Ep 119 – Josh Bridges on Recovering from Knee Surgery and Paying the Man

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“I remember asking my Chief, I was like, ‘Hey, I think I want to try to go do this CrossFit Games thing, and I’m not going to have to miss a lot of training, are you good with it?’  And he looked at me, and he’s like- and he didn’t really know a lot about CrossFit- but he goes- he knew a little bit- and he goes, ‘Well, what’s your Fran time?’  And I was like, ‘It’s 2:02.’  And he goes, ‘Okay, you can give it a shot.’  And so, I only had to miss a little bit of work for that.  But looking back on 2011, that was the craziest year because we were in the middle of a workup, and a workup is not easy.  We’re out in the desert doing up-down drills at 130 degrees for 12 hours a day, just non-stop.  And so, you’d get these little breaks in between your sessions of workouts with the military and everyone goes and takes a nap or eats food and I literally would go in the gym and workout.  I look back, and I’m like, ‘How the hell did I do that?’” – Josh Bridges

Josh Bridges is a 6-time CrossFit Games competitor who has been doing CrossFit since 2005.  In addition to three first place finishes at the highly competitive California Regional, his top finishes at the CrossFit Games include second in 2011 and fourth in 2014.

A former collegiate wrestler and U.S. Navy Seal, Josh has used the lessons he’s learned along the way to cultivate his impressive work ethic and mental toughness.  He is known and loved for his fiery presence on the competition floor, and for his mantra, “Pay the Man.”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Josh in front of a live audience at the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games.  We chatted about the tools he’s using to speed his recovery from a recent knee surgery, his background as a Navy SEAL, what it means to ‘Pay the Man,’ and his plans for returning to competition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The lessons Josh has learned from having to step back from intense training during his 2019 season in order to heal his knee injury
  • The recovery methods he’s using to speed and assist his return to training
  • The origin and meaning of “Pay the Man”
  • How Josh’s time as a high school and collegiate wrestler shaped who he is today
  • The process behind becoming a SEAL, and the qualities that allowed him to be successful
  • The mindset Josh uses to get through tough moments
  • What led to Josh’s decision to train for the CrossFit Games
  • The factors that influenced his decision to retire from the military
  • Josh’s thoughts on the format of the new CrossFit Games season, and how that has shaped his approach to 2020
  • His current goals and priorities, and whether we will see him as a Master’s competitor in the future
  • Three things Josh does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Josh

Josh also answered some great questions from the audience, including:

  • Lessons he is trying to teach his sons
  • His favorite recovery tools
  • His take on Murph and the significance behind it
  • Josh’s competition goals
  • How he got into the coffee business
  • How Josh maintains his joy for fitness
  • His recommendations for athletes who are looking to take their training to the next level
  • Josh’s favorite music for working out
  • Exercise for older athletes: his thoughts on whether there a time when CrossFit no longer appropriate
  • Where he sees the sport of CrossFit progressing in the future
  • How to buy Josh’s coffee

You can follow Josh on his website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

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“There was an orchestrated mass media campaign by our critics to portray us as dangerous- by the opposition. And that’s all waning now, because of the changes in the website. So, we were actually able to alter the world’s view of things. And you know the living room set? There are people that thought that I was trying to reach out to people in their living rooms, which is really funny. I’m not. I’m not at all. No one that looks like Bob on that couch is going to stumble on crossfit.com and start doing this stuff. It’s not like that. But we all know someone that looks like that, you know? That looks like my grandma’s living room, or my aunt’s living room. And we know people that are sedentary, and we know people that are eating too much carbohydrate and we know that they’re sitting there watching TV and we know that they’re older. And yet, the CrossFit stimulus has more to offer them than it does you in terms of the change in lifestyle. And so, I said to Sevan, I said, “Let’s bring those people into the gym. Let’s reach out into the community at large and let’s bring the, what I’m calling the underserved.” These are the people that no gym wants them walking in. I promise you at 24 Hour-Nautilus or LA Fitness, when you come in with a walker, no one’s getting all excited, “Look, this is gonna be great.” But I did. I would. We can. Our affiliates will.” – Coach Greg Glassman

As the founder of a program that has revolutionized fitness, Greg Glassman is no stranger to controversy. Known to many as simply “Coach,” he grew up in southern California participating in gymnastics and complemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling.

When he later became a trainer, he was kicked out of several globo gyms for employing his unique style of constantly varied, high intensity functional movement before he finally opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly thereafter, CrossFit.com was created and Greg would post Workouts of the Day, or “WODs” for athletes from all over the world to complete.

Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliates began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth — today there are over 15,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we witnessed the rise of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which crowns the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year.  Most recently, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in the qualification process for the Games and major changes at CrossFit HQ.

We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. With the inception of CrossFit Health, CrossFit has turned it’s focus towards fighting ever-increasing disease rates and medical costs while also networking CrossFit physicians and educating affiliate owners, coaches, and the general public in an effort to combat corrupted medical science and a tsunami of chronic disease.

For his third visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down just before the 2019 CrossFit Health conference and CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.  We discussed the evolution of CrossFit and CrossFit Health, the implications of scientific misconduct in the medical field, and what he sees for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The evolution of CrossFit Health since the first MDL1 in February 2018
  • The changes that have taken place in CrossFit as a whole over the past year
  • The corruption in the health science research
  • How Greg has developed relationships with key physicians and scientists around the world
  • The key people with whom Greg is working with at CFHQ, and how his team makes decisions
  • Whether he foresees any changes for the next CrossFit Games
  • The direction CrossFit is headed and how CrossFit is uniquely qualified to fight chronic disease
  • Greg’s decision to remove CrossFit from social media
  • His message to affiliate owners who felt caught off guard by changes within the organization
  • His goal for the upcoming 10-year affiliate gathering
  • Greg’s advice to an affiliate owner who is looking to grow their business and serve CrossFit’s mission as a whole
  • The story behind the infamous couch set
  • What CrossFit HQ is learning from working with senior and overweight populations, and how Greg plans to share that knowledge with affiliates
  • What he’s most excited to work on these days
  • The new seminar he’s developing on modern science and the scientific method

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow along with the daily articles posted at crossfit.com. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email info@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future MDL1 seminars and other events.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease
Ep 93 – Debunking Nutrition Myths with Gary Taubes
Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 


Ep 117 – Functional Bodybuilding & Earning Intensity with Marcus Filly

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“We’re so resilient as people that we can deal with a lot of stuff.  And if you pull back on the intensity, and you give your body a chance to heal, we’re also remarkable healers.  You know, you give yourself the right ingredients, we’ll heal from almost… I mean, from a lot.  And I had to go through that experience first-hand and people watched me go through that experience and they’re like, “Marcus, what are you doing, I want to try that, what’s that thing?” and so I had to give it a name.  I mean, I intentionally gave it a name to let it create an identity.  And now it’s’ a couple years into it and there’s a very clear look and feel to doing functional bodybuilding workouts.” – Marcus Filly

Marcus Filly is a 6-time CrossFit Games athlete, a former medical school student, and the catalyst behind the functional bodybuilding movement.  As the owner of Revival Strength, he is passionate about providing training programs to help his clients build strength and endurance without breaking down their bodies.

However, Marcus wasn’t always so sure about his path.  Following his collegiate athletic career, Marcus entered medical school to pursue what he thought was his intended purpose.  Instead, he found that while he appreciated the knowledge and the discipline of his medical training, a voice inside kept telling him he was on the wrong track.

After a lot of soul searching, Marcus decided to follow his heart and begin a career in fitness.  In doing so, he found a new way to educate and empower people with the tools they need to begin their own pursuit of health and happiness.

Marcus and I had a great conversation about the many parallels in our lives, from medical training to the demands of being a competitive athlete.  In this episode, we discuss the importance of finding your true purpose, the distinction between functional bodybuilding and other styles of training, and why lifestyle stressors are a huge consideration when it comes to earning intensity in a workout.

Topics we cover in this episode include:

  • Marcus’s athletic and educational background
  • The application process for med school and how his fitness experience shaped his intended career path in medicine, with a desire to focus on health
  • The importance of being introspective and taking time to figure out your own path
  • How periods of great stress can lead to revelations about your true purpose, and how Marcus applies his own experience to help his clients
  • Marcus’s CrossFit journey from team athlete to individual Games competitor
  • The factors that drove his decision to step away from competition
  • Where the concept for Revival Strength came from
  • His goals to create careers for his coaches and provide one-on-one attention for his clients
  • The distinction between traditional CrossFit style workouts and functional bodybuilding
  • The value of periodization, control points, tempo, and rest
  • Marcus’s belief that you have to earn intensity in your workouts by balancing the stressors in your life
  • Strategies that he employs to manage his stress and maintain balance
  • Three things Marcus does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Marcus

You can follow Marcus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on his podcast.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is  brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 116 – How Healing Works with Dr. Wayne Jonas

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“I call that integrative health.  Integrative health is a little different than complementary medicine, is different than integrative medicine.  Integrative health is the merger of conventional care like I learned, and you learned in your own medical training.  Evidence-based complementary practices, non-drug approaches, and then self-care: behavior and lifestyle. If you put those three together you have integrative health, and now we’re talking.  Now we’re able to really not only prevent a lot of illnesses, but in many cases, reverse a lot of chronic illnesses that plague our country today.” – Dr. Wayne Jonas

Dr. Wayne Jonas is a practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health, and a widely published scientific investigator. In addition to his medical practice, he has served as President, CEO, and Executive Director for Samueli Integrative Health Programs, Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, and Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  Dr. Jonas is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Drawing on his experience from leading hundreds of research studies, Dr. Jonas authored the book How Healing Works, in which he explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing occurs outside of our conventional medical care.  His goal is to change the way doctors and patients approach healthcare—away from a disease treatment model to an integrative system that incorporates the best of evidence-based conventional, complementary and self-care approaches.  Dr. Jonas’s advice can help us facilitate our own innate ability to heal after both minor and major medical incidents, change how we consume healthcare, and enable us to be more in control of our own health.

I first read Dr. Jonas’s book during my own residency in family medicine, and his message really resonated with the way I aspire to practice in my career.  I was excited to chat with him recently about the concept of integrative health and how research supports that taking care of the whole person– mind, body, and spirit– is imperative for long-term healing.

*Dr. Jonas’s bio adapted from his website.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What interested Dr. Jonas in a career in medicine and eventually family medicine
  • How he developed an interest in patient-centered care with a spiritual focus
  • The healing paradox: how 80% of healing occurs outside of modern conventional treatments
  • The definition of integrative health
  • How cultural context affects the preferred placebo delivery method and how placebo response should actually be called the healing response
  • Open placebo studies and how they demonstrate that intention, ritual, and belief can create healing
  • How to train the body to give a learned response to a conditioned stimulus
  • How mindset around lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, can improve health
  • How one can start the process of healing through finding meaning and purpose
  • The importance of stress management and exercising the relaxation response to strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system
  • Where health comes from: the impact of physical environment, love, and social connections on health
  • Using visualization for healing
  • Jonas’s advice to physicians wanting to tap into the extra 80% of healing
  • How doctors and patients can use the HOPE Note to add integrative healthcare to a routine medical visit
  • Dr. Jonas’s daily life and practices he implements for his own self-care
  • Three things Dr. Jonas does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Jonas

You can follow Dr. Jonas on his website, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 

 


Ep 115 – Becoming a CrossFit Games Athlete: Rookies Fee Saghafi & Erin Vandendriessche

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“I didn’t start CrossFit to be competitive, and I didn’t get into the competitive side until several years later.  And, I would say, I didn’t start getting competitive until 3… 3-4 years ago.  And then I was like, ‘Oh, this is fun,’ I started with local competitions.  I remember seeing Erin at local competitions, and so that was always cool to me and that was always fun, and it wasn’t so much about competing, it was about, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something that I never thought that I could do.  I always see these- the top-level girls, they have the 10 years of gymnastics, they come from Division 1 swimming, they are- they were- elite track competitors.  And I just didn’t have that background, and I didn’t have those same opportunities, and to be able to prove that I could still get there, over time, was something that I wanted to prove to myself.” – Fee Saghafi

Neither Feeroozeh Saghafi nor Erin Vandendriessche started CrossFit with the intention of becoming competitors, but over the last several years, both women have slowly worked their way from beginners to up-and-coming Games athletes.

Erin Vandendriessche is a former Baldwin Wallace University gymnast and two-time Central Regional athlete, making an appearance on the CTown CrossFit team in 2017, and an individual appearance in 2018.  With the changes to the 2019 Games season, Erin made the surprising decision to opt out of the Open, and instead focused on competing at Sanctionals, most notably the Italian Showdown where she topped the podium and earned her ticket to the 2019 CrossFit Games.  A former nurse and current nutrition coach, Erin trains out of her husband’s affiliate, Root 18 CrossFit in Medina, OH.

Fee Saghafi is a former high school volleyball athlete who started CrossFit as a way to manage her weight and provide direction in the gym while she was in college.  After two appearances at the Central Regional (on team CrossFit Mentality in 2017 and as an individual in 2018) she decided to dial in her training and her mindset and commit to her goal of becoming a Games competitor.  She finished 24th in the 2019 Open, securing her rookie berth to the CrossFit Games.  Fee attended John Carroll University where she earned a degree in Exercise Science and most recently graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration. Fee coaches and trains alongside Scott Panchik at CrossFit Mentality in Mentor, OH.

Through the years of competing alongside each other in local events, Fee and Erin have grown to become friends in addition to fellow competitors.  While they earned their rookie spot at the Games through different avenues, both women have found that embracing a champion mindset has been an integral part of making the leap to becoming one of the best in the world.  I caught up with Fee and Erin at CrossFit Mentality to chat about their evolution as athletes, and what tips, habits, and practices they used to qualify for their first CrossFit Games.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Erin & Fee’s athletic backgrounds
  • How and why they got started doing CrossFit
  • How the three of us got to know each other
  • Erin & Fee’s first Regionals experience, and how that impacted their goals for the future
  • How their training changed as they made the transition from team athlete to individual
  • The importance of dialing in areas outside the gym to improve performance
  • The lessons Fee learned from her individual experience at the 2018 Regionals, and how she changed her training and mindset going into the 2019 season
  • Their reaction to the changes in the qualification process for the 2019 CrossFit Games
  • Erin’s strategy to qualify for the Games, and why she opted out of the Open
  • Erin’s team experience at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge
  • Their experience at the CrossFit Italian Showdown, and finding comfort in competing alongside a familiar face
  • The biggest mindset shift that Erin & Fee made that helped them to qualify for the Games
  • How Fee draws on Games veteran Scott Panchik’s competition experience to improve her training
  • The biggest changes Fee & Erin made in their training and their mentality to support their goal of making it to the Games
  • What their schedule, training and nutrition look like as the 2019 Games approaches
  • Three things Fee & Erin do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Fee and to Erin

You can follow Fee and Erin on Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 off your order!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

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I really just… kind of wanted to get more into the CrossFit community.  More interested in sort of where things were going, especially as we were moving, CrossFit as an organization, is moving away from the sort of Games mentality into more of a health mentality.  And I remember saying a lot of times in Huntsville when I was training that CrossFit is wasted on the fit.  I really felt like training for the Games, training for the Open, or people are training for the Games, and stuff like that, and there’s this huge emphasis on this elite fitness and I was like, it’s kind of wasted on people that already have it.  Whereas there’s people like me that needed it so bad.  That had to sort of, we were embraced and brought into it, but not the way we would be embraced now.  You had to sort of… you had to break in a little bit, still.  So, that was always one of the things that I said, was CrossFit was wasted on the fit.  So, I would… when I sort of saw this shift going on, and heard some of the stuff that Coach Glassman was talking about, I was like, ‘You know what? I want to get in on this, I want to check it out.’” – Dr. Maude Dull

Dr. Maude Dull has been active throughout her life, but from middle school through medical training she struggled to maintain a healthy weight, peaking at 240 lbs.  As a young doctor specializing in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and working in fast-paced intensive care settings, she used martial arts and then CrossFit to provide an outlet for her stressful work schedule but found her weight wouldn’t budge.  Wanting to reach her full potential as an athlete, she enlisted the help of a nutrition coach from Precision Nutrition who focused on changing her habits, and a performance coach who helped her shift her mindset.  Maude was finally able to bring her weight to a healthy level, and along the way she learned valuable lessons about the importance of balance in all aspects of life.

These days, Maude has pivoted away from adrenaline-seeking work and workouts, and instead enjoys moderation with a challenging job in a Step-Down Unit and workouts scaled to help her remain healthy long-term.

I had the pleasure of meeting Maude at a recent CFMDL1 seminar, and was excited to catch up with her at San Francisco CrossFit to share her story of how she changed her habits to overcome obesity, why she made the shift from training for the Open to training for longevity, and what prompted her to join the CrossFit Health movement.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Maude’s childhood and why she decided to pursue medicine
  • The multiple factors that played into her becoming obese as a middle schooler
  • Qualities that contributed to Maude’s persistence in pursuing her goals
  • Deciding on her specialty of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Maude’s experience with weight fluctuations and the healthy habits she prioritized throughout her medical training
  • Maude’s observations of the differences in critical care for adults vs children
  • Maude’s turning point for her own health
  • How she got involved with CrossFit
  • Her coach’s suggestion that she try Precision Nutrition to spur weight loss when her consistent exercise was not creating change
  • How Maude found success using a personal coach to change her mindset to support her weight loss goals
  • Her realization that her alcohol consumption was holding her back
  • How Maude gets herself into a parasympathetic mindset and away from constant adrenaline seeking behaviors
  • Making choices to support her long-term health, including shifting her career and dialing back her workouts
  • Changing her goals from training for the Open towards training to get out and play
  • The legacy she hopes to leave
  • How Maude’s focus on diet and nutrition has changed
  • What drew Maude to attend the CFMDL1 and what her experience was like
  • The advice Maude would give to someone going through medical training
  • Three things Maude does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Maude

You can follow Maude on Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 off your order!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 


Ep 113 – 2009 CrossFit Games Champion Tanya Wagner on Training through all Seasons of Life

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“It was awesome [her first CrossFit Games experience in 2008]…  There were no expectations and there was only one Games so nobody really knew what they were doing, and it was like, we really just wanted to see if what we were doing everyday was really CrossFit.  Like, ‘Is it- are we doing this right?’  Because all we’re doing is watching videos.  Yeah, so, we just kind of wanted to see where we—where things shook out.  And so, it was so cool.  It was so like, raw and real and unpredictable.  It was really cool.” – Tanya Wagner

2009 CrossFit Games champion Tanya Wagner has competed in the sport as an individual, on a team, and most recently at the 2019 Rogue Invitational, as a Legend.  Over the last ten years, she’s managed to strike a balance between competing, running her affiliate, commentating for the CrossFit Games, and raising her two children.

Inspired by the original “CrossFit Girls,” Tanya was a competitor at the second annual CrossFit Games in 2008, where she would narrowly miss a first place victory to Caity Henniger, who has since helped to grow Rogue Fitness into what it is today alongside her husband, Bill. Tanya would come back in 2009 to stand atop the podium and inspire future generations of CrossFit Games athletes.

I sat down with Tanya at the 2019 Rogue Invitational to learn more about what it’s like to be one of the original CrossFit champions, and to hear how her approach to training has evolved throughout the many changes in her life.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Tanya’s athletic background and how she got started with CrossFit
  • Her approach to training for the 2008 Games, and how a narrow loss fueled her training for 2009
  • Winning the 2009 CrossFit Games, and why she chose to switch to the team competition following that victory
  • What it was like to compete while pregnant
  • Making the transition from competitor to motherhood and getting back into CrossFit after giving birth
  • How Tanya got into commentating
  • Tanya’s current approach to the CrossFit Open
  • The life cycle of a CrossFit athlete
  • Her favorite part about being an affiliate owner
  • How Tanya keeps a positive mindset, and how she helps others do the same
  • The adjustments she made to her training routine leading up to the 2019 Rogue Invitational
  • Managing the stress and pressures of being a competitor
  • Tanya’s reactions to recent changes in the CrossFit Games season
  • Her advice to new moms returning to CrossFit
  • The lasting impact of Faith Rx’D and and the legacy of Becky Conzelman
  • Three things Tanya does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Tanya

You can follow Tanya on Facebook and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: the Ultimate BBQ Bundle (2 New York Strip Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, and 2 Lbs of Ground Beef) + $20 off your order!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 112 – Eating for Longevity with Dr. Valter Longo

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I always say, if you cut yourself, within a couple weeks the repair is perfect and you go back to normal.  How is it possible that inside the body we don’t have any of this?  Right?  So, we just developed an outside repair mechanism but intra-, inside of the organism we do nothing about insulin resistance, liver–fatty liver, inflammation… There is no way.  So, the body has these repair mechanisms.  We just need learn how to trigger them, and trigger them in a way that can result in repair and regeneration, and we believe, also rejuvenation.” – Dr. Valter Longo

Dr. Valter Longo is a professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, and the Senior Group Leader of the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan.  His studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms and mice, and how they can be translated to humans.

After nearly 25 years of research alongside pioneering scientists, Dr. Longo has applied his extensive knowledge on aging, genetics, nutrition and disease to develop The Longevity Diet.  He believes that by following a low-protein pescatarian eating plan combined with periods of a fasting-mimicking diet, one can improve their cellular rejuvenation, increase their resistance to diabetes and other metabolic disorders, and extend their healthy lifespan.

I recently caught up with Dr. Longo to learn more about his Five Pillars of Longevity, and how his research has led him to believe that the key to increasing your “youth-span” lies in making long-term, sustainable changes to your nutrition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How growing up in Italy influenced Dr. Longo’s interest in researching longevity
  • The increase of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among his own family members when they moved to the United States and shifted away from their traditional pescatarian diet
  • What it was like to work with experts such as Roy Walford and Caleb Finch early in his career, and how that shaped his later research
  • The lessons learned from caloric restriction in the Biosphere 2 project
  • How Dr. Longo looks at his research through the lens of youth-span and “juventology” vs. gerontology
  • The Five Pillars of Longevity
  • The ideal diet Dr. Longo believes we should be following based on these pillars
  • His recommendations on time restricted feeding and occasional inclusion of fasting-mimicking diets
  • Why he recommends a low protein diet for longevity, and how athletes should apply this principal
  • How our nutrient needs change as we age
  • Longo’s take on the ketogenic diet
  • How fasting-mimicking diets work from a biological perspective
  • The differing effects of fasting versus fasting-mimicking diets
  • Three things Dr. Longo does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Longo

You can follow Dr. Longo on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: the Ultimate BBQ Bundle (2 New York Strip Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, and 2 Lbs of Ground Beef) + $20 off your order!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 111 – A New Model for Primary Care with Dr. Ken Rictor

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“Well, the one thing was the change in family medicine, and we started seeing family physicians being pushed out of the hospital systems in place of hospitalists.  And you had the decision to make whether you wanted to stay inpatient or you wanted to stay outpatient, and I chose to do outpatient, and that was fine, that was good, I thought I could make my biggest impact that way.   But where we really started seeing the changes was- it was taking more and more effort just to keep your head above water financially.  You had to see more people, you had more paperwork to do associated with that, more coding, more procedure coding, more regulations, more control of the insurance industry that was requiring you to do more and more to do the same job.  And so, I started seeing there’s going to be a critical mass here, there’s going to be a point where I cannot physically see as many people as I need to see and keep my head above water, as it would be.  And then there started to be a breakdown care, where I was not able to spend the time I wanted. I was habitually running an hour to an hour and a half late because I was trying to give that care and the system was not allowing me to do that.” – Dr. Ken Rictor

Dr. Ken Rictor is the founder, owner and sole physician at Scotland Family Medicine, a Pennsylvania-based family medicine practice using the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model.  Dr. Rictor graduated with honors from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1985 and completed his residency at the Washington Hospital in Washington, PA in 1988.

Upon the completion of his residency, Dr. Rictor immediately opened his own private practice and enjoyed helping a broad scope of patients as a family physician.  Over time, he witnessed the healthcare system making dramatic changes and the role family doctors becoming more limited, with many private practices being bought out by larger hospitals.   As insurance contributed to increasing costs, Dr. Rictor fought to keep up with increasing paperwork and overhead, and decreasing time with patients.

After 25 years of practice, he made the choice to convert  to a Direct Primary Care model in an effort to enhance his patients’ experience and reduce overall cost.  Since making the switch, he’s noticed an improved relationship with his patients, and his patients have benefited from high-quality, affordable care.

I sat down with Dr. Rictor after attending the Hint Summit in San Francisco to learn how he made the choice to switch to Direct Primary Care, the benefits he and his patients enjoy from this model of practice, and some of the commonalities he sees between CrossFit and DPC.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What led Dr. Rictor to pursue a career in medicine
  • His early experience with family medicine and the changes he’s seen in primary care and healthcare over his career
  • How he saw other family practitioners changing their practice and shifting towards salaried positions at hospital-owned practices
  • How Dr. Rictor got into Direct Primary Care (DPC)
  • What is Direct Primary Care
  • How DPC works alongside insurance
  • The advantages of DPC for patients and physicians
  • The patient experience and costs of using a DPC model versus an insurance-based model
  • What making the transition to DPC was like for his practice and his patients
  • How Dr. Rictor heard about CrossFit and came to join an affiliate, and the changes he’s experienced since joining
  • His athletic background
  • The commonalities between Direct Primary Care and CrossFit
  • Where Dr. Rictor hopes to see primary care in the next 5-10 years
  • How people can find DPC practitioners
  • Three things Dr. Rictor does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Rictor

You can follow Dr. Rictor on Facebook and on YouTube at Curbside Consult with Dr. Ken Rictor.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 


Ep 110 – Kara Saunders on CrossFit and Expecting Baby She-Bear

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“But I had been working very closely on- holistically- on keeping my hormones and all those types of things- that’s always been really important to me- on keeping those kinds of things where they should be.  And so, then I kind of wasn’t surprised, but I still thought, “Oh how on Earth is my body capable of that after a grueling CrossFit Games week?” But then I was also… I was pleasantly surprised and really excited and I went, “Okay, this is obviously where I’m supposed to be for now.” And I thought, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to compete again, but I’m just gonna take it day by day,” because you don’t know how it will play out.  And I’ve just done that really since it happened.  You know, I just promised myself that I would accept and enjoy where I’m at and not sort of focus on where I’ve been or where I’m going to be, and just kind of enjoy the process and be grateful for the fact, for one, that I even have the capability of being pregnant because that can a feat in itself.” – Kara Saunders

Kara Saunders is a seven-time CrossFit Games veteran with four top-10 finishes under her belt, including 2nd place in 2017 and 4th place in 2018.  Growing up as an only child until the age of 13, she naturally found herself turning to sports for entertainment, her favorite being swimming.  At 19, a personal trainer introduced her to CrossFit, and Kara’s raw talent, hard work, and discipline quickly led her to success in the sport.

Not only is Kara a decorated Games athlete, in 2017, she also became an affiliate owner, opening the doors to CrossFit Kova, in Brisbane, Australia, where she resides with her husband Matt.

These days, Kara is taking a different approach to her training- shortly after the 2018 Games, she became pregnant with her first child.  We caught up to discuss what it’s like to make the transition from competitive athlete to expectant mother, the training and nutrition practices Kara is applying to foster a healthy pregnancy, and how Kara is drawing from her CrossFit Games experience to balance the stress of being a business owner and first-time mom.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Where Kara is currently at with her pregnancy, and what her experience has been like thus far
  • Managing her hormones and the impact of stress on her menstrual cycle while training for the Games
  • How Kara’s mindset has shifted now that she’s no longer training at a competitive level
  • Her approach to training during her pregnancy
  • Kara’s approach to nutrition throughout her pregnancy and how that differs from when she was competing
  • The other lifestyle tools Kara is using to help manage pregnancy symptoms
  • Kara’s favorite highlights from her competition career
  • How preparing for the unknown and unknowable of the CrossFit Games helped her prepare for pregnancy
  • What’s new with Kara: moving her affiliate, her house, and continuing her education
  • A typical day for Kara
  • Three things she does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Kara

You can follow Kara on YouTube and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 for 10% off your order.

 

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 109 – All About Functional Medicine with Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

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So, [with] functional medicine we look at the root cause of why someone has a chronic disease or illness, and we dive much deeper in looking at not only lifestyle which is the fundamental basis of it.  So, looking at sleep, nutrition, exercise, relationships. And then trying to see if there’s other environmental toxins, genetic underpinnings, that could be making the patient ill at that moment. And then look back to see, because we always find that it’s compounded. I always find they’re so multiple, it’s not just one thing typically, and so we see a lot of autoimmune diseases, a lot of gastrointestinal diseases.  But a lot of times it could have been trauma earlier in someone’s life.  And then studies are now showing [that] early trauma is increasing the risk of autoimmune diseases later in life.  So, what we’re doing is really diving much deeper and we call it a different lens than what I might have done when I was an internist. – Dr. Elizabeth Bradley

In July 2017, Elizabeth Bradley, MD, stepped into her role as Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.  She brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience as a dietitian, internist, and a certified Functional Medicine physician.

Dr. Bradley earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutrition from Cornell University and Tufts University, respectively. She started her career as a clinical dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital, but after 6 years decided she wanted to pursue further training as a physician.  She went on to earn her medical degree and complete residency training in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth.

After years of practicing Internal Medicine, Dr. Bradley’s passion for nutrition led her to find Functional Medicine and ultimately brought her to the Cleveland Clinic to direct the nation’s first academic Center for Functional Medicine.  In her role as Medical Director, Dr. Bradley is able to support the advancement of Functional Medicine through research and education while helping patients achieve optimal health through a multi-faceted approach.  She has truly come full circle and enjoys practicing as a physician that starts by using the premise that food is medicine.

I recently sat down with Dr. Bradley to chat about all things Functional Medicine, from how her own career path led her to where she is today, how the Center for Functional Medicine has evolved over the past 5 years and it’s role in bringing a Functional Medicine approach to the mainstream, and how interested practitioners and patients can become involved.

Dr. Bradley’s bio was adapted from clevelandclinic.org

In this episode we discuss:

  • Dr. Bradley’s background and how she became interested in nutrition
  • How her nutrition experience influenced her time in medical school and her internal medicine practice
  • How Dr. Bradley got into functional medicine training
  • A general overview of functional medicine
  • Starting a functional medicine practice in a traditional medical setting
  • The evolution of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
  • How Dr. Bradley approaches someone who doesn’t understand the value of functional medicine
  • Research the Cleveland Clinic is working on to support functional medicine
  • Group visits: how they work, and their advantages and benefits
  • How Dr. Bradley sees functional medicine fitting into a primary care setting
  • Some of the challenges of collaborating with other medical departments
  • The differences between complementary, integrative, alternative and functional medicine
  • Her advice to patients who are interested in pursuing functional medical care
  • How practitioners can become involved in functional medicine
  • Bradley’s vision for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
  • Three things Dr. Bradley does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her

You can follow Dr. Bradley on LinkedIn.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 108 – Training Smarter, not Harder: Prevention and Recovery from Injury with Pure Physio

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I think it’s, too, just getting people used to what physical therapy means to us, and I think that’s a little bit different than what they’ve seen in the past, where, it’s their grandma had a hip replacement, and that’s what they think of physical therapy.  So, we’re trying to just kind of change the mindset not only here but hopefully through our social networks and things like that of kind of what PTs are capable of doing and what our scope of practice is, essentially.  And I’m sure that’s the same in the primary care world as far as looking at people as a whole and taking a much more in-depth look at them as a person and their activity levels and their training and their nutrition and all that kind of stuff. And hopefully we’re kind of that physical medicine side of things that helps bridges the gap for people.” – Matt Stevens, DPT

In this episode of Pursuing Health, I chat with two of my good friends and physical therapists, Matt Stevens, DPT and Ryan Summers, DPT, CSCS of Pure Physio.

Matt and Ryan share the mindset that physical therapy plays an important role not just in rehab and recovery, but also in optimizing performance.  Their approach focuses on one-on-one, individualized attention and includes both corrective exercises to address movement dysfunction and functional training to prevent reoccurring injuries.  At their practice in Strongsville, OH, they work with a wide range of clients, from elite endurance and CrossFit Games athletes to weekend warriors.

Matt, Ryan and I had a great conversation about the implications of life stressors on training readiness, the need to sometimes lower the intensity, and how everything from manual therapy to mindset can build a hedge against sickness.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Matt and Ryan decided to become physical therapists
  • What led Matt to open Pure Physio
  • How Matt and Ryan went from being business competitors to business partners
  • How Pure Physio is bridging the gap between sickcare and healthcare
  • The approach Pure Physio uses to treat patients who are interested in injury prevention and general longevity
  • Commonalities Matt and Ryan see among their patients, especially those who participate in CrossFit
  • The health implications of burning the candle at both ends and the need for balance
  • How can athletes in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond can maximize their training longevity
  • The importance of individually assessing not only movement patterns, but also how your body is feeling and adjusting training intensity as necessary
  • How to directly access physical therapy care and start with physical therapy before progressing to more invasive treatments
  • The importance of addressing problems to prevent injury and properly re-introducing loading after injury
  • Myths about rest
  • What Matt and Ryan’s day-to-day looks like, and their own experience with injuries
  • The power of the mind
  • How being hyper-focused on optimizing health can become a stressor
  • Three things Matt and Ryan do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Matt and Ryan

You can follow Pure Physio on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.