Episode 75

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Published on:

26th Dec 2023

3 Useful Resources for Focusing on Health in 2024 -75

Ready to transition into 2024 with a focus on growth, well-being, and overall health? While reflecting on the past year at The Grit Show I looked at which of our episodes resonated most with you to see what we should revisit. To wrap up 2023 we are going to pull out the most important tidbits on health and dig a bit deeper. We'll reflect on some powerful conversations this year, and talk about what it's looked like to apply some of them and where we can continue to build. It's a great opportunity to look at health more broadly and get some direction if there is something that resonates with the direction you are setting for 2024. Learning about at Intermittent Fasting, the Stress Cycle/Combatting Burn Out, and a tool that will help you find and keep your health focus in 2024.

The final gift of the year is an introduction to the Heart Chamber podcast Boots Knighton. Dr. Jack Wolfson, a board-certified cardiologist is her guest on the episode we are sharing and it provides valuable insight into holistic cardiovascular wellness and the importance of taking a root cause approach to health issues. You'll gain a lot from their conversation on the proactive holistic strategies for preserving cardiovascular health and finding hope and healing on the journey to well-being.

You can learn more about Dr. Jack and some of the products he mentions through this link- (any purchases you make through this link will give a little back to The Heart Chamber)- https://shop.naturalheartdoctor.com#theheartchamber

Check out more episodes of The Heart Chamber Podcast and get to know Boots: https://theheartchamberpodcast.com/

Other podcast episodes mentioned today

Delay Don’t Deny & Fast Feast Repeat with NYT Bestselling Author Gin Stephens -31

Conquer the Stress Cycle & Focus on Your Well Being- How to Escape Burnout: Part 1 -57

What's Your Word of the Year for 2024? The Power of Intentions -73

Word of the Year- Welcoming 2023 w/ Shawna Rodrigues -28

Hard Decisions & Applying Your Word of the Year -33

Shawna Rodrigues left her award-winning career in the public sector in 2019 and after launching The Grit Show, soon learned the abysmal fact that women hosted only 27% of podcasts. This led to the founding of the Authentic Connections Podcast Network intent on raising that number by 10% in five years- 37 by 27. Because really, shouldn’t it be closer to 50%? She is the Director of Impact for the network, which offers full-service support for podcasting from mentoring to production. In September 2023 they are also launching the EPAC (Entrepreneurs and Podcasters Authentically Connected) community for those in early stages and wanting a place for weekly connection. She still finds a little time for her pursuits as a best-selling author and shares the hosting of Author Express, a podcast that features the voice behind the pages of your favorite book. Find her on Instagram- @ShawnaPodcasts and learn more about the network and other happenings at https://linktr.ee/37by27.

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Transcript

We feel it is important to make our podcast transcripts available for accessibility. We use quality artificial intelligence tools to make it possible for us to provide this resource to our audience. We do have human eyes reviewing this, but they will rarely be 100% accurate. We appreciate your patience with the occasional errors you will find in our transcriptions. If you find an error in our transcription, or if you would like to use a quote, or verify what was said, please feel free to reach out to us at connect@37by27.com.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

As we wrap up 2023, I know a lot of you are focused on health and what you want to do in the coming year to take care of you and put you and your well-being first. So, for the final episode of the year, I'm sharing with you 3 useful resources that will focus on health as you go into 2024. So, stick around to learn more.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Welcome to The Grit Show, where our focus is growth on purpose. I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues, and I'm honored to be part of this community as we journey together with our grit intact to learn more about how to thrive and how to get the most out of life. It means a lot that you are here today. As you listen, I encourage you to think of who may appreciate the tidbits of knowledge we are sharing and to take a moment to pass this along to them. Everyone appreciates a friend that thinks of them, and these conversations are meant to be shared and to spark even more connections.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

First, congrats. You survived the holiday season. Not always easy. You made it through Hanukkah and Christmas, and now we are looking forward to the new year. In this time in between when perhaps you have a house full, kids home from school and a lot going on, but are hopefully taking time to rest and make this transition. So, during this time, I want us to have a little bit of attention towards the new year and our health and well-being. I thought a lot about what I was going to do for this episode and if I might actually just do a revisiting of the best of 2023 and what we've learned throughout the last year.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

But I decided it might be a little simpler if we focused on health. Perhaps just 3 previous episodes and 3 topics for us to look at and for us to focus on. So, the first thing we're going to go back and look at is our episode on intermittent fasting with the fabulous Gin Stephens. It is the most listened to episode we've had on this podcast, on The Grit Show. At one time, it was actually triple the amount of listens of any other episode. I don't think it's quite that high currently, but it is a very well listened to episode.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Our conversation with Gin was fabulous. It was so useful. And, personally, it actually made a big difference because having that conversation with her, listened to the entire book and bought the book for reference because she has a lot of great resources and more information and tables and charts and things you might want to look at and actually started utilizing what she shared and what I learned from talking to her and what I learned about from her book. The first thing I did was practice what she called a clean fast, which the thing that I need to practice from learning about what a clean fast was, was understanding this whole thing around drinking beverages. Because a lot of times when you think of fasting, you think of just not eating, but drinking whatever you want to be able to drink. And I've had friends that had lemonade and cayenne pepper diets, that’s what they drink when they were fasting and whatnot. But with a clean fast, the way that, you know, Gin Stephens has done her research around intermittent fasting and the point was around raising blood sugar levels and not having anything that had taste that would do that and learning that the sparkling waters that I drank that had no calories in them, the diet sodas that people drink, those could actually create spikes in glucose and that can actually trigger hunger hormones and be part of what's causing these up and down crashes and all these other things.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, for me, having beverages like club soda was the one I started drinking, which I actually really enjoyed drinking club soda. Club soda or seltzer waters with no flavoring or black tea. That was a hard one for me because I like my peppermint teas, my herbal teas, but having to have either green tea or black tea with nothing in it or for just plain coffee with nothing in it for people to drink that. Like, that shift was the first shift that I had to do.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, I actually practiced that before I even worked on doing the eating window because I knew that was going to be the hardest thing for me when it came to actually adopting this way of eating and this way of taking care of my body and this way of doing things. And part of what drew me to intermittent fasting because I've done if you listen to the episode, I definitely had done some of the principles that were in that to lose weight in the past, but I was actually interested in doing something that was healthier for my body and healthier for me and really found that the principles she talked about and the things for our body and the health around it was much more compelling for me and a reason to do it. So, I practiced being able to have the beverages not be something that were causing me to yoyo with my blood sugar levels and that that could kind of help me do things and stay in the eating window and adjust things accordingly. So, it was the first thing I practiced for, like, a month before I even started doing the eating window part of intermittent fasting.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

It took some time. I did it the stepped way that she kind of teaches in her book and talked about on the podcast. And once I did that, my body is so much happier. And I'm not constantly put mindlessly putting food in my mouth and mindlessly snacking because that's been something that has been a challenge for me, I feel and that has been part of my problem is just, like, feeding hunger constantly and that my body, when I'm hungry, I had to eat something and my body could never live off of stored fats or be able to function properly to work in that way. And I almost feel like doing intermittent fasting or learning about what she teaches in Fast, Feast, Repeat, and my body needed to be able to reset how it processed hunger hormones and how it knew what it needed to eat or not eat and that this way of eating, and this way of doing things. And I almost wish it was called, like, just having an eating window instead of intermittent fasting because that felt more like what I did, that it was the best thing for me, the best thing for me. And it has been great. I think the biggest advantage is that I don't get hangry. Like, I'm somebody who did used to get hangry. Like, when I needed food, I needed food immediately. And it's funny because I keep pistachios in my car for when I have long drives, but I don't have to have food. Like, I'm not somebody who's, like, raging and has to go find food and has to stop what I'm doing because I need food. And I used to be like that. And it's funny because I thought that I was just that way and I was programmed to be that way, but it's like I taught my body to be that way because I was constantly putting food in my mouth. And my body thought that it needed me to constantly put food into my mouth to be able to function and to operate. Instead of my body now, work stuff with stored fat and I'm not hungry all the time. And it's learned this because I went through this process and learn more about how to properly do intermittent fasting and how to eat within an eating window.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And that has been probably the biggest benefit of doing it. And I think that's like the autophagy is what she talks about, that it does that where your body goes running and figures out how to clean house because you aren't constantly putting food into your mouth. But it's also, like, I'm just more regular in a lot of ways and my moods are more regular. I just feel like it's been so beneficial. And I used to get indigestion all the time, and I don't get indigestion now. Things like that for my body feels like I'm healthier. There is the benefit that I've lost almost 20 pounds in the last year, which may not seem like a lot to folks. But, again, I haven't really been dieting. I've just been found a way of eating that works well for me in a way that serves my body well, serves my mood well, serves my well-being well, and it's been fabulous for me. So, it was a healthy lifestyle choice that has the side effect that it's gotten my body more stabilized and that consequently, I've lost weight as a consequence to it.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, if you're interested in learning more about this healthy lifestyle choice and seeing if it actually fits into your life, because, again, when I started, my partner and I started together and he decided it was not for him. He needs a high protein diet. He needs a whole different way of doing things for his well-being. He doesn't do well not eating for long periods, whereas for me, my body likes this. And whenever I am under stress, visiting family, and I'm not following it regularly, I feel the difference.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And interestingly, I also had an episode where I got to speak with somebody about intuitive eating. And I feel like I can do intuitive eating now that I've done intermittent fasting because I can listen to my body. And there's days that I do eat because I'm hungry in the mornings when I normally wouldn't because I can understand my body signals now that I've actually cleanse my body from just putting food in my mouth all the time. So, it's been a wonderful experience for me in my health and well-being. And so, if you are interested and thinking about finding a way of eating for your health, for your body, I feel like this way of doing things, Delay, Don't Deny, is the book. But I do believe that's the book that I read. I will find it and put it in the show notes, the one that I read that I really enjoyed of hers and got so much out of it because it's really made a difference in my body's functioning and well-being and had a nice little bonus from it. And I actually lost weight, which wasn't the intention. But it feels like my body is getting back to me when stress and other things aren't affecting it. And I'm able to eat in a more orderly way that fits my body and lifestyle so much better.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, very beneficial. And one of the interesting behind the scenes note that very few people know about that episode, is that I almost didn't get to record it. I almost missed out on that amazing interview with Gin because I was burning the candle at both ends and working so hard last December getting ready to launch my podcast network that I was burning myself out. I actually got the time wrong, thought that I was meeting with Gin at one time, and got a message from her that she's like, I can't wait any longer. We were supposed to meet, and I went and looked and realized I had the wrong time in my head that I was meeting with her, which was embarrassing at the very least. And it was humbling and eye opening as well that I needed to be not doing so many things and trying to do so many things that I was getting myself to that place. So, that was also part of me realizing that I was burning myself out. That the speed that I was going, the way that I was doing things.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So that also was part of the planning for podcast episodes around burnout. And we had one right around that time and got some feedback that people wanted more concrete strategies, which actually led to me doing the episode number 57, the Matt MacKinnon, where we talked about the stress cycle. And we actually read a book, both of us, and did some research around it, around learning more about burnout and what causes burnout and how we can try to combat burnout.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, episode 57 is a 2-part series, but in episode 57 is where we talked about the stress cycle. And for me, that was a really important learning experience in understanding that the stress and the stressor are 2 different things. And just because you get away from the stressor, like, we finally sold our house in Portland, so we no longer have the stress of trying to sell the house. But I still need to work through the stress that I experience, even though that stressor is gone and it can have lasting effects from the stressor if you don't also work through the stress that came with it, if you don't recognize that they both don't disappear together, that you have to actually work through the effects in your body, the situation you've been in to get to the other side of it. And so, we talk about that in episode 57, and we talk about the different tools and strategies that you can use to be able to work through that. And some of them, it was like exercise. Some of them, we actually even talked about how video games can potentially be a way to do that and kind of be mindful about how you are intentionally using these tools to help you move through these stress cycles and acknowledging what's stressful and what these stressors are that have brought you this stress so that you can actually get to the other side of them. So, that entire episode is very valuable. I'm the one following it. But to really look at burnout and the stress cycle and what you need to do to manage your stress so you aren't getting burnt out.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, that is the second tool for your health and well-being going to 2024 is to look back at that episode on the stress cycle and about what you are doing and what you can do around moving through your stress and moving through what that impact is on you, what you can do to help to just move through that. Because you can't stay stagnant with it. You have to actually move through it and you have to actively do things to combat it and get to the other side. Otherwise, you are just going to be like tired spinning the mud and just burn yourself out and get yourself stuck. And so, that's the 2nd tool and strategies and ways for you to be taking care of yourself.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, that is very important. But the other thing that came from that is me recognizing that that was in December that I recorded that episode to release in January. And it was around the time that I was about to be coming up with my word of the year for 2024. And one of the reasons my word was savor was because I almost missed out on really enjoying and savoring this interview because I was late for it. I was behind the 8 ball. I was scrambling. But instead, like, she was gracious and wonderful, but, also, I was able to shift my mind and how much it made a difference. It was still the most popular episodes of the podcast that I was late for that I almost missed because I was still able to savor it and be present and really be part of that.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, I feel like the word of the year also came out of that episode in some ways, and me being able to see how powerful you can be if you can maintain being present and savoring how you can just roll with events like that and what a powerful skill that is and how important that is. But the word of the year is part of that power. And so that's the third thing that I'm offering all of you as you're looking at 2024 is to really distill down what is most important to you. Is it a case where you have so much going on where it really is hard to savor, so you need to focus and you need to have a plan that your word is savor, your goal is savor, and your focus is on doing that. Right? So that's another tool that I want you to really take into 2024 as something that you can use for your health and your well-being.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

It's finding a word of the year, finding a focus that you can improve upon, that you can find success even when everything is challenging to find successful. As a part of that, is that in the episodes so there was just an episode, just came out, episode 73 is where I talked about the word of the year, and I referenced back to episode 28 and 33 where I talked about it the year before. So, you know, a lot of things are word of the year, and we're talking about it again today with the word of the year is being this powerful tool that you can come up with. And so, the word that I kind of was leaning towards in episode 73 was really bloom, was where I was at the end of like things happening naturally with growth and going to the next stage and just letting things open up and happen. And I was really excited about that term. I discussed a few of them and that's kind of where I was at. And after I recorded that episode, as fate would have it, as time would have it. And the beauty of a word of the year is that you're going to have it for a whole year. So, you need to put time and thought and give it room to move around and expand and develop on its own. But a different word, entirely different word, came to me and that was the word believe. And so that's the one that I'm kind of rolling around and thinking about currently. And if you listened to last week's episode, you heard me talking about the belief in oneself as being hugely important. Correct? And so that's kind of tied to me wondering about the word belief as being my word of the year for 2024.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And I know that for a lot of folks, like, belief is bedrock. It's part of who you are. And when I was probably 8 to 15 years old, like, I believed in a lot of things. And belief was something I was great at and it was easy. And then it got harder. Right? And last week's episode, like, kind of reflect to the fact that I am pretty good at believing in myself. I've had numerous experiences in my life where I got this really big job across the country once, and the person that I was dating at the time, I was like, oh, I got this job. And then it took me they're like, oh, I didn't think you would get that job. And I was like, well, I knew I would get the job. So that surprised me at how much, like, I do believe in myself and my ability to do things above and beyond what other people believe in me at times, and I hold that. And a lot of people aren't as good at believing themselves as I am. Like, that's something that I've been good at. And maybe the way that I was phrased or that I tried things that I was good at, and I've been able to hold onto that. I'm not sure what that is, but that's something that I've done better with than a decent amount of people. So that's a belief that I kind of have as a background to build these other things on, but we're looking beyond just believing in myself.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, how are you with belief overall? Like, I got to thinking about all these different things related to it. And one of the reasons I think that we have Santa Claus is about giving kids the opportunity to actually practice belief. And if you think about it that way, it's kind of beautiful that we have Santa Claus, right? And it gives adults the opportunity to cultivate belief. And there's this like mixed thing about how belief changes as we grow and how we handle learning new things and incorporate that information about things we once believed and how we integrate that. And so, how our belief structures can change and take on new information and how they can grow or how they can crumble and how that can create us to question things. So, our transformation of, like, when we're kids and we learn that Santa Claus isn't a real person, and what we believed in, like, are we able to take that belief and build it into something beautiful that Santa Claus is the spirit of giving? And it's this concept of belief, and this is other things we can grow out of it and turn it and build it into something bigger and more beautiful. Or when we learn that Santa Claus isn't a real person and our parents gave us these gifts and we've been lied to, does everything just crumble? And I think that that's a beautiful example of belief and the evolution of belief and that we have these opportunities to either build as we get more information and our belief can grow and change or if it can be, like, shattered by the weight of things.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And I think that I was somebody who that, as I learned more, I let things crumble under the weight of the things that I learned. And the more I understood, the more the knowing kind of destroyed things. And that once I believed I had to let go of things. And instead of letting things mature and grow together and become something more and something bigger and something more beautiful with the more knowledge that I had. And instead, I just let them, like, dissolve and break and fall apart. The more that I learned, the more that I knew. So, in the end, it's meant that I'm not very good at believing in things. And I'm pretty decent, I believe in myself still, but even that's shakier than it used to be. Like, at that time, when I told my partner, of course, I got the job, I'm not like quite that place where I used to be even then, you know, 15 years ago. So, I definitely have, like, had belief crumble in some areas, and I've resurrected it and built it back up.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

You guys have heard me talk about my belief in this amazing, loving, nurturing relationship that I have that I share with my partner. And I believe in that, but I had to believe in that in order to find that. And beautiful things came from that. So, I think that's an example of how if I do believe things are possible, if I do have more belief, more beautiful things can happen. So that's the more I keep leaning towards that being something I want to consider as my word of the year as it keeps being developed. And that as I go into 2024 that I want to be able to believe some beautiful things. And one thing that does come up for me and it's come up recently for me is that believing that getting married without my mom there is still going to be just as meaningful and just as beautiful.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

She's been gone over a decade now. And every time I think of my wedding without her, it aches more deeply than I even want to admit. And I want to believe that she's in the heart of me and she's still going to be there. And I'm kind of impressed because I'm not crying as I'm talking about this. This is the 1st time I haven't cried when I've talked about this. So maybe I am getting closer to believing that she is the heart of me and so she will be there and she'll be part of things and that will be enough. And that's the thing that I'm talking about is those are the things that I want to believe. And that's why it possibly be my word of the year for 2024 is so important to me because I have all these things that I want to believe in the power of my business growing and thriving and helping more women's voices coming to podcasting and more important messages going out in the world to be supportive and for authentic connecting to be part of podcasting and be what is happening. And I feel like more women in podcasting is part of us going to make that possible.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And the power of this medium as a way for people to connect and for beautiful things to happen and change to happen in this world is what I want to believe I can help make happen. And so, that belief is what I'm really excited about possibly having my word of the year. And a dear friend of mine, she told me that I need to know versus believe. And it's so interesting because that's why the word of the year is so personal. Right? Because for me, as I just described in telling you this whole story and part of why I had to walk through it in that, on that path was because I wonder about the knowing versus believing. And for me, knowing is what destroyed believing, the additional knowledge, additional information, destroy, believing. So, for me, there's these connotations with knowing for me helped to break apart and destroy believing. So, for me, knowing and believing are 2 different things, and the knowledge is what made it her to disbelieve.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, whereas they were like, you know, doing the metaphysical, like, you need to know that you're smart, and you need to know that your mom is there. You need to know that this is possible. And it's interesting because, for me, like, that's all stuff that's belief is how that stuff is real to me. It's because I believe those things, not because I know those things. Because knowledge for me is more the books and the information and the evidence-based things. And the believing doesn't require the evidence. And so, I need to have more belief that doesn't require evidence unless knowledge requires evidence. And then I don't need the evidence to outweigh the belief.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, for me, it had a totally different meaning. And that's the beauty of words and each of us choosing our own word because it needs to be what speaks to us and how we need to be spoken to. And we know our language and what we need the most. So that's what I'm leaning towards. I'm leaning towards believing and having belief be my word for 2024. So, yes, please send me all the song lyrics that go with that being my word for 2024. That's where I land. And I'm going to believing in 2024. I will make a measurable impact in the lives I touch, and I will reach the goals I set for myself and my business, believing that everyone around me is doing the best that they can. We've talked about that here in this podcast. Right? That's not an easy thing to believe sometimes. And be able to give them infinite grace to find their way while still at the same time holding the boundaries to keep me safe and well as well. And believing that every day, in every way, the universe is conspiring for me to achieve the best possible outcomes, and everything is working on my behalf. And believe that my wedding will be just one incredible day. And the epic love story I share with my partner, it'll be one that I cherish. And believe that each person that is there is meant to be there. And that things will fall into place and be exactly as they're meant to be. And to be able to savor it the way that I really want to be able to.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, I have so many more beliefs that go with that. So, I just love the concept of believe because it's so cross applicable to so many things. So, it's all I should believe. I think that reflecting more on the year gone by and looking at your head is that it really helped me look deeper at 2024 on what I want. And that's why the belief just kind of rose the top for me. So, I really hope that for each of you that you can kind of look at that and kind of find your way as well.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And that I'm also looking at a word of the year for my business because it has been so powerful to me. So, I hope you're having success looking through your word of the year and see how that can be part of your health and well-being for 2024 to do that. And so, feel free to send me a note or a DM if you're challenged with that or excited about that. I would love to hear from you and learn more about that. Instagram is the best way to reach me and talk to you more about that. So, the self-maintenance moment, I recorded this episode much later than I was supposed to because I was sick all last week, and my voice was a mess for part of it because my throat was where things were happening. So, the past week, letting go of deadlines and canceling a lot of things, taking afternoon naps is how I was doing my self-maintenance.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, sometimes that's how you're taking care of yourself. It's not the other end of the spectrum that I sometimes share. It changes to where we're at, what we need. And so, for the grit wit this week, we are all going to roll around some more thoughts about what we want more of in 2024 because I feel like that's what the key is to kind of finding that word of the year or that goal for us is, like, what is the one thing that can move the needle for me? What would it be? What's the thing that I want to see shift? And whatever it is, is there a word that connects it? Like, that webs all those things together. There's something that takes it all together and makes it a difference for me. That will really make an impact and kind of distill it down to that one thing. So, this is something that takes time. So maybe while you're brushing your teeth or going for a drive or doing dishes or something where you can let your mind really wander back to, like, what do I really want? Like, what is in 2024 the thing that I feel like could make the biggest difference for me, the biggest impact? And to reflect back on the year, what you feel like you were missing or wanted more of, or the glimpse of the meeting that you were late for, and yet it was still amazing and impactful because you were able to show up and savor and be present. And so maybe savoring and be present is what you really want the most of.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, there’s lessons in those moments where we find the gold in the past months and weeks as well. So, find that if you can't figure out which you want more, find what happened that really kind of connected with you. So maybe you can grab a Color of Grit coloring book while you're doodling or drawing or coloring. You can also let your mind wander and put that on the back burner. So, you need some room for this. My words have been grace, gratitude, create, and savor. And some people have multiple words. I tried that 1 year, but I don't remember what the other word was. So, apparently, I'm just better off with just 1. Just slowing it down.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, belief and bloom are the top for 2024 and alignment and ease are what I'm leaning towards work. So that would be why I'd have 2. One for my business and one for my personal life too. Those are things that you can kind of lean into and figure out what you want for you for your grit wit. And I'm also giving you a 4th gift for your health and wellness moving into 2024. I am going to introduce you to Boots Knighton and to The Heart Chamber Podcast. And I am going to actually share with you an episode we're going to tackle right on.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

You guys are getting used to this. This is kind of a great way for you guys to be able to learn about new podcasts and be able to connect with them. But this is an exciting episode from Boots. It's her conversation with Dr. Jack Wolfson and he's a natural heart doctor. It's her 27th episode. And they talk about the philosophy of eat well, live well, think well, and offer a lot of valuable health information that I found enlightening even as someone who hasn't had a family history of heart concerns. I feel like if you do have a family history of heart concerns or if you are somebody who's had open heart surgery, would be facing that or someone you know or love is. Like, this information from her podcast is valuable. The stories are powerful. She actually interviews people who've been through open heart surgery and their stories are incredible. She also interviews health and wellness experts in different capacities around this conversation.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, if this is somebody you know, like, recommend this podcast to them if they've had open heart surgery or are facing it because such valuable information, such a powerful community that she has started from her own experience and what she's been through. And so, this episode I'm sharing is exactly that. But the cool bonus is that if you go over to her podcast, The Heart Chamber, this week, there’s a replay of an episode of her talking to a physical therapist about recovery from open heart surgery, and they actually talk about mental health and mental wellness and how those things all play together as part of that. So, if you do know somebody who's in that realm or facing those things. Like, you need to. You have an obligation to talk about this podcast because it really is quite powerful. And I feel like it's also really interesting information. It has a lot of value even if you don't have that exact history or that exact future looking at you. There's so much that's being shared. And her conversations that she has with people who have faced really complicated situations. I think the one thing I've gotten the most out of listening to her podcast episodes is that when folks are having heart attacks or heart events, as they might call it, they don't realize that that's what's happening. Or they don't think that's what's happening or they question it, especially if they're in the medical field, I feel like or if they're athletes, they're like, this can't be what's happening. I don't think is what's happening and it is what's happening. So, it's kind of useful to hear those stories because whenever with somebody that that's happening to, I'll be like, it probably is happening because you're more looking to think that's not what's happening.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, it's actually been valuable to learn more about what those heart incidents look like and what these conversations are like. So, it's a great podcast, but we're going to just tack that on so you can hear that. And the cool thing is in 2024, Boots is totally going to come on to The Grit Show so you guys will get to know her and her story more. It is very powerful what led her to start this podcast and this community that really is about connecting people around open-heart surgery because it's really impactful to have that connection and have a community when you're going through something that that considerable is something big. So, she’s pretty powerful. So be sure to pass that along and check this out. This great conversation that she has with Dr. Jack Wolfson from her episode number 27 in a quest for holistic cardiovascular wellness that you can get something out of as well.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Thank you so much for being here. I hope you've enjoyed your holidays and I look forward to connecting with you more in the new year. And in case no one has told you lately, you are the only one of you, the only person with your unique talents and gifts, the only person that can offer what you have to offer in this world, and that really does mean something. I'll be here again next week.

Boots Knighton [:

Hello. Welcome to The Heart Chamber. I am your host, Boots Knighton. Welcome to episode 27 with Dr. Jack Wolfson. Have you ever met someone and you just knew you found your person? Like, I have my husband. I have my friends, and those are all my people for different reasons. But Dr. Jack Wolfson, he's my heart person. I've only met him once, and it was to record this episode. And when I hung up with him, I was like, I have found the Dr. I've been looking for who just gets it. And when I say gets it, meaning mind, body, soul, and how they all work together on behalf of the heart. I cannot wait for you to listen to this episode. We are going to talk about so many important things related to the heart and your overall health. And we are now offering as an affiliate with Dr. Jack Wolfson, opportunities to support this podcast, so be sure to go to my website, theheartchamberpodcast.com, where you can buy his coffee, his supplements. He has vetted everything, and it is the highest quality. I only offer up people and opportunities and supplements and other things of purchase if I have used it myself. And he is the real deal, and we have to be stewards of our hearts. And he has vetted everything he sells and believes in. So, without further ado, I am so excited to bring you Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Boots Knighton [:

Welcome to The Heart Chamber. Hope, inspiration, and healing, conversations on open heart surgery. I am your host, Boots Knighton. If you are a heart patient, a caregiver, a health care provider, a healer, or just looking for open hearted living, this podcast is for you. To make sure you are in rhythm with The Heart Chamber, be sure to subscribe or follow wherever you are listening to this episode. While you're listening today, think of someone who may appreciate this information. The number one-way people learn about a podcast is through a friend. Don't you want to be the reason someone you know gained this heartfelt information? And if you haven't already, follow me on Instagram, 2 different places, at Boots. Knighton or at The Heart Chamber podcast. You can also find me on LinkedIn as well as Facebook. But enough with the directions. Without further delay, let's get to this week's episode.

Boots Knighton [:

Dr. Wolfson, thank you so much for coming on to The Heart Chamber podcast. As I have told my listeners, the whole point of my podcast is to provide hope and healing and access to well thought out, reliable, credible information on how we can be our own best advocates and to thrive no matter what we are facing with the journey of our heart. So, Dr. Wolfson, thank you so much for coming on.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

It's an absolute pleasure, Boots. Thank you so much. And, yeah, you know, it's about thriving, not just surviving. And I think way too many people in the United States and around the world are really just struggling to survive, and it shouldn't be that way. It shouldn't be that way. So, I'm excited again to be on and share my message.

Boots Knighton [:

Well, thank you. And will you just kind of introduce us to you. Tell us about your background and how you came to be who you are in this present-day moment.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Sure. I am a board-certified cardiologist like my father before me. So, I like to say that I was literally born into the world of cardiology and or even actually before that while I was in utero, listening to my father, I'm sure, and, you know, listening to his conversations he would be having with my mother or maybe his colleagues that I would have been around in utero and then, of course, after being born. And my father was my absolute hero. I couldn’t wait to become a cardiologist just like him. And as I was achieving that level of success after 10 years of medical training and then joining the biggest group in the state of Arizona, as a hospital-based cardiologist, my father, at the same time, was getting sick, and he was getting sick of a Parkinson's like illness. And eventually, the Mayo Clinic would diagnose him with something called progressive supranuclear palsy or PSP for short.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

And the Mayo Clinic tells my mother and I and my siblings, we have no idea why, you know, your father is sick and dying, and we've got no treatment for him, and he will, you know, die most likely in the next 3 years. Well, serendipitously and simultaneously at that time, was introduced to a young woman, and, she is a doctor of chiropractic. And she told me all the reasons why my father is sick and dying because the way he eats, the way he lives, you know, so on and so forth, and really getting down detailed on that. And she said if you don't change your life defend everything about you, you're going to suffer the same fate. And if you really want to help people, you're going to become a DC. And I said, wait a second. You want me to become a DC or doctor of chiropractic? I just spent 10 years in medical training and 3 years on the job, and I'm making all this money and success as a conventional cardiologist. And she said, no. Not become a DC, doctor of chiropractic. You need to become a DC, doctor of cause, and that's what I did.

Boots Knighton [:

I don't ever hear that in the medical world. Like, when I go to the doctor, no one's wanting to get to the cause of anything. Like, when I was diagnosed with all my congenital defects and why they all of a sudden started to become a problem at age 42. No one could come up with a cause. They just wanted to immediately operate and then told me to go live my best life, and that was that. No nutritional education. Nothing. It seems like you're probably one of the few that operates from this standpoint. I mean, I've been to some more, naturopathic doctors in recent years that have similar thinking. But are you, kind of, on your own in the medical world?

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Yeah. There are not many cardiologists who think the same way, and that's for a whole variety of reasons. It's just the way that we're trained from day 1 to push pharmaceuticals and procedures. And then, of course, we're kept in line by the, you know, state governing bodies and the professional organizations and by our colleagues and, ultimately, by reimbursement. So, we're kept in line, you know, from that. So, you really need an incredible epiphany moment to take you out of that medical matrix. And as we would look at some of the things regarding you and some of the things you shared before our call is the way I would look at anybody as we decide why. Now you can also say, well, listen. You know? Okay. The why is interesting, but where do I go from here? There's nothing I can do about my past. How do I go forward? And I can't wait to share all that information for you and everybody else listening about how to go forward, but I think that part of the healing process in general is understanding the why this happened to someone. It’s like if someone has significant coronary artery disease well, part of that why would be they were around second-hand smoke, or maybe they were exposed to smoke in utero or, of course, the way they ate, the way that they drank, the way that they lived, the way that they slept, that sunshine exposure, environmental toxins, chemicals, all these things that go into it that create the person we are at this very moment listening to this podcast.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

But as it relates to anyone, and I think about congenital heart disease and I think about people with, you know, myocardial bridging, people with deemed, you know, small vessels and stuff like that, let's get to the root cause of why. And the why of everything is because of, in utero, violations of eat well, live well, think well by your mother, behaviors of your father while you were in utero and how that could have exposed and led to that, and, of course, after you're born, all those things. But even we know that certain behaviors of the woman before she gets pregnant leads to significant changes in fetal, you know, outcomes. Outcomes of the babies and how they grow up. So, again, I guess what I'm saying is that whenever I look at anyone, I look through the lens of these violations of the eat well, live well, think well, and then we can use that to gain better understanding of our past, but then, of course, we can use that to gain much better understanding about how we're going to proceed in the future.

Boots Knighton [:

Okay. So much to unpack there. Let's talk about that eat well, live well, think well for a moment.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Okay. So, let's talk about this as it relates to going forward, how do people go about those things, and then we can say that the lack of this as we think about these things, then we can talk about how they caused previous health issues. So, if we talk about in order of eat well, live well, think well, and I do want everyone to understand that the eating well is just as important as the living well and the thinking well and all the way around. Right? Thinking well is just as important as the others. Now the eating well conversation gets the most publicity, and there's so many different diets that people have out there. But when I think about eating well, I think about our ancestral diet and bringing it to a modern world. So, if we can all agree on one thing for sure, it's to get the chemicals out of our food.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Eat organic food. Eat free-range grass-fed meats. Eat wild seafood, but get the chemicals out of our food, artificial ingredients, flavors, you know, colorings, artificial sweeteners, get rid of that stuff. Get the pesticides out of our food. They're highly correlated with disease in every way, shape, or form. So, making sure that no matter what diet you follow, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, carnivore, Mediterranean, South Beach diet, whatever it did, chocolate chip cookie diet, just make sure it's organic. Just get the chemicals out.

Boots Knighton [:

I've been missing out. Chocolate chip cookies?

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

There are some people that you probably know who are following that particular diet.

Boots Knighton [:

I have not even heard of that.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

If you're, like, listening to us talk right now, Boots and me, you're like, oh my god. Wolfson mentioned ice cream. Okay. If you're going to eat ice cream, which so many people obviously do, I'm not advocating it, but if you're going to, just get organic ice cream, Strauss's free-range grass-fed ice cream. You know? The vanilla flavor has 5 ingredients, and they're all organic. You know, so, you know, do it the right way if you're going to do it. The next thing I would say in that category is to eat plenty of seafood. The people who eat the most amount of seafood, the people with the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood have the lowest risk of everything, so enjoy high quality seafood.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

The next is nose to tail animal foods, like bison, for example, bison liver, heart. Those organs are just so nutrient dense, so packed, full of all the proteins, vitamins, minerals that we need to exist. And then I'm a big fan of gluten free eating and not so much of, like, oh, turning to all these gluten free foods and recipes. Although you can, but I've just seen so much devastation from gluten. We do a lot of third-party testing with intestinal hyperpermeability panels, gluten sensitivity panels, and people just come off the charts. So, those are kind of my dietary strategies. I would also say really quick too, obviously, quality beverages. I am a fan of organic, mold mycotoxin free coffee. I am not a fan of alcohol, although I love the taste of alcohol. I personally like the way that I feel after a drink, I grew up as a drinker. My father was a drinker. The only sob story to his drinking, because he was the joke teller, the storyteller of everything. The only sob story about his drinking is that he's dead. So, that's the thing there. And then let me wrap up, eat well as far as intermittent fasting. I believe that a lot of people with coronary artery disease will do well in the fact of clearing out some of those blockages through the process of extended duration intermittent fasting, like, 72 hours, you know, at a minimum.

Boots Knighton [:

That's a whole podcast episode in and of itself, just the eat well. And I want to touch on coffee because I've been reading about your coffee, and I'm such a coffee lover. And I believe in the power of the morning cup, and it's just the way you start your day. Can you unpack a little bit for us the concerns around coffee and why you started, you have, like, your own coffee company or label. It's a really cool story.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

The story kind of, you know, if I may preface the story about coffee, there's a lot of people who love coffee. Right? 175 million Americans in the United States, they love coffee. Yet if they go to see their traditional medical doctor, they will often be told to get rid of it. Even some natural doctors, you know, natural practitioners will tell people not to drink coffee, but I, you know, said, well, what's really the data behind that? Because I grew up as a coffee drinker. My father was a coffee drinker. Of course, back then, it was big tins at Hills Brothers and gas station coffee and coffee in the nursing station, how that developed. And then I was asked when I met my wife and she was all into organic, then it became organic coffee, and then there's a certain coffee company that asked me to be a medical, you know, scientific adviser to their company as it relates to coffee.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

And so, as I start combing through all this literature about all the benefits, really, of coffee and let me say here really quick. If you don't like the way you feel on coffee or caffeine, then don't drink it. But if you do, I want to give you the medical, you know, authority and prescription, if you will to do so. But if you look at all the literature about what it does for blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, heart rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation, recovery after a heart attack, longevity, brain health, anticancer. There's a lot of literature that supports that, and then I also want to create something that not only was free of tested pesticides, so we third party tested my coffee, and then the other thing is that we wanted to make sure that it was free of mold mycotoxins. Then I know that that's something near and dear to your heart as well, so as it is to mine. So, it had to be a mold free coffee. Now Bulletproof and Dave Asprey, they made the mold story very well known, but I don't think he took enough attention to the detail of was it truly organic coffee. Because sometimes organic coffees may be moldier because they're not sprayed with chemicals, so you really got to make sure that you're getting something that doesn't have the chemicals and doesn't have the mold mycotoxins, and that's where, you know, my brand was born.

Boots Knighton [:

Incredible. And I'll have in the show notes how listeners can go find that and find you, obviously. And I hadn't thought about how the lack of pesticides could contribute to more mold, so thank you for that awareness. And so, do you continuously monitor your product for mycotoxins? Like, how do you check that?

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

d as a women's co-op, back in:

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

And, actually, what we do with ours is that we do a benevolence campaign to a group called Friends of Honduran Children, and I vetted that organization to make sure that they were getting, the right things sent, and done for those children as opposed to, you know, pharmaceutical donations and stuff like that, which is not what I wanted to contribute to. So, 5% of all sales, sales, not profits, but sales go to that organization. So, there you go.

Boots Knighton [:

Incredible. It's like a 1, 2 punch for good. I love that. Thank you. Okay. So, live well. So, we've covered eat well, which has so many important nuggets, but tell me about live well.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Yeah. So, live well is incredibly important as well, and it's a much bigger category as far all the different components of what it means to live well. When I think of living well, the first thing I think about is sleep and getting high quality sleep. To go to sleep shortly after the sundown and a waking up before the sunrise, that's what our ancestors did. Now the average time people go to sleep in the United States is after midnight. It's midnight because it was the middle of the night, but now it's when most people go to bed. And that's catastrophic on so many different levels, artificial lights and EMF and disrupted sleep patterns and destroying melatonin and all these things that are so important. So, we want to try and go to bed as shortly after sundown as possible.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

You know, the wintertime, northern hemisphere, if you're getting to bed 8, 8:30, I think you're probably doing better than most. Trying to minimize the use of technology after dark is also critical. Number 2 is sunshine, making sure that we get our solar panel, our skin, out into the sunlight. Whether it's sunny outside, natural light, taking off those sunglasses. I haven't worn sunglasses in 15 years unless I'm doing some kind of sporting activity to protect my eyes, and even then, I tried for clear lenses. I got to be careful about these streams of consciousness that I get into about getting down these different rabbit holes. But even the clear lenses block out UVA and UVB, which a problem. Our eyes actually have photoreceptors for UVA and UVB, which is why I don't wear sunglasses.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

As far as sunscreen, I'll put sunscreen on my face sometimes if it's going to be prolonged exposure or if I haven't been out in the sun in a while. Sunburn, bad. Sunshine, good. Again, the skin is a solar panel, makes vitamin d, nitric oxide, and those natural light behaviors help us to make the components that will become melatonin when we go to sleep. So, we got sleep. We got sunshine. We got physical activity, movement. Every study shows that the more you move, the better off you are. Burst activity, high intensity interval activity, is always good. Push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking. My favorite thing in the world activity wise is mountain biking. So, those factors there. Next one, everybody needs to be under the care of a chiropractor. And not just because I married 1, but because they are the real neurologists Boots. They are the real neurologists in the recovery phase. And, you know, for someone who's had open heart surgery and they've had, you know, sternotomy, any chiropractor is going to take a good history, a good physical examination.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

They're not going to come up to someone fresh out of surgery or many years after surgery and all of a sudden, quote, unquote, crush, you know, their spine or their, you know, sternum. And the number of times I saw someone come into the hospital with a chiropractic complication was zero. So, and I worked in the hospitals for 18 years. So, chiropractic, holistic dentistry is very important to take care of your teeth in a holistic fashion. The literature there is very strong about periodontal disease, gingivitis, root canals, very, very, very destructive, so we got to fix that. And then something I know that you're passionate about, and it is like those the toxin category. So, avoiding environmental toxins comes in under the lifestyle factor. And first and foremost, in that area is mold, mycotoxins and bacterial toxins from a water damaged building.

Boots Knighton [:

Wow. So, I'm good on the sleep and the sunshine and the physical activity. I do not have a chiropractor, but I do have a holistic dentist. And I recently had my cavitations operated on, and I learned so much. I plan on bringing that dentist on to the podcast in the coming months because he is just such a wealth of knowledge here in Eastern Idaho. I want to spend a little bit more time on the chiropractic side. That's the first time I've heard of that. Why? Can you go a little more in-depth as to why that is so important for postoperative healing, if that's the angle you were meaning.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Well, I think chiropractic is great for all things health and wellness. For prevention, for the treatment, for the reversal of health-related conditions. And, I say that because they are phenomenal with musculoskeletal issues and headache and neck aches and back pains and stuff like that. But the way that chiropractic really works is by using the bones as levers in the body and by moving bones and moving joints in particular, there is innervation to those joints. And when you move that joint, now you create this wave of neurologic flow from the joint back to the brain and from the brain back into the body, and that's all controlled in many ways through various parts of the nervous system. But first and foremost, we can talk about what's called the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic, which is fight or flight or freeze, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is rest, digest, procreate, sexual activity, stuff like that. So, as we look at the way the world is today in sympathetic overdrive, we're just in fight or flight, or what do you think the status is of your neurologic system after you come out of open-heart surgery? What do you think that is? Do you think you're in the rest-digest mode or you're in fight or flight. Your body, right? Your paleolithic cave person body is looking at this, and they're like, what just happened? What just happened, you know, to me? And that is absolutely tremendous. So, again, as we look at that, we just want to make sure that went under the care of a chiropractor for all these different reasons.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

I believe chiropractic for children, you know, these ear infections, strep throats, people with gut issues. I just, I think the world of chiropractic. And, listen, I also I tend to come across as very bashing on the medical community, and I'm not apologetic about that, but I will give the caveat that listen. God bless the men and women who work in emergency rooms and trauma centers, you know, and who do open heart procedures on the people who need it. But for truly the prevention, that reversal for the treatment of chronic diseases, the medical community has nothing. They have nothing in this area. And, it’s unfortunate because there's so much, we can do to really end the suffering, and that's one of my missions. So, I do appreciate you having me on.

Boots Knighton [:

Bullen. As I was saying to you before we started recording, you know, I refer to it as the sick care industry. Right? And that anything that has helped me thrive post open-heart surgery has not been covered by insurance. I don't understand why I'm paying for this health care. I put that in air quotes. If anything, that's actually benefiting my health is not being covered. I don't find that acceptable. I find it criminal.

Boots Knighton [:

It's lunacy, and it is past time that those changes. And the only way I can think to help contribute to that is to have important conversations like this and get people to think differently about what they're choosing to invest in. Because every time we spend our money, whatever that is for, we are saying we are giving the green light to that. So, if I'm buying nonorganic crap food, I am telling that industry I continue to approve of that.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Yeah. That's a great, great point. You know, voting with your pocketbook, and I think that the revolution only will come from the people. It's only going to come from people like you and I shouting from the rooftops, hey. We're only going to eat organic food. We're only going to drink organic, you know, natural beverages, and we're only going to support holistic health care providers. And I do feel your pain, and, obviously, I've seen thousands of people and talked to a lot, a lot a lot of people online and just seeing the message, you know, loud and clear about how people struggled to financially, cover this kind of out-of-pocket expenses. And, listen.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

We're up against a $1.5 trillion a year pharmaceutical revenue generating, juggernaut. The insurance industry is totally in bed with pharma, and therefore, of course, the medical doctors, you know, this is all just one nasty, incestuous, in a relationship, and I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon. That's for sure. All political parties are bought and sold, you know, by the and by the pharmaceutical industrial complex, including insurance companies. So, it really is a problem. Just to get a little bit detail as far as giving people some practical advice, there are some great companies out there, Christian Share, you know, programs, Liberty Health Share programs. I think supporting and looking into those are fantastic. I also look at, you know, the status of health savings accounts, high deductible health care plans where you're on the hook for a catastrophe, but you're only on the hook for, say, the first 5 or $10,000 of very high deductible plans, low monthly premiums, which are phenomenal, I guess, when you say you're healthy and now someone comes along and like, well, I'm not healthy, and I have to pay for all these pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Well, then that really is the prerogative to get off the pharmaceuticals. Do everything you can to work off the pharmaceuticals. And I'm telling you, I've been very successful in marching off pharmaceuticals in just about everybody that I've encountered. There are a few indications for certain pharmaceuticals, but my mission is to reduce and eliminate pharmaceuticals. And let me say one more thing too. I believe my company; Natural Heart Doctor, is the worldwide leader in cardiovascular health. Now you may say, wait a sec. What about Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Texas Heart Institute? Well, those are the worldwide leader in cardiovascular sickness or the worldwide leaders in cardiovascular health.

Boots Knighton [:

So, what about someone like me who has, you know, had the myocardial bridging, but also has a bicuspid valve and tiny coronary arteries. Like, how do I walk the line between the 2 worlds? Because what I'm hearing as patient right now with you, Dr., is okay. I have these anatomical things going on. Right? And how do I manage the healthy lifestyle and the need of monitoring as I age.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Well, the way that you would monitor a bicuspid aortic valve is typically going to be with an echocardiogram. So, I don't have a problem with echocardiograms. They can also be cash-based tests where a doctor like me gives someone like you a prescription for an echocardiogram, and then insurance may cover that test or, you know, I guess, in certain cases, they may not. In that case, they typically do. But even for someone who didn't have insurance, then you go to a local hospital and you say, I have a prescription for an echocardiogram. What is the cash price for this particular, you know, test? And then they come back and they say, well, it is $2,000, and then you say, I would like to pay you $800. Is that acceptable to you? And then they say yes or no.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

And oftentimes, I'm telling you, Boots, that these places will all negotiate. Everybody wants money. Everybody gets a financial person. Everybody has their bottom line. That's one thing with that. What I would also say to someone like you or anyone who's listening, what if the goal right now is to improve or preserve your current status and prevent things from getting worse. So, what is the best approach to do that? Is that in the pharmaceutical, medical mainstream model, or is it through the concept of eat well, live well, think well? And then our extension onto that is test, don't guess, so we personally do the most advanced blood, urine, stool, salivary testing whenever needed. And, yes, those tests, if you do a lot of them, can become expensive.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

And then we also get into evidence-based supplements, which, of course, insurance doesn't cover, and then biohacking strategies. So, that could be, red light therapy, sauna therapy, IV therapy, ozone therapy, lymphatic therapy. There's a lot, a lot, a lot of different biohacking strategies. And as I think about this whole process, being a conventional medical doctor is real easy. You know? Here's your pharma. Here's your surgical procedure. Here's some tests you probably didn't need, and, well, we'll see you back real soon. The conversations we have right now are extensive. They're lengthy, but they are the answer.

Boots Knighton [:

That's so overwhelming for me because I mean well, first of all, I'm 45. I didn't learn of any of this till I was 42. So, it was shocking. Right? And no one has educated me on how to preserve my heart. Basically, just this real negative view of, oh, we've got to monitor this every year because eventually it's going to become a problem. That's been the only conversation. Like, I've asked for nutrition. I've asked for, is there any evidence-based approaches to, like, preserving a bicuspid valve? Like, surely there's got to be something. There's just such a disconnect. I know I have a lot of congenital heart listeners, and there just has to be an easier, softer way than just monitor and ring our wrists every year. That just doesn't compute with me.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

You're totally correct. So, for anyone who's listening with congenital heart disease, again, I applaud the heroic efforts of surgeons who did what they did at the time to you of which there is an infinite number of congenital abnormalities. And I do want to reiterate again, there's something you were born with, but it's likely from environmental toxin exposure in utero and actually prior to conception. I do want to put that out there. But how does everyone listening lead their best life? Like you said, is it just, okay. We'll retest you in a year. Take care. And you're like, that's it? That's not the prevention strategy. That's the detection strategy for when you're going to tell me when I need to have my bicuspid aortic valve replaced or my aorta, you know, repaired, surgery on a mitral valve or, you know, pulmonary artery, you know, atresia, you know, cases, tetralogy of Fallot, you know, whatever it may be. So, there are a lot of strategies we can do to preserve the bicuspid aortic valve. We know that people with bicuspid aortic valve disease, when they are exposed to environmental toxins and synthetic foods and even poor sunshine exposure, vitamin d levels, those people progress. So, we try and make sure that we eat well, live well, think well. Test, don't guess. Vitamin K2, for example, wonderful strategy to prevent treating reverse coronary artery disease and aortic valve calcification and disease in a bicuspid patient.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

are supposed to be out, like,:

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

But, you know, again, for anyone who's listening, the best way forward is not just to sit and wait. It's to be very proactive. Eat the right foods, avoid the wrong foods, live the right lifestyle. Avoid the environmental toxins. And then, so the think well category, it really comes into these various things, passion, purpose. You know, Boots, I mean, I don't know much about you except for the fact that you started this podcast for all the reasons you said you did. But, I mean, that's a passion statement.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

It's a passion. That's a purpose. You're helping so many people who are struggling in this arena. Spirituality is obviously incredibly important. We know that people who believe in God, people who do have “religion and spirituality”, they live better. They live longer. That's in the literature, and, obviously, it's common sense.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Gratitude, self-acceptance. Hey. You know what? I was born with this. I have this. I have this procedure. I accept who I am, and I will, you know, work to continue to make myself the best I can going forward. Immunity is another thing that's very important inside of live well. So, what you've created here, Boots, with your community here is obviously important, but community could be faith based. It could be work based. It could be community based. It could be politically based, of which there are so many different things in community, but having community, which includes family and friends and people who are like minded, that’s all very important as it relates to health and wellness. We know that people who don't have community, who identify themselves as socially isolated, they die much earlier. And then finally, as I would wrap up the think well, which is not everything, but, because it's such a big category of which the medical doctors have zero training. And you could say, oh, what about a psychiatrist? And they really give zero training on the things there. I mean, that's just total pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

But last but not least is safety. Right? Safety, security in your home. Do you feel safe at home? Do you feel secure at home? Do you feel safe and secure at your workplace, or around other people or financially secure? These are all big things. And, ultimately, maybe, Boots, what I would say is thinking well is all about finding you're happy. Just find your happy place. Happy people live longer.

Boots Knighton [:

Beautiful, very succinct, and I can't agree more. Another heart patient talked about the importance of the CaringBridge community and meal trains. And so, if you are going through a heart issue or any issue in life, CaringBridge. It basically takes your community and puts it online that's easier for you to access. And then the meal train is an incredible way for people to engage, to care for you with the basic need, which is food. Obviously, you would hope for clean, fair, healthy food. But, you know, you can always make that request, and people can either choose to bring you a meal or not. So, when I was going through my heart surgery, we had a meal train, and it was just invaluable to my husband and I.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Can I add to that? You know, it's, when one is feeling down and out for any particular reason, right, we have these comfort foods. But unfortunately, the comfort foods do not help people heal. Maybe mentally. I guess in that sense, you could say, well, it did, but it's just not good enough of a reason. So, if we're healing with foods like liver and heart, how do you repair a heart? You eat the heart. I don't make the rules. It's just common-sense stuff.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

So, and there are encapsulated products as well that are organs in a capsule, food is medicine, so you could do it that way. And the organs tend to be a lot cheaper. Like, most people, they want the fillet of the steak and stuff like that, the fillet of the cattle, but, you know, beef liver, bison liver, those tend to be a lot cheaper and much more nutrient dense, so they go a lot further. And then also the seafood. So, you know, sardines, anchovies. These are not expensive, and they're very nutrient dense. Even wild salmon is nutrient dense, although varieties can be expensive. But, you know, I would also challenge people too, and I don't mean to pass judgment on people, but this is kind of like hashtag no excuses.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

You know, a lot of times, on average, we hear people say that they can't afford it, you know, whatever it may be, but it you know, they seem to be able to afford the Starbucks Crepe, Frappuccino on a daily basis, you know, along with a croissant, you know, for $12, you know, in the morning. Some of these women who are in their mid, you know, 50s and 60s and 70s, they tend to show up with beautifully styled hair and nails and, you know, carrying some kind of fancy purse, maybe it's time to downsize on your car or on your home or the place that you live and really work to pay yourself with food first. Again, there are a lot of people who are really struggling, and I do not mean to, you know, denigrate them. And, you know, it's interesting that, back in the day, a lot of the hospital systems, right, you know, New York Presbyterian, Lutheran General, these were all faith-based institutions. They were the churches who ran the medical care and the hospitals, and that's where it was. And somehow the insurance industry coopted the whole thing. It was really taken out of the hands and now into the hands of the third party. And I think that if there was a return to a lot more of that charitable giving to those institutions, as opposed to, well, what happens now is that we get taxed, and we pay Medicare and Medicaid and so on and so forth.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

But if we took the government out of that equation and we were able to directly support the hospitals to take care of people and to do so in the right way. Like, I personally I would love to take part in meal train and stuff like that, and I would gladly with God as my witness right now, I would gladly support people that are bringing only organic food to people. Only free-range grass-fed products, only the wild seafood. I will contribute to that, but I will never be a contributor to the sickness model. One could say, well, come on. They need food. They're down and out. They just had surgery. What's the big deal if we bring them Subway? You know? They need something to eat.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

I, and you mentioned this earlier, I and my family will never support that. We will never give money to that ever.

Boots Knighton [:

Right. Standing by your integrity. That is another thing I want to point out. I mean, we've just recently met, and it is just very clear you're in your integrity. You are standing in your truth, and you have been in this long enough to know what works, what doesn't, what's broken, what's effective. And I just appreciate your generosity in sharing all of this with us. Now you're 1 in a million in the United States. How does someone like me up in Idaho or someone in Alabama, I'm thinking of a heart patient there that became a friend of mine, my new heart friend in Brooklyn, New York. Like, admittedly, I feel like I'm pretty far along on your eat well, live well, think well model. And I still have so much to change. I'm overwhelmed. I have a cardiologist locally who does not think like you. I'm currently having new issues. What do we do as heart patients? Like, I can't just hop in the car and run down to Arizona, and you likely don't have an appointment anyway. How do we move forward? I'm exasperated.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

I understand. But I think that if we continue to really work through really dialing in the possibilities of how we eat, how we live, and how we think. And we're making sure all those are firing on all cylinders to the best of our ability. And then if we look at test, don't guess, so we do, in particular, cell testing remotely so people do get the testing locally, and then they get the opportunity to review the results either with a coach or one of the other doctors on my team at Natural Heart Doctors. So, that's the way, personally, the way that we operate. Now my long-term vision, which hopefully is not the long term, it's the short term, is that we get offices and clinics in cities and towns all around the country to make it easier for people to show up in person. But the reality is, virtual, you know, meetings and virtual technology is already here. Everybody is already doing it. There's no reason not to do it, and that truly is the future.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

from all over the world since:

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

,:

Boots Knighton [:

No. And open-heart surgery is nothing to sniff at. We could go on for hours, but if there is one piece of advice for today, for this episode. If you wish that people would make one immediate change, what would it be?

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Well, as I speak to you right now, I am outside recording. So, I'll say this. The more time you spend outside, the longer you will live.

Boots Knighton [:

Yeah. The sunshine, the fresh air, the exercise, the grounding on the earth, all of it.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

All of it. But it's not easy. You know, when you're up in Eastern Idaho and the weather, you know, come wintertime is this, this, this, and I'm a Chicago guy for 30 years, you know, so I get it. But there are healthier places to live, quite honestly. But I used to bike ride out of a store in Chicagoland, and their motto was there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. So, get the good clothes and get outside.

Boots Knighton [:

We're going to leave it there for now. I'm already going to invite you back. For listeners, you will find all the ways in the show notes. Something I have found particularly helpful is Dr. Wolfson's TikTok videos. They're short, easy to digest, and give you a lot to think about. Yesterday, I was binging on and help me with this, Dr. Wolfson, the 10 different tests for a healthy heart. Am I reading that right? It was really, really interesting.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Yeah. Thank you. I mean, there's just so much detail and in-depth knowledge you can get from testing that, obviously, most medical doctors don't test for a whole variety of reasons, but you can really get a lot of good information from those tests.

Boots Knighton [:

So, if you aren't on TikTok, I would say it's actually worth getting an account just to follow Dr. Wolfson. If you are a caregiver, a medical provider, or a heart patient, it is worth your time. It is worth getting on and pushing through all the noise and BS that's on TikTok. So, Dr. Wolfson, I can't thank you enough for your generosity today. You're a very busy man. You're changing the world one heart at a time, and my heart has benefited from you today.

Dr. Jack Wolfson [:

Well, thank you so much for having me on, Boots. Thank you.

Boots Knighton [:

Thank you for sharing a few heartbeats of your day with me today. Please be sure to follow or subscribe to this podcast wherever you are listening. Share with a friend who will value what we discussed. Go to either Apple Podcasts and write us a review or mark those stars on Spotify. I read these, and your feedback is so encouraging, and it also helps others find this podcast. Also, please feel free to drop me a note at Boots@TheHeartChamberpodcast.com. I truly want to know how you're doing and if this podcast has been a source of hope, inspiration and healing for you. Again, I am your host, Boots Knighton, and thanks for listening. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday for another episode of The Heart Chamber.

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THE GRIT SHOW
Growth on Purpose
Are you a giver and a doer? Are you someone who has shown your grit and powered through, and now you're ready for the other side? Now you re looking for the conversations that remind you about self-care, that bring to mind grace and understanding, and give you space to reflect on purpose. Do you want more room to breathe and to live life with a little more ease? Each week, we discover tools and ways of thinking that support alignment, build stronger connections, help us find better questions, and live our best life. Most weeks we laugh, some weeks the topics touch close to home, but ultimately; this is where we grow together as seekers and thrivers. The Grit Show - growth on purpose. https://podcast.TheGritShow.com
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Shawna Rodrigues

Shawna Rodrigues, Founder and Director of Impact at Authentic Connections Podcast Network, Host of The Grit Show (https://podcast.thegritshow.com) and Author Express (https://bit.ly/AuthorExpressPod) and coming in 2024- Authenticity Amplified. Shawna is a Podcast Mentor, Internationally Best-Selling Author (www.shawnarodrigues.com) and consultant.
Find her on Instagram @ShawnaPodcasts.