about this and super knowledgeable, and I've actually known one of our guests for many, many years and her partnering up with her co-author for this book I think is a real game changer.
I can't wait to dive in and talk with them about this incredible new book. A part of dealing with being hangry is simply making sure that you're meeting your basic nutritional requirements.
Obviously, food is a big driver of that, but even simple mineral deficiencies can cause us to go haywire with our neurotransmitters, our hormones, and enzymes that even help to unlock some of these processes.
And so for me, I'm a big advocate of taking some kind of an insurance but the conventional "multivitamin" is definitely not the way to go 9 times out of 10, because these companies are utilizing synthetic, highly processed, all these fillers and binders and it's just not appropriate.
Sometimes it can even take more from you than it's ever given you. And so what do we do— I am a big advocate of whole food based supplements, whole food based nutrition and also a palate experience.
So not just taking a lot of pills, there are some cases where we can do that, but let's go ahead and have it so that we're getting the green juice, we're having the palate experience and letting that interact with our enzymes and DNA in our mouth.
That being said, I'm a big fan of Oganifi Green Juice for meeting those nutritional bases.
This is something my family uses, my youngest son Braden, my oldest son Jorden, my wife and myself, we've been utilizing Organifi for a couple of years now.
I'm a huge, huge fan of Organifi, their Green Juice formula is something I always keep on hand, I travel with it, they have go-packs and even if I'm on a plane, I just tear open a go-pack and pour it into a water bottle and I'm squared, I'm getting a huge boost of real whole food nutrition and things that you just don't see in these so-called multivitamins like spirulina, for example, which also has a phycocyanin.
Phycocyanin has been found clinically to improve and increase your body's production of stem cells, this is called stem cell genesis. What else do you know that can do that— you can't get there from a Flintstone vitamin, you're not going to produce more stem cells, it's absolutely amazing.
They've got spirulina in the formula, chlorella which is a natural chelator, found to help your body to bind to and eliminate heavy metals, and the list goes on and on, so many great things a formula is amazing and it tastes good.
I think you're really going to love it. Make sure to take advantage of this, pop over, check them out, it is Organifi, organifi.com/model, 20 percent off everything they carry, always.
Organifi, organifi.com/model, 20 percent off everything they carry, definitely check out the Green Juice formula, like right now.
On that note, let's get to our Apple podcast review of the week.
Another 5-star review titled "Listen to this show, you'll love it" by DoDo DeDe. "Shawn, I never write reviews on anything but your show is so good that I had to. I love it! It's so informative and so many life hacks that they're easy to put into your life right after listening. You talked on an episode about trying to be 1% better every day. Using that compound interest to change your life and truly your show helps me do that. I appreciate what you're doing."
That's so awesome, thank you so much for leaving me that review and I love it so much, 1% better, that's really what it's all about.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to just transform our entire reality in a Thanos snap or should I say Iron Man snap, and the reality is we get to those places of higher success by simply just focusing on incremental progress.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing that and I appreciate you so very much.
Everybody, please pop over to Apple podcasts, leave a review for the show and no matter what platform you're listening or watching on, just leave a review, leave a comment and it really means a world to me, so thank you so much.
And on that note, let's get to our special guests and the topic of the day.
Joining us today we have Sarah Fragoso who's the author and founder of the "Every Day Paleo Brand" one of the first cookbooks I've ever gotten. I absolutely love it so much.
She was the first woman to blog about living an ancestral lifestyle and now has bestselling cookbooks, a thriving social media platform and conducts consistently sold out nationwide seminars and worldwide retreats. She's just super fun, I just love hanging out with her.
Our other guest is Dr. Brooke Kalanick, who is a licensed naturopathic doctor and a functional medicine physician, who attended Bastyr University and has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a master's in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Her areas of expertise include female hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, and autoimmunity with specialties in PCOS, Hashimoto's, menopause and weight loss.
They are here today on The Model Health Show to talk about their new powerhouse book "Hangry."
I'd like to welcome Sarah Fragoso and Dr. Brooke Kalanick. How are you guys doing?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Good.
Sarah Fragoso: We're so good.
Shawn Stevenson: I am so happy to see you guys!
Sarah Fragoso: I know!
Shawn Stevenson: You made it out here, you had to look on the map to find this.
Sarah Fragoso: It's kind of embarrassing, but yeah, yeah, I did.
Shawn Stevenson: This is often referred to as a fly-over state. St. Louis used to be popping, we had the World's Fair back when there was a world's fair. I guess that was like in the 1900s or something but it's all good, we got the baseball.
Sarah Fragoso: And that's what we've been asked. “Are you here for baseball?” And we're like, “Not really, but we should be, probably”.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: I guess, yeah. Yeah, we've been asked that twice.
Shawn Stevenson: And so, you reside in Chico, California, correct?
Sarah Fragoso: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: And Brooklyn!
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Brooklyn!
Shawn Stevenson: It’s in the house, yes but originally from Montana, right?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, I'm long ways from home.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, so you've got like all kinds of flavors. This one I want to talk about first, so I would love, and I don't know if you know this, but you were like one of my very first guests, Sarah.
Sarah Fragoso: Yes, I remember that.
Shawn Stevenson: This was like at least 5 years ago.
Sarah Fragoso: It was a long time ago.
Shawn Stevenson: Just thank you for that, because I barely knew what I was doing. I knew I had some important stuff to say and great people and so you've been an inspiration for me for a while.
Sarah Fragoso: Well thanks, you made me cry and we haven't even started.
Well I appreciate that and I'm just honored to be here now, this is just so cool to actually be able to keep in touch with you for this long. That's when you know you are with real people, and I am still there.
Shawn Stevenson: And some people you know you just connect with, but I would love if you would share a little bit of your story because you guys put together an incredible new book that is so timely, so good, like you guys are getting to the point.
It's like every page has something tangible and an insight and it's just really, really well done I'm excited to get this out for everybody.
But you also share a little bit about what brought you to this place and so we'll talk about your story first, Sarah, and then I definitely want to share Brook's story too, both of them I was like, "What?!"
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, and just what you're saying about the book is just so validating because we put literally our hearts and souls into this book. Just the fact that that's resonating is super cool, and that's what we wanted.
But yeah, it is our story, really, honestly, the book is our story. It's why we wrote the book, is because of who we are.
I feel like my story has so many layers to it because when I first started "Everyday Paleo" and probably when I was on your show, it sounded very much like everybody else's story.
I didn't feel good and I couldn't lose the weight and I started eating paleo and started doing crossfit and it was amazing, and I got all better, and it was fantastic. And that is true on so many levels, like that's a really awesome jumping off point for me.
But I wasn't truly like settling into what made me okay, those are very surface things for me now as far as exercise and how I eat is.
I mean, it's deep in that I know what works for me and we talk about that a lot in the book, I'm committed really to what works for me.
But after recording with you, my life took so many twists and turns where I was like, "Okay, I am actually really not okay, and I cannot diet or exercise my way out of this."
My degree is in psychology, I grew up in a family where there was a lot of dysfunction, but my mom went back to school and became a licensed clinical social worker and I saw her do a lot of really deep work on herself but it never really clicked for me until later.
Even after getting my degree in psychology that my mindset is the most important thing, so I've been through a lot over the last few years with my health being really erratic and my hormones getting totally out of whack.
And I'm like, "Why is my awesome diet and exercise not working for me anymore?" Like, "What the heck is going on, I'm falling apart." That was my mantra, "I'm falling apart, I'm falling apart".
Fortunately, meeting Brooke was the catalyst for my hormone health to get back on track.
But really doing like that intense spiritual work on myself is what actually makes the stuff that I know I need to do for my hormones.
My exercise and my fitness stick, it's what makes it work is actually— and this is where I cry, like admitting that you have to love yourself.
Because I used to think that was such a foofoo thing, like, "No, loving yourself is kind of indulgent," like respecting yourself is cool, you need to have respect for yourself, but actually, that's not true anymore for me.
I personally have to lead into what that means to put myself first, not in a selfish way, but in a way that makes everything else sustainable including my relationships with the people that I love.
None of that for me can be sustainable anymore unless it's all okay in here, in my heart and in my spirit.
That's kind of my story, where now my mission, our mission is to help other women be who they are and okay with that no matter where they are, and then the rest is kind of easy to figure out, how to do the diet and exercise.
We're going to get deep into that, but it's how I have to live my life too, every day.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, thank you for sharing that. Just a little quick summation, you got to a different level with the nutrition and with exercise, but then you add on top of that all the other stuff, all the other responsibilities, all the things that you are even culturally as a woman supposed to be doing and then you have a breakdown.
And so our diet and exercise can't necessarily save us and so it's creating a foundation to really build on, that's what you guys are presenting. So thank you for that, and that's just a little bit of the story.
Brooke, I would love if you could share a little bit of your story as well. First of all, you took a different path in getting into the health space. So what inspired you to do that?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: I think I always knew medicine and science was my jam, that was what I was always good at.
I had always planned on being in a much more conventional medical situation and that's how I thought I would practice and I even went to pharmacy school. And as a pharmacist and a pharmacy student, I was falling apart.
In grad school I was too young, it was really hard and so my health was suffering and I was getting nowhere.
I got kind of diagnosed with PCOS in high school, I didn't have a real explanation of what that meant for my hormones or my health, I was told to eat a lot of rice cakes, keep my blood sugar balanced.
Shawn Stevenson: Mmm, those rice cakes.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, magical rice cakes. And so none of that was really working well for me and then as my stress went up in school, I guess I felt like I was falling apart.
I know now it's not that big of a deal, but it was hard and I was getting nowhere in my model, in the conventional model.
The pill wasn't working for me, the nutrition advice wasn't working and I had to kind of explore. I ended up seeing an H-pathic doctor, it changed my world.
I look back now what she did for me and it was so subtle, she taught me how to cook vegetables a little differently.
I liked to exercise but I was overdoing it and so she helped with that, a few little adrenal support, some B vitamins, and I got off dairy— new person.
It kind of opened up my world that there was so much more to offer, the people I was going to be working with in health care than what I was doing and after sort of three kind of life-changing experiences with her, I decided I needed to leave and go to naturopathic medical school.
And so I did, and throughout that, I sort of stumbled upon paleo to kind of help with my own hormonal issues, and like Sarah, changed my world. Everything with my PCOS, my hormones got better. That was all fine and good.
What happens with women is things change, so what works for you in my twenties— with this condition I was fine, and then I went through a terrible period of stress and none of that worked anymore. I was overdoing the exercise, underdoing my carbs, it was all blowing up in my face.
And so what became the work that I do is to help women know how to navigate the inevitable changes whether it's a new diagnosis or a normal phase of life, having a baby, going through perimenopause.
We get so attached to what works and then when things get feel off track we go back to that thing that we did when we were 17 and it doesn't work. So that became I guess the work that I do as far as hormones go.
And then what Sarah and I both saw with the women, where we sort of came together was the women we're working with, especially some of them are pretty savvy like they listen to your show and they follow Sarah already and they had all so much stuff dialed in.
And it still wasn't working, because none of the who they are and expressing their truth and feeling like they have the right to pursue just what makes them happy, like that there's any time for that.
We realized that was the big missing piece that for the two of us we agreed on everything about nutrition and fitness and then we got really excited about all this other stuff that we want to help women build that foundation on there so that the wellness and health stuff doesn't feel so bad and feel so overwhelming.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, this is real stuff here, oh my goodness.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: We've been there.
Sarah Fragoso: We're still there.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: We're still there.
Shawn Stevenson: This just brings the point, one of the statements early in the book is a quote that you guys have, I am quoting you guys and it says, "Women are plagued with this notion that we have to do it all and look good doing it."
I definitely, I'm in a little bit of a different position than a lot of other fellows, but it's by choice, like putting myself in that position, the majority of clients over the years I work with have been women.
And so hearing the stories, really paying attention and seeing that that is consistent but it's cultural, it's not like somebody told them to be that way, but it's really kind of drilled in.
And that leads to a lot of dysfunction. So what made you guys kind of just make that as one of the hallmark things we're addressing?
Sarah Fragoso: For so many reasons and I think personal reasons and then, of course, to the women that we work with and just seeing the validation that they need to, like Brooke said, be who they are, and settling back into what I think is so important no matter where you are in your health journey is owning your moment.
Wherever it is right now, even if it's that you feel awful and your hormones are completely out of whack and you don't like how your jeans are fitting and you feel this sense of comparison on a daily basis— like we talked about offline, like social media comparison is so rampant right now, where we don't even have time to figure out who we are or how we're supposed to be in the world.
Because we're so distracted by the constant input of what other people are telling us with these mega fitness Instagram stars and people who look perfect at any and every angle whatever it is that they're putting up. If they're in their kitchen making breakfast they look perfect and their breakfast looks perfect and their family looks perfect.
And real life is not perfect, it's messy, and it's humbling and it's scary, and it's hard, and it's without makeup and it's without the perfect pants, it's all of those things.
In order to really show up for your life, we have to own every single one of those moments. And the flipside to that is we really don't know how the semblance of perfection feels like for those people. We don't know.
I can tell you, flat out, at my most lean and shredded were people like, "Oh my god you look amazing, what are you doing," I'm like, "I feel like garbage. I actually want to die, this is not what health looks like."
Health for me, like, I say I want women to look at each other when they walk into a room and look at the light in their eyes and their smile and listen to them, we just really need to be heard, like what is it that you're saying to me that you feel is really important so I can hear you and have empathy for you, and be with you in that, that's beautiful, that's showing up for life.
Being shining and happy on the outside is great but it feels so much better when you can just own exactly where you are right now.
Because health is so fluid, we don't know what tomorrow is going to be like. So if this is as good as we're going to get right now, because I still struggle with stuff, I still have to dance with my hormones and stay committed to what works for me, but if I don't own it right now, then that misery of like, "Well maybe tomorrow I'll look better, maybe next month I'll get into that jeans size."
You're never going to feel happiness, joy, you can't sit with that joy when you're always focused on, "Do I look good doing all this stuff."
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: We both fell into it too, and we obviously saw this with all the women we work with, that when it's not working and you're feeling like garbage, and maybe you're getting in the workouts and maybe you're sticking to the plan and we don't listen.
There are some reasons for that, but some women just don't understand what those signals are, like the appetite going up and the sleep falling apart and their energy being in the tank.
What women tend to do is we take it on as there's something wrong with us like, "I need to try harder, I need to work out more," and we push, and we push, and we push, again because it's not in our nature to just stop and take care of ourselves, we've got a lot of other people to take care of.
And whether it's internal or societal there's that pressure again to like, "You better do it better."
So we just saw women continually wrecking their hormones for the sake of doing all the right health stuff and we've done it, we talk about that in our intro of the book, we both really thrive on stress and we push.
We had to learn that lesson the hard way, and so part of what we want to do with the book is help women see those signals and understand what their hormones are saying so they know when they need to start doing it differently.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, this is one of the most important and it might be the first time anybody's said it on the show, but just talking about the fact that health is fluid because we do probably subconsciously have this idea that we'll get to this place and everything's going to be great.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah and I figured it out.
Shawn Stevenson: If I could just get to this place and then it's just like I can maintain.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: And then I'll get my wings, and I'll fly.
Shawn Stevenson: But things happen, and we're going to have interactions even if you eat the very best personalized diet, you might get a suspicious batch of something we have to be able to listen to our bodies and to adjust, and so thank you for talking about that.
Your plan in the book is to take people from being a hangry b*tches to a happy babe. And one of the foundational things and what I really love is you start the conversation with the thing that, I have been talking about this for a long time, we're talking about your hormones, and really giving people some fundamental but just like really eyeopening insights about some of these hormones that are operating behind the scenes and giving us these experiences.
Because what we really are feeling is really a result of what's happening with our hormones.
So let's talk about some of those to start with that that you guys feel are really important, you went through like some real, some hitters, we'll get to a couple of them, so let's talk about some of those.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah also what happens with these women is they go to their doctor they are like, "I'm tired, everything is falling apart," and they do sometimes a skimpy battery of tests or what happens oftentimes, a lot of women is like fatigue, and depression and overwhelm and happiness is written off as like, "Well you're a busy mom and you're busy running a company, and you're getting older."
And our favorite one is, "Well all the women in my practice feel that way, it's normal because it's common."
And we've wanted to really point out what's going on for women is it is very common, but it's not normal and definitely, they're not thriving.
We've been in that place and so what we wanted to do was, we know so much about hormones now, I know you've had all kinds of detailed explanations of hormones with experts on your show, and I think especially when women are consumers of health information, really that stuff, it's so much of it and we know really cool hormones and really cool stuff about the brain.
And women are forgetting the basics of stress and blood sugar and thyroid health and so we really wanted to kind of bring it back to those hormones because that's what we have the most control over.
It doesn't always feel like it but we can control how we eat and how much stress we're having in our lives, how much we're recovering and so our plan talks a lot about insulin and cortisol and those are our 2 hormones duking it out all day trying to keep one of our acronyms for how your hormones are talking to you is ACES, and all day long we're dealing with appetite cravings, energy and how well we're sleeping and those are 2 hormones that throughout the day we're getting those feedback.
We eat something that doesn't work for us at lunch, we had too many carbs and our insulin goes up and we're tired and now we need a coffee probably with little bit of sugar in it.
Because our cravings are going up and just giving women the power to know like, "I do what that means," and not make themselves wrong like, "I don't have enough will power to not get a cookie at 3 o'clock," it's like, "No, I can just look back maybe I need to up the protein a little bit, maybe I need to have some more vegetables, maybe work on what my unique carb tolerance is," and just helping women really understand those basic signals of some really key, but they're not very exciting, nobody is talking about cortisol and insulin anymore, they are not very sexy.
Cortisol is our main stress hormone and it helps our blood sugar come up between meals, it helps it stay regulated throughout the night, it's important in our immune system and insulin is the one that brings it back down.
Again fundamentally hormones are talking to us all day, so we're getting a lot of biofeedback and they're ones that we can really make a big impact on with our lifestyle choices.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely and even something like cravings, you guys talk about how your cravings are related to the interaction specifically of insulin and cortisol.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, and instead what we do is beat ourselves up right, we say in the book all of a sudden I'm like 2 glasses of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry's I don't even know what happened, and so much of that too, is just about being more present in your body and being able to tune in to what your insulin cortisol is telling you.
So always going back to the mindset stuff, when we're in our heads all the time we're behaving in ways that we aren't necessarily proud of or that aren't even who we are that we know we do things that don't work for us with our diet and our exercise because we're up here and we're not here and we're not tuning in.
We're unable to listen to those hormonal cues because we're just like what we called ourselves, we're a mess, we're falling apart or it's how we feel all the time so we get used to that discomfort rather than having to kind of sit in what's really almost more uncomfortable is our reality, our truth that we're at, like, "Okay, now I really need to start paying attention."
It exposes us to our own stuff right like, this is how I behave at this moment and it's not my fault, it's not like I'm a bad person, my hormones are telling me things that are out of whack and then I'm in my head all the time, I'm not managing my stress well enough to even be in tune with that.
So we're just really trying to help women keep it as simple as possible, be in your own body and listen to what it's telling you, like step one.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah and I think that so many women feel like they hate their hormones or their hormones hate them, they feel like they're in this and like your hormones are trying to save your life, all day long, they're trying so hard to do what they need to do in our crazy lifestyle of that stress and the lack of sleep and the overdoing it in so many ways.
And so we call it like their secret hormone decoder ring, when they learn these symptoms and we try to break it into little acronym so that it was something you could remember and use and again give that power back to a woman to say, "There's nothing wrong with me it's just that's my hormones talking."
And this is what they're saying and I now know what I can do differently to take better care of myself.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, awesome. So one of the things in the book that you talk about specifically with food cravings is that it's due to blood sugar swings. How is cortisol involved in a blood sugars swing?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: If you know a little bit about hormones we think of insulin as a blood sugar hormone, right that's going to be the one that secreted when you eat and help you get that fuel into your cells for use, but the other side of that coin is cortisol.
So it's the dance that they do all day where your blood sugar goes down, your body sees it as a bit of a stress response and it acts accordingly.
So we have fuel and then insulin brings that down, so it's a thing that they do all day. Part of the issue is, again, we're wired to survive, we've got this great stress response that's very robust it's top for the most part and we are calling on it constantly.
We know this, it's not the acute stress that it's meant to do but we're just asking it to get us to work on time and we're stressed about this thing with our job and this going on with our kids, and we're unhappy with our body looks and we're feeling like this conversation we can't have with someone in our life and there's all this stuff and then we're not getting enough sleep.
Cortisol is that other piece of blood sugar all of the time and I think sometimes we look a say we stop eating sugar, and our cravings are improved so that's a big insulin impact.
We talk about a little bit in the book that when we can't trust our craving, so there are some women that just those signals either they're just not as clear or they've tuned themselves out for so long and they're just not tuned in.
But there are also times when things are going on in our physiology that can make our cravings a little bit confusing.
So there's the basic stuff we talk about with blood sugar and stress, but there are some things like inflammation, I always call information the great hormone mess maker because if you get inflammation, all of your hormones are affected from cortisol to thyroid to estrogen, so it can be a bit murky and we know we've got a lot of women dealing with a lot of inflammation.
We've got autoimmunity on the rise we're eating food that's crazy to our immune systems, we're stressed, we're not getting enough sleep or working out too hard sometimes or not working out at all. So there are so many things that impact inflammation for us and that can be something that drives cravings for people.
And then our unhealthy gut so we've got candida or other types of gut infections or a leaky gut and maybe we eat a food and we instantly feel tired and craving caffeine and it's not necessarily because it has anything to do with insulin, but it could be because you're having a sensitivity to that.
Things can get a bit murky and we talk about those things a bit, but I think when those things are going to come into play after women have kind of really dealt with the stress and the good nutrition, and the recovery, and not overdoing it as much.
Shawn Stevenson: This is the biggest thing here and just seeing so many people over the years who just feel like, "I'm eating all the right stuff, I'm exercising," and they're just not getting the results and not really understanding how stress is such— the thing is, and even you guys talk about this, specifically that your blood sugar can rise from something you ate or can rise from stress.
And people aren't getting that part because your stress doesn't have any calories. Mentally it's just like, "Oh it's not a big deal," but it actually is.
And so what you mention in the book are these secret stressors, they are secret stressors and there's a whole slew of them because there's a lot of stuff that's going on behind the scenes we might I think about.
Some of them, they just might not seem like it's a big deal too, I think that there were phases where you guys felt like, "I got this handled, I got this."
But they are just adding more and more, it's little feathers getting added, and before you know it is like you got a whole chicken standing on top of you. I don't know why I said that.
Let's talk about that, let's talk about some of these secret stressors?
Sarah Fragoso: Well Brooke touched on one which I think it's so important which is information.
We don't think about that as being stressful and we don't even really know what to look for when we say we're inflamed, like what does that even mean.
We think something really acute, like cancer or heart disease we're, "Oh, that's inflammation," but inflammation can be present and tricky in so many subtle ways that cause such a huge stressful impact on the body and then, of course, my favorite of all is just not being who you are.
We already covered that not in great detail but in a lot of detail, just not being present, not being mindful.
And the little things throughout the day that affect our cortisol and our insulin that cause so much just disruption in our bodies.
We're not delicate flowers, we don't want to come across like, "Oh my gosh we're so—," the opposite is true, we're very robust and we are so adaptable and we can put our bodies through so many things, but we don't focus on the stuff that is not as obvious.
Starving yourself obviously is very stressful, dieting is very stressful, overexercising is incredibly stressful, underexercising is incredibly stressful but all of this stuff can cause inflammation too and we don't equate it to that.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: It's hard to see, really. If you cut your arm, hey that's bleeding, that needs to heal and all this stuff going on in our biochemistry you can't see it.
We can see it, we're trained to see the dark circles under the eyes and the puffiness, we can see some of that stuff but the average person, it's inside.
Again, who feels bloated after they eat, everybody who talks to their friends is like that's how you feel and so there's so much of that that I think we just don't see because it's inside.
Some of that is inflammation, blood sugar swings, nutrient deficiencies an unhealthy gut, there are so many things that as a woman, or as a person I don't think of my blood sugar as a stressful thing, but you need a stress hormone to sort it out if it's up and down.
So there's that and like Sarah was saying there are other things we don't think of, I don't think we spend a lot of time thinking about me not being able to express my truth, to be who I am, to even remember what makes me happy as a stressor, but it is.
Because we go through life people pleasing and saying yes to stuff we don't want to do or say yes to the stuff we don't have time for.
We know running late is stressful, we know missing a night of sleep is stressful but there's so much stress in our lives right now and we have to tend to all of it.
Again, people that are really consuming a lot of health information, they've got some knowledge about not eating packaged foods and stuff and getting some exercise and we sometimes just miss all of that other stuff that's going on.
Shawn Stevenson: What if that extra 10 pounds was due to people pleasing?
It's very difficult to wrap your mind around it, but it's very true and matter of fact, people pleasing is pee-pee. We’ll call it pee-peeing, the pee-peeing everywhere. But you really got to get that under control, control that bladder, I guess.
What's so interesting is, and I love that we're talking about this is that we talk so much about, which we are going to talk more about this the nutrition side, but I really want today for us to just truly, truly understand how powerful our minds are in influencing our physiology.
Another thing that we covered here, we've yet to cover that, I want to cover, is oxidative stress.
And this is something that again, a lot of people don't really think about, but it's happening all the time it's a natural part of being alive but when it runs rampant this can be one of the stressors. So let's talk a little about that.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Again, it is one of the stressors you don't see. We don't necessarily see that on the outside.
But one of the things that a lot of women deal with is just fatigue and brain fog and they don't really know where it's coming from and again, you're often told like, "Well all working moms feel that way," or, "All women over 40 feel that way, it's just so common."
We do so much stuff, we live in a polluted environment, again what if your stress is coming from your plastic water bottle? There are these things that add to our hormone burden and to our immune system burden.
And our immune systems, especially as women are so adaptable. We have the way our hormones are able to fluctuate in our immune system changes during pregnancy, the baby is part you but it's not totally you, but your body doesn't treat it like a virus or a parasite, right.
Because of the way women's estrogen and progesterone can interact with the immune system, we can do this amazing thing to be very adaptable.
But what is happening in our modern world is we have these hormones that are really shifting our immune system, especially estrogen and we're interacting with again so many endocrine disrupters in plastics and pesticides in our food supply, and modified food or changed the food that our main system sees as different.
And so women especially, and we know this, autoimmunity is much more prevalent in women than men, and I think one of the reasons is our estrogen I think one of the other reasons too is the stress, the extra stuff we take on.
And oxidative stress is a huge component of our immune system so we're reacting to things and it's basically resting on the inside that is just like an apple turns brown or metal when it comes in contact with water.
Shawn Stevenson: Avocado.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Avocado.
Sarah Fragoso: Oh yes, poor little avocados.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: You've got about 7 seconds before an avocado goes bad. And something else that we see as far as oxidative stress goes is unhealthy guts.
Women who are eating fruits and vegetables and eating antioxidants but they've got some mass for a variety of reasons and so they're not getting maybe the nutrition that they think they're getting based on how smart they are with their food. And then the overexercising.
So again, the oxidative stress and oxidation is something that goes on all the time as you said, but we overdo it. And it really is just kind of tearing us apart on the inside, slowly but surely.
Shawn Stevenson: What are 2 nutritional things to target for dealing with oxidative stress?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: One of the easiest ones to eat more fruits and vegetables, so just make sure you're getting brightly colored things in your food and then—
Shawn Stevenson: Which are an indication of antioxidants?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Antioxidants, yeah, they are the colors, they are the pigments. That's the red and the yellow, the orange, the purples.
And then another thing as far as nutrition goes is, I am going to go back to blood sugar, so anytime our blood sugar is out of whack, and this is how we measure hemoglobin A1c, we're looking at glycation and oxidation and when you look again back to blood sugar, so simple but it is a true marker of this normal thing in our modern world that has gotten out of control.
So eat your vegetables, make sure that you, this is not nutrition really, but make sure that you are not overexercising, that you're not feeling like a truck hit you after you've had your workouts, which kind of flies in the face of a lot of styles of training, so that's not a nutrition one but I'd say bounce your blood sugar, and eat your veggies.
Again, it is so boring and so simple.
Shawn Stevenson: We'll talk more about exercise but with going too hard, doing too much we can also more easily become dehydrated which is another one of those potential stressors.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Secret stressors.
Sarah Fragoso: Secret stressors, right. And then we think we're drinking enough water because we're peeing all the time but that's actually a sign that you're not even hydrated. If you're just peeing, we talk about pee a lot on this show.
But, if you're just peeing out everything that you're drinking that doesn't necessarily mean you're hydrated. And so again another secret stressor like we talked about.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: It's electrolyte imbalance that's a really common one.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah and I'm so glad you brought that up, of course, we talk a lot about eating your vegetables in the book, but I think we forget the importance of that especially when we adopted paleo diet, it so easy to eat your protein and get your coffee in, eat your protein, drink your water and I used to forget about salads.
I love vegetables but it's such an important component to health overall and we've just to poopooed them for so long now, I guess they're not that important like the carnivore diet, but for women, I'm sorry guys we need to eat our vegetables.
Shawn Stevenson: So we got peepee and poopoo. So this is like super preschool but super-evolved.
Sarah Fragoso: We have little kids.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, I have toddlers in my house.
Shawn Stevenson: So, with the hydration, what's something that we can do to ensure that even if we're drinking a lot of water, and I know some people experiences but they're not really feeling like they're hydrated, that are retaining that especially if they're doing like a keto approach or something like that, whereas carbohydrate helps your cells to basically hold on and store water, what should we do?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: This is another thing that comes up with, what's commonly called adrenal fatigue or HPA Axis dysfunctions, discoordination between our brain and adrenals.
And that was actually kind of what we started writing the book about, it became a lot bigger than that, but that's something that plagues so many of us, this inability to kind of keep a normal timed cortisol rhythm throughout the day because we're constantly calling upon it and eventually get sort of out balance.
But the cortisol isn't the only hormone that our adrenal glands make and aldosterone is a big one. And so as we get into that more lower cortisol place or more of that dysfunction between our brain and our adrenals, we need electrolytes.
And some people have had some success with just doing some sea salt in their water or things like that but a lot of women need those other minerals, they also need potassium, they also need magnesium.
So sometimes a more robust electrolyte formula is such a game changer. And then there are many reasons why we're peeing too often, so women with blood sugar dysregulation, an insulin like you said, that's going to with the carbohydrates triggering the insulin and that's going to be one of the things that affect our kidneys to hold on to those minerals and so when you go on a keto diet and insulin goes really low, we're not retaining sodium in the kidney.
And so again, electrolytes are such a game changer for someone who does try a low carb diet or keto to not have that keto flu.
Women with PCOS like myself, we can be I call us "mineral leakers," we tend to just lose too much stuff because of our insulin resistance via urination and electrolytes.
So simple and again, maybe because of the adrenal stress, it's one of those secret stressors, like who thinks that's what is causing their stress, again, what if that's the difference between the 5 pounds or whatever is some electrolytes.
Shawn Stevenson: Simple thing and when I first met you face to face, we were at paleo effects I believe, it was a paleo conference in Austin and I just left Onnit headquarters which is in Austin, I love those guys and they actually just sent me a new mineral electrolyte formula that they have.
They do everything from Earth grown nutrients, and so it's like food based and these simple things are the reason I love them, is like the brand is so cool, at their facility they've got like one of the top MMA training sites and stuff like that, all these NFL players train there, hockey players and Joe Rogan.
And so it's a really cool place but they're always like pushing the envelope on like what is next.
And it's so funny that these electrolyte products are coming out but also you got to be mindful, folks are doing it the right way and getting those key components like you just said, because it could just be sprinkle some salt that might not work for everybody, matter of fact, for a lot of people it's not going work.
By the way, guys, check out Onnit, it's onnit.com/model. You get 10 percent off everything they carry, I love their MCT Oils I use it every single day, (add “their emulsified MCT Oil, it's so good and this is like instant cell food.
So pop over there, check them out, they've got so many cool things and the equipment, I think they're the only fitness company partner with Marvel which we're just talking about this, so they've got like Iron Man kettlebells, like Captain America shield weight plates, it's insane, check them on Onnit.com/model.
I would love now if we can talk a little bit about some of the solutions for the secret stressors, let's get very specific because we're talking about being more mindful but how do we develop that capacity. What are some things that we can start doing?
Sarah Fragoso: We have so many tools in the book and the reason we have so many tools is not to overwhelm women, because the last thing that you want to do to an already stressed out woman is to give her something else to do.
And that's what dieting is and that's what an exercise plan is, it's something else to put on your already 12,000 miles long to do list that we can never get through and then we feel less thin and we feel like we're lacking.
And it goes back to all the stuff that we were just talking about, so very specific, keep it simple.
We have our 5 habits to start with and that's where everybody will start in the book and in our plan, we've been coaching women on the online for a couple of years now with this plan. It's easy to remember and it's just a jumping off point, like 5 habits, that's all you got to think about every day.
We talk about 5 walks per week, we talk about women starting with 4 meals per day which is a jumping off place, everyone gets freaked out like, "But what about my intermittent fasting." Reset your metabolism a little bit, kick start things.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Learn something.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, get your body listening to itself finally, and then 3 strength training sessions a week which again, that might look different for you down the road, and then at least 2 liters of water a day and I think, we think the most important thing is one real commitment, one commitment to real self-care which is a real commitment, but one commitment to actually doing something for yourself that's meaningful.
We talk about how it's cool to go get a manicure and a massage, but is that something that really makes you sit with yourself and that touches your soul and that sparks joy in your life?
So what can you do every single day that is fundamentally part of who you are and gets you back in touch with yourself?
So we have our 5 habits and then, of course, the foundation of our book is our pillars, which we don't have to go through all of them, because it's kind of intense, but that's like the mindset component.
We want women to be able to customize those 5 habits to be able to work for them, but if you just start there and I think probably one of our most important pillars is opting out of overwhelm, because like we just had a second ago how we're asking women to do more things but we also have to ask you to take something off your plate right now.
We can't keep saying yes to everything, we have to learn how to not be the people pleaser, we have to learn first how to show up for ourselves, so what can you stop doing today?
Even if that's all your listeners take from this podcast, really sit back and look at what you're committing to on a daily basis that's not serving you, that's getting in the way of you actually focusing on making your health a priority, that is making you go in your head and question yourself and second guess the things you actually need to do to be healthy.
What can you start saying, "This is not as important as me, as my health, as my family, as taking that walk, as making sure I eat more vegetables." There are things that we add on and stack up that are on our deathbed will be meaningless.
You don't have to go to every parent meeting that they all sit and complain about things that will never change, you don't have to do that.
You don't have to say yes to every carpool, you can ask your friends for help, you can go to your tribe and say, "I need you to show up for me today, I can't do this."
It's such a freeing feeling when you can admit that we're not superpowered, we need help. We need each other.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, and that's a big thing that's missing from today's culture and one of the things that you've really successfully helped to kind of develop in the culture with cross fit right and even in the paleo community.
I am specifically talking about proximity and having mother in laws, aunties , and cousins, and people together to help everybody with the different things going on.
We're so isolated, we're like in our little fortress and then it's like you versus the world, like you got your tiny little tribe of you and your significant other and some little ones and that's not how we're wired up.
So actually getting outside of that, asking for help and you can find it, that's the thing.
With that said, we've got family members we can talk to, because again, we want to seem like we got all together a lot of times we're talking to family and also you can build it you can talk, because when you start talking with other people and women talking with other women, you start to hear like, "Oh you feel like I do."
Sarah Fragoso: Yes.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: Like, "Let's actually put some cooperation together, and let's help each other."
Sarah Fragoso: Well, yeah, one of my closest friends when our kids were little and we both had lost our moms, she had lost her mom to cancer and so did I, and we met soon after that and neither of us has a lot of help in close proximity to us.
I remember her telling me, "Sarah, I want to help you, we just all think that we don't that people don't want to help each other, but I love you and I want to help you."
And I think it really made me sit and think about my own self, I'm like, "Yeah, that's all I want to do, is help people, so why can't I honor someone else enough to understand that they want to help too."
It takes away their ability and their capacity to be their own true loving selves when we don't ask them we don't allow.
And even in my own relationship with my husband, I've learned so much over the years how communication just between the 2 of us is of the utmost importance.
He wants me to be okay, he wants me to be happy and healthy, he's not trying to beat me down but I create the scenario in my own mind that I have to do this all on my own and that it's expected of me.
And that's my story, that's not anyone making me do that or feel that way it's all my own stuff and so many women operate on that level because like what we talked about, we have to do it all and we have to look good doing it.
And never before, 100 years ago that wasn't a requirement, it wasn't our reality.
I think just opening up your voice women and talking about this stuff is so important and having so much compassion for yourself in the process.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, I love it. Let's talk about some more of these pillars so that is opt out of overwhelm.
Again, there's 5 that you guys cover, so everybody, get the book and you can check all of this, get to maybe one or two more of them.
Let's talk about find and commit to what works for you.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: This is the first one we kick off the book with because I think we've got, women are usually in one or two camps, they either don't have any idea what works for them, they're very confused about, I don't know shall I be keto, shall I be paleo, AIP, kind of know the standard American diets maybe not where it's at but there are so many options.
So some of them are really trying to figure out, like, "I don't know what I need to be doing and I don't know what my hormones are telling me".
And so that's kind of how the program starts, it's like if you don't know we're going to put you on this kind of hybridized version of paleo, we've made some changes to it for what we see works better for women who get a little less emphasis on the animal fat, a little more on the plant fat and then really tuning into the veggies and then what kind and amount of carbohydrates work for you.
So some of the programs are kind of really getting those women started on figuring it out.
But a lot of women know what works for them, so the next step for all of us is maybe we know gluten or wine or sugar or histamines, you might know this like, "This is not working for me," but there's so much we come up against trying to commit to that.
And some of it is practical stuff like I don't know how to cook this meal and Sarah is amazing at that.
Shawn Stevenson: I am getting hungry just this second, instantly as you were saying.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: But so many women what they're coming up against is they feel like it's unfair, like, "Well my girlfriend looks like this and she's a vegan, so should I be doing that?"
Or, "Sarah can eat this," and, "So and so can do that workout," and some women just really have all that restriction and the unfairness and that just kind of keeps us in this place where all that feels like a struggle.
And we say we can't change the biochemistry or the physiology of it if you have histamine intolerance you might have to go on this like super restricted diet temporarily.
If you have a gluten sensitivity or a dairy sensitivity or like me with PCOS, I have to stay away from sugar, or I pay the price.
And so getting to a point where you can do that and it's not another stress where it just feels like an act of self-love, it's not a thing, at this stage I don't do well on coffee, I don't do well on sugar, I don't do well on gluten and I don't suffer from those things.
But we see so many women just get stuck in the frustration of it and that's not sustainable because there's only so long you can feel like crap and continue to make yourself do something, and again it goes back to stress.
I'm known for hormones, Sarah's know for paleo and fitness and our book has all that but there's so much of it like we've gone off the deep end with stress management because again, it's all going to come back to how happy we are at the end of the day.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely and with that said, let's hit one more of these pillars. This has come up a couple of times, but let's actually dissect this statement which is to be who you are.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, right, and I know when I really started to do that work myself I was like, "I don't even know, I have no idea who I am."
I have completely lost myself in mothering and wifing and every day paleoing, I don't know what that even means, like what does Sarah like to do.
I think for people especially who are wired like Brooke and I, who are type A and really driven, I know for me I sometimes feel like who I am needs to be really big and it needs to be expansive and take up a lot of space and be impactful and important.
And then I just feel overwhelmed and like I can't do it right and I'm struggling, just struggling always with that right. And being who I am is actually not in a negative way, but it's much smaller and more compact and easier than that.
And who I am likes to be out in nature and I need that for my soul to be complete, I need to go outside, I have to go hiking I have to feel like the hardness of that and I have to feel the vastness and largeness of the world and the universe to be able to be back in my own self.
That's who I am. I need music, I need to sing out loud even if my kids tell me I'm a horrible singer, I need to be goofy I need to laugh every day.
I need affection, I need to be hugged and I need to be held close and I need my kids to show me that they love me with their respect; it's like little things that make you who you are.
The thing that I love to do more than anything else is to cook delicious food and feed people that I care about.
And I care about everybody, whoever wants to show up— Brooke knows this about me if you come to my house—
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: If you’re a house guest, then Sarah’s is the best. You just feel so loved.
Sarah Fragoso: I'm going to feed you and people think that those small things are not what's going to make a difference or change the world.
If I listen to my favorite music is that really going to make a big impact and I'm here to tell you that it will.
It will make a huge impact on the bigger things you want to do if you want to do bigger things. And if you don't that's okay too, it's totally alright to keep it small.
Because if I die tomorrow not being on Oprah or not having a New York Times bestselling book, I am not going to be thinking about that, I'm going to be thinking about how I said yes to my kid when he wanted to go outside and scooter.
And I played basketball because I had the ability to do that and I hiked that mountain and I cooked that food because it made me feel real and whole and authentic.
So it's not complicated, it's about really saying yes to what feels good that's positive.
Because what we end up doing is when we have that hole and we have that void and we're not in our own selves, is we distract with things that aren't who we are and aren't good for us.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: It is so stressful to not be who you are, and we don't realize that and we don't do a lot of stuff for play, just for the sake of just doing it, hobbies.
Shawn Stevenson: You mean like going to a play? I don't even know what that is!
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Many of us had hobbies when we were younger but life takes over and we don't make time to just again be who you are.
It's not going to get the dishes done and it's not going to further my career to play the piano for 10 minutes but it's an expression of who I am and it's something I need to prioritize.
And I think women hear this we've actually talked about this recently with the women we coach, they're like, "I always forget that one to be joyful, I just don't have time for it," and we're like, "If where you're at now is feeling hangry and feeling super stressed sounds terrible, would one minute of joy be possible?"
We can all find 60 seconds, so I think it's we've got to prioritize it and we might find little, I think it allows you to do more, it allows you to show up in the ways that you do need to show up in a big way when you show up for yourself in the smaller ways.
And we just see so often with women that they don't even remember who they are, what they like.
Life has gone on and we ask them what they want to do for joy or play and they're like, "First of all I don't have time and second of all, I wouldn't even know.
I know what my husband likes and my kids like and I know how my clients like to be treated and I don't know who I am anymore." So it's work to maybe find it.
We said a couple of times in the book that when it really came down to it with putting this together we don't think anything is more stressful than feeling like you can't be who you are.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, and so often and I know that I struggle with this too, it's like finding self-worth to be okay with being who you are. I mean that's so huge, it's like, "Do I even deserve this, do I even deserve this joy?"
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Is it enough to just be me.
Sarah Fragoso: Is it enough, right, exactly.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, even just this 3 letter word “joy”, it's such a powerful word, there's so much to it and just really checking in with yourself, like, "Have I experienced joy today?"
I think the reason we don't do that is that we think that all these conditions need to be met in order for us to allow ourselves to experience joy, but it's available like every microsecond.
And what I love is, even if it might seem on the surface to be very like “meta” but these are very practical, real things, you can access joy, here just do these things. So you guys have a lot of that.
Let's shift gears now and let's talk a little bit more on the nutrition side, because you've got a section Women, Paleo and Carb Confusion and I heard earlier, I think it was you, Sarah that said carb tipping point.
So let's talk a little bit about this carb confusion and also this pops as well.
Sarah Fragoso: Yeah, two things, I think the carb thing is starting to be talked about more fortunately in our community, but it is something that is so convoluted.
And what I used to not understand is that I was going to be completely different than Brooke or my husband or my best friend as far as what my body needs, my unique hormonal profile and how I respond to carbohydrates.
It goes back to what we were talking about earlier that hormone talk, what are your ACES saying to you when you eat a certain carbohydrate.
And sometimes it's not just the amount of carbs that you're eating but the type of carbs that you're eating. We have a very clear system in the book on how women can start to tune in to what their unique carb tolerance is.
And again it goes back to our health being fluid that this could change too, which is frustrating I think for some women at first where they're like, "I just want to figure it out and I want it to be that way forever," but that's not the case.
Because depending on maybe how much sleep you got that night or on what your exercise looks like or if you are able to handle more exercise and then that changes it's very likely your unique card tolerance might change too.
Or as Brooke said earlier, if you get a new diagnosis, you might have to look at what your body is saying to you and how it's responding to the timing of your carbs, the amount of your carbs.
It sounds complex when we first start talking about it, but it really is not that hard and most women figure it out within a couple of weeks of how to really dial it in for who they are right now.
The good news is once you have it figured out and your health starts to be a little bit more even and you're more in homeostasis, it's not like every day you're going to have to change, "Oh my gosh no what I do today."
And then you start to hear and notice and listen like, "Okay, I need to adjust my next meal based on what I ate at my last meal or didn't eat at my last meal," so you know I can't, unfortunately, say this is what you need to do.
But we can give you a really good jumping off point and it's very detailed lined out in the book how to do that, fortunately.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, and it does change, I'm a good example as someone with PCOS in my twenty's, I just didn't eat carbs and that was fine, it kept my weight stable, it kept my PCOS in check and then fast forward stress, newborn baby, not getting any sleep and I was kind of a wreck.
When I took my blood sugar and I was like I'm 62 and I was like no wonder and I was so ingrained with like, "This is who I am and this is how I need to eat," because this is what my hormones diagnosis was that I just completely ignored something so simple as I wasn't eating enough.
Now I'm in a place where I'm back to being low carb, I've dabbled in keto and that works for me now but it didn't then.
And so what we want to teach women with the book is with all this stuff out there, even all the stuff in our book but then you take it one step further with keto, carnivore, intermittent fasting, how does a woman know, "How is that going to land for me?"
And especially when you see, "Well, I want to look like Sarah so I'll just do what she's doing," or your girlfriend's doing whatever and this workout.
We teach women what we call hormone hierarchy so there's a couple of hormones you have to honor first and foremost and that's those delicate, it's the low cortisol, the low thyroid and when you kind of adhere to those recommendations.
For me in that phase of being a new mom I still had PCOS, I still had insulin resistance and I still had estrogen and progesterone imbalances, but my cortisol was what was really, and that's higher up on the hierarchy so I needed to make sure I honored that with how I was training, a little more frequent meals, I couldn't just do two meals a day as I had done before, maybe a little bit more carbohydrate in a small amount.
You still have to honor all of what's going on with you but we teach you to kind of go through it in a way.
Because what happens is women just wreck themselves because they work for the plan instead of the plan working for them, this is how it's laid out, this is how you keto, this is how you hold 30, this is how you do whatever it is and those are the rules and we want to be like that good little dieter and we just do it and show up for that.
We dig in deeper when it doesn't work for us instead of saying maybe, "This isn't working for me," or like, "I'll paleo harder, I'll crossfit harder." We've both done that.
Sarah Fragoso: We've both done it to death, and it just gives me chills thinking about it, I was Robb Wolf days, he was my mentor, I worked for him and he taught me everything that I knew at that moment and it was fantastic and it changed my life.
But the same thing just hearing you talk about like after you had the kids. And I'm like, "Okay, I just need to paleo more and work out harder because why am I feeling so awful, I was feeling so great."
Shawn Stevenson: So you're the problem.
Sarah Fragoso: So it was me. It was all me.
Shawn Stevenson: You're not going hard enough.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: That adds more stress.
Shawn Stevenson: We do that to ourselves all the time.
Sarah Fragoso: I just needed a sweet potato. And a nap.
Shawn Stevenson: Put in a muffin form. Ideally.
Sarah Fragoso: Ah that sounds good, we are getting hungry.
Shawn Stevenson: It's you.
Sarah Fragoso: Is it me?
Shawn Stevenson: Everybody getting food made for them and I'm just, you know...
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Wait until you see the recipes in there, they are so delicious.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, I want Sarah to make me something.
Sarah Fragoso: You know I will, I'd love to.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, so the carb thing was big, not really transition from paleo, but it was something we wanted to address in a little bit different way, and then the pops.
So the other thing that we saw for women in particular with estrogen and thyroid imbalances that can uniquely, obviously estrogen, especially for women, we're inundated with these persistent organic pollutants and most of them are fat soluble and so they're going to be in animal fat and even in our grass-fed, the high-quality products that we want women to eat.
And it's not that women can't eat those, it's not that they are off our plan, but what a lot of women do when they go on a more meat-based paleo diet is it's lots of bacon and it's the rib eye steak and it's all that stuff, because it's satiating, it's delicious.
And we find that just sometimes is tweaking where women are getting their fat, maybe taking a little leaner cut of meat more often during the week and opting for more avocado, coconut, olives, olive oil those plant-based fats really shifts a lot of that estrogen dominance stuff that happens, the breast tenderness, the bad PMS, the heavy periods, the irritability and it's such a simple shift that's still very much on that paleo construct but it's something that's just not talked about that much.
And again, it's a very simple tweak, it doesn't change calories or macros or anything you just opt for a fat from a plant source and it's oftentimes, we've seen that just really again a simple thing that makes a huge difference and not something we saw really talked about but was really really important for women.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so good, we're having a good time.
Let's jump in and talk about the exercise side. Especially when we're talking about stress, we can find ourselves on one end of the spectrum or the other, like exercising harder or just like this keeps getting omitted, and you bring up the point that for decades, prior to maybe about 20 years ago, it was really seen as like cardio is the way, it is the gateway to everything.
If you do more cardio you'll have cover model body, you'll have a fat bank account and models of choice. Whether that's like Fabio is the guy for you or never mind. I don't know why my brain—
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Because you're back in the '80s, low fat and cardio.
Shawn Stevenson: Fabio will be your guy. And the thing is we were so indoctrinated with that, I remember for me seeing exercise as aerobics, when I was a kid and there were books even, there was like "The Joy of Running", like this old school book, there's no other joy of books, it's like "The Joy of Running" and "The Joy of Sex."
And that's it, there's no joy of lifting weights, can I get a "Joy of Lifting Weights" book.
Sarah Fragoso: Yes, we wrote one for you.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: I think we wrote it.
Shawn Stevenson: So you say that today many fitness gurus say that cardio flat out kill you and then there's the other that says cardio is the only form of exercise you need but you say the truth is really in between?
Sarah Fragoso: Well it is, well it's obviously, again, our whole thing is customizing a plan that works for you.
So it goes back to that, like know who you are and you can't out exercise a hormonal imbalance, you just can't do it, you can't exercise yourself into that you know Fabio relationship.
It just isn't going to happen, it goes back to understanding what your body needs and how it's going to respond to its exercise plan.
I like to say that exercise should not ever produce like an exaggerated response like you shouldn't be on the floor wanting to die afterward or we have an acronym in the book called RAMP where it really helps you kind of pay attention to if you're over-exercising or not.
Because for women who are super stressed out and exhausted like me, I live in that camp, I need that hit of adrenaline or I think that I do, so I go beat myself up in the gym because I get that little boost and I feel better.
But then the next day I want to die, you shouldn't have that exaggerated of an ever response to exercise, it should alternately like anything else you do make you feel better and it should promote longevity, it should be something that's sustainable not something that you cringe when you think of having to go to the gym again, but you know you have to do it. It shouldn't be punishing, it should be nourishing.
And we're not saying you'll never be sore, or it's not going to be hard because that's also not true. I think we shouldn't be working hard, we're meant to work hard, we're meant to lift heavy things, we're meant to be agile and mobile.
But we've sat our way and stressed our way and over exercised our way into injury, inflammation, not wanting to work out, having a really unhealthy relationship with going to the gym. What is that supposed to even look like or feel like anymore?
I remember driving to the gym and literally having butterflies in my stomach like I was about to have to go do something really scary and horrific.
Where now it's like I know what my body needs to be okay and I go to the gym because it's a safe place for me to be, it's not about comparing myself with what any other women or men are doing.
Even for me right now it's not even about like what my next PR is going to be and sometimes it is, I went on a pretty consistent strength building regiment with my husband over the summer and I got really strong, stronger than I've been in a long time and guess what— then I was super stressed out and we were in the middle of this book stuff and I hurt myself.
The old me would have been like, "Oh my God Sarah, you're so dumb," and punish myself and figure out how to get back in the gym as fast as possible, and then I probably would have hurt myself again.
But instead I'm like, "Okay, so that wasn't working, it was too much for me, how can I reconstruct my life now to still be strong and fit and not get hurt again." Or if I do get hurt I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
So the program in the book is really about figuring out where you are right now with your fitness and how are you going to have a sustainable gym life.
We want women to lift heavy, but we understand too that there might be some caveats to that at the beginning, where you might need to heal your core in pelvic floor, for if you've had a baby, if you're postpartum, even if it's 20 years there's not a lot of emphasis on that.
In the strength training world often you join a gym that might look like mine and you come in and you're thrown into a group class without an assessment or understanding what you need to focus on first or looking at any mobility issues.
We are so proud of what we put into this book as far as the fitness plan, because it's very comprehensive and we want women to be empowered enough to take our plan, go to a personal trainer, go to a gym and ask the right questions and know what responses they're supposed to get to learn how their bodies are supposed to operate to be okay with the fact that we all have imbalances and that we all need to work on certain aspects of our strength and that it's all going to look different for everybody.
But to be empowered in ourselves is key and that's being strong, that's strength really.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, we see in the book too that exercise is powerful medicine and it can be really healing or it can really wreck us, and we've both overdone it and caused a lot of damage, and we know a lot of people listening or watching probably have as well.
So we want women to lift weights, there are sort of 2 camps, you're either lifting really light for women or you're crossfitting and maybe there are parts of that intensity or the volume or the weight, the heaviness of it is not quite right for you, so how do we get women to embrace this amazing healing tool with strength training, but not wreck themselves.
And that was a big undertaking to put together a plan that just like the food, they can follow the hormone hierarchy and know how to adjust and again, make it work for them because we're good, I follow the rules and I am going to do it this way and so we wanted women to lift weights, and we wanted women to be strong and we know how important that is in terms of longevity and our health as we get older.
And so it's really important for women to be able to do that, but of course, you don't want anyone get hurt and we don't want anyone to overdo it either.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, this is getting back to the foundational stuff you guys have been talking about which is listening to your body and really tuning in and assessing what's right for you right now.
And it's not taking any of this stuff off the table, it's just like what's right for me right now.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: And it might change. It will change. Like we said health is fluid.
Shawn Stevenson: It is going to change. There are so many things I want to ask you about but we'll talk about one more thing before I reluctantly let you go.
We've mentioned thyroid a couple of times and I think most folks are pretty well aware it's like a big regulator of your metabolism.
But it's like an epidemic, thyroid issues, so let's talk a little bit about thyroid nutrition and exercise recommendations, specifically if folks are dealing with hypothyroidism or maybe Hashimoto's but they have low thyroid, let's talk about that.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Yeah, there is the reason this is on the top of our hormone hierarchy.
We can't do anything that's going to make our thyroid imbalances worse and we pay the price for that so hard, every cell in your body needs thyroid hormone so when it's low— there are some things nutritionally that we can do.
As far as thyroid stuff goes, I mentioned the POP, so there are some of those persistent organic pollutants that directly target the thyroid, so cleaning up the plastics, going organic, doing all those things, watching the sources of your animal fats and maybe watching the amounts of that, that's going to be really important for your thyroid.
The majority of the thyroid in the western world is Hashimoto's based, so that's an autoimmune attack, so we know that the Paleo diet is a good starting place to decrease many aggravators, you might be sensitive to chicken or something on paleo but it's a good place for women to start.
And we do talk in the book about taking that up a notch to AIP, taking that up a notch to histamine, but if it's new to you that's a really good starting place. So some of those things are really important as far as nutrition goes.
And then when it comes to exercise, this is where we see so much problem for women, it's the over-exercising, doing things wrong, not only over exercising in terms of volume which generates oxidative stress that a woman with Hashimoto's who are already experiencing immune system and oxidative stress and inflammation dysregulation, it's going to impact them so much more.
They're the ones that like, "I do work out and then I have to stay in bed the next day," or, "I do work out and I can't get back to the gym because I feel so wrecked."
Unfortunately, we see for women with low cortisol and low thyroid as they're told, "You can't exercise at all, you can walk, maybe do some yoga," and we know that letting a woman's muscle mass go down is bad for so many things.
Sarah Fragoso: Especially for women who are used to working out, just the stress of all this and telling a woman like me who tends to be more on the low cortisol, low thyroid camp, "You can't you train any more," like well then just kill me now, that's part of who I am. I need to lift weights to feel okay.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: There's so much that can be overdone in this situation. But we wanted again, to put in some of that heavier lift.
And again, heavy is all relative right, heavy for Sarah might be a barbell on her back and heavy for someone else might be standing up and down out of a chair, like in a good form, that's the body weight.
So whatever is heavy for you with plenty of rest, with plenty of recovery in order to be able to keep training because we always say we care that you're able to lift and be strong in 10 years, not if you go again 7 times this week, what's the long term plan.
So we see women with thyroid stuff overdoing it easily because of the inflammation and oxidative stress and because nothing is going to go on in that cell if thyroid hormone is not there to bind to it.
So a muscle cell is not going to contract right, because it's the thyroid hormone stimulating events in the cell that help that cell do what its job is.
So a muscle cell needs to be able to contract. We also see on the flip side of that when women are low thyroid and let's say they're doing a class where they're lifting a lightweight 20 times, so you're asking this tendon to take all the brunt of that stress because that muscle cell is not getting stimulated, and so what do women have— shoulder problems, hip problems, knee problems, all these tendon issues because they're just asking this muscle to go again and again.
Or spin classes, all these hip problems just asking that muscle to go again and again, when it's not getting its own stimulation or the thyroid stimulation.
So there's a lot of stuff that in the book I think we help them not overdo. We also tell them how to get a thorough thyroid assessment because that's the other problem, is women get a screening TSH typically which is just one of the many things we need to look at on the thyroid cascade to really evaluate from your brain to the cell are you hitting all the steps.
And when it falls apart somewhere in the middle and all we have are some of those basic screening, those women get sent on their way, like thyroid is fine and they're like, "Now what, now what do I do?"
The thyroid is a really, really delicate one and like I said, exercise is really powerful and we can use it to help heal these women, it can be anti-inflammatory, it can stimulate stem cells. Strength training is really powerful and as we age for so many reasons and for our metabolism, we need good muscle mass.
So we don't think it's good advice to tell a woman who's in hormone haywire, "You can't train anymore, you can't lift a weight," you just have to do it in a way that honors those things again from the top down.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. Wow great, great, great stuff. This is so good. I want to ask like literally so many more things, but this has been so awesome and I love hanging out with you guys.
I feel smarter absorbing this is and I love you, I love the energy that you guys have and I love the fact that you care so much about this.
I love the fact that you walked in these shoes and you continued, and you're so authentic with it. I just really appreciate it.
And if you could, first of all, can you let folks know, you already gave me little heads up but you've got like a lot of bonuses people are going to get access to. So what do people get when they get “Hangry”?
Sarah Fragoso: Oh we laugh just because we finished the book and then we just dumped the rest of ourselves into these bonuses. So yeah, it's a lot.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: You get so much, we wanted to really give, there are some really beautiful downloads of the RAMP and the ACES and all the systems, so there are some really beautiful things to just print out and have all those little tools and right there for you, we have a beautiful download of the 5 pillars and some of our other stress management tools.
You can print him out not to flip through your book to get them, but then in addition to that, because everything is so customizable, Sarah put together some workouts so you can even take the template not even have to figure it out yourself.
So if you come up low cortisol or low thyroid or whatever, we've got some preprogrammed workouts. And then Sarah did some amazing kitchen stuff.
And one of the things again we talk about opting out of overwhelm is when you tell a woman she's got to cook this food for herself, like, "Oh my gosh, I got to have the time," and so Sarah designed so beautifully these recipes that you can take one recipe and easily turn it into 4 different meals, cook once and so that's amazing.
And then if you like digging into the nitty-gritty with the hormone stuff, I did 4 webinars, we did one on thyroid physiology and labs and medications, one on PCOS, one on menopause, and one on brain and neurotransmitters.
So there's a lot of stuff. If you want to go deeper, or if you just want to do it for you, we covered it all.
Sarah Fragoso: Yes, so you can start now, even if you don't have the book yet, you can go to the bonus page if you order it and get all that stuff.
Shawn Stevenson: So just by buying your book, you get all this stuff. What's the link, where do people go?
Sarah Fragoso: You can get all of these bonuses at Sarah and Dr. Brook, sarahanddrbrooke.com/hangry-book, it's all there.
Shawn Stevenson: Perfect. And so this is coming out about, people are going to get access to this still, they get the bonuses about a week before the book comes out if they order the book now if you are a woman you need to have this book.
If you care about a woman, you need to get her this book and scoop these bonuses up as well, because these things are really priceless. And do that like asap.
The last thing I want to ask you about is, and we'll start with you, what is the model that you're here to set for other people with the way you live your life personally?
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: For me, it's funny, this is something that's come up a lot, I have gotten very clear on this finally over the last few years and that is me being in integrity which means living by those pillars, that's the stuff that keeps me up at night if I'm not feeling like I'm walking my talk.
And so being on one hand following the pillars especially committing to what works for me.
There's some stuff I don't necessarily like that doesn't work for me, but staying committed to that in a way that feels effortless because I'm suffering over it, but part of also being in integrity is being authentic.
Sarah and I don't know how to do it any other way, just being able to show women like we are the anti-gurus, we are many steps ahead of the women we work with because we do this every day, but we are real women with real demands, who still struggle and our lives are not perfect. But we're in there doing the work.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, thank you for that. Sarah? How about you, what is the model?
Sarah Fragoso: You made me cry.
Shawn Stevenson: What is the model that you're here to set for other people with how you live your life?
Sarah Fragoso: For me, it's the work that I'm doing right now and that is being in total radical acceptance of all of me, which is not at all perfect.
And we all have our own stuff, so as I grow older and really decide to get to know myself, having to totally just live in self-forgiveness and self-love and self-worth and understand that I'm worth it and that we're all worth it, and I think that we would all be so much kinder to each other and to ourselves if we did that and model that for each other, and know that it's not ever going to be exactly how it should be.
It's not ever going to be perfect, it can't be and that's what makes life so full and rich and beautiful.
And it is also one of our pillars, it's being fully engaged in life and that doesn't mean just showing up for the stuff that's good, it means for me committing to really showing up for all of it, and allowing myself to feel completely what I need to feel when it's painful, when it's scary, when I'm unsure, when I'm anxious and when I'm angry.
Those are all parts of me and I react differently to those parts of me when I'm in more acceptance of it. So it's hard work, but it's what I want for everyone to be okay with, as hard as that work is it's very liberating in a lot of ways.
Shawn Stevenson: Love it, love it! You are the best and collectively, it's just out of this world. Seriously, thank you for putting this information together, all of the heart and soul, the work, the hours it's really something special.
And again, just thank you for being you, I really appreciate it. Thank you for coming and hang out with me.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: Thank you, we really appreciate it too.
Sarah Fragoso: Thank you. And for us to be together to do this it's really cool, so thank you so much.
Shawn Stevenson: Magic, it's a magic moment.
Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. I think it was best said at the end here that you are worth it and really starting to understand that and cultivate that knowing. I love one of the mantras that they talk about in the book that everything is okay.
And so often there are so many different things going on in our lives and sometimes we do, we realize that things are okay, but especially when things get a little bit stressed, we're getting pulled in different directions, when things don't go our way, just remembering you are okay.
And they also mention because of the realism, sometimes it's not, things are not okay, not lying to yourself but just saying, "Things are going to be okay". This is a great statement that this too shall pass.
And just understanding whether it's the good stuff or the not so good stuff, everything is fluid just like our health.
A book like "Hangry" is one of those things that can help you to really cultivate that knowing and so again pick it up, like yesterday and pick up all these bonuses and that was sarahanddrbrooke.com/hangry-book, and you get all of those bonuses right now.
I appreciate you so much for hanging out with me today, if you got a lot of value out of this please share this out with your friends and family on social media, you could tag me, I am at Shawn model (@shawnmodel) on Instagram and Twitter and you could tag them as well.
What are your Instagram profiles?
Sarah Fragoso: I am @sarah_fragoso.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick: That's you on Instagram, you're just Sarah Fragoso on facebook.
I am, Better By Dr. Brooke, (@betterbydrbrooke) on Instagram and Facebook.
Shawn Stevenson: There you have it, tag us, let everybody know what you thought about this episode. I appreciate you immensely, we've got some powerhouse episodes coming your way so make sure to stay tuned, there are much, much, much more to come.
I appreciate you very, very much once again. Take care, have an amazing day, I'll talk to you soon.
For more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.
And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome and I appreciate that so much.
Take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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