Triple board certified Emory University trained physician and hormone expert, Dr. Anna Cabeca joins me to talk all things hormones from puberty through menopause. We bust some myths about pregnancy (women over 35, you can have a healthy pregnancy) and she shares tips on how to balance our hormones at all stages of life. Dr Anna also shares about her keto-green diet, and why she believes an alkaline keto diet is the key to balancing hormones and mitigating menopause symptoms.
Gynecologist & Hormone Expert
Dr. Anna Cabeca is an internationally-acclaimed menopause & sexual health expert, global speaker and pioneering promoter of women’s health. She is Emory University-trained and triple board-certified in gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. She is the author of best selling book “The Hormone Fix,” a diet and holistic lifestyle program for menopausal women and the new release with the foreword written by Dr. David Perlmutter, “Keto-Green 16” designed for improving energy, hormones, and weight loss.
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:33] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier podcast. Today’s guest is Dr. Anna Cabeca, a triple board certified Emory University trained physician and hormone expert. She is more affectionately known as Dr. Anna and the Girlfriend Doctor. And you’ll see why in this episode. She is extremely easy to talk to. Dr. Anna is the author of The Hormone Fix. And in this episode, we’re talking all things hormones from pregnancy through menopause and everything in between. Specifically, she’ll be sharing some tips on how we can balance our hormones using diet and lifestyle.
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Maria Marlowe: [00:03:18] Dr. Anna, thanks so much for being here.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:03:21] It is great to be here with you, Maria. Thanks for having me.
Maria Marlowe: [00:03:24] So we have to start with your story because you have a very interesting story. Can you share your story and how you came to be this hormone expert?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:03:33] Well, it is a long story, but in short, really, I just have loved the study of women’s health my whole life. As a young girl my mom was diabetic and with heart disease. And when I was only 16, she was requiring cardiac bypass surgery. And so it was realization to me, even at that time, to recognize that most of the work that we were, the most of the procedures, the medications, the care that was applied towards women was based on research done on men. And that just didn’t sit right with me. So I became a really strong women’s health advocate. And then I naturally went into gynecology and obstetrics. And then when I was 39, I had a personal health crisis after significant trauma in my family. I was diagnosed with infertility and early menopause, and I was told I would never be able to have another child again. And I failed the highest doses of infertility treatments. And it looked bleak.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:04:40] You know, in medicine, we give a diagnosis and it doesn’t say, OK, well, this is your diagnosis today. But if you do A, B and C, you’ll be able to reverse the diagnosis. We don’t talk about that. And so part of my journey was actually a journey around the world looking for answers because my Emory University doctor’s bag was empty. I’d failed known conventional therapies. And, you know, we were devastated as a family. So we went around the world actually and homeschooled for a year and traveled to different places. I met healers from Native America, from South America, an ancient Indian philosopher, a Brazilian or author, molecular scientist. And, you know, for in Israel, in cash all over Europe and New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany, I met with some of the world’s leading scientists, as well as some of the amazing native healers, including an Indonesian traditional medicine man. And I said, I don’t discriminate against what works right when it comes to healing and with discernment and implementing these practices, healing not just my body, but my mind and my spirit I was able to get reverse early menopause and then at age 41, one, get pregnant naturally and have a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Eva Marie.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:06:05] And so that was part of the initiation into really getting to root cause medicine even more than I’d already have already been. I’d already been a food as medicine kind of person. But even more to understand how the body does have such ability to repair itself. Such strong regenerative ability. And then at age 48, I was hitting a second menopause that caused me the brain fog, the memory loss, the mood swings and weight gain, rapid weight gain, despite not doing anything different. And that’s where I really had to dig in to understand, OK, beyond hormones, right. It takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. So really getting beyond our reproductive hormones to create lifestyle change that restores the body and improves our aging process. And so that’s been part of my entire journey. And that’s where that’s where I’ve now been working with hundreds of thousands of clients across the globe, just inspiring them to take back the power over their own health so that they can not be normal during any time of our life, but really be optimal.
Maria Marlowe: [00:07:21] I love that. Your story is so inspiring and there’s so many questions I want to ask you based off of that. Well, first, you mentioned you got pregnant at 41. And I just saw an article in USA Today that women over 35, you have to be very careful. It’s very risky. Right. This is something that we hear all the time. You can’t really have a baby or you shouldn’t have a baby over 35 because of complications and birth defects, having multiple babies, et cetera. So can you tell us what’s the real deal on that? You talked about normal versus optimal.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:07:55] Now, it is terrible that they wrote an article like that. Honestly, that is so disappointing. I will tell you because that, you know, again, that’s just sensationalism. Over age 35 certainly we are considered. There is a medical diagnosis code for those of us who get pregnant over age 35. And it most definitely was created by not a woman. The diagnosis is advanced maternal age. And so there’s another diagnosis code for a woman over age 35 who gets pregnant, who has more than one child, and that is elderly multigravida. Yup, age thirty five. You have one kid, you’re elderly, multigravida. Isn’t that terrible. That’s awful. We’ll figure out what that means more than one child. And so that is the terminology, because we know hormonal decline, ovarian function declines with age.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:08:55] But I mean, from birth, as far as we know, from science, from birth, we’re born with a certain number of eggs. And once our puberty hits, our reproductive cycle kicks in with a surge of hormones or ovaries or ovaries are cycling each month with varying levels of estrogen and progesterone. It creates what we call the follicular phase. The first two weeks from day one being the day our period starts, the bleeding starts, and the last two weeks we call the gluteal phase after ovulation. So when we have higher levels of progesterone during the secondary phase, so we have these natural cycles and over time our ovaries become more resistant and less productive. So that is just that is true. That is a normal part of aging. But there is so much that we can do to repair and essentially resuscitate our ovaries, as I’ve shown in my own life and now countless of other women’s. And it really comes to creating an internal environment that’s conducive to health, to healthy pregnancies, to a state of health that is supportive. And I definitely I have one client who became pregnant in her 50s. And so, you know, now many of us over 50, including myself, would cringe at that idea. But so be it.
Maria Marlowe: [00:10:15] Yeah, no, that’s incredible. And I’m so glad to have you on and sharing that message, because I do feel as women were given so many of these messages, like don’t have kids over 35 or, you know, you’re over the hill, this is terrible what the media, you know, sensationalizes. So I’m glad, you know, you’re living proof that that’s not the case and that we do have our bodies are very resilient and we do have a lot of power to create that internal train that’s going to allow us to our bodies to be healthy into until whatever age that we are.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:10:50] Absolutely. Absolutely.
Maria Marlowe: [00:10:53] So let’s talk a little bit more about hormones. I feel like we you know, most people have a general idea of what they do and how they function, but maybe not complete picture. So let’s just talk about hormones. What are they? How do they influence our health? And then how do they change as we age?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:11:11] Yeah. Thank you. You know, hormones are chemical messengers that communicate in many aspects of our body. You know, we have over one hundred and fifty hormones that circulate and coordinate our bodies functions from reproduction to our thoughts to our memories, to our desires, our passion and also the way we think and feel. So these are beautiful array of hormones. We typically think of the reproductive hormones as estrogen and progesterone, as well as DHEA, which is an adrenal hormone and testosterone. Testosterone is produced in women by the ovaries and the adrenals and in men by the testes and the adrenals. So as we age, we tend to peak these hormone levels at different levels. But in our mid, we have the peak levels of DHEA and then it starts to decline thereafter.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:12:06] So our progesterone levels as a woman ages, our progesterone levels start to decline most rapidly again because this is related predominantly to ovarian function. And we start to see a decline in our mid to late thirties and estrogen falls and testosterone falls as well. But what this feels like and this is something I just want to preface this hormone discussion with that without a doubt. And I write about this in my book, The Hormone Effects. It takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. It absolutely takes more than hormones to fix our hormones.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:12:44] But what I saw is a gynecologist. And in my own life, clients come in in their mid-thirties and they have worsening p._m._s symptoms, irregular bleeding. It may be breakthrough bleeding or heavy, more painful periods, more breast tenderness, as well as more anxiety or moodiness. And this is typically where I would always tell my clients. Well, if you only hate your husband two weeks out of the month, it’s probably your hormones and not completely your husband. So it is funny. Physiology affects behavior.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:13:17] Physiology absolutely drives behavior. And so that’s an important association. So in order to feel better, we have to heal our physiology. And it comes from both ways. Mind over matter, certainly. But we have to do the right processes, the right lifestyle choices, the way we nurture body, our mind, our spirit has to work for us and not against us. It can go either way, especially in times of crisis, when our body is producing more of the fight or flight hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and that depletes our reproductive hormones. So what we see expect to see during this time period is more p._m._s, more irritability, more anxiety, more menstrual irregularity and add in to other neurologic symptoms the brain fog, memory loss, difficulty sleeping. And, you know, ultimately maybe we’ll see will likely as what they’ve seen in China has increased divorce. But we don’t want to do that because that’s what we’re here doing, Maria. We are empowering people to really create health and vibrancy during this time and to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding, as it says in the Bible.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:14:28] So, you know, when working with women, you know, after a client comes in during this initial phase, thirty five, forties, they’re often offered antidepressants or SSRI medications and or birth control pills. But what happens? Those are just Band-Aids. And so often the patient comes back and they’re experiencing more menstrual irregularity and that could lead to a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation. And then typically the patient comes back in and continues to complain even of vaginal dryness, decreased desire, lower energy. And that often can lead to like where do you send the client? Next week, here’s a referral to a psychiatrist and a divorce attorney. And it’s a problem.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:15:12] But what I learned through my own experience, my journey around the world and integrating traditional medicine with the best of our modern medicine, Western medicine, is that when we intervene at any stage and there’s no you’re never too young, never too old. But when we enter being with healthy lifestyle strategies and nourishment, just like you talk about all the time, you’ve got this right that our body becomes resilient and is able to repair itself. So in my clinical practice, Mary, I when patients came in with these complaints, I would put them through essentially my Keto Green detox and do lab work and bring them back to review the labs. By then, when they come back in, they’re already feeling 90 percent better. And then maybe I need to tweak a hormone here or tweak or hormone there. But typically, 90 percent better by supporting liver function detoxification, supporting gut health and creating nourishing practices in our lives.
Maria Marlowe: [00:16:10] So let’s dive into that a little bit more deeply. You did come up with this Keto Green diet and lifestyle, which as you mentioned, is really helpful for restoring that hormonal health and just overall health. So can you share what are some of the key components of that?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:16:27] So with Keto Green, which is really interesting. You know, the big part about Keto Green is that it honors our physiology as we age. Right. I mentioned the declining reproductive hormones. These are neuroprotective hormones, hormones that protect our brain and protect our immune system. So as we’re aging, what we see with this dip in these hormones, we see all these neuroendocrine symptoms. So even though I hadn’t been doing anything different, I’d been able to restore my fertility when I hit age 48. I started experiencing the symptoms. My patients came and telling me they were experienced and and maybe I didn’t believe them specifically. They say, Dr. Anna, I’m gaining 5, 10, 20 pounds and I’m not doing anything different. And I think, you know, it really, really, really, you know, how is that possible, surely you’re doing something different.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:17:17] No, and well, that happened to me. I would say God makes me humble. So I gain essentially 20 pounds and I haven’t been doing anything different. So it really made me dig deep and to figure out why on a cellular level, at this most basic physiological level, what was happening, what was changing. And for me, you know, suddenly the weight gain was problematic. But I had brain fog. I was irritable. And at that point, I had two teenagers and my youngest in in elementary school in first grade.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:17:48] And, you know, can not afford brain fog around kids, especially teenage girls. Right. They will manipulate you. And so I was experiencing that. And that’s where I said, OK. No more carbs. I’m going Keto and cut out all my carbs. Very similar to how I would put my patients who had candida problems or chronic yeast infections as well as my clients with seizure problems or other mental health problems.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:18:16] And I completely restricted carbs. But quickly I found out that I was irritable, agitated. And again, you cannot afford to be that way with teenagers in the house. And I had to understand why. And so I did what I always told my patients to do. Check your Urine PH. And I started checking my Urine MPH. Lo and behold, I was acidic as the test strips would read. So I have no idea. So that can lead acidity. A urine PH acidity can be associated with chronic inflammation, chronic inflammation. And we know according to research, the more alkaline your Urine PH is, the less risk for diabetes, metabolic disorders, hypertension, cancer and osteoporosis. Right. All things that women deal with when we get older. Everyone deals with when we get older, but we can prevent it. And a simple, vital sign that everyone can check at home. PH papers available anywhere is is checking your urine PH. And I consider that another vital sign like checking your pulse, check your blood pressure, checking your heart rate variability. I think that’s another vital sign. And checking your urine P-H because that indicates not just how we’re nourishing our bodies, but how stress is affecting us. The more stressed we are, the more cortisol which causes more of an acidic urine PH. And that blew my mind.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:43] Yeah. I mean, that’s great. I have had so many doctors on here and no one has ever mentioned that. But yeah. That’s a great indicator. And what a great inexpensive way or tool that we can have at home to constantly be monitoring our health. So what are some of the things that you mentioned stress can throw off? Our PH and make things more acidic? What are a few other things that can also have that same effect?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:20:07] Well, definitely a keto diet. Animal meats are very acidic. And so if you think of acidity like a city, think of New York City industrial. There’s exhaust fumes, pollution that creates acidity within our body. Alkalinity. Think of more lush green space garden in the Amazon jungle, waterfall in the background, you know, just relaxing chill that creates more of an alkaline effect on our body, nature, more alkaline. Industry, more acidic. So our diet, you know, many of the Keto foods that we typically use. So there’s a way to go Keto clean or you can be Keto dirty, which is typically what people think about with the bacon, butter and Velveeta or processed cheeses. And I was clean Keto, but it was still acidic for me and I needed to start adding in the alkalinizers. So Maria, what I recognized is, as I added in these alkalinizers, low carbohydrate grains like kale, spinach, collard beet greens, Swiss chard, all these dark leafy greens that are so good as well as the ones that are even better for hormone for estrogen detoxification like our cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. Asparagus. These are just tremendously beneficial for our body.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:21:30] So what I recognized is that the, you know, eating the alkaline foods really help to help my physiology, help with regularity and bowel movements. So there wasn’t constipation, helped me sleep better. But what I noticed by checking my urine PH is that the mornings I would walk on the beach and or do my gratitude journaling I was more alkaline all day. And that’s where I understood the stress connection or how big that is. Other things are foods that can cause acidity. And this is why it’s so important to check your urine PH for discovery. Our food sensitivities, for example, if I’m alkaline, alkaline, alkaline, but yet I eat some dairy, somehow dairy gets into my food. I will be immediately acidic at the next testing, which is so interesting. I have a terrible dairy sensitivity and then toxins, mold, high blood sugars, all of that can create more of an acidic urine. So we need to balance it with the minerals and our diets and supplements.
Maria Marlowe: [00:22:36] And what about gut health? What role does that play in our ability to manage stress and inflammation?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:22:42] So in my Keto Green approach and how I’ve incorporated the different food groups and Keto Green 16, which comes out May 5th, there are 16 key food types. And the reason for many of these food types is to improve the gut microbiome, health and diversity. Diversity within a gut microbiome has been shown to be associated with less diseases of inflammation as well as chronic degenerative diseases. The healthier gut bacteria are our gut microbiome and more diverse is associated with health. So that is built into the plan with the food choices. And the other part with the microbiome is that we recognize now that there’s a specific bacteria that detoxifies estrogen in a healthy way or an unhealthy way. So creating the right essentially foods for our gut is critical in having a healthy life and healthy outcome.
Maria Marlowe: [00:23:46] Do you think there’s any benefit and doing these, like, for example, DNA stool testing, which will show you the bacteria, you know, all the different strains and everything that you have in your microbiome? Or do you feel like simply making the dietary changes is, you know, a good a good first step?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:24:05] Well, it certainly is a good first step, but it’s always nice. I’m big on testing your urine PH, testing certain key markers, lab testing. I talk about this in both my books, but stool testing. Fabulous. I use the G.I. map regularly with working with clients to look at, you know, what is the health of their digestive track. It can tell us so much. It really can, especially even when you think the gut is responsible for producing over 80 to 90 percent of our serotonin. And that is our anti-anxiety hormone. Right, neurotransmitter. So we have to look at the gut as functional medicine providers. We say gut first, right? Heal the gut first.
Maria Marlowe: [00:24:49] Definitely. Yeah. That is that gut is really the root of our health. And if we nourish our gut, then then our whole immune system, our whole body is a lot healthier. So what would you say are your top three foods or maybe not even just foods, but habits for a healthy gut?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:25:08] Top three habits, so go keto Green, number one and it’s not just how we eat or what we eat. It’s when we eat with who we eat. The mental status that we eat. Man, there’s a lot to it. But going Keto through decreasing carbs, increasing healthy fats and a variety of good quality protein sources, but really important here for the health of our microbiome and our health of our gut is intermittent fasting and no more snacking when we get into ketosis. We increase our insulin sensitivity, which really does empower our hormones and our bodily processes because we’re naturally becoming more insulin resistant as we get older, which leads to inflammation in so many cases.
Maria Marlowe: [00:25:51] Yeah, those are great tips. We actually talk about intermittent fasting a lot on here and not snacking. It drives me crazy when people are like eat five or seven or eight meals a day. It’s like, no, please, please don’t. No, that’s great. So it just to kind of clarify, you know, with Keto diet, because I do feel like people typically when they hear keto diet, they think, OK, all carbs, including vegetables, are out the window. But it sounds like just to clarify for everyone listening, still the dark leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables, you’re still having vegetables that the carbohydrates, it’s the refined carbohydrates, the grains, those sorts of things that you’re restricting primarily.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:26:34] Yes, absolutely. Like, you know, no grains, no sugars. The only carbohydrates we get are from our vegetables, cruciferous vegetables. And, you know, some certainly some nut sauces and but predominantly through our vegetables and keeping that as low as possible under 40 grams a day. And definitely like the intermittent fasting and Keto Green 16. I work people in to a 16 hour intermittent fast and it just works fast, quickly, especially as people struggle with hormonal symptoms, anxiety, the brain, fog, the end of the physiologic symptoms like the hot flashes. Not many people just think it’s hot flashes are related to estrogen and is one of the number one complaints that women going through menopause experience that creates quality of life issues.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:27:22] And I mean, I had to dig into the research to figure out that insulin resistance is a big factor for hot flashes, because as clients do in my program, they’re like within a week, my hot flashes went away. I was having one an hour and by two weeks there’s 90, over 90 percent improvement in all symptom scores. And this creep is related to that insulin sensitivity. So it’s really the major hormones that we deal with as we go through life are really insulin and cortisol. As far as really driving our metabolism and oxytocin. So in my book, The Hormone Fix, my first book published by Ballantine Penguin Random House, I go I really talk in detail about how to empower oxytocin, the hormone of love, bonding and connection, the most alkalinizing hormone in our body, by the way. And, you know, really essential for quality of life. It also helps to regulate cortisol.
Maria Marlowe: [00:28:17] I love that. So you mentioned that a lot of your clients notice that their hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms decrease when they started eating the more of a Keto green way. So what are some of the other misconceptions or the main misconceptions you see about menopause? Because I feel like, again, this is something where we’re kind of tot’s, you know, it’s something to be feared. Your life is going downhill after after you go through menopause. Like, what are some of the misconceptions you see? Yeah. And how do we move through perimenopause and menopause? How do we move through that? You know, feeling good, having having a clear mind and everything.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:28:55] Yeah. So the misconceptions are that, you know, you just have to power through it, that this is menopause is a disease. It is not a disease. Just like puberty is not a disease. Right. Puberty is a natural process. Menopause and andropause is a natural process. But we can do it well or unwell. And the key thing that I want clients to know is that each one of us has power to go through this really, really well. And case in point, it’s you know, I’ve I’ve had clients come in to see me who were told by multiple other doctors that they needed a hysterectomy or they needed their ovaries removed or, you know, the list goes on.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:29:36] And honestly, in my own clinical practice, being a surgeon and a gynecologist and operating two to three times a week, when I gave my patients these same tools that I used myself, I went from doing two to three surgeries a week to needing to do two to three major surgeries per year. That’s how tremendous our body heals. I always tell clients, like because, Maria, many hysterectomy is are still rampant. Right? Let me give you a case example. One of my patients, 37 year old Lauren, came in to see me. She’d been told by three other physicians that due to her endometriosis says she would never get pregnant. She’d been infertile for seven years and she just needed a hysterectomy to chronic dysmenorrhea. Painful periods and and nothing they could do helped her. But her husband was eight years younger and they wanted to have a baby. Neither of them had a child. And so I ultrasounded her. I did all my own ultrasounds in practice and I did an ultrasound. I looked at her lab reports and I said, well, why don’t we try for three months and let’s see what we can do together. I don’t see any urgent need for a hysterectomy at this point.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:30:55] And so I put her on my program and so completely detox unit supporting her detoxification. I put her on my Mighty Maca Plus, which is one of my products I created. I put her on detox support capsules. I put her on bioidentical progesterone on the second half of her cycle from day 14 to 28. And by her second period, she said, Doctor, and I’m not having any more menstrual pain or p._m._s symptoms. I feel so much better. And again, the dietary approach. Right. Basically, I told her, you know, Keto Green. But what that means is no sugars, no white, no wheat, no sweet and very little red meat. Right. Like there’s no white, no wheat and no sweet very little red meat. And the reason for the very little red meat, even though in Keto, is because there are a lot of hormones in red meat and I want her body to produce her own right. And meat is also very acidic. So I wanted to really alkalinize and support her detox. And also by doing that, supporting her gut. And that led in to within three months. Lo and behold, Lauren became pregnant and that child is now in elementary school. So a really, really good story. And to this day, she still has her uterus.
Maria Marlowe: [00:32:08] That’s amazing. That is really amazing. That’s why it’s always important to get a second opinion or third opinion, whatever you need.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:32:14] Or fourth in this case.
Maria Marlowe: [00:32:17] Don’t stop until you know.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:32:19] Don’t stop until truth resonates with you. Like for her, she’s like, you know, it just doesn’t feel right. So don’t stop. Listen to our intuition. And that’s where I want women to be able to discern. Sometimes for us, it’s absolutely necessary and the best decision we can make in our life to get a hysterectomy. Right. But let me tell you, if we don’t if we do the hysterectomy without addressing the underlying reasons why we needed the hysterectomy to begin with, then other problems will develop down the road.
Maria Marlowe: [00:32:51] All right. One hundred percent. So can you share what a normal day looks like in terms of eating the Keto Greenway, what you would be. Yeah. What your meals would look like.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:33:02] So it typically I have clients intermittent fast anywhere between 13 to 16 hours and it really important with the minimum of 13 hour intermittent fasting for women is because research has shown in a article, scientific study published in 2016 by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that in looking at women who had breast cancer, if they had fasted at least 13 hours between dinner and breakfast, they had a significantly reduced risk of recurrent breast cancer. And the study also showed that they had significantly lower levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of blood sugar over time in our body. And we’ve seen this in my studies as well. Improvement in hemoglobin A1C with just doing keto green the way that I recommend it.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:33:55] So in just as little as one month to two months we’ve seen incredible improvement. So that’s critical. So what a day in the life of Keto Green looks like. I’ll tell you, I’m actually drinking my Keto Green shake right now. It’s 11:30 here. Typically, I eat dinner by 6 to 7 p.m. in the evening. And also, there’s science behind my reasoning for that is that when we eat later in the day, any meal we eat after essentially 7:00 p.m. is associated with an increased secretion of insulin compared to that same meal we would have eaten before 7:00 p.m., which is really fascinating. So in my family, we try to eat the earlier, the better.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:34:37] And when we can on Sundays, it’s a big lunch and maybe a soup or something or salad for dinner. So intermittent fasting, 16 hours. I’m breaking fast with a Keto green shake, which for me is my Keto Green protein powder. It has zero grams of sugar. I’m really watching carbs, especially early on in the day. I allow more carbs in the evening because that can help with serotonin and help us get a better night’s sleep. So for my Keto green shake today is as a scoop of my Keto green powder, meal replacement powder, a scoop of collagen and peptides because I really want to bump up my protein at my college and right now support my immune system and two scoops of mighty maka plus an adopted genic formula. So I just did this in a Shaker cup because I was running to our podcast. But I can also blend in like typically I’d love to make a very substantial smoothie with adding a handful of greens. And, you know, like a quarter cup of sprouts, maybe a slice of ginger to improve digestion and some flax seeds or nuts or seeds to add just additional to my smoothie, you can get celery, cucumber. You want to add more of the greens that you love to to add in as much fiber as you can, which is gonna keep us from being hungry.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:35:51] The other thing to add into your Keto green smoothie is the healthy fats like a quarter of an avocado or a teaspoon to a tablespoon of NCT oil. And so that we get those fats so that we’re not hungry further on in the day and then out eat my second meal, my dinner. That will be my dinner will be a Keto Green. I’ll tell you what we ate last night. We had white fish that I baked in lemon juice and it was seasoned with garlic and some peppery seasoning mix, garlic, peppery seasoning and lemon juice. Was really, really so good. And I baked that in the oven for 20 minutes.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:36:29] And on the side we had sautéed green, sautéed kale with onions and ghee, sautéed it in ghee and then topped it off with some lemon juice and seasoning, typically Himalayan sea salt and actually have one of my recipes in my.. it’s called Breeze through menopause program is my do it yourself bagel seasoning just so good, but you could use it on all food so it has some sesame seeds and they’re adding adding seeds are so powerful and herbs of any kind. And so what else did we have then? We had papaya, ice cream. So fresh papaya blended with ice and some coconut milk, frozen and then served with cinnamon. And my youngest daughter, she puts honey on it. No, honey for me.
Maria Marlowe: [00:37:16] So that sounds really good. Actually, that sounds kind of similar to what we eat the other night, our last night, I should say, some white fish with some sautéed greens. That’s one of my favorite meals. So, yeah, that really sounds very delicious and very, very doable. So I wanted to also ask you, I know you also talk about sexual health and the importance of sexual health. So can you talk a little bit more about that and why that’s a relevant topic to all women?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:37:44] It is so important. Honestly, I’m having conversations with younger and younger women because I’ve just been talking about this and it is relevant to all ages. And the importance is that our sexual health, our feminine health is important for our entire. Where the medical community has served us wrong. Are in guidelines like, oh, you don’t need a pelvic exam after this age or you don’t need a pap smear or vaginal dryness is normal. It’s normal not to have sex, incontinence. You can expect it. But here’s this place to get incontinence pads or you know, from and and honestly, pelvic health. And this is why I tell clients clitoris to anus is the most valuable real estate of our body. I am telling you, because if we don’t have good pelvic health, what happens? We get incontinence, we get prolapse, we can get hemorrhoids and even more rectal issues and it just affects our quality of life.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:38:39] But incontinence is the number one reason why caregivers put their loved one into a nursing home. And so, you know, I always joke honestly, Maria. I say, you know, I have four daughters. You know I had to get them through their teenage years. I do not need to give them one more excuse to tuck me away somewhere. They want to do that now. So you think it’s really important to understand that sexual health to intimacy.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:39:06] So I had a client named Nancy, 56 years old. She was divorced for over 20 years, raised her children, started dating again and met someone she just just fell head over heels with. And so she called me up one day and said, Dr. Anna, I’m having recurrent urine infection. I am on my third round of antibiotics and my doctor wants to put me on a daily dose of an antibiotic so I don’t get these infections. And I said, well, first of all, Nina, I call that honeymoon cystitis. You know, that can be honeymoon cystitis. But as we get older, the tissue, her urethra, where we urinate from, just like the vagina gets a little bit thinner and more susceptible to infections and to bacteria entering into the urethra. So this is what we have to do. We have to keep that tissue healthy.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:39:53] And so, number one, I prescribed her a probiotic. Well, first, I prescribed our probiotic daily. So we got to get your good bacteria to counteract the bad bacteria and vitamin C on a daily basis to improve the PH of urine and also make it less likely to have a bacterial infection. So 2000 to 4000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. I use a vitamin C a day. So the probiotic, the vitamin C and then topically restoring like as we would use an anti-aging cream for a face. And I recommended her my Julva cream, which I created because I needed something for me. And, you know, for kids, early menopause, I get what this feels like. So the Julva has DHEA in it. It has plant stem cells from the Alpine Rose and some really other amazing nourishing ingredients. So low and behold, she hasn’t had a single urinary tract infection. Oh, yes. And then after intercourse to pee, just to flush your bladder at your earliest convenience.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:40:56] And so in all this time now, over several months, she hasn’t had another urinary infection. And also her relationship improved. They got engaged over Christmas and just moved in together with plans to get married in the very near future.
Maria Marlowe: [00:41:12] Wow, that’s amazing.
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:41:14] At fifty six, that could have been a very different scenario, because if you have pain or discomfort every time you do something, why would you want to. Right. Why would you want to? And intimacy is important whether we’re having intercourse or not. Connection, intimacy, pleasure. Being able to please and pleasure each other is transforming. And this is true at any age. I’ve had clients in their 70s and clients in their 20s having issues with sexual health and intimacy. And and so it’s really important to know our body and to naturally empower it.
Maria Marlowe: [00:41:50] I love that this has been so, so helpful. I really appreciate you sharing all of your wisdom today, as is a very beneficial podcast. One last question I’d like to ask that. I ask everyone if you can leave our listeners with just one tip for living a happier and healthier life. What would that be?
Dr. Anna Cabeca: [00:42:10] Love well and have fun together. Nothing is better than healthy communities, so when you’re sitting at your dinner table laughing, telling jokes, focusing on the positive, that makes all the difference in the world, that keeps us together and empowers our most powerful hormone, oxytocin.
Maria Marlowe: [00:42:27] I love that. I really, really love that love. Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Anna. For more from Dr. Anna. Be sure to check out her website, drannacabeca.com. You can check out her bestselling book, The Hormone Fix wherever books are sold. And you can also find her podcast, The Girlfriend Doctor Podcasts, wherever you listen to your podcasts.