Written by Christopher Kelly
Dec. 2, 2017
[00:00:00] Start of Audio
Chris: Hello and welcome to the Nourish Balance Thrive podcast. My name is Christopher Kelly and today I’m delighted to be joined by Sarah Wnenchak. Hi Sarah.
Sarah: Hi Chris.
Chris: Sarah is a friend, a colleague, a client that we’ve been working with over the last few years and I’m very excited to have her on the podcast today. Since her teens, Sarah has always been interested in health. From physical fitness to psychology, she has explored the interrelated facets of wellness. In 2011, Sarah graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and postgraduate studies in counselling. In 2012, Sarah became a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and opened Truly Yoga studio in January 2015. In 2016, Sarah began the bulletproof coaching program which focuses on optimising biology, psychology and helping people reach their full potential. Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today.
Sarah: Thank you Chris, thanks for having me on.
Chris: Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about when you first started to suspect that your health was not as good as it could be.
Sarah: I would probably say…I’d dealt with a few things in my life but probably the end of 2015, I first had tonsillitis. Believe it or not, that was kind of where it started for me. And throughout that winter of 2015, 2016, I ended up going through about 5 rounds of antibiotics when I thought “Oh I’ll just take one antibiotic just like I did when I was a kid and I had strep throat.” And I thought oh I’ll be fine.
But then I became very chronic, ended up leading me to get my tonsils removed. So I had a tonsillectomy, which as a side note is one of the most painful things to get done as an adult. But it did happen and I thought I would be great after that. And then a few months later I ended up becoming really achy, tired, fatigued and part of me thought it was just in my head and I would go to the doctor and they said “You’re great, you’re healthy. You do Yoga, you’re awesome.”
And I thought there’s nothing that’s lining up here. So that’s when I started looking into different things. I’ve always been interested in health and wellness since I was in high school, so I was always trying to go into kind of the more holistic side of things, but this led me to go in a little bit deeper. So I found about you guys through another podcast that I was listening to and then my journey kind of began. But believe it or not, it all started with some tonsillitis.
Chris: Do you mind me asking how old you are?
Sarah: I am 28 years old.
Chris: Okay and that’s quite old to have your tonsils removed.
Sarah: Yes, yes.
Chris: Okay, that’s interesting. So tell me about your hormones. So that was one of the things we first talked about when you first started working.
Sarah: Yeah my hormones were out of whack. After I got them tested and I didn’t even think twice about it. I got on birth control – the birth control pill – probably when I was about 21 years old. So I had been on birth control for 7 years of my life. Just like many women I feel, just go to the gynaecologist like “Oh just get on the pill. You have cramps, this will even you out.” And I didn’t realise how much of an effect it was having on my system. I was having experiences of my period was a little bit off, I wasn’t a heavy person but I felt like I was probably a little bit more inflamed than I would like to. I had pelvic inflammation, headaches all the time. Stuff that I didn’t even attribute to being on the pill until I got off of it and regulated things. But when I saw my results that came back from the testing, my oestrogen was really high and my progesterone and my testosterone were almost nonexistent. Looking back even cognitively, my brain felt like it was turned off. It felt like I was depressed but I knew everything in my life was pretty good, so something biochemically must be going on. And after regulating my hormones along with a bunch of other things I was doing, I definitely felt a lot better. So I felt like I was doing everything healthy and I ended up being on the pill and I said this is my one vice. But in reality, this one little vice was actually affecting all the different systems in my body. So yeah.
Chris: I really wanna understand how this went down very carefully, because I have a 4year old daughter and she will be that age in no time, I’m sure. So I really wanna understand the symptoms or your goals when you went to go and see that doctor, and how you ended up on the pill. Can you go into that in a little bit more detail?
Sarah: Sure. I think I was in college and I was about to go on a trip. I was doing a study about South Africa. It all started…I didn’t wanna have my period during that trip. I already kind of had a history of my menstrual cycle being a little bit off and I would get some cramping and have some headaches, so I thought maybe if I get in the pill, I won’t have this. And so I went to the doctor and the doctor said “Yeah that’s not good. Just take the pill.”
There was not much conversation around it, I wasn’t given any warnings of “Oh this could maybe affect your hormones or your mood or anything else.” So I didn’t really think twice about it, I just kind of trusted and took it and continued along with my life. And actually when I think about it a few year later, I did even mentally feel a little bit more depressed, a little bit more anxious.
Sarah: So I went back and the gynaecologist actually prescribed me Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant and said “Oh it’s completely normal. You take the birth control with the antidepressant and you’ll be fine.” So fast forward a couple of years, you end up having some other symptomatology and they just throw another pill on there. Again there wasn’t much conversation, it was just handing out “Oh take this, that’s normal. It’s normal to just take birth control and then it’s also normal to slap an antidepressant on it.” So again, not much conversation.
Chris: Can you describe the feelings? I’m really interested to know in your own words, how those things made you feel. So when you say depression and anxiety, can you describe those feelings?
Sarah: So it’s really just a sense of malaise. I felt tired and I was going about my life but everything felt like I was in kind of a little bit of a fog. And I don’t think I actually understood it completely until I didn’t feel that anymore, and you realise “Wow I was really not in a great place.” I was able to function, I wasn’t severely depressed. It was just an underlying sense of just feeling off, if that’s any way to describe it. Or anxious about things you probably shouldn’t be as anxious about. So I just felt chemically I was just not me completely. So that was kind of my experience of it if I had to describe the feeling behind it.
Chris: Did you ever get to that place where you started to feel anxious about feeling anxious? Does that make sense?
Sarah: Yes, yes. I have had times when I’ve had 2 panic attacks, then I look back and look at those times and that was definitely an experience of panicking because I felt like I was gonna panic and I couldn’t get out of it. But you’re fully aware that you feel off, that’s the interesting thing.
You’re completely aware of it but you know something just isn’t right and at that time, I just couldn’t pinpoint it. And I never would’ve thought if the pill was causing that. I mean I’m sure other things in life – even emotionally – were triggering it but it kinda almost felt like my glass was full of stuff going on with my body and then throwing the pill on top just probably made everything else worse as well.
Chris: I reckon by some of what you’re talking about and I don’t wanna put words in your mouth but depression for me was the inability to feel pleasure. So something I’d recently found really fun like snowboarding or kite boarding or white boarding or mountain biking or road biking – suddenly it wasn’t scratching the itch in quite the same way that it once did. I was finding myself motivated to move on to the next thing, to try and find that pleasure that I once found from the old thing. But I don’t know whether you relate to any of that. Did you find that you weren’t enjoying things as much as you used to?
Sarah: Yeah I definitely would say that I’ve always been interested in yoga and connecting the body and the mind. So it’s interesting, I was experiencing the symptomatology while my interest was wellness and the body and movement and all of these things. But I looked at Yoga at that time and I said “I just can’t feel good about it, I’m not excited about it.”
And you kinda get frustrated too, and the motivation isn’t completely there. So I definitely felt like these things I looked at, I wanted to go for a run and I just said “Eh it’s not so great right now.” Or even relationships, you don’t really feel like reaching out to people as much because there just isn’t that sense of joy in that moment. Again it feels like you’re just in a cloud and everything there’s not much excitement there. So yeah I definitely would agree.
Chris: For me it transferred into my professional life as well I would say, where you find yourself trying to work up to the point where you felt optimistic and enthusiastic and motivated enough to send that email or get that task done. And there were so many other things that seemed like they would require a lower cognitive gear that seemed much more appealing at that time. And I don’t know whether you ever noticed that kind of thing.
Sarah: Yeah I definitely would say I almost felt like I was in survival mode. Fast forward to opening up my yoga studio, I was super excited about it. And then once everything started to compound, I just said I just gotta get the key things done. I have to put out my classes, I need to teach my classes and then right after I would maybe go for a nap instead of maybe looking at different things I could mark it to or reach out to people, I just said I need to do the low level – low hanging fruit I had to grasp instead of trying to go above and beyond because I just didn’t have the energy, I just didn’t mentally feel like doing it. I knew I needed to – again, I was very conscious of it – but underneath, I was just so tired and just felt bleh.
Chris: Maybe this would be a good moment for me to read to you the different perspectives section from Tommy’s fantastic highlights email series. If you go to nourishbalancethrive.com/highlights, you can sign up for this email sequence. So it’s stripped to you in a weekly instalment. The reason we like delivering it in that way is because it gives you a chance to think about things carefully and then decide whether or not you’re going to implement it in your life. But anyway, one of the sections in the email is the Different Perspectives and the number 25 tommy writes about oral contraceptive pills and depression.
This can be borrowing a different perspective from Kelly Brogan who wrote an interesting blogpost on how oral contraceptives may increase the risk of depression and autoimmunity. The potential mechanisms are fascinating and line up quite nicely with the blogpost I read a while back, on the serotonin kynurenine pathways. Many of the problematic aspects of oral contraceptives seem to boil down to an increase in inflammation, which changes the metabolism of tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an amino acid, remember – in the aforementioned pathways and Tommy links to the review papers here. While there are too many to list here, a great number of studies show a higher level of inflammation are associated with depression and worse mental health. Now I’m certainly not – and Tommy here writes, “I confess to not being an expert in the contraceptive arena.
But if you’re currently taking OCPS – that’s oral contraceptive pills – or want an alternative, I highly recommend listening to Julie Entores discuss the fertility awareness method on the Paleo Baby podcast. I will of course, link to all these things in the show ones from this episode, so maybe we just need to stop and unwind and unravel this thing - that contraceptive pill didn’t work so well for you. So Sarah, can you tell me what you’ve found that works better than the contraceptive pill?
Sarah: So I had started with the female awareness method. I starting reading the Taking Charge of Your Fertility book, which definitely opened my eyes to different ways that you can kind of chart your own cycle. And personally use the basal thermometer and there’s a bunch of different options from the 10 buck basal thermometer that you get on Amazon, to some electronic forms. I use one that’s called the Daisy which can plug right into my phone and it just charts my temperature every morning.
So if you think about it, instead of taking a pill, you just take your temperature. And I started to do that and over time it starts to notice what your temperatures are and it lays it out on a graph, and it tells you…works for both women who don’t wanna get pregnant and that do wanna get pregnant, and it will kind of start to mark down the days to when you ovulate, when you suspect you’re gonna get your period and it also compares it to data of other women also using the Daisy so you get a little bit more accurate. So I think that’s the benefit of using it.
So I’ve been using it for almost a year now – there’s no hormones involved, it literally takes 60 seconds a day and it also kind of forced me to notice my own body and changes throughout the month. There’s a little note section, I can indicate if I have any cramping perhaps. You can also indicate another way is your cervical mucus, kind of noticing the changes in that as well and you just get more in tune with you which is something that I was never taught.
I was taught to go to the doctor and just get a pill and not think twice, but now there’s a chance I can notice things about my body and it definitely has been an awesome thing for me and I definitely recommend it. But you definitely have to trust yourself and it is a process for sure, because I did not think I was ever gonna get off the pill until I was gonna get pregnant, and that has completely changed.
Chris: That’s amazing. It’s a powerful testimonial to the book and to the app. I will of course link to those things in the show notes. I can also give testimonial to this method; that it’s worked both ways for Judy, my wife and I. It’s great for contraception which is probably what most people want. But then also Judy‘s now 6 months pregnant, 99% sure she got pregnant on the first attempt because of course when you understand your cycle, you know when you’re gonna be ovulating, then when you’re gonna get pregnant.
Even just a few years ago – I’m not sure I completely understood this – you couldn’t really…the chance of you getting pregnant at any time during the cycle – were actually quite low. And so Really in order to not get pregnant, you just needed to avoid maybe just a few days around ovulation. Is that what you’ve been doing?
Sarah: Yeah exactly. So at the moment I don’t wanna get pregnant quite yet, so I’ve used it on the side of noticing when I could get pregnant and then not having sex during that time or using another form of contraceptive. Yes and you’re definitely correct, you ovulate one day during the month. It lasts for about 24 hours and if you do happen to ovulate a second time, it would happen during that 24 hours.
Sarah: The catch is that if you do have intercourse before you ovulate, sperm lasts in the system for about 5 days. I mean of course read the book but it lasts about 5 days so you have about a 5 to 6 day window when you could probably get pregnant. But besides that, it’s very unlikely during the other times of the month and I don’t think women know this.
So they think everyday I could get pregnant or I just need to walk past a person, I could get pregnant. And it’s again trusting your body, learning about your own body and knowing that you don’t have to put chemicals into your system as long as you know a little bit more about you. And I think that’s that beauty of it.
Chris: Yes very empowering and of course I would want my daughter to know this at the appropriate age rather than just going to the doctor and being prescribed a pill that probably is no biological free lunch, right? There’s probably gonna be a downside to taking the pill, as we’ve seen.
Chris: Talk to me about what you’ve learned about food. In the beginning, you talked about gluten sensitivity and sugar cravings. Can you talk more about that?
Sarah: Sure, so I’ve always been a person who loves carbohydrates and sugars like a lot of people.
Chris: Who doesn’t?
Sarah: Yeah who doesn’t love it? But I think I started to learn as I started to shift my diet and also take care of some of the bacteria I had in my system. I didn’t crave it as much once my hormones started balancing out. Again I didn’t crave it as much and it became less of a place of willpower, then I just felt more in balance so I didn’t really care too much about it. I felt that was an interesting experience for me, as once I started to balance everything out, I didn’t crave it anymore and it just became a way of life of not having it. Doesn’t mean I don’t have it sometimes but it’s more of a choice instead of ‘I need it’. But yeah I just started to shift just little aspects of my diet. I was a little bit gluten-free – and I hate to say that a little bit.
Chris: It’s like being a little bit pregnant.
Sarah: I know, exactly. So I would do little bits of time where I wouldn’t have gluten at all and then I started to shift into a place where I cut it out of my diet because I did know I was sensitive to it. I wasn’t celiac but it was sensitive to gluten. And then I would also just start to eat more whole foods. I did start to drink bulletproof coffee, even though coffee people is controversial. But including fats in my diet definitely sated me a little bit more, which was a big thing.
I think even still having grass fed butter or even ghee for people who don’t wanna have butter, I was using a little bit of MCT oil – just a little bit because it can affect your digestive system. But just bringing that more into my diet and getting a variety of different types of foods and vegetables and knowing that you can get a lot of your nutrients from that.
So link it back to being on the pill, I was definitely nutrient deficient from B vitamins and magnesium and my iron was very low and I had very low energy of course because of that. So I had to – while I was getting off of it – start to supplement with different types of food and look into what foods carry these nutrients. So again it was kind of education, at the same time trying out things I hadn’t tried out before, but slowly. You have to start out with little bits, or else you get overwhelmed.
Chris: So that approach worked best for you. For some people – myself included – getting off sugar was a Bandaid that was better ripped off. Don’t try and slowly decrease intake, I just had to get over with this quickly as possible and out of my life and out of the house as well, for that matter. It’s no good having that box of cereal looking at you every time you open the cupboard door. But how did you find it? Did you find it better to rip the Bandaid off or did you – as you just said – make the changes more slowly when it came to sugar and refined carbohydrates?
Sarah: Well I think for me, I definitely need it out of the house. I can’t have it around because I can’t regulate it, I can’t just take one cookie and I’m good – I’ll eat the entire bag. So when it came to sugar, I just needed to take those things away. But when it came to incorporating different types of food, when I taught my head I need to bring in different vegetables or fruits, I just chose a few different items I would try week 1. Then the next week I would include a different type of vegetable and then I would slowly learn about each one and then kind of bring them into my diet. I probably stuck a little bit more when it came to carbohydrates. I would just pick ones that weren’t as processed but I would slowly start to pull them out of my system. But when it came to processed foods, I would just get rid of them and then maybe have things like oatmeal or just oats and rice, then slowly wean off of that a little bit more. So probably more like that, more just take cold turkey with the processed type of foods and then wean off of the other types of carbohydrates.
Chris: Does carbohydrates have much of an effect on your yoga performance? I don’t know anything about yoga and I wonder about the glycolytic demands of the activity. Do you find that if you don’t have carbs, you do worse at the type of yoga that you do?
Sarah: It really depends and I would sometimes add more fats into my diet, which definitely helped with carbohydrates. I think that they are good because they would give me some energy if I was in the mode of kind of burning off glucose for energy, because I do have in my yoga – its Vinyasa based so it’s a a little bit quicker. I have some hot yoga which does demand a little bit more energy.
Chris: It looks like hard work to me. I’ve never done it but it looks like hard work.
Sarah: Yeah it’s great. It is definitely physically demanding but in different ways and it also pulls in the mental aspects as well. Again very holistic, incorporating the mind, the body, movement – all of that, absolutely.
Chris: Speaking of which, at the beginning do you remember we talked about you have a tendency to get stressed easily on a daily basis. Can you talk about that?
Sarah: Yeah so I’ve always wanted to be a little bit more anxious, it’s kind of motivated me to do things. But I’ve always had that tendency and I think everything I’ve gone through from the birth control to having other issues in my system caused me to be a little bit more anxious and then leading to different food choices and different habits. Also kind of feel like you’re on a roller coaster, almost, one that you don’t feel you can get off and after going through this program, I definitely feel as if I’m a little bit more balanced.
And I think I was always drawn to things like yoga or anything calming, tuning in to help me with that. But anxiety definitely plays a role and I think it definitely limits you from a lot. Again, you don’t realise that until you actually feel better. And I think a lot of people walk around and they don’t realise how bad they actually feel and how good they can actually feel just by they think they’re healthy and going about their daily activities and that they just feel not so great. And I don’t think many people understand that, I was just…
Chris: Well how can you? You can’t know how someone else feels so it’s almost impossible to know.
Sarah: Exactly, exactly.
Chris: And is there anything other than yoga that you found to be helpful for managing your stress? One of the things – and I don’t mean to be asking too leading of a question but I’ll just tell you about an experience that I’ve been having over the last few years. And that’s the…it’s very helpful to reframe things, so the first person I heard talk about this was Simon Marshall and he talked about how you feel stressed out at the beginning of a race. You’re having these feelings that you don’t want, you start questioning why you signed up for the race, why my hands are all clammy and I can’t stop going to the bathroom and I feel a little bit sick, and what if I crash and break a collarbone?
You start having these feelings you don’t want. But then when you turn things around and you reframe them and start thinking about “The reason my hands are clammy right now is because I wanna get a better grip on my bars” and “It’s good I’m going to the bathroom 60 times because then I’m gonna be lighter in the race.” You can do this for anything. So for example, last week I got two flat tires and on the first one it was like a race; how well can I change this flat tire?
Because this is probably gonna come up in a bike race at some point and I wanna execute this as well as I possibly can. So this is an opportunity, this is not something to get stressed about. This is an opportunity for me to test how well I can change a flat tire.
And when I got the 2nd one, I thought “Well this is a chance for me to do some more walking which is probably something I should be doing anyway rather than being in a seated position spinning little circles all the time.” So this idea of reframing things, I think can be really helpful in managing stress. Sorry I’ll stop talking about myself now and ask you if you have any other ways that you are able to better manage stress.
Sarah: I definitely agree reframing and perspective shifting is so important and it definitely is a practice. You have to do it again and again. I’ve learned mindfulness and meditation are really key in my life that I’ve incorporated and you would think I would’ve been doing it consistently for years having doing yoga and Yoga studio. But you can sometimes forget about it very easily and I certainly did.
Over the past year, I’ve been incorporating it a little bit more. And it doesn’t need to be just sit in an EZ seat and be still, it can be sitting on your porch and watching the birds. It can be you’re in the middle of traffic and recognising when you get anxious and you just start to kinda watch the cars around you. You notice it’s a nice day out and in these moments you can find a place of mindfulness.
It doesn’t have to be completely sectioned off but I definitely have incorporated that. I’ve incorporated ritual in my day, I personally like to run and it’s again very meditative and I feel like it kinda shakes out all of my emotions. And I know that sounds a little crazy or a little woohoo but it really does. I think we definitely collect a lot of emotions in our body and it can manifest into physical experiences or symptomatology.
Sarah: So for me running, even actually jumping up and down on the earth – talk about grounding and reconnecting with nature. I literally go outside, put my bare feet in the earth and kinda just shake a little bit. I do dry skin brushing so it’s great for flushing out the lymphatic system but it’s also part of my system. It kind of rebalances me each day and it doesn’t have to take that long but just finding things that resonate for you I think is so important. So those are a couple of the little things I do.
Chris: Yeah I really love it and I feel that’s what I spend a lot of my time doing. It’s not really handing over a prescription although we do have a fantastic playbook that Tommy’s been putting together over the last few years. It’s really about empowering people with knowledge and letting them be their own expert, like finding the thing that’s gonna be best for you I think is very important. Talk to me about your circadian rhythm. So one of the things…you did a urinary Dutch test and I know that these adrenal stress profile saliva test and maybe even the urine test as well have been getting a bad rep lately.
People starting to question “What the heck did you just measure? What do you even know?” Is it a good idea to start forcing physiology? Maybe cortisol is low because your brain wants it to be low and so why would you ever try and force it? I would agree with many of those sentiments but the main reason we keep doing the Dutch test is because we think the circadian rhythm is very important in biology. And because of the timed nature of the collection on the Dutch test, it enables us to measure circadian rhythm.
So we can see this pattern of cortisol and we know what the shape of the curve should look like. And when it doesn’t look like the way that we expect, we can talk with the person about what their daily routine looks like, what their exposure to light looks like, what time they’re eating. And those are variables that we can usually manipulate and therefore improve the shape of that curve circadian rhythm and then biology overall.
So your circadian rhythm did look kind of off. Your cortisol and waking responses were quite weak and then a peak of cortisol happens later in the afternoon, almost as if you were using some kind of stimulant – maybe caffeine, maybe exercise to get going in the afternoon where otherwise you might start to feel low. So I don’t know, does that ring true with your experience? Can you talk about what your day looks like now you’ve properly trained your circadian rhythm?
Sarah: Absolutely. So I was always a person that it took me a little bit of time to fall asleep. But once I was asleep, I would probably wanna sleep forever. And I didn’t really have those signals that went off to wake up besides an alarm clock. And then definitely in the afternoon, I would get kind of that afternoon slump. Most people think it’s just normal and they think “Oh this is my time to drink a cup of coffee” and that’s definitely something I did.
So I had a look at my whole entire system in my day and I do wanna bring up light because I thought that that was really important. So at night, I switched out my lightbulb with a red lightbulb and then I downloaded Flux on my computer so that my screen has a red tint to it; same on my phone. I’m no longer getting blue lights to keep me up. That way melatonin is produced and I’m able to get more sleepy, and now I fall asleep pretty good.
I’m forcing myself also to get to sleep before midnight so all of my hormones would be produced in the proper amount. And then in the morning I would wake up and take a look outside at the sun, stand on the ground, kind of show my body “Okay I’m awake, I’m ready. Get going.” And again, these things are free and they’re also things that take 2 seconds to do.
Once you have everything like the lightbulb and stuff like that going, I feel like its part of your day. You don’t have to put any more energy or effort into it, and then you end up sleeping a lot better. So I started doing that – having my rituals at night instead of being in front of the TV watching a show, I would read or just do anything away from electronics. Turn off the WiFi, it’s just reaching my system to calm down.
Eating earlier instead of later so my body was more calm when I went to bed. So those are a few things – I diffuse a scented oil, so lavender at night to help calm my system as well. So just a bunch of little activities I would do, and over time it takes a couple weeks to just get those habits going but those are a few things I would end up doing as well.
Chris: I love it. It’s so simple, so easy and so low risk as well. Going back to the fertility awareness method, it’s that same thing. Is there a biological free lunch? Probably not. Is there gonna be a downside to taking this pill? Well maybe but is there a downside to taking a walk outside first thing in the morning? Or avoiding light at night? Probably not, right? Seems like a very low risk activity to me and that’s why I love some of these interventions.
Chris: Let’s talk about your gut. We did a traditional stool culture, the doctor’s data traditional stool culture – which is so untrendy now, there’s so many different technologies coming out to measure what’s going on in the gut. It’s so uncool but as Tommy keeps pointing out to me, the traditional stool culture is still the gold standard in microbiology. And one of the nice things they do with a traditional stool culture is the sensitivity test.
So they find something which is potentially not good – some kind of microbe – and then they go on and test that microbe for various different agents, be they herbal or prescription medicine so you can then make an informed decision on what you might like to supplement with in order to correct some of the problems that you found. And I have to say for you Sarah…I mean I don’t know if you mind me publishing, can I publish the before and after in the show notes?
Sarah: Yeah sure.
Chris: There was a bunch of microbes, I wouldn’t like to blame all of this stuff that we talked about just on theses microbes – klebsiella for example – but it has been shown to be a potential trigger for certain types of autoimmunity and it’s questionable at best. Just taking some herbs – there’s a brand called Raintree’s Formulas, makes a product called CF. And Oregano oil – the essential oil – did a fantastic job. It’s so simple. We’re always looking for the fancy next gut protocol that’s going to sort out our guts and those simple to use product seems to have done an amazing job on your gut. And we know that because we did the retest and I can publish the before and after in the show notes, you can have a look at this.
Chris: Talk to me about your transition. So maybe it’s not a transition or not a very big one because seeing this quite a lot with the people that we’re working with, there are many of them on a path as I was. In the beginning in 2011, I was working as a computer programmer in the back office of a hedge fund, perhaps not totally delighted with the work that I was doing. And now I just can’t get enough of what I do, so it seems like I’ve found my purpose in life and I think this is also very important for long term sustained health and maybe athletic performance as well.
And many of the people that we work with, they seem to be going through the same transition. They do some tests, they find out some really interesting stuff about their body, they spend some time doing research and they’re like “Oh that’s what [00:33:13] [indiscernible]”. They do their own research and they’re motivated by the test results that they just received.
Then they start thinking about “You know what? My job is not that much fun. How much fun would it be to do this type of work for other people? I feel like that’s something I can really enjoy.” I wondered whether that’s what you were thinking and maybe have you found greater purpose in your life with some of the new things, the new projects that you’re working on now?
Sarah: Absolutely. So I have always been interested in health and wellness for years and years but I think it took on a new definition for me in the recent years and during this experience. So I’m excited because I just became a bulletproof coach, so I do some wellness coaching and just kind of starting that myself and really got excited about it after going through that there are ways in order to feel better and to function more optimally.
And so I’m excited to kind of incorporate that in with my yoga. It’s definitely something that I’m looking forward to share with other people because I think you definitely have to have an experience like this to really know how it feels and to see the other side of it and that it’s possible to feel good and to find what you’re looking for to do in your life and how to just love life and to feel a lot better. So I’m definitely looking forward to incorporating wellness coaching myself in my own practice.
Chris: Talk to me about the bulletproof certification. So one of my most frequently asked questions is what did you do? What was your education? How did you learn all this stuff? And the answer is it’s complicated and spread all around the internet. I had really great luck starting with the Carn Academy, the Organic chemistry and I went on, I did some of Bryan Walsh’s training courses, particularly the Metabolic Fitness Pro, it was incredibly helpful.
I did the Kaleef certification, I did the functional diagnostic nutrition which is also helpful. And of course I’m being mentored very closely by Dr Tommy Wood for the past few years and that’s probably been the most helpful thing of all. But talk to me about the bulletproof certification because I’ve not even really looked at it, let alone done it. So tell me about it.
Sarah: Yeah so I work with a client and we discover their goals, and from there I’m able to help them create new habits and if I notice something might be going on deeper in their system, perhaps they need more testing done then I would hand it over to someone else perhaps like you or a functional doctor to maybe dig in a little bit deeper. So having awareness of all these different tests that you can get done and having other resources, I can connect with a community of wellness professionals. So kind of joining together goals and empowerment and also testing on a functional level as well. So that’s kind of my piece of the puzzle that I would offer a client.
Chris: I think that’s fantastic and I think that the things that are moving the needle the most for our clients are some of the things we’ve talked about in this interview – circadian rhythm, diet quality, appropriate stress management, having a purpose, getting adequate sleep at night. These are the things which I think are more important and everybody can and probably should be doing before you even get into the testing. So I think you’re doing really important work and being the navigator is also important. We do that for our clients all the time too, like where do you go next? I can be the guy holding a signpost saying “You probably wanna go this way.” Maybe I can’t help you but I can facilitate you find someone that perhaps can help you and I think that that’s important work too.
Chris: How was – I just wanna ask you a little bit about the logistics of the training. Did you go somewhere in person or was it all done online in videos?
Sarah: The first two days in-person workshops in Pasadena before the bulletproof conference. So we had training with Dr Mark Atkinson and a couple other trainers as well. So we were able to meet everyone and then from there we had an online training and then we had teleconference communication with everyone else in the program and we were able to do practice calls. So it was pretty exciting because we felt definitely connected with other people in the group.
And then some of it was us doing practice sessions with people and then we had to send a recording in and do a bunch of other things. So we did learn a lot as well when it came to nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle habits. So it was a nice combination between mindfulness and kind of the raw facts as well that we learned. So definitely a great experience I would recommend.
Chris: That’s amazing. So you are now seeing clients, people can come to your website and book an appointment with you?
Sarah: Yup. So I have a website, its called satyahealthandwellness.com. So Satya means truth, so that word has always resonated with me and I always wanna help people find their purpose, their own truth. So I named that and it kinda goes along with my yoga studio, Truly Yoga. So my goal in life is just to help people get through all of their crap and discover themselves and do what they love and be who they wanna be. So that’s definitely something. If anyone is interested, please contact me or even if you have questions of course.
Chris: That’s amazing. Congratulations, I’m really excited for you. Thank you.
Sarah: Thank you.
Chris: Cheers then Sarah.
Sarah: Alright bye bye.
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