In today’s interview we host Dr. Leah Linarelli who has been driven by constant curiosities and hunger for knowledge regarding human health and wellness her whole life. This led her to double major in biology and Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise at Virginia Tech, where she could learn the innerworkings at the microscopic and cellular level to then be applied to the whole person.
Connect With Dr. Leah
people, foods, eat, health, hormones, question, grow, body, prioritizing, feel, inquisitive, high, food sensitivity test, compartmentalized
Dr. Leah Linarelli, Boris
Boris Berjan 00:00
I want to welcome Dr. Lea to this interview. Dr. lair. Why don’t you start with just a quick overview of who you are what you do, and you know what you stand for.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 00:09
All right, so I am a naturopathic doctor. Now in Tucson, Arizona. I focused on getting people well at the base level first. So working on metabolic health through diet nutrition biosensors now. Yeah, I don’t know what else I’m supposed to say here.
Boris Berjan 00:31
That’s fine. That’s great. So I’m gonna get all the way into a little bit. I’m curious, because I never asked you some of these questions. But when you were growing up, you mentioned that you bothered your dad to know and by asking why, but everything was this. So was this encouraged in the household? Like, were you specifically groomed to ask questions be inquisitive? Or were you one of those babies that just was out of the room was like, just question everything. And your parents are like, alright, we need to give her arts and crafts and projects to do so. Good all the time.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 01:13
Yes. So I annoyed the hell out of my parents, by always, always asking why. And my dad before we had like, Google, got me this huge freakin book of The Big Book of telling me why then he would make me go in and look up answers before pestering him with more questions. So I came out of the womb really annoying. But it led me to where I am today, because I question my day everything even with what I’m doing myself all the time. So it’s great. So I’m always learning. It’s frustrating, because you can ask it indefinitely.
Boris Berjan 01:52
Absolutely. I always remember there’s like a stand up comedian. He has a whole skit on like, people don’t understand parents until they have a kid. And then the kid just there’s those days that just they ask why like, 100 times and they’re like, You know what? Just be quiet and eat your fries? I don’t have any. I don’t have any more answers. Like, I don’t know more things that I can
Dr. Leah Linarelli 02:15
lie to you. So stop.
Boris Berjan 02:19
That was Louie CK I remember now, going back to your upbringing, was it then encouraged for you to be inquisitive? Like, were your parents always like, this is great. And when did they kind of push you to kind of learn more and go down these rabbit holes? Maybe in good ways, like, hey, learn about science, you know, instead of watching, you know, why is this TV shows on or something like that? Like, was that encouraged to you because it comes through the way you approach your practice and the way you approach health? So I am curious to, to learn about that a little bit more?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 02:57
Yeah. Are you planning on having kids do you want one like this?
Boris Berjan 03:02
Not like that, maybe. But like a nice balance
Dr. Leah Linarelli 03:08
was very much encouraged. I mean, when I annoyed them, so they would like try and keep things around me to keep me busy. But anything I was interested in, they would encourage me to pursue it. And they never like, pushed me into one route. Like, I was never expected to be a star basketball player. But they supported me when I played basketball. They supported me when I wanted to try acting, and they supported me when I tried fencing or horseback riding. So they did everything they could to let me try new things all the time. Very cool.
Boris Berjan 03:45
And growing up, did you Was there an interest in that household for health and wellness? Was that something that was kind of rooted into you? Because he went down this path? And I’ll get into a little bit more about your studies. But you know, was there ever a curiosity for you? Or what sparked that rather, when you were growing up and inquisitive as you are? And what led you down that road?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 04:12
So my parents are very much in the like allopathic mindset. And I really defended all of our animals in like, why are we giving them this tick thing? It says I can’t pet them after? Why can I pet them after? Am I gonna get a seizure? Why are we putting this on them? And my parents were super annoyed. They’re like, we just don’t want fleas. Okay? But I’m like that really like focusing on that with the pets? made me start looking at like, well, what am I putting in me and how is that toxic to me? And are there other ways we grew up on like, the typical American diet I guess? It’s like I do I have stomach aches all the time. Why am I breaking out all the time? And then that’s geared me more to looking at food but no, I was going Pretty much the black sheep in that realm of my family, they’re like just your hamburger and put the tick medication on the dogs and we’re fine. Like, okay.
Boris Berjan 05:12
That’s, that’s hilarious. So tell me a little bit about So you grew up, you’re inquisitive. You asked all these questions, you kind of probed and that guy, you’re more inquisitive. I’m assuming that’s kind of what led you to go to Virginia Tech for Biological Sciences. Is that an accurate statement? Or was it? Was there more things that kind of guided you that that realm?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 05:37
Yeah, so I loved Virginia Tech. One, I just love being outside and it was surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. But to everyone there seemed really open minded compared to going to some of the more Northeastern schools. Yeah, and open to questions and learning. And yeah. What’s your question?
Boris Berjan 06:00
What was your What was your biggest takeaway from studying there like was during that whole curriculum, maybe your top three or like, big realizations that you had that have led how you practice today, and or maybe things that you didn’t know before, that really opened your eyes to how medicine healthcare system, how it should be approached?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 06:23
Yeah. And so when I was getting my biology degree at Virginia Tech, I loved learning everything on a micro scale. And I love learning about oncology in these different separated forms. But I felt lacking because everything seems so compartmentalized within the sciences, which is why I added on the human nutrition and exercise program. So I could see it all combined at like a macro scale. So it was really frustrated in going through pre med with everything in this like, micro scale and very compartmentalized without a true blending of things, or how we could actually help a human. So yeah, then I think that was a big aha, in adding on that second major helped me pull everything we learned in the minute scale together for human health.
Boris Berjan 07:14
That’s interesting. I hear that a lot. Anybody that goes to pre med, or med says that everything is called compartmentalized, like you said, Can you give us some more detail on what that actually means? Like, give? Like, is there specific things that are compartmentalized that you now go back and say, you know, there’s no context around this? It’s just you execute on it. But then there’s, like, is there no review? After? Does it not take into consideration other variables? Like what does that actually entail?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 07:46
Yeah, so for example, like, physics class, like, why am I taking physics, I want to be a doctor. And if I didn’t add on that second major, I wouldn’t see it applied to physiology, and like, the dynamics of our blood vessels, or kinesiology and how our muscles use different structures as livers and how that impacts strength and performance. So if I would have not added on that second major, I would have only had physics, and it wouldn’t have been until I reached med school to start seeing how it works within our body. Again, at the time, when I was when I was in school, biochemistry wasn’t a part of the MCAT MCAT. So it was not part of the curriculum of like the pre med I was in. So taking organic chemistry and chemistry, I would not have seen it at play unless I saw the biochemistry of it all, which also played into food and nutrition. So they wouldn’t have had those deeper layers without adding more on or adding that second major on.
Boris Berjan 08:53
So that’s really interesting. Basically, what you’re saying, correct me if I’m wrong is depending on which classes and minors majors you take, you’re gonna make certain connections about the body that you wouldn’t otherwise, if you chose different classes, is that accurate to say?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 09:10
Yeah, so my just basic biology degree wouldn’t have given me any of the further layers of like how this applies to humans.
Boris Berjan 09:21
Gotcha. And then you mentioned that you also took a Chinese medicine course which changed everything in your words, not mine. Yes. What specifically is everything and why did it change it so much?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 09:38
I think it was already struggling a lot with my own health issues. And I was like sent to an end doc for my chronic sinus infections. I was sent to a DERM for like, I thought I had like vitiligo because my whole arm was turning white. I was seeing a GI doc for my like, horrible stomach pain I was seeing an endocrinologist because they thought I had Cushing’s cuz I just kept gaining weight. And my parents were like, Hey, you’re getting pretty chunky, what’s going on? I think it’s your hormone. So I was going to all these different specialists. And at that point, I was like, why am I going to be a doctor? Like, no one can help me? How am I supposed to go in this profession if I’m going to just not be able to help anyone. So all of that was already happening. And then I took this honors Chinese medicine course, just randomly, I was intrigued. And so I think if we didn’t have all that happening, I don’t know if it would have been so mind blowing to me. But then, when I saw that medicine could be approached in this whole body holistic manner. That’s the first time I’ve ever like known that was even possible. It was just like, oh, my gosh, why doesn’t everybody do this? It sounds so simple. But I’ve never seen medicine applied in a whole body way.
Boris Berjan 10:58
That’s interesting. And you just touched on a couple of things I was going to ask about in more detail, which is you did suffer a lot of different things, PCOS? pre diabetes, skin rashes. When was the first time Do you remember the first time you actually noticed? The like, obviously, like a rashes or rash, right. But was there a lead up to your body felt a certain way? You were eight years old? Skateboarding and you felt fatigued? Or, you know, was there these indicators before the major outbreaks and or visible signs of like, oh, you gained a lot of weight and must be hormones, like so those leading things because you’re very inquisitive. Like you said, I’m wondering, did you have this intuition? Or were you paying attention to things that were coming up? And what were those if so,
Dr. Leah Linarelli 11:52
I think at the time I was master compartmentalize her in that is really rewarded in our society. So I just took on more classes. I was like, I ignore my body. Like, it’ll go. I’ll take more classes. I will run more ultra marathons, I’ll run farther, ultra marathons, I’ll add on Ironman, I’m just gonna keep ignoring the problem. And if I keep myself busy enough, it’ll go away. And so I didn’t really learn what, like I just again, I knew things were wrong, I kept going to different doctors. I think it was a gradual lead up to everything because things feel pretty normal until you know what normal is. But it wasn’t until I moved out to Arizona and learned about how to apply nutrition to myself that I learned how good good good feel. So after just like continuing to get let down with doctors, I moved out to Arizona, I became a personal trainer because I was like, I can’t be a part of this. I took my first food sensitivity test and actually, like, cut out inflammatory foods, and that is when like, my skin cleared up, weight started shedding off. My sinuses became unblocked, I stopped having all this stomach pain and things just started falling into place. It took another slap in the face for me to stop my like, exercise addiction, which was also ruining my body. But yeah, I don’t know if that answered your question.
Boris Berjan 13:30
No, I did. Essentially, your answer to me was I knew something was wrong. I didn’t know exactly what but I wanted to ignore it. Yeah. Yeah, you were actually trying to out exercise. A lifestyle that wasn’t fitting you which I think is a pretty common thing in America, like you said, you know, just exercise, excellent. calories you burn you’ll feel better. Which I don’t think anyone here is going to negate exercise is good for you. But you can overdo it. You mentioned something I want to really probe, which was you did a food sensitivity test. And I personally have done multiple of these myself. But there’s two schools of thought around those right. One is it’s controversial. Because some people say in the scientific community, those don’t matter whatsoever. It’s not a true representation. There’s no way to actually know they’re kind of bogus. And so waste of money, right? Then you have people who say, it’s like life changing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. You know, I don’t I don’t care what anyone says it works, right. So where do you will first Why do you think those those polar opposite points of view? How did those points of view come about? And then what’s your take on those two arguments against each other?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 14:57
Yeah, and so I think It can be really life changing for some people, because in general, our food sensitivities are going to show foods that are generally inflammatory anyways. And some people need to see it on paper to actually even attempt to remove it for six weeks to see if it is affecting them. And I think that’s where the data can be really powerful for people to actually see on paper that their body’s reacting to it. As far as if it is legitimate. I questioned that, too. But the more and more I’ve done them. The more correlates if people have a ton of food sensitivities, and it’s foods that they eat a lot, which they get annoyed about. And people are like, Oh, well, you’re just showing immunoglobulins, because you eat this a lot. And that’s normal tolerance to foods. I don’t think it’s so much that but I think it’s a sign that there’s a huge either gut health problem where their body can’t heal enough. So the foods are eating a lot are kind of getting through the cracks. Or people are way overly stressed when they’re eating or just stressed in general. So their body can’t make enough stomach acid, digestive enzymes, bile to properly digest foods. So these like foods are being recognized in whole form, instead of being properly broken down and absorbed in their miniscule form like amino acids, which shouldn’t be very recognizable. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Boris Berjan 16:28
It does. I think what’s interesting about your point of view and the way you’re approaching the the answer is, you mentioned a lot of different variables that actually impact what a food sensitivity is. Right? So this is why a lot of people will say, well, the food sensitivity test is kind of bogus. Everything’s related to your microbiome. So as long as you fix that, you can basically eat those foods again, because the microbiome is optimal, right? And it’s, it’s an interesting topic to discuss, because you mentioned a lot of different things like, Are you stressed while you’re eating? Because that’s going to impact that food, right? And then the tests themselves are a point in time? So did I sleep terribly the night before? Or did I eat a McFlurry? Right before I did the task, right? So it’s like, it’s so hard to say. But the one thing I did want to broach here was with all those variables at play, do you feel like it works because you’re eliminating things? Or let’s put it this way, when you do these eliminations, or you do these tests, which you’ve done a lot of them is they’re very common themes. IE, you know, what’s popular is like gluten eliminate gluten or like a dairy. So is it usually like 80% of the time, it’s a couple of different foods that everybody should avoid? And then try to get back in? Or is it actually that you see, hey, you shouldn’t do broccoli? Or like, you shouldn’t do eggs for a while, or, you know, what’s your kind of experience in that field? Understanding now that there’s all these variables, right, that will affect those tests?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 18:12
Yeah. And so the top ones I see correlate with the top eight allergens that, like CDC has put a watch for so like, soy, sesame was just added. Wheat, corn, dairy. So those those mean money, tree nuts, peanuts are what I see more often. And I’m not sure if it’s because our diet is so high in those things that we aren’t rotating them. Like we’re not rotating our foods, we like eat bread and cheese for every single meal in some form. And that’s why our body’s reacting to it. But I think I lost what your question was.
Boris Berjan 18:58
No, it you answered it, which was basically is there very common things that show most on most patients, right. It’s not like a varying degree of things that are always different. It’s, you’re saying it’s a lot of the time, they might have the same foods, but
Dr. Leah Linarelli 19:16
sorry, sometimes it is really weird ones like yeah, and one patient show really high for kelp and kelp was in all her personal care products too. And once she cut out eating kelp and cut it out of her lotions, her dramatic raffir result, which was huge for her. Yeah, but I will say those like higher sensitivities do also correlate to IG e in bloodwork through like LabCorp and request also.
Boris Berjan 19:45
So this is I love going down this topic for one reason, which is I’d love your opinion on this because I have some theories of my own. But essentially, do you feel like those eight or nine foods that You just mentioned corn, peanuts. You know, the eight or nine that you mentioned? Do you think that we’re actually a lot of people are allergic to those things at their root level? Or is it that there’s so many pesticides and GMOs and other types of things that they spray on those things? Is it maybe that we’re having reactions to those because the things you listed are like the most heavily pesticides, foods. So when I read back studies, just for an example, I was looking at, you know, peanuts grow in these fields and Mexico, for example, that nothing else can grow because they destroy the soil so much. But these can grow because they’re GMO, and they still spray them. Right? So is it that we have an allergy to peanuts? Or is it that we’re spraying these types of foods with so much of these chemicals that we might not be reacting to them? Do you have an opinion on that? Or how you look into that? Yeah,
Dr. Leah Linarelli 21:00
I do. I think a lot of it is pesticides, it’s gonna break down our gut barrier and make it more permeable killing bugs, it’s gonna kill our microbiome. So I think that does have a lot to do with it. I think, storing things in bulk like we do, and we’re able to do in America, you know, to prevent starvation, which is good, but it also grows a ton of mold toxins. And I think people will react to that, and that has its own set of issues. So I think it’s we’re not rotating our foods, I think we are eating very heavily sprayed foods, high, Miko toxic burden. And so I think it’s multiple variables at play. But I think they all do play a part for sure.
Boris Berjan 21:45
Gotcha. So do you think if we didn’t spray those foods, you would see a lot less reactionary? People to them? Or do you also feel like even if we didn’t spray them, then the natural fact of eating the same food all the time, the body kind of says, okay, you know, what, we’re, we’re having a little bit of an adverse effect. Let’s, let’s switch this out. What’s your opinion.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 22:10
And so if they switch to say, organic, but they have had mold exposures, they might react to that more, because mold can grow better on organic foods, because there’s no pesticides. So it does depend on the person or say it’s mycotoxin, free and glyphosate free, but they’re still working 14 hour days and super stressed and eating while they’re driving. Yeah, I think they still could equally react, even if it’s like the cleanest source of food. So I think, you know, addressing stress first would be the first thing because then nobody can be more resilient and detox properly. But then I also think we should not have pesticides in all of our food, I think.
Boris Berjan 22:57
Yeah, it’s interesting, you say that, I remember I read a study where it showed how people who ate pizza, at home by themselves in front of a TV screen, metabolize the pizza differently than people who were out having fun with friends metabolize it a whole different way. And it was obviously more negative when you were at home alone, in front of a computer that when you were out with friends, there’s some caveat, I’m gonna put on that study, like your obviously your thought on this, because I also feel like maybe if you’re out, you’re also walking around, or you’re standing up. So you’re, the movement can metabolize it differently. But there is the psychological factor of you’re having fun, you’re having a good time, your chemistry, therefore is different than if you’re watching a screen, you’re just stimulated. And therefore, you know, and you’re eating this less than healthy food than something else, perhaps right. And that’s not to say that pizza is unhealthy by itself. But I’m just putting, like a black and white example. Or trying to get oranges to oranges as close as I can. Right? So it’s like, do you, you’re saying stress has an impact? So if even if you’re eating healthy, you might not metabolize DC that often. Is that something that you advise? Have you seen that? Help people a lot when you give them that clarity? I would love to love to hear from someone who does this day in and day out?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 24:24
Yeah. And so I mean, social connection is a determinant of health. Loneliness is like an actual risk hat like risk factor for health and longevity. But as far as like reducing stress, I feel like I shouldn’t get paid what I do to help people be more human, which is like breathing properly, connecting, laughing drinking water going outside. They’re like such basic human needs that people forget about. And usually when I address just how to breathe properly, people’s gut symptoms get significantly better. It’s like I see a lot of Doc’s like, treating SIBO killing SIBO. Like, just like, then if you’re not addressing the stress that led to poor absorption and Whole Foods being digested by the bacteria that led to people in the first place it, it just recurs. And so I’ve seen just bare foundations go a longest way. But I have to throw in some things because people think that’s too easy and cheating. So I’m like, Okay, well, here’s a supplement to
Boris Berjan 25:32
Yeah, it’s, that’s pretty funny. Basically, you’re saying they don’t believe it can be that simple? Yeah. All right. Well, you basically solve health. We don’t need to do anything else. Right. Yeah. All right. So I think that’s a good segue to you deal with a lot of clients. So I wanted to touch on a couple of things there. Can you give us like Top Three Reasons somebody fails to achieve a health goal or health outcome? Through your experience?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 26:09
Yeah, top three reasons one would be not prioritizing themselves. I work with a lot of people who do everything for everyone else. And it’s kind of an addiction they have, I don’t know, if it’s like, they don’t value themselves, or they get such a high off of doing things for other that, that they won’t take time to make food for themselves, they won’t make sure they’re getting eight hours of sleep. So I would say prioritizing other’s needs over themselves is a big obstacle to getting well. I would say not willing to give up the things that are making someone unwell, whether that’s like, in my case, a 14 hour day, it took me a while to just be like, Okay, I don’t want to do this anymore. So people just struggle to get out of the grind and accepting that they don’t have to be this crazy workaholic. So people not prioritizing them, their own needs, over others people not willing to give up the grind to get well. The third thing, people not wanting to give up. And I don’t like people to give up all great foods. Food is like cultural, it’s emotional, it’s social, but not willing to eat well, during the week, and then just like enjoying their friends and doing whatever, when they’re out but refusing to still eat clean when they’re home. That that makes it really tough.
Boris Berjan 27:46
Gotcha. And then on the flip side, we’ll dive into those a little bit more. But on the flip side, are the top three reasons they succeed? The exact opposite of what you just said, like they do those three things, or what does that actually different?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 28:03
I would say the top three things is yeah, they’re willing to just like, they’re like enough is enough, I’ll do anything to get well at this point. And I will like I know, I need to get back to myself. And that usually translates to like I’m gonna prioritize eight hours of sleep, I’m going to meditate when I wake up in the morning or whatever they need to do. I’m going to set aside time to meal preps, usually when people prioritize their needs, everything else falls into place. And yeah, being willing to learn new eating habits, because changing your food is it’s not just like, I’m gonna change my diet. It’s like a whole lifestyle, hundreds of different habits that need to change and when they’re willing to do it. It they feel amazing.
Boris Berjan 28:51
That’s awesome. It’s interesting, because as you’re talking, right, I’m thinking to myself, what is that moment? Like? Why does somebody actually make that decision? Or they’re like, Listen, I don’t, this is not working, I’m gonna commit to something right? And then just to like, expand on that a little bit to give you a little bit more talking points. When they do make that decision. I think you would agree with me, it’s not enough. After like two weeks, there’s gonna be a day where they’re too tired, they somebody yelled at them, they got fired, you know, they got hurt, whatever the case may be somebody was mean to them online, change their state in a negative way and old habits can creep back in. So from your experience and coaching these people and helping them when they make that decision, and then it actually sticks. I’m going to assume they you a little bit or like have off days but are able to recover. So I’d love for you to in your point of view To tell me if that’s what you see or how if you see it differently or what that difference maker is.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 30:07
So I just wanted to clarify your question. One, what is the aha moment that I see in people? Who, what helps with sustainable changes in three? Is it normal to not be perfect all the time?
Boris Berjan 30:23
Yes. That’s yeah, that’s exactly.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 30:26
Okay. So when I mean, my personal aha was when it was getting rashes all over my face. And I’m like, Well, I can’t be this beacon of health if my eyes are open. And I have like, massive rashes, so. So that was my aha. Some of my patients, like one of them, for example, had to take care of her mom. And it was a horrible experience for her. And she is starting to show the same show the same signs that her mom was in, she decided her Aha, after her mom passed away was she doesn’t want to be that type of burden for her kids. And she wants to actually be able to enjoy her grandkids. Some people, it’s a diagnosis, such as getting like diagnosed with type two diabetes as their aha, where they get motivated. So it’s different for everybody. Like Mine was vain. Other people’s are like for their children. But yeah, so as far as the AHA, and then keeping people to it, because life happens. I really love implementing two habits at a time, and usually like the lowest hanging fruit that we can decide on together, that will have the biggest bang for their buck. So for some people, that’s just taking a multivitamin daily, like a high quality one, because they’re not ready to change their whole diet yet, but they’re ready to start something. And that will at least give them broad spectrum nutrients until we can work on other things. And usually, with that, they have more energy, they’re feeling better, and then over time, they’re more likely to change other habits. And then when they do slip, and everyone’s going to test boundaries, and like, Oh, can I eat dairy again, even though I found out I’m lactose intolerant? Nope, nope, I still have diarrhea. The enzymes didn’t come back magically. So I think it’s the religious boundaries to come up and down. But I think when you’re working with someone who can help you change habits, it’s more sustainable. I mean, normal to not be perfect, definitely normal to not be perfect.
Boris Berjan 32:37
Yeah, that’s a really great insight. When somebody does fall off, let’s say you’re building that habit, they fall off, they come back to you and say, I feel bad about myself, I was doing really well. And then they get back on track and sustain it. Is there a moment there or something that you do? Or how do you approach those situations to get them back on track, you have certain tools and what has worked in the past?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 33:06
Everybody is so different. Some people it’s as easy as a mind trick where you just tell yourself, you’ll never do it two days in a row. And I heard that from I think the mind pump guys on the podcast once and I’ve used it a lot for patients and it works really well. They’re like, Oh, well fell off the wagon today. But I won’t tomorrow, because that’s my rule. And then at least they’re doing things three or four days a week that they weren’t doing it all before. With specific habits in place. Other things are you know, we get them back into tracking short term. So if they’re tracking macros, likely, let’s do that again. I’ll never shame anybody for like falling off the wagon set never does anything for anyone. But or we’ll just go back to the first thing that worked for them. If that was okay, just focus on your monitor again, things will come back. But I don’t know everyone’s so different than what they need. I don’t really know how to answer that question.
Boris Berjan 34:10
Is it fair to say that you, you look for an anchor point. When we first started drink water when we first started, do the 10 Minute Meditation when we first started, you track your macros, so it’s like, go to the field. Good. Anchor Point. Is that accurate? Like because I felt like that was coming out.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 34:32
100% Okay, cool. Are you not prioritizing sleep again? Let’s just start there. That’s probably why you’re starting to binge on foods again, because sleep deprived.
Boris Berjan 34:44
Yeah, the simple things that we complicate, right. Yeah. As you mentioned, okay, cool. I did want to touch on something that I know you’ve been working on a lot which is related In blood sugars to hormones, can you talk a little bit about that connection and why it’s important?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 35:05
Yes. And so I see a lot of women specifically for hormone health things like PMS, or like really intense cramping or heavy bleeding, PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. And a lot of those are related to high insulin. So insulin is like a driving factor for polycystic ovarian syndrome for endometriosis. And so when we can get blood sugar under control, usually insulin follows. And we can get hormones back into balance and relieve a lot of those, like horrible PMS symptoms. And So insulin is a driving factor for a lot of imbalanced hormones.
Boris Berjan 35:55
Gotcha. And that’s why having optimized or more than optimal blood sugar levels is an indicator of, okay, this is going to balance those hormones in the long term,
Dr. Leah Linarelli 36:08
you know, we’re gonna stop having painful periods, you’re gonna start getting shaky and anxious around your period, because now your body’s a lot less inflamed and you can actually burn fat again.
Boris Berjan 36:20
Amazing. Do you think that one of the major problems right now, from clients that you see is blood sugar levels being off? And if so, what what’s kind of your opinion on the cause of that?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 36:37
I think we are over eating yet undernourished. And so we have really, really smart food scientists creating really addictive foods that play on our primal dopamine response system. So that’s like a caveman cavewoman. When our body needed nutrition, we would have dopamine releases to go seeking and we would see a mango, we would eat it, it’s really sweet, we get this reward system, and we get nutrients. Now, when we need nutrients, we go seeking and we have all this marketing in front of us for really delicious quick foods, we eat it, but we, we get the reward with the sweet, but our body still doesn’t get nutrients. And then we just keep seeking, eating. And so I think it’s partially that that is just we’re not getting nutrients, and our body’s constantly telling us we need more. So we don’t have like proper hunger cues anymore. We’re just trying to get anything to get energy and we don’t have what we actually need to function.
Boris Berjan 37:55
So would you say that the way we’ve gotten with food production, marketing the food, scientifically engineering the food, making it easily accessible? Would you say those are the things that make this hard for us in the modern day to regulate?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 38:14
I think it goes hand in hand with us in our how we work now to like, we will work endlessly and because we need money and inflation is going up, and we can barely pay rent, like we have to go to things that are less expensive and quicker, so that we can have more time making money. So it’s kind of a whole systemic issue.
Boris Berjan 38:39
Gotcha. Do you have an opinion? And if we could wave a magic wand, how would you change the systemic produce system and food? Magic?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 38:54
I don’t know I would have centers of education for different communities to teach people how to have a community garden because at least then they’re getting fresh produce locally that they can go pigs. They know there’s a lot of food deserts in cities. So if there could be little plots of land dedicated with education surrounding how to grow your own food and make your own food and work with the community on it, that would be incredible.
Boris Berjan 39:23
Do you feel like that would override the scientifically engineered food that tastes so good? And it’s so addicting? Like, do you feel like if we had a community so you feel like you belong to something? You were more educated so you understood what you put in your body and how it reacted? Is your opinion that that would actually start to override how how much money and effort these companies put into making something addictive for you and tasting good.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 39:54
I think it’s so fun to see people talk about how their taste buds change. Once they have committed to more of a whole foods diet for two or three weeks, they’re like, holy cow, this carrot is incredible. So sweet. And they often find when they go back to foods they were eating, it’s, it’s too much. So I do think when you’re with a community of people, so you’re not alone doing X, a lot of times, it’s hard when you’re alone. And you feel really good, it makes it easier to say no to those things. So I do think if people had the opportunity and gave it two or three weeks, and weren’t alone doing it, it would be a game changer.
Boris Berjan 40:35
Very cool. Now, I want to transition to a little bit of a different topic with you. We’re getting to the tail end of this interview, and I want to make sure I hit these points, because I’m interested in your opinion, of course. Or do you see a huge difference on age groups? how much they’re willing to change or what they’re willing to try? And let’s just call it anybody millennial millennial under the age group. So like, I guess, under 40 Now or like under 38? And then anybody over that, so the boomers and everybody else who was older than that? Do you feel like you have to cater to them differently? Do they have different beliefs because we grew up, you know, everybody grew up in different timeframes. And there was different types of marketing, there was different norms. So I’m really curious to hear your perspective on that.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 41:30
Yeah. So I’ve been really impressed with our age group, they, like don’t have a lot of money often they don’t have like expendable money. They’re not retired, they haven’t saved up yet. They have kids and busy lives. And the ones that come to me under 40 are rockstars. Like they, they’re like coming, they know they need to change, they want to change, they believe in more of a holistic approach. And it’s honestly, way easier to work with them. Over 40 I’ll say over 50 or over 45 It’s, it is a stark difference. And I’m not sure if I just need to like get more wrinkles and gray my hair out. So I like seem like to relate to them better, I’m not sure. So I’m not sure if it’s just my own age and how they perceive me in the Weird like power dynamics or like I could be your mom if it’s the are just truly resistant to to change because they’ve really grown up in the mind of like, here’s a pill for every ill and fixes and they’ve already tried every quote unquote diet in the book, but they don’t realize it should just be like a healthy lifestyle. So those ones are a lot harder to approach and with them, it does end up being a lot more supplementation because they’re just not willing to change quite as much. And until they get that like hefty diagnosis, but by then it’s usually a little too late to really make their health significantly better.
Boris Berjan 43:17
Gotcha. And that would be something like a diabetes or heart like kidney failure is what’s what would be like the definition of a hardcore diagnosis.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 43:30
like lupus like once they’re like full blown like a switch that can be addressed really well through food and but yeah, kidney disease makes things really tough because you have to even be careful about certain vegetables you eat. Definitely heart disease, especially if they’ve had a coronary calcium score where they do show significantly blocked arteries in their heart like once the plaque is there and pretty built up like we can probably chip away at some of it but it’s it’s there. Okay,
Boris Berjan 44:06
gotcha. Last topic because we’re running out of time, but get insights you mentioned to me once that health is affected a lot by couples fighting
Dr. Leah Linarelli 44:25
men to look at the actual stacks when I read it, it was amazing. So like obviously finances are like a big contributor to stress but most people I wish I had the stat is a pretty high number a high percentage because blown away. But couples fight and have the biggest fights apparently when their blood sugar dips too low. And so probably prevent some divorces. If you had a bio sensor on you that way, you know it’s like, Oh no, my blood sugar’s dipping like let’s go eat first and then reconvene. So yeah, it was, maybe I should look at,
Boris Berjan 45:04
I will definitely have you send me that because that’s a super interesting stat
Dr. Leah Linarelli 45:11
divorces, major fights all that When blood sugar is too low?
Boris Berjan 45:15
Well, it’s an interesting point, right? Because basically what you’re bringing out on a broader scale to me is where your physiology is at, will also dictate externally external things, how you’re interacting with people, how you’re trying to display those, how you maybe bring up an issue that you’re having, why did you do this? Versus Hey, I had something to discuss with you. Would you mind not doing it this way? Because, you know, so. But alternatively, from what we’ve talked about, it also sounds like you, you have a strong opinion that external things will affect then your internal body to if you’re stressed, and you’re eating, it’s not going to even if it’s, you know, whatever, even if you’re inhaling pure oxygen, it might still be metabolized differently. Yeah, so would you then say, just to kind of summarize that it’s, you’re always interacting with your environment, and it’s interacting with you. And they’re equally impactful important.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 46:19
100%? You said that perfectly. So internal factors can also play a huge part in how you interact with the external environment?
Boris Berjan 46:30
Yeah, it’s a real quick story, I had a friend who got really grumpy at one point, and I was like, I don’t really want to hang out with him anymore. Turned out his testosterone was lower than 99.9% of women in the world, not just the states. So it was literally like, forgot what it was, but it was like, you know, three to 900 is, let’s say, the normal range, if you want to go with that, like public perception of it. His was like 30 or something, it was basically. And so, you know, he did his research, and he’s on TRT, but, you know, then he came to me later, he’s like, Hey, I wanted to apologize. There was a time in my life. I think I might might have been not so cool to hang out with. My testosterone was all right. I was like, that’s, well, a um, I commend you for like having that realization, right. And be apologizing for that period. So it’s really interesting, because people don’t actually realize what’s going on. And you never really know.
Dr. Leah Linarelli 47:32
Right? workaholics where they talk about people being a wet syrupy. So if you’re being a wet, syrupy, get your hormones and blood sugar checked.
Boris Berjan 47:45
I like that a lot. Okay, great. I think we’ll wrap it up there. Any last things that you wanted to share? About either your journey or anything we talked about? Or that you would want people to know?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 47:59
No, I really appreciate your time and and talking with you. And I’m super excited for continuing to work with data health.
Boris Berjan 48:07
Amazing. Thank you, Dr. Leigh, if you would be so kind to tell everybody where they can find you how they can interact with you. Well, what are the best places to go to do that?
Dr. Leah Linarelli 48:18
Well, I deleted my social media accounts, so who won’t? Okay. But if they’re wanting to contact me, they can go to nature medica.net. And they want to work with me schedule an appointment there. But other than that, I don’t have social media. I don’t know how people connect now other than in person.
Boris Berjan 48:45
All right, well, you guys, we’ve linked we’ve linked. We’ve put that link below. So if you want to go check out Dr. Leah, her work, obviously she’s a wealth of knowledge, as you can see tons of experience, really unique perspectives, lots of different things that she’s looked at and diagnosed and seen and helped a lot of people, including myself, actually, it’s always extremely good conversation with you, and thank you for what you do. We all appreciate it. Yeah,
Dr. Leah Linarelli 49:14
thank you. Clap for you. Doing so thank you.