New Dietary Approach to Jumpstart Metabolism and Improve Menopausal Health
FeaturingAnna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG
Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I’m your host, Rebekah Kelley, and today we’ll be discussing the upcoming book MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep and Hot Flashes, with author Dr. Anna Cabeca. Before I introduce Dr. Cabeca, I want to remind everyone to subscribe and get all the other variety of casts in audio, video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.
Dr. Anna Cabeca is a triple board certified and a fellow of gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Nationally known as “the girlfriend doctor,” Dr. Anna is a passionate health advocate for women, helping them to truly thrive in body, mind and spirit. She’s the author of two highly acclaimed books, creator of several popular virtual transformational programs, created several top-selling health products, and is a sought-after lecturer throughout the world.
And we are lucky to have her here today. Thank you for being with us, Dr. Anna.
Anna Cabeca: It is a pleasure to be here with you. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Rebekah Kelley: So I just want to jump right in and say most approaches to managing menopause really seem to focus on medications and/or supplements. And are we leaving out an important factor, a.k.a. diet?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that we know now more than ever, although not necessarily trained in medical school, that food is medicine. Food is medicine. And as a physician now for gosh, 30 years, it’s been one of the most impactful therapies that I can provide to any patient, any client, especially as we go through menopause. Things have to change.
Rebekah Kelley: So, what are a few of the most important do’s and don’ts when it comes to making food choices, especially when you’re entering menopause or in menopause?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah, the number one thing is, as we get older, we become more insulin resistant, meaning our body doesn’t handle our sugar as well. And we can have a higher risk of diabetes, pre-diabetes. Once we hit menopause, that goes up significantly. And one of the biggest things that we have to do in our diet is to break up with sugar. So, I was saying break up with that toxic ex-boyfriend, sugar. [Laughs] And maybe some people listening will understand what I mean when I say toxic ex-boyfriend.
Rebekah Kelley: I really love that boyfriend though, but yes, I know. [Both laugh]
Anna Cabeca: Totally. Just so not good for me. Just so not good for me. Love him. Love him.
Rebekah Kelley: That’s exactly right. So what else, what are some other do’s and don’ts?
Anna Cabeca: The other thing that we have trouble with, and I have trouble convincing women, is that we need more fats in our diet. We need more fats for healthy, quality cholesterol, which our hormones are derived from. So healthy, high-quality fats. That’s really important. Good clean protein without hormones or antibiotics. Ideal, right? We want to use our own hormones naturally. And low carbohydrate, dark leafy greens, and micro greens and herbs and spices that are alkalinizing and support healthy gut microbiome. So these few little switches, and I will throw in with intermittent fasting, is essential, not just a good idea in menopause, but mandatory, in my opinion.
Rebekah Kelley: Okay. Awesome. So, in your book you offer five different food plans. Do you have your book? Can you just hold it up and show it for the people who are watching this?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah. [Holds up book.]
Rebekah Kelley: MenuPause. I love the name. That’s such a great name. And I love that, I was looking through it, I love that, I don’t know, I thought of it as kind of a do-it-yourself manual to make, you know… Beautiful, beautiful.
So the five different food plans. Can you share why you chose that and what they mean and how to apply them?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah, absolutely. Writing this book has been part of a journey. So in working with my own history through early menopause and infertility at 39, to reversing it again at 48, I established this Keto Green way. So my first book, The Hormone Fix, I would say it takes more than hormones to fix your hormones, and that’s what I address it in that book. And then that led me, working with tens of thousands of clients online, women online, going through menopause and following the plan, we have that amazing success. And then we have to change things up. So that came Keto Green 16 – short, concise 16-day plan with pushing that intermittent fasting window to 16 hours.
And then over the last year, 2 years, we see where… when it happens to a lot of us in menopause, we’re doing everything right, but what we’re doing stops working. So we hit a plateau. And so to break through the plateau, just like we cross-train our muscles, we have to cross-train our diet. And so in implementing these little shifts, okay, this person’s in a plateau, let’s try this, let’s switch this up. And just these little breaks, in as little as 6 days, we can break through a plateau and get your metabolism, mitochondria on fire again. And that just is so key to having a healthy hormone balance and healthy menopause, before menopause, post-menopause – this timeframe. So the plans were designed to, in a short amount of time, in 6 days, to change things, to change things up, to break through a plateau. And each plan pauses, something different.
Rebekah Kelley: So, do you mind talking about maybe one of your… do you have a success story around how someone had used it and how you kind of figured this out and started implementing that might resonate with a listener or viewer?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah, absolutely. And even in my own life, too, figuring this out, trying different plans – like going carnivore, for instance, and that’s one of the plans, a more carnivore plan, really restricted carbohydrates, and then hitting a plateau there and gaining weight on carnivores. There’s no carbs, what’s going on, right? And then being in a very low carbohydrate plan for a while, needing to carb up. And so I’ve seen many women in my programs, they did amazing. They had tremendous success, weight loss, etc. And then they hit that plateau. One client, Mary, she just stayed away from all carbs. She stayed very Keto Green Extreme, and one of the triggers for her was if she ate something sweet, that would trigger her eating disorder again. So I knew I needed to increase her carbs in a very healthy way that wouldn’t trigger that. So again, the healthy fats is going to decrease that blood sugar spike and valley that can be part of that contribution, but also that sweet tooth. So I have a carb up plan – sometimes we’re so restricted, we need to add carbs back into our diet. And she’s like, okay, I can do it for 6 days. And then she went right back to Keto Green Extreme and it was just an amazing transition.
In my “girlfriend doctor” community, we ran through my cleanse. The most restrictive plan is my cleanse plan. So, in my community, we ran through that plan with a few dozen women and… so it’s smoothies and bone broth, and it’s a liver-gallbladder cleanse, a shot of olive oil with lemon juice first thing in the morning, and the women were like, oh no, I’m not going to do this. But let me tell you, by day 3, 4 they felt amazing. We had one woman in 6 days release 10 pounds, 11 pounds of toxic waste. So we say that’s toxic waste, and her waistline improving. And she, I mean, I didn’t want to believe that result. I was like, how could you do that? She goes, yup and then I went through Thanksgiving. I gained one pound back, but I’ve maintained the 10-pound weight loss.
And so sometimes it’s just that time to heal, to decrease inflammation. The theory behind the 6 days is that our gut lining regenerates every 72 hours. So that’s 3 days. So two 72-hour cycles seems to be just enough to have that healthy repair and reset that can give us that little boost.
Rebekah Kelley: That’s amazing. That’s really amazing. And then I also loved your last chapter,”Pause What No longer Serves You.” I found that to be very freeing because I think at some times, we get in habits of things and I think, you know, you almost gave permission to change things up. What inspired that?
Anna Cabeca: Thank you. Thank you. So I say there’s magic in the pauses, right? And it’s not just about what we eat. Can we pause something that we’re doing, pausing negative thoughts. That’s so toxic to us, especially as women. I’m always saying, get that nasty bitch off your shoulder. You would never talk to your child that way. Don’t talk to yourself that way. And so…
Rebekah Kelley: It’s so true.
Anna Cabeca: It’s a huge part of health and healing, and we’re our own worst critics sometimes. And sometimes we are, we’re doing… we’re doing more than we can at this moment. We have to refuel. And from that place of giving from healed, healthy, loving space is quite different. I’ve worked with many women. And I learned this from my friend, Dr. Jen Landa, that resentment is lack of self care. So if you’re feeling resentful towards your work, towards your partner, towards your kids, it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves. And that’s internal, that’s psychologic, physical, emotional health. And no one’s going to do it for us. We need to do it for ourselves.
Rebekah Kelley: That is brilliant because I can actually hear myself complaining in certain situations in the past. And you’re exactly right. I was not really taking care of myself. I was projecting onto others [chuckles] my lack of self care. That’s brilliant. I love that. Really brilliant.
Anna Cabeca: Me too. It’s always that checkpoint, you know – did I sleep well? Did I eat well? Did I do my gratitude journaling? Did I pray or meditate? And beyond anything else that we can do… those oxytocin-increasing behaviors, so the hormone of love, bonding and connection – my absolute favorite hormone. And really I consider it the crowning hormone. It’s a very regal hormone. It’s also the most alkalinizing hormone. So there’s that balance to stress, and the antidote to stress is oxytocin. So is that self-care, self-love, the love that we show others, the gratitude that we can have to have a good, healthy conversation, to be in community. And, that’s… it goes beyond what we put in our mouth.
Rebekah Kelley: Well, and that’s… I mentioned that last chapter, but actually the introduction also was one where you talked about the support, and you talked about your experience of how you traveled and visited other healers. And you gave some part of your story, right? You said you wanted to go out and travel and experience different healers. And one of the things that you stated was that you noticed that outside of our culture, there were these other cultures that had this amazing support system and sense of community. And I think, especially now with so many of us being quarantined, that’s another aspect that I think I really noticed missing, and it’s something that I really want to build. So while at the same time I’m looking at what doesn’t serve me anymore, that really does serve me and making room and space for it, I think is so important. And thank you for discussing that.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today about MenuPause?
Anna Cabeca: Just again, there’s magic in the pause. And we have to look at menopause, whether we’re having peri-menopause symptoms or beyond, that it’s a natural transition. And I want to emphasize that. We can breeze into the second spring of our lives, empowered and liberated and confident and sexy and gorgeous. And there’s no timeline on that.
Rebekah Kelley: I love that. Thanks Dr. Cabeca. These are really valuable insights. Dr. Cabeca can be found at wwwDrAnna. That’s D R A N N A.com. Also, you can get her book on Amazon, MenuPause. And you said that it’s actually the top-selling book this week?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah, number one in menopause. Yeah.
Rebekah Kelley: So proud of you.
Anna Cabeca: Thank you, thank you.
Rebekah Kelley: But let me remind you guys to subscribe, get access to all Humanized videos, podcasts and transcriptions from all of our thought leaders on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com. Thanks so much for being with us.