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The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode # 6 - Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca, an Emory University trained gynecologist and women's health expert was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38 y.o. Devastated she went around the world looking for answers and healing and found it. She is now a triple board-certified, menopause and hormone expert. She is internationally acclaimed for her work in gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Dr. Cabeca has changed the lives of thousands of women across the globe, connecting to others through humor, honesty and passion. Her book “The Hormone Fix” and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again. Her successful line of all-natural products features the alkaline superfoods drink Mighty Maca® PLUS and the rejuvenating vulvar cream Julva®. Recently, Dr. Cabeca was named “2018 Innovator of the Year” by Mindshare Collaborative, the premier community for health and wellness influencers and entrepreneurs. In 2017, the Age Management Medicine Group presented her the prestigious Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence.


LEARN MORE AT​:

dranna.com

The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-Green Way

SHOWNOTES

2:05 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download the free Himalaya App (www.himalaya.fm) to FINALLY keep all your podcasts in one place, follow your favorites, make playlists, leave comments, and more! Follow The Melanie Avalon Podcast in Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance!

02:35 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome! 

02:55 - BUTCHER BOX:  Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, And More, All Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended! Buthcer Box Provides Access To Nutrient Rich, Affordable Meat And Seafood Shipped Straight To Your Door! Go To Butcherbox.com/Melanieavalon And Use The Code Melanieavalon For $20 Off Your Order, And Free Grassfed Fed Ground Beef For Life!

04:10 - BEAUTY COUNTER:  Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing! Go To Beautycounter.com/MelanieAvalon! To Receive A Free Beauty Counter Gift From Melanie, Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.com/BeautyCounter!

Get Dr. Cabeca's Book: The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-Green Way

5:20 - About Dr. Cabeca 

6:50 - Dr. Cabeca's Personal Hormonal Crisis

9:00 - The Effects Of Trauma And PTSD

10:45 - Acidity And Urinary PH Testing

11:15 - Alkalinizing The Keto Diet

13:30 - The Role Of Insulin, Cortisol, And Oxytocin 

16:00 - Thyroid Hormones

16:25 - Becoming Insulin Sensitive Via Ketosis 

17:30 - Optimizing The Keto Diet - Keto Dirty Vs. Keto Green Clean

19:00 - Is Everyone Suited To Long Term Ketosis?

19:45 - Is Keto Stressful For The Body?

21:00 - The Importance Of Metabolic Flexibility 

22:10 - Lab Tests To Consider

25:00 - Can You Really Alkalinize Your Body Via Diet?

31:00 - How Stress Management Affects Alkalinity 

31:55 - Environmental Influences On Our Body (Sun Exposure, Grounding, Etc.)

32:45 - How Is The Body's Alkalinity Affected From Food Vs. Other Factors 

33:30- JOOVV: Red Light And NIR Therapy For Fat Burning, Muscle Recovery, Mood, Sleep, And More! Use The Link Joovv.com/Melanieavalon With The Code MelanieAvalon For A Free Gift From Joovv, And Also Forward Your Proof Of Purchase To podcast@MelanieAvalon.com, To Receive A Signed Copy Of What When Wine: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine!

36:05 - Fearing Carbs On A Keto Diet

37:15 - What Does A Keto Green Plate Look Like?

40:10 - How Does Stress And Trauma Affect Health?

45:55 - Can Anyone Fix Their Hormones?

46:30 - How Can We Boost The Love Hormone Oxytocin? The Importance Of Orgasms!

48:30 - The Importance Of Community: Overcoming Isolation In Today's World

51:30 - Get Book Bonuses For The Hormone Fix: Dranna.com/book

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie:
Hi guys. Welcome to today's episode. I am here today with a wonderful woman who I have had before actually on the Intermittent Fasting podcast but she is a wonderful, amazing, motivating resource for listeners and I just had to get her on this new podcast ASAP and that is Dr. Anna Cabeca. So she is an Emory University trained gynecologist and a women's health expert. And I'll let Dr. Anna tell listeners herself about her story but she was actually diagnosed with early menopause at age 38 and through that, which we'll hear more about, had some really revolutionary findings in the health and fitness world and how diet affects our hormones and she really overcame a lot and has a lot to share with listeners. And you may also be familiar with her. She is the author of The Hormone Fix, which is an amazing book. So the subtitle for that is, Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes the Keto Green Way. And guys, this book is an amazing resource. I cannot recommend it enough. We'll definitely be diving into a lot of the topics discussed in it. But thank you so much for being here Dr. Cabeca.

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
It is great to be here with you as always Melanie. Thanks for having me. 

Melanie:
No, of course. So we were talking a little bit before the call, bur first of all, congratulations on the success of your book, The Hormone Fix. I know that must be really exciting to see your work really reaching a broad audience. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Oh my gosh. It's been thrilling. And to hear the success stories and the revelations and the testimonials, it's been really, really heartwarming. 

Melanie:
So I thought to start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal history, and I mentioned it briefly, but your personal hormonal crisis that you had and what you experienced with that and why that actually made you so interested in your current approach to health and wellness?

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely ... I've taken a few tangents in my life. And you know, always been interested in natural approaches to medicine and healing. I went to an osteopathic medical school and then I trained at Emory in gynecology and obstetrics and I came out knowing as much as I could know as an expert trained in the field of women's health. But then at age 38, following a personal crisis and tragedy in our family that left us all devastated and grieving, I went into early menopause. I was diagnosed in early menopause and early ovarian failure, premature ovarian failure. I was told I would never be able to have another child. And at that time my husband and I were trying to have another child desperately. And I failed the highest doses of injectable fertility treatments and it was devastation upon devastation. And so essentially being told that, we don't talk about reversing menopause, we don't talk about reversing irreversible infertility. And so another doctor took over my practice for a year, Dr. Deborah Shepard, like an angel. And I and my husband and two of my children went on a journey around the world essentially and it was a healing journey in so many ways honestly. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
I serendipitously met some amazing healers from South America, North America, Africa, and Asia. Just all around the world. And found some healing modalities. Well lo and behold through this journey, I reversed early menopause and became pregnant and delivered Ava Marie when I was 41 years old. The child I was told I would never be able to have. Well she's now 11 and I'm 53 Melanie. And I'm like God help me every day. 

Melanie:
That is so wonderful. Congratulations. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Thank you. Thank you. Well then there was a twist in it, which really led me into my keto green way, which I write about in the book. There's a healing physically, but trauma and PTSD takes its toll on you. It's under the surface, swimming away, it's brewing all the time. Well that led me to feel burnout, disconnected, and really challenged mentally, brain fog and at 48 I was hitting essentially another early menopause it looked like and gaining five, 10, 20 pounds without doing anything different. So I used to hear my patients say that. "Dr. Anna, I'm gaining five, 10, 20 pounds and I'm not doing anything different." And honestly Melanie I'd be like, "Sure you're not. You're having a candy bar somewhere? I mean how does that happen?" Well lo and behold, it's super true. It does happen. And to add to my humility, it happened to me. And amidst the brain fog, amidst raising a child in elementary school and two in middle school or high school at the time, there were so many challenges. And I needed to definitely get the weight off because I'd been way over 240 pounds. Lost those 80 pounds, kept them off for nearly a decade, and now here they were creeping back up. So like when will the weight gain stop was running through my head. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And from there I said okay, let me do severe carb restriction, go keto. And this is 2014. And whenever I put my patients on a severe carb restricted diet, whether it was for candida or seizure management to get them into ketosis, women in the perimenopause age range I noted would say, "I feel like I'm hitting a wall. I don't like how I feel on this. I'm irritable." And for me, I called it going keto crazy. I did not feel good. And when you're managing a household ... At that point I was a single mom and there is no time for any brain fog. So I went to the research and tried to figure out what was going on as well as my functional medicine roots, and just started taking my urine PH. Now urinary testing is like a vital sign. Everyone can do it and it tells you something about your body and I really emphasize checking urinary PH. Well lo and behold, I was as acidic as you can get, and I started alkalinizing but I still wanted to be keto and I needed to keep that weight from creeping on. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
So low carbohydrate greens, lots of mineral based rich dark leafy greens like beet greens, kale, cabbage, all the sprouts and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, asparagus. So adding in those low carbohydrate greens to get a alkaline urinary PH and then push myself into ketosis. And not just through what I'm eating, but through lifestyle. Extended intermittent fasting was key. As well as no more snacking and getting out in nature to reduce cortisol, that hormone that was brewing for me in my trauma, PTSD, under the surface. Even though I was relatively high functioning, that still was slowly disintegrating my hormones and that caused this cortisol oxytocin disconnect that I write about in my book as well. So that led me to lose the weight really quickly, get this amazing clarity. So getting keto green, getting keto alkaline creates this ... I call it energize enlightenment Melanie. It's this clarity of brain focus and peace. And it's a really great, great feeling. So that's the story and now I'm just bringing now hundreds of thousands of women and men and teens even along with me in this journey and watching some amazing results. 

Melanie:
Well that is quite the journey and it's so motivational to hear and it really validates I think everything that we read in your work. It makes it so much more real and motivational when we know that the work is coming from somebody who's been there, done that and has known the experience. Like you were mentioning with the weight gain, I think until people have that effect where hormones or something is affecting their weight gain for example, it can be hard to relate to that feeling of gaining weight even though you're making all these changes and it can seem really helpless. And then also with the hormonal issues, I think people so often ... It can really seem helpless when you're stuck in these dark places. So motivating to know that there is a way out through diet and lifestyle and mindset shifts and everything. 

Melanie:
So many topics that I want to touch on with you, but you were mentioning the role of cortisol and oxytocin and things like that. And in your book you refer to the three magic hormones. And those are insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin. So I was wondering if you wanted to tell listeners a little bit briefly about how those work in the body and why we do often today experience so many hormonal imbalances, especially with those hormones.

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah, absolutely. And it's so true. I know how many people can feel helpless and there's something to remove guilt and any shame around that because I'm an Emory University board trained physician, I've worked around the world, I've trained other physicians, and I was struggling. Here I am a women's health expert and I was struggling. So with all of that and as a gynecologist and certainly as a women's hormone expert, I wanted to believe that it's all about fine tuning estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, even DHEA. But we know that it definitely takes more than hormones to fix hormones. And our reproductive hormones are minor compared to the major hormones. And that's what I recognized in this journey of mine. And so looking at the overarching roll of cortisol, insulin, and oxytocin was really powerful. And I look at it this way, like in our body we have hundreds of hormones. Hundreds of hormones circulating. Neurotransmitters, hormones and all with their own particular role and responsibility but they need to work together. And if you think about it as a university classroom. You think about all these hormones as your students. You have two main professors that you learn from. And I would call them cortisol and insulin. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
So they're governing professors. They're guiding you, overarching, teaching you, directing you and ultimately you get to do what you got to do. And then oxytocin would be the dean of the university or the president of the university. And so if you think about it that way, there are some overarching management for the overall feeling and relationships involved. And so when I recognized the importance, like how improving cortisol and insulin and oxytocin was in my life and then all my other reproductive hormones and those fell into even better balance. And that was key. I always talk about how thyroid hormones ... If it didn't take more than hormones to fix your hormones, then everyone taking thyroid meds would be thin. The hair loss would stop, the weight gain would stop. Well the same with our reproductive hormones. So continuing to get to the underlying underlying reason. And for me, I'm always like, what's the least amount of effort I can put forth to get the maximum amount of results? So that goes to getting to the underlying underlying reason for the issue. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
So in the concept of getting into ketosis, getting into that fat burning stage, especially as we're aging or we're exposed to a high level of stress or whatever it may be. But becoming insulin sensitive is key. Ketosis gets us there. Ketosis through intermittent fasting, stop snacking, exercise that muscle to get us into burning ketones over glucose. And I know your audience knows this really well. But one thing that I like to emphasize is that glucose is to gasoline as ketones are to jet fuel. So what do we want to use more efficiently? We want to use our ketones. And since the typical American has some extra stored fat, then that's what we want to get at. That's the key with ketosis and insulin. And then the other aspect is the alkalinity to help with cortisol management. And then of course the overarching activities, lifestyle, habits, and perceptions, mindset that we need to bring in an elevation in oxytocin. So that's how those hormones work together. 

Melanie:
Awesome. I'm so glad that you go into the details about all of this surrounding ketosis, because especially the keto diet is ... It's like the celebrity diet now. I think it's funny because I've been experimenting with ketogenic diets for years and years and years. And it's really interesting to see how popular it is today, but I think there are so many aspects to it that are misunderstood. I think a lot of people think ... They just think of it as like this high fat diet, ketosis, and then not really much beyond that. There's not much attention on food quality. There's rarely the attention on the alkalinity aspect that you mentioned. Also the stress aspect. So I would love to go more into the nitty gritty details of your approach to the keto diet and optimizing it. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. Absolutely. So okay, there's a way to do keto, keto dirty, versus keto green, which is keto clean. And I think that really is a good clarity. But I have to laugh because you talked about the celebrity diet and I was interviewed regarding Kourtney Kardashian's keto approach, in which she has cheat days. And so they were like, "Okay, well she's not keto if she's doing cheat days." I'm like, "Well we're not calling them cheat days, we're calling them feast days. And certainly you're bumped out of ketosis during that time, but I'm all for a feast day periodically so there we go and that's okay." 

Melanie:
Yeah. That's something else that we're seeing I think a lot is some people seem to do really well on long term ketogenic approaches. They can just stay the course for months and months if not years. But then it seems that other people, and I think particularly more often with women, that we do maybe possibly benefit from these "carb up days" which might manifest as a feast day. But just to stock up on those carb sources again or modulate the metabolism to some extent. So I think it's very nuanced and very individual. But you definitely provide a wonderful approach in your book. 

Melanie:
I did want to talk to you, first you're mentioning how ketones are superior fuel to use for the body, kind of like jet fuel and how they can help modulate insulin. What do you feel about the idea that's often posited that the ketogenic state is actually a stressful state for the body? Especially with you speaking about how we're trying to reach this state of optimizing stress or minimizing stress. How do you feel about that? Do you think the ketogenic diet does become stressful for the body at all or can that be modulated through the food choices? What are your thoughts on that? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
I think it can absolutely be modulated through the food choices. And I'm watching the research very closely as you can imagine. And certainly there's some research to say that keto long term can actually have adverse neurologic consequences. But what kind of keto is that? It's not keto green I guarantee you. So the alkaline ... I would check urine PH, again, as a vital sign. Get alkaline. Get alkalinizers on board. Manage your stress. Address the lifestyle habits that can be adversely working against you. And I do believe in feast days because metabolic flexibility is hugely important. And then having a fest day, increasing a surge of glucose, increasing a surge of insulin to respond to that, that's productive. That's a productive occurrence. At least that's what I'm telling myself. 

Melanie:
Yeah. I agree with that. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. And metabolic flexibility ... I think in workouts and if we think about it logically ... And I always say, when I teach and train physicians, I say you have to practice medicine that makes sense. So what's in your toolbox or doctor's bag? If you don't have an answer, we have to find it. And if it doesn't make sense to you, it's got to come out of the toolbox. If it's not working for you, it's not working for your patients. And so practice medicine that makes sense. And this is the same thing. Like there is no time in history where strict keto was ... Or just let's say keto carnivore ... And I'm going to get some angry feedback from some gentlemen I really, really love. But that long term, intermittent, break it up or they're doing lifestyle activities that reduce stress, reduce cortisol, and reduce inflammation and/or a supplement for that. And that's critical to understand. And what we have to do if we're doing a keto approach, first of all, we have to look at how it affects our body and mind and our relationships. Again, we can look good, feel good, but if we don't have good relationships, we're not doing good. So that's critical. That's where oxytocin really comes into play. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And we need to look at what we're doing and test, don't guess. We want to look at inflammatory markers, at highly sensitive CRP marker, hsCRP or cardio CRP. It's different from a standard CRP test, which isn't as sensitive. We look at these markers. We look at a breakdown, a Berkeley HeartLab lipid profile, which breaks down the LDL into particle size, size A or B. Is it light fluffy or is it hard and dense? Is it more likely to deposit and cause problems? What kind of cholesterol are we having? We have to look at that. We have to look at the hemoglobin A1C. The good thing is, getting into ketosis long term improves our hemoglobin A1C. But we can guess, we really need to test. And then are there markers of quality health? But those are in looking at adrenal status, DHEAS and seeing how this approach is affecting your adrenals within your lifestyle. Because that's a huge missing piece. One person doing for example, a strict keto carnivore who is sedentary at a desk job is going to do different than a Ben Greenfield or a Brian Williamson. Someone who's outdoors, exercising, very active, enjoying nature, hiking mountains. That's a different ... Because we get more than vitamin D from the sun. Our environment affects us and nourishes us or poisons us depending on the environment. So we have to look at those aspects and individualize treatment. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
So how do we do that? I know we can take testing, take vital signs, look at blood pressure, look at urine PH. Again, critical vital sign. Look at also how we're feeling, thinking, and how are we enjoying our life? Are we having joy? Are we having energy? Are we having greater spiritual awareness and connections? And I know for the women in my community, that's what we're looking for. Ultimately, yes, we want to feel good, look good and we get there. But those relationships that turn around and the pleasure and increasing connection and intimacy, that's what's worth living for. 

Melanie:
Yes. So for listeners, I know it can sound like there's a lot there, but what's wonderful about Dr. Anna's book, The Hormone Fix, is she does provide all of those different tests that you can do, so I'll put a link to all of this in the show notes for reference. And that will be at melanieavalon.com/hormone-fix. So if you check that out you can definitely get that resource. But definitely, that's wonderful that you do provide those tests. I love that phrase test, not guess. 

Melanie:
I know with The Intermittent Fasting podcast, we get so many questions about ketogenic diet specifically and people often will just go by subjective symptoms or signs as far as in ketosis. And they always want to know am I in ketosis? But I think it's wonderful to actually provide concrete tests to see what is actually happening. I'd love to go a little bit into the alkalinity aspect more of your diet. Because that's something that I've been really, really fascinated by. And I remember when I first heard the alkaline diet concept. Of course it wasn't associated with the ketogenic diet at all. But I remember when I first came about it. It was really, really popular when it first came up as like an idea, I guess, popularly in the culture and the media. 

Melanie:
On the one hand, so many people would swear by the alkaline diet and how much alkalizing their body created so many health benefits. But then there was always this backlash where people were saying no, you're dietary food choices don't actually affect the alkalinity of your body because it is so tightly regulated by your body. When I was first exposed to that, I was like well yeah, that makes sense. Your body's regulating it. But the more and more I researched, the more I realized even if your body is regulating your body's alkalinity, clearly the environment that it's in is going to be either supporting that or is going to be more taxing. So even if the body's regulating it ... This is just my thoughts. Even if the body's regulating it, it would make sense to provide a diet that would support that naturally. What is your response to people who say that we can't change our body's pH via our food choices? Or what do you see and what is your response to that? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. No, this is a great thing that I faced head on in many audiences. And the big thing is to understand the difference. The big thing is to understand the difference. When I'm checking someone's blood pH, I'm doing an arterial blood gas pH. If someone comes into my emergency room crashing, I'm going to put a needle in their wrist, into their radial artery and draw arterial blood. As quickly straight from the heart as you can get. And that blood pH is strictly regulated. Now in different parts of the body, we're going to have a little bit different. Venous blood pH, different. Arterial blood gas pH, as we call it, is very strictly regulated 7.4. Around there. Plus or minus. A little bit too high, a little bit too low, we're getting really sick. Now can starvation cause a metabolic acidosis? Absolutely. Can we get diabetes and increase in blood sugar and excessive over time cause pH disturbances? Absolutely. Can chronic malnutrition cause blood pH changes? Absolutely. That is scientific. That is by nature and design. There is no question about that. So what we're talking about is in this aspect the alkaline approach to help remove some of the acidity. And what are we doing when we're eating alkaline foods? We're adding typically minerals and greens. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And I want to just tangent off here for a second, why many people with a alkaline "diet" may not be doing healthy. Because they're snacking all the time and are eating higher carbs and low quality foods. So the same thing with keto. You have healthy alkaline and you have unhealthy alkaline. And so in my keto green approach, it's alkaline foods from low carbohydrate, healthy ideally, organic sources. So we need to consider that too when we're looking at this alkaline approach and adding that in. But so when we're adding in alkaline sources, alkaline food sources, we're adding in minerals and nutrients, phytonutrients antioxidants that otherwise we'd be taking in pills or otherwise they're hard to get. So it's important to recognize that we need minerals to run every enzymatic reaction in our body. Right across our cell membranes and renal tubules we're exchanging sodium, potassium, chloride. The mineral shifts are critical for body pH. Those mineral shifts are critical for body pH. So if we look at our urinary pH as a vital sign, and say we're eating straight keto and our urine pH is nice and alkaline. What alkaline urine pH has shown us according to the research ... And I have published extensive blogs on my website regarding this with lots of research and it's quite interesting. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
There are many scientific articles that show that a higher urinary pH, a pH of 7, 7.5 is associated with a decrease in metabolic syndrome. In other words, a decrease in hypertension, a decrease in obesity, a decrease in inflammatory conditions. So we can say as a marker looking at urinary pH is giving us another vital sign to manage in our lives and in our bodies. And adding in minerals makes sense. And this is what I personally experienced. So when I was ... I've been around this a number of times back in forth testing and testing with so many clients. But when I went straight keto, I wasn't eating high quality keto. I'd been a functional medicine and a food as medicine person for decades. For my entire life, honestly. So I was eating high quality keto, yet I was still getting acidic and irritable and crazy. And this is during ... Again, that was age 48. So this is in a period of time which I call neuroendocrine vulnerability, ages 35 to 55 for women. When our progesterone is declining sharply, estrogen starts to decline, testosterone and DHA have all been declining. So these neuro protective hormones, we're losing those. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And so during this time period, I think we're particularly vulnerable. And so when we incorporate these alkalinizers. When I incorporated these alkalinizers just through food sources, not adding mineral supplements, but increasing my low carbohydrate food sources, that moved the needle in how I felt, how the weight came off, and that sense of peace and improved mood and re-regulating my menstrual cycles again. Restarting my menstrual cycles again. Kicking me back out of early menopause. All of that came into play. So the physiology behind that is a function of this alkalinity component of the added minerals of the added nutrients. But Melanie, what's really important to know as I was initially in this test phase and checking my urine pH and ketones maybe five, seven, 10 times a day, as I was testing I recognized that the mornings I would go walk on the beach, my urine pH would be alkaline immediately. So stress management, decreasing cortisol improves urinary pH. So that's why it's such an important vital sign. So for example, if we have high stress, high cortisol, that affects hydrogen ion excretion across the renal tubules. And so that and mineralocorticoid receptors. And so you have the surge in acidity essentially. So that's another critical aspect that we need to look at as we bio hack our bodies, as we work for longevity and clarity. And so that's what's so exciting about it, because it's completely in our control. 

Melanie:
Do you think walking on the beach, like the grounding aspect of that came into play with your body? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Absolutely. And I talk about that in my book too, the environmental aspect. We get more than vitamin D from the sun. I'm a big proponent of early morning sunlight into our eyes, not through our glasses, not through our contacts, but into our eyes. And then grounding on the earth, walking barefoot on the beach or into the water, absolutely. Absolutely. 

Melanie:
Yeah I recently ordered a grounding mat for my apartment and I ... It could be anecdotal. It could be just me, but I saw such a change that I immediately ordered like five more mats and I have them everywhere. So I'm sitting on one right now. Yeah, I really noticed that with the grounding aspect and I think the environmental aspect is so huge. I was wondering, I saw a study recently and I'm trying to remember what the actual percentages were, but are you familiar with how much our body's alkalinity is affected from food versus mindset and practices like that? Because it's so interesting that you're saying that the days that you walked on the beach, that you saw this immediate change in alkalinity. So I don't know. Not what is more potent, but do you think we can also really alkalinize our body through environmental choices, walking outside, mindset even? Is that just as important as the food? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Absolutely. I actually say food is 25%, everything else is the 75. 

Melanie:
Wow. Okay. Also for listeners, I think a lot of people fall into a keto rabbit hole and they get this fear of carbs and they associate that fear of carbs even with things like green vegetables and a lot of the alkaline foods that you promote in your book and talk about. So what does this keto green diet look like practically as far as adding in vegetables and things like that? I guess like literally on your plate. How many vegetables are people going to be consuming and what do you say to people who are scared about if they're in this really low carb keto approach, high fat, lots of meat, lots of fat and that's pretty much it. How do you assure them that it's okay to bring in these more "carbs" via these alkalinizing greens and such? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah, right. First and foremost, we can do so much with low carbohydrate grains. We can do a lot of good work for our bodies. And the biggest thing for individuals is try it. Just try it. Try it for two, three weeks and then in my book I have a 10 day quick keto green kickstart as well as a 21 day plan. So we give a lot of options and I'm a very visual person. So for me it's like what does a keto green plate look like. And again, remember, it's 25% about what we eat, there's another 75% in there that I go through in my book. But if we look at the plate ... Say for example, we break fasts. And again, I have clients eat ideally before 7 p.m. Because we know after 7 p.m. our body's excreting much more insulin for the same meal than it would have at 5 p.m. for instance. So we want to eat by 7 p.m. And then break fast 13 to 16 hours later depending on your practice. But break fast with a keto green meal. So that may look like smoked salmon with capers and some slivered red onions and on a bed of spinach topped with some sprouts and drizzled with olive oil. That's a perfect, one of my favorite break fasts. And I might add another fried egg on there or something else. But that's a perfect break fast. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Another thing is keto green smoothie. So you can use nuts and seeds for protein and add in some additional fiber from your greens. So sprouts, kale, spinach, and oil. So you have some fats in the nuts but you can add in a quarter or a half of an avocado. Add in just water or a coconut milk. And there goes a beautiful keto green smoothie. Because what's really important, especially for women is that we keep carbs really low in the morning so we're not getting that low blood sugar increasing our hunger and decreasing our willpower as the day goes on. So keeping the carbs really low in the morning is really important. And having enough healthy fats and protein in the morning when you break fast or whatever time you break fast to fully satisfy you. And that enables stronger will power. You're not going to snack, which I essentially prohibit in my plan. So you become more insulin sensitive. And looking at it that way and not to fear and just watch what happens. Get keto green, check your urine pH, look for ketones, look for an alkaline urine pH of seven or better when you go to bed or wake up in the morning and try to get there throughout the day and just see what that feels like. It is amazing. It is needle moving. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And again, I've had now thousands of women run through one of my online programs called Magic Menopause, testing regularly through my eight week program and the transformations are amazing. It's not just about the weight loss, which they get, but the clarity and the focus. One patient said to me, or one client said to me, "Dr. Anna, it's not only that I'm feeling better or have more energy, I'm riding my horse that I haven't ridden in two years, but I like my family better. And guess what? They like me better too."

Melanie:
So for listeners, not scary, definitely try the keto green approach and I think you'll probably likely experience wonderful benefits from it. Switching gears just a little bit, I'd love to talk a little bit more about the role of stress, because you mentioned the role of trauma in overcoming things and how you initially saw benefits with changes in your lifestyle but there was this trauma aspect that needed to be addressed. So how does that manifest for a lot of people? Actual trauma or holding stress in our bodies. What do you see in your practice and how can women and men go about addressing that in their life? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. So what I recognized is post trauma, while I was able to improve my services after Ava was born, as I was able to improve my menstrual cycle, reverse the early menopause and heal hormonally, at that time too I lost over 80 pounds. What I didn't see happening under the surface was this cortisol oxytocin disconnect. So when we undergo trauma, cortisol is our rescue hormone. It's there to rescue us. But with PTSD, there's a constantly surging constant underlying revving of this engine so to speak. Because when cortisol's up for too long, and area of the brain called the periventricular nucleus will then say okay cortisol shut down, you're basically frying me out. I'm not going to be able to continue with these high levels of cortisol so you shut down that mechanism. Well the same mechanism shuts down, it look like ... Again, this is theoretical at this point. We need to see more research on this. But also interferes with oxytocin. So you get into this dangerous state of low cortisol and low oxytocin. And what that feels like ... It feels like loneliness. It feels like isolation. You no longer want to do the things you used to love doing or be with the people you loved being with. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And clients would tell me, "Dr. Anna, I just don't feel love. I know I love my wife, but I don't feel love for her." And that was from a gentleman who was ina a traumatic train accident. And so working with clients, like after experiencing this myself, and working with clients and seeing these symptoms, we're able to reset the circadian rhythm essentially and put oxytocin back in this crowning position that it belongs in. So that burnout, that dissociation, like man, I used to love my work but I can't even stand going in anymore. Is that a function of your work or is it a function of your physiology? And I would argue the latter in so many cases is certainly a significant part of it. The client that says that I love my wife, but I just don't feel love for her. And that sense of loss of feeling. Now that can happen from chronic everyday stress. That can happen from so many reasons. But understanding that this is physiology affecting our behavior, the way we feel. And there's no anti-anxiety medication or sedative or this that and the other thing that's really going to get to that. We have to get to that through resetting our circadian rhythm and empowering oxytocin. And that's what's important. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
I want people who are listening and you have stressful lives, maybe you've experienced a divorce and you're like okay ... This dissociation feeling like you're unable to connect with other people again or it's easy to shut the door and move on. And I know what that feels like. And as a result, for me and going through this experience of the trauma, the trauma we experienced, my marriage didn't last and we wanted my marriage to last. We knew that the loss that we ... We lost my son in a traumatic accident and he was only 18 months old. So we knew that grieving parents divorce at 70% the rate, and we didn't want that. And you know I'm pretty wicked smart and I didn't understand what was going on as I was going through it. And now I can see it very clearly. The disconnect. The oxytocin seeking behaviors that seemed therapeutic at the time. But that's all subconscious. It wasn't conscious awareness. But I can see these things now. And that's how I've helped my clients and I write about it in my book, The Hormone Fix, because this is why we live. We want healthy relationships. We want longevity in marriages. We want this connection, this joie de vie for our entire life. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
But when cortisol and oxytocin are essentially battling each other and they're both suppressed, that's why depression, suicide, isolation, loneliness is pervasive in our communities, in our cultures. And awareness of this and the mechanisms and disciplines and practices that I recommend in my book and give guidance on really help us come out of, man I remember when I wanted to die every day. It helps us come out this state. So no matter what we're dealing with, there is hope and there is help. 

Melanie:
Yeah, so that's so motivational. It reminds me of, I remember I saw a meme once or a picture and it said, "It's not it's you it's inflammation." But this makes me think, it's not you, it's your hormones. I think that's really important to focus on because I think especially with health issues and hormonal issues that it can become part of a person's identity and it's so hard to separate yourself from these feelings that you're having. So having this perspective of knowing that there's a reason you're feeling this way and that it's coming from there hormonal imbalances, that's really motivational. Because it means if we can get to the source of the problem and get things working again the way they should be that there's so much hope. Do you think anybody regardless of the hormonal state that they find them in, that they can get their hormones functioning again?

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Always. Absolutely. Always. 

Melanie:
Okay. That's good to know. Because I feel like with listeners, some people will be like well, that's other people but I'm just so far gone that ... It can be really hard to see change as possible, especially when you've been in a state of being for so long. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
That's true, but I see it all the time. I see it all the time at all different ages. 30s to 80s. So I see it all the time. 

Melanie:
Oh, that's wonderful. As far as oxytocin specifically, and you talk about this in your book, but what are some ways that we can boost oxytocin? I know you also discuss the role of reproductive and sexual health and you talk a lot about women's orgasms which is very interesting. Which I think a lot of women will really like your perspective on that. So if you'd like to talk a little bit about oxytocin and or orgasms. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Orgasm is a great way to increase oxytocin. So oxytocin, this amazing hormone, this love bonding connection hormone, it's definitely a feeling hormone. So healthy levels of oxytocin are associated with this connection, intimacy, engagement, and joy. And ways to increase oxytocin certainly by intimacy, orgasm, climax. All of that is beneficial so that's supportive. And we know that oxytocin naturally increases when we laugh, when we play, when we're with people we love and enjoy. For example, having a pet increases longevity of elders. Well playing with a pet, having a pet, having that unconditional love and affection, increases oxytocin. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
And oxytocin is the hormone that's been studied and it's been actually some great research out of Berkeley in California that looked at oxytocin and the aging muscle. So increasing oxytocin improved muscle cell regeneration. So again, another longevity reason for it. Healthy marriages tend to of course increase longevity so the intimacy connection is a big part of that and that's the role that oxytocin comes in as. And playing on a playground for instance, I don't care how old you are. Getting on a playground, swinging on those swings increases oxytocin. Head rubs, if you like them, increases oxytocin. Massages, facials. Hence my reasoning and justification for at least a week or a biweekly massage and facial. 

Melanie:
I do the same thing with the massages. And I'm like, this is for the health, but it really is. The hormones, also the lymph stimulation from it and then the human touch aspect I think is so important. Especially our world I think can be so isolating today for a lot of people. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Well we have to come out of that. Because we think, why is it so isolating? Why don't we know our neighbors? Why are we eating alone or whatever the situation is? We have to create these habits that blue zones have created. That where the oldest generations of people live, that what habits that they created? They created healthy community. They're involved in each others' lives. I think about my family. I come from a middle eastern background and I think about my family. Multi generational households that are open and fluid and celebrating. You celebrate everyone's birthday. You celebrate everyone's wedding for three days. You celebrate in large ways and that's oxytocin. That's we need to bring back into our culture. And for myself personally, because of my trauma, it's easy to isolate. And I have to very conscientiously do oxytocin, increase oxytocin seeking behaviors. So one thing, I volunteer at the church on Sundays twice a month in the toddler rooms. That's a big ... Usually if they're crying it's not. But usually it's a big oxytocin boost. 

Melanie:
Oh I love that. Well Dr. Cabeca, I want to be respectful of your time. I do have one last question that I ask every single guest on this podcast so I have to ask you it. And it is, just because I'm realizing, like we were just talking about, how important mindset is in everything but especially health and happiness. So what is something that you're grateful for? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Well, I start each day with a question, I ask myself. It's what am I so glad I did yesterday and what am I grateful for doing yesterday? So that always sets my intention for me. So I would say, I am grateful for the love of my children, especially in this day where they're bringing all their friends to this house and they feel that it's a welcome place to party, have all their friends over. And I'm grateful that they're all coming home. 

Melanie:
I love that so much. And I'm so grateful for you, for being here on this episode today, for the work that you're doing. Just thank you so much for everything. It is helping so many women everywhere, so thank you for that. And for listeners again, Dr. Anna's book is The Hormone Fix, Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes the Keto Green way. And that sounds like a lot of promises but it is completely possible, completely true, especially reading her book. So again, if you go to the show notes which will be at melanieavalon.com/hormone-fix, I'll put a link there. Also, I'll put a link to this there or you can go directly to this website. But Dr. Anna does have a link. Drannna.com/book. And if you go there, there is more information about her book and also some free bonuses that you can get as well. So definitely check that out. Anything else you'd like to put out there Dr. Cabeca for listeners? Any final thoughts or any other ways that listeners can follow your work? 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Yeah. No, I love it. Dranna.com so dranna.com and please join me in my community group. So our keto green community and we get a lot of great questions and community support. Just creating a loving community. So I just recommend for all our listeners is, really reach out. Reach out to others and congratulations for setting a good example for others around you in your communities. 

Melanie:
Oh of course. Thank you so much. And I did want to say one last thing. Dr. Anna does have some amazing green type supplements that you can support the keto green diet with and also some hormonal creams and I didn't tell you this Dr. Cabeca, because you had sent me some samples and I love them and I gave some to my sister and she has been raving about it. Raving about it. Because she had a few hormonal issues and she was like, "This cream is amazing." And so she's been buying it now as well. So thank you. Your products that you've created to support everything, they really work as well. So I can definitely promote those to listeners. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Oh thank you. Thank you. And you're very welcome. I'm so glad. There isn't very much natural options for me let alone my patients. So I needed to create them and they've just been incredibly well received. 

Melanie:
Yeah, I think that's how the best products come about when it's coming because there's the need from the person who formulated them. Well thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and maybe we can get you back on in the future. Especially if you release any future works or things like that. I'd love to talk to you again. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
Absolutely. Thank you. 

Melanie:
All right well thank you. Have a good day. 

Dr. Anna Cabeca:
You too. 

Melanie:
Bye.

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