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Keto Chat Episode 127: Dr. Bikman Shares the #1 Thing You Should NOT do to Reverse Insulin Resistance

About Dr. Bikman:

Benjamin Bikman earned his Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders. Currently, his professional focus as a scientist and associate professor (Brigham Young University) is to better understand the role of elevated insulin in regulating obesity and diabetes, including the relevance of ketones in mitochondrial function.

Purchase Dr. Bikman’s Book: Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease―and How to Fight It here.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

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Transcription: 

Carole Freeman:
Hey, welcome everyone to our live guest expert interview today for our keto lifestyle crew. Hey, it’s Carole. You know who I am, but I am… Oh my gosh, you guys, I’m so excited about our guest this month, Dr. Benjamin Bikman. Oh my god, I’m going to read your bio off the back of your book. By the way, he wrote a book. When we get sick, I’ve recommended it to all of you. Pretty much everyone in our membership has bought the book, so they’ve done their homework here. I’m just going to read your bio off the back of the book because I think it’s a perfect place to start.

Carole Freeman:
Benjamin Bikman earned his PhD in bio engineer. Every time I read it in my head, I can say it, and then I can’t say it out loud, bioenergetics, and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Duke National University of Singapore studying metabolic disorders. Currently, his professional focus as a scientist and professor at BYU is to better understand the origins and consequences of metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, with a particular emphasis on the role of insulin. He frequently publishes his research in peer reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings. Welcome, Dr. Bikman.

Dr. Bikman:
Carole, thank you so much, delighted to have the time with you to talk about anything human metabolism.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. I’m so thankful that you’re taking the time. I know you’re on your whirlwind stay at home book tour right now. I can’t imagine how busy you are, but this is… I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out that this book came out because this is the book that we need. This is the book that everyone in this world needs to read. I’m not even joking about that, because, oh my gosh, the whole keto world that I’ve been in, this is the underlying piece, and a lot of people really miss it. I appreciate you being here. Thank you so much.

Dr. Bikman:
Well, my pleasure. In fact, thanks for pointing out the book. Really, to me, that book is the reason for keto. Whether people know it or not, at least to me, keto is used because of how effectively and how rapidly it improves insulin sensitivity, fighting insulin resistance, which itself is so fundamental to so many chronic diseases. That’s why so many things get better on keto. It’s because you’ve controlled your insulin.

Carole Freeman:
Wonderful. Wonderful. Well, let’s start out with the basics, if you don’t mind, because I know you speak a lot of professional conferences, but we’ve got just average people here. Let’s start out with some basics so that we can… These are things that we talked about and needs to be refreshed constantly, because they’re just not topics that people are used to hearing about in school. Let’s start with the basics. What is insulin?

Dr. Bikman:
Insulin is a little hormone that is… It is in fact quite small, that is flowing through… I mean, quite small compared to other hormones, even. It’s flowing through our blood. It comes from the pancreas, and then moves all through the body, and literally tells every cell in the body to do something. Every cell in the body has insulin receptors. That is not that common among hormones, where every single cell is affected. There are others, but insulin is one of them. The general theme of insulin is telling cells to store things, take in energy and store it and make something with it.

Dr. Bikman:
It’s anabolic. It’s building things up, so if all of us have insulin flowing through our blood right now, unless the person is a type one diabetic, that is a disease of no or too little insulin because the cells in the pancreas that make the insulin are getting destroyed. That’s the autoimmune disease. But other than that, it’s a hormone flowing through our blood. We most typically identify it or recognize it with its effects on glucose. The most common effect of insulin is to lower glucose, but that’s not fair to insulin. It does a lot more than that.

Carole Freeman:
It’s a much bigger player. A silly question, is insulin bad? Should we get rid of all of our insulin?

Dr. Bikman:
It is not bad. When people don’t have it, like untreated type one diabetes, it is lethal. Within weeks to months, you’ll die, so you must have this hormone. It is simply in our environment. We have too much, and so the hero becomes the villain.

Carole Freeman:
Well, I fear that insulin may go down the same path that cholesterol did for a while, right? Like, “Cholesterol is bad. We should get rid of all of it,” and the same thing is [crosstalk 00:04:58] insulin.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s right. We want to make sure that we’re being… I want to make sure I’m being nuanced in how I talk about this. It is not just an outright villain. Like, people, there’s more dimensions to this character here. Like I said, in normal levels, insulin is our friend. In the levels most people have it, it is not their friend. It’s gone beyond.

Carole Freeman:
Those of you that are watching right now, go ahead and put your comments or your questions for Dr. Bikman in the comments. I’m going to get to those very shortly. I just wanted to set some foundational things here with him first for you. Go ahead. I know some of you have to leave early, too, so go ahead and put your questions in there. Heather, I’ve grabbed your question already as well too. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that. The next logical step here then is what is insulin resistance? That’s also a concept that’s a little tricky for people to understand.

Dr. Bikman:
I’m thrilled you’re asking, because it is so necessary to understand insulin resistance to then appreciate its role in other diseases. Insulin resistance is really two things together, well, in every case. It is that insulin isn’t working the same way it used to throughout the body, so some of the body cells aren’t responding to insulin like it normally does, like they used to. Then second, this phenomenon of not working well is coupled with too much insulin being in the blood, so what’s called hyperinsulinemia, so hyperinsulinemia, too much insulin and insulin not working the same way before throughout the body, those are the two sides of the coin, which is insulin resistance itself.

Carole Freeman:
Nice. Do you mind if I indulge you in my analogy I use for explaining what insulin resistance is?

Dr. Bikman:
Lay it on me.

Carole Freeman:
I want to see if you’ll love it. I equate it to a fire alarm. When blood sugar gets too high, insulin is that fire alarm telling the cells, “Quickly do something. Take this [inaudible 00:07:01] to get it down to normal levels.”

Dr. Bikman:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
But just like if we heard a fire alarm right now, both of us, the first time we heard it, we would take it very seriously. We would evacuate the building. But if we came back, and then two hours after that we heard another fire alarm, okay, maybe the second time again we’d take it seriously. But if every two hours or maybe every 30 minutes, we started to hear another fire alarm, we just get to like, “This is getting ridiculous.” We’d start to ignore it. We just go about our work. But what if there really was a fire every 30 to 60 minutes? The fire department would have to get more creative. They would have to come up with a louder fire alarm.

Carole Freeman:
They would have to have bells. They would have to have lights, and maybe go so far as having glittered cannons coming out like, “No, no, really, really, it’s another fire, I promise. Take it seriously.” That’s the analogy I use to explain what happens is the cells just start to… They get overwhelmed with this constant fire alarm signal, and they just start to ignore it because they got work to do otherwise.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s perfect. In fact, what I like about your analogy is that you’re also touching on the causes of insulin resistance. The main cause, as I identify it, is too much insulin. It’s funny because someone just heard me describe too much insulin as being part of insulin resistance. It is, but too much insulin, just along with your analogy, is one of the causal factors. It is a fundamental feature of biology. Too much of a stimulus will result in a resistance to that stimulus. The cell or the body will start to… Just like what you said, it will start to stop listening.

Dr. Bikman:
It won’t hear it as well as before. That’s almost a survival mechanism. “There’s too much of this. I have to stop responding to it.” Some cells do stop responding. Some don’t. They now then suffer just because there’s too much insulin telling them what to do. I like your analogy because it highlights the cause, but it also therein highlights the solution. If too much insulin is what’s driving insulin resistance, one of the key solutions is then lowering insulin.

Carole Freeman:
Yes, so we need to stop setting our metabolism on fire or trying to set it on fire.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes, that’s right.

Carole Freeman:
How do we know if we’re insulin resistant?

Dr. Bikman:
I like to joke that there’s an at-home test that you can take, and that is just, “Are you a little overweight, and do you have high blood pressure?” If someone has hypertension and they’re overweight, it’s very likely they have insulin resistance. I say that with some degree of confidence simply because hypertension is almost always a result of insulin resistance. It isn’t always, but almost always, and so if we couple the hypertension along with someone who’s a little overweight, it’s very likely to be insulin resistance. That’s the easiest way.

Dr. Bikman:
The most definitive way, of course, is actually getting a blood test. You can measure your insulin, or you combine your insulin, your glucose into the HOMA, H-O-M-A, equation. There are other ways. In fact, another one that’s convenient for people, if anyone has had a recent blood lipid test, take the triglyceride number divided by your HDL number. The triglycerides divided by HDL, if it’s less than 1.5, it’s a very good sign that you’re very likely insulin sensitive. If it’s higher than that number, if it’s getting up into the twos and beyond, then you’re very likely insulin resistant. Those are the best ways.

Carole Freeman:
I love this tip, actually, because a lot of my clients, they actually have to fight their doctor to do an insulin test. It’s crazy making that there’s a very simple test, and they get met with things like, “Oh, your insurance isn’t going to cover it,” but it’s not even that expensive of a test.

Dr. Bikman:
No.

Carole Freeman:
It’s like $26. This is a good one, because pretty much every doctor would be willing to run a lipid panel, and so we can use this as a proxy. That’s so great. I love that. Probably everyone already has that one, so optimal numbers, so one of the things… As I was listening to your books, I listened to it, and then I read it. One of the notes I wrote down that blew me away was that one point higher in insulin makes you 20% more insulin resistant. Can you break that down a little bit, and let us know what does that really mean?

Dr. Bikman:
Yes. If someone is coming in for regular checkups, let’s say, and the physician is friendly enough to this idea and measuring insulin, if you detect consistent rises in insulin, even modest, it’s that much more correlated. It is correlation with insulin resistance. The likelihood of you developing full blown insulin resistance just starts to magnify. It starts to grow. But still touching back on your analogy, insulin resistance is in a way, aptly defined as a disease of too much insulin. That is what type two diabetes is in actuality.

Dr. Bikman:
Type one diabetes is a disease of too little insulin. Type two diabetes is a disease of too much. What they have in common is that neither disease can control blood glucose very well. They’re both very intolerant. They cannot metabolize this molecule particularly well. In one hand, it’s because there’s not enough insulin to clear it. On the other, it’s because insulin isn’t working well enough to clear it.

Carole Freeman:
I love one of the things in your book. You came up with a really cool, succinct way of covering your dietary recommendations for reversing insulin resistance. Number one is control carbs. Number two is prioritize protein. I love the alliteration with these.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes, thank you. That was very deliberate.

Carole Freeman:
Number three is filled with fat, meaning the rest of your calories come from fat.

Dr. Bikman:
Yep. I’m very fat friendly just because it is the macronutrient with the least and often no effect on insulin. If we can appreciate the paradigm you and I just outlined that too much insulin is causing insulin resistance and the solution is to lower it, well, then the obvious way to lower it is just don’t eat anything, but that can’t… I mean, that’s not totally sustainable. Of course, you got to eat something at some point, so why not focus on the macronutrients, especially fat but also protein that have little or no effect on insulin? Eat those two together the way God intended, and just keep the carbohydrates in check.

Carole Freeman:
Now, I want to stop here and point out that your number two recommendation here is to prioritize protein. It’s not filled with fat first, prioritize protein. Would you agree that one of the biggest mistakes that people in the low carb and keto sphere do is that they restrict protein in trying to reverse insulin resistance that they go too far, and protein gets the…

Dr. Bikman:
Get the shaft?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Dr. Bikman:
In fact, that was part of the reason I laid it out the way I did. I didn’t like what I was seeing where there were people who were getting a lot of their calories from just MCT oil. I thought, “We have gone too far when we’re drinking fat to get our calories because that wouldn’t happen in nature.” Fat comes with protein. That’s how these foods come. The best protein sources come with fat. Positioning it the way I did, it was basically my way of saying when you put together a real meal, focus on the protein, but acknowledge that this is going to come with fat.

Dr. Bikman:
I may add fat to it. I may be putting butter on my steak or on my chicken or whatever. Good. Do it that way. Don’t say, “I’m going to have a bowl of butter, and I’m going to add protein into my butter.” I just didn’t want to… which is almost how some people look at it. I just didn’t quite like what I would see from time to time, and so that’s why I put it the way I did.

Carole Freeman:
Well, just like everything, all things in balance, and so we’ve got people that have just taken this message too far that we need to minimize insulin altogether. Do you have any comments on the idea that some people really think that fat is just this free food, and since it doesn’t have an insulin response, that it’s fine, and we can eat as much as we want of it? [inaudible 00:15:53].

Dr. Bikman:
Well, I do think that we can be pretty liberal with it. I really do. I say that just because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it work with people, where they don’t fear fat. They eat it very liberally, and they are just shedding pounds. Part of that is quite simply that if you’re keeping insulin low, you have a higher metabolic rate, and so if the person’s getting all that calorie from the fat, they are clearly getting it out. They’re clearly burning it. The energy has gone up. We have two ways that the body deals with those states of almost pure fat consumption, which again, I don’t think is natural, and I don’t encourage it.

Dr. Bikman:
But fine, let’s just go with it. One is what I just mentioned. If you’re keeping insulin low, metabolic rate is higher, even to the point of it being almost 300 calories a day higher than if you’re spiking insulin. That is a meaningful amount of calorie difference. But second, if you’re eating fat, and you’re keeping insulin low, you’re making a lot of ketones. Ketones are in one form eliminated from the body. When we convert ketones to acetone, which we do, we are breathing it out, or we’re urinating it out. Just appreciate then what a ketone is.

Dr. Bikman:
A ketone is a piece of metabolized fat. This was a fat molecule that we either had to store, or we had to burn. Well, we just wasted it. We just dumped it from the body, and that is energy. Ketones have an actual caloric value, and so we’re just pushing these calories back out into the universe, and we didn’t have to store them or burn them based on our metabolic rate. We just wasted them.

Carole Freeman:
I think I caught a key that you said there that maybe makes a big difference is that when your insulin is low optimal levels, then the fat amount is not something you have to worry about. Whereas perhaps when somebody still has pretty high insulin level, you’d go out to get that down lower.

Dr. Bikman:
Well said. Well said. Even still, I wouldn’t want someone to misinterpret. I am not advocating just eat fat anytime as much as you want. No, I just think that is unnatural. Eat fat with protein the way that they’re supposed to come together.

Carole Freeman:
I love that. I was listening to your keto connect interview today, the last couple of days. I just really love that, using an ancestral template of how does food come in nature. It was a big aha. Proteins and fats come together naturally in foods. Protein generally doesn’t come with the high amount of carbohydrates in food.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s right. That’s right.

Carole Freeman:
All of you out there listening, trying to think of a food that’s high protein and high in carbs, it just doesn’t exist, or maybe somebody is going to come up with some bizarre something, but-

Dr. Bikman:
It’s not common. It’s not common.

Carole Freeman:
Yes. Pam is actually asking here… Let me put this one on the screen here. Pam is asking, “How do we know when our insulin levels are just right?”

Dr. Bikman:
Pam, if you go get an insulin test and your insulin levels are at six micro units per mil or lower, then that’s perfect. Now, I will say there is some variability. Every hormone, there is a pattern to insulin. Again, every hormone has a cyclical pattern throughout the day, and insulin is no exception. If you see that it is even double that, if it’s in the low teens, it could still be okay. You might have just caught it at the peak. But if you get a low number like six and below, then you’re great.

Carole Freeman:
We also already got the proxy measurement too, the triglycerides divided by HDL, and you have that below 1.5.

Dr. Bikman:
I’d like to joke that’s the poor man’s method, but it’s very accurate.

Carole Freeman:
That’s great. Let’s see. Where are my leave offs and my questions here? Let’s see. Here’s a fun one. What are some of the mistakes, or what should people not do when they’re trying to reverse their insulin resistance?

Dr. Bikman:
I would say don’t drink smoothies. That’s something. I know that we love smoothies. I get it, but that is a terrible way to take food. Not that drinking food is inherently a problem. It’s just when you’re making a smoothie out of fruits and vegetables, you’re thinking you’re getting all this wonderful stuff, but you’re not. Don’t make smoothies. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, which I do consider is generally fine, with my first rule of control carbs, I basically just say, “Fruits and vegetables are fine, although there’s some nuance there, but eat them don’t drink them.”

Dr. Bikman:
Too many people just want to drink them. Don’t do that. Don’t do it that way. Don’t try to… I guess a second piece of advice, let protein and fat come together. They’re supposed to come together. Eat them together.

Carole Freeman:
The only smoothie we’ve designed to have in our life is mother’s milk, and that’s [crosstalk 00:21:07] early in life.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
Otherwise, we should be eating our food the rest of our life.

Dr. Bikman:
Yep.

Carole Freeman:
Mother’s Milk is the original smoothie.

Dr. Bikman:
It sure is. It’s the perfect thing for growth. It is high in all three macros.

Carole Freeman:
Oh my gosh, I had a total tangent here that’s related, but there’s this new series on Netflix called Unwell. One of the segments is about these people that are consuming breast milk as a cure-all is the next thing.

Dr. Bikman:
Oh my goodness.

Carole Freeman:
It’s the next thing.

Dr. Bikman:
Oh my goodness. I saw once there was a place that they made ice cream from human breast milk.

Carole Freeman:
It’s weird that we think that’s gross, but [crosstalk 00:21:47].

Dr. Bikman:
I know. I know.

Carole Freeman:
Let’s see. I had a question come in on Instagram earlier yesterday, too. Colt Milton at SuperSet your life is asking what types of protein cause the biggest insulin release?

Dr. Bikman:
That is a good question. It does depend on the amino acid profile. Us talking about how protein can have an insulin spike, it would be more accurately stated as various amino acids have higher insulin spike. I can’t exactly remember that is a good question. If I remember correctly, it’s going to be dairy protein, and then I think chicken or something like that. But if you’re eating that protein, even still, in the context of low carb, the insulin effect is less.

Carole Freeman:
Well, and I remember Dr. Michael Eades talking about as well some research probably at Low Carb Denver last year about how the more refined and processed a protein is, the more effect it has on influence and other ingredients too.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes, that’s exactly right.

Carole Freeman:
All right. Well, shout out to Dr. Eades’ protein power.

Dr. Bikman:
He’s awesome.

Carole Freeman:
Heather, let’s see. I grabbed her question here. Her question is at the end of this. She says that, “I’m very curious. Does insulin resistant… Does it have any genetic component, or are we all equally susceptible?”

Dr. Bikman:
No, it absolutely has a genetic component. Absolutely. In fact, people don’t really know this, but type two diabetes, which is insulin resistance, is much more genetic than type one is. It’s much more likely that if a parent is type two diabetic, that they will have a sibling or a child or a parent, whereas type one just pops up, and typically has nothing to do with any kind of familial inheritance. Yes, there’s absolutely a genetic component. I would say much of that genetic proclivity or tendency to become insulin resistant is probably fundamentally a difference of people’s fat cells.

Dr. Bikman:
In other words, how do your fat cells grow? Do your fat cells grow through just getting big, which is hypertrophy of the fat cell, or do they only get modestly big, and then they start to multiply, which is hyperplasia of the fat tissue or fat cells? If you genetically are more inclined towards hypertrophy, and many people are, then you will become more insulin resistant than otherwise. We see this in ethnicities like Indians, Asian, Indians. They have a profound tendency to become insulin resistant, and there is much more adipocyte hypertrophy, for example.

Dr. Bikman:
There is no doubt a genetic component, but I would hate to say this and have Heather or anyone else be discouraged by it. No, even if you have a genetic tendency, we know this is something you can fight extremely well by changing diet. I do mean extremely well. These are changes where people can have profound improvements in insulin sensitivity in just days, including to the point that they start getting off medications. Don’t let that discourage you. There’s very much a genetic component, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight it.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. I want to back up and talk a little bit more about protein, because early in the keto days, everyone was super worried about protein. I know that there are still a group of people out there that are really worried about protein. But can you share with us why is it that we don’t have to worry about protein intake so much on low carb or keto to reverse insulin resistance like we thought we did?

Dr. Bikman:
Yes. I mentioned this a moment ago. It really is dependent on the underlying glucose levels, that if you take in these amino acids in the midst of high glucose, it will amplify the insulin spike from the glucose alone. It’ll bump it up even higher than before. In contrast, if there’s no influx of glucose, and glucose is at base levels, then there’s a modest insulin spike from the amino acids alone, but it is in fact significantly more modest, but it’s there it happens. It’s really just dependent on whether the body needs to make new glucose.

Dr. Bikman:
If you’re eating protein, and you’re not eating glucose, the liver has to be turning on gluconeogenesis or making glucose from scratch basically. If insulin spiked, that process stopped. Insulin inhibits gluconeogenesis, and so it’s just the cleverly designed system which basically tells the body, “Look, I’m eating protein. I can have some modest insulin spike just letting my body know where to put the amino acids, but it can’t go too high, because if it does, I can’t keep making glucose from gluconeogenesis.”

Carole Freeman:
It sounds like it’s part of the wisdom of the way the body was designed is that, again, we pointed out the fact that protein and sugar or carbs don’t exist in foods together. It’s not a natural state to eat high carb, high protein food [crosstalk 00:27:22].

Dr. Bikman:
That’s right.

Carole Freeman:
It would make sense that our body starts to dysregulate, and it doesn’t like that combination together.

Dr. Bikman:
A lot of people will think that they’re being clever by stacking protein and insulin together, or protein and carbohydrate. They’ll say, “Well, I’m getting more of an anabolic effect. I’m going to get bigger muscles because of this.” It doesn’t happen. There’s human studies to show that if you eat protein, you’ll get a particular rise in muscle growth. If you eat protein with glucose, it doesn’t get any bigger than the protein alone, but that stands in contrast to what you see with protein and fat. When protein and fat are consumed together, you do get an additive anabolic effect compared to just the protein alone, so once again, pointing the finger at just nature doing it best, which is protein and fat.

Carole Freeman:
Well, I know that Colt Milton at SuperSet your life is going to be really interested in that last point because he’s into bodybuilding. I know that he’s going to be really interested in that part.

Dr. Bikman:
Good.

Carole Freeman:
I loved also that you cover in your book, I’ll just show it again here, why we get sick. I love that you talked about the role of salt in insulin resistance.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
Can you touch on that a little bit for us?

Dr. Bikman:
Well, isn’t that an unexpected aspect of it all? We’ve been told for so long that salt is one of the enemies. Like saturated fat, we need to avoid it at all costs. It is interesting to note that insulin plays a role in telling the kidneys what to do with what they filter, including salt. On the flip side of this, elevated insulin stimulates the kidneys to hold on to too much salt and water, and so blood pressure starts to climb and the person has hypertension. In contrast, if a person stops eating salt, because it is such an essential molecule in the body, then the kidneys start to do everything they can to hold on to whatever salt they can.

Dr. Bikman:
Because of the mechanism I just mentioned, which is insulin helps the kidneys hold on to salt, one of the unintended consequences of restricting salt is the insulin goes up. Then you see this real phenomenon where severe salt restriction actually starts causing insulin resistance.

Carole Freeman:
Oh my gosh, all these things, the last 50 years of nutrition, we just [inaudible 00:29:38] it all on its head.

Dr. Bikman:
We got it so wrong.

Carole Freeman:
I apologize every day to people. I mean, I wasn’t personally responsible, but I sure shared a lot of that misinformation [crosstalk 00:29:51].

Dr. Bikman:
Same. Same. I was a personal trainer during my master’s degree about 20 years ago. I hated it, by the way, but I would spelt the same kind of nonsense. I look back into, and shudder to think how much more effective I could have been had I known then what I know now, but that’s of course, the theme of life. I would have made all kinds of different decisions.

Carole Freeman:
A little bit of Microsoft investment in the early days.

Dr. Bikman:
Right.

Carole Freeman:
But then we wouldn’t have you doing this amazing work you’re doing now.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s true.

Carole Freeman:
I’m glad you didn’t invest in Microsoft early on.

Dr. Bikman:
I would retire. I would have been in a sailboat somewhere by now.

Carole Freeman:
Let’s see. Oh gosh, here’s another really great question. This is a long question here, but I’ll summarize it for you. Basically, this is somebody who has a lipedema in her lower body. From what I understand, you actually can have some of your cells genetically in your body can be different levels of insulin resistance than others. For example, people with lipedema, those cells are more insulin resistant than the other cells in their body. She has noticed that she gets water retention in that part of her body with excess of salt, with alcohol consumption.

Carole Freeman:
She’s wondering how is it… She’s already lost 40 pounds. How is it that you can continue to improve insulin resistance with lipedema?

Dr. Bikman:
Unfortunately, lipedema is pretty poorly understood. All I will add to this is this idea that this lady, she probably also has a higher expression of lipoprotein lipase in those fat cells. Very briefly, lipoprotein lipase is the actual enzyme that tells the body where to store fat. Insulin tells the body how much fat to store. LPL works with insulin, but it determines where we store fat. That is generally very genetic, not exclusively. We can manipulate it somewhat through diet, but it is genetic where women who are putting fat in some of these awkward places like ankles, lower legs, or back of the arms, that is because of a higher expression of lipoprotein lipase.

Dr. Bikman:
The sad reality is there’s nothing you can do really. I’m getting a little off topic, but in those places where the body has the selective deposition of fat, because of lipoprotein lipase expression, that will be the very first place fat goes, and that will be the very last place that comes from the person. In this lady, perhaps, if she wanted to cut that fat out, she would have to get almost to the point of having a six pack 10% body fat before she’d start to really lose the fat around her ankles.

Dr. Bikman:
The lipedema, I can’t really speak to. I don’t know too much about it, but I would say even then, it’s fat cells that just have more LPL.

Carole Freeman:
I theorized that since insulin resistance influences salt retention and fluid retention, that perhaps [inaudible 00:33:09]. I have another lady as well that has the same lipedema in her lower body. She has the same thing where she tends to be a little more salt sensitive, and it causes more fluid retention there. I’m wondering if it’s related to the fact that because those cells are more insulin resistant, they’re retaining fluid much more than other tissues in the body.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes. If someone is retaining water, that is a sign of insulin resistance in general, I would say the fact that they’re noticing it more in the limbs. That could indicate just more of a blood pressure problem or an actual limb problem. That edema is basically fluid that has left the blood and hasn’t made its way into the lymph vessels, to the lymphatic circulation. That is edema. There could be that there’s some mismatch there, including hypertension. Frankly, pushing the water out more readily than it can be pulled into the lymphatics or fat blocking lymph flow as well.

Dr. Bikman:
But yes, water retention in general is a sign of the body’s insulin resistant. The high insulin is not allowing the kidneys to let the water go.

Carole Freeman:
Another adjunctive thing we’ve had for them that’s worked well is doing lymphatic massage to help get that fluid back up to where it should be in the body, so it can be excreted too.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
These are people that have been following low carb keto for several years now too, so all right. Let’s see. Here’s another one from Heather, “Regarding the discussion with too much hormones resulting in the cells stop listening, is that also what happens with adrenal fatigue?”

Dr. Bikman:
This is a tricky answer, because as a scientist, I have to say there’s no evidence to even support that adrenal fatigue is a real phenomenon. I do say that with caution, because science doesn’t always know everything. But I guess I would have to just say I don’t know how real adrenal fatigue is. As a scientist, I’m a little skeptical because I don’t know of data to fully support that idea. But let’s say it is, just if for no other reason than to be diplomatic, let’s say that adrenal fatigue is real. That is a big assumption.

Dr. Bikman:
I want everyone to know that I’m saying it that way. Then yeah, probably, it could be that these chronically elevated levels of cortisol are resulting in a reduction in the sensitivity to cortisol. But to counter that thought, even as I say it, it doesn’t happen in actual cortisol syndromes like Cushing syndrome or Cushing disease. The cortisol continues to just wreak absolute havoc on the body. Adrenal fatigue, I wish I could answer that with more optimism. I don’t know that it’s a real thing, but I do know it’s a popular thing.

Carole Freeman:
I went back to university, which is all about, “Here’s your adrenal fatigue. It’s a thing. Here’s the herbs to treat it and all that,” but there was a podcast I listened to from Rob Wolfe, where he interviewed a naturopathic doctor, and he kind of spun that whole thing on its head. He basically showed that what we think of as adrenal fatigue is actually just inflammation that’s suppressing the optimal function of the adrenal gland, and it ties right in with insulin resistance [crosstalk 00:36:55].

Dr. Bikman:
I could buy that definition. I could absolutely buy into that, that this is actually a consequence of chronic stress mixed with some inflammation. Yes, I think that would probably… I could get behind that definition. The idea of adrenal fatigue are the adrenal glands are just stopping working.

Carole Freeman:
I’ve seen that. I mean, my own past story, which I won’t get into now, I had all the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, but as soon as I started low carb keto, the symptoms went away immediately, and so we’re like, “The adrenal fatigue is a real thing.” Kemp says like, “Oh, it takes six or 12 months to heal it,” but as soon as we drop insulin down significantly, the body starts to work the way that it should, and then the adrenal fatigue evaporates. It goes away.

Dr. Bikman:
I’m interested though. This Heather Brown gal, is this a picture of Heather? Is this you running a fricking iron man?

Carole Freeman:
She does. Yes.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s incredible. You don’t have adrenal fatigue. You just have fatigue, [crosstalk 00:37:53]. I hate to break it to you.

Carole Freeman:
She says she did her math. Triglycerides and HDL are exactly the same, so it’s easy math for her. She’s at 1.0.

Dr. Bikman:
You’re sitting pretty.

Carole Freeman:
Cassie, she did get her insulin measured with her doctor.

Dr. Bikman:
That’s great. Eight is great. It really is. In fact, one of the original studies, I came to the number six that I came to, was looking at at eight was a good number from a study from the University of Arizona. That insulin with that glucose, you’re doing great.

Carole Freeman:
Cassie also has been following low carb keto for about four or five months now and has also dropped a significant amount of weight too.

Dr. Bikman:
Frankly, Cassie, I wouldn’t be surprised if very often your insulin levels are in fact six or lower. Like I said, there’s always a little bit of shifting around there.

Carole Freeman:
Dr. Bikman, I heard somebody speaking somewhere that five was good and three was optimal. Is that just going too far then or?

Dr. Bikman:
No, I’d be interested… I’m curious where you would have heard that or seen that. No, I wouldn’t disagree with that. I know lots of people that actually after being keto for a while, their insulin is one and two, and they’re perfectly healthy. That is a pretty strict cutoff, I would say that. I don’t think we need to be that extreme.

Carole Freeman:
I know for Cassie that when she got the result of eight, she said it was actually very motivating for her, because as women, we’re told the scale is king but to have this other health marker that she’s shooting towards like, “If I can get this down one or two more points,” for her, that was very motivating.

Dr. Bikman:
Good. Good. Well, that’s a good number. Cassie is doing fine.

Carole Freeman:
Good job, Cassie. Heather’s reporting back that, “Thank you for the question. You answered that very well.” Here’s somebody else asking about, “Will you have him talk about exercise?” Let’s see. I know he wrote about specific types of… Somebody’s read your book. This is great. I know he wrote about specific kinds of training being best for lowering insulin. Curious his thoughts about yoga. Is it the best to hold a pose, like a plank, until you can’t any longer, which is to failure rate?” Let’s talk about exercise.

Dr. Bikman:
I’m happy to. Yes. In fact, the older I get, and the more I am doing more calisthenics-based workouts, the more I appreciate the power in picking a pose, especially at near maximal tension, and holding it, and so including various yoga poses. When I say point of maximal tension, I mean, find… I don’t know enough about yoga to know what poses would fit with this. But let’s say, for example, I want to work my biceps, I would lay on the ground in a push-up type position, but then put my hands so that my hands are actually down by my waist, and then push myself up like that, and then hold it, so my arm, my biceps are maximal tension.

Dr. Bikman:
In contrast, I could put all my weight on my body with my arms bent like this, and then be pressing a handstand, but focus, hold the position when my muscle is at almost maximal stretch, and hold that there. As long as you go to failure, it doesn’t matter how you did it. You’ve done the single best thing you can for your muscles.

Carole Freeman:
That’s your next book is then how to get fit and toned and hillier. I think, that’s [inaudible 00:41:47]. By the way, that’s [crosstalk 00:41:47].

Dr. Bikman:
How to get swole, written by a man who’s frankly a little scrawny.

Carole Freeman:
Pam’s got another good question here. Let’s see. How do you recommend getting additional salt intake? Salt, shots, supplementation or other methods?

Dr. Bikman:
Well, this might be a boring answer. I would just say salt your food. I hate to… That’s anticlimactic, I know. Well, let me elaborate, though, a little bit. I am an advocate of salt. I love the Redmond Real Salt people. Personally, I know them. I think they’re fantastic. Boom. I would say having said that, one of the drawbacks of all these sexy salts that we have these days is that we may not be getting enough iodine. There was some wisdom behind adding iodine to salt once upon a time. It’s because the consequences of not having enough iodine are absolutely disastrous.

Dr. Bikman:
If you start to run out of iodine, then you run out of your thyroid hormone, although we do have a reservoir of thyroid hormone in our blood that we can start to call on. But if you run out of that stuff, the consequences on your brain are disastrous. As adults, we could overcome it and get out of that brain fog. If it happens in a kid, it is potentially irreversible, the brain damage, the delay, the brain delays that the kid will experience. Make sure in the midst of all these wonderful salts that we have these days that you are finding ways to get iodine.

Dr. Bikman:
If you’re eating a lot of seafood, you’re going to get iodine. Otherwise, I would say just get on to Amazon and buy a little potassium iodide dropper, and take one little drop a day, and you’ll get all you need. But if you aren’t getting iodine, good luck with normal thyroid function, and then the brain will be the first tissue to suffer once you start running out of thyroid hormone. You will if your iodine is deficient.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, great, so we don’t have to do the table salt with dextrose in it to get the iodine [crosstalk 00:43:53].

Dr. Bikman:
Good point. That’s right. Good point. Good point. Just find other ways to get iodine, and there are plenty. Again, if you eat seafood, you’re fine, but we don’t eat seafood really, so make sure you get it.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. All right, last call for questions everyone who’s watching right now. Let’s see if I can pull out one more. Let me look through my notes of all the questions I wanted to ask you. We talked about optimal amounts. What is insulin? Let’s see. In your book, you talked about basically how insulin resistance is tied to pretty much every chronic illness and disease and condition that we’re suffering from, which makes a lot of sense, because even in our lifetime, we can remember that there weren’t this epidemic of autoimmune conditions.

Carole Freeman:
All these people weren’t allergic to every food that they ate, and all those things. Just in a snapshot, can you explain how is insulin resistance related to all these problems we’re suffering from?

Dr. Bikman:
If we remember the definition of insulin resistance, which is insulin isn’t working quite the same way, but there’s too much of it at the same time, then we start to… We can almost go from top to bottom. The brain does become insulin resistant, and it can’t get enough glucose to meet its energy needs, and so it starts to suffer. You see that not only with Alzheimer’s disease, but you actually do see the brain doesn’t get enough glucose in Alzheimer’s disease. You see it also with migraine headaches, which is why when you fill that energetic gap by giving the brain ketones, which it can use perfectly well, the brain suddenly gets better.

Dr. Bikman:
They may never have another migraine again as long as they’re in ketosis. The brain, the heart starts to suffer where the insulin resistance is promoting heart growth, so they have this cardiomyopathy or the failing heart. The blood vessels are too constricted, and we have too much blood, and so we have hypertension. The liver is constantly being inundated with this insulin signal to make more fat, and so the liver can develop fatty liver disease. The gonads, I mentioned the infertilities in women and men with PCOS and erectile dysfunction respectively.

Dr. Bikman:
Our muscles as they become insulin resistant, they can start to experience sarcopenia or muscle wasting. Same with bones, joints, and skin and on and on. It matters.

Carole Freeman:
Yes. Too much is not a good thing.

Dr. Bikman:
The nice thing about it is that once we acknowledge the role of insulin resistance behind so many of these chronic diseases, then we acknowledge that we don’t have to try to treat every disease as an individual problem. We can address the core problem, and the rest of the things will start to take care of themselves.

Carole Freeman:
It’s beautiful. It’s lovely how just this dietary change I get to help people with makes this huge difference of head to toe, everything gets better in them, so it makes sense. All right, this person is asking, “Dr. Bikman, can you explain the connection with high cholesterol, heart disease and insulin resistance?” I picked a three-second topic. Right?

Dr. Bikman:
Yeah, that’s not an easy one, but I’ll take a crack at being brief. Let’s look at it from the perspective of LDL, where LDL cholesterol may matter, emphasis on may. There are studies to show that it is correlated with heart disease. There are studies to show that it is not. Let’s say that it is, or how can we reconcile these disparate findings? It could be that looking at just LDL cholesterol number doesn’t tell us what we need to know. Maybe what we need to know is the LDL diameter. The smaller, more dense LDL particles are thought to be able to physically invade the blood vessel wall more easily than a larger, more buoyant LDL particle, because we can have the spectrum of size.

Dr. Bikman:
Insulin resistance pushes an LDL pattern B or a small dense LDL, which is thought to be more atherogenic. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

Carole Freeman:
For those of you in the… Well, everybody here is in the membership, but I’ve got a cardiology nurse coming on next month for our guest expert so we can ask that person a lot more too. Let’s see. Cassie is asking, “Dr. Bikman, do you have any thoughts, pros, cons of dairy products?” What do you have?

Dr. Bikman:
I do of course have thoughts. I always do. I’m very thoughtful, which is a nicer way to say I’m very opinionated. I’m very thoughtful, so I have thoughts. I think in adults, I do think… Well, the evidence is actually pretty favorable that you can have adults drink more dairy, and it’s helpful for weight loss. I do think there’s something to be said for the lessons of our ancestors that we forgotten. Once upon a time, if an adult was drinking dairy, I think often, it would have been fermented. Anytime we had these foods that we were holding on to, it’s fermented.

Dr. Bikman:
What is the power of fermenting dairy is that the bacteria only eat the starches or the sugars, so it eats the lactose, and all it leaves behind is the protein and the fat. To my delight, with my palate, it leaves these tart little short chain fatty acids, which give anything that’s fermented that tart flavor. It’s because of the short chain fats that the bacteria pump out after eating the starches and the sugars. I think as adults, there’s a lot of power in fermented dairy, although normal dairy is probably also fine, but I do think dairy is, as we said, a food for growth.

Dr. Bikman:
It is a beautiful system in mammals, where mom makes this perfect cocktail of all three macronutrients, and it helps the baby grow as quickly as possible. Whole fat dairy in children, I’m absolutely in favor of. Full fat dairy in adults, I would just say, “Well, maybe you need to be careful with, and then focus more on the fermented dairy like yogurt or kefir or sour milk, those options.”

Carole Freeman:
Real sour cream, right?

Dr. Bikman:
That’s right.

Carole Freeman:
Nice. All right. Cassie’s got another one, a really good one here, too. How likely is it that we can get our mainstream medical field to start testing insulin resistance? She says that when she brought her labs back, it was normal, and the range is zero to 24.9.

Dr. Bikman:
I know. I know. That’s part of the problem. We’ve overlooked insulin for so long that we don’t even have a consensus number. I confessed this in the book very explicitly. Yes, so it is part of the problem. When do I think it’ll happen? I have no idea. But honestly, that is part of what I hope is a takeaway from the book if I am naive enough to kid myself that it’ll have some lasting impact. An impact I hope it does have is that there will be medical practitioners. There will be people in positions of power within medicine, that they will start to say, “You know what? Yep, we’re going to make this part of our routine number, a routine checkup.”

Dr. Bikman:
Then with that, just growing mountain of data, we can come closer and closer to really identifying what is a good consensus. Where do we want people to be?

Carole Freeman:
Right now, those lab range is normal. It’s just basically like, all the tests they’ve done, this is where the numbers fall between, right? We can actually have some research to look at, “Here’s healthy people. What are their numbers? Here’s people that have other things going on.” I’m curious then with your book coming out, have you had any kickbacks from the middle community, or have you had any stories of physicians that have had their eyes opened?

Dr. Bikman:
No. No. None. None, but I will say over the years that I’ve been preaching this message, I have, over the years, received good feedback. My favorite audience is actually healthcare practitioners. When I can speak to nurses and doctors or health hospital administrators, that is my favorite group of people, because when they see the data, as I outline it, just study after study, they appreciate it. They are glad to know. I think that’s an important… It’s important for me to remember but all of us, lest we look at our doctor or nurse and think, “Oh, they’re so ignorant. They’re so reluctant to change. They’re so egotistical about it.”

Dr. Bikman:
I’ve seen these seemingly egotistical, rigid, people change very, very quickly when they actually see the data. Everyone has a reluctance to admit they don’t know something. I think in medicine, maybe that’s perhaps more of a problem than elsewhere, but we only know what we’ve been taught or we’ve taught ourselves. In my experience, when these healthcare practitioners see the data, it leaves an impact on them, and then I like to think I’ve left that group… left them with a conviction to measure insulin.

Carole Freeman:
That’s great. That’s really hopeful and optimistic. That speaks to that psychology of when we believe something to be true for a long enough period of time, it takes a mountain of evidence to change that.

Dr. Bikman:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you for putting that mountain of evidence together for us in your book, but also the work that you’re doing too. Dr. Bikman, where can people find you on social media, websites?

Dr. Bikman:
Thank you. I am fairly active on social media, not as active as I sometimes wish I were, but then I wish I weren’t active on it at all another time. People can find me at benbikmanphd. Bikman is just spelled B-I-K-M-A-N, no C, benbikmanphd. I just share research on human metabolism, nothing personal ever. It’s not my jam. Then I have a website where you guys can… I will start providing blog content and maybe even video content, and that’s gethlth.com, H-L-T-H. While you’re there, I won’t mention any more than this. You can also look into a low carb shake that a couple of my brothers and I have made.

Dr. Bikman:
The fact is I think there’s just always something to be said for something convenient. That really is the purpose. We just wanted to make a better low carb shake, and so we did. Anyway, you can learn more about it there.

Carole Freeman:
All right, I’m sure we’ll have some people checking that out. People always want to check out shakes. Thank you so much for taking the time out your busy schedule for being here.

Dr. Bikman:
My pleasure.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you for answering everyone’s questions. Really, really great stuff. I’m just so grateful to you. The work that you’re doing is really, really important in this world.

Dr. Bikman:
Well, that’s nice. Thanks so much. Thanks again for the invitation. I had a great time. Thanks [crosstalk 00:55:15]. Thanks, everybody, for the questions. Thanks, guys.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:55:18]. Thanks, everyone. We’ll see you again soon. Bye.

 

Get a FREE 7-day Fast & Easy Keto Meal Plan: https://ketocarole.com/free-7-day-meal-plan/

Keto Chat 122: Living in the Moment: Finding peace of mind in this time of uncertainty.

Featured Guests:

Jack Slattery

Jack Slattery was a stand-up comedian until the great cancelation of 2020. He’s an avid user of psychedelics and has been practicing transcendental meditation for over a decade.

Becky LeBright

Becky is local mindfulness- and nature-based Expressive Arts Therapist in Washington. She focuses on integrative, creative, strength-based approaches to all that arises along our journeys.

Website: http://innerphoenix.wordpress.com

FB Page: @InnerPhoenix

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Carole Freeman:
Well, hello and thank you everyone for watching. We had some kind of an issue with the other one. Our guests are coming shortly. Thank you for being here. Hopefully you’re going to see this here, so welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. Tonight’s episode is going to be focused on mindfulness. Oh no, it’s not working. (silence)

Carole Freeman:
Let’s see. Let’s see if it’s actually working. Let’s see, I don’t know. Can you guys see me? Is anybody there? I don’t know. My platform is telling me that it’s not working. That is StreamYard. That. Is anybody out there?

Becky Robbins:
Is it the same length for the people that we told about it?

Carole Freeman:
No, because otherwise they get to come in here. Nope. Oh, but [crosstalk 00:01:19]. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I thought you were asking if it was the same length that we had to join.

Becky Robbins:
No.

Carole Freeman:
No, it should be in the same groups, in the same page, but I’m getting the same error unfortunately. This may not actually be doing anything. So, we’ll go ahead and we’ll deliver our full content. We may not have any live viewers because this doesn’t look like right now that it’s streaming on anything, but it’s going to be recorded and I will still upload it as if nothing happened. Oh boy, oh boy. Hey. Well, the first two days I tried to stream from the other platform I use. It didn’t work, and then the Saturday I had a guy that I watch on YouTube that does lives, he said, “My first three platforms crashed,” because everyone right now is trying to get content out. [inaudible 00:02:09], it’s the one thing that we’ve got.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah. Facebook Live has been working great for me as a backup.

Carole Freeman:
Well, I can’t have three guests on a Facebook Live though unfortunately.

Becky Robbins:
Oh, that’s true.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, and yeah. There’s issues with recording that. This has been great the last four episodes. So, let’s see. Saturday, Sunday, Monday. So, three episodes we had were really great, and for some reason now it’s not playing nice with Facebook. Well, we’re just going to do our show and people will be watching this at a later time. So, thank you all for tuning in later but again, welcome to our episode of Keto Chat. Tonight, we’re going to be focusing on mindfulness. How do we stay present in the present moment, in this current moment, as a way of maintaining sanity? As a way of not falling down in anxiety spiral. I’ve got a couple of guests here. They’re going to share some really great stuff, so welcome Becky Robbins.

Becky Robbins:
Hello.

Carole Freeman:
Jack Slattery.

Jack Slattery:
Hi.

Carole Freeman:
I am Carole Freeman. I’m going to be sharing with you as well a mindfulness exercise to help deal with emotional eating, stress eating. A lot of people are struggling with that at this moment. A lot of us. So, I’m going to explain why that it’s common right now that people are resorting to that or having a pull towards that, and give you some tips and a little exercise to go through that. So again, thank you for watching. As you’re watching this in the future, please let us know in the comments where you’re joining us from. So, let’s see. We have a free flow here, so which one of you would like to go first? Then I’ll introduce you.

Becky Robbins:
I can volunteer.

Carole Freeman:
All right, Becky.

Becky Robbins:
I’m from Seattle.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Becky is a local mindfulness and nature based expressive arts therapist in Washington State. She focuses on integrative, creative stressed …. Stressed. Oh, that was a [inaudible 00:04:13]. Strengths based approaches to all that arises along our journeys, and she’s got an exercise she’s going to lead us through, so welcome, Becky. Thank you so much for being here.

Becky Robbins:
Hi. Yeah, thank you. I brought the monkeys, but I’ve let them out of my mind so I can focus on you.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s great.

Becky Robbins:
So surprise, surprise. I get stressed too. I’m human like everybody else, and so what works for me is figuring out what my body needs to calm down so that I can find out how to calm my mind. Sometimes I have to use both at the same time. So, one of the reasons I decided to go for a mindfulness and nature based therapy style is because nature is one of the ways that I can ground and find my center. I find that I’m breathing more easily, even right now I’m talking about it, I can sense that I’m not breathing as easily as I do when I’m walking out in nature.

Becky Robbins:
So, even right now you can just take a nice, deep breath and check in. Where were you holding? I was holding in my abdomen. That tends to be the place where I hold a lot of my stress and tension, and then that tends to feed up into my neck later. So, one of the exercises I’ll talk about some of the background first, but I’ll lead you through a breathing exercise and it’ll be a lot about noticing your body. Not quite the same as a body scan, but it’s not different enough to worry about it. It’s similar.

Becky Robbins:
So, one of the things that happens in my body and most people’s is it responds to stress. Whether you’re an empath or just somebody walking through [inaudible 00:06:02], you’re probably going to also notice other people’s stress. Unconsciously, your body will also respond to that. So if you’re walking around, you were having a totally chill day and you’re in a different environment and suddenly you notice tension, you might check out, what’s the vibe around me? Ah, there’s some people who are waiting for their prescription and they’re getting antsy, and I’m feeling that. So, my first step I’ll offer you is to check your external environment to see if there’s anything impacting you there when you’re stressed. Then whether or not that’s the case, second level would be to check in with your body and where you’re experiencing that stress.

Becky Robbins:
So, maybe for some you’re gritting your teeth or you’re making a face. Maybe you’re crossing your legs or picking at your fingernails, something that’s a stress response. Maybe you’re clenching your stomach or again, even just as I’m talking, trying to run down the list, feeling that tightness in my chest. My breath isn’t as deep, so slowing down. Okay, where is that? Take a breath there. See if it changes at all, and then we can go into this really cool mindfulness exercise which you can do anywhere, as long as your eyes are open. If you’re driving, maybe not with the eyes closed. So, take a minute with me. I’m sure you’ve all got lots of different body parts that you’re noticing right now, so you work with yours and breathe into that spot.

Becky Robbins:
So, we’re going to just start by putting our feet on the floor. Well, you shouldn’t be driving right now if you’re listening to this, but if you can put your feet on the floor safely and just feel that. Or if you’re sitting with your legs pretzel style underneath you, just feel your sit bones on the floor. Notice your spine. Is it slouchy? Is it comfortable? Then just wiggle around until you get comfortable, you could feel your sit bones on the floor, your feet on the floor if they’re touching. Then if you need to keep your eyes open, do, but if you want to close them, you can do that. Just take a nice, deep breath and notice your body. You have one. What’s it doing? What’s it telling you right now?

Becky Robbins:
Another excellent thing to do on your exhale, is to audibly exhale and to let out that stress. You can even make really silly sounds, because that’s the kind of day you had. That might get it out of your body. So let’s take three more of those together. Just really let it out. Now here’s part of the mindfulness. Noticing, how do you feel right now after checking in with your body and taking several deep breaths? Notice the quality of your thoughts. Is your mind slower, calmer? Still buzzing? Are you thinking about something different now? Is it softer? Then check in with your feelings. Are you feeling anxious, are you feeling worried, are you feeling calm? Whatever word, and if you don’t have words, you can think of a size or a texture. That’s an exercise for another day, but anything that helps you connect with what you’re feeling emotionally in this moment.

Becky Robbins:
Keeping breathing and then checking in, so you’ve checked in with your mind, you’ve checked in with your heart or your emotions. Now check back in with your body. What’s that spot, that place feel like that you were feeling tension in? Is it still tense? Is it relieved a little, or just happy you’ve paid attention to it? So just notice that. I know my stomach is more relaxed. Thank god I’m wearing yoga pants. So, this is step one in this exercise, or this exercise is step one in a series of exercises that I do. So, this is just the check in.

Becky Robbins:
If later you want to try something to really mark how it’s changing for you, you might get a little journal out next to you and write how you’re feeling when you sit down to do this exercise. That way you have a marker to see how different it is afterwards. Then as you continue to do this exercise throughout the day or throughout the week, you can look back at that and see the progress you’ve made. Sometimes that helps rewire your brain to say, “Oh, there’s something that I’m doing that’s working,” because you’re seeing the differences. You’re writing them down. You’re basically doing research on yourself, which is great, and now you have statistics. You could prove to yourself that this actually works. So, that’s one exercise that you can do to deepen the one that I just gave to you. Thank you so much for joining that exercise. Back to Carole.

Carole Freeman:
Wow. That’s great. That is so valuable. What do you think? I know you’re watching the replay right now, so how do you feel? How do you feel? What was the spot you noticed in your body, she led you through that, and then how did you feel different afterwards? I’m wondering. I’m going to challenge everyone who’s watching this to do this once a day. You’ve got time now. You know you have time. Do it once a day and see how this shifts. Really powerful. Very, very cool. We’ve got a little more time here, so I’m wondering. Can you share a little bit about how you got into the work that you’re doing?

Becky Robbins:
Yes. So, being the stressed case that I was, I needed something different in my life. Way back, god it was almost 20 years ago, I took a yoga class. I think it was at 24 Hour Fitness, just a yoga class. I was 24, 25 years old and I remember how I felt, and it was so different. I remember thinking, “Oh my god. I have got to teach yoga. I have to teach this to everyone I know. I want other people to be able to feel this, this difference.” So I went through some teacher training and then I went and continued. They say it’s 500 plus hours. It’s more like 750 hours, but it was a three and a half, four year training over all that got me to be a yoga therapist. During that, I also studied Ayurvedic medicine, which really helped me get in touch with my body/mind connection more and do so through food, which I think is about the time that I met Carole.

Becky Robbins:
I was exploring some of this food connection, and it was just really interesting to see that what I put in my body whether it’s food or media, for that purpose, can really impact me and how I see things, how I experience myself throughout the day. I know I was stress eating today. Crackers, crackers, crackers, and that kind of stuff definitely gets more monkeys in my mind. So, that really touched me onto the mindfulness part of my life, but I didn’t know it yet. That wasn’t a buzzword back then, not for me. So, that was cool. I was doing that while I was working in software, some high tech consulting stuff, and I never could figure out how they were going to come together. Sorry, side note, also I have always been an outdoors person. I have found that nature is my church, if you will. So, that’s where I can find happiness on any given day, and support.

Becky Robbins:
So as I continued towards this path of becoming a therapist, which I did not know I was on, I started randomly getting hit by other people’s cars. I’m a good driver. So, that happened multiple times and it kept happening when I was starting new software jobs. So, I got the memo. Maybe don’t go back. Then I had to figure out which career I was going to go into, and so as I was working with my own body, and diet, and healing, I found the path of counseling has been knocking on my door for a while. What I hadn’t seen yet to bring me to it was that you can really do a lot. You don’t just have to sit on a couch and talk. That is not the only way to do it, so I got outside with people. We go hiking. I do art with people. We make these little cards to speak to different parts of ourselves.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah. There’s so many things. Photography, poetry, dreamwork, so all of these tiny little parts of my whole life that I’ve been interested all along and probably been doing trainings with for 20 years as well, somehow collided in this counseling world. It’s been really helpful for mindfulness because we don’t always have words for things. We aren’t always going to talk it out if there’s something stuck in our body, and our breath is probably one of the first and foremost ways that we have control over our bodies and minds, and we can use it to self regulate. So when I learned that for myself, I knew that I needed to share that with other people and really I feel like counseling for me is a tree with many branches. There’s so many ways to help people. I accidentally found the branches while I was going through my application process to the school I chose. So, the branches picked me and here I am, what you have today.

Carole Freeman:
That’s so cool. I mean, I have a degree, well which was supposed to lead to therapist, but I wanted the education about how to do therapy but not to do the therapy. I had no idea that there was as cool things as what you’ve got going on. That sounds like really fun therapy.

Becky Robbins:
It is fun therapy. For everyone.

Carole Freeman:
[crosstalk 00:17:20] on Saturday. So on Saturday’s show, we’re going to be doing all kinds of arts, and crafts, and hobbies and stuff like that. So if you’re available, I’d love to have you come back and show the card things that you have.

Becky Robbins:
Oh, absolutely.

Carole Freeman:
We’ll talk about that later, too.

Becky Robbins:
That’s another exercise in itself.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, oh that seems awesome.

Becky Robbins:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Looks like a mini vision board is what it reminds me of.

Becky Robbins:
It’s exact, yep.

Carole Freeman:
Okay, cool. Oh my gosh, so great. Thank you so much, Becky. We’ve been friends for, man, 10, 11. 10 or 11 years.

Becky Robbins:
A long time.

Carole Freeman:
I don’t know, I haven’t seen you in forever though, so it’s so great to connect this way.

Becky Robbins:
Yes. Still, yes.

Carole Freeman:
Look at these times that we’re in. It’s full of anxiety, and grief, and overwhelm and it’s actually so good to be able to connect with a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. So, thank you so much for being here.

Becky Robbins:
I’m happy to.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much. All right so next we’re going to go on to Jack. Jack, I haven’t known him nearly as long, but Jack Slattery was a stand up comedian until the great cancellation of 2020. He’s an avid user of psychedelics and has been practicing transcendental meditation for over a decade, and crows have brought him gifts before. Can’t wait to hear stories of that. So, welcome Jack. So glad you’re here.

Jack Slattery:
Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’ll take any stage I can get.

Carole Freeman:
What do you have to share with our viewers today, or whenever they’re watching this in the future?

Jack Slattery:
Yeah. Well, honestly it dovetails with Becky’s presentation pretty well, the mindfulness aspect of it, the breathing parts of it. That’s the core of transcendental meditation. Becky, do you do TM at all? It sounds very similar.

Becky Robbins:
No, but it’s similar.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah. It’s just doing that, but longer. Yeah, just longer really. You want to shoot for 20 minute sessions twice a day. I usually only do one, and that’s good, but twice a day is really doing it. It’s really helpful for someone, I mean it’s really helpful for absolutely anything, but for someone who if you want to feel more creative or get in touch with that kind of stuff, it’s great for bringing that up. It’s just great for cleaning, just sweeping the cobwebs out of your brain a little bit.

Becky Robbins:
Could you tell us a little, Jack, about transcenmental … See, I can’t. [inaudible 00:20:09]. Transcendental meditation. Can you give us a little bit of background about different types of meditation? How is that different than, I don’t know, other kinds?

Jack Slattery:
I don’t know. I’m far from an expert, I’m just a practitioner. This is the method I was taught. This is the way I know how to do it, and it works for me. I’m not sure. I guess we could go self flagellation is a form of meditation, right?

Carole Freeman:
[inaudible 00:20:43].

Jack Slattery:
It’s very different than self flagellation in that you’re sitting doing nothing rather than wailing and beating yourself.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. How did you get introduced to it?

Jack Slattery:
In college, a professor/mentor. He was a practitioner and a teacher of it. I expressed interest in it, and he taught me privately. I got some useful information out of it. Yeah, it was just a few series of private lessons but that’s all you really need to get going with it. It’s very simple, and that’s the whole point is that it’s simple. It’s literally doing nothing. It drives me crazy when people are like, “Oh, I could never do that. I could never shut my brain off,” but that’s not the point. That’s not the point at all. You’re not trying to stop thinking, you’re just trying to stop latching onto an idea and running with a train of thought.

Jack Slattery:
The way he, Dana, described it to me is that you would imagine that you’re at a train station. You just want to sit at the train station, and your ideas as they rise up, as they come into your mind, are trains entering and leaving the train station. You’re just watching the trains come and go, but you don’t get on the train. If you do get on a train, it’s okay. You just get off at the next station and you keep watching. So, that metaphor has always been pretty helpful for me. I don’t know, you’re meditating and then something comes up and you just start thinking about whatever, apples. Or a joke comes up, and you want to write it down. I don’t know, I usually keep a pad near me and I just write down ideas that come up like that. Just get back off the train, just sit back at the station.

Carole Freeman:
So, how long have you been practicing?

Jack Slattery:
About [crosstalk 00:23:03] 10 years. Yeah, about 10 years.

Becky Robbins:
Wow, [crosstalk 00:23:06].

Carole Freeman:
What kind of effects has it had in your life?

Jack Slattery:
It’s given me a lot of just calmness. I’ve been doing it so long now that I can just fall into a breathing pattern anywhere that I am. On a bus, in a bar, wherever and there’s just no tension. It just eases the tension. Good posture helps with that too, and drinking water, but just finding a rhythm in your breathing, I don’t know. It’s a superpower unto itself. You can just be calm anywhere you want. You just, I don’t know, start internally glowing. It’s nice.

Becky Robbins:
Sounds nice.

Jack Slattery:
It’s like a hot tub for your inner body.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s cool.

Becky Robbins:
I’m going to go get in a heart tub.

Carole Freeman:
Sounds like you got everybody’s attention. Well, it’s a really powerful thing and I think it’s great that you mentioned too that a lot of people are like, “Oh, I could never do that because I could never turn my mind off.” Yeah, keep in mind that the goal is not to turn your mind off. It’s to watch it. You’re not trying to stop the trains, you’re just trying to observe them.

Jack Slattery:
Once you do it long enough and once you get into the habit of it, and it is a practice in that you’re not going to be good at it right away, and good at it doesn’t mean good at it but you’re good at it the first time you do it, but it gets better every time you do it. You’ll develop muscles you didn’t know that you had in getting into this brain state and breathing pattern. It does get easier, but the goal is to shut off the movie projector in your brain and just look at the blank screen. That’s kind of the goal. I’m going to totally forget what the Sanskrit word for that is, but there is one. I think it’s samsara, or simsara.

Becky Robbins:
Samsara.

Jack Slattery:
Samsara, yeah. You’re just blank. That is the goal. You’re aware, but you’re blank. You’re aware of your surroundings but your mind is just blank, and it’s great. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does happen, it’s really nice. David Lynch is a big fan of transcendental meditation, and there’s several YouTube videos you can find of him discussing the benefits that he’s had. [inaudible 00:26:01]. Jerry Seinfeld said he could have made a few more seasons of Seinfeld had he been doing two. He was already doing one 20 minute session, but if he had been doing two 20 minute sessions, he could have gone a few more seasons.

Becky Robbins:
Interesting.

Jack Slattery:
Again, I’m not an expert. I’m not a doctor, but it lowers your brain into a different type of state. I think it’s the theta wave state, which is essentially REM sleep. So, 20 minutes of a good meditation is equivalent to several hours of sleep.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, there’s lots and lots of research that validates all the many health benefits of meditation.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah, and I can give you the basic rundown of how to do it if you want.

Carole Freeman:
Sure.

Becky Robbins:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carole Freeman:
Sure. Lead us through. I mean, we don’t have 20 minutes to do it.

Jack Slattery:
The basics are [crosstalk 00:27:06]-

Carole Freeman:
It’d make riveting show, 20 minutes of us sitting here doing nothing.

Jack Slattery:
The basics are essentially that you just want to find somewhere comfortable to sit, a straight back is preferable. You want good posture. I like to do a little yoga before, just stretch it out. Just stretch it out. You can sit in a chair. I usually sit cross legged on my bed or something, but you can sit wherever, just as long as you’re comfortable. You want to make your hands like this. I find that helps. That keeps your mind [inaudible 00:27:47] as long as your thumbs are erect and touching, your mind is active, you’re not sleeping. That’s why you don’t want to do it when you’re laying down because you probably will go to sleep, and that’s not the point.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah, I can prove that every night.

Jack Slattery:
So yeah, you just kind of sit there. Your hands are belly button area, you just keep your thumb up, and you just close your eyes and breathe like Becky was showing us. If you need a mantra or something like that to just keep you sitting on that bench at the train station, you can go the classic O-M, om, or ram, or any derivation of that really. Whatever works for you, just a very simple tonal sound. It does help, and you can say it out loud or you could just say it internally in your mind. Either one. Real transcendental meditation, this is where it gets a little weird for me because I’ve never paid for the classes, but you’ve got to pay for classes and they give you your own individual mantra. I don’t know how that works. I have my own individual mantra. I believe the curse attached to it that I can’t tell you what it is, or something bad will happen.

Becky Robbins:
Sorry.

Carole Freeman:
What if somebody walked in on you while you were saying it, though? [crosstalk 00:29:14]

Jack Slattery:
[crosstalk 00:29:14] now.

Carole Freeman:
Okay.

Jack Slattery:
I rarely say out loud. Also, sometimes I like to put on three hour Tibetan bowl meditation.

Becky Robbins:
Oh yeah, that’s good.

Jack Slattery:
YouTube videos. There’s some pretty good ones, and just you can set the scene however you want. I go fancy. I light incense, I listen to Tibetan bowls, I get comfy. It’s fun. Then you’re just sitting there with your hands like that and you’re breathing in and out. That’s literally pretty much it. You’re just doing it for 20 minutes and then it gets wild. You’re like, “Oh. Just sit there and breathe for 20 minutes.” Yeah, but it gets crazy.

Becky Robbins:
It does.

Jack Slattery:
You’re brewing this popcorn. It’s just going everywhere.

Becky Robbins:
The monkeys.

Jack Slattery:
The monkey, yeah. Lots of stuff come floating up, and it’s going to be hard to sit on that bench at the train station at first. You’re going to ride all these ideas all over the place, and that’s totally fine. Just keep doing it. Just keep doing it, but a word of caution. Don’t do it, especially when you’re first starting, don’t do it for more than 20 minutes in one go. Don’t think, “Okay, I’m going to do it for 40 minutes all in one go and just get it over with,” because you’ve got a lot of sludge in your brain. You’ve got a lot of dark stuff in there, so you’re going to pull up a lot more than you want to deal with way too fast. It’s serious. Go slow.

Carole Freeman:
Well, that’s the American way. If some is good, more must be better.

Jack Slattery:
Right. [crosstalk 00:30:45].

Becky Robbins:
No, moderation.

Jack Slattery:
It is not. You can go into a weird depressive funk for a while if you meditate too hard, too fast.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah. Good cautionary tale.

Jack Slattery:
So, 20 minutes at a go, twice a day ideally.

Carole Freeman:
Is it okay if people start out with five minutes or a minute first if they’re starting out?

Jack Slattery:
I’ve never been a half dose kind of guy. I do the full thing, but if that’s what makes you feel better and comfortable, sure. Build up to it, whatever. It’s more about just starting it.

Becky Robbins:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carole Freeman:
Last Saturday actually, our show, somebody brought up streak trackers. So, this will be a great thing to be able to start to track, and so there’s some apps out there that you can track. There’s apps for run streaks, but there’s also apps that just track how many days in a row you’ve done something. So for those of you right now that have some extra time and you’ve always wanted to do meditation, you can download the Streak Track. It’s not this kind of streaking, but Streak Tracker.

Becky Robbins:
That’s so fun.

Carole Freeman:
Challenge yourself to start meditation. [crosstalk 00:32:03].

Jack Slattery:
Now is definitely the time, right?

Becky Robbins:
[inaudible 00:32:07].

Jack Slattery:
How many Netflix shows can you watch in a day?

Becky Robbins:
You can get that streak.

Jack Slattery:
You can set aside two 20 minute sessions a day. It’s like free drugs, it’s like free drugs.

Becky Robbins:
Yes, [inaudible 00:32:23]. You can also, if you do want to watch your Netflix shows, only let yourself watch two. Then do the 20 minutes. Then do the other two, but not until you’ve done the 20 minutes. Give yourself [crosstalk 00:32:33] some rewards. Then your brain will be happy to get a reward.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah, it’s great. I could keep talking about it. Okay.

Becky Robbins:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
That’s one of the reasons why I’m doing this show, is that I want to show people that although our tendency is to be worried, and stressed out, and overwhelmed, we have choices right now.

Becky Robbins:
We do.

Carole Freeman:
We have the option to use this time to improve yourself, to do all those things that you always wanted to do but say you don’t have the time to do. How many of you that are watching have always thought, “Well, I’ve heard meditation is really good for me, but gosh, I just wish I had the time to do it.” So, I challenge you to start a meditation practice, and if you do, tell us in the comments you’re going to commit to that and come back and share with us what that experience was like.

Becky Robbins:
We just gave you too, one 20 minutes, one was what? Three to five minutes. I mean, anywhere in between. So many different styles. So, find what fits for you.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Jack, anything else to say about that? I’m going to share a mindful eating exercise with people.

Jack Slattery:
No, no. I think I got it all.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. Like you said, you could probably talk for hours and hours on it, but thank you so much for being here and sharing that and taking the time out of your terribly busy schedule right now. I love that you’re color coded for branding here. I appreciate that. So, I’m going to talk about mindful eating. Again, I’ll just introduce myself. I’m Carole Freeman. I’m a board certified ketogenic nutritionist. I, too, as well used to be a comedian back before the big cancellation of 2020. We’ll see. Things are going to be very different in the future here, and not to brag, but actually I’m booked on a show on Friday. A virtual show that we’re going to try to figure that out for some ladies. If it works, we may be rolling out some more. So, we’ll see. I don’t know.

Becky Robbins:
Excellent.

Carole Freeman:
Part of standup comedy, is you have to have an audience. You have to have live bodies that are laughing because there’s an energy exchange, and you ride that wave. There’s a reason why all Netflix specials have a live audience or recorded with an audience. There’s also a reason why 80s sitcoms either had a live audience or a laugh track. Things just aren’t as funny if we’re just telling them, but although I’ve got to say there’s some comedians that I know that are out there doing live every night and it’s like, “Oh, you’re still funny even if there’s no audience.” So, they got something.

Carole Freeman:
Anyway, so I am trained. I’ve got a master’s degree in nutrition and psychology. I’ve got a certification in clinical hypnotherapy. By day, I specialize, and now by night too, I specialize in helping people be able to follow ketogenic diet as a longterm lifestyle so that they can end the battle they’ve had their entire lives with their weight, lose the weight, and actually keep it off because they get the support and the approach that they need to actually be able to stick with it. So, I weave in everything I’ve ever studied psychology wise into my keto approach, and so it’s part of why it actually can be a sustainable lifestyle. It’s not only, how do you lose weight quickly, but how do you address all the things that make it so that most people can’t stick with something? So, we’re dealing with getting rid of cravings, natural regulation of appetite, and behavior change which can be really challenging too.

Carole Freeman:
So, one of the things that I learned when I was in school was this concept of mindful eating. I learned this long before I knew anything about a ketogenic diet, and we learned this concept. Now, the problem is is that it doesn’t work really well, so people that are in weight gain mode, their insulin is really high and their body is constantly storing everything they eat as fat. When insulin is high, it makes it so that their fat can’t come out of storage. So they’re constantly hungry, they have very low energy, and they’re constantly gaining weight. So unfortunately, society looks at them as, “Wow. Why don’t they just exercise more?” Or, “Why don’t they just have control over what they’re eating?”

Carole Freeman:
Anybody who’s ever battled with their weight, which is everybody that I’m working with, they know that they have a lot of willpower. They’ve tried every diet out there and every time they do, they’re constantly hungry, they’re so tired, they’re obsessed with food. When they do keto the right way for the first time, often it’s the first time they’ve ever experienced freedom. They’re not hungry. They’ve got tons of energy, and their body is able to actually let the fat out of storage so that they can get the fuel that they need. So, they get this glimpse of freedom. Usually the people I’m working with have tried keto on their own, they couldn’t stick with it, they couldn’t quite get it right but they have a glimmer of hope that, “Oh my gosh. This is the first time in my life that I felt this freedom.”

Carole Freeman:
I found that when I applied the things that I learned, like mindful and intuitive eating, once people are already in the state of their body could actually use its own fuel that it’s been storing for decades, then these concepts work beautiful. If you tell somebody that’s in weight gain mode, they’re still burning carbs, their body is storing everything they eat, you tell them to eat mindfully, I’ll tell you what that is in a moment, it doesn’t work very well. So I’ll tell you my results. Mindful eating. My brain things of things in systems, and processes, and checklists, and outlines. So for me, the way I always thought of mindfulness is it has three different parts.

Carole Freeman:
It needs to be, you’re in this moment right now. I mean, right now. There’s no past, there’s no future. It’s just what’s happening right now. The second one is there’s no judgment. There’s no right, wrong, good, or bad. It’s just is. Whatever is happening just is. Then the third part of it is you’re in full awareness of your body in the moment. I’ve got a way of helping you get into that moment as well, so mindful eating then is that you’re making a choice right now in the moment of what to eat, and as you eat it, you experience it without judgment. Full of awareness of how it tastes and feels in your body as you consume it. So mindful eating, for the people that I’m working with again, once they’re in that ketogenic state and they’re able to actually tune in to, “When am I really hungry? When am I not hungry? When I’m eating, I’ve had enough when I’m satisfied and I can actually stop eating when I’m full.” This is where mindful eating is really, really powerful.

Carole Freeman:
So, a way of bringing yourself into a mindful state is what I’ve found and what I’ve learned works well for the people that I’ve worked with is to begin, and this actually overlaps with the hypnotic state as well, is to bring in all of your senses. So to help yourself be in this present moment right now without judgment, and to use all of your senses with full awareness, is to just think about the five senses that we have and then mentally check them off. Okay, so right now what do I smell? What do I see around me? All the colors and shapes of everything around me. What do I feel? Whether you’re sitting, you’re standing, on your feet. What do I hear? Right now I hear my cat sleeping down there snoring. I hear my own voice. I hear the fan in my computer. I hear a little bit of background noise from Becky and Jack. I think that’s all I hear.

Carole Freeman:
Taste is your fifth sense. Right now, there’s whatever the taste of my mouth, but as you’re eating food you’re going to be noticing, how does it taste? How does it feel in your mouth? How does it crunch? Doing this exercise can be really, really powerful with food because a lot of times people are eating foods that they just think are good, that they’ve always eaten, but they’re not actually conscienscious when they’re eating it to find out, does it actually even taste good? Do you like what you’re eating? I am a big advocate for don’t eat any food that you don’t like. Now, the coaching I do with keto, there’s definitely foods that taste really good to us that I encourage people to avoid, but also within the keto parameters, if there’s a food that’s a keto friendly food but you don’t like it, don’t ever eat it. Also if there’s a keto friendly food like steak, or bacon, or cheese as long as it works well for your body, it tastes good, it makes your body feel good, go for it.

Carole Freeman:
There’s sensory input that we have as humans, actually, from foods that don’t taste good or have a bad reaction in our mouth. It can mean that there’s a nutrient in there that you’ve received too much of that you don’t need any more of. So, animals actually have this wisdom. There’s no deer nutritionist out there. Deer go out in the wild, and they can eat the right amount of leaves and grass, they eat the ones that have the nutrients that they need. They don’t have any Jillian Michaels out there telling them to run 10 miles a day. “Well, you need to eat four cups of these greens, and then you need to eat four more cups of these, and that’s how you get all your nutrients met.” No. They taste and they eat and their body tells them, “That tastes good. Eat more of that. That tastes bad. Don’t eat any more of that.”

Carole Freeman:
So, humans have moved far away from that. Part of that is because most of our food is so overly processed, and refined, and hybridized, and high in sugar and fat and all this stuff together that makes it override all of our natural abilities. When we get back to real, natural food the way that is closest to the way that it’s grown, our body is really good at telling us what we need and don’t need, food wise. So, I’m giving you permission right now as a nutritionist, and again we’re not medical doctors, we’re not prescribing anything. Even me as a healthcare provider, I’m not telling you personally what you should do, but this is what I tell my clients. I’ll put that caveat, is that if there’s a food that you don’t like and you’ve been eating it because you think it’s good for you, I’m making a recommendation. I’m giving you permission right now to stop eating that. Stop eating it. If you don’t like spinach, don’t eat it ever again.

Carole Freeman:
Also, yeah. Foods that you do like that are healthy, whole foods, go ahead and enjoy that food. Especially if you can eat it in a mindful way. One of the big ones for the clients I’m working with is cheese. A lot of people tell me, “Oh, I can’t stop eating cheese. I love cheese. I feel so bad, I could never stop it,” but I’ll tell you what. Everybody who has had that struggle, I say, “I’ll give you an assignment. I want you for the next 24 hours, I want you to go and try to eat as much cheese as you possibly can,” right? They go, “Oh, no. I would eat so much. I would never be able to stop.” Never [inaudible 00:44:14].

Becky Robbins:
No.

Carole Freeman:
[inaudible 00:44:16] I’m going to try to eat as much cheese as possible, they’ll get tired of it. So, most people because they tell themselves it’s bad for them, then they put a limit on it. They’re like, “Oh, I can’t have very much. I can eat it.” So then they obsess about it because they can’t have it. So, I challenge you. Also, some people don’t do well with cheese. It doesn’t agree with them. So this is part of the exercise, right? So if you’re eating cheese, maybe it tastes good here, but as it goes down it causes you some discomfort and pain. That’s mindful eating. You know that it doesn’t feel good in your body. Oh, Jack’s got a-

Jack Slattery:
I just wanted to break in with this. Johnathan C ate a 500 gram block of cheddar cheese in three minutes, 56 seconds. It’s a competitive sport, cheese eating, and that’s about a pound of cheese. So, that’s the world record right now, is a pound.

Becky Robbins:
A pound.

Carole Freeman:
Okay, well that’s good.

Becky Robbins:
That’s a lot.

Carole Freeman:
He wasn’t eating mindfully, but also just a pound of cheese is not that much cheese.

Jack Slattery:
Right.

Becky Robbins:
He probably didn’t feel good afterwards.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. For people who think they could never stop, I’m sure that that guy probably didn’t want cheese for a month after [crosstalk 00:45:30].

Becky Robbins:
Uh-huh (affirmative), right.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
If all you ate during the day was a pound of cheese, it’s not even going to be that many calories either. So, I challenge everyone watching this whether you’re following keto or not, is the next time that you sit down to any meal, whatever it is you’re eating, for those of you not keto or stress eating or whatever, this is actually an exercise I used to do with my clients before keto. Most junk foods out there, they’re specifically designed that they only taste good if you eat them fast, mindlessly.

Becky Robbins:
Damn.

Carole Freeman:
So, those of you out there out in the world that are eating Doritos, I challenge you right now. Eat it slow and mindfully. I used to do this exercise as a group with my clients. If you sit with full awareness and notice everything around you, and you put that Dorito in your mouth and you bite down slowly and you chew slowly, and you notice how it tastes in your mouth and you notice the texture, it tastes horrible. It doesn’t taste good at all. It tastes like cardboard. The chip quality is the worst quality ever. The flavors don’t taste good. It tastes like cardboard in your mouth and you’re like, “Why did I think these tasted good?” It’s because they’re designed, they only taste good if you eat them fast. They do that on purpose so that you will overeat them.

Becky Robbins:
That’s why the bag says, “You can’t eat just one.”

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Oh, that’s the Lay’s one. That’s also the same thing.

Becky Robbins:
That’s different. Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. So, most junk food is meant to taste good if you eat it really, really fast but if you slow down and eat it slowly and mindfully, most of it doesn’t taste good at all in that context. So, if anybody is interested in more information about this, there’s a book out there called the Dorito Effect. We’ve all got time now to read or an audio book or something like that. Check that out. Again, any meal that you’re going to eat, I challenge you. Can you do it once in the next week? How about every meal that you do from now on? Just start out by centering yourself and noticing, bring in all five senses. This present moment, there’s no judgment. Whatever you’re eating right now, and just see. What do you notice about how it actually tastes, about how it actually makes you feel in your body? Very interesting.

Carole Freeman:
So, I look forward to hearing from all of you about doing this experiment, about what you’ve discovered about foods that you thought you really liked and let go, foods maybe you’re eating stress eating wise right now that you realize, “Wow. Actually, this is just shoving something in my face as fast as possible, and it’s not that it actually tastes good.” So, then you could be empowered then to actually make those choices of, what can you eat right now that actually tastes really good when you slow down and enjoy it? Those usually aren’t going to be junk food items. They’re going to be foods that are actually nutritious to your body. So, I challenge you. Eat foods that taste good when you eat slowly and savor every bite and morsel. All right, that’s my little bit.

Becky Robbins:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Typically, I ask questions. So Jack, what questions do you have for Becky? I forgot to ask that part earlier. So, do you have questions for Becky or anything about what she talked about? I think [crosstalk 00:49:08] already did.

Jack Slattery:
Oh my god. [crosstalk 00:49:08] like this.

Carole Freeman:
What’s that?

Jack Slattery:
You’re just going to throw me under the bus like this?

Carole Freeman:
Yes, yes. We’ve got to comment on what she was doing anyway. As far as art therapy.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah. So, where do you like to go hiking? How long of a hike do you do?

Becky Robbins:
That depends.

Jack Slattery:
Do you talk during the hike, or is it a silent meditation kind of thing?

Becky Robbins:
Oh, are you talking about when I go with clients?

Jack Slattery:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Okay. So, most client sessions are a soft hour, as we call it, with a few minutes at the end for scheduling and stuff. Thinking about that and driving and all of this, it’s usually urban hikes. Anywhere from Golden Gardens, St. Edward’s Park, Discovery Park, all these different areas. They could be just walking around a park. Sometimes it includes playing on the kids’ toys, big kids’ toys. So, most of those sessions are an hour, and people can sign up for longer sessions. Then those are definitely walk and talk. There are moments of silence, but then when I do the group ones, those ones can be longer and they involve a lot more stop and pause exercises, or even mindfulness games to sharpen your skills and senses, and then we sit and process it together.

Becky Robbins:
I did a sound bath once where I dropped individual people in different spaces. You sit over here, we go six feet away. Necessary not six feet, that’s today. Go 20 feet away, put the other person over there, and so however many in the group, we’re all a good distance away. Then sit and have this sound bath, listening to what we hear around us and noting it in a journal in a specific way. Then coming back after 15, 20 minutes is a good amount of time, and then just collect ourselves, have a little snack if we need it, and then talk about what we experienced. Then finish the hike and go back with our day. So, that’s a very rough sketch of how that might look. Those hikes could be a little further out. Might involve carpooling, but those are usually more group. They’re not therapy groups or the clients that I regularly have. Those would be your everyday people who want self growth and they want to experience more mindfulness and hiking. So, that’s how that goes.

Carole Freeman:
You could totally still do the hikes virtually, right? So, somebody goes on a walk someplace, you go on a walk, and then you just talk to each other on [crosstalk 00:52:05].

Becky Robbins:
You could. Yeah, and in this day and age of the virus I would say yes, I would do that, but typically it’s phone/device free. If somebody internationally wanted to go do this hike thing, we could totally do that for sure.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. So, you could be COVID compliant and still do hike therapy with people.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah, exactly.

Carole Freeman:
Right now, yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Right now. Sign up.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Becky, do you have questions for Jack?

Becky Robbins:
Yes, I do have questions for Jack. So Jack, I was listening to you talk about how you usually do one a day, but two is optimal. When you’ve had your two day meditations, 20 minutes twice a day, have you noticed a significant difference, or a little difference? Have you ever had a really long streak of twice a day?

Jack Slattery:
I have. When I first started, I was very diligent about twice a day. I was still in college, I had time, especially in the summers. It was much easier. I think it’s an accumulative kind of thing. I don’t think if you start out doing one a day, and then you build up to two, I don’t know if you’ll notice a significant change right away, but I think if you stay on that path it will become more noticeable.

Becky Robbins:
Over time.

Jack Slattery:
I think over time.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah.

Jack Slattery:
It just develops, it just compounds on itself. The one you did earlier is warming up for your next one in a way. It’s like doing a stretch for your next one.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah, like toning.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah, just like toning. Yeah, exactly. So, I think it’s just, like I said before, ultimately just a practice thing like anything else. The more you do it, the better you’re going to be at it.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah. Repatterning.

Jack Slattery:
Which is a really weird way to talk about it, being better at it, which implies you can be bad at it.

Becky Robbins:
Right, yeah.

Jack Slattery:
Just improving yourself. Pushing yourself to not push yourself.

Becky Robbins:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), I know exactly what you mean. Those who are learning this will eventually be like, “Oh, that’s what they were talking about.” Thanks [crosstalk 00:54:40].

Carole Freeman:
This is so-

Becky Robbins:
I have a question for you.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, yes. Okay.

Becky Robbins:
So, it sounded to me like you were using mindfulness for mindful eating and ketogenic state of mind interchangeably, and I don’t know anything about keto anything, which is newbie. So, [crosstalk 00:54:58] what is a ketogenic state?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. So, a ketogenic state. When we keep our carbohydrate intake low, that goes in our mouth, it forces our body into this ketogenic state. Ketosis is a state where there’s ketones present in the blood, which is a medical term, and the way that we get there is that we restrict the amount of carbohydrates we’re eating. So, our body has this backup plan. In nature, we’re not prevalent. Our body basically turns over to fat as its primary fuel source, and as a byproduct of using fat as a primary fuel, your body also makes these other molecules called ketones. It can use those as fuel as well. So in the absence of carbohydrates, then our body can also use ketones as fuel. So, the brain actually really loves ketones as fuel. It makes this nice, even state high alertness that people experience.

Carole Freeman:
Now, our bodies are really designed, way back when we didn’t have an abundance of high sugar garbage food, our bodies are designed to have metabolic flexibility. That means that whatever we ate, our body could burn whether it was fat or carbs, and in the absence of food we could turn to our body’s fat storage and use that for fuel. So, that’s metabolic flexibility. That’s the way the human body was designed to operate. Unfortunately over time where we’ve shifted, it’s a combination of things. We were told that fat was really bad for us to eat, that we should instead eat tons of carbohydrates. Then the food manufacturers responded by making a bunch of high carbohydrate refined foods. We’ve switched from the ability to have metabolic flexibility that whatever we ate, and there are some people in the world that still have this. It’s the minority of people out there unfortunately. People that are very active still or just genetically an anomaly. Maybe less than 5% of the population I think are like that, but they’ve never been overweight.

Becky Robbins:
That would be me. Sorry.

Carole Freeman:
They’re the people [crosstalk 00:57:09], “Oh man, they could just eat whatever.”

Becky Robbins:
That’s why I don’t know.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, so you’re a genetic anomaly.

Becky Robbins:
Well.

Carole Freeman:
Because back in the day when you needed to be able to store fat in order to survive the famine, your type would not have made it.

Becky Robbins:
Nope.

Carole Freeman:
Now we look at you and we’re like, “Oh, you’re so lucky. How is it that you can’t gain weight?” So, that’s why the majority of the population is in this place of we’re all overweight. Why? Why do I have such weak [crosstalk 00:57:40]?

Becky Robbins:
Why?

Carole Freeman:
Our bodies are designed, so it’s a genetic mismatch right now or an evolutionary mismatch. The way that our food supply is, is really good at making us fat for the predominant people.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah, or feel crappy for the un-predominant people.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. So, we’ve moved in this state of primarily eating carbohydrates and so if you mostly eat carbohydrates all of the time, your body is basically like, “Well, we don’t need to make all of this stuff in order to get the fat [crosstalk 00:58:11] and burn that. We never burn that. So, let’s just stop making all of that machinery. Let’s change the cell structure so that we don’t have it, be able to get the fat out of storage, and let’s just shove all that in the furnace and keep gaining weight.”

Becky Robbins:
Got it.

Carole Freeman:
So over time, your body shuts off all of the ability to even use fat for fuel. So it basically makes it so you’re dependent on constantly having carbohydrates, and our body doesn’t have a storage of carbohydrates. So if we’re running primarily on that, you have to constantly be eating those. You have to eat six, or seven, or eight times a day and constantly fuel. So, that’s why people typically, and they get beat up because they’re constantly hungry. They’ve got to eat all the time. They’re really low energy. They’re lethargic. They want to sit around and not do much. They don’t have the energy to exercise.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah and so for people like that, that they don’t have metabolic flexibility, they’re stuck in carb burning mode, we have to shift. It’s a very dramatic shift of restricting carbohydrates. So basically, we shut off that fuel source. We’re like, “Body, you need to adapt. We need you to get back to knowing how to burn fat again.”

Becky Robbins:
Do it.

Carole Freeman:
The only way to do that, it’s like a drug detox. So, if you keep carbs coming in your body doesn’t ever shift back to learning how to use fat. So, we have to shut that off and unfortunately, what’s happened with people is it can take 18 to 24 months, or even longer, for the body to get really good and have that flexibility. Some people are never really able to gain, in fact most people, aren’t able to gain that metabolic flexibility back that they could occasionally have high carbs and then switch back into burning fat.

Becky Robbins:
It’s good to know and to have that expectation and understanding.

Carole Freeman:
Also, there’s the brain chemistry part of it as well. So, that’s also another complicated factor for things as well, so people have built up the brain chemistry and addiction to food that it wouldn’t matter if their body is metabolically flexible and can burn carbs or fat. If they’re addicted and as soon as they start to have carbs again they can’t stop eating them, that’s a whole other issue too. So, I address both of those. Yeah, so that-

Becky Robbins:
Thanks.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, so that’s what ketosis is, and typically when people are in that state, when their body is primarily burning fat for fuel and they’ve got these ketones, they have got a steady energy state throughout the day, they have a very low appetite. They’re not obsessed with food, they don’t really have any cravings, and all of that. So a lot of people, actually everybody who’s ever been in ketosis says, “Oh my gosh. I just feel so much better in this state because of the mental clarity and energy,” but it’s not always necessarily an ideal state for everyone to be in all of the time, right? So, somebody who’s very lean, because it’s an appetite suppressant, it’s not a good idea for them necessarily to follow it because they don’t need to lose anymore fat on their body. That can be actually detrimental to health to have not enough fat on their body. Is that more than you ever wanted to know about it for now?

Becky Robbins:
Thank you. No, that’s great. I want to know all the more things. Another time. Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, yes. There’s so much more out there. Well Jack, do you have any questions for me? You don’t have to.

Jack Slattery:
Are you going to book me once you get the shows get going again?

Carole Freeman:
Yes, yeah. [crosstalk 01:01:46] I had a wild idea today about how we might actually might be able to do online shows in this platform, if we have enough guests on here with good people that [inaudible 01:01:57].

Becky Robbins:
That sounds fun.

Carole Freeman:
Derek and I are going to work on that.

Jack Slattery:
Okay.

Carole Freeman:
So, yeah. Yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Budding comedian over here.

Carole Freeman:
You?

Becky Robbins:
Yes [crosstalk 01:02:08], me.

Carole Freeman:
This is weird because it’s backwards so I can’t even point to you.

Becky Robbins:
Right, yes. [crosstalk 01:02:14] I started improv and now I’m in love with it.

Carole Freeman:
There we go, there we go. I had to point the opposite way. Oh, well yeah. When comedy comes back to life, we’ll have to get you back out on the open mic stage then, yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Becky Robbins:
Cool.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. Let’s wrap this up. Thank you all for being here. We do one last round, and I call it the lightning bolt round. This is actually how I close out my coaching calls too. So, each of us take a turn and share your aha, your takeaway, or whatever you want to say to wrap this up. Also, be sure to mention how people can contact you for your services or follow you on social media, or whatever that way too.

Becky Robbins:
Do you want to go in a little circle?

Carole Freeman:
You’re going first now, so.

Becky Robbins:
All right, okay. So again, my name is Becky Robbins. My business is Inner Phoenix Embodied Arts, and what I learned today is gosh, I really liked what you just said about the ketones and such. So, I’m going to explore that a little more and how that impacts me, and then from Jack, I want to check out your comedy as well as dip my toe into TM, transcendental meditation, a little bit. See if I can make it to 20 minutes with my ADD. So, how you can contact me if you would like to go on one of those group hikes for mindfulness, of you’re interested in being a therapy client, you can contact me at my website, which is HTTP:-

Carole Freeman:
Oh, [crosstalk 01:04:03].

Becky Robbins:
Okay. You don’t have to do that, but there’s no WW, so don’t do that. It’s InnerPhoenix.Wordpress.com, and my email address, a little bit different, is Becky@InnerPhoenix.net. There’s a story behind that, and then you can also find me, I have a Facebook page which is Inner Phoenix Embodied Arts, and I post some of the videos for the hikes and stuff there. So, thank you both and onto you, Jack.

Carole Freeman:
Cool, thank you.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah. Aha moment for me was learning about the hikes that you do, the group hikes. That sounds really cool, it seems really fun. I have to check that out. You can follow me on Instagram at JackSlatteryComedy, the spelling of the name is right down at the lower screen.

Carole Freeman:
That’s good.

Jack Slattery:
Yeah. This was a lot of fun, thank you. Carole, I had something but I’m blanking. I talked about me for a second. I was supposed to talk about you.

Carole Freeman:
No, no. No, you’re supposed to talk about you right now. Yeah.

Jack Slattery:
Okay.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, no. You did great. Yeah, thank you so much for being here. My takeaway, my aha, I love the therapy that you’re doing. The fact that you can hike therapy. I’ve never heard of that. It’s amazing. It’s so great, I love it.

Becky Robbins:
Hike it out.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. I thought this earlier, I didn’t say it, but I bet you’re just so happy in alignment with your true self right now compared to what you were doing before.

Becky Robbins:
Oh yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, yeah. That’s great. Thank you everyone for watching. The biggest compliment you could give is to invite other people to watch, to like the page, and come back. So, I’m doing this every single night, 7:00 PM Pacific. Yeah, this is going to be posted because in recording, we had some tech issues. Sorry about that. I don’t know what happened.

Becky Robbins:
It happens.

Carole Freeman:
I have no control over it, so I’m just going to me mindful in the moment. That’s what we did. We just did the best that we could in this moment, and let go of everything we can’t control, but thank you all for being here. We’re coming back, lots more good stuff coming up, so thanks for watching. We’ll see you all soon. Bye.

Becky Robbins:
Bye.

Keto Chat 120: Honing Skills: Using this Time to Focus on Self-Improvement

Derek Wolf works as a remote Copywriter at Seattle-based startup advertising agency Will+Way. He drafts and publishes creative social media messaging for local tech companies that have international reach. On top of copywriting, Derek is also a stand-up comedian who regularly performs with famous radio personalities and national comedians. Derek finds that comedy has allowed him to creatively express himself off stage as well, and attributes his creative copywriting ideas to his comedic cynicism.

You can follow his content on all social media platforms including:

Instagram: @Wolf.T.Derek

Facebook: Derek Wolf Comedy

Twitter: @DerekDaWolf

Website: www.DerekWolfIsntFunny.com

Kelly Trach is a business coach, podcaster + online course educator. She helps visionary women build digital business with 1:1 services and online courses.

Website: kellytrach.com

Free Quiz: kellytrach.com/genius

Tyana Kelley is a coach who helps women break the cycle of trauma in their families by putting themselves higher on their own lists. I also developed a unique assessment called the 12 Heart Prisms.

Website: www.purplehorizons.com

Class: https://facebook.com/events/s/from-surviving-to-thriving/1050455438670373/?ti=icl

Derek Wolf:
… I’m in love with, too, so it’s been really fun.

Carol Freeman:
Okay, we’re live now. Thank you, everyone, for watching here, and welcome to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, Carol Freeman. I am a board certified ketogenic nutrition specialist, and I am in the Epicenter here in the Seattle, Washington, area. We’re all social distancing here and bringing you something to offset all the doom and gloom and the anxiety that has been overwhelming us out there. We’re bringing you positivity, you guys.

Carol Freeman:
Tonight’s episode is going to be about how do we take this time to actually look inside and use it for a time of self-improvement, honing your skills, improving ourselves, rather than just giving up and laying on that couch over there, like my cats do all day long.

Carol Freeman:
I coach people. I’m going to start out and tell you who I am, and then I’m going to tell you about our amazing guests we have. One of the nice things about what’s going on in the world right now is that everybody is unbooked, so I have all the best talent in the entire world at my fingertips. Then, we Derek here, too, so you know… I have all this great talent, so I’m really excited to tell you who we’ve got here tonight, but let me just really quickly tell you about myself.

Carol Freeman:
Carol Freeman, and I primarily work with women, a few men once in a while, but I specialize in helping people figure out this lifelong struggle they’ve had with their weight, being able to follow a ketogenic diet as a lifelong sustainable solution where they can lose the weight, keep it off, and just move their obsession with weight and food to the back of their mind, so that is me.

Carol Freeman:
Just really briefly I’m going to tell you our guests, and then I’m going to bring each of them up. They’re going to spend about 10 to 15 minutes sharing their area of expertise with you, and leave you some exercises to help you find your zone of skill and self-improvement, and all that stuff.

Carol Freeman:
I’m going to introduce you all in the order that we’re going to go; I know I didn’t even tell you guys that. We have Tyana Kelley, and the way I learned to pronounce her name correctly is it rhymes with “Diana.” So, Tyana Kelley, welcome.

Tyana Kelley:
Thank you.

Carol Freeman:
I’m actually going to read your full bio right before I introduce you, so it will be in suspense. Then, we have Kelly Trach. We have Tyana Kelley, Kelly Trach, and Derek is out of order, so I don’t know. We should have had Track Wolf or something. Welcome, Kelly. Thank you you for being here.

Derek Wolf:
I’m always curious.

Carol Freeman:
Then, Derek will wrap up with a few… Derek Wolf is in the Seattle area as well. Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy days and lives to be here with us.

Carol Freeman:
Those of you that are watching, if you have any questions for our experts, please type them in the comments box here. I’m going to have to bring up a couple of our [inaudible 00:02:55] groups because we’re actually live on my page; and it’s a group tonight, so it’s very complicated. Hopefully, you all can see us and chat with us here.

Carol Freeman:
All right, up first it’s my privilege to bring to the stage… here I am pretending I’m in comedy again. Up first, we have Tyana Kelley, a coach who helps women break the cycle of trauma in their families by putting themselves higher on their own list. She’s developed the unique assessment system called the 12 Heart Prisms. I can’t wait to learn about this. I’m going to tell you, Tyana, so many of my clients are in that box of putting everyone first in their lives and they put themselves last, and so I’m so excited to have you here. Thank you so much for being here and welcome.

Tyana Kelley:
Thank you for having me, considering I met you on Friday through social distancing, a Zoom call. It was very fun.

Tyana Kelley:
Yes, I developed this unique assessment to help women because I used to be a doula, a birth and postpartum doula; and what I realize is that so many of us who our moms put ourselves way down on the priority list, and that extends past the first year of life when we have babies, that that just continues on and on, so I wanted to use my skills. I also got a master’s degree while I was a doula, and so I’ve taken the skills that I gained from my doula life, and getting my master’s in strategic communication to become more well-rounded to help moms beyond the first year. I’m also using my own resiliency, and overcoming trauma as a child and as an adult, so I’ve mashed everything together to create this new thing.

Carol Freeman:
Oh, I love it. I love it.

Tyana Kelley:
I’m hope everyone can see this. These are the 12 Heart Prisms. This originated from I developed my own logo, which is this heart, and then I turned each heart prism into its own thing, for a lack of better word.

Carol Freeman:
For those of you that are women right now that can totally resonate with Tyana’s putting everyone else first before you, just give us a yes in the comments here because I know this is a common one.

Tyana Kelley:
Give me an amen.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. That’s even better.

Tyana Kelley:
The 12 heart prisms, I know I flashed that up quickly and it was hard to read, so I’ll read through them. We have your: village, self-awareness, your willingness to succeed and your willingness to fail, resiliency, goals and dreams, renewal, accountability, honesty, your history, the infrastructure of your life, what does that look like, and your passions. The goal, I take women through this either as our first session in coaching, or I also offer this as a group class, and I offer those pretty much monthly, and we just spend time going through each one on a 1 to 10 scale, and you get to color in. Everybody gets their own black heart and you get to color it in, and it’s really fascinating because everybody gets to see what’s going really well in their life and where they also need to improve. The goal is never to have a completely full heart because this is not realistic, and what I’ve come to realize… is it okay if I say a bad word?

Carol Freeman:
Well, which one?

Tyana Kelley:
Well, I won’t say it.

Carol Freeman:
We’re PG-13, so you’re allowed one F-word per episode.

Tyana Kelley:
Oh, no. It’s the S-H word.

Carol Freeman:
Okay, yes. That’s fine.

Tyana Kelley:
Okay. Balance, we’re all told about balance, work-life balance: balance is bullshit, ladies. Can I get an amen?

Carol Freeman:
Yes. Here we go.

Tyana Kelley:
Because we are taught and told by society that we’re supposed to have this perfect home life, be a perfect mom, put the kids first, and do all these things, and then we’re also supposed to have a career, and then we’re made to feel like crap when we don’t achieve that.

Carol Freeman:
Don’t forget to take time for self-care.

Tyana Kelley:
Society is gaslighting us.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah.

Tyana Kelley:
So, I’m here to help you figure out where you can put yourself first, and so renewal: you notice that my prism is not self-care; it’s renewal. Because you have to constantly be filling your own cup because you can’t serve anyone else from an empty cup, you can’t fill anybody else up. Renewal comes with things like getting enough sleep, eating well, doing things that you love. For me, I love to tap dance, so fun things like that, but just taking really good care of yourself. Do you have a morning routine? Do you have a nighttime routine? It’s not all bubble baths and pedicures, and especially right now when we can’t go out and do the things that we love, and we have to find what we love at home, and how do we fill our cups when we’re feeling isolated? Or maybe we’re feeling a little trapped. Anybody feeling trapped right now in their house?

Carol Freeman:
Almost. Yeah.

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah. So, that is what I do. I would love to answer any questions or hear what anybody else has to say about their [crosstalk 00:09:27].

Carol Freeman:
I’m just going to give a shout out to John. He is our original viewer. I think he’s been here almost every night of this broadcast so far, and this is the fifth night in a row, so John thank you so much. If I could give you some kind of a star or a crown or something like that for supporter.

Derek Wolf:
A top fan.

Tyana Kelley:
Top fan.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah, top fan. Thank you, John, for being here. He’s doing his dumbbell curls. One of our episodes on Saturday was about how to stay active at this time, so he’s being active and still watching the show.

Tyana Kelley:
Nice.

Carol Freeman:
So, thank you so much, John.

Carol Freeman:
For those viewers, please share any questions you’ve got for Tyana in the comments. In the meantime, I’m actually going to challenge our other guests here to ask a question of Tyana.

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah. I would love to answer any questions.

Tyana Kelley:
Another popular thing that we’re dealing with right now, as far as the heart prisms go, is our village, and how do we connect with our village and feel that support from one another when we are isolated? Because I’m a big believer that we are not meant to do this thing called life on our own. We need to have other people supporting us, so how do we do that when we have to keep our distance from one another? If you are struggling with village right now and how to stay connected, I would really encourage you to jump on some Zoom or FaceTime. Some of these video conference tools that we have are so great. I’ve been on Zoom more in the last week than I have maybe in all of [inaudible 00:11:22] combined, I think. It’s been really awesome. Anybody else using Zoom or FaceTime, or any of those other platforms, to get through this?

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. Yesterday, I did, my girlfriend’s dad, we did a 12-way FaceTime thing, and it was really odd. It was really interesting. Until the dogs came in, and then they took over the whole thing, so that’s really about what happened.

Tyana Kelley:
I saw somebody, one of my friends over the weekend, did a Zoom engagement party for her brother. Life looks different, but life goes on, and we’re getting creative and figure out how to still connect in this time. I think, for me at least, I’m connecting with more people during this time than I normally would. Like I said, Carol and I met on Friday in a group Zoom through a mutual friend.

Carol Freeman:
It was a lunch meeting on Zoom. Yeah.

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
We’ve got six people watching right now, so I’m challenging that we need some questions from those of you that are watching. What questions do you have for Tyana right now in this time of… how do we take care of ourselves? How do we deal with this pseudo thing we’re told, life balance?

Carol Freeman:
Here’s a question, for those of you watching. What are you struggling with right now with overwhelm? What are all the things that you’re trying to balance and juggle in your life that you need more guidance on? How do you manage all that? How do you juggle everything? Share with us. Dump out your overwhelm. What is it that you’re dealing with?

Carol Freeman:
Kelly, do you have a question for Tyana?

Kelly Trach:
Yeah. First and foremost, I loved what you shared about renewal versus self-care. I thought that was a beautiful and very eloquent way of describing it.

Tyana Kelley:
Thank you.

Kelly Trach:
Because I feel like I’ve never really resonated with the word “self-care,” but I love the concept of renewal. My question for you would be around village. Because I feel like village, especially in the world of today, everything being so digital and with Instagram, it’s like we’re more connected than ever, but quite often I sometimes feel more lonely than ever. Do you have any tips on improving that village aspect of your life when you feel like you’re getting this false community from online and social media, versus in the day you feel like your cup is not really filled up because you’re not really hanging out with people in person? Do you have any tips on balancing that in today’s modern techy world?

Tyana Kelley:
Yes. My best tip is to call your girlfriends because I was in a really dark place a few years ago. I’m an extrovert so I need that social connection, so I have to make a point to make appointments with my friends and call them just like I would call them in high school.

Kelly Trach:
Yeah, I love that. It’s so true. Especially even with making an appointment, that’s such a good idea. In high school it was impromptu call where it’s like, “Oh, hey!” but now I feel like it’s not okay to just do an impromptu call. I’m always messaging my friends at, “Hey, are you free at seven o’clock tonight?” and get it in the calendar, and in high school we used to just pick up the phone and call up your best friend. But today with so much going on, especially going back to what you said about life-work balance, and just us struggling with more things than ever, you’ve got to really get that time in the calendar. Yeah, I love that tip.

Tyana Kelley:
And that’s been really key for me. I will tell people, “Schedule half an hour to an hour,” because that’s the time it takes for both of you to get the time you need to debrief and share what’s going on in your life, and get that voice connection, because this is not the same as hearing people. That’s my big tip.

Tyana Kelley:
Derek, did you have a question?

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. You brought up earlier about just keeping scheduled stuff in the morning and afternoon stuff; and as someone that does work from home multiple days a week, that is something I have an issue with just keeping up. Do you have any tips on how to motivate yourself to just continue doing that?

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah. For me it’s easy because I have eight and a half year old twins, so keeping on a schedule has been easy, but now it’s getting a little harder that they’re home. But I really like to start my day with a little meditation and just get myself grounded, but really the biggest thing for me is I have to shower first thing in the morning because that sets me up. That ensures that I’m getting dressed, and I’m not going to work in my pajamas. I’m not going to have a long coffee. I’m going to just get up and get to it, and drink my coffee while I’m working. I know a lot of people like to sit down at a notebook and do a little journaling, or a gratitude practice, things like that, but just find things that resonate with you. You can Google “morning routine” and you’ll get a million ideas for things that might resonate with you. But I would say keep it to five specific things or less before you start your work day, and just do those things, and do them consistently for 90 days, and that will create your habit.

Derek Wolf:
Great.

Kelly Trach:
I love that. I did a podcast episode earlier this week and I was saying the exact same thing. Self-care is just having that moment of just taking a shower and getting out of your pajamas, and it changes that flick in your brain to be like…

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah.

Kelly Trach:
Other days I’ll be like, “Oh, I’ll just do this now. It’s fine. I’m in my pajamas,” but when you actually have a shower and you, like what you said, have a coffee at your desk and do the work, it’s like, “Oh, I’m really working. This is real,” and you’re taking better care of yourself, so I love that.

Tyana Kelley:
Thanks.

Carol Freeman:
That’s something I’ve had to adjust recently. It used to be that I would work from home all day, I’ve been doing now for years, and I wouldn’t shower. I’d go to work in my PJs, my comfortable clothes. Because I would go out every night and do comedy, and I was going to be on stage, I would shower and do hair and make-up before that, so that was, “I’ve got to get ready by then,” but there’s no more of that. We’re not leaving.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
There’s no more comedy, we can’t do any of that, and I’ve had to shift because it’s like doing this show is one of the things that’s helped me like, “This is a hard appointment that I’ve got. I need to be presentable on camera for that,” but I was talking with a friend yesterday where she says showering is the first thing she does every morning, and I normally don’t do that because it was the last thing I would do, and I realized, “I think I need to change my routine and having that as the first thing I do, which sets the tone,” because things are so different now. If I leave the house, it’s because I’ve got to go get groceries or something, but you can do that in your slippers or whatever.

Tyana Kelley:
But should you?

Carol Freeman:
Oh, yeah.

Derek Wolf:
It’s funny.

Carol Freeman:
No, but it’s really having me reassess just for mental health, and setting the stage of, “If I don’t take it in the morning, when is the time I need to take it?” because I’m not seeing anybody that’s going to smell me. I live by myself.

Derek Wolf:
I’m in the same boat as you, Carol, for sure.

Carol Freeman:
It used to be, “No, I don’t want to smell bad when I’m going to go see these other people,” but I can fake from here up that I’ve had a shower when I really haven’t, so that’s true. Reassessing that I was like, “I need that for my mental health and just to set a routine,” so I’m now switching to, “Okay, I’m going to take a shower first thing in the morning,” even though it was something I did later because there’s not going to be any reason to do it, so making it a part of my morning routine is what I’m switching up to.

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah. It’s good that you’re making that connection, though. Because for some people, they’re probably not making that connection yet because this is still all really new this whole being at home all the time, and what is the change to the routine. The earlier that you can make that assessment and adjust your routine to match your new reality, it will make all of this feel more normal and more doable, and make you more successful when you come out the other side, and that’s the whole resiliency piece, right? We don’t want people falling into depression and anxiety about all of this. We want that resiliency muscle to be built up and firing strong through all of this; so that when things do go back to normal, then we just go back to the way it was, as close to that as possible, and just move on. And we’ve all survived it, and we can high-five again, and we’ll all be okay.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. How many of you watching right now can identify with your routine is changing, you’re having to create a new routine? Tyana likes the amen, and let’s… you know this is for her. Give her an “amen” with the comments right now.

Tyana Kelley:
I’ve been really focusing on helping women through this whole home schooling thing right now. I’ve been going live every day on my business page, Purple Horizons, because I’m still a reluctant home schooler. We didn’t want to be in this boat, but here we are, and how do we get through it?

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. John’s giving an “amen” so… John, one of our foundational fans here, top fan, what’s changed about your routine? Share a little bit with us in the comments there.

Carol Freeman:
One of the reasons I’m being really mindful with myself is I’m an extrovert; and I also know that not only is a love language I have touch, but it’s a human need that we have to touch other humans. We have psychology studies from the ’20s and ’30s that show that touching other humans is an essential for just mental well-being, and I live by myself. I’m a single lady, I’ve got two cats; and I’ve got to tell you as much as I want to snuggle my cats, it’s not the same as human contact. So, for my own mental well-being, I’ve been concerned, and that’s part of why I’m being very conscientious about, “Okay, I’ve gone a week now without touching another human being,” and our governor here just mandated that we not go out and not touch anybody for at least two more weeks. Three weeks, I’m going to go without any human contact, so I’m going to double-down and be very conscientious, “Okay, showering first thing in the morning might be the first thing I do to create this routine, and then make myself mentally well.” You know?

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
So, we’ve got [inaudible 00:22:59]. Yeah. Go with that.

Tyana Kelley:
I think those substitutes is going to be really important for a lot of people because we do need those physical interactions. I consider myself lucky that I am in a house with three other people, as an extrovert. It’s okay for me to still hug my kids and kiss my husband.

Carol Freeman:
I’m just afraid that about a week and a half from now I’m just going to go in the grocery store and I’m just going to go and hug a clerk, “Ah! Sorry.” Like they’re going to arrest me for assault or something like that, “No, [inaudible 00:23:33]. It was essential. It was essential touch.” Anyway.

Carol Freeman:
I’m going to move on so that Kelly gets a chance. Tyana, thank you so much.

Tyana Kelley:
[crosstalk 00:23:45].

Carol Freeman:
Any other questions for Tyana, please continue to post those in the comments here. But up next… oh, my gosh. Let me pull up the bio. So, Kelly Trach is a business coach podcaster and online course educator. She helps visionary women build digital business, and one-on-one services, and online courses. I know she’s got a really great exercise she’ll lead us through, and I can’t wait to have her up next. So, welcome Kelly.

Kelly Trach:
Hello. Welcome, everybody. Thanks so much for having me here, Carol. My name is Kelly Trach, and I help visionary women build digital businesses, and it’s based on their zone of genius, and I help them build-up a business with one-on-one services and online courses, up to a place of consistent full-time income, which I define as consistent $5K months and $10K months from your business. But the thing that I stumbled upon, accidentally through my work doing this business for the last three years, is the zone of genius work, and figuring out what is that gift that you have that makes you so unique, and how can you sell that, how can you offer that, and how can you create a service around that? I’m going to be walking you through today of talking about what exactly is your genius, why is it important, and how to find that genius of yours, and whether you build a career around that or a business or a side hustle. You can take it in any direction you like, so it’s not business-focused. Don’t worry if you have a regular job.

Kelly Trach:
I wanted to begin by explaining how I even got into the genius work and understanding what this is. Because back in the day, when people asked me what my story was, I rewind to high school because I feel like it just showed so much about me. I was like your classic overachiever. I did all the things. I wanted to be great at school, and have all these extracurriculars. I worked my butt off. I went to school here in British Columbia in Canada on scholarship. I graduated on the Dean’s list, did every single thing, tried to get all the job offers. After business school was done, I moved down to San Francisco to work on my first tech startup, and I always had wanted to build the biggest, hardest stuff.

Kelly Trach:
Now, I was always chasing these huge challenges. Tech startup one failed. I tried again, and tech startup two failed. I tried a third time, and tech startup three failed, so I had to move back home to Canada. I had a rock bottom aha moment, and I asked myself, “What if I just do what I was good at?” and this was a very life-changing question for me because I never just did what I was good at because I thought that was too easy and stupid, because I was always busy trying to prove and strive, and effort and hustle and achieve, and the irony was that I was trying harder and harder and these businesses were just not working out.

Kelly Trach:
I ended up building a fourth business, which is this one, based on the things that came naturally to me, and I turned it into a six-figure business, but it was all ironic because I was like, “How am I just doing what’s easy to me and natural to me, and it’s working, when all my life I’ve hustled and worked hard?” That’s when I started to peel back the layers and see where my genius was, and how I was indirectly harnessing it, and I reverse engineered it to figure out how to find your genius in what I call “The Genius Framework.” Let me know in the chat. Type “yes” if you agree with that story of learning to hustle, grind, be great at all the things, be well-rounded, improve your weaknesses.

Kelly Trach:
The term “zone of genius” originally comes from a dude named Gay Hendricks who write the book, The Big Leap, and he explains that we have these different pockets of life where we’re either just okay at it, or maybe we’re really good at it, and then we have our zone of genius where we’re truly exceptional, that’s where we thrive, and it’s the things that we do really innately really well. That’s his concept, and that’s the working definition that a lot of us know. The way I describe genius is a little bit differently, and what I describe in my Genius Framework is just a little bit tweaked, based on what I’ve seen for myself and in my clients’ lives.

Kelly Trach:
I want to actually start by talking about the difference between our genius and these things we’re really great at, versus just the traditional strengths, because I think those words get mixed up a lot. When we do an assessment like a strength finder, or learning about what our strengths are… let me know in the chat if you’ve ever done one of those, type “yes”… you usually get a list all the things you’re great at, but usually we’ve been taught to be well-rounded and we’re good at many things. But I like to look at the top three to five gifts; and I call them “gifts” versus “strengths” because on a list of things that we’re good at and the things we have strengths around, at the bottom of my list… like I’m still good as being a decisive, fast decision-maker, but I’m not anywhere close to the speed of somebody in the army or somebody who works in a super high-pressure job, like a surgeon making a life or death choice. But at the top, think about something… Oh, hello from Ontario.

Carol Freeman:
I could find this person’s name because when they share in the group, for some reason we can’t pull their name through, so I’ll go find their name here. So, please keep going, Kelly. Hold on, Ontario person; I’m going to get your name here in a moment.

Kelly Trach:
At the top of your strengths list, I always look at the top stuff you’re really excellent at, and call those just gifts. I like to call it “gift” because it’s stuff you’re really truly gifted at. Out of everything that you’re really good at, to super excellent at, what are you truly, truly gifted at, and I’m going to ask some questions for you to figure out what you’re truly gifted at. But if you take your top three to five here, and you figure out what those are, and you stick them together, and then you look at what those are, and then look at activities where you do all three to five, where you’re harnessing three to five ones: I believe that creates your genius. I know for me through doing work, my four things, the best things that I’m truly gifted at, is teaching, speaking, creating and connecting; and when I do things that involve all four, I create a product that is truly exceptional, and it’s something that is truly my best and highest output.

Kelly Trach:
Why is it so important to find your genius and find this area for you? Well, first and foremost, when you do work this in alignment with it, you feel super fulfilled. It’s truly work that you love doing. It comes easy to you. It’s that quality of work where it feels effortless, and people are like, “Wow, this is so great. Oh, my gosh, this is so easy for me.”

Kelly Trach:
Another great part about doing this work is that when you find it and when you tap into it, you become seen as the thought leader in your space, as the go-to expert in your field or in your career. If we can even think about it\, when we visualize people that we admire at work or in the entrepreneurial space who are just so good at what they do, that’s because they’re tapped into that genius. You can also be in that space, and when you’re doing it you can really charge what you’re worth either in an entrepreneurial sense, what you’re charging for in your business, for maybe your consulting, or your courses, or your coaching. Or in a job in a 9:00 to 5:00, you can really ask for the salary you desire because you’re so truly gifted at this and you’re doing the work that’s in your genius. That’s the value of finding your genius and honoring it, and building a life and a career and a business or a side hustle around it.

Kelly Trach:
So, I have some questions for you guys. We’re going to work through them pretty quickly, but you’re going to get the general gist of the flavor of questions.

Carol Freeman:
Whoever is watching right now, answer Kelly’s questions in the comments.

Kelly Trach:
Yeah. And our goal is to figure out what your gifts are. We want to find those best gifts of yours, and I would encourage you in a journal to write those down. Then, from there, we look at, “Okay, what activities do you do where you’re harnessing all these at once?” and “How do they create a really amazing final product?”

Kelly Trach:
My first question for you is: what are you good at that nobody taught you how to do? I think it’s such an illuminating and eye-opening question because we have those skills that we just know how to do. Nobody taught us, we didn’t maybe take a training or a class, but we’re just good at it. I know for me, I’m very good at just making things and creating stuff. I never have taken a class in Web design or graphic design or anything, but I can make anything out of anything. I’m like, “Okay, this is it. This is done.”

Kelly Trach:
Another great way to look at this is looking at what have you been good at for so many years in your life? Looking back at patterns of consistent hobbies you’ve had for years, stuff where you really find your flow doing things that you truly enjoy. What have you been doing for a long time that maybe you haven’t really taken super seriously, but you’ve said, “Oh, this is just a hobby or this little thing that I do on the side”? There might be a gift inside of that because you love doing it, and it comes so easily and naturally for you.

Carol Freeman:
John says the answer to that question is communicating.

Kelly Trach:
Nice. And you are doing a very good job communicating tonight, John, so we’re seeing this in action.

Kelly Trach:
Another question I have for you is: what things come naturally to you when you see other people struggle, and not from an egotistical sense of, “Oh, I’m better than you,” but where you can notice other people doing something and you think, “Oh, my goodness. They’re actually having a really hard time with that.” I know for me in business school we had a class on public speaking, and I remember thinking, “Oh, this is easy. This is an easy A. You show up and you talk. How hard is it?” but some people were really sweating and having a hard time, and that was the first time I realized, “Oh, maybe I’m better at this than I give myself credit for.” Think of scenarios like that in your life.

Kelly Trach:
Another question is: where do you lose track of time? This taps into the concept of flow; and when we find our flow, it’s usually also where we find our gifts and our genius. So, think about the stuff you could do forever. I like to ask the more probing question of, “If you had a spare weekend or a spare Sunday all to yourself, what would you do to fill that time?” and there might be some activities you do or things that you do that underneath have a gift or a quality which will be more pronounced. I know for me growing up, I loved making jewelry. I loved making any little craft or things, and that’s because I loved creating stuff just out of nothing.

Carol Freeman:
It doesn’t count if I lose track of time watching TikTok, right?

Kelly Trach:
Well, maybe there’s something in there for you. What you enjoy and what you enjoy doing, and also the people you respect and admire, is also a reflection of your own gifts. I love watching TikTok, too, and one of the things I’ve learned from doing a lot of this work is I feel like I bring a lot of joy to people, and I also gravitate towards things that bring me joy, so that’s another great question, too. I always like to ask, “Who are the top five people you admire and why?” and if you list out those five reasons why you love them, those are very quite frankly the gifts inside of you, too, because what we see in others is really what’s a reflection within us.

Carol Freeman:
I like the entertainment part of it, but I also really admire the people that can dance on there, and I can’t do that. I wish I could do that.

Kelly Trach:
I know. They’re so good. I’ve been trying to learn some of those dances, and I’m like, “Oh, my God. Some of these girls are expert-level dancers here.”

Carol Freeman:
Yeah.

Kelly Trach:
Another great question is: if money wasn’t an option, what would you be doing? I find this is a great question to figure out some of the gifts that you might have, and not really recognize as gifts. Because if you know money wasn’t an option and you could do anything and get paid for it, what would you be spending your time doing? Probably the stuff where you find flow, where it’s easy for you, what’s simple for you, and what you enjoy.

Kelly Trach:
Another interesting question has to do with shadow, understanding our shadow, which is the dark side of us. We all have a light and a dark side, and the shadow side is the side we usually hide from society and stuff we try to actively avoid, and it’s usually what we also don’t like in others, so it’s the same concept of what you judge in others is what you judge in yourself.

Kelly Trach:
It’s also very interesting when we think of what’s something we really don’t like in other people, and then how is the inverse of that our genius? I’ll give you an example: I really don’t like fake people. I cannot stand people who are fake or pretentious, or where they wanted to have surface of conversations, and indirectly something that I’m really gifted at is being my authentic self, and showing up as who I am, and trying as much as I can to be who I really am. So, that’s another way sometimes to find your gift is look at what you don’t like in people, and look at the inverse, and say, “Maybe I’m just really good at doing that innately.”

Kelly Trach:
Another question to ask yourself is: what are people already coming to you for? What questions do they ask you? What are your friends calling and asking you about? What kind of advice are you giving? What are people already coming to you for? That can be reflective of the gifts inside of you.

Kelly Trach:
The last question I want to propose is: what’s too easy for you that you talk yourself out of doing? There’s a lot of stuff around the genius work that I teach, around unraveling our mindset blocks, because quite often we’re taught, “No pain, no gain. You’ve got to work really hard to succeed,” and we have this notion in our head that we have to work super hard in order to be successful; and if we do things that are too easy, it doesn’t count. I know that was the case for me in my previous businesses, and all my past failed attempts in tech. I just didn’t lay into the things that were easy for me because I thought that this wasn’t how it was done. Ask yourself where in your life are you talking yourself out of doing something because it’s just too easy and too simple?

Kelly Trach:
Let me know in the comments if there’s anything that’s coming to mind for you guys, or anything that you feel like, “You know what? Maybe I have a gift in that certain sense,” or maybe there’s just something that’s coming up. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about these questions and you see a theme in your life, or you see parallel themes coming up. I would love to know what kind of gifts are coming to mind. When you find those top three to five gifts, look at them on paper together and think, “What activities do I do that harness all of these at once?” and that’s your genius. That’s your best work. That’s your best and highest output.

Kelly Trach:
That is the genius framework in a nutshell, and I’d love to answer any questions if you have any.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. I’m thinking about two different perspectives here, and one is my keto people that are watching. My clients start learning a very easy and simple way of doing keto, and their appetite goes down, and their weight is coming off. They’re used to decades of most of their brain space was thinking about their weight, “How do I lose this weight? How do I get off this weight? What do I do? What diet am I going to try?” and they find themselves, after working with me, that all of a sudden they’ve got 90% of their brain power free, and they often then go, “Oh, my gosh. I need a hobby. I need to figure out what am I going to do. How do I harness all of this?” So, this is really applicable to all of you out there that have been working with me on keto, and you find yourself with a bunch of extra brain space. You get to have something else now in your life. Whether it’s a career change, or a new hobby, or volunteering, this is the way of discovering all that, so it’s really relevant. I hope that you tap into all of what she’s saying; it’s really important.

Carol Freeman:
But also unfortunately at this time we have so many people that are being laid off, your job is no longer, and it’s sad and it’s tragic what’s going on. Also, the theme of this show is to use this time. Take some time to reflect on all these questions that Kelly has had, and use this as an opportunity to figure out what is it that you really, really want to be doing with your life and your talents? What is it that you’re so good at that nobody taught you, and what comes so easy for you? I encourage, from those two different perspectives, and maybe you’re in both camps, to just take this opportunity to see what gifts you have out there.

Carol Freeman:
All right. Then, Tyana and Derek, it’s your turn to ask questions. What questions do you have with kelly?

Tyana Kelley:
I love this so much.

Kelly Trach:
Thank you.

Tyana Kelley:
And I want to talk to you after this.

Kelly Trach:
Thank you. I want to talk to you after. Look at this: [inaudible 00:39:53] friendship happening all the time.

Tyana Kelley:
It’s just so interesting because I have actually shifted my careers a couple of times in the last few years. I stopped doing my doula work after I graduated with my master’s and went into branding, and was doing logo and Web design, and brand strategy workshops, and I found that it was too lonely for me. I went into coaching after that, and just started working with more than just women in that first year of birth and postpartum, and so going through these questions I’m like, “What is my zone of genius?” I’ve done the Roger James Hamilton Zone of Genius quiz.

Kelly Trach:
Oh, I don’t know what that is. I should Google that.

Tyana Kelley:
Yes, Google that one, too. I was a creator in his Zone of Genius thing, so I’m very interested. Can you repeat the person’s name that you said?

Kelly Trach:
Yes. His concept is different, but he’s the first person that coined that term. His name is Gay Hendricks, and he wrote the book, The Big Leap. He only talks about zone of genius for a chapter in there, but most of it is about how you combat your upper limit problem. It’s a really interesting book, but he’s the dude that made it.

Kelly Trach:
Actually, on the topic of quiz, I do have a quiz on how to figure out your genius at kellytrach.com/genius.

Carol Freeman:
Wow. Sweet.

Kelly Trach:
I know. I try to guess it in eight questions. In eight questions I try to guess, but I do my best with an algorithm thingy.

Derek Wolf:
Fantastic. I really like… I’m sorry. Were you finished with your question?

Kelly Trach:
Yeah.

Derek Wolf:
I’m sorry. I apologize.

Derek Wolf:
It’s really interesting because I do… earlier how you were talking about breaking down your genius into three to five [inaudible 00:41:58], because I do talk to a lot of people and try and take that same approach, and I’m not talking about careers and stuff. Ever since I got my degree in advertising… and I wanted to always be a copywriter, but I’ve always been doing stand up comedy… so when I got to Seattle and started actually working after college, I did half and half because I could, and then found out where I could make money in the comedy part and what I enjoyed, and then also in the advertising part. So, it is really interesting that you brought that up because that is really the same approach that I’ve taken a lot with giving people advice and stuff. That’s appreciated. That was cool.

Kelly Trach:
Thank you. I appreciate that. It’s interesting that both you, Tyana and Derek, you guys both come from that marketing. Because I went to business school, but I specialized in marketing. Carol, do you have any marketing? You have a sales background. We’re all kind of…

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. My degrees were in nutrition and psychology, but I studied sales and marketing just in the real world for longer than I’d say most of those other things.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. That was super weird. Today, I was actually supposed to go back… I got accepted to give advice to young professionals at Washington State University through the Communication College, but then the whole thing got canceled, which sucked, but I was super… Lester Holt was supposed to accept the Murrow Award and stuff. It was going to be super cool, but yeah.

Tyana Kelley:
That’s where I got my master’s.

Derek Wolf:
[crosstalk 00:43:25]. Awesome. Go Cougs!

Tyana Kelley:
Yeah.

Derek Wolf:
But, yeah. It’s interesting. It’s cool that this happened today.

Carol Freeman:
Those of you who are watching right now, who’s got some comments for Kelly, comments or questions about discovering your own zone of genius? Who’s having an aha right now where maybe you’re feeling like, “Maybe I’ve been working in the wrong field my whole life. Maybe this is a gift, a time I can use to just realign myself with my passion, my gifts in the world.” So, give us your ahas in the comments there.

Carol Freeman:
Thank you, Kelly, so much for that. I can’t wait to go take the quiz, as soon as we’re done here, myself.

Kelly Trach:
Thank you.

Carol Freeman:
Oh, my gosh. All right. Up next we have a very special guest. All the way from Seattle, Washington, Derek Wolf. He works as a remote copywriter at a Seattle-based startup advertising agency. Do we need to mention them? I don’t know. Do you want to plug them?

Derek Wolf:
It’s a world-class [inaudible 00:44:29]. That’s what I call them.

Carol Freeman:
[inaudible 00:44:30]. He drafts and publishes creative social medial messaging for local pet companies that have international reach. On top of copywriting, Derek is also a stand up comedian, regularly performs with famous radio personalities and national comedians. Derek finds that comedy has allowed him to creatively express himself off stage as well, and attributes his creative copywriting ideas to his comedic cynicism. I’m going to let you plug your own later, and we’ll put it in the show notes as well, too.

Derek Wolf:
Do it later. That’s fine.

Carol Freeman:
I know Derek through stand up comedy in the Seattle area. We, up until recently, until everything shut down, were comedy co-producers in the Seattle area. We had the hottest room in Seattle. All the comedians [inaudible 00:45:15] stage. Now, that stage is in my garage downstairs.

Derek Wolf:
Glad you got it out of the car.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. No problem. I should have videoed it. Maybe I’ll put it back there and show that.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
Derek, thank you for being here. Share with us. What have you got for us about how to use this time for self-improvement?

Derek Wolf:
I wrote a couple writer tricks, and stuff like that. I usually work from home Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and so luckily all our clients are all digital sales, stuff like that, with website domains and stuff, so I’m still continuing to do that. I just want to give some tips that I’ve learned that have really helped, and then other things that I’m doing right now with more freed-up time with not having the stand up, and just doing that three days a week.

Derek Wolf:
The thing I’ve been trying to do for myself is really improve the skills that I have in marketing and advertising. Especially, if you’re in the creative space, everything is always evolving and you’ve got to keep up, you’ve always got to be ahead of the game and stuff. I’m actually doing an Instagram course that teaches you how to really go into the basics of that stuff, actually. What is it? Instagram Instago? Is that what it is, Carol?

Carol Freeman:
Instago?

Derek Wolf:
Instago. Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
Oh, Readysetgrad is what the training is.

Derek Wolf:
Readysetgrad. Yes, that’s it. I made it to the first lesson, but anyway… But that’s a really good [crosstalk 00:46:50].

Carol Freeman:
I just know that when you’re going through Sue B. Zimmerman, for anyone who has any time to do that.

Derek Wolf:
Suebsays, that’s the… and it’s great because I’ve always loved Instagram. The past few years, I’ve really been trying to build an audience on there, and I’ve been obsessed with that, but now it’s cool that I have the time now to really invest in something that doesn’t really get any return on yet, but it’s nice to invest that time into learning more about it, so I can eventually get to that point through that. Just anything that helps you be better into what you want to do in your free time, is something I think I would recommend when you’re working from home, and have that free time to do it for yourself.

Derek Wolf:
Then, the next part would be setting goals for yourself, I do that all the time, or if you’re working from home or taking a course. It’s always important to set end-of-the-day goals to make sure that you do get to those points where you want to be, and you also feel proud of yourself for being productive. That’s the thing where it’s easy to get distracted and procrastinate when you’re home, when you have TV sitting in your room, and all that stuff. It’s super easy to just not do it and push it off, but really separating yourself and setting an area for yourself that you only associate with work I think is the best thing, so then you can reach those goals. Immediately when you walk into that room, you’re primed to go. Sometimes if I’m too distracted I’ll go, “Not right now,” but I’ll go to the Starbucks, and then it will be like, “I’m not leaving for two hours.” So, I’m doing two hours of work, plug it in, get away from everybody, and then at least you’ll make some progress. Whether it’s good or bad, you’ll have something, and that’s always helped me, especially when your time management is less strict. That’s something that’s always helped me for sure.

Carol Freeman:
I think that’s a really great tip, right?

Derek Wolf:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Carol Freeman:
Most people are working from home, or they’re trying to work from home.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
Even if you’re laid off, what do you do with the whole day? So, setting a schedule for yourself and following that is…

Derek Wolf:
Exactly. Yeah. It’s also very important, too, to reward yourself after that; that’s what I do. I’ll be like, “Hey, you write for an hour, and then you can play video games later.”

Carol Freeman:
I’ll set a TikTok timer for 15 minutes and watch TikTok.

Derek Wolf:
Exactly. You’ve got to take time for yourself. You’ve got to reward yourself.

Derek Wolf:
The last thing I want to talk about, I think we all talked about this kind of just connecting with people. I think Carol you were talking a lot about how you wouldn’t shower until you go out to do comedy, stuff like that, and I was in the same boat, but what I would do was force myself… I’d get on shows later in the week so on a Wednesday, if I worked from home, I’d be inside all day, and then I’d be, “Okay, I have comedy at 8:00. I have to shower,” or I could just lay in bed all day, but it’s like, “No, I committed myself to the people that I want to see,” and I’ve never regretted not going to those things. So, just having some-

Carol Freeman:
I thought you were going to say you’re never good at not showering.

Derek Wolf:
Oh, no, no.

Carol Freeman:
Or regretted showering.

Derek Wolf:
Well, forcing myself to interact with people, it would always make me a lot happier than not doing it, so I think that’s a very important thing for people to do, especially in this time. Do that, but change it to the digital era. Do a book club or something where you meet with your friends once a week, stuff like that, and you’re held to some sort of goal you have to reach for… It’s like Me I [inaudible 00:50:36] with my buddies so it’s at night we’re all having some sort of social interaction in that aspect. Even though we can’t leave the house, we’re doing something together.

Carol Freeman:
This might be a fun concession for those of you guys watching right now. How long has it been since you’ve showered? Tell us in the comments here. Confession time. We’ll get a humorous take here. Yeah, that’s a great tip.

Carol Freeman:
Derek, how long has it been since you showered?

Derek Wolf:
I showered two hours ago.

Carol Freeman:
Oh, way to go!

Derek Wolf:
Shaved.

Carol Freeman:
Yay!

Derek Wolf:
[inaudible 00:51:16] two days.

Carol Freeman:
That’s great. I’ll take it personally. Thanks for showering for us.

Derek Wolf:
Of course. Yeah.

Carol Freeman:
We have seven people watching us, and as soon as I said, “How long has it been since you showered?” we dropped to three.

Derek Wolf:
They’re probably jumping in the shower, though.

Carol Freeman:
We’re going to have people watching the replay, too. Join in. This is lots of fun here.

Carol Freeman:
I’m going to pop-in a question here that John asked that’s going to be related to Kelly, and then I’m going to have Kelly and Tyana ask some questions of Derek.

Carol Freeman:
What do you say about this, Kelly: what if you do your questions and you notice that, “Oh, my gosh. I’ve got a couple of zones of genius,” but like laying on the beach? You said, “I’m really good at laying on the beach.” What do you say if you find that your zones of genius probably don’t pay very well?

Kelly Trach:
Yeah. This is a lot of what I talk about as well. Especially when it comes to gifts that we have stories around in our head. Especially things that are more creative or artistic, sometimes you get that mindset, because we have patterns of the starving artist mindset and mentality. This comes back to the money mindset work and doing the money mindset work. I really believe you can make money doing the things you love to do, and the things you are truly good at, and it comes… for this my favorite book of all is Jen Sincero’s, You’re Badass at Making Money, and it’s so true. Because even if we feel like we can’t make money using our creative gifts in the world, there’s other people that have gone on to do it.

Kelly Trach:
Jim Carrey is an amazing comedian, he’s also from Canada, but people that have gone on to do what you want to do, authors that you really respect and admire. A lot of people are like, “Oh, writing doesn’t pay the bills.” Well, Jen Sincero is making a lot of millions off her book, so it’s about finding those people who are already doing it, and proving that you can do it, too. It’s about strengthening your money mindset. In other words, it’s called “wealth consciousness.” It’s whatever word you like to use, but changing those stories you have around money, and getting rid of the patterning that says, “You can’t make money doing that. You have to have a more stable career. Do something that makes money.” So, it’s more about letting go of those stories, and changing that through changing your beliefs, but also finding other people who’ve already done it.

Kelly Trach:
It’s one of those things I always believe: I think if you really, really want it bad enough, you’ll figure out how to make it work, and how to make money off of it, and it is totally available to you with just changing the beliefs, and another thing that, “If other people can do it, you can do it, too.” So, that’s a great question, and it’s something that a lot of people get hung up on, and rightfully so. It’s a lot of the society narratives of what we can and cannot make money doing, but I encourage you just to challenge your beliefs and perceptions a little bit, and see if there’s maybe even a little bit of room to try to get paid doing what you love to do.

Tyana Kelley:
Can I chime-in on something real quick with that?

Carol Freeman:
Kardashians get paid for laying on the beach, so come on, John. You can do it, too.

Derek Wolf:
I get paid to write Tweets so…

Tyana Kelley:
I think that there is a huge pressure also right now to monetize every single thing that we do, and we need to also let go of some of that. If you have a hobby that you love that gives you a lot of pleasure in just doing that thing, you don’t have to monetize it, and monetizing it can actually reduce your pleasure, and it decreases that renewal piece. There’s a lot of pressure to do the side hustle, and it’s okay. If you’re in a place where you don’t need it financially, just enjoy it for the sake of enjoying it. That’s my advice.

Derek Wolf:
I agree. That’s right. That’s a great point.

Kelly Trach:
Yeah. I agree, too. I agree, too.

Carol Freeman:
I think this is a comment for the question about how long it’s been since you’ve showered. Mike was a guest on your Saturday show and he’s been watching diligently as well. So, thank you for chiming-in, Mike. Thank you for showering. I don’t know how long it’s been before then, but you know…

Derek Wolf:
That doesn’t matter.

Carol Freeman:
Cool. John just scheduled his… anyway.

Carol Freeman:
What questions do Kelly and Tyana have for Derek?

Kelly Trach:
I have a question for you, Derek. You were talking about building your Instagram following. You said that’s for your comedy and your copywriting work. I’m just curious as to how you’ve been getting your name out there, how you’ve been extending your reach.

Derek Wolf:
For Instagram, it’s mostly been just for the comedy aspect of it. I started a new profile about two years ago. I’ve been interested in imagery and stuff, and so I just really decided to try it after I graduated, and really just been posting a bunch of pictures from comedy shows. I also used to work at a radio station, so I go to concerts all the time, so I’ve got content through that, but then also doing blogging and stuff. I do a mock Gary Vaynerchuk kind of thing.

Kelly Trach:
Cool.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. It’s like inspirational, but dumb, so that’s the whole…

Kelly Trach:
I love that.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. I did one off the files like, “Hey, I’m just going to try this,” and the people really reacted to it, and then I was like, “Okay, I’m just going to keep doing it,” and branding myself onto that. That’s how I’ve been getting a following. It’s just word of mouth, and following other comedians and stuff.

Kelly Trach:
Cool.

Tyana Kelley:
I love stand up comedy. I want to try it some day.

Carol Freeman:
Ah.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. Well, everyone is doing it from their living room right now.

Tyana Kelley:
I have a friend who said that I remind her of Seinfeld, so I was like, “Yes.”

Carol Freeman:
Oh.

Derek Wolf:
Oh, there you go. That’s awesome.

Carol Freeman:
In six or 12 or 18 months… or whatever the world gets back to normal, Tyana… we’ll have you out for one of our open mics when we open things back up again.

Derek Wolf:
There we go.

Tyana Kelley:
Just in time. I have enough time to write something.

Derek Wolf:
Yes.

Carol Freeman:
Derek, I’m going to go out on a limb right now and I’m going to promise her a guest spot on one of our shows back when we can do that.

Derek Wolf:
You got it.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. Well, you’ve got to do the open mic first, but yeah. There you go. You’ve got an open invitation [inaudible 00:58:03] genius. We’re going to save a spot for you. That’s how [inaudible 00:58:08].

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. we’ve got one for you, too, Kelly. Don’t worry.

Kelly Trach:
Okay. I’ll do a little road trip down there because I’m in Vancouver.

Carol Freeman:
That’s awesome. Other comments or questions? How about those of you watching? Who’s got comments/questions for Derek, Tyana or Kelly? Last time here. We’re going to wrap this up, you guys.

Carol Freeman:
John says he stutters, “No stand up for this kid.” Actually, who is the comedian in the Seattle area who has a stutter and he is amazing? He’s so funny. Derek, do you remember that guy? Have you seen him?

Derek Wolf:
I haven’t seen him for a while.

Carol Freeman:
[inaudible 00:58:52]. He came to our open mic before, too, but maybe it was one of the nights that you were off. Is it Jeremy something? I want to say Jeremy McDonald. Isn’t that him?

Derek Wolf:
Yeah. I think, yeah.

Carol Freeman:
Stuttering is no excuse for not doing stand up. He is amazing. He’s so hilarious. So, John, you’ve got to-

Derek Wolf:
You’d never know, but he brings it up, which is great.

Carol Freeman:
Yeah. Oh, my gosh. All right. We’re going to go ahead and wrap this up. We’re been streaming for virtually an hour now. This has been so great. Thanks for hanging out with me.

Carol Freeman:
Those of you that are watching, thank you so much. We’re going to transition over and actually be broadcasting just from my Facebook page. Tonight, we’re in the group and also on my business page, and we’re going to actually, from going forward, we’re going to be steaming live on my business page; that way, people don’t have to join the group to be able to have access to this. Those of you that are watching, please share this with anyone that you know right now could use some positivity, some redirect, some hopeful and optimism in this time, anyone especially who is following or wants to follow a ketogenic diet for optimal health and well-being. Please share [inaudible 01:00:07], how you give us the compliment. Every single night, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, we’re going live. I’ve got guests booked out for the next week already, too. I’m excited to share all of that, too.

Carol Freeman:
The way that I’m going to wrap this up is I’m going to have each of you… this is what I call “the lightening bolt round.” This is what I do in my coaching, how I close-out my coaching calls, but it’s how we’ve been doing this here as well on these live shows. We have some other comment here again about… anyway, sorry. We’ve got a comment about, “We’ll look up the website.”

Carol Freeman:
Oh, John is asking, “Do you need a dad joke?” Come on, John. Share the dad joke with us.

Derek Wolf:
Let me hear it. Let me hear it.

Carol Freeman:
Let’s hear it, John. Let’s hear the dad joke. We all need some jokes at this time.

Carol Freeman:
But somebody else was saying, “Couldn’t answer all the questions so quickly.” The nice thing is this recording is going to be up there; you’ll be able to re-watch again. Also, I’m going to invite each of our guests to share their contact information with you here very shortly.

Carol Freeman:
If you’re watching and you missed all of Kelly’s questions, then I encourage you to follow up. Also, if you comment here, Kelly is going to go back through and she’ll find you… she’ll find you. She’ll find you and she’ll share all the questions with you privately, too. If you want those questions again, make a comment as well, and we’ll have Kelly follow up with you. Also, if you want the prism framework as well, make a comment, too, and we’ll have Tyana follow up with you, too, and if you want the work from home Instagram strategies for Derek as well.

Carol Freeman:
So, lightening bolt round. This is where each of you share your aha, your takeaway from this. Also, feel free in your closing to share how people can contact you. If you have some kind of a freebee… or the quiz, Kelly, again if you want to mention that… or anything else that you’d like to share with people to connect with you, do that as well. Is that too many things for you to remember what to say?

Tyana Kelley:
Hopefully not. Do you want to go the same order as we started with?

Carol Freeman:
Totally random whoever wants to go first.

Tyana Kelley:
All right. I’m already talking, so I guess I will. I guess my big takeaway was the genius questions, and I really want to follow up with Kelly about all of that.

Tyana Kelley:
My contact information, I am Tyana Kelley. My company is Purple Horizons. My website is PurpleHorizons.com, very easy.

Tyana Kelley:
What I want to share with you is that I have my next heart prisms class, which is called, “From Surviving to Thriving,” it’s on my website, and I just got that all up and scheduled for April. It’s a four-part class and it’s just 30 minutes each day, and we’ll go through three heart prisms every day, and it’s just $50 for all four days, and there’s no homework. We do it all in class, so I think that’s a big plus for a lot of people, is that the value is all self-contained in the class. You don’t have to do a lot of homework.

Tyana Kelley:
I really loved being here, and thanks for inviting me today.

Carol Freeman:
Thank you so much, Tyana. Thank you. We’ve got somebody that’s saying they want the prism, so I’ll let you go back and follow up with people, too.

Tyana Kelley:
Okay, great.

Carol Freeman:
Thanks for being here.

Tyana Kelley:
Thank you.

Kelly Trach:
I’ll go next. I think my biggest aha moment, number one, is that instead of calling it “self-care” call it “renewal.” I love that. Also, I just love connecting, the four of us, in this chat and seeing you guys on video. This feels so fun, and it definitely is the highlight of my day, and as an extrovert I feel like I really needed this. So, just that reminder to connect and meet people and just get creative with how we can stay connected during this time I think is just so important.

Kelly Trach:
You can find me at KellyTrach.com. My last name is spelled T-R-A-C-H, even though I pronounce it like “track and field.” You can take the quiz to figure out what’s your zone of genius at KellyTrach.com/genius, and you get sent a five-page free report on what your zone of genius is based on the quiz, and my suggestions for you if you want to build a business, what you could sell, how you could market it, based on your genius type. You can find me on Instagram @kellytrach. Everything is at just “kellytrach,” just my name. I’ve got courses, coaching, the whole nine yards, but you can all find that KellyTrach.com.

Kelly Trach:
And thanks so much for having me, Carol. It was such a pleasure and an honor to be here. It was nice to meet you, Derek and Tyana. This was really fun.

Carol Freeman:
This is great news. On the screen your name is spelled the way that it’s correctly spelled, so all of you watching you’ll see that, how to connect with her. So, thank you for being here. It’s been great.

Derek Wolf:
Yeah, it’s been super fun. I feel like I’m on a CNN panel right now. Whenever my dad is watching news, I’m like, “Yeah, this is what this looks like.”

Derek Wolf:
My main takeaways from today, I love just the focus on what you’re good at and passionate about, and finding your purpose, and really pursuing that, but also doing that for you, and not just trying to make money off it and make it into something that you won’t enjoy, which I think is the most important part of your passion. Yeah, those were very good takeaways.

Derek Wolf:
You can find me… go and see my comedy promotions, stuff like that. I’m on Instagram @wolf.c.derek, and then I have a Derek Wolf comedy Facebook page. And if you want any copywriting services, my website is www.DerekWolfIsntFunny.com.

Carol Freeman:
Isn’t?

Derek Wolf:
Isn’t funny. Yeah. So, thanks so much for having me, Carol. It was great meeting you guys, and it would be great connecting with you guys.

Carol Freeman:
Wonderful. Kelly, it looks like you’ve got one new Instagram follower already.

Kelly Trach:
Thank you. Hello, John. Thank you for following.

Carol Freeman:
Oh, my gosh. Thank you all of our viewers live and seeing the replay. Thank you so much for watching this. Give yourself the big thumbs up. Thank you, again. We’re going to be live here every single evening, 7:00 Pacific time. If you miss us, the replay is going to be up there as well, too.

Carol Freeman:
So, thank you to all of our guests, and we’ve got a lot of great shows coming up. Thank you, everyone, for being here.

Carol Freeman:
That’s all for now. Bye.

Kelly Trach:
Bye.

Derek Wolf:
Bye, John.

Tyana Kelley:
Good night.

Carol Freeman:
John is our super fan.

Keto Chat Episode 119: Keto Success Stories Women over 50

Carole Freeman:
Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I’m your host today, Carole Freeman. I’m your host today. I’m your host every day. Oh my gosh. Today I am so excited because I get to share with you Carmen’s journey working with me and one of the reasons we get to do this interview is she’s now one of our peer mentors working with supporting everyone else on keto too. So welcome Carmen. Are you excited to be here? No, no, you’re not.

Karmen Cabral:
Not really, but yeah.

Carole Freeman:
I know you’re nervous. Everyone watching, give her some thumbs up and love about her bravery for being here, even though she’s a little nervous. So Karmen, I know one of your, when we first talked before we started working together, one of your big drivers was, you’re so passionate about keto that you want to help a lot of other people. You want to have everyone else.

Karmen Cabral:
I do. I just think it’s the best thing. I just can’t believe how good I feel. And when I tell people about it, they just look at me like, yeah, right. But it’s true. They just need to experience it and feel it.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah. Excellent.

Karmen Cabral:
[crosstalk 00:01:30] I told my doctor about it yesterday, so I had a doctor’s appointment, hadn’t had one in two years. And I told her about it and I said, “One of the things that I noticed is my joints. I feel like my joints have been lubricated. Like somebody put oil on them.”

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Isn’t that great.

Karmen Cabral:
And she just looked at me, “Okay, that’s not possible.” I said, “Yeah, it is.”

Carole Freeman:
No it’s so true. Because I remember, I’m 49 now, but when I turned 40, early 40s, I remember talking to my mom about how in the morning getting up, it was like my ankles felt stiff and I had to move around a little bit to get going in the morning. And she’s like, “Oh honey. Yeah, that’s just part of getting older. Ha, ha, ha.” And then probably three months into keto where I had that realization of like, “Wait a minute, I don’t have that anymore. I don’t have stiff anything in the morning.” It’s like I just get up and feel as good as I feel the rest of the day. So then I was like, “Mom, it’s not normal.”

Karmen Cabral:
Absolutely. That’s how I feel. I couldn’t even put my feet on the ground in the morning.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, it’s great. And we know now why that is, but your doc says that’s impossible. That’s okay. We can just keep enjoying the benefits of it and all that. So, part of what I want to do here is highlight your journey and success that you’ve had in working with me because it’s so inspirational to other people to hear people’s success. So take us back to before you started working with me, what was your life like? What was it like living in your body? What kind of things were you unhappy with?

Karmen Cabral:
Well, that’s exactly what I was discussing with my doctor yesterday. So it’s been two years since I went to see her. And one of the issues two years ago was that on a mammogram it turned out that I had enlarged lymph nodes and that kind of scared me a bit. I was like, “Okay, what’s going on?” So I went through ultrasounds, I was supposed to do a biopsy. They didn’t end up doing the biopsy because they said they still look more normal, but they were just was enlarged. And that kind of got me thinking that I’ve got to do something. I was told that my lymphatic system was probably sluggish and I needed to move. I needed to do something to get it moving. And I’m not an exercise person, although I’ve started to exercise recently, but I just knew it wasn’t going to happen that way.

Karmen Cabral:
And I’ve always gone to dieting, so it’s like, okay, “I know I’m overweight, I need to lose weight, I just can’t keep the weight off.” That was two years ago, but prior to that I had also a numb leg. So my right leg was always numb. I sat one time for hours and hours at my computer and then from that day forward I always had numbness in my leg. I had done a few DVT tests, everything came back normal, but I always had this numbness and I had pain in my legs. So my legs, it wasn’t the muscles, it was the surface of the leg. So if you touched the skin on the leg, it actually felt like everything was bruised. So all of these things started adding up. And then I had this big birthday coming up and I thought it’s only going to get worse.

Karmen Cabral:
So I needed to take charge of my health and I don’t have any diagnosed diseases, and I put in capital letters, yet, because they’re on the horizon and I knew that they’re coming on the horizon. My mom had a ton of diseases, so I just wanted to make sure that I can take back my health and try to minimize anything that would come up. And keto is.

Carole Freeman:
All right. Excellent. So had you tried keto on your own before starting to work with me or?

Karmen Cabral:
So it goes back a little bit. So I had investigated keto, I was doing some research on it for about a year and a half before I started with you, Carole. I’d heard about it when a parent on my son’s volleyball team and I bought every single book at Costco. I looked at all of them, they looked all wonderful, all these recipes, and it was just overwhelming. I couldn’t figure out what macros were, what I needed to do. It was just too much information and I just started to follow some people on YouTube, what did they eat for the day? And it’s like, “Okay, what did they eat?” It was just still, I just needed guidance. There was just too much information. So your guidance was actually the perfect thing.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. Okay, that’s a very common story is that people, I was talking to a guy yesterday actually, he says, “I keep looking for just an easy how to get started with keto thing and there isn’t, it isn’t out there. Why?” And part of it is because-

Karmen Cabral:
Too much information.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, there’s too much information. And also what works for each person is very different. And so that’s why there’s no one here’s how everyone should do it, that works for everyone. So that’s why there’s so much info. The good and the bad of the world we live in now is that there’s a plethora of info, but most people out there try to consume it all and they just get more confused and overwhelmed. And so-

Karmen Cabral:
That’s exactly what was happening.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. So you got a plan, a program, a step-by-step implementation to get started quick and easy. I’m just-

Karmen Cabral:
And that’s what I needed. I don’t like to be told eat this and this and this. It was pretty easy because it was all very basic. And I think I mentioned right from the beginning, I’m a grab and go kind of person. I can’t preplan too many meals or meals and I talk with my hands. I’ve got to stop that.

Carole Freeman:
No, it’s great. Me too.

Karmen Cabral:
But I just needed it to be simple enough. And when I reviewed the information, the beginning, it was just simple enough that it wasn’t anything that I had to spend a half hour to an hour pre-planning or preparing. I went out and got the groceries that I liked according to the list of foods that we could use and I just went with that. So everything I made for my kids I had made in a way that I could eat it and I didn’t have to make something for them and something for me.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. Fantastic. So let’s talk about your results. So the first chunk of time we worked together was over a couple of months and I’ve got the list of results that you got. Do you remember what happened over the first couple of months?

Karmen Cabral:
I think I do. I don’t know. I did lose weight. That was number one at the time was losing weight. But how I felt actually was even better than just the weight loss. Because like I said earlier, I don’t have the pain that I was experience. I felt like an old lady and I don’t want to feel like an old lady. I want to have energy. And it was like I didn’t have the energy, I didn’t have the brain functioning. It felt like my brain was always in a fog. I left my purse at Walmart in the shopping cart one time and I got home and I didn’t have my purse. I’m like, “Oh my God.” And it was like, “What’s going on with my brain?” So all of this stuff improved along with the weight. So the weight during the first time that we worked together was around 28 pounds I think it was. And then from there I continued. I’ve lost a little bit more, but I’ve noticed that there’s been more bodily changes as opposed to scale changes.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah. So I’ve got the list of all the things that we talked about after a couple of months. So yeah, the weight loss, lots of inches off your waist. You were reporting no cravings, no desire for non-keto foods, improved brain fog, like what you were just sharing about the leaving your purse behind, the joint lubrication and then the numbness is improved. So this was, at this point, probably about six months ago was when we looked at this. So how the numbness now? Has it continued to improve?

Karmen Cabral:
No numbness since then. Nothing has really changed. Still no cravings? No, none of that. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% following the original instructions, but I’m pretty much about 90 to 95%.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. And then your heartburn went completely away too.

Karmen Cabral:
What’s that?

Carole Freeman:
Your heartburn went away too.

Karmen Cabral:
Oh yeah. None. None.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Wonderful. Yeah. Excellent. Congratulations on all that. Must feel amazing. And I know you are, because you just said you went to the doctor and were like-

Karmen Cabral:
Oh yeah, no, it’s almost like, “Okay maybe you need to tell people to do something like this.” She has referred me to a clinic. So there’s only, I don’t know if I mentioned I’m in Canada, and we have one medical doctor that is covered by our health insurance that doctors can refer patients to when they do have a weight issue. And she had referred me to the doctor two years ago and there was just too much going on at the time. But there are some similarities with keto. It’s just that keto find is easier because a lot of the foods that were restricted on that diet along with most diets are why the fatty foods that keto has, like the bacon that I couldn’t have. I stopped eating bacon for years.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, okay.

Karmen Cabral:
I’m so happy to eat bacon.

Carole Freeman:
You guys have one weight loss doctor. That’s amazing. He must be really busy.

Karmen Cabral:
There’s several, but only one that is covered by the health insurance so that [inaudible 00:11:32] and you don’t have to pay.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. Okay. Wow, wow. Well, so what tips would you have for people that are watching this? What tips would you share as far as keys to your success?

Karmen Cabral:
Stick to the plan because it really works. And the tracking of the macros. That is so important, because one of my fears when I did start, or concerns not fears, when I did start was I was already what I considered low carb. Through years and years of dieting, I learned that I had to be low carb. I just didn’t realize that I still wasn’t as low carb as I needed to be and that there’s carbs in vegetables. Who knew?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Karmen Cabral:
So tracking really, really is an eye opener to see what is in your foods and then knowing how to manipulate what you’re eating to still feel full, but get the benefit of the foods you want.

Carole Freeman:
Okay, so track tracking is key discovery for carbs. Yeah. Follow the plan.

Karmen Cabral:
Like one onion has nine grams or carbs. That’s crazy. I use onion, or I used to use onion in absolutely everything.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. That was one of the eye opening things for me too, as I started trying to do recipes later on in my keto journey, it was like, “Oh my gosh, I got to re-learn how to cook now.”

Karmen Cabral:
Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Other tips? Okay, so stick with the program. Stick with the plan, track everything. Any other tips, things that you think were really instrumental in your success?

Karmen Cabral:
Not so much. I really didn’t have much time to officially prepare. When I decided to commit with you, I said, “I’m starting like tomorrow. I’m not going to bother trying to figure anything out.” But again, because I had done some other experimenting with dieting and low carb and all of that. But one of the things that I brought over from, I stopped smoking two years ago 2017, was the fact that I had to be mentally prepared. Doesn’t matter how much you want to lose weight. You can say it all you want, but if your brain isn’t in it, it’s not going to happen.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah. So be ready.

Karmen Cabral:
My main one. You need to make a commitment, but it has to be psychologically prepared for it as well.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Okay. Good. All right, so what’s your outlook on keto going forward? What’s your plan, goals? What do you want to do with your keto inspiration?

Karmen Cabral:
I still want to do a little bit more weight loss. I’m happy where I am. I feel great. I wouldn’t mind getting down another 10 or 20 pounds. Twenty pounds would be fantastic, but I’d be happy with another 10. And I’d like to support anyone who wants to do keto is just, I think really it’s the way to go.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. And I love that because I know again, when we first started, one of your things was like, “I want to be keto Karmen. I want to influence everyone. I want to tell everyone how great this is and help heal everyone.” And so I’m so excited to welcome you as one of our newest peer mentors and helping be able to coach and support other people on keto. And I get to guide you as you support and share with everyone else on the rest of your journey. What are some non-skill victories, other things, things that are different now in your life that you’re doing that you weren’t doing before?

Karmen Cabral:
Well, you’re going to laugh, but we went away at the beginning of January, last summer actually, so I had already lost most of the weight last summer and I bought a whole bunch of those Brazilian bikini’s and like one in every color and I wore them all on my vacation.

Carole Freeman:
Yay. Body confidence. That’s excellent. How fun. Nice

Karmen Cabral:
It was. It was like, “Okay, I’m 50 and I’m wearing this. I don’t care.”

Carole Freeman:
Nice. Good job lady. All right, well thank you so much for sharing your success, your story. You’re very inspirational for a lot of people. And anything else that you want to share in closing? Anything else you were hoping I would ask about or any other thing you want to share?

Karmen Cabral:
No, I think just in terms of, one of the things I’d like to talk to people about when I am talking about keto is all the benefits for different diseases. And that was another motivator for me because my mother had just about every disease. She had arthritis, osteoporosis, low thyroid, diabetes, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol. She developed multiple myeloma, which is a bone marrow, a hematology cancer. So she had a whole list of them and I knew that, and I know that potentially I may develop one of these. So to me it’s important to minimize whatever is going to come up. And I just think for people in general, there’s so many diseases out there. Every time you talk to somebody you haven’t seen in awhile and it’s like, “Did you hear so and so has cancer, so and so has this,” let’s just be healthy.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Wonderful. Well I’m so excited that you’re on that path to the healthiest you.

Karmen Cabral:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Already getting the benefits. So Karmen, thank you so much for doing this. Thank you for being here.

Karmen Cabral:
No problem.

Carole Freeman:
Thanks everyone for watching. Subscribe, subscribe. Hit the bell to get notifications. Give us a thumbs up if you enjoyed this interview. We’ll see you all soon. Thanks for watching. Bye.

Karmen Cabral:
Bye.

Keto Chat Episode 118: Keto Diet Before and After 1 Year

Carole Freeman, Certified Nutritionist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, speaker, and comedian, specializes in a ketogenic diet coupled with behavioral psychology interventions to help people achieve lifelong weight loss. She  is a board Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist through the American Nutrition Association and completed her master’s degree in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology at Bastyr University, and a Certification in Clinical Hypnotherapy from the Wellness Institute. After a disabling car accident in 2014, Carole discovered the healing power of the ketogenic diet to relieve her Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Hypopituitarism, and reverse metabolic syndrome.

In this episode of Keto Chat, she interviews her client, Maryann Harlow, about her weight loss and transformation over the last year. She also shares her tips and tricks to making quick and easy, tasty keto meals.

Transcript:

Carole Freeman:

Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. Today, well, hey, I’m your host, Carole Freeman. I am here today with a very special guest. I know I say that every time, but hey, can’t I be equally excited every time I get to interview somebody? Today, I’m here with Marianne. And, oh my gosh, she was a flash from the past. She was somebody that sent me a message on, I think on Instagram or Facebook. And I didn’t even recognize who she was because her transformation was so amazing. She was a former client of mine. I was like, who is this person? And when I saw the before photos, I was like, oh my goodness. So welcome, Marianne.

Marianne Harlow:

Thank you.

Carole Freeman:

Well, Marianne, let’s start out, have you introduce yourself. Who are you? Who are you in this world?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, I’m Marianne Harlow. I live in Spokane, Washington. And I am a retired 62 year old that is enjoying playing in retirement. Was in the travel business for most of my career. So it’s in my blood, but now I’m traveling more on the ground with a little travel trailer and going out and just seeing the countryside.

Carole Freeman:

Wonderful. Excellent. So let’s talk about your keto journey. How did you first hear about it? Before you ever met me, what happened for you? Maybe even go back even further before keto. Like your weight journey. How about that?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, my weight journey probably began with my mom. She always fought with her weight and so I watched that my entire life. And so I joined the yoyo uppy-downy plan. Tried hospital sponsor program. Jenny Craig. You know, soup to nuts, if it was out there, I eventually tried it. And eventually ended up in a worse spot than where I started. Pretty typical story. And then the fall of 2018 I’d gone to Hawaii with a friend and after a helicopter tour they took a picture of us. And when I saw the picture I about died. It was like, oh my God, when did that happen? How did that happen?

Marianne Harlow:

And when I got home I was chatting with a girlfriend who had been trying keto. And so she loaned me a book and I read it. And it’s like, well this sounds pretty reasonable. And foods that I like and something that I could live with without feeling deprived. So I tried it and did okay. But then I got on the internet and was reading about all different ketos and there’s so much misinformation or cross information. It’s like, what in the heck are you supposed to believe? And so I started searching out keto help more locally and that’s when I ran across you and your program and said, let’s just dive in. So that was the first part of January of 2019.

Carole Freeman:

All right. What was it that made you decide to get help rather than just trying to figure it out all on your own?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, all my life I’ve been trying to figure it out on my own and hadn’t been very successful. And I think deep inside me, I knew it was more of a head game for me, that I needed to figure out why this is a recurring thing. I’ve been pretty successful in my life, but I couldn’t get a handle on this weight issue.

Carole Freeman:

Now a lot of people I work with are in the same boat. They’ve been really successful and then they beat themselves up about, why can’t I figure this part out? What kind of insights do you have now about how much of that was your fault versus just the wrong approach or the wrong support?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, I think a little bit of everything. I grew up in a household where it was you had to clean your plate regardless if you were hungry or not. So a long time ago I had lost the ability to recognize if I was really hungry or if I was really full, or if it was I was bored. What the heck, it was, I think rarely that I was eating because my body actually needed fuel.

Carole Freeman:

So you got all the wires crossed, you couldn’t trust your own appetite or hunger and you’d learned to ignore that which most people-

Marianne Harlow:

Exactly.

Carole Freeman:

I mean, that’s what I see with most every other diet plan out there is that they’re still trying to teach you, you need all these external things to tell you what to do and what to eat and when to eat to how much to eat.

Marianne Harlow:

Exactly. Or like the Jenny Craig thing, eating prepackage food you didn’t have to worry about the quantities or anything. But it didn’t teach me anything. I didn’t know myself any better to do better on my own.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Because you’re either then you’re learning to eat prepackaged food, or what?

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

There’s no other option with that program. Yeah.

Marianne Harlow:

And it also, you were deprived because it was… I mean, the quantities were little, but it also wasn’t very interesting. Just wasn’t satisfying physically or mentally.

Carole Freeman:

So you feel like now you’re getting better in touch with knowing when you’re actually hungry, when you’re full, when you need more food?

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah, absolutely. It’s sometimes the old habits creep in and you look at the clock and it’s six o’clock. Wait a minute. Am I hungry? No, I’m not hungry. Huh, that’s cool. Okay. Moving on. Instead of just doing it by rote of the learned patterns over our lifetime.

Carole Freeman:

That’s so great. And you probably heard me like a broken record say how much I’m really passionate about helping my clients really learn to trust their body again. So getting back to a state that you can actually trust your body, your appetite, your hunger, your thirst.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. I went through your emotional eating program. I don’t remember the exact title. But that was extraordinarily helpful to me, is it gave me the tools to figure out what my reality was. Where before you play games with yourself or whatever you’re doing, but that really made you dig deep and say, okay, why am I really doing this and how is it serving me? And how can I change it and pay attention to what my body really needs food-wise? Versus, it’s not a sport, you don’t just do it for enjoyment. So it’s really changed my attitude too from living to eat, to now, I eat to live. It’s, if there’s nothing around, say even in the afternoon if I’m hungry or something. Yesterday I had a meeting and I wasn’t hungry before the meeting and it’s like, oh, I’ll just worry about it when I get back. And when I got home I still wasn’t hungry. It’s like, well, probably weren’t that hungry reality anyway. It’s like, have a glass of salt water and call it good.

Carole Freeman:

You probably had a little flash, a twinge in your brain that was like, well, if you don’t eat now, you’re not going to get to eat in the meeting and you might get hungry. Which is something I really identify with before, but that was just an old pattern that you’ve learned enough, your brain has learned enough that it’s going to be okay. I’m not going to get hungry in the middle of the meeting, and if I do, I’m not going to crash and burn.

Marianne Harlow:

Well and being keto adapted, you travel around with fuel with you all the time. So if you miss a meal it just means your body’s going to go, oh, well let’s just take a little from here and a little from there. Which works out great for everybody.

Carole Freeman:

That’s wonderful. So let’s talk about, so you’ve done a couple of my programs. What’s been your overall success? Where did you start and what are all the things that you noticed? Because you worked with me for a couple of months and then a few months after that, and then I didn’t hear anything from you for maybe six or eight months or so. And then you came back having a grand transformation. So let’s do it in phases. So in the first few months, what did you notice, changes and improvements then?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, one of the things I really liked about the program is you provided sample menus, but more importantly it was how to construct your own. Because I’m kind of a weird picky eater, and so it’s like, I don’t care for avocados. So you gave me the formula to say, okay there’s avocado on this but I don’t have to eat that. I can eat this instead and they work out about similar with the fat and protein and carbs and such. So that was very helpful in giving me the tools to adapt it to my own personal likes.

Marianne Harlow:

When I came back from Hawaii, I’m guessing at my weight because it was too frightening to stand on the scale. And so I’m guessing it’s probably 60 to 65 pounds I’m down from when I started. And having the coaching support and the calls. The coaching calls I found really inspiring because other people would have questions that either I’d thought about and forgotten, or that I hadn’t really thought about but was able to apply to my own world and my own eating patterns, or whatever. So those calls were really important. And then the emotional eating course just really got to the root. So the first one set me up to start taking my weight off and the inches off. And then the second one was like, okay, how and why? And how can you approach this to make it a lifelong thing?

Marianne Harlow:

This isn’t a diet, it’s not a temporary thing. It’s a change of the way I live. And I periodically go fall off the cliff, but I haven’t found it terribly difficult to get back on track. I think because of the tools, especially from the emotional eating program. But just knowing the basics of, okay, need to get back on track. Just reel it back in. I know what to eliminate, where the carb creep comes from. And I just need to get back to weighing and measuring and paying attention. And so it’s been a pretty… Well, I was going to say a straight line journey, but there’s bumps along the road. But it’s still sustainable in the longterm, I think.

Carole Freeman:

That’s what I want to ask next then, is that if you can imagine in the past any other diet plan that you’d followed. First of all, have you ever been a year out of following any diet plan?

Marianne Harlow:

Oh yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. And then how did you feel a year after you started? Did you feel like, wow, this is really easy and sustainable I can do this forever? Or were you feeling, ugh?

Marianne Harlow:

Rarely that it was sustainable. Probably the one that came closest was Atkins, which isn’t terribly different than keto. But I think I succumb to the carb pushers in my world. And I think I have better tools now to deal with those people that think, you can’t eat like that. It’s like, well, first of all, it’s none of your business how I eat. And second of all, you can have all my share of that. I don’t need it. It makes me feel bad. I don’t like the feeling after I’ve eaten stuff that is pretty much out of my world now. The sugar and the grains and that type of thing. So I think I have just a better set of tools now to go forward with than I did before.

Carole Freeman:

So it sounds like you’ve figured out the formula for your success then is really, so keto, low carb-ish eating, right? Is compared to what you’ve done before, feels like the most sustainable way of eating. And then the emotional leading tools that I taught you through that program. As well as, at least initially, the coaching support that you got answered a lot of questions for you. So it sounds like usually there’s a three legged stool that helps people support their success, it sounds like you really got that figured out.

Marianne Harlow:

Absolutely. And I think it’s also, if I start to slip a little bit, I have the tools to get back on track and I know exactly what I need to do. And it’s not difficult to use those tools. It’s, I just go put my scale back in the middle of my stove where it reminds me every time I eat, let’s weigh this, let’s measure it, let’s keep track of it. And I don’t think in the past a year out my cupboards are still really clean of carby stuff. Probably the one carby thing in my cupboards would be canned chopped tomatoes [inaudible 00:16:25] periodically I make chili or something like that, but it becomes a small part instead of the focus of whatever I’m eating. But the ladies I camp with loved it when I did this because I cleaned my cupboards and I took them on camping trips and said, okay, the store’s open. Come get it.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, that’s funny. All right. So besides the weight loss, what else have you noticed that’s changed in your life?

Marianne Harlow:

Well being 62 and 60 some pounds heavier, everything was achy. It was an effort. It was a pain. You know, putting your socks on was a pain to get past your belly. Last fall I went on a big RV trip and we probably averaged hiking, I don’t know, five, six miles a day. And it was all above five and 6,000 feet in elevation. And it wasn’t until I got home that I really thought about that and thought, holy smokes, if I had been lugging 60 extra pounds I would never have done a quarter of that. So it certainly makes life a lot more fun.

Marianne Harlow:

My dog loves it because we go for walks way more often than we used to. It’s just like a lot easier dealing with aches and pains, or lack thereof. And also I used to have, I remember this, I used to have acid reflux. I don’t know, three or four times a week or more and it was awful. It would wake me up in the night and stuff. And I can’t remember the last time I had acid reflex, and it probably had to do with one of those days that I went a little sideways. And it’s like, oh, that crap just doesn’t agree with me. Which is also a good reminder to not eat that kind of stuff. But it’s amazing how I don’t have the acid reflux at all anymore.

Carole Freeman:

Yes, it’s very, very common that acid reflux, despite what the doctors say about, well you should have less spicy food and put your head to your bed up and you should do all these other things and take acid blockers. And it’s like, oh, actually if you just reduce the carbs, it all goes away.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. Or this is weird too. I always had a stomach that gurgled and made noise and stuff, and that doesn’t happen any longer either.

Carole Freeman:

Wonderful. So less aches and pains,, you’re feeling lifestyle freedom, being able to be free to be active as you like and explore and hike. And no more acid reflex and anything. I imagine, well, it sounds like more energy too, based on what you’re saying about your being able to walk your dog all the time.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. And it’s been fun to closet shop. Yesterday I had a meeting, and being retired I rarely get dressed up. And so I was like, okay, there must be something in the back of the closet here. It’s like, oh, I forgot all about this suit. We’ll just put that on. It’s like, ooh, looking good.

Carole Freeman:

Nice, nice. Anything else that you noticed the has dramatically improved in your life for the last year?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, it’s interesting, because I have friends from various parts of my life that have contacted me. Well, I sent you the pictures of the before and then a couple that were almost exactly a year apart. And I accidentally posted that on my Facebook page. I was trying to do a collage. And I had, I think, four different people from different parts of my life contact me privately. It’s like, oh my God, what have you done? So it’s like, well hey, it’s pretty simple, straightforward, way to go.

Carole Freeman:

Nice. So that usually happens, people notice a big difference and they’re like, what’s your secret? Tell me.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. It’s kind of fun. Especially after being pretty disgusted with the state that you’ve allowed yourself to get in to actually feel like you look like you’d like to instead of trying to hide it under big baggy clothes and all that stuff.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. I had a similar experience where I saw a photo of myself with family and it was like, oh that’s not me. I don’t feel like that. Because it’s such a gradual increase of the weight you don’t see the change in the mirror on yourself every day. And then when the photo is really the wake up call, where you [crosstalk 00:22:01] that realization. But even then, it’s hard to accept.

Marianne Harlow:

Yes. I would see my mom in the mirror often. It’s like, wait, no, I’m not ready for that.

Carole Freeman:

Oh wow.

Marianne Harlow:

But it’s also weird stuff like when I buy dog food and I’m hauling a 20 pound bag of dog food, it’s like, okay, so this is just from the store to the car and you were hauling three times that much every single day just to walk from the front door to the mailbox. Holy smokes, no wonder you feel so much better.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Oh my gosh. The dog food one always gets me too because years ago out of high school I worked in grocery stores, and for whatever reason that always sticks in my head is like a really heavy thing. Because we had the 20 and 40 pound bags of dog food in the front of the grocery store. And to pick one of those up was always like, that’s a lot of weight. So that’s funny because in my mind I always think about that too, is like, oh three of those? Could you imagine strapping, duct taping three of those on your body and then walking around all day long?

Marianne Harlow:

Exactly. Lumpy and bumpy and-

Carole Freeman:

The same thing.

Marianne Harlow:

Holy smokes.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Oh wow. So here’s something I’ve never asked you. Have you ever thought about the difference in food savings? Like how much you were spending a year ago on food versus now?

Marianne Harlow:

I thought about it a bit, but not a whole lot. I’ve always said I can cut out a lot of other things besides food, so I’ve always bought relatively good quality food. But I probably waste a lot less than I used to. Hang out around the outside edge of the grocery store. People go, you go to Costco and you’re a single person, that’s crazy. But Costco has the best steaks and all that kind of thing, or the big blocks of cheese. And I bought myself a vacuum sealer and so I come home from Costco and I get my scale out and I just cut it into portions and vacuum seal it. And then I just write the weight on the outside of the bag. And when it’s all portioned it comes out of the freezer, it thaws really fast so it’s all ready to go. Which also helps making stupid decisions of, you know, in my past it was like, oh I don’t know what to eat. And so I’d run to the Wendy’s down the road. And salads were not what I was buying.

Carole Freeman:

Okay, so you’ve come back to help support everyone else on keto with me now. So you are now one of our peer support coaches and training to be a keto lifestyle coach. So inspiring others. You are amazing at all kinds of little tips and tricks. So you just threw one out, which has me thinking of this with the vacuum sealer. This is one I haven’t heard you say before. So I love that. That’s so great. Just buying in bulk, which saves money, and then just taking a little bit of time to portion stuff out into individual sizes. The vacuum sealer, I don’t have one of those, but now all of a sudden I want one, because it ends up saving you so much. But [crosstalk 00:00:25:43]-

Marianne Harlow:

You can get them not very expensive on Amazon. I think I only paid 25, $30 for mine. If I was to do it again, I’d maybe upgrade a little bit just because I think they probably function better. But the inexpensive ones work just fine. They seal it up. And the other thing I’ve discovered is that is really great when it’s time to go camping. I literally just open my freezer, because I usually just barbecue when I’m camping. And I have everything all portioned out. So it’s like I’m gone five days, I just pick out five meals. I have canned tuna, canned chicken, that kind of stuff that just stays in the camper. So I can be camping in a moment’s notice.

Carole Freeman:

Oh my gosh, we need to do a separate episode on keto camping tips.

Marianne Harlow:

Oh, that’d be fun.

Carole Freeman:

Let’s book that. Yeah. All right, you know what would be super fun, Marianne, is if I drove out and we did it right with your camp trailer.

Marianne Harlow:

Well that could happen.

Carole Freeman:

And then we should just go camping too.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah, maybe have campus stuff already planned, I’ll send you my schedule see if any of them come in. I have a spare bed, you can just move on in.

Carole Freeman:

Oh my gosh. Oh that would be great. Oh my gosh. Okay, so we’re going to do a sole separate keto camping tips tricks episode. That’s going to be so great. I can already envision. I want to go to Utah, actually. But anyways.

Marianne Harlow:

That was last fall.

Carole Freeman:

I know I missed that. What other tips do you have? I mean, and again, you’re so great. Like every coaching call you’re on you’ve got another tip you pull out. And I’m like, that’s so great. Let’s just do your top five keto food tips for success. Like making it fast and easy and simple. I mean, yeah, go ahead with other ones.

Marianne Harlow:

Got me on the spot now.

Carole Freeman:

I know. Just top of the mind. They don’t have to be your best, they could just be whatever pops in your head.

Marianne Harlow:

Well portioning things out is… Because then you make one mess. Well, like I have favorite recipes that are really easy, but they still take time and mess. So I’ll take chicken breasts and pound them so they’re relatively flat, but more importantly they’re even so they cook evenly and you don’t dry them out. But I’ll cook them all and then throw them in the freezer, throw them in the refrigerator. So it’s fast and easy to grab and go. On one of the calls I was on recently you were talking about a beef jerky that you really enjoyed when you were in Hawaii. So I got online and I found some sugar-free beef jerky, and it came in a larger container. And I just had little snack Ziploc bags, so I stood there on my scale and I just weighed out one ounce portions in the zip bags.

Marianne Harlow:

And so when I want something or I’m craving something salty, or whatever, I can just grab one of those and go. Or if I’m driving somewhere and I think, if I get hungry along the way, rather than taking nuts which is something that I’m not very trustworthy with. The beef jerky is very satisfying. The protein fills me up and gets me where I’m going and something that’s easily eaten on the road. So I like things like that. Costco has the little packs of salami and provolone. And that was on my big camping trip where we were in the car a lot, that was often lunch as we’re driving down the road. And my dog loves those too. Let’s see, other tips.

Carole Freeman:

Portioning out food. I’m putting vacuum sealer on there, I love that one.

Carole Freeman:

It sounds like too, stocking your fridge and pantry with quick and easy foods is another one. So you mentioned the canned tuna, the canned chicken. And then just the fact that you’ve got these portioned out foods already in your freezer. Those are all things that just make it quick and easy to [crosstalk 00:30:46]-

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. And I think that’s part of eating to live instead of living to eat. Because it’s all tasty, but I’m not revolving around food all day long. I think that’s been really helpful. It’s like, you get in, prepare it and get out.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, yeah. Keep it simple, quick and simple.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah. So this comes and goes, but sometimes I have pint canning jars that I got the plastic lids versus regular canning lids. And when I buy greens or salads or whatever, lettuce, I’ll chop it up and then I’ll just put it in the jars, and they seem to stay fresher. Where being single sometimes stuff like that will spoil before I get it all eaten.

Carole Freeman:

Well tell me more about [inaudible 00:32:03]. So you’re talking about the canning jars?

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah, just the little pint canning jars.

Carole Freeman:

And then what you mean by a plastic lid? What’s that?

Marianne Harlow:

Well, you can get them on Amazon. I’m an Amazon queen.

Carole Freeman:

Okay, okay.

Marianne Harlow:

They’re just screw top lids that fit on pint. You can buy pint ones or ones for quart jars. But pint size for me is a serving. You could put a cup of lettuce in there, a couple cherry tomatoes and onions or cucumbers or whatever. So if I’m doing cucumbers or anything that has a watery base, I put that in the bottom of the jar. And then the onions and then the lettuce is on the top. So when you have everything in, you have about a cup of lettuce, maybe a little bit more. And then all you have to do is put your dressing in and shake it up and you’re ready to go. Or pour it into a bowl, throw some protein on top of it and you’re ready to go. And you’re not standing in your kitchen chopping lettuce up.

Carole Freeman:

Okay, so there was a big trend for a while with the salad in the jar or meal in a jar thing. So it sounds like you’re doing something like that. And doing that with veggies. So you’re prepping those, but putting them in a jar is really good versus, and I’ve taught classes on this so I know exactly what you’re doing now. So if you put the things that are really watery in the bottom and because the jars are vertical they help separate the water from the lettuce that’s going to wilt really quickly if it’s sitting in water. And so-

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah, wilt or turn brown or whatever.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Usually we make salad in a big bowl, everything’s touching everything else. But if you put it in the jar, you can put cucumbers or tomatoes or other watery things in the bottom. And then things that have a little more hardy in the middle. Like actually whole cherry tomatoes could go there. And then when you put the lettuce on the top of it, it’s not touching the water and it will stay fresher for a week or more that way. [crosstalk 00:34:14]-

Marianne Harlow:

But I think-

Carole Freeman:

Oh go ahead.

Marianne Harlow:

I think, actually too, just being in a jar you have less air involved, which keeps it from turning brown. And I started it just because I’m inherently lazy. Chopping up all that stuff every single day, I got bored with it. So it’s like if I chop it up all at once. If I’m really paying attention, I’ll top up the lettuce and toss it in just a little bit of lemon juice and then that really helps it stay. It’ll stay in the fridge for like a week and a half.

Carole Freeman:

Nice. Well, and the other trick you can put your dressing on the bottom if it’s in something else that’s, for example, you could put the dressing in the bottom with the chicken or something like that. As long as it’s not touching the lettuce you can actually make the whole thing of pre ready salad and then just shake it up, like you said, right before you’re going to eat it too. But you could also just keep the salad dressing totally separate and put it on later. Very cool.

Carole Freeman:

Another one I didn’t even know you got out of your sleeve, but that’s great. I used to teach classes on how to make those, and I totally forgot about that, but that’s great. Excellent. All right, Marianne’s top five tips for making keto easy, and quick and easy. I love it. All right, we got five.

Marianne Harlow:

Oh yay.

Carole Freeman:

I wrote them down. Yeah. Pre portioning your food. Using the vacuum sealer. Stock your fridge or pantry with quick and easy keto foods. Keeping it quick and simple in meal prep. And yeah, each meal. And then five was doing the little veggie salads in a jar. I know you’ve got tons more, but we’ll stick with that for now. All right.

Marianne Harlow:

I’m going to have to think about it. Write things down as I do them.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Excellent. Well, oh my gosh. So much value. You have shared so much and so inspiring. Your transformation is very inspiring to others and you’re so full of information and tips. And it sounds like you’re finally feel like your whole life is a reflection of who you really are. And, well just living life to the fullest.

Marianne Harlow:

Well, I’m excited to do the peer coaching that in my professional world I did a lot of coaching. And so it’s fun to find a new outlet that I really believe in and help other people. I get excited about that.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, that’s excellent. So happy to have you. You’re such an awesome addition to our team and provide so much value to everything you touch. So I’m really honored to have you with us.

Marianne Harlow:

Thanks. I am enjoying being back in the fold.

Carole Freeman:

Yay. So anything else that you were hoping I would ask about or anything else that you want to share before we wrap this up?

Marianne Harlow:

Not that I can think of.

Carole Freeman:

All right.

Marianne Harlow:

Oh, one little thing I thought about this morning is my dog really likes keto too, because I’m kind of a sloppy cook. So when things fall on the floor, they’re always good things that she likes. Well, with the exception of the lettuce.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, well yeah. Yeah. Our pets can do a world of good health too by cutting out the carbs. Most prepared dog and cat food, unfortunately, is just filled with cheap carbohydrates. And just as us, they don’t do as well with that. And they do better with just real foods.

Marianne Harlow:

Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Well, Marianne, congratulations on all your success and getting your three legs of your success stool figured out. And I’m so glad that you reached back out to me and we get to hang out some more.

Marianne Harlow:

I’m glad too. So it’s a fun adventure and I appreciate all of the support and ideas and ways to get my brain to cooperate with going forward in a healthy direction.

Carole Freeman:

Excellent. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to share with everyone. And thank you for being here. If you’ve all enjoyed this interview, give us a thumbs up. If you want to hear more of this, hit the bell, that’s what’s going to get you notifications for upcoming episodes. And thanks for watching everyone. We’ll see you next time.

Keto Chat Episode 117: Keto Diet Psychology Expert Interview

Carole Freeman, Certified Nutritionist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, speaker, and comedian, specializes in a ketogenic diet coupled with behavioral psychology interventions to help people achieve lifelong weight loss. She  is a board Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist through the American Nutrition Association and completed her master’s degree in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology at Bastyr University, and a Certification in Clinical Hypnotherapy from the Wellness Institute. After a disabling car accident in 2014, Carole discovered the healing power of the ketogenic diet to relieve her Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Hypopituitarism, and reverse metabolic syndrome.

Transcript:

Carole Freeman:
It’s going.

Brandy:
Okay. This is Brandy from [3 Health 00:00:27] and today I’m here with [Marlene Sexton 00:28:28] . She’s a psychotherapist and we are going to have a little chat with Carole Freeman. Carole, tell us about how you got involved in low carb and ketogenic diets and what you’re doing.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. My name is Carole Freeman and oh gosh, I’ve been passionate about psychology and nutrition for, I don’t know, 20, 30 years, probably. Probably goes all the way back to my first diet at 19 years old. I have multiple degrees from Bastyr University. I did an undergrad in nutrition and then I did a double masters in nutrition and clinical health psychology, and that was in my pursuit of trying to figure out how do we help people make long-term behavior change so that they can eat healthy diet in such a way that it would actually help them be optimally healthy. I’m really passionate about how nutrition affects the mind, but then also how the mind affects what we eat. And so getting that degree at Bastyr was my dream and it was a fantastic degree.

Carole Freeman:
However, I came out of school being trained in the health at every size model and positive psychology, which is all great. However, I had the belief that if we tried to put people on restricted diets, if we encouraged them to lose weight, we were actually doing more harm than we were good, that because there was no way to actually lose weight and keep it off, it was just much better, then, to help people learn to love themselves the way that they were and if we let go of all that diet mentality and accepted our bodies for what they were, then ultimately the belief was that people would make healthier choices and they would be able to eat mindfully and intuitively and just be at a healthier weight than they would if they tried to yo-yo diet and just keep gaining more weight.

Brandy:
Did you believe that or was that what you were taught?

Carole Freeman:
I did. I believed that. I mean, the health at every size model is based in research and I’m sure you know from the work you’ve done that it is a pretty common pattern that people diet, they lose weight and then they regain even more. I’ve since put everything together that I’ve been studying for so long to realize that it’s partially the dietary approach that most people take, but also then having the psychological support to be able to make long-term behavior change by addressing where cravings come from, natural appetite regulation, but also just behavior change in general.

Carole Freeman:
I came out of school having gained quite a bit of weight and was in denial or I was oblivious to the fact that I myself had metabolic syndrome when I graduated with this and I thought I was healthy and I was practicing nutrition, but I wasn’t creating a lot of big change in people. I mean, they liked the message of just love yourselves the way you are and let go of dieting, but I wasn’t creating a lot of big changes in people’s health.

Carole Freeman:
It took a horrible car accident. 2014, I was rear ended by a distracted driver. It was a five car chain reaction pile up. I suffered a brain injury and crush injuries to my legs. I developed something called chronic regional pain syndrome in my legs, which meant that the pain and swelling were so severe that I ended up bedridden as well as the brain injury led to post-traumatic hypopituitarism, which basically just meant I had a symptom list a mile long and the doctors were really stumped as to how to help me.

Carole Freeman:
Out of sheer desperation just to not be stuck in bed the rest of my life, I just kept searching for an answer. “What can help heal my brain?” And I remembered in grad school that we learned about this much about a ketogenic diet for epilepsy-

Brandy:
I was going to ask if it was ever even mentioned or taught to you guys at all.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, it was mentioned and it was in reference to like, “This is the diet that’s used to treat epilepsy,” and that’s about it. We didn’t learn anything about implementation or anything like that. And so I reasoned that if it worked for epilepsy, which is something that’s not quite right with the brain, perhaps it was something that was going to be able to help me heal my brain injury just so I could get out of bed. And it was remarkable because just within days of adopting it, the symptoms that had me bedridden were resolving. I had massive amounts of energy. The weight was just falling off as well as the chronic regional pain syndrome went into remission, which is something that is a progressive degenerative syndrome that happens where people just get worse and worse. And mine is in remission as long as I stay compliant with a keto low carb diet.

Carole Freeman:
It was the final piece that I had been missing in order to create the transformation that I’m so passionate about helping people recreate. I’ve been doing nothing but this for about the last three and a half years in my practice. It’s all virtual. I work remotely with people all around the world and I’m really passionate about integrating a way of following keto that does address the psychology as well. So I’ve got a starter program that’s a nine week comprehensive program and then I work with people longer term as well once they’ve gone through that initial training program.

Brandy:
Cool. So tell me a little bit about the metabolic syndrome. How much weight did you lose and how did that go?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Metabolic syndrome is, there’s five different criteria and if you meet three of those, that stamps you with that. It’s not considered as a disease is it? It’s more of a syndrome, right?

Brandy:
[inaudible 00:06:37] of things, yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah. So low HDL, high triglycerides, waist measurement for women 35 inches or greater, high blood pressure and high blood glucose. Am I getting those right?

Brandy:
Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
And so I met the low HDL and waist measurement and then the high triglycerides. My blood pressure was normal independent, actually it was really high with the post-traumatic hypopituitarism, it skyrocketed. And then my blood sugar was always, we never tested like A1C or anything like that. My blood sugar was still considered to be normal. So those are the three criteria I met. So the first six months of following a ketogenic diet, I lost 60 pounds and 10 inches off my waist. And so I no longer fit any of the criteria. Well, I think my HDL still struggles to be pretty low, but otherwise I didn’t meet any of the criteria besides that one.

Brandy:
Wow. That’s an amazing amount of weight loss and a big change in your metabolic situation. I’d like to go back a little bit to this year, because I think you were telling me that you had helped change a little bit of what was going on there at the cafeteria and dietarily for the campus.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. I mean, they have a great cafeteria there where, at the time when I was in school, it was a hundred percent vegetarian cafeteria and it was really old school vegetarian, which was like, rice and cheese was basically the foundation of most meals. So it wasn’t whole food based, but it was vegetarian and getting into the curriculum for all the degrees that they have there, there was nobody promoting that vegetarianism was the healthiest way to eat. And so I saw that disconnect there and I was like, “Why does the cafeteria not align with actually what’s being taught?” Because most students that came in as a vegetarian to one of the nutrition programs believing that was the healthiest way. Once they learned about things like B12 and how it’s really hard to meet a lot of your mineral needs as a vegetarian, they had a lot of awakening to that and a lot of them, during their course and training there, they were no longer vegetarian and starting to incorporate some animal proteins in there.

Carole Freeman:
The naturopathic program also didn’t promote that vegetarianism was the healthiest way to eat and so I saw that misalignment there. And so I formed a group on campus. I called it CHIP, Cafeteria Holistic Improvement Project I think is what we called it. And I wanted to be a conduit to change instead of, so there were groups that were just like, they would complain about it but nobody was ever doing anything. And so I started some monthly meetings and we just started a dialogue and it turned out that part of it was that their head chef at that time really believed in a vegetarian diet and he’d been there so long, they didn’t really want to rock the boat. And so we opened that dialogue and then there was a new, I don’t know, director of cafeteria services or something like that that came on board and then they started to incorporate some offerings that were animal protein based.

Carole Freeman:
It’s been seven years since I’ve graduated from there. I haven’t been on campus in a while. I have no idea what’s currently-

Brandy:
What’s going on? Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
… being served there. But that’s what happened during the time I was, I was there for five years getting all of the degrees that I did.

Brandy:
Okay. Cool. So you said in your program you incorporate both the keto and implementation of keto. Do you ever do different types of low carb or is it straight keto?

Carole Freeman:
Everyone starts out with a very similar approach to start with because the goal is to get them into ketosis as fast as possible and to minimize cravings and facilitate behavior change as quick as possible. During the course of the nine weeks, I teach them several things so that each person, with my guidance, that we’re finding a way that keto low carb fits their lifestyle, their needs. So I do start out everyone with a very similar approach, but it gets fine-tuned along the way to find what works for them and what’s going to be actually sustainable.

Carole Freeman:
I am working with a niche of people. It’s primarily women that have died their entire lives and they already are sold on keto. They want to follow a ketogenic lifestyle and everyone does get end up getting their own, you know, not everyone needs to be 20 grams of carbs or less per day for the rest of their lives. And that’s part of the education and teaching that I teach them is let’s figure out what actually works for you and what you need to do that’s going to be sustainable because yeah, some people don’t need to be strict forever. Some people can have all the health and sustainability from doing a lower carb approach. Part of that, too, is just the psychology of where somebody is, as well. Some people don’t do well with the gray area. For me that’s a slippery slope of well, a little this, a little that, a little more and then pretty soon I’m back to 300 grams of carbs a day. That’s part of it as well, is helping people figure out what fits with their personality and what is going to actually be sustainable for them. Some people do better with having black and white rules to follow than they do with like, ah, all foods fit, which is what I was doing before.

Brandy:
Right, right. Do people come to you on medications and things like that that need looking after and monitoring as they’re losing weight?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. I mean, yeah, sometimes people do. I know the ones to watch out for and so I will work with their doctor or instruct them. I’m sure you’re familiar that there aren’t necessarily a lot of doctors that are used to people being able to get off of their medications and so I empower them with some words to work with their doctors. So I always tell them it’s not within my scope of practice to tell you how to take your medication, how to stop taking it. What I have seen is that for this medication you’re on, this is something that we need to monitor very closely. You need to go see your doctor first, let him know this and ask him or her what that looks like, when is it that you need to change that and how frequently that. So I have them work with their doctor.

Carole Freeman:
Certain diabetes medications, blood pressure medications, those are the primary ones that need immediate adjustments. So that’s part of the screening I do is to make sure, what medications are you on? These are the ones that you’re going to need to work with your doctor to monitor the dosing. But that is their doctor that does that. And again, not everybody’s doctor is used to, I’ve had plenty of them that their doctor says, “Well, no, you can’t ever get off of this.” And so I said, “Well, that’s okay. So here’s how to approach that,” when they think that that’s going to happen. Because it’s normal. They’re not used to seeing people actually get off of medication. So that’s what I do with those.

Brandy:
Good. Any pushback from primary carers about what you’re doing? Or have you had patients go to their primary carer with great results and then they end up telling them that it’s dangerous and they shouldn’t be doing it?

Carole Freeman:
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, there’s a lot of, I’ve referred people to other doctors that their doctor freaks out about what they’re doing, even though the labs and everything show how much better they’re getting. I’ll find another keto-friendly doctor and say like, “In the Seattle area here, we have Dr. Ted [Naman 00:14:58] .” So a lot of times I will refer people to go to him. And he says, “Well, why do people need my stamp of approval?” And I said, “Because their doctor tells them it’s dangerous and bad. They just need another person in a white coat to tell them it’s okay and then they’ll have peace of mind, right?” They’re not going to believe me over their doctor that’s telling them this is dangerous and so if I just have another doctor that can say, “Yeah, you’re doing great, everything’s healthy,” then that will help them give them some peace of mind.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. There’s a gamut, a continuum of the reactions of their physicians. Some of them are like, “Oh my gosh, wow, everything’s better. Whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it.”

Brandy:
That’s beautiful, too.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. And then there are some also that have said, “You should follow keto. I don’t know how to help you do that.” So they’re seeking out somebody to help direct and guide that for them. Then, yes, there are the other ones that like, “Wow, your labs all got better, but this is dangerous and it’s going to kill your liver.” You know, all these myths and things like that. And so then they say, “Well, even though that got better, you can’t do that, that’s not good.” And so that’s part of where I’ll give them some books and videos and research presentations and things like that to help them understand that, yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there about keto and if doctors haven’t actually implemented or seen a lot of their patients follow it and get those improvements, they have beliefs and misconceptions about what is going to happen.

Carole Freeman:
Even for me, when I first started it, I was seeing a naturopathic doctor and I embarked on it on my own. Two weeks into my keto diet, my inflammation markers and my CRP dropped 62% just in two weeks. And my doctor that I was seeing at that time said, “No, you can’t follow a ketogenic diet long-term because it’s inflammatory because you’re eating all that red meat and bacon. So this is not going to be,” and I said, “But my labs just showed that my inflammation dropped 62%. Why?” “Well, I don’t know, but,”

Brandy:
Thank you. I’ll be seeing somebody else now.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah.

Brandy:
I think we should form our own Washington state low carb, keto-friendly directory.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Brandy:
Being listed on other more, well, there’s even international, like Diet Doctor, but I’m listed on the Obesity Medicine Association and Low Carb USA obviously. But we need something that’s more central to the area, I think. That would be nice.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Brandy:
Because it’s really hard. It’s so disappointing when people get such good results. It’s very undermining when they hear from their primary carer that “Yeah, everything’s getting better, but I don’t want you to do it anymore.” Just so confusing.

Carole Freeman:
Right, right. Everything got better.

Brandy:
Yeah. I also noticed that you are trained in hypnotherapy.

Carole Freeman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brandy:
Do you do much of that or how does that work with your practice?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, I picked that certification up in the middle of my grad school and part of it was just due to, so, my psychology degree, basically the goal of that degree is to train me to be a mental health counselor and to go on and do the advanced, what is it, like 2,000 or 3,000 hours supervised hours to be able to get that licensure, but I never wanted to go that route. I just wanted to have the psychology, I wanted to have the counseling skills and knowledge to be able to just help people be able to make behavior change for diet-focused, you know, healthful food changes.

Carole Freeman:
And so I knew I didn’t want to go and pursue the licensure. I just wanted to have that training. And so about halfway through my coursework I was just still baffled about, what are we learning that actually helps people make change? Because we were trained that you might take years of therapy and here’s the different approaches you could do. And my own experience before that of attending counseling and therapy and always feeling like we’d go in and we’d talk about some really painful stuff and I leave after an hour just completely emotionally wrung out and crying and upset. And it was like, how is this helping? And I remember asking one of my professors at one time, like, “So how exactly does psychotherapy, how does it help people make change?” And he says, “That’s a really good question.” I was like, “What?”

Carole Freeman:
So something popped up on Facebook where somebody was talking about doing hypnotherapy training and I thought, “Oh my gosh, this seems like a really good fit. It’s another tool in my toolbox of being able to help people make change.” So I did that training in one of the summers while I was in grad school and it’s a special hypnotherapy training specifically for people that have advanced psychology degrees. So it’s not just a online program. It was actually an immersive six-week program that we did with all either a licensed psychologist or they let me into the program because I was completing coursework in that. And it’s great because it’s actually really aware of the things that we need to be mindful of when working with people on a deeper level of psychology.

Carole Freeman:
So I picked that up as, okay, this is what’s going to help people be able to make change. I do really like the hypnosis because it’s a way of helping people make real deep work, but at the end of the session you can actually suggest, you’re going to wake up and you’re going to feel happy and content and complete and closed. And so people wake up feeling or they come out of a session feeling really positive and instead of like in tears and crying, like sometimes therapy can be when you’re working on some really deep stuff. And so in the beginning, before I had my keto tool, I was doing one-on-one hypnosis in a clinic. My original business name was Hypnotic Nutrition and I did hypnosis for nutrition.

Carole Freeman:
And it was frustrating for me, actually, because people came to me wanting to lose weight and I was still of the orientation that that was a bad thing, that we shouldn’t have a goal of trying to lose weight. And so it was frustrating because that’s what people wanted to pay for, but it didn’t align with what my beliefs were at that time. And hypnosis all by itself is not a magic wand. People have this idea that if I just get hypnotized, I’ll lose the weight and I don’t have to make any other changes. It doesn’t work that way, and so that also wasn’t, all by itself was not the magic wand.

Carole Freeman:
The training I’ve had in hypnosis and the way that the brain works at a subconscious level does have influence over my approach and the psychology thing. Occasionally I will do some one-on-one sessions with some of my VIP clients, but it’s not a primary thing that I’m doing actively week in and week out with people. But it does have a big influence on what I do teach my clients and the approach that I do have. A lot of it has to do with the subconscious motives of the brain and how we can influence behavior change at a subconscious level beyond our awareness.

Brandy:
Yeah. Cool. Do you ever get any clients that you think you’re doing good work with them and they’re on keto but they just don’t seem to be getting the results that you’d expect and think that they could use medication to help with things like appetite or cravings?

Carole Freeman:
I haven’t had anyone that has been in that boat at all. All the people that I’ve worked with, when they’re following the program and the outline that I have, all have fantastic results. So I don’t know. I’ve not worked with everyone in the world. I tend to work with women that are somewhere between 50 to 100 pounds overweight. I think that there may be probably people that are more than a hundred pounds overweight, I’m going to guess, probably are ones that would do well with some kind of appetite regulation medication. I don’t know if that’s what you’ve seen or not. But I tend to work with people, then again, that are in that 50 to 100 pounds overweight and I think people that are of a higher weight have a different brain chemistry, different food addiction going on that probably could benefit from that. But that’s not been my experience or at least the people that I’ve worked with.

Brandy:
Okay, good. And so your program is how long?

Carole Freeman:
Well, the program that I have currently is, the initial one is nine weeks, but I’m working on a complete revision of that. So probably coming out in the next couple of months, it will be like a six-week starter program and then a long-term support a year at a time after that. That’s likely what the change is going to be. because I found that the training that I have that’s nine weeks right now, people get through about four weeks of the material and then that gets them going. And a lot of them, the feedback is like, “Well, I haven’t finished the other modules yet, but what I’ve got already has been so great and helped me get started with this.” So it may be that we do a four to six week starter program and then we have an advanced program that follows that for more long-term stuff. I’m in the process of revising all of that currently.

Brandy:
Okay. I met you through the keto Meetup group, right? So tell us about how that started and what it is and who’s involved and who’s welcome.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. In the Seattle area, we do have a keto Meetup group. We’ve gotten better at having a monthly meeting. I started more than a year ago, but it just never really got a lot of traction. It was interesting because we had quite a few group members in our Facebook group, but when it came to actually meeting up, even though the group is about meeting up, it was always hard to get people to actually come out. I don’t know why that is. But after low carb USA that we’ve had in Seattle in May of 2019 we actually had a group of people that were much more interested in having regular meetings and so we’ve done, what, three of them now and it’s open to the public. We’d love to have anyone that’s interested in low carb, following it or just learning more. Practitioners as well. We’ve got psychologists and nurse practitioners and well, myself. Certified keto nutrition specialist. Yeah. So anyone is welcome and the best way to get that, if you want to join our Facebook group, we can put some links below, right? I’ll send you those information. Or we’ve also got an email list for people that we send out information about those meetups, too.

Brandy:
Cool. Well, it’s awesome to meet another passionate keto practitioner out there. We need to multiply ourselves, I think, by a lot to help people, but we’re doing good work and you’re doing good work. Appreciate it. Where can people find you and get to know more about your program and what you’re doing?

Carole Freeman:
All over social media and the internet. You can find me as Keto Carole. Carol has an E on the end. That’s the fancy French spelling of Carol. So Keto Carole. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and my website is ketocarole.com and that’s how anybody can find me out there.

Brandy:
And YouTube, right?

Carole Freeman:
Oh, yes. YouTube. Yeah. My YouTube series is Keto Chat. If you search for Keto Chat, you’ll see I’ve been doing that series for about three years now. I don’t know. We’ve got maybe 120 episodes.

Brandy:
Cool. Good job. I appreciate you being on and sharing your experience.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to know you and yeah, we need to band together and multiply the good that’s happening from this.

Brandy:
Yeah. Yeah. I agree. All right. I appreciate your time. Have a good one.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much. You’re welcome. Bye.

Brandy:
Bye.

Marlene Sexton:
Bye bye.

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