The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #39 - 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.
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7:00 - What Inspired Keto Green 16?
10:20 - Personal health History : Reversing Early Menopause
15:20 - How Underlying Trauma Affects Us And Weight Gain
17:45 - Bridging The Gap Between Physical And Mental Healing
19:30 - Burnout And Stress Hormones
23:45 - The Perception Of Stress, Fear, Imagination, And Gratitude
28:15 - The Male Vs. Female Stress Response
29:20 - Is Adrenal Fatigue "Real" Or Permanent?
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33:40 - The Important Protective Role Of Progesterone
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David Sinclair: Pandemic Survival Guide – Boosting Your Immune System, COVID-19 Vs. The Flu, Vitamin D, Symptomatic Vs Asymptomatic, The Role Of Iron, Intermittent Fasting, Sauna Use, Serrapeptase, Moving, And More!
37:00 - How To Address Hormonal Imbalances
Julva® (Use the code Melanieavalon for 10% off !)
45:25 - Is Progesterone Supplementation Therapeutic Or Detrimental?
47:40 - The Progesterone/Estrogen Balance
51:25 - How Do Adaptogens Work?
54:45 - What Causes Hot Flashes, Temperature Regulation?
1:02:30 - The Role Of Alkalinity In Keto
1:07:45 - Stress And Blood Sugar
1:10:30 - The Acidic State In The Body
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1:15:00 - Acidic Vs Alkaline Foods: The PRAL Potential, And The Energy Potential Of Hormones
1:18:30 - The Effects Of Pleasure, Fun And Oxytocin For Alkalinity
1:19:30 - Wine And Alkalinity
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1:21:50 - Acid Vs Alkaline Contradictions And Other Factors In Acidity
1:24:00 - Taking The One Next Step To Heal
1:26:25 - Cortisol Release Through Tears
1:26:45 - The Alkalinity Of Dopamine And Serotonin
1:28:00 - The Practice of Discernment : From Fear Or Love?
1:31:15 - What If You're Struggling To Find The Foods That Work For You?
1:32:15 - Can You Be Vegan And Keto Green
1:32:30 - The Role Of Food Sensitivities In Alkalinity
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Melanie Avalon: Hi friends. Welcome back to the show. You know it's a special show when I’m bringing back somebody you know that we are a fan then. I am thrilled to be here today with Dr. Anna Cabeca. I had Doctor Anna previously on the show for her book, the hormone fix and that was an amazing conversation. She has recently released a new book called Ketogreen 16 the fat burning power of ketogenic eating plus the nourishing strength of alkaline foods equals rapid weight loss and hormone balance and Dr. Cabeca, she is a wonder of a woman to tell listeners a little bit about her who've made, might not have listened to that other episode or might not be familiar. She's an Emory university trained gynecologist and women's health expert. Ladies, I think you will learn a lot on today's episode and she has a fascinating personal story.
I'll save and let her tell you a little bit about that. As far as her credentials mean she's internationally acclaimed. She's done work in gynecology, obstetrics, integrative medicine, anti-aging and regenerative medicine. I've actually never been to Mindshare I've been wanting to go there, but she was named 2018 innovator of the year by Mindshare collaborative, which is awesome and a lot of our audience will obviously know what that is. She also has the prestigious Allen P Mintz award for clinical excellence and so much more. Dr. Anna, thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: It is great to be here with you. Always love our conversations.
Melanie Avalon: Me too. For listeners Dr. Anna Cabeca new book. This is actually one of the questions I was going to ask you because your new book Ketogreen 16 it had a lot of the same, not the same information, but it seemed that it was a continuation or perhaps a more practical implementation of the hormone fix. I was going to ask you, what inspired you to write Ketogreen 16 after the hormone fix and like what was the trajectory like there?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Yeah, no, that's a great question. With the hormone fix, it's really my Magnus Opus is really what I want every woman to know and have and the men who love them. I've men reading this book and recommending it. With the hormone fix, it's honestly my manifesto in so many ways. It's the key areas that affect the quality of our life. Then of course the lifestyle and dietary changes we need to make, especially during our transition time period, say age 35 to 55 to really empower and improve the rest of our lives. With the hormone fix, there's chapter, you know, on stress and toxins on supplements, I mean just name. I've really tried to cover the different avenues, the different spokes on the wheel that affect our wholeness. I always say that effect are sexy. Because there's even a vaginal health chapter. With Ketogreen 16 it was hard for me not to write about vaginal health, but I actually did still yet. I wanted Ketogreen 16-.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I saw you sneak it in there.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: I had to sneak it in there at some points it just makes a difference. With Ketogreen 16 it really is targeted for weight loss and fat loss, but plus to clear our physiology. We have that brain clarity. We have that energy, we have that get up and go naturally like to fuel. Think of it as a very directed short and sweet 16 day program to fuel our passions and our passionate life. It does this. I also wanted to make it as simple as possible. I wanted to focus on key hormones that we need to know and the strategies that get them back in balance.
You know, even beyond our major hormones, which I talk about a lot in and the hormone fix, insulin, cortisol and oxytocin, but really zeroing on the weight control hormones and targeting this nutritional plan with of course lifestyle hacks that really improve our hormonal balance and our weight loss and our brain clarity and our energy. I made it, you know, I was going to say short and sweet, but it's actually very substantial with lots of recipes. In fact, the publisher let us put in picture colored pictures this time, which is a big deal for publishers, but it really focused on brain and belly in the strategy and the plan that I created in this book, just up leveling it, get the baselines and the hormone fix, you know, really up level it with Ketogreen 16.
Melanie Avalon: I love it so much and I mean you did a fantastic job with that and I'm so grateful for it because like we discussed in our earlier episode and like you were just mentioning now the hormone fix is, it's a really deep dive into everything. Then it's nice to also have this, you know, much more approachable plan that a person can easily implement into their lives, especially those looking to lose a pound or two or struggling with their own weight issues. to start things off, and I'm really excited because there's some big topics that I really excited to tackle. Before we get into all of that, I was wondering for listeners who are not familiar, if you could tell them a little bit about your own personal health experience and your journey and what led you to your work today. I mean, it's so motivating and personal and encouraging. I'd love listeners to hear that.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Thank you. Yeah, so I've had quite the journey. I was talking about my love for medicine started at a very young age and, and was reinforced when I was 16 and I'll never forget it. I was coming home from school and I was coming home to an empty house for the first time in my life because my mom had always been there, but she was 52 and she was undergoing, you know, cardiac bypass surgery. At that young age that she was, and I was, you know, just recognizing that a lot of the research thought of the medical interventions that we planned for women were based on studies on men. That drove me into women's health. I'm still so passionate about research and women, which is although much better, is still very scarce in comparison to what we have for men and women and men are different. I always try to visually outline that in my lecture, so if you can imagine, you can focus that, you know, no kidding. We're different. so I just, as a long time passion, and I grew up with food as medicine, so I always had that interest in using exactly that food as medicine.
When I was 39 after a personal tragedy, and I know we've talked about this, Melanie, and to share with your listeners that you, my son passed away in a tragic accident and he was only 18 months old. You can imagine the grief and the sorrow and the heartache and heartbreak that was an in my life and my family's lives. That took me on a journey literally around the world looking for answers spiritually as well. Because after my son's accident, his passing, I was diagnosed with irreversible infertility and early menopause. I was told I would never be able to have another child. Now in perspective, here I am a OBGYN trained at one of the best institutions in our nation and my doctor's bag was empty. I was depressed, I was traumatized, I was grieving, and I had these medical diagnoses that we don't talk about reversing.
We don't say, well, you're in fertile. Let's reverse it, or you're in menopause, let's reverse it. Honestly, that's what I went on to do. I went on to reverse my infertility and reverse that early menopause to conceive a healthy baby at age 41 and so that journey around the world plus not discriminating on any healing modalities, right? Just discerning or seeing what resonates, what works for me, what doesn't, what feels like truth for me and what doesn't. Exploring this in a way from a physical aspect to a spiritual aspect and a mental aspect. I wove that into my life and coming into that state of, you know, reversing menopause and reversing infertility, something. I honestly never thought I could do that for myself, let alone my patients. I brought the methods and the herbs like that's where I created one of my products, mighty mock, a plus because I use those ingredients.
Those super foods that I put in it as part of my healing journey and I started using that with my patients. I started using more functional medicine and detoxification and working through body, mind, and spirit to heal our soul. There's a beautiful quote that I love by Aristotle and he said that when the body is ill and suffering, the soul suffers and when the soul suffers, the body is suffering. It's so true and we can't just think we can. A lot of times we can't just think ourselves better. We have to address the physiology and sometimes it's not just healing the body. We have to heal the soul and the spirit we're never embodying true optimal health. I went on to do this work and bring it into my patients' lives and for example, I went from doing two to three surgeries a week on average to two to three major surgeries a year.
We have a tremendous capacity to heal our own bodies. That’s how I work to empower each individual to take ownership again, to take back ownership and stop giving away our power over our bodies. That’s made a difference. I communicate that in my books and I really want to every everyone to hear that message. For me, the journey continued. I'd like to say it was all roses, right? Have the baby at 41 now at age 48 because underlying trauma can affect us. I especially, I know that when you lose a child about, there's a 20% increase in the rate of divorce. If the average rate of divorce is 50% there's people who have lost a child, have a 70% increased risk of divorce. We didn't want that to happen, Melanie but it did.
I didn't understand it. We tried to do everything we could, but we were disconnected. I certainly was unattached. I couldn't feel love anymore. I couldn't feel connection. My marriage ended in divorce. A few years later, I'm 48 struggling in all ways. I was both mom and dad because my ex husband had a traumatic brain injury so I was both mom and dad and so, you know, sole wage earner and teenagers in the house and a young child in elementary school. It was a bit crazy, if you can imagine. It was a really hectic time of my life. Here I was going through these menopausal changes again, hot flashes, mood swings irritability. My cycle was crazy to non-existent and I started gaining weight back. This was the fear factor, right? Because okay, I can deal with a little bit of irritability, but all of a sudden overnight I'm two dress sizes bigger.
It's so funny because my patients would say to me, Dr. Hannah, I'm gaining five, 10 20 pounds over, you know, in it I'm not doing anything different. I'm like, yeah, sure you're not right. Well then it happened to me. I had to be more humbled and figure out what the heck's going on. That's how I ended up developing my Ketogreen approach and I reversed that. Those menopausal changes. Again, a gain clarity and I think finally now at age 53 I am finally truly menopausal, but still following the principles that I put forth in my book and my messaging have tremendous brain clarity. Like you said, I'm on my second book. I never would have been able to write either of these books six years ago, no way. I had so much brain fog and, I was really struggling. Through this journey and these findings, I think that it's just enabled me to live a passionate, purposeful life and honor all those in my life that I love.
Melanie Avalon: Oh my goodness. It's such, such a beautiful story and I think listeners can already tell why I’m so thrilled to have you here and engage in this conversation because I love how you, and this is something I was going to ask you was how you understand both the biological, the physical aspects of health, but then also the mental aspect to it and how those connect. I mean, I know for me personally though, I almost struggle with sometimes I'm like, maybe it's all the mind, you know, like maybe the mind should be able to heal everything and that should be the one thing. Then sometimes I'm like, you know, maybe if I just, you know, find the exact right diet or supplements to follow. You know, that's the thing. I think a lot of us struggle with that, like bridging the gap between these two approaches in order to support health. I was wondering if you have any thoughts about that, that tension there that people might experience?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Absolutely. I think especially in our faith based communities, right? I'm, I'm so faith based, but it's, it's not enough to have faith. We think, okay, wait, can I just think myself better? You know, I have faith that's so important. I'll be criticized for saying this, but let me tell you, in the Bible it says faith with action. I have a quote on my wall that says she believes she could so she did. There's more than just like, you know, you think yourself well, you have to take action steps and always get to the underlying reasons that are causing these symptoms signs. I consider these things messengers, certainly the weight on the scale, but irritability, agitation, mood swings, aches and pains in your joints, headaches. I mean, what is that telling you? What is that telling us?
Then just you know feelings of loneliness and isolation and disconnect. I write about this in my books because that whole there's a physiology to divorce that I want, I feel compelled to talk about because here we get burnout in society and we're not talking about this. When we are burnout, this is where we have these two major hormones in our body. We'll certainly three. We have insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin. Oxytocin think of that just at the top, the crown on your head, the most powerful hormone in our body. It is our regal hormone. It makes us joyful, happy, feel loved, and able to laugh. That's the oxytocin hormone. This hormone of love, connection, bonding. Well, when we are stressed and cortisol is up, oxytocin goes down. They do not co-exist at high levels in the same space. Cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down.
When we're stressed for long periods of time, like those of us with PTSD or chronic everyday stress or chronic inflammation because cortisol is needed to drive down inflammation. When we're in this chronic state of higher cortisol, it's like our body is, you know, cortisol is frying out our nervous system. It is like that pouring gasoline on a fire and all of a sudden your body says your brain, this area in the brain called the paraventricular nucleus or PVN for short shuts down, tells our adrenals to shut down the production of cortisol. By shutting down cortisol, however, because oxytocin production is also regulated within the pair of ventricular nucleus, oxytocin levels get shut down too. Now you're in this really dangerous stage. This is a lot of theoretical, but there's good science to cover this explanation. Oxytocin is very hard to measure.
Here you're in this state now of cortisol being low and oxytocin being low at the same time. That feels like, I mean, that's burnout. That's disconnect. You walk into a grocery store and you see people you know and you pretend they're not there or a restaurant or you get invitations and you're constantly ignoring them or are saying no, isolating yourself more and more and more and not enjoying things you used to do. A colleague of mine who's a urologist was the president of the urology association. He, told me, he goes, you know, Anna, I just don't feel like going into work anymore. The insurance paperwork and you know, stress. That's just, it's just, you know, decreased my love for taking care of patients. I just don't even want to go into the office anymore. I don't feel the passion I've felt for my profession.
That's burnout. That's cortisol and oxytocin that are both low. There's a physiologic response to that. Patients would tell me all the time, I love my husband, but I don't feel love for him. I don't feel love. What's going on? I need a divorce. I need, you know, what else, what do I need and we need to heal our physiology. It comes from always it comes from number one, having faith visualization. I call them feelingazations you know, having a feelingazations, not just enough to see it. We have to feel it. We have to feel it to be real. You know, that shifts our physiology as if we were experiencing it. We need to do feelingazations and we need to nourish our body and within the right ways. I always say it takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. There's and the same thing, diet. There's the Ketogreen way is not a diet. It is a way of living. It's only 25% about what we eat. When we eat, how we eat with who we eat all of those things can make a really big difference in our lives. We've looked at it in this entire concept of healing our physiology, mind, body, and spirit, recognizing that we can't separate them. They're intertwined. In order to heal and optimize our life, we address them all.
Melanie Avalon: I love it so much and I'm so glad we were tackling the hormones. I do have some questions actually specifically to what you were just talking about, especially with cortisol and burnout and things that we often experience. With cortisol and with the stress response, how do you feel about the idea that perception of stress would play a role in it? You know, like the studies where you know, people anticipate certain stressors as having negative health effects and then them creating negative health effects compared to embracing the stress response as something you know, that is driving energy, you're being productive. What role does the perception of stress, does it affect like the actual way cortisol acts in your body? Or do you have thoughts on that?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Absolutely. The, you know, what is perceived Israel, so it affects the HPA axis. For example, and, and it goes beyond us, Melanie, which is what I just find so fascinating. It goes to those that were energetically connected as well. If I'm stressed as the mom, the head of the household, and even if you know, I say the same things to my kids when I'm stressed versus I'm just being around them when I'm not stressed and saying the same thing, it is completely received differently. It's a communication between individuals as well. When we are living our life based on fear, we're activating the fear hormones. When we are now, for instance, the, you know, really a genuine concern across our nation right now is Corona virus. Fear is going to drop our immune system is going to affect our T cells and B cells.
We know that just by having fear. It's going to increase cortisol and it's going to lower our immune system in the long run if we keep it up right, because then we're just going to suppress cortisol again, that too high, too long or our body doesn't want us to be, you know, to fry out our nervous system so to speak. We're going to suppress cortisol and that allows inflammation to take over yet again. What I look at in this is no matter what we're faced with, because I've studied war torn areas of the world as well, you know, what are things they do to increase the quality of their lives to handle the stress and loss, right? Like how did they handle the loss of a loved one some losing entire families of loved ones. What I noticed is that it is several things.
Keeping a positive attitude, having a strong faith and creating healthy community, sharing celebrations celebrating each other’s birthdays, celebrating anniversaries, celebrating the small things, you know, and big things. Celebrating weddings for a week. You know, in middle Eastern countries, they celebrate weddings for a week, if not longer. You know, huge turnout, huge village turnout huge celebrations. That brings up oxytocin that brings love into the picture. Joy, laughter all the things that increase oxytocin that will empower our immune system and also counteract the stress physiology. Mentally it is thinking of our thoughts as a flashlight and directing them in the direction we want to see our lives. Going beyond that feeling, what that feels like. If we're feeling the stress and the sphere, what does it feel like to be tremendously healthy? To be out on the tennis corridor, hiking up a mountain and you know, high fiving with your kids and best friends and you know, just having a blast.
What does that feel like? Or being at a dinner table and just cheering with your favorite bottle of wine and your favorite girlfriends around you and having girlfriend conversation and living it up. Just laughing, telling stories, making each other laugh. How does that feel if we can incorporate those emotions into our life that feels so much better. I've got to add one in here is playing with a puppy. Playing with a puppy is or a dog your favorite pet? What horses? We have horses, dogs and one of my daughters has cats. Not allowed in my house, but she has cats, needless to say. Just that being able to connect with just unconditional love. That is so nourishing and that definitely we know that increases our longevity. It boost our immune system when it comes to the stress response, we have to think, you know, what am I grateful for? What do I love about today? What do I focus on and you know, imagine the best imagine the best.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then just staying a little bit longer in the stress response world. It's so fascinating. You were talking at the beginning about how like the clinical literature is often done in men versus women and I was just thinking, I had actually read, I don't know if you'd heard this before, but I think it was in rodent trials or it was like when they actually account for gender and studies that are testing like pills and therapies work better in men compared to dietary or trials that are changing metabolism and things like that seem to favor women. It was like super fascinating to me that we're not taking stuff like that into account. Bringing that back to the stress response I was reading for example the other day that I think with men they tend to have a higher cortisol spike before a stressful event, but then it like goes down, you know it's over and done.
Compared to women, they don't necessarily experience that intense cortisol spike and it seems to be more of like a just like chronic like release of cortisol and that that's potentially more detrimental. I just found that so fascinating. I was wondering if you're speaking about burnout, so there's often this idea of burnout, of adrenal fatigue. Do you subscribe to the idea that the adrenals are they literally broken, are they actually fatigued? Is there a memory to hormones? If a person has been, you know, releasing a lot of cortisol for a long time and then they have this insight and if they magically, you know, had all their stress disappear and they stopped releasing cortisol, would there still be like a memory of all that cortisol that had been released? I know that's like a very vague question. I'm just wondering what the implications are of when a person has been in a stressed or burned out state for a long time.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: That's a great question. That really is a great question. Does it learn to be, you know, fatigued or hypo functioning? This is why it's really interesting. I think early on we talked to adrenal fatigue as if our adrenals were just exhausted and burnout. That is not the case. It's that I believe and research shows that the paraventricular nucleus is negatively giving feedback to the adrenals to stop pumping out cortisol, which is basically frying us when it's too high, too long. It's just like they're just suppressed. The brakes are on. It's like in a car, you can be driving your car full speed for too long. You got to put on the brakes. Imagine the brakes and the gas on at the same time. It's that revving engine type of phenomenon. Sometimes you get these different fatigued in the morning but yet wide awake at night and or wide awake at 3:00 AM all of a sudden you've got an outpouring of cortisol because you've been resting all night and your adrenals are like gasping so to speak.
Its how I think about it and you know, they're just starting to pump out some hormone at that point because they've been suppressed all night until you've actually been able to rest and restore, rejuvenate a little bit. Anyway, so it is not, first of all, it's not irreversible and the adrenals aren't shot. They're just, they're suppressed, hypo functioning. We need to nourish them and nourish. That's where micronutrients come into play with restoring our adrenal function. Herbs like maca are hugely adrenally restoring as well as tumeric and resveratrol. Those are all in my formula. Mighty maca plus for that reason, because it does help us restore our natural hormone balance. Yet there is memory too. You're right about that. In the case of trauma or PTSD, and I give it as an analogy and we don't talk about this in medicine or not, but we know in, in neurology, we know this in neurology and I want to give this example because I have a daughter with seizures.
If someone has a seizure once we're like, okay, we don't see anything organic going on. We've done some brain imaging, we're not seeing anything. You know, maybe she'll not have another seizure, but once she has a second seizure that's already learned, we know she's going to have a third seizure. That's how quickly our brain develops these patterns like driving to work the same way all the time. We have to do something drastically different at the beginning in order not to go down that same path, we have to really be intentional about it. The same with restoring our stress response. We have to be really intentional about it. For me with PTSD, and I write about this in the hormone fix, a necessary part was EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing technique to help redirect those pathways to kind of park them in their place so to speak, park memories in their place.
With PTSD we have flashbacks, you know, there are triggers and flashbacks and they can be really broadened. With EMDR it helps us kind of tuck those memories away or park them where they can be accessed, but they're not triggered. With other aspects of her physiology kind of makes sense that that would be the case too. I think about that a lot. When I'm addressing a patient and they're whatever clinical presentation they have, it's like, okay, what were the learned patterns? Maybe even from childhood and how can we fix that? What’s fascinating, because you talked about male versus female? Well we know with women, especially that women who have had adverse childhood experiences and women veterans, so trauma women veterans have a harder time in this perimenopausal state. There’s a hormonal reason that it comes up during this perimenopause is because we're losing the neuroprotective hormone progesterone, which is a key ovarian hormone.
Now men study states they're not having, you know, they're not trying to make babies each month. They're not relying on are very in production of progesterone. We do. We rely on, I just need to make that point. Men do not haveovaries. We rely on this ovarian production of progesterone and as we're age 35 40 our progesterone levels start to decline and that's neuroprotective. When we're having these symptoms of anxiety and depression and like all of a sudden like the ceiling is lifted, right? Like no longer have that protective layer, but yet these things, these patterns have been there this entire time. We just now remove the layer of protection or the buffer layer; let's call it a buffer layer. We start experiencing more flashbacks, PTSD, emotional issues, physical issues, harder time with perimenopause.
Melanie Avalon: That is fascinating. Speaking to that, because I know especially in this something you discussed in the book, the role of endocrine disruptors and things that are affecting our hormones and women experiencing this at earlier ages. What are your thoughts on addressing hormones, especially with things like bioidentical hormone therapy? I mean you talk about something in your book like the critical time for when it's appropriate to use bioidentical hormones. I just have so many questions about how does using hormones affect your bodies. I would love to hear how it affects your body based on, you know, where you are. What your age is. If you're in premenopausal, perimenopause, menopause. What are your thoughts on addressing hormonal imbalances? You know, with things that you talked about earlier. Things like adaptogens versus bioidentical hormones versus diet. I think women, we often feel very lost. What are your thoughts there?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: We have to do it all. I think of a visual about this. Melanie is just, if we think about ourselves from top down, the areas that we have to address. If we look at, I think just think of, just our own bodies or a stick figure of a woman and from the head, you know, it's, a healthy mind equals a healthy body. Having positive attitudes, addressing these seven key factors. I'm going to mention right now and I think that's so critical because it's never just one thing and it relates to hormones, but it goes beyond that because remember when we've got to break these patterns and we have to direct our thoughts to the positive, the good, the loving, the kind, the joyful, direct our thoughts in a positive way. That also comes to our language, what we speak from our mouth that we're speaking in a positive way and not a negative way.
This is something that I've had to learn myself to do because it was very fear based. As you can imagine after my son's accident. I mean I had fear, and it was constantly at the forefront of my mind. If I slept three hours a night, that was amazing, but it was encompassing. I really had to train myself to, number one, compartmentalize my thoughts, compartmentalize and allow myself certain times to grieve or reflect or address thoughts that would want to surface during the day. I started to compartmentalize and say, okay, from 8:00 to 8:15 I'm going to tuck away these thoughts and address them or I'm going to dress, tuck away these thoughts until 8:00 to 8:15 and address them then. s I started learning compartmentalization and really had to focus on the positive focus on, you know, my daughter's playing tennis.
No, the tennis ball is not going to hit her in the head. No, she's not going to fall. You know whatever. I mean just the most ridiculous things sometimes can pop into your head. Just starting to focus on the positive, you know, and just saying I'm here, you know, and be really present with the moment at hand and not focus on all the things that can happen. I've been there, done that. That's the first thing. Healthy mind, healthy body. The second thing is think of your mouth. Nutrition and digestion. Nutrition is really critical, but it's one of the hardest things for us to change because we got into learn patterns as well as you know, all of the diets, 93% of diets fail because it's not just about what we eat. The quality of food we're eating, chewing our food so that it digests in our mouth makes a really big difference.
That becomes a really important key factor. Then the third aspect being digestion, healthy digestion for glowing complexion is one of the things, I always say, healthy digestion for glowing complexion. Sometimes people are on an acid. I have a friend of my daughter, she's 11 and she's been on an acid medication preface it and you know it's ridiculous because we should have addressed the issue that was causing the symptoms. I mean, she's 11 for heaven sakes. Now at age 12 she's on a antidepressant. I could have told you that's going to happen. 90% of our serotonin that we need for our brain is made in the GI track is made in our gut. Healthy digestion for glowing complexion is a big part of that. We need to be able to digest our food really, well. I talk about those principles and in my work too, like don't drink with your meal more than four ounces of fluid because you don't want to dilute your digestive enzymes.
Little tweaks like that. I mean it makes perfect sense when you think about it, but you know it's not common practice. You get free refills at the restaurant and you drink them. Stop it I was thinking that's such a big mistake. Then so the fourth thing is detoxification. You know what comes in must go out, what comes in must go out. Bowel movements urinating well I'm having at least one to two bowel movements a day and I'm supporting liver function and we do that through our choices. I give like 16 key foods that really work well together and Ketogreen 16 but certainly our cruciferous vegetables and our fermented vegetables and how beneficial that can be too for detoxification, supporting a healthy GI track. Then hormone balance. hormones are, whether we're female and we're thinking about our ovaries, our uterus, our hormone production, certainly our adrenal glands and men, their testes and adrenal glands for sure, the hormone so that we can optimize them, but it takes more than hormones to fix our hormones.
We can be dialed up on our hormones but still be struggling. That includes thyroid hormones. That’s, you know, I would say, if that wasn't true, everyone on thyroid meds would be thin, but that's not the case. We know it takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. We always have to get to the underlying reason why our hormones are out of balance, especially prematurely. I mean, young women in their twenties and thirties with hormone dysfunction or hormone imbalance, or even early menopause symptoms or post birth control syndrome, many things like that are disrupting our natural hormones, plus the hormone disruptors. You talk about this and do such a good job talking about this, but hormone disrupters in our environment, so that affect our body's own natural production of hormones. Then of course, sexual health. I'm really passionate about sexual health.
I will say from clitoris to anus. That is our most valuable real estate. We have to keep it healthy, otherwise we're not going to have, you know, experience less pleasure, less orgasm, but more urinary incontinence issues, more, you know, issues with bowel movements, more issues with pelvic floor relaxation and prolapse issues that as a gynecologist, I took care of women in their fifties sixties seventies and beyond with the significant issues that could be prevented that can be prevented. That’s again, another reason why I created my product that I needed for me, which is Julva, my antiaging cream for the vulva just because these changes happen just because we're aging. Certainly when we're stressed and have other hormone imbalance issues, that just makes it worse. These conditions do not get better over time. They just get worse. We have to keep proactively nourishing and exercising our lady bits so to speak. , Then the seventh aspect, I do seven. Seven is, you know, certainly exercise. We have to move and then consider all the considerations for healthy environment. Removing toxins and inflammatory factors from our life and big inflammatory factors. Stress. We're back to stress again
Melanie Avalon: Coming full circle. I do have some more follow-up questions about the hormones. I've been so excited to talk to you about this especially as you were talking about you know, women experiencing hormone problems earlier and how hormonal issues are likely to just get worse the longer it goes. What are your thoughts? Because I know with like men there's, I feel like they're, I don't want to make like blanket statements, but men, the hormone that is often experimented with is like testosterone. I feel like for women, the hormone out there that women often experiment with or try to use to address hormonal issues is progesterone. Like be it topical through prescription or progesterone creams. I mean you know, you can order those if people are experienced therapeutic effects from a progesterone cream or progesterone therapy, are there any downsides to that? Does it negatively affect your body's own natural production of progesterone? Especially for women? If they're younger and they're taking it earlier because they seem to be producing less progesterone. Do you have any concerns about that or do you think it's therapeutic?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Well, definitely it can interfere with our body's own natural production, and that's the same with testosterone in men. I cringe when I hear about young men, thirties twenties even forties on testosterone supplementation. Again, ask why is it low and address those reasons and fix those reasons because it's more than about the testosterone, right? There's other factors, there's the adrenals, there's inflammation, there's toxins, and you know there's conversion of testosterone to estrogen. The same in women too. I mean women on testosterone supplementation, it's a big deal. It is going to impact our body's ability to make it as well as progesterone. Certainly higher doses of progesterone can really affect now. That's where it's important to do supplemental and also take breaks. I'm a big fan of progesterone. I also created my own, which is progesterone and pregnantal, my pure balance PPR cream because I wanted the combination of the two in a clean transdermal cream without hormone disruptors.
I mean, that's a really important to me. It's also available without a prescription versus prescription bioidentical progesterone. Most people on prescriptions are typically progestins and not bio-identical. That's often what you're given in many of the combination formulas that are available from the pharmaceuticals. You really need to ask, you need to say, first of all, I want bioidentical progesterone and do all the things ahead of time to improve your body's natural progesterone. Let me give you an example. I had a client named Ricky and she had been following actually a virtual client. She had been following my programs and following my recommendation had had three miscarriages, actually write about her on my website. She gave her story, she shared her story with our audience, and so she'd had three miscarriages and had a cycle day 21 progesterone level of six, which it should be 15 to 20 it really should be after ovulation.
First day you start bleeding is cycle day one. Ovulations typically between day 12 to 14 around a 20 to 22 we experienced our peak progesterone levels because estrogen is pretty dominant before ovulation. Then progesterone kicks in. It's like estrogen is the sheets on the bed and progesterone makes the bed so that when you do become pregnant, you tuck in that nice embryo into that good condition. That's how it can think of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone has its function in the second half of your menstrual cycle. Her progesterone was low and often because of toxins, endocrine disruptors stress and advancing age. I mean after a time our ovarian production of progesterone it declines because we're not making that many eggs as we age. Imagine that. She was a virtual client and I had her do detox, basically go Ketogreen.
She started to supplement it with Mighty Maca. sI put her on, so she was taking Mighty Maca because that again supports the adrenals, supports detoxification, supports the liver, supports our inflammatory pathways. It was just a very supportive first step for her. She wrote me in an email, this is how I was aware of how she was doing. She was taking two to three scoops of Mighty Maca a day because she felt better. Her cycle day 21 progesterone had gone up to 18 and two months later she was pregnant. She didn't even need progesterone. That's the beauty of restoring your physiology. Again, for me to restoring my physiology, I had failed the highest doses of injectable fertility meds. I was 39 my reproductive endocrinology colleagues, the infertility specialist had said, Anna, your only chance is egg donation, well, I didn't do that.
I conceived naturally without any hormones or intervention. It is where we can kick start our own body's physiology. If we were on higher doses of progesterone, longer term, we could negatively feedback. Those of us in perimenopause, menopause, especially menopause and post-menopause, we're not having a cycle anymore. The temptation for me, because progesterone really is that good brain food, it's, you know, and for so many women, we want to take it every day. We can't, we have to take at least one to two days off a week or three to five days off a month to give our body that chance of rest so that we're not then suppressing our body's own natural production. We do it in a way that we elevate the baseline without suppressing our natural production. That makes the difference because every hormones has a role and communicates with, you know, so many other hormones.
It's like the hormones consider them, you know, band members and an orchestra. They all have to get along, but they each have their individual role. if one is more dominant, it can suppress the others and or be kicked out of the band.
Melanie Avalon: It's so fascinating. Do you know, what is the mechanism of action for like you're talking to the beginning, things like Maca and these herbs that seem to regulate hormones. Like how are they doing that?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Isn’t that beautiful. It's so cool. There's such traditional wisdom to many of these medicines and that's what I learned going around the world, right? I did not learn this in medical or residency. Part of my journey, I was in Peru, and when you're in Peru and you're not feeling good, they say, we'll take some Maca. If you're infertile, take some Maka, you know, you're exhausted. Take some Maca and then they would elbow my husband and say, you know, hey, it's the Peruvian Viagra, you know, take some Maca. of course like we want to drink this mockup. Now I had an issue because I couldn't stand the taste of it and I would gag. I have a strong belief that if we are going to take something then we have to enjoy it. I started mixing it with other ingredients as I started learning and studying the science behind Maca. There's ancient wisdom that are their ancient story. The tale goes that the ancient Incan warriors would drink Maca before going into battle to increase their stamina and performance. I thought that was interesting. Then I wanted to understand, well what is Maca exactly? Well I know it's this root that grows at only high altitudes in Peru. Now there are other places that have grown Maca but it's not the same. I use Kosher Peruvian organic Maca, which you know is distinct. It has unique protein components called Macains that aren't unique to its own. It's like a tuber or it almost looks like a radish of sorts. it is also high in arginine, which increases nitric oxide, which lone behold increases blood flow, which is exactly how Viagra works.
It's also rich in [00:46:01 inaudible] too, which can also help with orgasm as well. Hence the sexual benefits of Maca is really fascinating. Plus it's adaptogenic in a way, like certain foods are in certain herbs are adaptogenic. We know that tumeric and resveratrol and Kirsten also have like, we would call them genetic adaptogens too. It depends on how they monitor your genes, turning them off or turning them on depending on your body's physiology and what's happening. The same with their adrenals. I believe Maca also has this, you know, really strong, adaptogenic potential. Whether we're in overdrive or under drive, so to speak, Maca comes in and balances us out. That’s a really a really nice aspect to that. That’s where that becomes very powerful. Then combining it with other antioxidants, like theirs, I've mentioned plus more greens and enzymes to help the digestibility of it, that and your absorption of it can make a really powerful difference. We see that how that improves because it's helping the adrenal glands, it's supporting your body's detoxification. It's helping decrease or support your body's anti-inflammatory response because that's key. If we're continued to be inflamed, we're keeping cortisol up and we're losing the game and our adrenals are more and more taxed to speak.
Melanie Avalon: It is so fascinating. While we're still in this, this hormonal world, something like like hot flashes. What is the cause there I was interviewing somebody else and she was saying that basically the hypothalamus, just evolutionarily the temperature regulation, our body just is not that good and so that's why. That's why we have all these struggles with temperature regulation, but what's the connection there between you know, temperature dysregulation, hot flashes and hormonal imbalances?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Oh my gosh, you never ask anything easy, Melanie. Now this is a really interesting, fascinating area for me because there's not one reason that we have hot flashes. We experience it at this time of hormonal shift, like when progesterone's dropping, we're decreasing our progesterone, which is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, so estrogen is lower and then as our estrogen levels fluctuate in this perimenopause menopause, those swinging estrogen from low to high, we believe that shift can because us to have hot flashes like all of a sudden I'm getting hot flashes, but it really has a lot to do with insulin resistance. There is so many research articles now that look at women with insulin resistance or diabetes have a significantly more hot flashes for longer durations of time than women who are insulin sensitive. There's that component remind me to tell you an example in a second, but I want to talk about another component of hot flashes.
A second component is that you know, our bodies, you know, really used to a pretty steady climate. I mean we go from a 70 degree house to a 70 degree car to a 70 degree workplace. We're just like in this kind of normal, this very thin temperature range. We're not exposed to the high fluctuations in temperature that our ancestors were. Here, our bodies adjusting and we're really hypersensitive to it. That's fascinating to me because in other cultures where they're outside more, air conditioning's not a big issue and they have colder climates or hotter climate. More extreme temperatures and our inside and outside more that they have less hot flashes. Same age ranges, same, you know, population group types, but yet less hot flashes. You have to wonder about the climate control that we've established for our lives and, and how that can really affect us.
Third aspect is that adrenaline junkie. You can just surge as an adrenaline can increase our hot flashes. Hot, spicy foods, stress sitting in a sauna, certainly exercise helps. Exercise can cause a hot flash. The more you exercise, the less hot flashes you have. Exercise, right? That’s a really important factor too. There are many different factors. The example I want to share with you is that we survey our clients. We've surveyed over 2,500 of our clients who do my from the hormone fix, my 10 day program. From the beginning of 10 days to the end of 10 days following the program, there was over a 50% reduction in the symptoms of hot flashes in just 10 days. You know, were intermittent fasting in just that short amount of time. We're already improving our body physiology.
Now we kicked butt with it with our 16 day Ketogreen 16 plan. so we're seeing sometimes in that 16 days over a 90% we've had some clients with a 90% reduction in symptoms, but it, you know, and some, you know, anywhere between 30 to 40% but we're see consistent improvement in the 16 days. That's really powerful that we can so quickly see that adjustment. By focusing on managing our stress, hence the control of cortisol, which I say is about getting alkalined through diet and lifestyle and managing, creating more insulin sensitivity by getting into ketosis through intermittent fasting and my Ketogreen diet, that improves our physiology tremendously. We see improvements there. That was really beautiful. See, we had one client, her name was Sandra, and she had, she said, she goes, you know, I have a hot flash an hour. I don't know, like I'm always in layers because I'm taken on, taken off clothes at all times and I'm like, I get it, you know, tossing in bed, leg in, leg out, cover on, cover off. She said that she was my magic menopause program. By the end of the eight weeks of the magic menopause program, she wasn't having any more hot flashes. That's powerful physiology because that's without the addition of prescription hormones.
Melanie Avalon: I mean it's so incredible. I was just thinking, it's so fascinating what you were saying about how when we're in these constantly controlled environments, it's like we're reacting in a way to the smallest changes. How do I say this? Part of me feels that like when we return to the natural way of being where there are normal fluctuations, where there's normal things, we can experience them on a almost foundational level. I just know for me, like with intermittent fasting that you were talking about, because I started getting a lot of hormonal issues. I mean I don't know what was like the thing that, you know, made it go crazy, but I had really intense mercury toxicity and some other things and hormonal problems started after that. For me, I know whenever I would do like intermittent fasting for example, or if I was even, you're talking about like, you know, like cold exposure, things like that.
Those would almost go away completely. I mean it's almost shocking to me then when I go back into, you know, not in the fastest state or try to control my environment too much. It's like I almost revert back to this reactive mode and I don't know how much of that is in my head compared to something actually happening in my body. I just find it really, really fascinating. It's like I've been saying with one of my therapists that like I want to feel like I’m the thermostat, not the thermometer and because like hormonal issues and stuff. You feel like you're the thermometer, you know? It's like, I'm hot or I'm cold or I'm not feeling well. It's like just reading what's happening compared to, and I think this tie into like the mentality of it. Like no, like this is my body, you know, I am this thing, I'm the thermostat, I set the temperature, I find it so huge. Sorry that was like a rambly personal anecdote, but a lot of what you were saying was really resonating with me.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: That's perfect. I think that's exactly right. Like setting the parameters versus being reactive. A thermometer is reactive, a thermostat sets the pace and that's where we really want to be when we are in this climate controlled and this, you know, very, I don't want to say small window of our world so to speak. That's it. It's a small window. Our range of experiences is narrowed. What we need to do in so many levels of our life is expand the range of experiences we're having, the highs and lows and that goes with temperatures too. That makes sense. We need, a reset, Melanie, you need to create a reset, you know, intermittent fasting nature camping retreat. That's the quickest way.
Melanie Avalon: I was going to say I was interviewing Dallas Hartwig on the podcast recently and we were talking about how like there's all these health conditions and all these things that we experience and probably the quickest way to heal would be if somebody just dropped you on an Island and like you had to just live, you know, and like there wouldn't be like anything you'd have to get your own food, zero things, sleep with the sun, like there would be no, there wouldn't be all these factors that are coming into play. It's so fascinating. There was a little keyword in there that you mentioned. That's a huge topic I'm so excited to tackle with you today and it ties into the dietary aspect of the Ketogreen 16 you talked about, you know, the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, but there's a huge aspect to your approach to this and it does involve that green aspect and alkalinity.
I’m so excited to dive a little bit deep into this with you. If you say like the word alkaline diet, a lot of people are either like, yeah, that's what you have to do with like cures everything. Diet is everything. Then there are people who are like, no, that's not even real. There's no science behind that. Your stomach is acidic. What you eat has no effect on your body's alkalinity. It doesn't matter. I personally think the whole thing is like completely misunderstood. 'm really excited to dive into this. A starter question. What is pH to start? What is acid versus an alkaline state?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Yeah, so this is a great question and this comes up a lot because I have so to speak, faced off with other healthcare professionals, but you can't argue with the science. We can't, argue with the science or the clinical experience that we see over and over again in the myriad, the numerous research articles that look at alkaline urinary pH and that's what I measure as another vital sign to our body. Now I love to give this example. When we're talking about pH, we're talking about our bodies essentially power of hydrogen. It's the concentration of hydrogen ions and in our blood, for instance, our blood pH, arterial blood gas. If you come into my ER and you're crashing, I would put a needle in your arterial radial artery of your wrist and draw out blood from the artery, not the vein. Like when we're drawing blood test, your labs, arterial blood gas it's called and that blood gas that has to stay so close to 7.4 if it's a little bit high or a little bit low, it's very intricately regulated.
If it's just a little bit off, we're really sick. We are either in metabolic acidosis or metabolic alkalosis. Now in starvation for a long period of time and diabetics who are on insulin and get very low blood sugars, they can get into a state called ketoacidosis. That is not what we're talking about with dietary changes. Our body our system to maintain homeostasis will rob Peter to pay Paul, so to speak, to keep that arterial blood pH so finely regulated. Now what makes up that regulation? What helps our mineral status? I mean all of this runs through our kidneys and it's about our elements. Potassium, chloride, magnesium, sodium, you know, all of these minerals make a difference. Their shift across cell membranes, let's say, is what creates healthy physiology and healthy cells. That makes a difference in our entire life. Now that's just, you know that just to tell you that it's complicated I think.
I think that all I said was just say, okay, it's complicated. What happens with our urine pH now our urine pH and different, like our skin is more acidic, our vaginal pH is acidic. Unless we're menopausal, then it's more alkaline. Different parts of our body have different pH. Our stomach is very acidic and just so each roll of our body has a different, has a different pH. Urine pH considerate, a vital sign. This is what I say with clients and this is what made a difference in my, this was a wake up moment for me. I always test your MPH to make sure that we're getting enough minerals on board to have more of an alkaline urine because the research shows that those of us with a urine pH of 6.5 7 7.5 so averaging around 6.5 to seven at least if it's greater than that, we have a decreased risk of diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and other inflammatory conditions like cancer.
There's a couple of things that affect that. Certainly nourishment we need minerals. We get minerals from the food we eat or we get them from our bone and muscle. We're going to have that. Also if we're stressed, we're going to secrete cortisol. Cortisol causes an increased hydrogen ion secretion across the renal tubules, increasing the acidity of our urine. It's this like this flush essentially that affects our bodies. You know, our urinary pH and we consider that as a guide to us. Then we can recognize that it's not just about what we eat, it's about how we live and stress real stress and perceived stress. Part of my aha moment as I had dug into my second menopause, so to speak, when I was 48 and I created my Ketogreen plan, that part of alkalinization, like when I first started my Keto approach, I was very inflamed and not feeling good and I called it going Keto crazy.
I mean it was just terrible. I had to understand, okay, what's going on? That’s where I started checking my urine pH and recognizing that, my gosh, it was as acidic as the urine pH paper would read. I added in the alkanizers but what I recognized was that the mornings I walked on the beach, the mornings I did my gratitude journaling and prayer, I was more likely to be more alkaline throughout the day. That was aha moment. I didn't realize till a couple of years later that it was the renal physiology of cortisol that was affecting me. Now that practice of meditating and realizing that it's more than what we eat was just, it's just mind blowing to me. It explains so much why 93% of diets fail because it's not just about what we eat, it's how we live, it's how we think about food, etcetera.
For me, this is so crucial that people just start checking your urine pH and experience for yourself. What about when you get an alkaline urine pH and into ketosis at the same time? Now I've run thousands of women through my programs and they've done just that and the stories are incredible. I call it energized in 90 minutes all of a sudden my body and my mind are united with my spirit and it's all good. It does make that difference, but there's often many reasons why we're not, or we have trouble getting into the state alkaline urine pH. Maybe we're dehydrated, maybe we have food sensitivities, maybe it's stress, maybe it's mold toxicity or heavy metal poisoning and that's going to make it. Maybe we're drinking juices and thinking, even though it's healthy, but it's too much sugar and it's creating inflammation in our body so it helps us fine tune and discover what's working for us and what's not working for us.
Like for me, I have to start each day with gratitude, journaling, prayer and a little bit of at least a little bit of my presence outside in nature to the best of my ability. Now it's at 6:30 in the morning, but it makes a whole difference on my physiology for the rest of the day. Not just does it shift my urinary pH, but it also helps me stabilize my blood sugar when I wake up and I'm stressed and I'm drinking my coffee and even though I'm intermittent fasting, my blood sugar will increase. I've used the 14 day blood sugar monitor, the freestyle Libra. I used to make all of my recipes and make sure that my plan really stabilized blood sugar. It's just eye opening to me that those, that coffee just in it of itself increases my blood sugar 20 to 30 points easily. Even though there's nothing else in it. Learning what's working and what's not working can really make a difference. For me that was why coffee, I had to eliminate or definitely reduce my amount of coffee because it was creating acidity for me and also kicking me out of ketosis.
Melanie Avalon: That is so fascinating and reminds me of something you often see in your book. Tests don’t guess the importance of tracking these biomarkers. I do want to, because this is so fascinating to me. I do want to clarify because I know people said people, you know they freak out at this whole acid alkaline, especially like urine test diet food thing. When there's an acidic state in the body that's literally affecting the hydrogen in your body, the kidney has to deal with that and then the urine becomes acidic. Are there metabolites from the kidneys that are making the urine? Like why does the urine become acidic?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: It's that hydrogen ion secretion across the Reno tubules this is from stress, cortisol response just from an increase in cortisol. You have to wonder, like cortisol is causing a shift in our electrolytes across the membrane. The potassium, chloride, sodium, and it's shifting that shift is, essential that we keep that balanced. That's, you know, I think the big part to understand with the whole alkalinity concept, like for me comes to a visual, I say think of acidity, like living in a city, industrial, pretty inflamed. Alkalinity, like living in the Amazon last jungle waterfall in the background, very lush and nursing and just kind of makes you smile and relax just thinking about it. Alkalinity like the Amazon acidity, like a city. There's a balance between both. I mean, we need both. You know, I'm certainly an omnivore and meats are acidic alcohol is acidic dog on it and vegetables and fruits are alkaline.
Now we don't use fruits and to make Ketogreen 16 plan other than three fruits in a very small amount to help with digestion, but because they're so high in sugars. Really getting kicking our bodies into ketosis, this Ketogreen state pretty quickly. I eliminate that, but we need to think of where are we getting the minerals and nutrients and micronutrients to balance our body to give our body what we need. We need protein and fat. Honestly, according to research, we really don't need carbohydrate, but we need protein and fat. We need minerals. When we're eating too much of an acidic load, there is a stress on our body and that can create inflammation over time and that's going to add additional stress and increase more cortisol to decrease the inflammation. Cortisol is our natural steroid anti-inflammatory. Then that's going to continue and then create leaky membranes.
That's what causes leaky gut. You know, cardiovascular diseases, brain issues dementia issues. We can say it's all from these leaky membranes from kind of the tearing down of our cellular walls, so to speak. This creates havoc on our system and that's where we need to appropriately tend to our physiology. By adding minerals and nutrients in a balanced way, that helps our body maintain pH balance. It just feels better. For my critics, just check your urine pH and get your urine pH above seven and then get into a state of ketosis through intermittent fasting and ideally Ketogreen living and see what happens. See how you feel. 100% of clients that I've worked with feel a tremendous improvement in their life and their quality of life.
Melanie Avalon: then speaking to the foods that are acidic versus foods that are alkaline. Again, I think people often think they'll, say, well your stomachs acidic. Any food automatically becomes acidic. There is this concept of the prow score, the potential renal acid load that involves, you know, after the metabolism of these foods, they basically the acidic or the alkaline Ash. The result of that, do you subscribe to the prowl? Is that how you determined which foods were acid or alkaline?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Yes, more alkaline.
Melanie Avalon: Okay so for listeners, I'll put links in the show notes to some, I mean there's, there's a lot of studies in science here. I just, I find it so fascinating because I just think it's, you know, so misunderstood.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: It is fascinating. I don't think we get a complete picture yet. I always say this about hormones because hormones are energetic molecules. That's an energetic field to hormones. We just haven't begun to understand it or to completely be able to measure it yet. If your doctor says, well, I can't accurately measure your hormones, your doctor's correct, our hormones spike a balance. Now I measure hormones all the time because they give me a guideline and a sense of perspective for a client. There's value to measuring hormones. I want to tell you that there's no, we can measure salivary hormones, urinary hormones, serum hormones, I mean name it, we can measure hormones in many different ways, but there's an energetic component to hormones or hormones are energy molecules. We know that ourselves, this, this positive negative shift across cell membranes.
That's an energetic, right? That's electric, that's an energetic transfer of energy. We have to support the transfer of energy. I think of it that way. If we could understand that, I think there are missing pieces to the puzzle that II don't know that we have the answers yet because we don't have the ability to measure. I think the more we get into energy medicine and quantum physics and start to dig deeper into that, the electrophysical potential of our bodies and especially that potential across the cell membrane when we're getting it, but not completely, you know, we'll have more of the answers and that's why I'm a clinician at heart. I'm a clinician versus a bench scientist, so I'm like, okay, well how does it make you feel on this comes to discernment. Does doing this make you feel better?
Do you feel more energized, more at peace, more in your body, more connected, more grounded? Or do you not check, test and see what works best for you? From there, you know, for me, again, like measuring your pH and ketones, that's a vital sign for me. Just like my weight on the scale or my blood pressure or my heart rate. When you're stressed, your heart rates increase. Well, it takes energy to increase your heart rate. It's not in a vacuum. What fuels that? Where are we getting the fuel to sustain high intense endurance exercises or high intense mental stress? Where are we getting the fuel to feed these processes in our body that take a toll, like to create hormones of stress we have to make them and how are we making them and what are we using to make them?
Urine pH testing without a doubt has so much validity and science behind it, plus clinical experience to show that it does make a difference and it does help discover, you know, what works for you and what doesn't. Let me give you another example in clinically. I have a client who is in my online magic menopause program and she was really struggling with getting alkaline. Like she'd get there and then she'd be out of it for days just like, I don't get it. I don't know what's happening. She said, you know, then I just went out Friday night, went out with my girlfriends, had a couple glasses of wine, just laughed and partied all night. Just we have a really nice time. Then I woke up in the morning and there was a first time I woke up alkaline. Well, there's the power of oxytocin, truly alkalinizing hormone that increases your body's going out, that just improves your body's balance and immune system and certainly wins out over cortisol.
By experiencing some pleasure and fun, she increased her urine alkalinity and she goes like, you know what? I've been missing. I haven't been having fun. I've been so dogmatic, so rule following, so towing the line, I just wasn't having fun even though I was eating and doing everything right. How cool.
Melanie Avalon: That's so amazing. I mean the context is everything. I think even like a similar version of that in the prowl database for alcohol for example, I think like wine is actually slightly alkaline compared to, or like depending on what type of wine it is compared to some other alcohols. It's like; there must be some other factor I guess in the wine that's creating that.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: I need to find out what wine there are and I'll make a Quito green wine lasts like low sugar, highly alkaline wine. That's what I want.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going off memory. I'm pretty sure that red wine was more alkaline then white wines were more acidic. I will pull it up and in any case I'll put a link to it in the show notes and one of my favorite, you know how like sometimes you have these papers or resources that you reference like all the time. There's this one magical prowl study in Google scholar and like one of the journals and it has this fantastic chart of like all the foods and I just like when I'm bored, I like read it for fun.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Well you will love, in Ketogreen 16 I put a chart that goes through highly alkaline, low acidic to highly acidic, lowest alkaline foods. You can really see, especially from the Ketogreen perspective, like circle your hot, your favorite foods. The highly alkaline low acidity and that as well some of your keto foods, those are the highly you know, that highly acidic but maybe highly alkaline or you know better. They're usually, there's no high alkaline, high acidic food, but highly alkaline to low to moderate acidity and look at those, those foods and kind of highlight the ones that are your favorites and just do more of them. I think that's really fun. I had a fun time with Ketogreen 16 and actually created a bunch of bonus material that you get when you buy the book at the bonus page to just kind of to help accelerate. Like I did a Ketogreen roadmap and a quick start guide and, and just some good visuals because I'm such a visual learner and in, you know, in books they don't let you put all your visuals in. I wanted to, get those two, but one of those is the food roadmap for Ketogreen 16. You'll love that. I'll make sure you get that.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. In your book. I loved, I'd love that breakdown. I was like; this is something I would have made. It was fantastic because I'm always haunted though. Sometimes it's confusing things like eggs for example, when I've researched them it'll say that like the whites are actually alkaline, but the yolks are acidic. Then I'm always looking at like the different types of proteins and the spectrum of acidity. I always just wonder like what is the cause there or the reasoning there. I can see why like more processed foods would be more acidic. I don't know, I'm just, I'm fascinated by it.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: I’m too. It's like the body burden of certain foods. It's how I kind of look at it. You know, especially like red meats, you know, highly acidic body burden. They can be very highly nutritious depending on what they were fed. Or they could be highly poisonous, depending on what they were fed. it's not even that it's all, they're not all created equal. a farmed Cabot's been given antibiotics and hormones and grain that is contaminated was irrelevant or fun guy eating that. If they ate that were eating and they received that were then eating it and ingesting it. That’s toxic to our system versus a, you know, here we're in the south east and my family love venison and so they will get a buck a year for the family. That’s, wild caught free range, no hormones, no antibiotics living in their environment.
That can be really, you know, that can be really, that's a totally different meat. The same with our grass fed free range bison or beef or cows or it's, it makes a big difference. We need to really think about that when we're thinking about what we're putting in our mouth. You said it earlier, like the concept of discerning what is good for our bodies. Really figuring that out like this being really intentional about what we're doing and why we're doing it and listening to our body when it's speaking back to us, either in joyful, amazing energy and happiness or you know, anxiety, depression, fear, aches and pains. Now I've been there and I know it's not an easy, certainly not an easy place to be, but with discipline and practice we can totally shift to our dream life, a dream, full, passionate life.
I think I feel really called to say that and give a little bit of my story too. Like I remember at one point, certainly after the loss of my son, I mean waking up in the morning and crying before I even opened my eyes because number one, I didn't want to be alive and I didn't know how I was going to face the day and when I put my feet on the floor because I had to, I had aches and pains from the bottom of my feet through every joint and muscle in my body. I think about that now because that's so far from where I’m now. I just want to encourage everyone who's listening that our body has tremendous healing capability and it just starts with taking one next right step. I know we've talked about a lot, but just one next right step that will start you off in the right direction no matter what you're dealing with, what diagnosis you've been given, if you've had a diagnosis of breast cancer or someone you love has, I mean that can so hurt your heart.
Certainly when my son died, I mean I had heart ache I mean my heart physically hurt. Well it turns out there are oxytocin receptors in the heart and our heart produces oxytocin so that love those molecules of love and connection and bonding in a week, grieve. Somehow that affects us physically as well as mentally and spiritually just a voice of hope and a call out to everyone who's listening that there is, you know, just one next right step that will bring you closer to the life that you had once. Even if you're not dreaming about that ideal life right now that you had once dreamed about as a child. just start walking in that direction.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for sharing that Anna. That was so beautiful and it resonates with me with so many listeners. I'm sure so much. What I love is that it, I love how you tie it all into the ultimate importance of this mindset and the potential for change and how that does tie into, you know, the biological, you know, quote scientific aspect of it as well. I was just thinking, I don't know if it's true. I've heard that like tears are one of the only ways our body excretes cortisol physically through tears.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: That is so cool. I think for sure. It's definitely one of the ways and you know that catharsis that you get with crying, how therapeutic that is.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. then something else I had read, which actually until our conversation right now I was a little bit skeptical of, but now it completely makes sense was I had read that serotonin and dopamine work, alkalinizing neuro-transmitters and I was like, how can that be? Now that we're talking, I mean that completely makes sense. The effect that it would have on the body.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Well it's fascinating because you think of the things that build us up. Serotonin relates to the hormone estrogen and GABA neurotransmitter relates to the hormone progesterone and dopamine relates to the hormone testosterone. These are all building nourishing hormones of fertility and reproduction. In that way too. That makes sense. Because when we're stressed we're more infertile … it kind of makes sense.
Melanie Avalon: Then listeners, I have so many more questions I want to ask Anna but the good thing is we're interviewing you again very soon on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm just thinking, I'm like okay well I can actually ask all these questions when we talk then. I have a lot of questions about fasting and fat burning and stuff like that that you discuss in your book and how they relate to hormones. Very excited that we have that one book. Before we go is there anything that you would like to touch on specifically that you'd like to showcase topic wise that you feel is really important for listeners to hear?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: There are so many things that I knew like especially related to fasting and intermittent fasting and also the hormones and metabolism would definitely, you've got to hit on those topics and the intermittent fasting podcast. I'm looking forward to that with you guys too.
Melanie Avalon: I'm taking notes. I'm like for IMF podcast.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Yes, absolutely. I think for our, for this is, is that, the many components that we have to recognize. Like there's no magic pill, product potion that is the answer. You know, it's, a little bit of everything. It's a little bit here, a little bit there. I think for me, one of the practices that I've done is this discernment practice. I think that, I just want to touch on this because it helps us understand the concept of what's working for me and what's not working for me.
This is the practice of discernment. There’s a, Saint Ignatius is one of my favorite, like philosophical reads that I've done following St. Ignation physiology. he talks about discernment, the spirits of constellation desolation. In other words, like for if I'm doing something, am I doing it based on fear or love? You think of a dial and straight up and down, put your finger straight up and down, like point your finger to the sky. That’s like neutral. One direction it's towards love and the other direction, 180 degrees from that one, that's towards fear. Or you could say health versus unhealthy. You know, for Ava Marie, I would ask her after her school lunch; did you have food or not food? Think about it that way. That corn dog was not food. Ava Marie, you know, so, so is it like kind of that discernment, am I, you know, doing this action or thinking in this direction because of fear or out of love.
For me, and that's the same thing with health. You know, when I eat something, does it leave me feeling great or does it bring me down really low? You know, when I do something like I was, you know, this is one of those things. For instance, when I go to the gym, like when I, you know, thinking about going to the gym as I'm getting out of bed at six o'clock in the morning, you know, like do I want to go? No, never. Am I always glad I went? Yes. There's a dial for that one too. What leaves you feeling good for the long run? I think that's the discipline and practice that really helped me fine tune and understand once I fine tuned it understanding the science behind what practices worked well for me.
Melanie Avalon: I love that so much. I am going to start using that in my daily life. That's so amazing. I mean the things similar that I've been doing to it prior was understanding that you could not be in a state of both gratitude and fear at the same time. Whenever I find myself in a state of fear to think of something I was grateful for as a way to like, you know, shut that off. I love that though. The, you know, is this action I'm about to take? What is that coming from? What do you say to listeners who, because I think that the complication can come in, you know, because you're talking about like, you know, eating a certain food. Is this food going to be healthy for me or is it, is it not food? What about for listeners who are struggling with finding the foods that work for them, especially because your book, it's a ketogenic approach with the, you know, the utter importance of alkalinity and minerals and greens.
It's an amazing plan. What about for people who maybe Keto didn't work in the past or they're hesitant about it or they're nervous about macros even if they feel like, these are real whole foods. I think people, sometimes they don't know if it's going to work for their body or not. What would you say to them? Like with your plan, for example, you know, at 16 days, which is something that I love. You have a section in the book about why, you know, the massive amount of change that you can see in 16 days. Would you encourage anybody, regardless of any hesitations they might have to, you know, try this approach?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Yeah, definitely try it. It's honestly worked in every client that I've put through the program. I also have, you know, certainly Ketogreen 16 is an omnivore program. I also created vegan vegetarian substitutions. We have actually have a 16 day vegan program in Ketogreen 16 as well. It's really good in that way, but it helps us discover. One thing is with that you're like, as I go through urine pH testing and what could keep you from getting alkaline such as food sensitivities. If there are something you're eating and are like, say you've been following Ketogreen16 and you're completely alkaline in ketosis and then you go have some ice cream and you're completely acidic the next day, maybe you have a dairy sensitivity. For me, I see if there was trace dairy in anything that I ate like that somehow was woven into a meal. Say for example, a pesto sauce is often where I get fouled up because with Parmesan cheese. My body will be acidic and inflamed the next day. It’s very interesting to see that.
It helps you to tack sometimes these food sensitivities. I created Ketogreen 16 as a very low inflammatory, highly alkaline and you know, healthy fats and healthy proteins, food plan with foods that also help with hormone regulation and hormonal balance. You should definitely see a difference and it's easy to follow plus tasty created the menu plans. Also the second thing I want to say is like, here's for a quick glimpse at what the, this looks like for you listening my keto calculator. and you have the link in your show notes, the keto calculator. This I want you to do, so you got to do this too Melanie do the Keto macros based on your activity level. Whether you want to gain weight or lose weight or stay the same and also based on your BMI and it's a very healthy look at the Ketogreen day for you. You can see specifically based on your own body composition for the most part what a Ketogreen day looks for you with recipes for the day as well as your, your ideal macros. Then you just play with it from there. Again, discerning what works best for you.
Melanie Avalon: I love it so much. For listeners, I'll put links to all of this in the show notes and again the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/ketogreen. It's fantastic such a wonderful resource. Also thank you so much Dr. Cabeca. She does have an amazing offer for our listeners. You can use the code, Melanie Avalon on her website and that will get you 10% off the various products there, which you have amazing hormonal support, other supplements, I mean it's really truly a wonder. I've had a lot of my family stuck on them now, so it's great.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Thank you.
Melanie Avalon: I can't let you go without asking you, and I've asked you this before, but it is the last question that I ask every single guest on this podcast and super appropriate, you'll probably understand it the most or some of the most of all the guests I've had. That’s the importance of gratitude and mindset. What is something that you're grateful for?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Today I'm so grateful for my daughter, Amanda, who had had some traumatic- had seven concussions actually in her young life at 23 and she's just back from a weekend in Portland doing some functional neurology and it's just totally changed her life, her brain, and she feels at home in her body again because you know, so it was really, I'm really grateful for her and she's actually out picking up my youngest daughter right now so I can have this amazing time with you.
Melanie Avalon: That is, so fantastic. That's beautiful. Well, thank you so much Anna. This has been absolutely amazing. Third interview I've had with you, super excited for our future conversation. Pretty soon around the corner where we can dive in deeper into even more things. Listeners definitely get Ketogreen 16 they're such an amazing, wonderful resource. All of Anna's work I cannot recommend it enough, so just thank you so much for what you're doing for our world.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: Thank you. I love talking with you. Thank you so much.
Melanie Avalon: Talk to you next time.