Unleashing Your Inner Healing Potential Through Lifestyle Optimization

Get ready for an incredible episode with the amazing Dr. Molly Maloof. She’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to optimizing your health and longevity. We dive deep into the two key pillars that Molly believes are essential for a long, healthy life: metabolism and human connection.

Molly shares her insights on how you can optimize your metabolism through personalized nutrition, blood-sugar regulation, and continuous glucose monitoring. She also emphasizes the crucial role that social connections play in your overall health and well-being. Loneliness can be more detrimental than smoking, drinking, sedentary behavior, and obesity combined! Molly provides simple tips on how to build and maintain a strong social network, even in the face of challenges like the pandemic.

Throughout the episode, we touch on a variety of fascinating topics, from the importance of a diverse, whole-foods diet to the benefits of nature therapy and the power of mindset in healing. Molly’s passion for helping people achieve optimal health is truly inspiring and I know you’ll come away from this conversation with practical tips and motivation to take your well-being to the next level.

Freebies From Today’s Episode

Get Dr. Molly’s HRV Optimization Protocol


4:42 – The two pillars of health that contribute to your longevity

7:20 – Addressing the nuances of social isolation and its profound impact on health, particularly during the pandemic

10:18 –  Practical advice on building community and overcoming the fear of initiating social connections

14:20 – The intersection of metabolic health with stress and relationship dynamics, and how you can track stress through HRV and blood sugar

19:20 – The complexity of stress management and importance of addressing root causes with practical tools

21:55 – Dr. Maloof defines burnout and adrenal fatigue and shares personalized approaches to recovery

28:15 – Health insights you can gain from using a continuous glucose monitor in managing prediabetes and diabetes

35:00 – Factors that influence blood sugar and dietary changes that can make a difference

44:20 – The tests and markers to look for when evaluating insulin sensitivity

52:30 – The importance of exercise for your mental health and overall well-being

1:00:13 – How meditation and energy management practices can improve your quality of life

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Listen to the second part of my interview with Molly

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Spark Factor book



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Study: Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging

Click Here To Read Transcript

[00:00:00] JJ: I’m JJ Virgin, PhD dropout, sorry mom, turned four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes, I’m a certified nutrition specialist, fitness hall of famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe, but I’m driven by my enthusiasm.[00:00:20]

[00:00:28] JJ: This And that’s why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast, to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode, we’ll discuss We’ll talk about [00:00:40] what’s working in the world of wellness from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness.

[00:00:47] JJ: Join me on the journey to better health so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full out at 100. I have been waiting [00:01:00] to interview this doctor for a while now. I am super excited to bring her here. I have been literally listening to all of her. Interviews, read her book and was like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much that I want to talk to you about.

[00:01:15] JJ: Could you just stay for, stay for hours? So I will give you a heads up. This is [00:01:20] a two parter. We are going to be going deep in this first part about wearable technology. Really, you know, what can you find out by using a continuous glucose monitor? What do you, why should you look at HRV, what stress really does to you, and what social isolation does to you, and what are [00:01:40] some of the biggest needle movers, the big rocks that you can focus on that will have huge metabolic health effects, because metabolic health obviously is one of the biggest things taking us down, that along with social connection.

[00:01:52] JJ: So we’re going to be digging deep into both of those. And then we’ll come back for part two where we’re going to talk about [00:02:00] sexual fitness, sexual health, and some of Dr. Mollie Maloof’s, her big latest legacy project. So let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Mollie Maloof. She is a, Uh, health optimization and personalized medicine expert.

[00:02:16] JJ: She worked in San Francisco and LA, then moved to [00:02:20] Austin. Now she’s currently over in Wyoming and she has been working now in digital health, consumer health, biotech industries, since 2012, advised her to over 50 companies. In 2023, January, she came out with the. The Spark Factor. And the Spark Factor is the secret to supercharging [00:02:40] energy, becoming resilient and feeling better than ever.

[00:02:42] JJ: It’s really the biohacking guide for women. But again, she really focuses on. The macro things like a lot of times I feel like biohacking goes deep into the weeds before it fixes the big things first. She focuses on fixing the big things first and came out during our talk that this, [00:03:00] a lot of this was her own personal experience where in medical school, she actually created a course.

[00:03:06] JJ: To help doctors overcome burnout and all of the health problems because when she did it for herself she went from being an average student to like 99 percentile on her boards. She also taught a pioneering course on healthspan in the wellness [00:03:20] department of the medical school at Stanford and then launched her own company, Adamo Bioscience.

[00:03:24] JJ: Again, you’re going to hear More about that in our second interview, but let me tell you a little bit about Adamo Bioscience. The vision of our company is to demonstrate that love is embodied medicine that enhances longevity and awakens a healthier, happier, and more [00:03:40] resilient world where intimacy is the undisputed force for human flourishing.

[00:03:44] JJ: More on that again in the second interview. Again, in this interview, we’re going to be digging deep into stress, connection, human connection, HRV, and blood sugar, and really, how do we heal metabolic health? So I will be right back with [00:04:00] Dr. Mollie Maloof. Stay with me. Dr. Mollie Maloof, I have been dying to do this interview with you.

[00:04:08] JJ: I’m so happy you’re here.

[00:04:09] Molly Maloof: JJ, you are one of my heroes. So it’s a huge honor to be on your podcast. You’re one of the most legendary healers in the world. So thank you.

[00:04:16] JJ: Oh my goodness. Wow. So I have literally, I’ve been like, [00:04:20] listening to all the podcasts with you, went through the spark factor and it’s like, can I have you just for days?

[00:04:27] JJ: I wish you were at the house. I’d sequester you here, but I, we were talking offline and I like the idea of like digging into longevity the way you just mentioned, so maybe give a high level overview. Uh, longevity, [00:04:40] and then we’ll start to dig in.

[00:04:42] Molly Maloof: Yeah. Well, if you’ve talked to a lot of the men in the biohacking and longevity worlds, they’ll tell you, oh, it’s all about, you know, doing all of these really intense small molecule discovery, you know, drug discovery in order to find the missing, you know, link to longevity.

[00:04:56] Molly Maloof: And I have a very different perspective. I think that the vast [00:05:00] majority of people in America and the world will. be able to lengthen their life pretty significantly through optimizing their metabolism and optimizing human connection. Because I see these two pillars of health broken in so many people in modern society that it seems like first principles to think through how would you take an average person to optimal health and get them to live a [00:05:20] longer and healthier life.

[00:05:21] Molly Maloof: So I used to teach a course called Live Better Longer Extending Healthspan for Longer Lifespan at Stanford. And one of the biggest You know, the biggest areas of optimal health that I really dug into were blood sugar regulation because it’s affected by your sleep, your stress, your movement, and what you eat.

[00:05:39] Molly Maloof: And [00:05:40] also, you know, your stress levels are affected by your relationships and your stress levels are affected by your sleep. So I was really looking at blood sugar as like this ultimate biomarker for longevity. And then the thing that blew me away that I didn’t understand was just how important social connection was to longevity.

[00:05:55] Molly Maloof: And that loneliness was worse for your health than smoking, drinking, sedentary behavior, and obesity. And I [00:06:00] was just like, whoa, like, this is an area that I should understand more. What is human connection? And that led me down this path of talking to experts like Helen Fisher and Sue Carter, these luminary scientists.

[00:06:11] Molly Maloof: That have been spending their careers studying the science of love and Sue Carter wrote a paper called Loving Longevity and one of her biggest areas of research has been [00:06:20] oxytocin neurobiology and oxytocin is a natural, anti inflammatory, antioxidant. It’s mito protective, it’s cardio protective, it’s basically your own inner capacity to heal yourself through feeling connected, feeling safe and that hormone is released when you have, when you cuddle a loved one.

[00:06:38] Molly Maloof: When you hug a loved one, when [00:06:40] you pet a dog, when you have orgasms and when you feel safe within your social bonds. And I see a post pandemic, I saw all of our social bonds start to deteriorate and people’s mental illness just started to, you know, skyrocket and I asked myself, we’ve got to figure out what is underneath all of this.

[00:06:57] Molly Maloof: And I spent so much time studying [00:07:00] metabolism and mitochondrial health, and that’s largely what the book is about. But the book ends on, the book, the book, The Spark Factor, ends on the role of connection and longevity. So this is really what I’ve based my career around.

[00:07:11] JJ: Boy, you know, if you look at the worst science experiment for human connection.

[00:07:17] Molly Maloof: Yeah. Social isolation.

[00:07:19] JJ: Oh my gosh. [00:07:20] So, so social isolation and then turning your neighbors in. Yeah. Turning your neighbors in. Oh my gosh.

[00:07:29] Molly Maloof: And then, like, forcing people to live in a home where they have no freedom and no ability to move. You know, humans are naturally designed to move. And naturally designed to expand and explore.

[00:07:39] Molly Maloof: And to [00:07:40] tell people that they have to stay in one place. So, two ways that you will dramatically induce mental illness in animals, in animal studies, is immobilization. And social isolation. So they will literally isolate animals and also do immobility, um, studies. And this will guarantee mental illness. And I don’t understand how we didn’t [00:08:00] take this research on animals and realize it would apply to humans, because it’s not like we’re not mammals as well,

[00:08:05] JJ: you know?

[00:08:07] JJ: Well, we just did the experiment and we, like, I just wonder how. Many years, this is all going to set us back. In fact, my son and I were talking about that. We, we actually had during the pandemic, one of my sons, [00:08:20] my bonus daughter, my husband, and I were all here. And then my ex husband and other son were over every week.

[00:08:26] JJ: And we just, You know, like we were paddleboarding down the canal and like doing all sorts of stuff. And really spending a lot of time together. I was like, I’d never normally have this time. This is kind of a gift that you just have to take. But it’s like, [00:08:40] gosh, you just wonder. We were talking about some of the kids he tutors.

[00:08:43] JJ: He’s getting his PhD in math and he’s like kind of a math ninja mentor, like life mentor. I said, what do you think about some of the kids in high school? He goes, it wasn’t those kids in high school. So I kept feeling bad for the kids who are graduating from high school and now going off to college and they just missed everything.

[00:08:58] JJ: And he goes, no, think about the [00:09:00] little kids going to elementary school. And I went, Oh, you’re right. Like they’re set up for years with issues on it. So the connection side of things, cause you’ve, you know, we’ve heard about it, but how are people even identifying it, talking about it? Doing something about it, [00:09:20] you know?

[00:09:21] Molly Maloof: Well, there’s, so one thing that’s important to understand when I was studying loneliness is that there’s objective social isolation and subjective social isolation. So objective means that you’re literally isolated and there’s no one around you. Subjective social isolation can happen to anyone where you could have people around you, but you just don’t feel connected.

[00:09:37] Molly Maloof: You feel lonely and disconnected from those. [00:09:40] I don’t know if you’ve ever, I mean, anyone who’s been in a relationship knows what it feels like to be fully seen and present with someone and then for someone to close up. And for someone to close off and to feel like, whoa, we’re disconnected right now. And, um, to me, it takes a certain level of, uh, awareness to be able to recognize this, because it can creep up, creep [00:10:00] up on you, especially during, you know, things like a pandemic where, you know, It kind of crept up on us.

[00:10:04] Molly Maloof: We just all sort of quarantined, and then we all didn’t really know what to do, and then we were all isolated, but some people were living with people, but they still felt alone, you know, and so, um, one of the things that I learned at Stanford that’s really important about breaking out of loneliness is recognizing this concept called [00:10:20] maladaptive social cognition, which is that the more lonely you get, the more you’re isolated, or the more you feel isolated, The more your brain starts to actually become primed for social experiences being risky and dangerous, which is really strange.

[00:10:35] Molly Maloof: But, um, basically if you think about like primitive times, if a person was on the outskirts of their [00:10:40] tribe, they would have been very in, they would have been, but basically what they would have been in danger because they could have been attacked by an animal or a neighboring tribe. So it makes sense that the nervous system would prime you to be on guard if you’ve been isolated because if you aren’t, if that is potentially dangerous and primitive programming is that, that’s really ancient [00:11:00] programming in your brain.

[00:11:01] Molly Maloof: That doesn’t just get phased out through modern life, that’s still there. So you have to recognize this maladaptive social cognition because what happens is, is you’ll start to socialize after being isolated for a while and then you’ll just start to pick up on little social cues as super negative even though they might not be a big deal at all.

[00:11:18] Molly Maloof: And you just have to train [00:11:20] yourself that, like, I had to teach my, one of my siblings this, because she was pretty isolated. And I said to her, Maddie, I was feeling the same way, you know, like a year ago. And I literally had to go out of my way to build a community, because I was in a new town, new city, didn’t have as many friends, and I wasn’t feeling good.

[00:11:34] Molly Maloof: And I called my best friend and she said, you need to make more friends. And I go, okay, I know I can do that. And I went out and I made friends. [00:11:40] And the thing is, you have to learn, That it doesn’t take that much work to make a community. It actually takes a small nucleus of friends and then having you introduce them.

[00:11:50] Molly Maloof: Basically, you have them introduce you to more people. So you use your social structure to create people around you. So what I did was I made friends with like two or three people and I said, Hey, I’d [00:12:00] really like to meet more. And do you have any people that you should introduce me to? And it just sort of snowballs and it sounds scary cause you have to kind of get over the awkwardness of making new friends in a new place.

[00:12:12] Molly Maloof: Or if you’re in a city where you don’t know that many people, you have to kind of like do a little bit of extra work to go out and find friends, but it only takes one because one will lead [00:12:20] to four or five, five will lead to 10 to 20 before you know it. You might have a group of 100 people you know in a new town.

[00:12:25] Molly Maloof: So, I just think it’s a prioritization thing for a lot of people. A lot of people get so stuck in their family structure. They get stuck with their community. Like, their community is really small. And they don’t want to branch out because, honestly, the pandemic made people feel very unsafe. [00:12:40] But I have personally, you know, seen this method work really well with a bunch of different friends.

[00:12:46] Molly Maloof: And, um, and I think if you are a community builder out there listening, it’s even more your responsibility to be the one to gel people together. Because women, women were literally, like, The most important part of social bonding for [00:13:00] like millennia, like it was literally our, we’re designed for it. I mean, we’re oxytocin dominant.

[00:13:05] Molly Maloof: Men are vasopressin dominant. Men are designed for protection. They’re designed for defense and they’re designed to ensure that the survival of the tribe, but women in particular are just, are so profoundly capable of creating these social bonds. And so [00:13:20] I’ve really encouraged like all of my girlfriends to like, You know, keep this community going, you know, because I’m moving to a new city and I have this massive community in Austin, and I’m just like, I handed off this like, um, I have a WhatsApp group with about a hundred women in it that I made, and it took me about a year to make that group, but I just think it’s about prioritization and recognizing [00:13:40] that it’s your strength, um, if you are a woman out there listening, it’s your strength to build community.

[00:13:45] JJ: Well, literally we would’ve died if we hadn’t built communities. Yes. You know, but it’s so different than the men. I look at the men and they’ll have like a couple guy friends. They don’t talk about anything of importance to them. , you know, it’s like, it’s crazy. [00:14:00] So yeah, it’s, it’s, um, it’s the first thing that I always tend to do is like naturally start to build communities wherever I go.

[00:14:07] JJ: You’re a

[00:14:07] Molly Maloof: huge community builder and then

[00:14:08] JJ: you have ’em wherever you go, which makes it super fun. So I’d love to relate this over, um. To the metabolic side too, because they’re all intertwined, you know, whenever one thing, [00:14:20] but, um, you know, metabolic health, just as this major issue going on, that’s just gotten worse and worse and worse.

[00:14:30] JJ: What I love about it is now we’ve got such simple things that we can do that give us the information so we can see what changes we need to make. So [00:14:40] you are the one I follow when I look at, okay, what’s going on in the med tech side. So I’d love to dig into some of your favorite tools and specifically talk about blood sugar, talk about HRV.

[00:14:50] JJ: And I’ve been waiting for this, waiting for this interview because I was getting so frustrated with my HRV because I was testing it every morning through my Apple Watch and Oura Ring and it was like, [00:15:00] 15, 14, 13. I’m like, what the heck? You know, what the heck? I do meditation. I do sauna. I lift weights. I do HIIT.

[00:15:10] JJ: I like, I was like, okay, come on. Then I got a Polar HR H10 and it was like, 50. Go, okay. So, I’d like to break that apart, [00:15:20] too.

[00:15:20] Molly Maloof: Let’s, like, kind of like, so to transition from the connection piece to the metabolism piece, um, you know, I put blood sugar monitors and, and HRV monitors on my clients when I first start working with them to help them realize The, the relationship between stress and metabolism, and metabolism and stress, and [00:15:40] um, because metabolic stress can actually be stressful on the physiology, but like social stress can be stressful on metabolism, and um, I use this platform called Heads Up Health.

[00:15:51] Molly Maloof: Uh, that my friend Dave founded, Dave Karunsky, who’s a fantastic bio hacking entrepreneur. And you basically can feed all these data streams into [00:16:00] one platform and see, you can basically graph everything out. And I love data and I love information. And I don’t, I don’t necessarily recommend people become orthorexic with information.

[00:16:09] Molly Maloof: Like it’s really important that you don’t become obsessed with stuff because that can actually cause more stress. Then help. So I’m all about using these as almost like diagnostic tools. And then you [00:16:20] can use them for interventions as well to do tests and see what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.

[00:16:24] Molly Maloof: Um, but you know, I’ve got a friend who’s got a company called Hanu Health and you use a polar heart strap and you download an app and you can actually see in real time. It’s like a real time telemetry after your stress. And so you can actually note it. Cause like the thing about the Ouro Ring and the Apple watch is that they’re [00:16:40] very far from your heart.

[00:16:41] Molly Maloof: So they’re not actually that perfectly accurate because You know, you’re moving a lot and when you have something that’s actually next to your chest, it’s going to be the most accurate by far. And I love HANU because not only is it, you know, it’s just basically great to have a real time monitor. You know, it’s basically to see, Oh, this [00:17:00] thing causes me real stress and this thing doesn’t.

[00:17:02] Molly Maloof: And I do have people using the Aura and I don’t think it’s the worst solution, but it’s definitely not the perfect solution by any means. And, um, but I didn’t have a client who noticed pretty clearly that her heart rate was Would go pretty high when her and her husband got in a fight. And I said to her, you know, look, [00:17:20] like this has real effects on your, on your physiology and your metabolism.

[00:17:23] Molly Maloof: Cause let’s go look at what’s going on with your blood sugar when this happens. And when you have a really stressful day, your blood sugar levels are higher. And you have to see these, these correlates, these, these relationships. Um, and Martine Picard is this researcher who studies social stress, psychosocial stress [00:17:40] on mitochondrial function.

[00:17:41] Molly Maloof: So mitochondria. These are the organelles in our cells that process food, which are turned into substrates when we digest them, processes them into energy, and they also are sensing and integrating the environment to determine Am I safe or am I unsafe? And if I’m safe, should I, I’m going to make hormones and I’m going to, I’m going to create like [00:18:00] healthy, you know, blood sugar levels.

[00:18:01] Molly Maloof: If I’m unsafe, I’m actually going to prioritize survival. I’m not going to prioritize hormones. I’m going to make sure that you can get out of danger. I’m going to raise your blood sugar. I’m going to make you a little bit more insulin resistant. And it’s all in design as an adaptive maladaptive if chronic.

[00:18:17] Molly Maloof: And this is the problem with most modern American lives, right? [00:18:20] They’re eating the wrong, the wrong fuel. They’re not moving their body, so they’re not their, the car’s in the garage all day long producing exhaust, which on a cellular level is basically oxidative stress. And then there, there’s, there’s a lot of stress going on and that stress does tax the mitochondria and it changes their function.

[00:18:39] Molly Maloof: [00:18:40] And so there’s a lot of research on caregiving stress in particular, which a lot of women are responsible for. And caregiving stress. Um, basically, the way I would describe, there’s stress on the outside, right? And there’s stress on a cellular, cellular level. And on a cellular level, it’s called allostatic load.

[00:18:56] Molly Maloof: It’s like, how full can you get a cup before it overflows? [00:19:00] Allostatic overload is when your stress cup on a cellular level is so overloaded that you’re starting to get, The side effects of this, which is your heart rate starts to rise because your body is trying to say, well, I mean, I’m not safe, so I’m going to raise my heart rate.

[00:19:13] Molly Maloof: And then it also, that will lower your HRV over time. And so the number one thing that a lot of people are just missing is this [00:19:20] awareness that like stress management is not just about self care and recovery. It’s about literally looking at the source of stress in your life and asking yourself, what can I do at the root?

[00:19:31] Molly Maloof: You know, what can I do at the source? What conversation do I need to have? What kind of therapy should I be looking at? For me, I mean, I did a fair amount of work on [00:19:40] some trauma from college that had just been sitting in my nervous system, creating a lot of stress. And I’ve discovered even more, more amazing things lately, like neural therapy.

[00:19:49] Molly Maloof: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of neural therapy, but it’s an osteopathic tool in the toolbox. And I’ve never done this before, but I did this in, um, November and never done it before and I was kind of nervous about [00:20:00] it because they’re basically injecting your nerve ganglia all over your body, which are basically the seat of your autonomic nervous system.

[00:20:06] Molly Maloof: And they’re resetting, they’re basically resetting your autonomic nervous system and relaxing your body and basically creating a much more parasympathetic state. I felt like I did a 10 day meditation retreat in like an hour and I was so chilled out for like the next few [00:20:20] weeks and I’ve still remained a lot more relaxed.

[00:20:22] Molly Maloof: And people have heard about the state that I’m in. It’s still a ganglion block, but what they don’t realize that there’s all these other ganglion in the body that you can, that a really good practitioner, there’s probably only 250 good practitioners in the country that do this. And there’s this guy, Dr.

[00:20:34] Molly Maloof: Tudor and Sedona. And I felt like I got a nervous system reboot. I mean, it was the [00:20:40] coolest thing I think I’ve done in a long time. And so there’s a lot of stuff that people can do to regulate your nervous system, especially if all of the things that you’ve tried haven’t made a dent in your HRV.

[00:20:52] JJ: So is that how someone would really know, because I think one of the challenges that’s been going on for years, because I started to look [00:21:00] at stress 20 years ago, mainly because I saw two things.

[00:21:04] JJ: Number one, I saw that people who were stressed out had more belly fat, couldn’t lose weight, couldn’t build muscle, then had thyroid problems, then their sex hormones went off, then their blood sugar went, like all these things, right? I’m like, hmm, but. The challenge was that I had to [00:21:20] identify all these things and tell them, look at all the markers as opposed to, gosh, it would have been simple if there was a test.

[00:21:26] JJ: Is HRV really the one that we would watch for, for this?

[00:21:30] Molly Maloof: I mean, it’s, it’s definitely one in the toolbox, but I do, I still use cortisol testing. Um, especially if someone’s going through like a really challenging period of time in their life. [00:21:40] Um, and they’re fully burned out, you know, burnout’s something that a lot of people have dealt with.

[00:21:44] Molly Maloof: And I don’t talk about burnout enough in my book. Um, And I really could write a whole nother book on burnout.

[00:21:50] JJ: Well, define burnout. Like, what would you say with burnout? And explain HRV and cortisol testing as well.

[00:21:56] Molly Maloof: So there’s a lot of people that are [00:22:00] basically, uh, not quote unquote depressed, but their work has created so much stress on their physiology that their bodies are adapting by Basically, first there’s a, there’s a lot of high cortisol states for months and then eventually the body gets this negative feedback and it starts lowering the cortisol until it’s flat, you get a flat [00:22:20] line and there’s no morning cortisol response.

[00:22:21] Molly Maloof: So when you get out of bed in the morning, you literally can barely drag yourself to work and coffee no longer works. Um, and it’s usually related to chronic work related stress, usually. Um, I’ve experienced burnout a [00:22:40] few times in this life and there was a final point where I was like, I gotta figure out a solution to this.

[00:22:44] Molly Maloof: So, this doctor that I worked with in, in my mid 30s, um, He taught me that you could take a, you know, first of all, there’s a few different options, but if you see on your cortisol testing that there is like literally no more morning response. Um, and now there’s actually, I mean, [00:23:00] there’s actually a home cortisol testing you can get nowadays, which I don’t know how accurate it is, but it’s, I mean, I tested it when I was testing the home cortisol and I saw it was low.

[00:23:08] Molly Maloof: That’s what I did the urine cortisol from precision hormones and it was still really low. And I was like, okay, I’ve got enough data points to know that my cortisol is low.

[00:23:15] JJ: Meaning that it would give you an immediate risk, like an immediate remote.

[00:23:19] Molly Maloof: Yeah, there’s [00:23:20] like, there’s new, there’s new testing companies that are, they’re making it really easy.

[00:23:23] Molly Maloof: Um, I wish I knew the name. I can’t remember the name, but, um, basically, you know, there’s Dr. Wilson is kind of like the father of quote unquote adrenal fatigue, but adrenal fatigue isn’t really a real term. It’s actually hypothalamic, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal dysfunction. And it’s, to me, the way I kind of put this, it’s the [00:23:40] body’s ability to respond to stress by helping to literally almost put you in like, and how do I describe it?

[00:23:47] Molly Maloof: There’s a way to. It’s, it’s what’s called illness behavior. It’s like you start moving so much, you basically are, you, you, you sleep more and your body basically is trying to like conserve as much energy as possible for healing because it [00:24:00] can’t, it can’t make enough on its own because it’s just been overworked for so long.

[00:24:04] Molly Maloof: This happens to doctors all the time, by the way. There’s so much. It’s

[00:24:06] JJ: 40 to 60 percent or something crazy. Like why isn’t that profession making some major changes?

[00:24:12] Molly Maloof: Come on. To be honest with you, I think the system’s kind of collapsing upon itself. And there’s like, and it’s just like so many doctors are now waking up to like, [00:24:20] whoa, what did we do here?

[00:24:21] JJ: Yeah.

[00:24:22] Molly Maloof: I mean, we really need the system to function because there’s so many reasons for it to exist, but it just doesn’t, it’s not designed for chronic illness. And that’s why these doctors are chronically ill themselves because they’re working in a sickness system. It’s a sickness billing industrial complex.

[00:24:35] Molly Maloof: It’s really great for real, you know, battlefield [00:24:40] injuries. Like Car accidents and trauma and like, you know, serious heart conditions, like, yeah, of course, you’re going to need this in medical industry, but it’s not going to work super well for chronic illness. So I, I still use Dr. Wilson’s products because for somebody who doesn’t want to take prescriptions, Dr.

[00:24:57] Molly Maloof: Wilson’s, um, adrenal, it’s basically adrenal [00:25:00] cortex and it’s a adrenal rebuilder. And whether or not you believe in the theory of adrenal fatigue, when I’ve been burned out, I can literally feel my kidneys. Like I have. Felt my back and it’s my kidneys are crying. They’re like, stop working so hard. Mm. . And so, um, large doses of vitamin C and then adrenal rebuild is [00:25:20] fantastic, but if you ca, if you, if that’s not working, this doctor I worked with in Silicon Valley taught me that you take like five to 15 milligrams of hydrocortisone, which is a very tiny, tiny dose.

[00:25:30] Molly Maloof: When you go to a ma, like a mainstream doctor, they’ll give you like a hundred to 150, you know, milligrams of hydrocortisone. If you’re like having a serious illness, they can’t figure out. This is like a microdose [00:25:40] of that. So, um, it can be just enough to sort of reboot the cortisol curve. And you basically take it in the morning, and it starts giving you some relief from just feeling so, so sick.

[00:25:50] Molly Maloof: And you do that until your body starts remembering, oh yeah, I need to make my own. And it can take six months or so to heal from burnout, sometimes longer. And these [00:26:00] are the people I would not recommend fasting for. I would recommend regular mealtimes. I would recommend making sure you get enough carbs because they typically You know, these are the people that like struggle with blood sugar.

[00:26:10] Molly Maloof: So if your blood, if your cortisol is really low, then you’re going to see your blood sugar really low and that’s going to, you’re going to wake up with headaches. You’re going to wake up exhausted. And [00:26:20] those morning headaches are really good predictor that you need more hydration. You need more, you know, you need probably a few more carbs in your diet.

[00:26:28] Molly Maloof: And you also need, um, you also need, uh, salt. So, like, that’s, I mean, it’s, you know, this is, like, the, the burnout solution. Now, a lot of what my book’s been written about has been written about the average [00:26:40] person who’s dealing with, um, metabolic issues, who’s, like, maybe not, not fully burned out and completely drained, but actually just, like, Not able to lose weight.

[00:26:50] Molly Maloof: They’re finding themselves kind of stuck and they’re metabolically inflexible, which is the vast majority of American Americans. Metabolic inflexibility. It’s a huge issue. And, [00:27:00] um, and I discovered in my early thirties that there’s actually, I was actually borderline prediabetic and I was like, Oh my gosh, what, how is this possible?

[00:27:07] Molly Maloof: And I was eating quite a lot of refined carbohydrates and sugar. And you know, I was like, I thought gluten free foods were healthy. I mean, this is like, you know, a long time ago, over 10 years ago, and before I just really, [00:27:20] before I even started my practice, and I knew something was wrong, so I put a blood sugar monitor on, because I was doing some research for another company I was working for, and this company, um, was trying to figure out what could they measure in the interstitial space with.

[00:27:33] Molly Maloof: They’re like a patch, a microneedle patch. So I’ve done all this research and all these different analytes and I go, you know, I’m pretty sure the biggest problem people are [00:27:40] dealing with today is prediabetes and diabetes. So you might as well just do blood sugar if you can, because that’s an industry worth disrupting.

[00:27:46] Molly Maloof: Fast forward. Now there’s like tons of companies in this space. I’m an advisor of one. I helped co found one. I’m not going to talk about that disaster, um, that happened, but suffice to say, I spent about 5, 000. You know, eight years on blood sugar monitoring [00:28:00] and, um, it was a big eye opener for me because I realized that I could even, I could really improve my metabolism by just doing repetitive testing of different foods and seeing what worked for me and what didn’t work for me.

[00:28:12] JJ: So what are some of the big takeaways with, that you discovered was using a CGM and then what would you [00:28:20] recommend to someone listening? Like do a, use it for a month, use it for three months.

[00:28:24] Molly Maloof: Well, if you can afford it, I would definitely use it for at least three months, if you can afford it. Um, they’re not cheap.

[00:28:31] Molly Maloof: That’s the only downside. And these consumer companies, they basically, you know, to make a profit, they have to charge more. Um, but if you ask your doctor nicely, you can get an Abbott Freestyle [00:28:40] Libre. And it’s, it’s not, the Abbott Freestyle Libre 3 is pretty cheap. The DEXCOM is far more accurate of all of them I found, but it’s the hardest to prescribe.

[00:28:50] Molly Maloof: And so if you, if you want to get a DEXCOM, you can go to Levels, um, and I can give you a link to cut the line, um, levels. link backslash Dr. Molly. But if [00:29:00] you, um, don’t want to spend that kind of money, ask your doctor for an Abbott Freestyle Libre 3 and you can call it into, they can call it into any pharmacy, CVS, Walgreens, um, and it’s just widely available.

[00:29:11] Molly Maloof: Bye. Which is why I like it and it’s the one I’ve used the longest, but it’s more important to rec, I mean, it’s important to recognize that like these are not perfectly calibrated. [00:29:20] I have found that at least one in 20 is kind of inaccurate. So I always have a finger stick monitor on the side just to double check.

[00:29:26] Molly Maloof: If something looks off, I’m like, I don’t know if I believe that number. And then I’ll go check it and I’ll, I’ll be like, Oh yeah, that’s not quite right.

[00:29:33] JJ: Now, if it was off, it’d be all the way, it’d be off the whole way through, like the

[00:29:36] Molly Maloof: whole way

[00:29:37] JJ: through.

[00:29:37] Molly Maloof: And then you’ve got to correct for it, you know, [00:29:40] correct for it.

[00:29:40] Molly Maloof: And you can in the apps usually allow for some calibration as well. Um, so, you know, these, these technologies are getting better and smarter and more accurate every day, but they’re still not perfect. So, and if you can’t afford a CGM, I use a finger stick monitor for years. And so, you know, I still think finger stick monitors are fantastic, [00:30:00] but you got to keep in mind you’re getting a snapshot instead of a movie.

[00:30:02] Molly Maloof: And so you might miss the spike if you see a spike. And, um, I’m actually really curious what my blood sugar is right now. Cause I’ve been monitoring it for like the last three months. And, uh, my, my boyfriend is a vegetarian and he has a chef and I’ve been eating very different than I normally eat. Like very, [00:30:20] very, very different.

[00:30:20] Molly Maloof: And I’m like, Noticing, like here’s the thing that you should know, there’s a really good book, um, by, uh, Ellen Vora and she’s a psychiatrist in New York and she has been studying the relationship between metabolism and mental illness and I can guarantee that some of the things that I’m eating are not working for me because you, if you, if you get a [00:30:40] spike and a drop, you will start to learn what that feels like and when you drop your blood sugar low, you can get very anxious.

[00:30:46] Molly Maloof: So And if you have, if you’re just getting anxious out of the blue for no reason with no, it’s no like stimulus, you really need to look at your blood sugar. And so there’s been plenty of times in the last few months where I’ve been like, Oh yeah, I think my blood sugar has spiked and [00:31:00] dropped and Oh, like I really got to put a, I got to put a Dexcom on.

[00:31:03] Molly Maloof: So I, I got some sent to me.

[00:31:06] JJ: It has been, you know, I’ve got a son with a traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder, and we know like we’ve, we’ve done everything diet wise. Cause We want him to go psychotic, drop his blood sugar. [00:31:20] It’s the fastest way to send him off the rails. You know, it’s like, I

[00:31:25] Molly Maloof: mean, I, okay.

[00:31:26] Molly Maloof: So fun fact, I did, I, so post COVID 2022, I was under the most stress in my life. I got COVID and my blood sugar started going haywire, which people don’t realize that infections are a really, really big problem that can really [00:31:40] screw up your metabolism. And so I was like, okay. I’m talking to my friend, Katrine, and I’m like, Katrine, what am I going to do?

[00:31:45] Molly Maloof: And she’s like, I don’t know, you can try Ozempic for a little while. It’ll help you get more insulin sensitive. Well, I started taking, you know, I started taking, uh, it was, it was a non prescription version of it, this GLP 1 inhibitor, and I had dropped my [00:32:00] blood sugar so low, so many times that I was having full on panic attacks.

[00:32:03] Molly Maloof: And I was like, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m done with these peptides. Like, screw this peptide. Like, I am never taking these again. I am nauseous and my blood sugar is so, and I was wearing a blood sugar monitor and I was like, oh, this is why I’m feeling so panicked. So, a lot of women just are not in touch [00:32:20] with what’s going on inside their bodies and I, I would love for the whole world to be as intuitive and have as much experience as I have with blood sugar monitoring so you can develop this understanding of what a species is.

[00:32:28] Molly Maloof: Bike and a drop feels like, but most people have no idea what’s actually going on inside their bodies because they’ve never seen it and they’ve never related it and correlated their feelings to their numbers. And I have to have this conversation with my boyfriend all the time [00:32:40] because he just doesn’t, he is not as much into biohacking as I am, and I’m like.

[00:32:45] Molly Maloof: Babe, I have 10 years of experience figuring this stuff out. Like there’s a reason why I, I eat a certain way. So it’s, it’s really, um, a very food and nutrition and metabolism is a very personal thing and you shouldn’t, you basically like the beauty of these [00:33:00] devices is you start realizing that like, Optimizing health is not one size fits all.

[00:33:04] Molly Maloof: Like you have to find the things that work for you. And you have to, like your son, for example, he figured out probably the foods that cause him to drop his blood sugar. And he knows to avoid those. And I have found that some people do great with bananas and some people do terrible with bananas. And it’s not linear for [00:33:20] everyone, like different body, different metabolism, different microbiomes, different genetics.

[00:33:24] Molly Maloof: And so personalized nutrition is, Something I’ve really poured a lot of my passion into until very recently when I decided to shift gears into human sexuality, because I thought, wow, that’s a frontier I haven’t explored yet.

[00:33:37] JJ: I’ve now done two podcasts on it, but I was like, how has [00:33:40] it taken me this long to have a podcast about, um, Like, why did it take like a decade to start talking about sex when we’re all talking about it?

[00:33:51] JJ: We’re just not talking about it here, which is where we all need to be talking. So I know we’re going to, we’re definitely going to be talking about sexuality because it’s such an [00:34:00] important topic. I had the gal who created, um, is it called Meet Rosie or Hello Rosie? And then another, Another doc on as well who’s but I feel like we’re just starting to peel the onion, but let’s finish let’s finish metabolic health now, it’s of course totally dialed in with sexuality too, but For someone [00:34:20] looking at all of this and they were going to use the CGM.

[00:34:23] JJ: What are some of the big And I’m going to be talking about the three factors because I know one of the coolest things between using like an aura ring and a CGM and really seeing because I don’t eat late at night, but boy when I do, man, is my morning blood sugar destroyed. It’s like ridiculous, [00:34:40] you know, but the other thing that I loved doing with the CGM is seeing how high I could get it to go at the gym.

[00:34:46] JJ: That’s what I try to explain to people. I go, forget this fasted workout and trying to burn fat during a workout. Go work out as hard as you possibly can. It’s not, that’s not when you’re burning your fat. So let’s talk about, you know, what things do impact your blood sugar. What could you do right now, [00:35:00] you know, without having a blood CGM that’s going to start making a difference?

[00:35:05] Molly Maloof: Well, um, You know, the one thing that I, I would say is, uh, especially for women who are hitting their forties into their fifties, who are starting to notice their hormones shift. Um, when our estrogen levels start to decline, we become far less [00:35:20] insulin sensitive. So even Gwyneth Paltrow admits to shifting her diet from Pulses and grains to paleo when she started getting into her fifties.

[00:35:29] Molly Maloof: I believe she just turned 50 or so. And so if, if someone who’s as gung ho with her previous diet, like realizes that that may not be working, it’s probably helping for other women too. [00:35:40] My friend, Celia Chen. She was, she came to me, uh, and she’s got a fantastic, uh, sub stack called In The Pink. And she was interviewed in New York, by the New York Times.

[00:35:48] Molly Maloof: And basically because there was, there’s this movement around perimenopause. And she did not realize that her diet was creating all these problems because she’d eaten the same diet for so long. So, [00:36:00] she put a blood sugar monitor on and she noticed, oh wow, like, I have a little bit higher than normal fasting, morning, morning fasting blood sugar.

[00:36:07] Molly Maloof: If I even touch bread, I notice a big blood sugar spike. And yeah, that sugar, uh, in that, in that cocktail, that’s not working for me either. So, the big ones are liquid sugars. Powdered sugars, right? Like they [00:36:20] powdered flour, like flour based foods. Um, these are just problematic for most people. You won’t know unless you try them on, but like the big, the white carbs, right?

[00:36:28] Molly Maloof: These things, they get digested quickly, especially if you’re somebody who has a lot of amylase, who’s breaking down these carbs in your mouth and liquid carbs just get They get absorbed and they just will [00:36:40] spike you, so you got to be super, super careful with the liquid carbs and very, very careful with, um, food, sort of food order.

[00:36:47] Molly Maloof: So this is definitely something popularized by the glucose goddess, but you know, eating your green vegetables and your fibrous foods first, your protein second, and your carbs last. Like she really kind of like popularized that in her book. Um, [00:37:00] we actually at one point were roommates, um, in, in San Francisco, both very obsessed with blood sugar monitoring and shared a lot of knowledge with each other.

[00:37:07] Molly Maloof: And, um, I love her platform. She’s got a beautiful platform. So anyone out there who wants very targeted advice, like there’s a whole section in my book on just like, how do you deconstruct the curve? So you’re there’s the beginning of the curve [00:37:20] is your fasting blood sugar. It’s what’s going on overnight.

[00:37:23] Molly Maloof: So just like you described, if you go to bed and you basically wake up, It lets you go to bed and have a midnight snack. You wake up in the morning, your blood sugar is high. It’s because you didn’t have a long enough fast and you didn’t burn through your glycogen stores to hit into your ketones. This is why intermittent [00:37:40] fasting for some people can be really helpful for lowering fasting blood sugar.

[00:37:43] Molly Maloof: For me, it was very much like very helpful. I actually still do an occasional fast because I just find it really useful for keeping metabolically flexible. I don’t do nearly as much fasting as I used to do, but it played a major, I mean, I actually think fasting, you gotta be really [00:38:00] careful with it because it can, it’s like, it’s not just a metabolic practice, but it’s a spiritual practice.

[00:38:04] Molly Maloof: So very, very important to like, Be careful with how much you fast, but there’s a whole instructions in my book on how to gradually make fasting a part of your life. If it’s something that you are drawn to and think it could help. Now some people try fasting and they’re under so much stress [00:38:20] that they just get really low blood sugar and they’re bonking because they’re actually, they’re not, Not hitting into ketosis.

[00:38:25] Molly Maloof: And this is somebody who is probably metabolically inflexible and really should focus on metabolic flexibility first before digging into fasting. So this is somebody I would recommend shifting in and out of low carb versus higher carb and getting into ketosis and then going [00:38:40] back into normal metabolism.

[00:38:41] Molly Maloof: Training those, the gear shifting a bit. Um, but for most people, you know, you also need to look at, just like the quality of the food you’re consuming. Like the vast majority of people are eating way too much, Process foods. So I’m just a huge believer in whole foods and as many kinds of produce as possible.

[00:38:59] Molly Maloof: I’m [00:39:00] definitely not a carnivore. I am a big believer in diversity of produce and polyphenols and anthocyanins and all of the plant chemicals that can make you have, make you, make you have a healthier body. Personally, I think gut health is really key to longevity, so I’ll never be a key, a carnivore, but I definitely do eat meat on occasion.

[00:39:17] Molly Maloof: Um, probably more than, um, I mean, I [00:39:20] used to eat a lot more meat in Austin, but because I’m living in Jackson and I’m eating a lot of vegetables right now, I’m not eating as much. But, um, really important is protein is a fantastic way to regulate your blood sugar. It’s a great way to keep it stable and especially if you’re trying to lose weight, keeping that as your anchor of your diet can be really helpful.

[00:39:36] Molly Maloof: Um, but don’t forget about fiber and don’t forget [00:39:40] about plants because Some plants are gonna be high, high glycemic and some are gonna be low glycemic. Um, but in general you need as many different types of plants as possible to maintain your microbiome because that’s gonna have a huge impact on your general blood sugar levels, on your insulin sensitivity overall.

[00:39:57] Molly Maloof: So you’ve gotta look at your overall insulin [00:40:00] sensitivity. You gotta look at the quality of your diet. You gotta look at the kinds of foods that spike you. So a, so there’s a fasting blood sugar in the morning and there’s a postprandial blood sugar after meals. So your general, like, how high the curve goes is largely dependent on the glucose load that you get and your insulin sensitivity.

[00:40:18] Molly Maloof: So there’s really two [00:40:20] camps here of like how to beat pre diabetes and diabetes. There’s the low carb people on one end, and there are like all of the people that are like, You just got to eat low carbon keto and then you’ll fix all your problems. And then there’s the high carb people. On the other end, there’s this guy called Mango Man Nutrition, and he actually is a type 1 diabetic who prescribes a high carb diet.[00:40:40]

[00:40:40] Molly Maloof: Um, it’s wild, but they do actually have decent numbers. And if you actually look at Virta Health versus Mango Man Nutrition’s programs, they actually have pretty similar improvements in hemoglobin A1c. So I’m Sort of a believer of metabolic typing still and Ayurvedic medicine, there’s some truth in all of these, these [00:41:00] patterns.

[00:41:00] Molly Maloof: Some people are tall and skinny and eat carbs all day long and they’re fine. And they eat any fat and their blood sugar goes haywire. Some people are big boned and they just look at a carb and they put on 10 pounds. So you got to also just take a look at a person and look at like your family and look at your ethnicity and ask yourself, you know, [00:41:20] what am I most suited for?

[00:41:22] Molly Maloof: And I don’t know if you’ve seen this in the world, but like, it definitely is sometimes an experimental, it can take experimenting to figure out. Where do you actually like lie in the carb spectrum? What’s going to be best for your body?

[00:41:36] JJ: I think it’s so interesting, like my take on all of it, and what I have been [00:41:40] having people do is, and this is all the next book, is eat protein first, then add in non starchy vegetables.

[00:41:47] JJ: The reason being, you Is that I hear too often from women, not from guys, from women. I can’t eat all that. I’m like, so eat it first because you’ll get the same good blood sugar response, but I [00:42:00] know you got it in. I’m not worried about you getting your veggies because women will eat their veggies, but they don’t eat enough protein.

[00:42:06] JJ: So I’m like, eat your protein first, eat it first, eat it first, eat it first. Um, but so if we create a protein as an absolute, and then we look and if you look at and go, okay. This is where the [00:42:20] carnivore diet just, it just, it just, it’s so hard for my brain to wrap around. However, it was interesting, I did this reality show called Freaky Eaters.

[00:42:29] JJ: And most of the people that went on Freaky Eaters couldn’t give up their cheese or their potatoes and like literally we had multiple people that we could have had just chronic episodes on french fries, people who [00:42:40] would only eat french fries, or only eat cheese, or whatever. But we had two guys who would only eat meat.

[00:42:45] JJ: One would only eat raw meat and one would only eat meat. And I’ll tell you what, I was going through, because we had to do a case against them and why they were going to die and blah blah blah, but I’m looking at their blood markers and I’m like, They’re pristine. They look amazing. You know, they’re ripped.[00:43:00]

[00:43:00] JJ: They’re lean. They’re fit. And I’m like, oh boy, I had to go and do, let’s show parasites because I don’t know what else to do here. We’ll have to figure something out.

[00:43:07] Molly Maloof: Or a stool study, maybe.

[00:43:09] JJ: That’s what we did. We did stool studies because I’m like, and, and, you know, showed them tapeworms. But, um, it just makes so much sense to me to eat, you know, [00:43:20] protein, plants, You know, lots of non starchy vegetables, a little bit of fruit.

[00:43:24] JJ: You’ll get the fat from the protein. And then from that point beyond that, like, if you look at carbs and fat, they’re energy calories, like proteins, not an energy protein. If we’re using protein for energy, it’s because something’s off, right? So [00:43:40] proteins for building and fat and carbs are for energy. How much you need.

[00:43:45] JJ: I’m one of those people, when I did my genetics, it’s like, you can do protein, you can, or you can do fat, you can do carbs, like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter. I know for me, if I start in the morning and hit myself with a bunch of carbs, I feel like crap, so.

[00:43:59] Molly Maloof: [00:44:00] I’m hungry all day if I do that.

[00:44:01] JJ: You know, but if I eat a little carbs at night, I sleep better.

[00:44:04] JJ: So, you know, I’m always looking at what works best for someone. We know men, if they eat some carbs at night, they’re going to do better with their testosterone. So, and your fitness levels and how much you’re exercising, you know, right? Yeah, your insulin sense. So, that’s the big question. You know, when you look at blood sugar and you look at insulin [00:44:20] sensitivity and blood sugar is kind of a late marker for insulin sensitivity.

[00:44:24] JJ: Um, are you, are you having people test, like, I still don’t understand how we’re not testing fasting insulins. Why we would, what the heck, like, why are we doing blood sugar? Maybe an A1c, but, but, but where’s the fasting insulin? It’s like this [00:44:40] cheap little thing that could tell us so much. I was on Dr. Phil for a couple years and we had this gal, this poor girl, she was like End We were doing this fat loss, this teenage weight loss competition and this girl’s 6’4 I think she was like, had some weird growth hormone stuff going on, etc.

[00:44:57] JJ: So I’m like, well, did anyone check a fasting insulin? [00:45:00] And I remember I got in so much trouble because I’m the nutritionist. I’m like, Okay. It was 27, you know, right? No one ever checks this poor girl. I

[00:45:11] Molly Maloof: mean, one of the best tools in the toolbox, Hemoglobin A1c is a garbage test. It’s super inaccurate.

[00:45:17] Molly Maloof: There’s a lot of reasons why it’s not accurate. [00:45:20] And it’s not a good predictor of prediabetes. It’s an okay marker for pre for diabetes. And it’s been, it’s been touted as this like magical test that will just diagnose everything. And I had a woman, um, My practice who was dealing with depression and skin problems and her blood sugar monitor looked perfect.

[00:45:38] Molly Maloof: And I go, this is weird. I [00:45:40] guarantee you’ve got blood sugar issues because you’ve got acne and you’ve got, you know, all these other symptoms. And we go run her fasting insulin and it’s like 16 and I’m like, whoa, that’s interesting. So what people don’t realize is that your body’s going to adapt to, And then eventually, over time, if your blood sugar is, um, [00:46:00] spiking, and if it’s, it was actually that can actually affect your beta cell function.

[00:46:05] Molly Maloof: And over time, if you’re, if you’re constantly pushing out lots and lots and lots of insulin, You only have so much organ reserve in your body. Only, there’s only so much organ reserve. So you don’t want to, like, screw up your pancreas. You know, you really [00:46:20] want to keep that thing a lot, that thing kicking for as long as possible, which is why I am a believer of, you know, if you’re young and healthy and fit and fertile, a young woman, and you’re like super active, yeah, you might be able to eat more carbs than somebody who’s in her mid 40s or early 50s.

[00:46:35] Molly Maloof: And women need to accept the fact that our lives are going to be affected by our hormonal shifts. [00:46:40] And so this is why I’m a big believer in like, get some measurements once in a while. You don’t have to do nearly as often as I do, unless you’re crazy, or you just love optimizing health like I do. I personally just love the information.

[00:46:51] JJ: Well, what measurements are you recommending people do?

[00:46:54] Molly Maloof: I mean, I’m doing, um, a lot for my first panel, but I’m doing a full thyroid panel, [00:47:00] not just like T3, T4, but like free T3, free T4, TPO, um, thyroglobulin. I always look for globulin antibodies because there’s so many thyroid issues with women.

[00:47:09] JJ: And where are you, do you want to have someone, where do you want to see someone in all of that?

[00:47:14] Molly Maloof: Uh, I like, Personally, to see a thyroid, the TSH is much lower than [00:47:20] most doctors, so I’m like, I like it around 2. 5, and, um, a lot of people are dealing with subclinical, subclinical hypothyroidism, where their TSH might be normal, but their free T3 and free T4 and T3 and T4 are all out of whack, and if you’re not looking at the whole big picture, you might just miss it with TSH.

[00:47:38] Molly Maloof: So, I’m like, [00:47:40] Just a big believer of like, if you need a little touch of thyroid medicine, get some custom compounded made and just see how you feel. And if it, if you feel, if you feel great, then you know, it’s working. Some people try it and they’re like, Nope, I don’t want this. And they stop. But it’s worth experimenting a little bit with hormones, especially if, You’re struggling with metabolic issues.

[00:47:58] Molly Maloof: Um, I can, [00:48:00] I honestly can write a whole book on thyroid stuff and it’s, there’s just not enough room in my book to write everything I wanted to write about, which I’m glad we’re having this conversation today. Um, but I also love to check iron levels, ferritin levels. Um, and so just because there’s a lot of women deal with iron issues all the time and they don’t realize it and you might have normal iron levels but low ferritin and so [00:48:20] that’s not that that’s not good enough either so you really do need to optimize your ferritin because it’s your storage of your of your iron and then I look at um testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, estrogen, progesterone, Obviously, those, those are very dependent on the time of month tested.

[00:48:38] Molly Maloof: Um, and then I’m [00:48:40] looking at, um, homocysteine and CRP for oxidative stress and inflammation, CMP for just general organ function, CBC for, you know, your immune system health. And, um, and then I look at cardiovascular markers like NMR lipoprotein profile to look at not just your total cholesterol and LDL, [00:49:00] but And the particle numbers and the LPIR scores just to see if there’s insulin resistance that way.

[00:49:05] Molly Maloof: Um, and then I also look at omegas. I’m a huge believer in pharmaceutical grade omegas. I take 4 grams a day and I really believe it’s the best anti aging drug that people don’t realize is available.

[00:49:18] JJ: That was one of the things I did with my [00:49:20] son, Grant. They would only give him two grams. And I was like, no, no, we have to get to 10.

[00:49:26] JJ: I brought them all the research and they wouldn’t do it, but he hacked up his feeding tube. So then I was like, game on, man.

[00:49:32] Molly Maloof: Yeah. I use a company called Norway Direct. It’s, you can buy pharmaceutical grade as a consumer product. And it’s taken me forever [00:49:40] to find the right sourcing. I literally had. To learn about the fish oil industry, I even visited Oslo and learned about fish oils firsthand, figured out, okay, so all of these are made in certain factories, and then you trace the consumer brands from Norway, and you find the brands that are made in the same factories as the prescriptions.

[00:49:58] Molly Maloof: Because if you [00:50:00] get pharmaceutical grade omegas, You are getting a, like an actual pharmaceutical product that can, I believe, at least I’ve noticed on my own labs, like in my brain function, like I just have a better functioning brain and I have better skin and my, I mean, I’m just, we, we used to have like one to one EPA, uh, omega 3 to omega 6s.

[00:50:17] Molly Maloof: And now it’s like one to 20 and [00:50:20] that’s not healthy. And so I’m a big believer of also checking your omega six levels, seeing if you’re too high in linoleic acid. If you’re eating too many vegetable oils, I’m a big fan of the company, um, zero acre farms. And I also, they, they make some of the best cooking oil in the world.

[00:50:35] Molly Maloof: And then I also, um, it’s mostly monounsaturated fat. And then I also [00:50:40] source olive oil directly from Italy because I’m just such a stickler on oils. Like you do not want to, uh, Put crappy oils in your body. Big no. Um, I’m not wild about large quantities of coconut oil, but I still do consume some coconut oil, but I’m an APOE4.

[00:50:53] Molly Maloof: So I try not to go crazy with coconut oil. Um, but I just think that like optimal health is not [00:51:00] rocket science. Like you, you just got to get your, your nutrition rates and your relationships right and every, and exercise properly and sleep. Okay. And you can, you can figure out a lot of, you can solve a lot of problems that way.

[00:51:12] JJ: I love what you’re saying because one of my takes on biohacking, and come on, one of my best friends is one of the big biohackers out there, but I’m always [00:51:20] like, we’ve got to major in the majors before we major in the minors. We’ve got to fix your diet first because I don’t care, like, if you’re going and doing your cold plunging, red light, if your diet sucks.

[00:51:30] Molly Maloof: If your diet sucks, you’re screwed. And if your relationships suck, I don’t care how much you work out in the gym, if your relationships are garbage, I mean, arguably, if you work out at a gym, you probably have more [00:51:40] friends than the average person, because people who go to gyms have friends. Because gym people are friendly.

[00:51:45] Molly Maloof: Um, because they have endorphins running through them.

[00:51:47] JJ: I know they’re all in it together. Yeah. You don’t see people fight at the gym.

[00:51:51] Molly Maloof: Austin has a gym called collective, which I actually, since I’m not living in Austin, I should probably cancel my membership, but they are an amazing gym and it’s a community as well.

[00:51:58] Molly Maloof: And so I really [00:52:00] tell people if they’re struggling to make friends, like go to a gym because people, people are nice. Honestly, I’ve never been to a gym where I didn’t immediately have some friendly interaction.

[00:52:09] JJ: Yeah. So you said diet, relationships, sleep, exercise.

[00:52:15] Molly Maloof: And then the last one is. And

[00:52:18] JJ: sexuality, but we have to touch [00:52:20] exercise for a moment.

[00:52:21] JJ: Like that’s my, my world as an exercise physiologist, but I’d love, love to, uh, kind of get your take on exercise, what you focus on, what you see as important as we’re 40, 50, 60 on.

[00:52:33] Molly Maloof: Yeah. Well, when I lived in Austin, um, which was only until very recently, I was pretty much a regular gym goer [00:52:40] and I loved weightlifting and I had a great trainer and I’d never had a trainer before until, um, I just decided maybe I would get better results with a trainer and I did.

[00:52:49] Molly Maloof: Imagine that. You knew, um, but I’ve always been, um, I’ve always been like, well, actually, so my twenties were highly sedentary and I actually [00:53:00] screwed up my health pretty dramatically in my twenties because I was so focused on education and I was so unfocused on, funnily enough, I was becoming a doctor, but I wasn’t focused on health.

[00:53:08] JJ: Wouldn’t it be amazing if they actually had doctors as you’re going through it, having to do the things. That you should do to be healthy. Could you imagine if there was a medical school that would be [00:53:20] that innovative, you know?

[00:53:22] Molly Maloof: In fact, when I was in medical school, I, I was really struggling and I was basically like, I don’t know if I can make it.

[00:53:28] Molly Maloof: So I went to a psychologist and he’s like, you’re not crazy. You’re not depressed. You’re not anxious. You’re just a stressed out medical student who’s not taking care of herself. He’s like, you got to do better at taking care of yourself. So I stopped skipping meals. I stopped eating [00:53:40] cereal for meals. I stopped.

[00:53:42] Molly Maloof: Doing all nighters, I started doing yoga, started meditating, I started spending more time with my family and friends. I basically did a whole overhaul of my lifestyle and magically my grades started skyrocketing. My, I started getting outstandings. I was getting very average grades and I like started getting like [00:54:00] higher and higher test scores and that’s when I was like, whoa, lightbulb, something’s up here.

[00:54:04] Molly Maloof: This isn’t just fixing my like. This is making me better at everything. And then I got a 99 percentile at my board exam. And I was like, and I had an average on my step one. And so my whole school was like, nobody jumps that high, Molly, what did you do? And I’m like, I didn’t cheat. I [00:54:20] promise I didn’t cheat.

[00:54:20] Molly Maloof: I was just changed my lifestyle. And they’re like, wait, wait, wait, you got to teach us. What are your secrets? So I created a course in medical school that was actually added to the curriculum and I recruited all these doctors. That knew about sleep, that knew about relationships, that knew about burnout, that knew about Oh my

[00:54:34] JJ: gosh, is this still being

[00:54:36] Molly Maloof: used, I hope?

[00:54:36] Molly Maloof: I don’t know, I have to actually call the University of Illinois, but I [00:54:40] brought in integrative doctors, functional doctors, nutritionists. I mean, I was like, this is not part of our education and this has changed my life. And it’s just, it was really, I actually won a few humanitarian awards for this course.

[00:54:50] Molly Maloof: It should be

[00:54:51] JJ: in every medical school. It should be in

[00:54:52] Molly Maloof: every, it should be a curriculum for every student because not only would it make them better at being students, happier students, but they would carry that into their [00:55:00] practices. And the fact that most of what we learn is pharmaceuticals and surgery is a travesty.

[00:55:04] Molly Maloof: And there’s a reason why doctors, I mean, most cardiologists I meet are overweight or obese. And, or, like, if they’re healthy, they’re, it’s because they know. Um, like my, one of my mentors, Ron Rabjohns, is this cardiologist in Illinois. Family friend, and he’s always cared about his diet and meditation, but [00:55:20] they’re rare.

[00:55:20] Molly Maloof: Most doctors are not as healthy as they should be because the job doesn’t allow for the space for people to take care of themselves. But I have found that if you invest in your health, and you build your energy capacity, you discover hidden capacities. You discover, like, you can do things you didn’t know you could do.

[00:55:34] Molly Maloof: Like I never would have thought that I would have taught at Stanford. I didn’t get into Stanford. I [00:55:40] didn’t like as an undergrad or a medical student. And then I ended up teaching at Stanford in the medical school. And I was like, what? And I guarantee that that’s, that was a product of building my health over a decade.

[00:55:52] Molly Maloof: That was not just because I got smarter. Like I actually got smarter and fitter, but. Going back to your question about fitness, um, I was super [00:56:00] unhealthy in my 20s, super sedentary. I actually think that created ADHD because I did not have ADHD as a young person. But my brain stopped working. And so I started taking Adderall and then I eventually weaned off of it, thank God.

[00:56:11] Molly Maloof: But it was like a really big problem um, for me to focus. And I really credit the sedentary behavior for decreasing my energy [00:56:20] capacity and screwing up my brain function and really causing me real problems. To the point where I When I eventually decided to leave mainstream medicine and start my own medical practice, I was pretty chronically fatigued and I, I actually could not work easily outside of just laying in bed on my computer.

[00:56:36] Molly Maloof: Fortunately, I found a job that enabled me to work online, but it was [00:56:40] not a healthy time in my life. And I decided that at that time, I was like, I am so, I need to go back to my roots. I need to go back to what I know is true, which is I need to build a practice around optimizing health and I need to figure out what health is on a scientific level and I need to build my career on this and I know it’ll pay off someday but it’s, it was a huge risk and [00:57:00] um, I probably would have been emotionally, I was way, way, way better off leaving that system but um, it did take me uh, about a decade to slowly get my body into better physical shape.

[00:57:12] Molly Maloof: So, I first started with Feldenkrais, because that’s all I could do at the YMCA across the street. And sauna. That was literally all the [00:57:20] exercise I could do is raise my heart rate with sauna and do Feldenkrais on the floor. And then I started walking to work instead of driving to work. And then I started using Beachbody On Demand and weightlifting and using, no, at first I used a kettlebell in an app.

[00:57:33] Molly Maloof: From this British dude and started using kettlebells. And then I bought power blocks and started doing beach body. And then before I knew it, I was [00:57:40] dating this guy and he was like, you got to learn how to use gym machines. So he taught me how to use a gym, gym machines. And then I started running again, because I’d been a runner before.

[00:57:48] Molly Maloof: And I just started enjoying running to farmer’s markets. So I was weight training. I was running. And then I started doing Ashtanga yoga and all of these things started building upon themselves to the point where I was actually pretty fit, but it took me a good, [00:58:00] a good amount of time. To get back into shape.

[00:58:02] Molly Maloof: And it, and that’s what I try to teach people is like, it’s, if you want to go faster, get a trainer, but I didn’t have the money at the time. I was in, I was just out of medical school. I was like, you know, just out of, um, my finishing my internship at my residency and I didn’t have a lot of cash. And so sometimes you just have to make do with what you got.

[00:58:18] Molly Maloof: Um, and if you can afford a [00:58:20] trainer, even better, but look at how many

[00:58:22] JJ: options there are now out there. Like this is not like it was 20 years ago.

[00:58:28] Molly Maloof: You can get in great shape with an app. I mean, Kayla, it’s science. I used her app for a while and that app is fantastic. And now my personal interest is like, how do I get in shape using nature?

[00:58:39] Molly Maloof: How do I go [00:58:40] outside and hike? How do I learn? Like there’s so much outdoor stuff.

[00:58:43] JJ: That’s a whole nother piece of this that, I mean, it’s, it’s fantastic living in Tampa because I literally live on half an acre on the water. I walk outside, you know, into the grass. I have a TRX in the grass. I got paddle boards.

[00:58:57] JJ: So, you know, how do we do more of [00:59:00] that that is mission critical and getting sunlight and getting in the dirt when it’s interesting, my son with the brain injury, one of the first things he started to do, he’s done so many intuitive things coming out of it. Like he wanted to get in the dirt. He started gardening and growing.

[00:59:16] JJ: And I’m like, what do you do? Like, like just knew he needed to do that. So

[00:59:19] Molly Maloof: [00:59:20] good for you. So, I mean, one of my siblings was really struggling with depression after the pandemic. And I said, get into nature. It will help you. And she started going into nature hiking and, and like canoeing. And she’s like, Molly, like nature healed me.

[00:59:34] Molly Maloof: And I mean, it just brought me to tears because people don’t realize that nature is the best medicine, but [00:59:40] most people just don’t prioritize it. They don’t want to, they don’t go find it. Maybe they don’t have access to it, but there’s usually a park in most cities. Green space is better than no, than nothing.

[00:59:48] Molly Maloof: Um, and, You know, vacations are a great, great way to sort of use nature to explore what you want to learn how to do, you know, make your vacations around fitness.

[00:59:58] JJ: You talked about [01:00:00] how you started putting all those lifestyle habits in place and you got a 99 percentile on your board exams and, you know, and arguably you were probably studying less.

[01:00:09] JJ: Right? And I look at this and go, like I started going to Dr. Joe Dispenza retreats a couple years ago, and after the first one when I realized how much I sucked at it and I thought okay, I gotta [01:00:20] come back and I’m gonna commit to this, I’m like, how am I gonna add this into my life? And the craziest part was, cause you know, it’s like I’m exercising, sleeping, I add this in.

[01:00:28] JJ: And I’m more productive, I’m, I’m getting so much more done and so much less time, right? And I think that’s an important takeaway if you’re listening, going, but I’m so busy. It’s like, you might be busy, but not [01:00:40] effective. You do these things, you’re efficient.

[01:00:44] Molly Maloof: You know, it’s kind of like, um, your body has this capacity to, to like, your body has this capacity to really run optimally.

[01:00:53] Molly Maloof: And it’s not when you’re eating, Lots of garbage food and having blood sugar spikes constantly and, [01:01:00] and like literally damaging the engines of the cells. It’s not, the electricity is not going to flow smoothly, but when you can get energy to flow smoothly through the body consistently, then I, I mean, I think that we are all just deeply magical beings.

[01:01:14] Molly Maloof: Like I think healing is, is just as much a mental process as a physical process. [01:01:20] Right. So I always tell all my clients, like, You know, when you are, when you’re, when we’re doing all these things to fix your health, do not forget about the affirmations. Do not forget about directing that energy properly.

[01:01:30] Molly Maloof: And that meditation is like such an important part of my life. Like I’m becoming like very, very much into the Sadhguru path because I love his work. [01:01:40] He’s super conscious being in this world. I love Dispenza’s work. I love just people realizing that you can harness the superpower and, I mean, everything’s going to be easier if you optimize your health.

[01:01:52] Molly Maloof: Everything’s going to be easier if you focus on the things that really work, which is sleep, movement, stress management, um, [01:02:00] relationships and your food, you know, and getting it first

[01:02:02] JJ: with that decision, which is really mindset. Like I love that study. Right. I mean, people who are excited about aging live seven and a half years longer.

[01:02:11] JJ: What I didn’t realize when I sat down, I, you know, I become buddies with Dr. Joe and I was sitting at dinner and I, I didn’t realize all the things that I did to [01:02:20] help grant survive the unsurvivable were immediately from the first time, like telling grant, you’re going to just going to be the best thing that happened to you, you’re going to be 110%, you know, prove all the doctors wrong.

[01:02:30] JJ: Like we, that’s all we did. We didn’t think we would not let. Any thought, entertain, come into our brain like it was like, nope, that’s not coming in. [01:02:40] Nothing that where he couldn’t possibly amazing and I think it’s the same with our health. You first have to have such a clear vision of you as this healed, healthy, amazing, like you said, magical being, right?

[01:02:53] JJ: And, you know, because everything’s created twice, right? So it has to, you have to see it in your mind’s eye first.

[01:02:58] Molly Maloof: Yes, totally. [01:03:00]

[01:03:00] JJ: Yes, yes. So meditation is, is that opportunity to be your future self and then draw it to you, as Dr. Joe would say. Totally.

[01:03:13] JJ: All righty. So we are going to dig into Dr. Molly Maloof’s [01:03:20] real legacy work, her, her big project, and that is her new company, Adama Biosciences, and everything around how to create sexual fitness, How to optimize sexual health. And again, this is that company that she is building so that she can demonstrate [01:03:40] that love is embodied medicine that enhances longevity and awakens a healthier, happier, and more resilient world where intimacy is the undisputed force for human flourishing.

[01:03:49] JJ: I just love that so much. So be sure to come back and listen to the next interview that I’m doing with Molly Maloof all around sexual health. Sexual [01:04:00] fitness and how to take your sexual life, your sex life to the next level.

[01:04:08] JJ: Hey, JJ here. And just a reminder that the Well Beyond 40 podcast offers health, wellness, fitness, and nutritional information that’s designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on this [01:04:20] information Substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

[01:04:25] JJ: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Make sure that you do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your healthcare professional Because of something you may have heard on the [01:04:40] show or read in our show notes, the use of any information provided on the show is solely at your own risk.
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