"As I've deepened my own consciousness and as I've seen the pain in the world as a symptom of the true deep root connection that we're missing, I've realized that the type of herbalism I want to practice is a type that goes beyond just that surface level."

Olivia Amitrano

Join us as we explore the profound connections between herbalism, healing, and creativity with the brilliant mind behind the brand "Organic Olivia", Olivia Amitrano. Together, we navigate the power of ancestral knowledge and the resonance it holds in our lives today. Olivia shares how herbs from our heritage may intimately link with us on a genetic level, potentially influencing our health in ways yet to be fully grasped by modern science. She also shares her personal journey of reconnecting with the essence of herbalism, transitioning from broad-spectrum herbal solutions to fostering a more intimate, relationship-driven practice that deeply impacts our health and sparks our creative flames.

Olivia also discusses the challenging yet rewarding path to self-awareness and joy, examining personal experiences of overcoming childhood trauma and codependency. She candidly reflects on her own battle with cannabis dependency and the awakening that comes from confronting deep emotions and learning to self-soothe. The episode also delves into the subtleties of codependency in relationships, where Olivia sheds light on the transformative power of self-awareness and the significance of establishing boundaries and the concept of task separation, which is crucial for maintaining individuality and healthy interpersonal dynamics.

Follow Olivia @organic_olivia

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(06:00) Exploring Herbalism, Healing, and Creativity

(14:50) Navigating Self-Discovery and Relationships

(21:44) Strengthening Cell Membranes and Self-Discovery

(30:58) Navigating Selflessness and Codependency

(39:31) Journey to Health and Healing

(51:16) Healing Inner Child Through Art Therapy

(01:01:46) The Power of Adaptogens for Health

(01:06:02) Metabolic Health and Optimization

(01:17:12) Nutrition, Wellness, and Consistency

(01:25:11) Herbal Formulas and Relationship Matters


Episode resources:

EFR 784: Herbalism for Digestion, Energy, and Mood, How Art Therapy Can Boost Creativity and Navigating the Hard Truths of Attachment in Relationships with Olivia Amitrano

Join us as we explore the profound connections between herbalism, healing, and creativity with the brilliant mind behind the brand "Organic Olivia", Olivia Amitrano. Together, we navigate the power of ancestral knowledge and the resonance it holds in our lives today. Olivia shares how herbs from our heritage may intimately link with us on a genetic level, potentially influencing our health in ways yet to be fully grasped by modern science. She also shares her personal journey of reconnecting with the essence of herbalism, transitioning from broad-spectrum herbal solutions to fostering a more intimate, relationship-driven practice that deeply impacts our health and sparks our creative flames.

Olivia also discusses the challenging yet rewarding path to self-awareness and joy, examining personal experiences of overcoming childhood trauma and codependency. She candidly reflects on her own battle with cannabis dependency and the awakening that comes from confronting deep emotions and learning to self-soothe. The episode also delves into the subtleties of codependency in relationships, where Olivia sheds light on the transformative power of self-awareness and the significance of establishing boundaries and the concept of task separation, which is crucial for maintaining individuality and healthy interpersonal dynamics.

Follow Olivia @organic_olivia

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(06:00) Exploring Herbalism, Healing, and Creativity

(14:50) Navigating Self-Discovery and Relationships

(21:44) Strengthening Cell Membranes and Self-Discovery

(30:58) Navigating Selflessness and Codependency

(39:31) Journey to Health and Healing

(51:16) Healing Inner Child Through Art Therapy

(01:01:46) The Power of Adaptogens for Health

(01:06:02) Metabolic Health and Optimization

(01:17:12) Nutrition, Wellness, and Consistency

(01:25:11) Herbal Formulas and Relationship Matters


Episode resources:


0:00:00 - Speaker 1 The following is an operation podcast production.

0:00:07 - Speaker 2 We look at seasons in general and there's a natural period of death and rest that has to happen before fruit can be be bared once again. Never given myself that period of time to fully let the first iteration of what I created die. That is the nature of sharing herbalism with the masses. You have to sort of make these products that are widely applicable and sort of have these safer herbs that are still going to be effective in therapeutic but need to apply to a wide range of people, and I don't think that'll ever be quite as effective as seeing the person in front of you, one-on-one, having a deep relationship with that person, witnessing that person.

I took this trip alone and I didn't I wasn't smoking and I didn't have the comfort of my partner to help me regulate right, to help me soothe I had to learn to self-soothe and or not soothe and feel, for the first time in a long time, cried for nine days straight, literally cried for nine days, because I realized that I was really sad about my mom. My mom has late sage Alzheimer's. She probably has two-ish years left and I was avoiding it because when you lean on something like cannabis or anything, when you lean on another person, when you lean on scrolling on your phone, anything that does the work of soothing you slash, preventing you from needing to actually face and feel, you stunt your growth. Hi, my name is Olivia Matrano and I am the herbalist and formulator behind the company Organic Olivia and you're listening to Ever Forward Radio.

0:01:45 - Speaker 1 Welcome back to Ever Forward Radio. Today we are going to be exploring the profound connections between herbalism, healing and creativity with the new homie, the brilliant mind behind the brand, organic Olivia, miss Olivia Amatrano. Olivia is going to be sharing how herbs from our heritage may intimately link with us on a truly genetic level, potentially influencing our health in ways yet to even be fully grasped by modern science. Olivia shares her personal journey of reconnecting with the essence of herbalism, transitioning from broad spectrum herbal solutions to a more intimate, relationship-driven practice that is going to really deeply impact our health and spark creative flames that we didn't even know were possible. She dives deep into how she is exploring new avenues for her business, but also her personal self-consciousness, and how she's leaning into things like art therapy and becoming even more creative to stimulate her mind, her business, her relationships and so much more. This one is truly an honor because in many ways, olivia shares a lot of firsts. She lets us into some struggles she has had over the last few years, but ultimately struggles that have led her to profound personal growth. She really candidly reflects on her own battle with cannabis dependency and the awakening that comes from confronting these deep emotions and learning how to self-soothe and no longer being codependent in a variety of different types of relationships. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Olivia in person in studio. If you guys want to check out the video, I have it linked for you down in the show notes. You can always find us at everforwardradiocom or simply head to YouTube. If you're over on YouTube, search for Ever Forward Radio, make sure to subscribe to the channel, like it. Drop us a comment, let you know what you love about Olivia's journey, and I know that we would love to get back to you and help you explore your own wellness journey as well.

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0:05:51 - Speaker 2 There's something very special about working with one herb at a time, which is different from the formulas that I make, where it's a blend of herbs for a certain clinical effect or like a pronounced therapeutic effect. When you're working, I think, with an herb for a deeper emotional, spiritual effect, I think it's good to have a relationship with one herb at a time. It's kind of a different form of herbalism, and I think it's also very potent when you work with an herb that's specifically from your lineage and from your homeland.

Oh, wow, like an herb that is for calming anxiety that grows in eastern Asia might not have the same effect as an herb that grows from Scotland. If that's where you're from, that your ancestors actually had a connection to and use themselves. That's almost already familiar to your DNA, yeah.

0:06:35 - Speaker 1 I mean, do you feel is that a region is calling upon epigenetics there, really, A bit.

0:06:39 - Speaker 2 I think that there is a bit of that familiarity. I don't know if there's necessarily published literature to back that up, but I would think that because, the same way that certain populations developed epigenetic mutations or genetic mutations, for example, when they didn't have cow's milk in their diet where East Asians again are often lactose intolerant because that was just not part of their diet in that part of the world, why wouldn't herbs have the same effect on our epigenetics? Were the ones that we use, we become more familiar with and suited to, just like foods.

0:07:10 - Speaker 1 Well, olivia, we're in it. Now we're in it, and I feel like you have just kind of already summarized what I was expecting us to cover in the whole regular conversation. We've been talking about art, we've been talking about ancestors, we've been talking about connection to nutrition, herbs, creative outlets and unique things that have the potential to Influence our creativity. Did I get all the bullet points there?

0:07:35 - Speaker 2 Yeah, influence our creativity and further the connection of our human spirit, our connection to ourselves and thus our connection to others, which I really think is the way forward in terms of this health crisis that we're experiencing. We're finding that the richer we get, the sicker we still get. So, you know, the more supplements we take in, the cleaner, more organic, perfect ingredient food that we have access to, still the sicker that we get and, I think, the chronic illness we're experiencing as a society. Obviously there's certain aspects metabolic health, sedentary lifestyle, certain things you can physically do but I think, more than anything, it's this disconnection that we have with one another, with the planet, with ourselves and with what really matters.

0:08:20 - Speaker 1 Yeah. So meeting you the other day for coffee to kind of extract a little bit more of your essence, to get that tincture of organic Olivia for my preparation for today. I understand you're kind of going through a disconnection reconnection and I think again, if the listener goes back just a couple minutes there they can really hear a lot of what is on the plate for you, what is on the surface for you. A lot of people might know you for one thing and you've been delivering that one thing nutritional advice and herbalism for a while now. But what are you feeling disconnected from right now and where do you think your new connection is taking you?

0:09:01 - Speaker 2 Well, I think that there's levels. There's levels, for example, in human relationship. You have an acquaintance. That acquaintance becomes a friend. The more you spend time with them and see them and get to know them, they may become a best friend down the line. Then they may become someone you experience as a family member. Right, you call that person your family, because that connection deepens.

And I think that there's layers of that when it comes to herbalism as well. You can go for the more I would want to say surface or commercial herbalism, but in a sense that's what it is and there is a place for that, just like there's a place for new connections and acquaintances. But I think that is the level in which I operated in for a long time in terms of how I communicated and shared the study and practice of herbalism with the masses, because that is the nature of sharing herbalism with the masses. You have to sort of make these products that are widely applicable and sort of have these safer herbs that are still going to be effective in therapeutic but need to apply to a wide range of people, and I don't think that'll ever be quite as effective as seeing the person in front of you, one-on-one, having a deep relationship with that person, witnessing that person and customizing an herbal slash, even energetic herbal protocol, to that person into what their body and their soul needs. And so I for a long time, as you said, was able to communicate this very high level like introduction to herbalism.

Here's what plants can do. Plants are a part of us. They're what we've used for eons to heal ourselves, and I created this really beautiful line of herbal formulas that helped many people and continue to, and I'm so grateful for that. But at the same time they're almost like this stepping stone, this introduction to herbalism, where someone might take my allergy tincture and be like, oh my God, this works better than Zyrtex. Maybe herbs really do work.

Or they might take whatever one of my formulas for anxiety, like peace juice, and they might realize that herbs can actually help them with their nervous system and it might prompt them to look deeper into other holistic modalities and get curious as to what's at the root of why their nervous system is so anxious all the time. The root is really where the medicine is. My practice of herbalism and my company were kind of that again introduction or stepping stone. I feel that there's that disconnection for me now because as I've grown as a human, as I've deepened my own consciousness and relationship with myself and those around me, and as I've grown to see the world in a different way, and as I've seen the pain in the world as a symptom of the true deep root connection that we're missing, I've realized that the type of herbalism I want to practice as my next phase is a type that goes beyond just that surface level.

0:11:55 - Speaker 1 All right, yeah, beyond, that's a big word, that's a powerful word. Do you have clarity as to what beyond looks like? What does it feel like? Or you just know? This is knowing that there is more that I need to explore. I need to discover and need and want to kind of come back to the masses and share it again in a different way.

0:12:16 - Speaker 2 That you totally hit the nail on the head there, because I don't think I know just yet exactly what form it will take. And that is where we have to realize as humans, that just like plants need to kind of die and rest in winter. They can't produce fruit or leaves or anything all year round, unless it's a tropical or evergreen plant. But we just look at seasons in general and there is a natural Period of death and rest that has to happen before fruit can be bared once again. And so I think, because I've done this for so long, I've never given myself that period of time to fully let the first iteration of what I created when I was 20 and started all of this die.

0:13:05 - Speaker 1 Wow, it's been a minute. It's been a minute, it's been a minute and I think I it's.

0:13:09 - Speaker 2 It's difficult.

There's an added layer because the incredible folks that have been with me on this journey and who have followed me online for these years and have become friends and customers and all of the things, have known me as that version of myself, because I wanted to share every bit of that and squeeze every bit out of that girl and what she had to offer, and that girl's consciousness and that girl's consciousness. And Now I'm being called into the next version of myself because we're humans and we grow and I just have to die a bit first before I can be reborn. And that looks like actually taking a step back from social media and being a public figure in the way that I have for so long. That even looks like delegating a lot more in my company so that I can have the time to explore not just herbalism in a deeper way, but specifically art in a deeper way, which is kind of what we talked about at the top of this combo and how art and herbalism can intersect, because I think art is going to be very crucial to the healing of humanity as we go forward.

And so I need the darkness, the quiet, the nothingness, the discomfort and unfamiliarity of not doing what I always did. It would feel a lot safer for me to just continue posting on Instagram and maintaining status quo and running my company and doing all the things and doing what makes sense in marketing, but that does not make sense to my soul at this point, and so I need to step back and hopefully in two years I'll come back with this really highly developed art therapy center or program where people can come and heal on a much deeper level or meet themselves at least on a much deeper level and be supported in relationship one on one. Because that's one of the issues that you and I talked about the other day is that social media as a whole and communicating any sort of modality or philosophy through social media is not necessarily true or real, because social media does not reflect true human relationship.

0:15:10 - Speaker 1 No matter what it is curated.

0:15:12 - Speaker 2 It's curated and it's one sided, because you will never actually know the people in your community who follow you in a deep witnessing way, unless you create a real relationship with them, person to person, and they will never truly know you, as authentic as you try to be and work at being, and how vulnerable you are, no matter what. That's still not the full version of you.

And the more that you think it is, and then people take that and project their own stuff on it and question you. The heart of that is for your soul, because you think you're giving people the real you and they're still misunderstanding you and it will always be that way because it is not a real relationship. So I want to restore right relationship within the way I interact with the world as a teacher, human public figure and within the way that I work as an herbalist, slash facilitator.

0:16:03 - Speaker 1 I want to take the listener back just a little bit. I don't know if they caught and I barely did, the clarity that it sounds like you have in stepping into the unknown and the okayness with, quite literally, your words dying, rebirth, darkness, difficult, painful. And then I even heard you say, in two years and now this might have just been, you're just saying a number, saying words, but you know, I get the sense that you're a person that truly is okay with all of that and truly does have an idea of a timeline of what it's going to take for you through this process Now, even though it's the unknown for the person that now is aware of that and is trying to go like how the hell did she get there? Like how, how can you be so okay with stepping into choosing, choosing the unknown, and how do you even come up with a timeline of how long you need to be in the unknown so that, hopefully, you come out a rebirth, you have a new offer, you have clearer identity.

0:17:10 - Speaker 2 As you were speaking, the word that came up for me was safety initially, and I think I've developed this sense of safety around this decision and this process because I have spent the last few years deeply getting to know myself and building a relationship with myself first, and once I was able to build a relationship with myself, which took many painful trials and errors, which we can kind of talk about, I guess, the ways in which I started to become friends with myself- yeah, what did that kind of look like for you?

0:17:47 - Speaker 1 What was a first step or the first step?

0:17:50 - Speaker 2 Spending more time alone was really big for me.

0:17:54 - Speaker 1 Choosing solitude.

0:17:56 - Speaker 2 Choosing solitude and meaningful solitude, not time alone in my bed scrolling on social media, which was the way I often spend time with myself. I at one point made a really conscious decision to treat myself like a person and I realized that if I was to want to build a relationship with a person, with a friend, what would I do with them?

0:18:17 - Speaker 1 So not relationship with yourself, not like, hey, this is me, this is who I am, this is who I want to be. It's actually maybe kind of like third person, like looking at you as a completely different person.

0:18:30 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think it's also just looking at me as a friend, becoming my own friend, I think, for a long time growing up because of dynamics in my childhood which I know so many folks can relate to. We all have some form of childhood trauma not feeling seen or worthy in childhood, not feeling like we had a friend who witnessed us, and we got perhaps used to feeling like we didn't have worth as a friend or we didn't have a sense of self identity.

0:18:55 - Speaker 1 Oh, right yeah.

0:18:57 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I really didn't have a sense of self growing up and so I was always looking for my identity and other people and other things. I was looking for things outside of myself that would calm this deep sense of unrest in my nervous system because I did not know who I was and that was so uncomfortable at all times.

0:19:17 - Speaker 1 Did you realize that that exact thing? Or did you kind of stumble upon it? Was there an aha moment of going, oh I actually don't have this and now let me go look for it, or did you just have that clarity?

0:19:27 - Speaker 2 I think there's so many little clues and bits and pieces along the way that led me to that conclusion. Because I had a background of studying psychology, I was able to pinpoint certain maladaptive coping mechanisms that I was perhaps acting out in my life. So, for example, I realized that I was very much looking for my identity and my partner. I realized that my pattern in relationships was to get totally lost in that person or need them to come everywhere with me or be codependent with them. And as I started to get curious as to why I got so lost in relationships or felt like I needed another person or else I wasn't okay, I realized that it was because I didn't feel okay on my own, I didn't have a relationship with myself, I didn't feel like a worthy person on my own and I was looking to another to provide that sense of identity and safety for me.

And this is very common in people who, as children and infants, did not learn how to self soothe. So we constantly looked for other, and I had many other codependent relationships, I'd say, in my life outside of just my romantic partner. I had codependent relationships with substances. I used cannabis every day for 10 years and I thought it was normal.

0:20:39 - Speaker 1 Every day for 10 years.

0:20:41 - Speaker 2 Yeah, even while I was building my business, and that's an interesting statement because I created a very successful business. So I don't think it's bad or wrong, and I never want to demonize or pedestal anything.

0:20:53 - Speaker 1 And I hear that I immediately think I mean that might not be what you want to continue to do, but you made that choice for whatever reason, and we're not saying this is causation, but they're definitely his correlation to whatever your method was, to the success that you had. Hey guys, quick break from my conversation with Olivia to bring your attention to something that I feel confident Olivia would want to highlight as well, and that is the strength of ourselves. So let's talk about the basic building block of our body cells. Simply put, the strength of ourselves is determined by the strength of our cell membranes. They're made up by two layers here of lipids a, k, a, fats that serve as kind of this armor for ourselves. They also help to send signals within, in between ourselves. They have a variety of different roles, so kind of think of our membranes as critical cellular bodyguards with really great communication skills.

Okay, so you might be saying chase, what makes a cell membrane strong or how can I strengthen my cell membrane? Well, a few different things. The more stable the fatty acids in our cell membranes, the stronger ourselves and the longer we live. Really, focusing on things like saturated fatty acids, like C15 are super stable and contain no double bonds in their molecular structure, whereas unsaturated fatty acids, especially polyunsaturated fatty acids, are very unstable because they contain these double bonds and in a really unique study by AJ Holbert's cell membrane pacemaker theory of aging showed that mammals with the longest lifespans had the most saturated fatty acids, aka the least amount of double bonds in their cell membranes. This is because double bonds are weak points that make fats susceptible to attack by oxygen.

Maybe you've heard of this thing it's called oxidation free radicals, resulting in lipid peri oxidation, which ultimately just means cellular breakdown, chronic inflammation, faster aging, all things that I want nothing to do with.

So to combat this, what I have begun to do is focus even more on consistent, healthy fats in my diet. Probably every other day I'm having a quarter or half of an avocado, and now daily supplementation with today's sponsor, fatty 15. Fatty 15 is a single, small daily capsule packed with C15, and this is an essential fatty acid that your body needs to stay healthy, especially as you age. It's a science backed, patented, award winning, pure and vegan friendly C15 supplement to support your long term health and wellness at the cellular level. That's why I've joined forces with Fatty 15, because they are on a mission to replenish our C15 levels and restore our long term health. Hooking it up to here today on the show. As an exclusive offer to you, the EverFord Radio Listener, you can get an additional 15% off their 90 day subscription starter kit by going to fatty15.com slash everford that's FATTY15.com, slash everford and using code EverFord to check out for that additional 15% off your first order.

0:24:00 - Speaker 2 Regardless, maybe there was certain, there were certain pros. Maybe it helped to get me more in touch with my creativity and my emotions. It's an entheogen right, so perhaps it helped me to feel my emotions more deeply or think about things differently and unlock a bit of my consciousness, in a way, and that's what all of these entheogen and teacher plants are meant to do for us, whether it's cannabis or it's ayahuasca or mushrooms. But I was using it in a codependent way where I needed it to regulate my nervous system. I wasn't using it because it was mind expanding or I was having fun anymore.

0:24:34 - Speaker 1 There's that same underlying true line is codependency. I'm hearing in this and your partnership.

0:24:41 - Speaker 2 Yeah. So I had to ask myself. There came a point where I would ask myself why is it that I'm nervous to even go on a vacation because I'm not going to be able to smoke, and then my dreams are going to come back like crazy and I'm not going to sleep for days because there is a withdrawal period.

0:24:54 - Speaker 1 What am I avoiding?

0:24:55 - Speaker 2 Exactly what am I?

0:24:56 - Speaker 1 using this for to avoid something else.

0:24:58 - Speaker 2 And in 2021 or two, I can't really remember. The last few years are like a blur, but in January of either 21 or 22,.

0:25:07 - Speaker 1 I count the last three years as one. It is kind of one just 2020 to now is just one year. It is.

0:25:13 - Speaker 2 And there's been so much acceleration and growth in these last three years for so many of us and I think a lot of us are feeling this way, or a lot of us are like, oh my God, I kind of got to change everything around because I see more clearly- oh, my God yeah.

But I had a moment where I did take a trip for the first time and didn't have any cannabis and I also didn't have my partner. Usually I would travel with my partner, so I had my two, two things I was codependent on. Wow, we're not there. It was 2022, because I got my dog in 2021, in December, and that was the reason why my partner couldn't travel with me. So my dog. I also feel is a soul dog because he came in to help a lot with the interesting.

Yeah, because he was the only reason that my partner didn't come on that trip, because he had to stay home and take care of him. Wow, so I took this trip alone and I didn't. I wasn't smoking and I didn't have the comfort of my partner to help me regulate right, to help me soothe, I had to learn to self soothe and or not soothe and feel for the first time in a long time and I cried for nine days straight, literally cried for nine days because I realized that I was really sad about my mom.

My mom has late-stage Alzheimer's.

She probably has two-ish years left.

She's becoming nonverbal pretty much, and at that time I was in a phase of acceptance around it because she had just had COVID the year prior and the ventilator really accelerated her brain issues and so it was sort of new. It's sort of like hit all at once and I was avoiding it, because when you lean on something like cannabis or anything, when you lean on another person, when you lean on scrolling on your phone, anything that does the work of soothing you slash, preventing you from needing to actually face and feel you, you stunt your growth and you you get this backlog. So that nine days of crying was the backlog and I realized, oh my God, I'm really sad about my mom dying and for the first time I not only felt this deep grief that needed to be witnessed and I felt so much better for finally witnessing and feeling it, even though it was so painful but I also realized that after I felt that deep grief, I was able to access this different level of joy and presence that I also hadn't felt in a long time. What do?

0:27:34 - Speaker 1 you mean by that? How is that possible?

0:27:37 - Speaker 2 It is the fact that two opposing things can be extremely true at the same time. Oh my God, and that is right. The mark of a human mind that is quite advanced and capable is that we can hold two opposing truths at the same time, because that is exactly the nature of life. The nature of life is that in every single moment, two totally opposite things are occurring at the same time and are true at the same time, and that's the yin and the yang. Every culture talks about it the light and the dark.

It is the nature of life, is duality, and by always trying to not feel the bad things, I was trying to stay in the light part. But by not feeling the dark, the light was getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer, because I was almost forcing it. So I hadn't realized that for these years, not only was I not feeling my pain, but I was becoming more and more apathetic to life in general. I was actually not feeling the pleasure that I thought I was getting from cannabis or whatever in life. I was just becoming more numb because I wasn't feeling either side. So I was somewhere in this very gray middle.

0:28:40 - Speaker 1 How did you know that for sure? Because I'm kind of just hearing you say that and my immediate question is if we don't know what we're missing out on, how do we know we're missing out?

0:28:49 - Speaker 2 I didn't know until I cried for nine days and then, all of a sudden, when I finally felt the last bit of it, I woke up the next day and was like I want to go and touch that flower. I haven't had that childlike sense of wanting to run over there and touch that flower in a really long time. Oh, my God, I'm getting all these ideas for work and business and they feel so good and it feels like my brain is working again and I'm excited about things again. Only when I realized and reconnected with this childlike level of wonder and joy and excitement inside of me was I able to identify that I wasn't feeling that for a long time and I was just kind of drudging through life and moving forward because things were good and I was successful and things were working. So what did I have to be upset about? Or I just didn't realize the fog I was living in?

0:29:36 - Speaker 1 Oh, wow, yeah, we never do really right Until we finally figure out that we can pierce it or we somehow kind of come out on the other side and look back and go, damn, what was I walking through? What was I going through? I want to keep going a little bit here on this aspect in your partnership and substances and you know, good, bad ugly, whatever you want to call them and I think that's one of the things with this co-dependency, because, as you were describing this, I have such a personal experience with that, but same experience, similar experience, but kind of opposite interpretation.

And for me, in relationships, in work, in friendships, in family and basically anything and everything I was pouring myself into, I didn't realize how much of a co-dependency act that really was, because in my mind it was being selfless and I use this aspect of I am acting on behalf of others, I'm doing good, I'm always being available, always being present, and it was just this thing that I didn't realize until I got called out on it and I go oh, like, no one asked me to do this. Maybe they just want to kind of be left alone a little bit, maybe they don't always want me around, maybe they don't need my help. Maybe Chase again, no one asked you for any of this, so it was this bitter pill for me to swallow to go. But I've been told and I believe and I think objectively there is goodness in being selfless. Sure, but you got to straddle that fence of selflessness and co-dependency. What's your take on that?

0:31:11 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I mean, as you were speaking, I just kept thinking. There's something that I always say it's what if, by doing everything for everyone else and being the fixer and the helper and the selfless people, please, are essentially what if you're robbing someone else of the chance to be the victor in their own story?

0:31:30 - Speaker 1 And they got me, they got me, yeah, wow.

0:31:33 - Speaker 2 There's, there's selfless, and they're selfish or self-centered or self-preserving. Maybe I think most folks who are acting in selfish or self-centered ways are really just self-preserving because they slash. I, with my own experience of this, do not have that sense of safety and self and thus to self preserve and protect themselves in some way, they kind of have to be selfish and have to almost take from those who are willing to be selfless.

0:32:04 - Speaker 1 Right.

0:32:05 - Speaker 2 And they are two sides of the coin of co-dependency. It's the, it's the and in the young imbalance almost of co-dependency. And so in your case, the person who was willing to be selfless the way that you described it, being available for everyone else's needs at all time, even to the point of self-sacrificing and self-erasure, sounds like could have been part of your dynamic. You asked about my partnership. That was certainly my partner's pattern. He was the one who was like, yeah, I'll come on that trip with you, even if I have this other stuff to do and whatever, because you need me and I'm so selfless and he is huge heart it's like these are we're all good people so selfless, slash self-sacrificing, that he would sacrifice his own needs to help to meet mine.

And I was on that self-preserving, unknowingly at the time, self-centered side of the spectrum where I was willing to receive that from him, even if now I realize of course that didn't make sense for him to do all those things for me and for me to expect that of him, because it was the perfect puzzle pieces on each of our ends that perfectly fit into a codependent pattern. And I think that when you exist on either side of that spectrum, you naturally attract, slash, choose relationships with the person who perfectly fits into your puzzle piece so that you guys can play out that cycle and or break it. And I believe also that when you have, when you are able to be on either end of that, because you are engaging in a codependent dynamic and you have that lack of self within you that's drawing you to do those things, you can play either role in different relationships in your life.

So, in some of your relationships you were the selfless, probably, and then in others you were the self-ish, self-centered. That was taking too much from someone who was willing to self-erase.

0:33:53 - Speaker 1 Yeah, yeah, she knows everybody. I only know because it's me and it's like literally it's preaching the choir here.

0:34:00 - Speaker 2 It's like this is the, this is the work right that I've done to really see myself. And mushrooms really helped. I had a we can talk about mushrooms a bit but I had like an ego death on mushrooms once and I turned to my right now husband and I said, oh my God, am I selfish? And he said, yeah, I didn't want to say it and, like he, he loved me so much and there was so much unconditional love within him that he waited years for me to come to my own conclusion that I was selfish, instead of telling me because really, at the end of the day, you can tell someone something all you want, but until they see it for themselves and have a painful enough experience to deeply witness it and internalize it, they're not going to get it. I wasn't going to get it. Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten.

0:34:53 - Speaker 1 Again, what you're saying really reminds me of my experiences as well, and I love hearing these commonalities in your story and with so many guests, because it's one is a reminder that a lot of what we think we go through alone or so unique to only us in our experience, is just a different version of one of many common experiences that we all go through. And I want the listener to really kind of pick up on that, because I'm sure I'm over here, not in my head, I hope they are as well and just kind of to hear and get permission to go. Okay, that's not just like a weird feeling, it's not a nuance, it's something maybe that I should pay attention to and you know, I don't have to be as afraid because other people are going through it and have gone through it as well. And two I want to talk about I think there's such power and admiration and love and the capacity that partners can have when they're significant other comes to such realizations like this. And again I went through something very similar but it feels like kind of the opposite side of the coin In about year five of our marriage. So we would have been together for about seven years at that point seven or eight. You know we were good, things were great, we were progressing, very healthy marriage and good relationship, both together and independently.

But it wasn't until I had my first plant medicine experience or psychedelic experience and I had these epiphanies of very similar things, what you're talking about.

And I just turned to her and just started crying and apologizing but even like take a step back. But before even getting to what I was verbalizing and I was working through that, the act of me doing anything like that, taking a substance, even agreeing to be in the same room with it and not judge everybody and get on my high horse because this is wrong and I'm right was one of the biggest pivotal moments in our relationship. And she was holding space. She was a person who was always open to those things but knew how much I wasn't, and so she just so selflessly, completely shut that down for years and years and years and years, and then, after I, just literally one night, on a whim, decided to the level to which the floodgates open for us for new forms of communication and the way that I saw her true capacity for waiting for me for certain things, waiting for me to get to these realizations on my own, so that she could then kind of go like your husband, yeah.

0:37:32 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

0:37:33 - Speaker 1 So my question here is if we are that partner right now listening and we know that there's that thing that our partner does we want to bring up, but it's just, for whatever reason, not the right time, not the right place, you know what can we do to reserve or even grow that capacity for them? But, more importantly, what can we do to hopefully help kind of fan that flame to get there, not rush things, but just understand this conversation needs to be had for the health of ourselves but also our relationship.

0:38:07 - Speaker 2 You can do anything for them. That's the hard part and that's the root of codependency you can't fan the flames or speed things up for them. You can be an excellent example and, more than anything, you cannot fix things for them. That is the best service you can do, because in order for them to experience the growth-promoting painful moments that will further their consciousness and journey back to their heart and away from their ego, they need to go through hardship, they need to have hard things happen to them and you, as the codependent on the other side, need to not over-feel for them and take on things that are their tasks and fix it for them, because then they never have the pain that leads to the lessons that, if not learned in blood or soon for care, they're soon forgotten.

0:39:07 - Speaker 1 And that goes against the very nature of probably what this person is feeling or thinking right now. At least that's what I kind of connected most with.

0:39:16 - Speaker 2 I agree, I think it's very difficult work. It's not easy Just having the awareness and thinking about things in the framework of something called separating tasks which is from my favorite book that also furthered my growth to this point. I would say that the two biggest things that helped me get here are the three biggest things. One was stopping substance so that I could see these things more clearly. Another was utilizing plant medicine psilocybin mushrooms in a controlled setting with my partner. When I had that big experience. But before I had that experience with my partner, what started to open the little doors in my mind that even made me comfortable experimenting with plant medicine was a book called the Courage to Be Disliked.

0:40:03 - Speaker 1 The Courage to Be Disliked.

0:40:05 - Speaker 2 Yes, the Courage to Be Disliked. I read that in the summer of 2021, before I got my dog, before I had the 2022, no substance awakening and then eventually took mushrooms in the summer of 2022. So it all happened, one after another, and that book talks about separation of tasks. I recommend everyone that I meet read this book. I think it should be required reading for humanity and healing from codependency, because I believe that codependency is the problem. It's like the antithesis of true relationship and I can explain why. But in this book there's this concept the separation of tasks and when you hear the title you might think the Courage to Be Disliked is a book about doing what you want and not caring who doesn't like it.

0:40:49 - Speaker 1 Not at all. We've all read the Silla Art of Not Giving a Fuck Right.

0:40:51 - Speaker 2 Exactly exactly. This book is not that at all. It's actually such a non-fitting name. It's a book about how to have proper boundaries, interpersonal relationships, so that you can become an individual and eventually be of service to your community, which is what truly makes us happy. And so they talk about the separation of tasks as being the most key dynamic in any interpersonal relationship. And they say that the separation of tasks, which doesn't mean do the dishes do that, it means what is my task?

Is processing this fight that I had with my friend my task, or is it my partner's task to let me complain about it all day and take it on for me and tell me that I was right and I was like all these things and placate me? Is it my task to book this flight for myself and whoever do these things, or am I asking my partner to do it because it's easier for them to do it and it makes me scared to do it? But I just need to start doing that on my own. Like little things like that, the tiniest tasks, but especially the tasks of the heart. You have to constantly audit what is my task and what is their task. I need to not interfere in their tasks, not fix things for them, and I need to not ask them to take on my tasks, because that is what creates resentment. And in the book it says it's much easier to do this in work relationships because things are laid out.

Right, yeah, it's more clearly laid out tasks, roles, duties, responsibilities yeah and the relationships are not as close, because work relationships, colleagues, whatnot it's? There's just not that same enmeshment. So you know, this is my task, this is part of my job description, this is yours. I'm not gonna take it on for you because I'm not gonna pay for that. Then, as relationships get closer, so friends, separation of tasks becomes a little harder, but maybe not quite as much than we get to our romantic relationships and our family relationships. And it is extremely difficult to separate tasks because they're so enmeshed.

0:42:48 - Speaker 1 Yeah, there's a lot to. I don't wanna say undo, but there are a lot more layers that we need to sort through to have a better understanding of where the tasks are Right. Yeah, I don't think we need to, in most cases, probably undo anything. It's just kind of understand that there needs to be a different relationship to that.

0:43:08 - Speaker 2 Totally yeah.

0:43:10 - Speaker 1 So I wanna kinda not backtrack, but what you're talking about, I feel, is just so.

I'm on the same page with so much what you're talking about and what you've gone through the last few years and I appreciate that and your level of being open, thank you.

But a lot of people know you as one other thing and I feel like your journey to everything you just shared today is very significant, because I'm not saying, should someone choose to introduce herbal tinctures into their diet, they're gonna get to a place of just radically understanding where they're co-dependent in every relationship. You know there are a lot of things that go on in between there, but I firmly believe, and I think you would agree, that when we first choose ourselves meaning our bodies, our health, our nutrition, what the food stuffs and even thoughts and emotions that we allowed to come in, how we metabolize those, how we digest them, how we mold them over again physiologically or emotionally, it all leads to and puts us on a different path. You can't not start taking care of your body through especially nutrition and not become again I'm hesitant to say better person, but you can't not become a more optimized and more efficient. It's something of being that feels and operates just more well.

0:44:25 - Speaker 2 Clearer a clearer you. The healthier you get, you become more you.

0:44:30 - Speaker 1 Can you take us back to that journey? For you, what was your origin point of going? I'm choosing me, I'm choosing health and I'm taking that first step.

0:44:40 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I mean. Growing up in my households we did not eat healthy whatsoever. My parents had a lot of struggles with their physical health, their mental health, their weight and I, growing up, also struggled with my weight and with food and nutrition, and it was really just frozen meals.

0:44:57 - Speaker 1 Can you just paint a little bit clearer picture, because I know at whatever level you're comfortable discussing, I know it's more than just a struggle. Can you really kind of pull the curtain back and go like this was the scene?

0:45:09 - Speaker 2 So essentially a lot of homes. Again, I think addiction is codependency. When you're codependent in any way, you also will have some sort of addictive tendency and that's probably every single person on this world. Because it's just so easy to fall into codependency, the hardest thing to do is to not be codependent. I don't think I'll ever be free of it. I just hope to be in as right relationship and as boundaryed, healthy relationships as possible, and the healthier I get in those boundaries, the less addictive I get. All of that to say.

I think a lot of people can pinpoint an area in their home where they witnessed some sort of addiction, whether it was alcohol, whether it was television, whether it was whatever it was. For my family it was food and there was a really intense food addiction that was modeled for me to the point where we were going on a diet as a family every single week and my mom would say, okay, we're gonna go to the store and we're gonna buy everything because this is our last day and we'll eat it all, and then the diet starts tomorrow and I would binge eat with my mom as a kid, as like our bonding activity.

0:46:10 - Speaker 1 So it wasn't just hey, we're changing what we're eating at home.

0:46:13 - Speaker 2 It was always extremes, and that's the language of codependency. As extremes, we're gonna go out with a bang. Basically, that's the brain chemistry that happens when we're not as healthy and balanced as we could be extremes, I think and so it was always go out with a bang. It was always start a crash diet on Monday. It was always start. It was no moderation or nuance or relationship with the body of what would feel good to me. Again, there was this relationship that was missing, and so I, even my mom, would say let's just chew the food and spit it out, because then it has no calories, and I would learn to do that from her.

0:46:49 - Speaker 1 it was very she did this, but also-. She told me to do it she told you to do it as well, because my mom did not have any tools.

0:46:56 - Speaker 2 I love her so much and I feel so deeply for her because she just did not have the tools that I slash we now have access to Thanks to the World Wide Web, thanks to people having conversations and disseminating nutritional information. She, like most moms in the 90s, did not like her body, was looking into every crash diet, just was so hyper-focused on how she looked and how society would perceive her and was stuck in a carousel of Jenny Craig Weight Watchers, nutrisystem, slim Fast, the HCG diet I can't tell you how many diets I witnessed.

0:47:32 - Speaker 1 I understand you as a child were on Weight Watchers.

0:47:35 - Speaker 2 Yeah, when I was in the sixth grade, I did my first.

0:47:37 - Speaker 1 Sixth grade counting points counting calories, counting meals.

0:47:42 - Speaker 2 Yeah, you go there and they just kind of give you a booklet and they use, I guess, a mixture of your height and weight to figure out how many points you should be having.

And as a sixth grader I thought that the amount of points that I needed for one meal was my points for the whole day. So I started severely under-eating and realized, oh, that really works. And again, I was already modeled the neural pathway and brain chemistry of extreme thinking, so it was quite easy for me to fall into. Why don't I just do this? Instead of having a healthy balance, I'll just eat a lot less. And so from the sixth to eighth grade I rapidly lost weight.

I was overweight, rapidly lost weight and at that time I lost my sense of self. I think I almost had my inner child artist sense. I still had me. I guess that's a very natural age for kids to homogenize with their peers. But as I lost my sense of self and stopped wearing really funky, bright colored things to school and doing my hair in weird ways as I lost weight to become more acceptable by society and fit in, I was so heavily rewarded for that and was so rewarded for the way in which I like, crashed, dieted and how good I looked that all of a sudden boys started liking me. In the eighth grade and the summer I just came back and people were like whoa, who is that?

0:48:58 - Speaker 1 Had the summer glow up, huh.

0:49:02 - Speaker 2 Yeah, from malnutrition, really for sure. And that just started a lifetime of yo-yo dieting for me, because I never solidified the language of balance and was not able to until recently, I'd say the last two years, when I also addressed the root of my extreme thinking of codependency and addressed that in all other facets of my life, it all came together and I think that's why diets and quick fixes and all these things don't work, because you're not getting to the root of the neurochemistry and the patterns in your life that are contributing to that dysfunction. We're not well, you know, and it starts in childhood and I was not okay and I had a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. My mom eventually had gastric bypass surgery, had a lot of complications from that surgery and I do feel that because of the lack of absorption that she experienced and the cutting of her intestines and the less surface area, that she had a lot of trouble with nutrient absorption, even absorbing medications, and I do think that furthered her cognitive decline.

She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at a very young age and she also was metabolically unhealthy.

She never exercised.

I would ask her to go to the gym and she would say I don't want people to see me, I can't go with you, I don't want them to see me.

And the thing is that, as young women especially, the voice of our mothers often becomes our internal voice, and it's not until we're older and have tools like therapy and practitioners that can work with us can we identify that that voice that's being mean to us about our bodies or whatever it is, is not actually our voice. It's the internalized voice of our mothers speaking to themselves. It just became us, and so I for so long had the same patterns as I was yo-yooing of my mom of I don't want to be seen, I'm this, I'm fat, I'm ugly, I'm not worthy. And it wasn't until again I started treating myself like a friend. I learned to access my inner mother and learn to parent my inner child and have compassion for myself and have a more balanced view instead of an extreme voice and view, was I able to come into relationship with myself, and the relationship with myself is what got me here.

0:51:17 - Speaker 1 I think a lot of people can relate to your story of being the first or the only member of their immediate family or immediate unit that finally gives a shit. For whatever reason, they make a choice that is radically different when it comes to their nutrition, their physical activity, their health, their life and they hear it. Or it becomes increasingly difficult to keep making those choices because it is so against the grain, against the norm of their home, of their loved ones. How do you think you were so successful at staying true to that choice and keeping going for so long when the model that you were setting, first and foremost for yourself, but consciously, subconsciously, I'm sure was hopefully a little bit for your family as well? But it sounds like maybe getting them on board was not happening, didn't happen, or maybe not at the rate in which you wanted, and I know a lot of people are there as well. What would you advise them to do?

0:52:17 - Speaker 2 Well, I think getting them on board is difficult because, to your point when you mentioned being the first person in your family to sort of give a shit enough to make it last or really make that change, I don't know if I'd say that because my parents both really gave a shit and really tried they desperately tried to change their behavior. But behavioral change is very difficult. It is the most difficult thing we'll ever do as humans because our brains are wired to protect us and keep us in comfortable behavioral patterns and it's not our fault if we don't necessarily have the tools or choose to seek the tools and if there's not sort of that perfect storm that you're asking about of an environment that creates the possibility for true behavioral change.

0:52:57 - Speaker 1 The maintenance phase of the behavioral change model is proven time and time again to be the most difficult one, and you would think well why You're over the hump. You've had this change, you know what to do, but it's just that adherence that we see people slip up on the most.

0:53:12 - Speaker 2 And that's the thing. They lost the weight so many times, but they could never keep it off. They were great at losing weight. My father. Every time he gets a blood test, he loses 40 pounds with the doctor like, oh you look great. Wow, the man does it twice a year. It's unbelievable how good my parents were at losing weight.

0:53:30 - Speaker 1 Why do you think that is?

0:53:31 - Speaker 2 It's the self-worth piece, it's the relationship with the self. If you have to feed yourself and take care of yourself like you would a child, I started to ask myself if I was a little child and I am an inner child.

They're saying if I was a person, thing again, if I was a person, I could see myself as a person with inherent value, and if I could see myself as that inner child within me that has so much love and worth, before the world changes how we think of ourselves. How would I mother myself? Would I give myself candy or a muffin for breakfast and then have that kid jump off the walls? Would I not give that child any opportunity for physical activity all week? How would I feed myself if I were feeding a child? How would I care for myself if I were feeding a child? And it's really the key to all of this that I'm now realizing, as I'm putting words to it, even with you, and even as I develop my art therapy paradigm. I'm realizing that the path forward is to restore that inner mother or inner father or inner parent within us that can then parent that inner child also within us, from a healthy place.

0:54:44 - Speaker 1 That's some inception shit, wow, uh, I really like that.

0:54:50 - Speaker 2 Because sometimes the inner child runs the show too much and wants to eat ice cream all the time and wants to not do her work and wants to do all the things and the inner mother needs to come in and say, hey, let's go for an ice cream date this weekend and let's really enjoy it, but right now we got to get this thing done and you're going to feel so much better afterwards for it. So if you can learn to speak to yourself that way, hey, you know, right now I think you could really use some protein instead of the bag of chips. Why don't we try that and see how you feel? And if you still want the bag of chips, you can have it.

That's how a mother speaks. That's how a true parent with love and compassion speaks, versus the extreme diet voice of you have to be perfect and cut everything out and you're a piece of shit and you suck. That's the other voice. That's the part. If you want to go into parts work and internal family systems, which my friend Krista Williams teaches so well we have other parts, not just the inner mother or the inner child. We have the firefighter that comes out when we're really stressed out, that wants to put out the fires and maybe doesn't act in integrity with how we want to act. We have the manager that comes out when we need to be on a podcast and in public and is a really great speaker and is a part of us Manager's crushing it today.

Manager's here and when I do a podcast I eat to feed the manager actually I eat very sensibly and then after a podcast I go and have some ice cream to feed the inner child, or I go and sit in the swing at the park and just sit outside to make sure my inner child gets seen too.

0:56:09 - Speaker 1 I love. Wow, Can we go a little bit deeper here? I love this aspect. It makes total sense. I had never heard anyone kind of explain it like that. When you have such clarity of your different parts and the versions of you that you want to show up for specific tasks, do you have a different diet for those identities?

0:56:27 - Speaker 2 It's not.

Even I have a different diet.

I'm just conscious of the part of me that is going to be needed for the task or the day at hand, or the part of the day, and I'm conscious that I need to function at my highest and let the manager kind of come out and do her thing and rock it.

And so I'll eat a very balanced carb, fat, protein, metabolic health breakfast before I go to the gym or before I have work or a podcast, and during the day I tend to eat very well, and then even through the evening I often do too. But what I mean is that when that inner child starts to cry and starts to say we're doing way too much work, we're doing way too much managing, the manager is the only one getting any attention. Hey, I'm here too. I need you to see me too, so that you can also stay in touch with the creativity, because that's what I give you. The inner child is our creativity, is our art, and if we don't feed him or her, we start to lose the access to that creativity. So the inner child wants to be seen and fed or nourished too, and that doesn't have to be ice cream.

I'm using ice cream as an example because this trip that's what's feeling good for my inner child. But it could be going to the park and swinging in a swing because it feels really good to your inner child. It could be going out with friends and being silly. It could be dancing around your house in your underwear to songs and like just doing what your silly inner child kid wanted to do and getting in touch with that unabashed joy.

0:57:51 - Speaker 1 Play and play. The level to which I think we as adults now restrict or disapprove of play as an adult is absurd. I'm here to tell you like we need it. We need more of it, we need it more regularly and it's okay.

0:58:06 - Speaker 2 Yes, it is okay.

In two years, two year timeline goes. I don't know why I'm saying two years, I just feel like it's going to take. I also live very intuitively because I now know myself and have a relationship with myself. I used to wonder how the heck people had an intuition, because I never experienced that, because I shut myself down so young to please everybody else and to just further the codependent cycles that I was shown that I cut myself off from my intuition and all of a sudden I have one again and it's beautiful.

0:58:38 - Speaker 1 We all have it absolutely. It's just to what degree have you muffled it?

0:58:42 - Speaker 2 100% and your intuition also comes from your inner child, I believe. So now I have this intuition, I think it'll take two years. I think I need to go and do other people's retreats, experience other people's modalities of healing, find collaborators, do more art therapy, make more of my own art and come to find my program, my protocol, and when I do that I already have a bit of clarity around the aspects of it. One part is going to be art that is meant to heal your relationship with the mother or the father through making art related to your mother and your family. And the next module will be making art about your inner mother. And then the next module will be making art about your inner child, bringing in photos of yourself as a child, drawing or expressing or painting or collaging what that inner child feels like, getting back in touch with them through art. And then, as you go through the modules and you draw and witness and deeply see your mother for the human that she was and how much she was struggling and how she was just doing her best and you create a bit more of a path for that forgiveness, you can then restore almost past the torch from her voice to your inner mother's voice and then, as you heal the inner child and restore her trust that, hey, someone's going to see me, I'm not going to be ignored for the manager or the rebel or the mean part of me all the time. I'm going to be seen, and the inner child learns to trust, then the inner child can be reunited with the inner mother and then the inner mother can give the inner child space to play. Wow, and so it's.

And I think it needs to be done through art, for whatever reason, and whatever art looks like for you, and I don't know what's going to come of it, but that's what I hope to do with people in the future to help get them here. Because, yeah, when you ask me, how did I get here? I'm like, yeah, to cry and quit, weed and do these things and like jump off a cliff and whatever. It's like I went the long way around, yeah, but what if we could have a little bit more of a direct route? That's still painful and still involves tears and anger and seeing that anger and forgiveness and all the things, but there's a framework to sort of get there and there's an identification of the part that really needs the healing, which is the inner child and the inner mother or father.

1:00:56 - Speaker 1 Well, in two years or whenever that is for you. You got classes ready to go. Sign me up. I'll bring my own mushrooms to grind into the paint or whatever the medium is. I'm stoked about it and stoked for you about it.

1:01:10 - Speaker 2 Thank you.

1:01:11 - Speaker 1 But I would like to kind of ask, because you are such an expert and have done amazing things in the world of herbs and nutrition and introducing these things into our daily wellness, but for even specific reasons, what are maybe some blanket statement here, some things that you would recommend to the general public for daily wellness that you think have the most bang for the buck, most efficacy, that you think right now most Americans could benefit from?

1:01:41 - Speaker 2 So my herbalist part we'll take over now, yeah, please she's welcome.

I really am a big fan of adaptogens because the you know, as we talk about childhood trauma and regulating our nervous systems and not reaching for external substances and soothing mechanisms, it's a lot easier to do that when your HPA axis is a bit more regulated and normalized. That's the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis, and it's this mechanism where, as the brain perceives stress in the environment, even in the physical body, there could be the stress of a blood sugar spike, there could be the stress of a work deadline it speaks to the pituitary and then the adrenals to create this output of cortisol, adrenaline, other stress hormones, and it dysregulates our nervous system. And so adaptogens are HPA axis normalizers or modulators, where they give us this non-specific resilience to stressors in our lives. And we're just starting to understand through science the mechanism by which these plants achieve that. We're seeing that certain adaptogens, like ashwagandha, are actually able to activate our heat shock proteins.

1:02:52 - Speaker 1 Every day of my coffee the same proteins that are activated in a sauna.

1:02:55 - Speaker 2 It's really amazing what these plants are doing, but at the same time you've got to also work on the stressors in your life.

1:03:02 - Speaker 1 Right right, right yeah. But I just think that, Again, these are not band-aids. These are things that we can lean on or understand to help support the intentional work.

1:03:09 - Speaker 2 Exactly, and I think just a baseline, well-formulated, well-balanced adaptogen is just a wonderful, almost like daily insurance to support your nervous system as you're doing other practices to regulate it.

1:03:20 - Speaker 1 What are some other adaptogens that you love for the general public use, besides ashwagandha?

1:03:25 - Speaker 2 So, if I may, I have an adaptogen formula.

1:03:27 - Speaker 1 Oh, all right, I expect nothing less.

1:03:30 - Speaker 2 I have an adaptogen formula called adrenal recovery that I really love. It's a blend of ashwagandha, aloe through a root shazandra berry. I formulated it in a way where plants, they each have a temperature and an action, in the sense of some are drying, some are moistening, some are heating, some are cooling, and so when I'm working one-on-one with somebody, I can assess their tissue state. You said before you're running hot all the time. I wouldn't actually choose ashwagandha as an adaptogen for you.

Personally I would choose something like American ginseng or aloe through a root. That's a bit more moistening and cooling to help balance that heat right. But when you're again making a commercial herbal formula, that has to be suited to the masses and will help the maximum amount of people. The goal is to formulate it in a new as neutral of a temperature and action way as possible. So I specifically formulated with adaptogens that are a mix of cooling, drying, heating, moistening, so that the overall net effect is pretty neutral Is that why I put mint in everything.

I'm sure there's a lot of.

1:04:30 - Speaker 1 I just got to cool off all the time. I probably love ice water, or I actually don't Okay, I like room temperature water Same.

1:04:37 - Speaker 2 If that's the way to go, so essentially I can also I do it the way that I feel on ashwagandha.

1:04:42 - Speaker 1 I feel good. It doesn't really do much for the cooling aspect.

1:04:45 - Speaker 2 There's. Yeah, you're still going to get the benefits. I'm just saying, if I were to give you the most suited herb for you, I would probably pick a different one, or I would blend it with ashwagandha, because also ashwagandha is great for men, if you want to generalize, because it also supports testosterone. And it's just a wonderful herb. I think most people can take ashwagandha. I'm just being super particular. But yeah, maybe I would throw some aloe through for you in with your ashwagandha.

1:05:08 - Speaker 1 And it's not another root, it's another adaptogenic root.

1:05:11 - Speaker 2 It's just a bit more yin, producing moistening fluid, nourishing. It's good for people who are dry all the time.

1:05:18 - Speaker 1 That's why I always prefer yin style yoga too. You're just hitting all the keywords of things. It's like my own Cosmo personality test.

1:05:26 - Speaker 2 And that's what happens when you're in relationship and you see a person, and that's why I'm done with all things that don't involve really seeing one another.

1:05:35 - Speaker 1 I also know that you, besides everything we just talked about, you decided to peel another layer back on your own health. That I personally recommend everybody do, and you get a comprehensive lab panel. And I know Shadow, our homie, dr Gabrielle Lyon. I don't know exactly what panel you went through with her, but I can imagine I'm sure there are some great things on there, and I'm actually about to go through my next labs this year for me 2024,. I've committed to quarterly comprehensive labs. The last several years I've gone through metabolic panels, genetic testing, advanced paneling like that, but they've been kind of sporadic, you know, once, twice a year kind of thing. Now I'm really choosing this is the year of knowledge but consistent knowledge and consistent optimization, and so that's where I'm at. What would you recommend somebody go through in terms of getting that pretty in-depth panel to help make the best next metabolic choice?

1:06:29 - Speaker 2 I mean I think you want to for sure be looking at your metabolic markers. You always want to keep an eye on your fasting glucose. You want to keep an eye on your HPA1C, but some people disagree on how helpful that might be. For me, fasting insulin was a huge reason why Dr Gabrielle Lyon caught my pre-diabetes. So just for some background, in the last transformative three years, when I would say I finally lost that weight in a healthy way for the first time with body comp and muscle in mind and I lost it for good, is what I'm putting out there Like this is. I'm done because I have a relationship with myself now and I can have the maintenance phase. But before I was able to do all those things, gabrielle Lyon, two and a half ish years ago, diagnosed me with pre-diabetes Because my blood glucose was always pre-diabetic ish range like 105, 110.

1:07:21 - Speaker 1 What was your A1C?

1:07:22 - Speaker 2 My A1C was low. It was like 4.8, 4.9. But my blood glucose was, I know, but my blood glucose was 115 sometimes, or my fasting insulin was 11 or 14.

1:07:33 - Speaker 1 Okay, like consistently. Yeah, and then my DHT was going high and my cycle was getting longer and I was having more symptoms of PCOS because my testosterone I had to have a lot of other play heavier tolls or have heavier weight when it comes to even just standard things like glucose and A1C, exactly.

1:07:50 - Speaker 2 So, looking at that picture of my testosterone, my DHT, my fasting insulin, my blood glucose, as well as other inflammatory markers that you can look at Things like uric acid, cholesterol and high cholesterol Just looking at this overall picture of metabolic health, I was not in good shape. I was pre-diabetic insulin resistant, and so those labs really helped me to finally make the changes that I needed to make start eating more protein, eating more muscle, nourishing myself as I would nourish a child that I cared about, versus just cutting calories or trying to lose weight. Losing weight on the scale means nothing. If you're losing your muscle tissue, it means nothing. You are going to let yourself become in a worse place than actually if you just didn't lose the weight at all, because now you're losing your muscle mass, which is your metabolic currency.

1:08:33 - Speaker 1 We're team muscle centric up in here, woo.

1:08:35 - Speaker 2 Absolutely.

1:08:36 - Speaker 1 Gabrielle has left her mark.

1:08:37 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

1:08:38 - Speaker 1 She really has.

1:08:38 - Speaker 2 And I also really enjoy getting a comprehensive thyroid panel. I think that's so important for any folks who are struggling metabolically or just even with brain fog, energy levels, all the things. Thyroid is so important. Every cell in the body utilizes thyroid hormone.

So you want to get not just your TSH, but you want to look at your free T4, free T3, reverse T3, total T4, and also your iron, as well as you can play into thyroid function, but I think getting a full thyroid panel, looking at again things like reverse T3 even, which can show you if you're chronically inflamed- there's some really cool new stuff coming out about that I've been diving more and more into.

1:09:16 - Speaker 1 It's amazing. Yeah, that's a really cool marker that I didn't use to put as much weight in when I would look at or even when I was in clinic. You know we would run certain labs for people as well, but absolutely now we're seeing a lot of dots being connected 100%.

1:09:31 - Speaker 2 It's so important because a lot of people don't necessarily have classic hypothyroidism or they have subclinical hypothyroidism where the TSH is a little bit high or most of their numbers are normal. But if your reverse T3 is high, it just means that it's actually all getting bound up and not going into your. You're not getting active T3, so no wonder you feel like crap and that's more of a sign that it's not necessarily a quote. Thyroid problem Again, your thyroid is not broken. It's that you have an HPAOT axis. It's not. It's from the brain, adrenals, ovaries or gonads.

1:10:02 - Speaker 1 There are multiple stops on that track people To thyroid. Multiple stops, yeah.

1:10:05 - Speaker 2 So it's coming from somewhere else in your body, usually from inflammation, whether from a gut infection, the nervous system, and that's where you can dig deeper with a practitioner. Where's the source of my personal inflammation coming from?

1:10:16 - Speaker 1 One of the coolest things I found when I got some of these labs done was just how much of I had a relationship to how I felt, and there's a lot of empowerment to that. And what I mean really is I've spent a lot of years really fine-tuning my diet. I don't abide by a particular diet, but when I got these labs done I found that I know that I feel my best and I train my best and I'm most consistent when I'm more carb-heavy, like a low-carb day for me is like 250, 250 grams yeah.

1:10:46 - Speaker 2 I'm like Less Love carbs.

1:10:47 - Speaker 1 I would love that I'm usually shooting in like the 300 to 400 grams range. I just I feel my best, I like to train heavy and just literally in my body I feel the best. But getting these labs done, I learned that actually that is not the best thing for me metabolically, and so I really had to navigate how I feel, how I choose to train, how I choose to live compared to. I had to make a choice basically Do you want to just feel good and keep training this way because that's what you always done and that's what you prefer? Or, chase, you got these labs done because you want to make the choice of longevity, of optimizing internally what you can't always see or feel externally, and so it's just a matter of, I think, two to three months making a shift to increasing fats.

And here's what I did. All I did was about four days a week I trained I'll go get a smoothie and I'll. I would swap out banana for avocado. That one thing I shit. Maybe a couple of other days here and there, like decreasing carbs a little bit consciously I don't track or anything, but just making that one shift. My labs improved tremendously, tremendously, and so then I got that feedback of shout out bloke's. With these incredible labs. I got that feedback and that was enough to push me over the edge of going Not over the edge, but just to solidify my choice and going all right, you just modified a little bit of what you were eating. You modified a little bit of how you were training. Now you're still training consistently, which was a huge other personal goal, but you're also on a better path for this other big part of your wellness goal and so very much on the right path for me now.

1:12:16 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I mean for you that metabolic inflammation also could have been coming from the fact that you just weren't getting enough fatty acids to exert an anti-inflammatory effect. Exactly. So. It's not to say that the carbs are bad, but for you, maybe your body was really missing these crucial fatty acids that were then going to make up these beautiful protective lipid membranes of your cells and promote anti-inflammatory prostaglandin production, all the things I mean.

yeah, fats are so important, especially for female hormones. I mean, like our hormones are so sensitive to low fat diets. But really cool to see that you were able to sort of biohack yourself Just by reading your labs and experimenting. I also wonder if you were to want to have some high carb days again, or if you were to be like I know I'm training like crazy today, so I'm just going to do this once a week. If you were to use insulin sensitizing agents and herbs before those meals.

1:13:09 - Speaker 1 that's part of how I I did recently get back on the train of apple cider vinegar. I got a capsule from Paleo Valley. They're actually they're stacked right over there. I love them. They're B-sticks, but I started using their acid vinegar. There's the actual name, Just apple cider vinegar complex, I think.

1:13:27 - Speaker 2 Okay.

1:13:28 - Speaker 1 I take it every morning after my morning water, before I take anything, and also I'll take one or two before any kind of carb heavy meal.

1:13:36 - Speaker 2 You can do that also with cinnamon capsules. I have a formula called Glucobitters which I will I'll give to you and I can also give your audience.

1:13:43 - Speaker 1 Oh, amazing. Yeah, yeah, please yeah.

1:13:46 - Speaker 2 So you do code chase and we'll set it up on the back end with affiliate and everything, but I have a formula called Glucobitters that I used while I was losing that 35 pounds again and building muscle and doing my body recomposition and getting my blood sugar down. My fasting blood glucose is now 78. From 15.

1:14:03 - Speaker 1 Yeah, so essentially it's a put me on the protocol.

1:14:08 - Speaker 2 It's, it's crazy. So I was using vinegar too, and I loved it, but I didn't find that the like a capsule or gummy was as effective and I wanted to just take the vinegar.

1:14:16 - Speaker 1 You're doing the vinegar like a teaspoon kind of thing.

1:14:17 - Speaker 2 Yeah, exactly. But then I was finding that when I was eating out at restaurants and doing a lot of things, that I wasn't going to take Bragg's apple cider vinegar with me. So what I did was, in herbalism we we make vinegar tinctures. That's part of. We don't just have to tincture them in alcohol. Vinegar is a beautiful solvent. So I made a vinegar tincture called Glucobitters that has 500 milligrams of blood sugar balancing herbs in the suspension of vinegar, so that you can take that with you. It's a small tincture bottle and you can just, at a restaurant, drop it in some water or just take a shot of it before your meals.

1:14:47 - Speaker 1 Ideally, I would love to do that every before every meal.

1:14:49 - Speaker 2 Yeah, exactly, I do it before I do a car, so it's a great option 100 percent. I do it before most meals. If not every meal because of my history of insulin resistance. I do not want to be pre-diabetic again. And there's herbs in there like cinnamon, like gymneema, bitter melon, fenugreek, and what's really cool is, if you look at studies, some of these herbs have been shown to increase our endogenous levels of GLP one.

1:15:13 - Speaker 1 No way.

1:15:13 - Speaker 2 Which is, if you guys know, ozempic and others.

1:15:16 - Speaker 1 Yeah, that's yeah.

1:15:17 - Speaker 2 That some of the ozempic is essentially a synthetic version of our gut peptide hormone, glp one, and the responsibility of this hormone is to help us feel satiated and safe, as well as to exert a whole host of pro metabolic effects. And so, obviously, cinnamon and gymneema and all these things are not going to increase your endogenous GLP levels as much as a synthetic version that doesn't break down because it's like we can promote it internally.

You can promote it internally with herbs. You can promote it internally with high doses of protein and fiber in the same meal. You can promote it internally with green tea. You can promote internally with a deeply red colored fruits and berries like blackberries and blueberries. There's so many ways to increase your own GLP.

1:15:58 - Speaker 1 one level why is that? Is that the antioxidants, polyphenols, phytochemicals? Yeah?

1:16:01 - Speaker 2 the phytochemicals, the polyphenols, are exerting some effect on stimulating the production of GLP one.

And what's so great about eating a high protein diet and utilizing herbs that are GLP one agonists, like the herbs? My Glucobitters formula is that you are making it easier to make good choices, because when you do not have satiation and safety on a gut brain level, from gut peptide hormones like GLP one being present, you are constantly seeking. You are seeking a reward. You're seeking stimulation because the brain doesn't feel safe and satiated. So if you start your day off with 30 to 50 grams of protein, as well as some Glucobitters or whatever, even just cinnamon, you don't have to buy my products, even just cinnamon or another herb that increases GLP one green tea you already are starting the day with a higher concentration of this safety satiation hormone. Throughout the rest of the day, you're not going to want to seek as much, your cravings are not going to be as intense, your hunger will not be as intense and you can make the smarter decisions instead of making the decisions from that blood sugar crash place of I need sugar right now.

1:17:07 - Speaker 1 I love hearing that because it kind of like validates my, my choice this morning. Most mornings I have this product called a meal, one from Creatures of Habit, homie, michael Chernell and I'm a big oatmeal and big hearty meal guy. And it's got three protein flaxseed just incredible things. I douse it in cinnamon.

1:17:26 - Speaker 2 Is it like prepackaged?

1:17:28 - Speaker 1 It's a packet you just. You can either make overnight oats or add hot water.

1:17:30 - Speaker 2 I need to try this because I always put flaxseed chia in my oats, so you got to check it out.

1:17:36 - Speaker 1 I'll link this for everybody. We had Michael Chernell on the show a couple of years ago. His brand is called Creatures of Habit with a K, it's called meal one and you can make it as an overnight oats or make it like hot oatmeal. I love hot oatmeal and I have saline cinnamon. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Saline pumpkin and I just douse it.

1:17:52 - Speaker 2 Add it in.

1:17:53 - Speaker 1 So as you're describing everything, I'm like cool, cool, cool.

1:17:55 - Speaker 2 Yeah, you know, you're doing all the proof. Yeah, yes, you're doing all the things. Protein, fiber, herbs, cinnamon blueberries are also just as amazing as cinnamon, a very similar metabolic promoting food. Blueberries also have anacetal, which is good for your blood sugar balance. Cantaloupe has anacetal, so there's certain fruits and spices that are more metabolism friendly than others.

1:18:15 - Speaker 1 Hold up. Fruit is good for our blood sugar, yeah absolutely. You're blowing so many people's minds right now.

1:18:20 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I mean, it's a food matrix. You know it's it. The sugar in fruit does not exist on its own. It exists within a matrix of fiber, polyphenols, different plant chemicals, alkaloids, pigments right Like the pigment in fruit. If you choose highly pigmented fruit again, it's going to give you such a better effect. Not only are these pigments and these plant chemicals shown to modulate post-prandial blood glucose. If you're choosing again the right fruit for your body, I'm not saying like, eat a ton of bananas.

1:18:49 - Speaker 1 I don't find bananas work well for me, but if you're, I think for most people, honestly, I agree they're not probably the most ideal fruit choice, for a lot of different reasons.

1:18:58 - Speaker 2 Yeah, we're also not living in the tropics, where they grow Right. So it's to have them every single day is interesting.

1:19:03 - Speaker 1 Metabolic health and also I've noticed too, maybe TMI, but whatever they're extremely phlegm enhancing for me. I find that my I'm kind of a guy that I don't know if it's allergies. I've done allergies, I don't have any.

1:19:14 - Speaker 2 The bananas are a high histamine food. That's what I get congested. You probably have a little histamine yeah.

1:19:19 - Speaker 1 I enjoy the texture and stuff, but yeah, always for me it's just, it's worse.

1:19:22 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah. Anytime you're getting congestion from a food or like phlegm, it's usually a histamine response. You could be a person who's a little bit more histamine intolerant than others, or you could have something.

1:19:32 - Speaker 1 I get that too, when I, you know, sip certain wines, I'd say less quality wines or higher, and so I mean some soul fights and things like that.

1:19:39 - Speaker 2 Absolutely it's a big histamine, histamine moments. So yeah, I also have some like histamine sensitivity, so I have to put me on everything.

1:19:47 - Speaker 1 I got to just do my due diligence here and whatever you need for me, like I want it all. I want it all.

1:19:53 - Speaker 2 I got you. I'm going to send you a care package with all the goodies and this is my year.

1:19:56 - Speaker 1 Like I said, I'm committed this year to doing quarterly labs. I'm doing it for my personal wellness and also enhanced fertility reasons. Yeah, this year, you know, fingers crossed, you know we'd love to get pregnant. And also I think it's also the year for me a finally regularly learning, regularly knowing and regularly applying. I'm a wellness guy. I'm like I said it was a clinical health coach for many years and I've been doing this stuff on my own for like 20 years almost. You know kind of my own personal wellbeing practices. But I've done so much knowing and I'll just get these one off snapshots, but now I'm committed to the consistency of knowing and committed to the consistency of doing and applying strategically.

1:20:38 - Speaker 2 I find that a lot of people focus on the knowing part and consume a lot of information and education but avoid the relationship with self part, and the more we again number one girly over here, this is what I did slash still have the proclivity to do so, I'm telling myself. We think that we need more knowledge. Most of us know so much about health, more than our ancestors could ever dream of. We have more information at the tips of our fingers and our labs. We know what to do. Everyone who listens to this podcast or who listens to health podcasts period probably has a massive store of education on what they can do to improve their bodies. But why are you not applying? It is always the question, and it's because spending more of that time in the knowing place instead of spending that time creating the relationship with yourself, that's where the action knowing gap exists.

1:21:30 - Speaker 1 I mean, yeah, it's more fun, right, and it's more popular. You know, hey, how many human Huberman lab episodes can we reference, hopefully? How many ever forward radio episodes can we reference? How many books can we throw up? How many quotes can we share? How much can we show others, how much can we show ourselves that we're on the path?

1:21:48 - Speaker 2 But it can become another form of self avoidance. There is a circle Any any other substance or anything, just the it's consumption. Consuming is not creating or being, and we do too much consuming period.

1:22:01 - Speaker 1 Knowing without doing is the same thing as not knowing.

1:22:05 - Speaker 2 I love that.

1:22:06 - Speaker 1 I heard that years ago. I love that I forget where, to be honest, it's not. I would love that to be a chase OG original, but knowing without doing is the same thing as not knowing.

1:22:15 - Speaker 2 I love that it's not a chase OG original, and so I will say that quote before of lessons on learning and blood, or soon forgotten. Totally not my quote either. I have to find this.

1:22:22 - Speaker 1 I get to get a quote, fact check.

1:22:23 - Speaker 2 But I know we have to actually put, because I always like, will say those quotes in my when I'm talking and then I'm like OK, but that was a mine.

1:22:29 - Speaker 1 I'm definitely going to use that as a clip, though for sure it's going to look like an Olivia. My husband says it to me all the time.

1:22:36 - Speaker 2 He, it's his favorite quote in the world, and so he's really gotten me into that and into just like the real, the realism of life, now that he doesn't fix everything for me.

1:22:46 - Speaker 1 Well, I have a quote for you that is more or less an original over here, and that's ever forward, living a life ever forward. My last question, olivia, is what are those two words mean to you today?

1:23:01 - Speaker 2 Ever forward. What that brings up for me is curiosity. I think the only way that we continue moving forward is having a healthy sense of curiosity about our own behavior and our own motives that underlie that behavior, our own psychology, the relationships in our lives, and we have the ability to use that curiosity to ask questions that help us take more personal responsibility.

1:23:26 - Speaker 1 Never a right, never a wrong answer. I always appreciate everyone's interpretation. Thank you, Thank you. I cannot wait to have you back, maybe sooner than two years, we'll say at least two years, when this new you is is there, it's here, I would love that.

1:23:41 - Speaker 2 OK, so let's come back and revisit.

1:23:43 - Speaker 1 Where can everybody go to connect with you more? I'm going to have, of course, everything linked in show notes and video notes, but one place, a couple places. What are you doing most? Where can they go to learn more about everything we just talked about?

1:23:52 - Speaker 2 So as I go into my dark night of the soul on my Instagram, and social media.

1:23:55 - Speaker 1 No, I'm actually throwing myself into my podcast because even though I need the time to myself to not be constantly creating content and social media stuff.

1:24:05 - Speaker 2 I cannot not start like I have to do something, for like I have to be doing in a way that fulfills my soul. So what I'm doing is I'm essentially this season of my podcast. It's called what's the Juice podcast. My goal with this season is to platform really incredible practitioners and people who are not just on Instagram or on Instagram at all, and are in the field and working with clients one on one and have incredible knowledge and compassion to share, so that, through my podcast, you can connect with and find a practitioner that you can work with one on one.

Oh, amazing to have a real relationship in your life that that brings you forward. So I'm going to essentially have my social media team just post a ton of my podcast clips on my Instagram, and that's my main focus. We're going to do a full year of episodes instead of a season and I'm really ramping it up. So what's the juice podcast? And then my Instagram. Right now it's at organic underscore Olivia, and my brand is at shop organic Olivia. But when I make my transition, when I launch the first episode of the season, I'm giving my Instagram name to my brand and I'm changing my name to something else, and I don't know what it is yet.

1:25:07 - Speaker 1 She's going, she's going rowing in everybody.

1:25:09 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

1:25:10 - Speaker 1 The road. My website is organic Oliviacom.

1:25:14 - Speaker 2 That's where you can find all of the herbal formulas that I've created in the last 10 years, and you can use code chase If you want to shop.

1:25:20 - Speaker 1 Actually, let's do. Well, you have to make sure that you paid attention here for the podcast stuff. I always try to keep the same, ever forward.

1:25:27 - Speaker 2 Can we do that Ever forward? Yes, use code ever forward. Thank you On my website, 100%. Yeah.

1:25:33 - Speaker 1 Well, seriously, I could talk to you for a lot longer. I've enjoyed getting to know you more. Thank you so much for sharing your time here with us today on ever forward radio. And yeah, I'll see you in two years, hopefully sooner.

1:25:45 - Speaker 2 Thank you so much for having me and for allowing myself to see myself even deeper through your beautiful lens and your witnessing. This is why relationships matter.

1:25:53 - Speaker 1 Thank you. Thank you For more information on everything you just heard. Make sure to check this episode, show notes or head to everforwardradio.com