Highest Self Podcast 375: Ayurvedic + Functional Nutrition For The Modern World with Dr. Stephen Cabral


If you’ve been curious about how to apply Ayurvedic nutrition into your life, this episode is for you! I sit with notable Dr. Cabral who blends Ayurveda with functional medicine to answer ALL your questions from bloating to candida, to hormone imbalance, to coffee, to intermittent fasting and so much more. This is a jam-packed episode on how to make Ayurveda work in your daily life. We also share a special offer to become an Integrative Health Practitioner and actually create a career counseling people with this wisdom.

Receive $100-200 off your Integrative Health Practitioner Training with my discount at iamsahararose.com/cabral

Use code for equi.life/: SAHARA for 10% off first time orders.

Try Betterhelp for 10% off at www.betterhelp.com/sahara

Get your EMF Protection phone case at www.safesleevecases.com with coupon code SAHARA for 10% off

Get $15 off your first order with Publicgoods by visiting publicgoods.com/SAHARA or use code SAHARA at checkout.

Join Rose Gold Goddesses, the sacred sisterhood collective all about embodying the Goddess within at www.RoseGoldGoddesses.com

Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor

Connect with me for daily Ayurvedic and modern spiritual wisdom at:

Order My Books: www.iamsahararose.com/books

By accessing this Podcast, I acknowledge that the entire contents are the property of Sahara Rose, or used by Sahara Rose with permission, and are protected under U.S. and international copyright and trademark laws. Except as otherwise provided herein, users of this Podcast may save and use information contained in the Podcast only for personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. No other use, including, without limitation, reproduction, retransmission or editing, of this Podcast may be made without the prior written permission of the Sahara Rose, which may be requested by contacting [email protected].

This podcast is for educational purposes only. The host claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information presented herein.


Episode 375: Ayurvedic + Functional Nutrition For The Modern World with Dr. Stephen Cabral
By Sahara Rose

[00:12] Sahara
Namaste, it’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes You, Your Soul’s Highest Evolvement.

[00:20] Sahara
I am super excited for this Episode because we’re really going back to a topic that is so near and dear to my heart – and that is Ayurveda.

[00:29] Sahara
Ayurveda is really how I began my entire career. It is the world’s oldest health system and the sister science of yoga, based on the Mind-Body connection.

[00:37] Sahara
So, many of you may (or may not) know, but I’ve written two books on Ayurveda, “Idiot’s Guide To Ayurveda” and “Eat Feel Fresh”, both with Forwards by Deepak Chopra. And so much of my journey came from my own health problems, dealing with amenorrhea, my body shutting down, going through perimenopause when I was 21 years old, and having very bad digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, Candida, and all of these other health issues that is really the reason why I do the work that I do today, because otherwise, I don’t know if I would’ve been redirected on this path.

[01:11] Sahara
And Ayurveda, to me, was really a missing link for my health. It allowed me to see myself from this larger perspective of not just my symptoms, that all felt very disconnected. I would go to one doctor to talk about my digestion and another doctor to talk about my hormones and another doctor to talk about my bone density issues, and then, of course, my anxiety and insomnia and a host of other issues in the mind. But when I discovered Ayurveda, I was able to see that all of these different symptoms that I had were really all under one umbrella of Dosha, an energy type. And for me it was Vata, the Air Energy.

[01:50] Sahara
So, when you have excess Air in your system, that leads to feeling cold, dry, feeling like you’re moving around in a lot of different directions, anxiety, insomnia, bone density issues, hormone imbalances, it was literally like I was reading my autobiography right there when I was reading about this Dosha. And that is what brought me on the journey to first learn about Ayurveda, everything I could to heal myself, then study to become an Ayurvedic practitioner in Delhi, India, and then go on to write my first book. My first book is actually called “Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type”, which became an online program, and then continuing on this journey after realizing how many other people, especially women, health conscious, millennial women, dealt with all of the same different types of issues (bloating, hormone imbalances etc.). And so much of it does come from our food system, the foods we grew up eating, the way that we’re always in a rush, we don’t sit down to eat a warm meal, and it really brought me deeper and deeper into the larger reasons why we’re living lives out of balance.
And the beautiful thing about Ayurveda is, there is just so much to learn and explore, and then it brought me deeper into the spirituality of Ayurveda, the Chakra System, the Koshas and then eventually into how can this relate to our Soul’s Purposes and Dharma and continuing the journey onwards.
So, I’m really excited to be bringing it back this topic today. I have so many Episodes about Ayurveda from the past but I’m really excited for today’s Episode because I get to sit down with this incredible doctor who, both is an Ayurvedic practitioner and a functional medicine doctor, to really dive into the most common health imbalances and questions that I see out there: questions that I have had myself in my own journey, and still, with all these new trends that we see from intermittent fasting to Keto, to drinking certain kind of coffee in the morning, raw vegan, there’s always these health trends happening and you know, in some of them I have a played a part in. I was a raw vegan in the past, that’s what actually led to my health problems, and some trends I have tried and I have actually likes, such as using MCT oil.
So, I wanted to really talk about these different trends and understand them from an Ayurvedic perspective and also to really break down the most common issues I see which are bloating, digestive disorders, Candida, constipation, hormone imbalance, estrogen dominance; and then the common questions that we have of “Should I drink coffee; Should I fast” etc. So, this Episode is so rich with great information! Take out your note pad, you are going to want it for this conversation because really all of the questions I know you guys have, I just channeled them for you and got to ask Dr. Stephen Cabral, and he really answered them with such insight and juco, so I’m really excited for today’s conversation.

[04:57] Sahara
And at the end of the conversation, we share an amazing opportunity for you, if you love all things Ayurvedic and functional, nutrition and health, to actually become and Integrated Health Practitioner, to create your career helping other people with their own health journey, using this ancient and modern wisdom. So, stay tuned till the end, so you’ll be able to learn more about this offer.

[05:19] Sahara
Now, without further ado, let’s welcome Dr. Stephen Cabral to The Highest Self Podcast.


[05:24] Advertisement
And before we get started, I’d love to share with you this special offer.

This Podcast is sponsored by Better Help. It is so important to have someone that you can openly talk to about your issues and what’s going on. Sometimes we use our friends as therapists, but that’s really not what they’re there for. Our therapist is our therapist!
And I know in my life, it has been beyond helpful to have someone hold space for me so I can openly speak about what’s going on in my mind, and have someone to reflect back my thoughts at me so I can find more clarity and overcome any anxiety that I have been feeling.
So, I am so excited to be partnering with Better Help. Better Help is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. You can even message your therapist throughout the week for additional support.
It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can start communicating with your therapist in under 48 hours. So please, don’t wait weeks to find someone to talk to. There has never been a more important time to invest in your mental health because you my friend are your greatest asset.
Again, this Podcast is sponsored by Better Help, and Highest Self Podcast listeners get 10% OFF their first month at betterhelp.com/sahara

[06:53] End of Advertisement

[06:54] Interview

[06:54] Sahara
Welcome Dr. Cabral to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here.

[06:58] Stephen
It’s great to be on, thanks for having me.

[07:00] Sahara
And the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?

[07:05] Stephen
Well, for me, especially after talking with you and after talking really about Dharma and all of that, it’s that, I’ve realized my purpose isn’t necessarily to be a doctor or someone that’s teaching on health, it’s really to help people alleviate some of the suffering in their life. And if I can do that through helping their bodies to heal, then I’m living my Dharma, that’s my highest self.

[07:27] Sahara
I love that so much and it’s such a great reminder that we’re all really here to just help each other in whatever ways we can, and whether it’s through the vehicle of health and nutrition or mindset, or whatever else, we’re all just here, as Ramdas says “Walk each other home”.

[07:44] Stephen
That’s right!

[07:45] Sahara
So, listeners of my Podcast are very into Ayurveda. We love doing the Dosha quizzes and even our kitcheree and drinking our ginger tea. And a question that so many of them are having right now is – they’re feeling like they’re a cross between two Doshas and they don’t know what they should be focusing on; they feel like, especially between the Vata and the Kapha specifically; feeling maybe bloated or cold or not able to eat salads and stuff without getting that bloated stomachache but not having that Vata lean body type, either feeling like they’re gaining weight (in their midsection especially). So, what advice do you have for people who are experiencing this?

[08:28] Stephen
That’s a really common question. The reason is, I think that – like for example, my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather, one was clearly a Vata-Pitta, that’s my grandfather (let’s say on my mother’s side), and my grandmother was as close to Kapha as you can get, meaning, we all have some types of Doshas in there, but she was predominantly a Kapha.

[08:52] Sahara
I feel like grandmas are so Kapha.

[08:55] Stephen
Especially Italian grandmothers, yes, for sure. And so, how my mom, her Dosha, came out, essentially she is a Kapha-Pitta and a pretty good split at that. Now, her mindset is more Pitta, for sure, and then I look at my dad and my dad, you know, again, pretty simple, straightforward. But his is a little different, his is a Vata-Kapha.
And so, sometimes you get these varying Doshas that don’t seem to work as well together and the truth is they don’t always work well together. So, what we need to do is find out what makes them overactive or underactive and begin to bring them back into balance.
So, a lot of times in Ayurveda, we talk about pacifying and overacting Dosha, and I completely agree with that, but I look at it a little bit differently in terms of practicality. So, I look at, in essentially two ways, and this is a little bit – it’s not a break from Ayurveda, it’s actually a different way of making things easier because i try to take really out-there ideas, and if you’ve learned about Ayurveda, there’s just so much to it and it’s all truth, it’s literally the truth, it’s the truth, it’s the science of life. But, I find that many people have a mental constitution and then they have a physical constitution. And so, what I try to is, I try to do things that pacify the mental constitution.
So, for example, many of us have a Vata-based mindset, that is because we live in the Western-based world, we’re moving at a thousand miles an hour, whether we want to or not, we’re given all these different responsibilities. It is difficult to have a Kapha-based mindset, although we should probably strive a little bit more for it in this Western-based world.
So, that’s why meditation and binaural beats and just taking a walk and doing some down time and self-care can help pacify that Vata-based mindset. And then when we look at the Dosha of the body, where we’re right now, and I don’t want to get too far ahead but are we where our body is naturally and we tread more towards being a little bit more Kapha, so we retain a little bit more water; we hold a little bit more weight in general. And if that’s where we’re at – so what I like to do, and I’ll step back for a moment to make sure I’m on course, is I like to look at mental vs. physical, but then also prakriti, which I’m sure you talk quite a bit about, but it’s it’ like “Where am I right now” because for me, I mean, I’m sipping right now on Tulsi tea with ginger in it, and I love it, traditional, medicinal and all that great stuff, but I can’t drink this during the summer time. So, that is a time of year where I’m not necessarily a Pitta body type, but my heat is at a quite high level for July-August here in the North-East, so, I take a step back during that time.

[11:36] Sahara
Yes, I think it’s so important to – I also love making that distinguishment of the mind and the body because there is such a separation; we’re in such a Vata-based world. I mean, 50 tabs on our computer at once, that I think everyone has a baseline Vata imbalance at some level especially because it’s the Dosha that can most easily fall out of balance.
I think where a lot of people get stuck is, they’re experiencing that coldness and that bloating, but it’s a different type of coldness than the Kapha clammy coldness, it’s the dry skin of the Vata but it’s also that heaviness and that waking. So what would you recommend for that?

[12:17] Stephen
Yeah, that’s a great point. So, my practice is about 80% women and one of the issues that we see is that – let’s say that you are a Vata-Kapha, and that’s an absolute common Dosha that is out there and the problem is though, that Vata then imbalances the rest of the body, and what you’re then dealing with are probably some clinical levels of hypothyroidism (so your thyroid isn’t where it should be). So, what is subclinical hypothyroidism – well, your thyroid isn’t necessarily greater than a 5, when you run your blood work for your TSH, maybe you’re like a 3 (3.5), well that’s not optimal. So you start to feel dry skin, dry scalp, fending of the hear, crown of the head, getting maybe on the outside of the eyebrow; you’ve got cold hands, cold feet (sometimes even during the warmer months), little lower mood, little bit more sluggish, gaining weight, but it’s more that your body is puffier, it’s not really body fat but you feel more swollen, so it’s the water retention. So, those are all symptoms of hypothyroidism or low thyroid or sluggish metabolism. And what would a sluggish metabolism be? Well, it’s not Vata, it’s not Pitta – it’s Kapha. So, now we have this Kapha imbalance but the Kapha imbalance could truly have come from the Vata imbalance because Vata began to cause anxiety and stress within the body. And then, all of a sudden, your epinephrine is going, your cortisol is going, you’re fight or flight. And then what happens – well, then it starts to shut down what’s called the HPT axis (the hypothalamic pituitary thyroid axis) which then causes these now, subclinical hypothyroid-based issues.
So, I know I just kind of did a whirlwind right there but the reason why I did that is because I want people to know that there’s always an answer.
So, meaning, it took me 10 years to find my answer to get well, but it was there all along, it was always there. I just hadn’t found it. And so, Ayurveda, combined with bio-regulatory medicine or more like functional medicine, was how I pulled everything together and I think the two work beautifully together.

[14:16] Sahara
I love that so much! And for people who are wondering, how can one Dosha imbalance then trigger another Dosha imbalance and these kind of layers upon them? Can you explain more about that?

[14:29] Stephen
Without a doubt. And so, people always say, they went to their doctor and they said “Well, I have high cholesterol; I have Hashimoto’s; I have MS; I have whatever”, but it’s just genetic. And so, I would say, I would agree, everything is genetic, you have a genetic code. However, the expression of that genetic code does not have to come to fruition unless the environment is right. And as many brilliant people have said it much better than I, like Dr. Bruce Lipton is a really great guy who is kind of explained his book “The Biology of Belief”, I read a decade ago or however long ago, and it was basically about Epigenetics and really what he was talking about was Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda. And he was talking about who we are, is who we are, but we can express ourselves as to what we are today. And so, when we look at it is, all of us have our unique body and body structure. So, for example, I weight about 165lb right now, but back in my early 20s I wanted to be more into natural bodybuilding because the inside of my body wasn’t working well, I didn’t feel great, and so I basically wanted to build up this exterior because it’s what I could control. I got up to 200lb, that’s not my natural body type at all but I was able to do it because we are able to manipulate our body through our environment, in my case it was lifting and it was food, not healthy for my body but I was able to do it.
So, what I say to people is this, is that, your body is allowed to express itself through all the different Doshas and all the different sub-types of Doshas, but you are meant to be at one special unique Dosha and percentage, for you. So, that means you only need to focus on creating the most balanced you.
And I work with so many women and let’s say they’re 5’6 – one at 5’6 might be perfect at 150lb /160lb, one might be perfect at 120lb, somewhere in between.
So, the goal is to get you the right health, the right body, the right everything, for you then and understanding where your Doshas are imbalanced is the way to do that.

[16:34] Sahara
I love that so much! And it really does just give us that permission to be ourselves and not fit into the certain mold of what the body should look like based off of whatever’s in Vogue right now for our body types, which is always shifting in the media, and to let our bodies be at the baseline of what they want to be at.
So, for people who are wondering “Well then, how do I find what is the weight that my body wants to be at”, how do they do that?

[16:59] Stephen
Yeah, so when you bring that up, all I can say is that you never have to focus on your weight. And it’s almost the worst thing that you could do because 1. you’re saying your weight has something to do with your self-worth, and it has absolutely nothing to do with that; and the 2. is, you’re saying that, somehow you would be better, that you’re not enough because you’re not at the right weight for you, and we know that that’s not true either.
But there is the truth and I’ve been saying this a lot lately and no one’s gone too much against it but I always tell people “You need to be at the healthy weight for you. Not for vanity, not for anybody else, but for you” and that’s because I work with people in their 60s, 70s and beyond, and they weren’t at the right weight for most of their life, and the problem is, we know that if there is one thing you could do for your health, that is going to allow you to live a longer, better quality of life, it’s just, you don’t have to be the perfect weight, just be within 10lb of it, you want to get close to it because there’s natural fluctuations. I could be on the scale next week and I’m 4lb or 5lb heavier, that’s ok, stay within a parameter, don’t beat yourself up over that, but what I would say is – cardiovascular disease blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, those are the four leading factors for death and the four leading factors for a poor quality of life and having to be on all sorts of medications. All of those are pretty much mitigated by getting to a healthy body weight. Now, here’s the cavia, don’t focus on the weight. By figuring out what is imbalanced inside of your body, will lead you to your natural body weight.
So, for example, sometimes what you really need is to actually ramp up detoxification, through the skin, the kidneys and the liver – your body is overloaded. Sometimes it’s rebalancing hormones. Sometimes it is rebalancing thyroid. Often times it’s dealing with gut-based issues, because when you have gut issues – poor absorption, you’re always hungry, it leads to more bloating, you feel uncomfortable, you eat to comfort yourself. So, there’s always a reason why your body is imbalanced, and for you, don’t worry about the weight, figure out what that imbalance is. Your body will naturally return to its set way. I don’t have to try now to be at this weight, it’s my natural weight.

[19:05] Sahara
I love that, thank you for sharing. And you know, right now, intermittent fasting is such a trending topic and I hear different things about is it healthy for women to do it or not, what is your take on this?

[19:18] Stephen
Yeah, the issue is that everyone gets lumped into one thing, like we’re all one, and again, if your community knows about Ayurveda, so you know that we don’t all act the same.
So, there’s two parts to this – one, we’ll all humans; the second part though is – we’re all unique individuals.
So, as a human, the closest thing we have right now to the fountain of youth is intermittent fasting. So, that means that 99% of the people, should be doing at least a 12-hour intermittent fast. So, and I’m sure that you preach this as well, but the problem is, people have intermittent fasting backwards. In Ayurveda, they always did intermittent fasting, the problem is they never said skip breakfast. So, they said dinner or no dinner, but it was never skip breakfast. Now, as a Western-based culture, we would never skip dinner because that’s the social mean, and I agree with that. I go home and I see my family for dinner. I can skip breakfast, that’s easier, but that’s the time of highest stress. The cortisol levels are ramped up; testosterone is ramped up; DHDA is there; thyroid is there, and yet we’re doing nothing that to kind of pacify that. So, we’re running on fumes, at highest stress, and that’s actually not as detrimental for the Kapha body type but very detrimental for the Vata-based body type, which is why though, we see it mainly in women. That’s why, again, it’s not always fair, it’s not always the same, men actually do fine with the most part with going a little longer in the morning without eating, although I don’t think that’s necessarily beneficial, but women we see, especially with Keto, low-carb, for a prolonged period of time, more than 28 days, who are chronic fasting until lunch, we see clinical hypothyroidism and we see lower levels of progesterone, and then normal levels of estrogen, but it feels like estrogen dominance. So, on top of all that low-thyroid issues, now what are they dealing with? Now they’re dealing with acne around the chin; they’re dealing with low mood; irritability; feelings of overwhelm; low libido; oilier skin; weight gain; bloating around 5-7 days before their cycle or amenorrhea. So, what are we looking at? Well, we’re looking at a cascading event based around their nutrition and it makes sense though, because if you’re not eating for a prolonged period of time you’re telling your body you’re in a survival-based state. And it’s very unique to a female’s body that if they’re in a survival state, they’re in a state of stress. They’re in a state of stress – lower thyroid, lower metabolism, lower female hormones, no need to get pregnant. It makes sense, you would not put your body or your unborn child’s body into harm’s way. So, we need to look at it from a little bit different lens like love intermittent fasting, somewhere between 12 and 16 hours a day, for most women – 6pm to 7-8am, seems reasonable for most women (some people can definitely go longer).

[22:05] Sahara
So, what if you were someone who just is not hungry in the morning? It feels gross for you to wake up and eat food – does that mean your body does not want food or does that mean it’s just not used to it and you should move past it?

[22:18] Stephen
I think it’s always looking deeper. So, you don’t want to necessarily force-feed yourself; you do have to get your body used to kind of waking up. So, first thing in the morning, go through your morning rituals, your morning routines, but doing something such as that warm lemon water, that warm ginger tea, something to wake up your digestive system, hot or warm would be ok, is a nice thing and that can start to stimulate things, but the reason why a lot of people aren’t hungry in the morning is because their hormones are not in balance and they’re not where they should be and they’re not producing enough cortisol. And what happens is, normal cortisol, not high, just normal – a lot of people have lower cortisol in the morning and then it starts to go up towards bedtime, so, they’re tired and unwired. Now they can’t sleep, they have insomnia, they stay up too late, circadian rhythm is off, and now, they’re not hungry in the morning; and the other issue is that their digestive system may not be that strong, so they’re dealing with low stomach acid and they’re dealing with putrefaction in the gut that kill yeast overgrowth, and of course your digestive system is not going to say “Put more food in” because it’s still working on this slow peristaltic movement of moving the undigested food through.
So, most of the time it’s fixing the digestive system in hormones that’s going to lead them then to the natural balance. So, definitely don’t force-feed yourself, but some light food in the morning or at least some herbal tea to wake that digestive system up can be helpful.

[23:39] Sahara
Love that, thank you for sharing. And what is your take on doing like a high-fat drink, like a bulletproof coffee or the MCT oil, coconut butter? Starting your day with that and using it to fast, what do you think?

[23:55] Stephen
Well, one, I would say, it’s not truly a fast anymore, it’s a liquid fast, and so that does count, that matters. Let’s say you’re doing like a vegetable juice, those are liquid fasts (and all those count, that matters) because it’s easier to digest, which then means that your body can still stay in autophagy and still be breaking things down, but you’re still giving it some fuel. The problem is that, most people are going to feel great in the short-term, with taking away food in the morning, and just putting in liquid calories, and the reason is that their digestive systems are weak and so if 30% of your energy goes towards digestion and all of a sudden you don’t need to digest anything in the morning anymore, well, what are you doing? Well, you gave yourself back that energy because you don’t need to use it for digestion, that doesn’t mean it’s right, it just means that it is true.
And second is – if you funnel coffee with butter, into your body, well now you’re funneling caffeine directly into your system with some fatty acids. Now, the interesting thing about that is, people overlook the fact that caffeine can also spike cortisol levels, which can also spike glucose levels, so you can actually spike blood sugar levels first thing in the morning from just doing straight coffee as well.
So, I always look at how is it working for this individual? I don’t believe, not I don’t believe, there’s no health benefits to that, there are feel good benefits. But feel good benefits in the short term don’t necessarily lead to long-term health benefits. So, I would rather someone do their cup of coffee, their cup of tea, whatever they like, nothing exaggerated unless you see you have high cortisol levels and then let’s switch to decaf or herbal tea; and I would rather someone do some type of smoothie for real fuel source, as that’s easy to digest, or an Ayurvedic-based breakfast which is easy to digest, rather than butter and coffee, which again, I get it, I understand it, it is delicious, but I can’t recommend it long-term.

[25:51] Sahara
So, what is your take when people say it gives them more mental clarity? Is that just that increase of not using the energy towards digestion or is this fat feeding your brain in some type of way?

[26:03] Stephen
The fat-feeding the brain is not – you’re not, like, going to get this fuel source that immediately begins to turn on the brain. So, there’s a whole digestive process that needs to take place. Your body, at all times, can tap into fatty acids or glucose.
That’s the thing, that’s the miss, when I think about fasting as well. All of a sudden we become fat-adapted. Well, it’s actually – that’s not true, you’re always fat adapted when you’re more in the aerobic-based state.
So, right now, we should be, unless our adrenaline is really spiking up, we should need a fat-adapter or removing it to fat burning because our hearts are at a normal pace right now, we’re not in fight or flight, so then when look at “Well, I want to burn more body fat”, it’s true but it doesn’t really work that way, the only time you would not burn more body fat is if you are dealing with something like higher levels of fasting glucose, and that’s kind of a different story, because if you wake up and you test your blood sugar with a $20 glucometer that I recommend you have at home, and you’re about a 95 or really above 90, I would say yes, you are not as fat adapted as you should be, but now you need to say “Is drinking coffee with MCT or coffee with butter the fix for that?” And it’s not.
So, by not eating anything, mental clarity fasting will give you mental clarity, until it doesn’t, until you start to get really depleted. And by adding caffeine – caffeine is an amazing tool to be able to increase cognitive performance. So, I would say, I don’t think you’re going to get the same benefit of doing MCT oil and herbal tea or even a decaf, even though a decaf has a little bit of caffeine as well. But again, at the same time, there’s a time and a pace – let’s say that I’m going on stage, I’m speaking; you speak, I speak on stage, I love it, I enjoy it, well, I have a cup of coffee or would I do something like a bulletproof coffee? Absolutely, I have no issue with that because I’m using it as a nutritional supplement, but I don’t think I would make that, I know that I wouldn’t make that my morning routine because of how catabolic it can make your body over time.
So, again, Kapha, more anabolic, the body consumes and has mass;
Vata, naturally more catabolic. A Vata person doing a long fast and high caffeine in the morning is a recipe for disaster.

[28:26] Sahara
I love that so much. I think it’s important to discuss because it is such a huge trend right now and I think we’re all just trying to make the best choices for ourselves, and if we hear something’s good for us, we’ll try it and then it’s often until it hurts us that we realize that it was not the right thing and it’s kind of frustrating that sometimes we have to make ourselves the human guinea pig to figure it out.
Are any other tools that you recommend for us to make the right decision of what’s the right breakfast for us?

[28:52] Stephen
The best thing, and the most important thing is that you truly know your – let’s look at it both ways, you know your integrative health perspective of where you’re at, are you balanced. We run something called The Big Five Labs, and of course, not everyone’s going to run these and of course, they’re going to run these with any of their naturopathic doctors, integrated practitioner etc. but you want to know your mega levels, you want to know your hormone levels, that includes estrogen-progesterone and the ratio; you want to run your cortisol levels, your testosterone, your DHDA, and that’s very important for women as well because a lot of women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens like testosterone and then they have imbalances sugar levels, so you should know your blood sugar; and then you want to run your thyroid. And if everything’s good, then everything’s good, that’ a great thing. Then you want to look at your digestive capacity; do you have yeast overgrowth; do you have bacterial growth, because you don’t want to blame your Dosha for your digestive issues.
I got yeast overgrowth and cebo and h-pylori, not because of my Dosha, I got it because I took 3000 caps of Amoxicillin because the dermatologist thought it would be a good idea for me to take Amoxicillin, twice a day, for three years, for acne (really bad idea). So, it destroyed my immune system, it destroyed my intestinal tract, got rid of much of my innate flora, and I got yeast overgrowth and I got h-pylori as well. I can’t blame that on me having some Kapha or some certain issues there, I messed up, I didn’t know it, wasn’t my fault, but I took antibiotics and I over-used antibiotics, I had to correct that. And then, when I’m back in balance from a data perspective, then I can say “Okay, this is also my Dosha”. And I know me; and if you know that you’re more of a Kapha body type, and we’ll get to the Vata-Kapha in a second, but if you know you’re more of a Kapha body type, you know that a friend of yours who’s a Vata body type, they can eat twice as many calories as you and twice as many carbohydrates as you and still maintain their weight. Fair, unfair, has nothing to do with it, that doesn’t matter. We are our own unique individual, I am who I am, I can do certain things, I can’t do certain things, but I can always do my best, right? If I do my best with what I have to work with, then I’m very happy, we should all be grateful for what we have because, I’ll tell you, I work with Vatas, I work with Kaphas, I work with Pittas. The Pitta women I work with, they’re like “I gain muscle too easily”, they have that complaint; other people, Vatas, “I can’t put on any weight”, these types of things; Kaphas, “I can’t lose weight”. The grass is always greener, that’s all I’m trying to say. So, we always can find things.
So, what I would say is this – once you know the unique you, now you know what to balance. If you’re a Kapha body type, you know that you’re going to be naturally prone to higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, lower thyroid, higher levels of estrogen and you’re going to then, simply, live a life and lifestyle in accordance, knowing those things, they never have to come to fruition. But you’re going to live a lifestyle now, knowing that those things are your genetics or your Dosha and you’re simply going to keep them balanced.

[31:55] Sahara
I love that so much, and I think it is important to note that it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I was speaking to my friend Sophie, who is so fit, she always has a six-pack, she’s had three kids and she still has a six-pack, and we were talking and she is super Kapha. And I would’ve never guessed, given how she looks, and she’s like “I just work really hard. I do hit, I know what works for me” and she takes care of her body, knowing that that is the natural predisposition that she could have, but is definitely not having. So, I feel like, sometimes, people are “Ah, I’m a Kapha”, and it’s like “A bummer! And I’m always going to be overweight or have these issues that I’m dealing with”, but it doesn’t have to be that.

[32:37] Stephen
A hundred percent! So then, let’s look at it that way – if you’re a Kapha, you get the benefit of being able to exercise pretty vigorously, once you get your thyroid and hormone levels in balance, that’s the amazing thing. A Vata can’t do that, you’re not doing hit training as a Vata, I mean, you can, but you end up with insomnia, your skin starts to thin and wrinkle much faster because you’re already catabolic. But again, as a Vata, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do hit, you can, you’re just not going to do it 4 days a week. You might enjoy it once or twice a week, make sure you get enough carbs during those workouts, those types of things, for fueling. And then for the Kapha, again, a lot of people are down on Kapha, you can’t be down on Kapha. Typically enjoying life the most, if they allow themselves to – they have the best hair, the best skin, the best immunity, they’re more robust, nothing bothers them, they can get less sleep. So, don’t overlook Kapha, it’s probably one of the best, they’re all great, but it’s one of the best body types to have.

[33:32] Sahara
Totally! I love that so much! So, I also want to ask, what’s your take on celery juice then? Because that is also a huge trend right now, starting your day with celery juice, the medical medium protocol – what do you see on that?

[33:44] Stephen
So, whether it’s bulletproof or whether it’s celery juice or any of these things – I’m never all against them and I’m at never all for them, that’s the thing. Whenever there’s all for one protocol, all I try to say is “Great, who is this best for and who is this not best for?” And I’ll tell you what – you never need to drink bulletproof coffee and you never need to do celery juicing in order to get well, so I just want people to know that. Now, doing celery juicing – there’s not a lot of downsides to it. Would there be more downsides to drinking caffeine and a lot of coffee and a lot of fat in it? So, because again, when you take in that much fat, you need to make sure that your liver’s working really well, that’s very overlooked – meaning if your is body is not producing enough hydrofluoric acid in the stomach and the bile, it’s not very good for your body, and it also begins to tax what’s called a cytochrome P50 pathway in the liver detox. Now, again, little caffeine actually has been shown to help with autophagy, but a lot of caffeine, not so much. So, again, I think bulletproof has actually gotten a lot better and healthier. They’re actually promoting a healthier lifestyle, where before it was – I mean, back in the day, throw a whole stick of butter in.
And I think, for the celery juicing, as well, do you need 24oz of celery juice, or maybe 8oz, to start your day? And so, I really don’t have a lot of issues with celery juicing, I just don’t want people to believe that it is the panacea that could fix everything.
And I also, want to just be careful, because it doesn’t work for everyone. So some people that may be a little more sensitive to natural nitrates may have a little bit more of an issue with celery juice (over celery in general).
So, again, it’s just understanding your body – start small, start with 6ozand see how it feels. No, I don’t have a lot of issues around celery juice, I just want to be careful of – if you didn’t see the results, you were looking for after 21 days of celery juicing, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it just means there’s probably another layer to look at.


[35:46] Advertisement
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a shout-ot to our sponsors.

Did you know that your cell phone emits potentially harmful radiation? Dozens of peer reviewed studies, including the National Toxicology Programs, $30mil government backed study have linked exposure to health effects such as cancer, brain tumors, infertility, skin disorders and more. So, what do we do about it? Well, Safe Sleeve, a company founded by two engineers provides incredible solutions with phone screens, laptop screens, tablet screens and so much more, to keep you safe. I highly recommend using it! I’m someone who is on social media all the time, so it feels good to know that I have an extra layer of protection. In fact, their FCC accredited lab-testing shield technology can block up to 99% of the radiation emitted by your electronics. You can head over to safesleevecases.com and use coupon code ‘Sahara’ for 10% OFF, and you can find that link in the show notes.

You’ve cleaned up your diet, but have you cleaned up your household products? This is just as important and in some cases even more.
Ever since moving into my new place in Miami, I’ve become obsessed with Public Goods, the one-stop shop for sustainable, high quality, everyday essentials made from clean ingredients at an affordable price. Everything from coffee to toilet paper to shampoo to pet foods is available there.
Public Goods is your new ‘everything’ store, probably designed for the conscious consumer. My favorite products are their surface and bathroom cleaner, their dish soap, laundry detergent and reusable food-storage wraps.
They’re healthy for ourselves as well as for our children and animals, which is so important because we don’t want no toxins!
They also plant one tree for every order placed and incorporate sustainability into every part of the company.
I worked out an awesome deal just for my listeners – receive $15 OFF your first Public Goods order with no minimum purchase! That’s right, they’re so confident you’ll absolutely love their products and come back again that they’re giving you $15 OFF to spend on your first purchase! Head over to publicgoods.com/sahara and use coupon code ‘Sahara’ at check-out. publicgoods.com/sahara to receive $15 OFF your first order and you can find that link in the show notes.

[38:11] End of Advertisement

[38:12] Sahara
Yeah, I mean, when I do celery juice I just get so cold. My Vata just falls so out of balance of starting my day with a cold juice like that. I’ve tried and I couldn’t even get past four days of doing it because I could just intuitively feel it wasn’t for me. And I have some friends that it helps them with life-long rashes, so it’s really just – it’s a very personal thing.
So, now, what is your take on raw foods? This is such a controversial topic in Ayurveda, given traditional, classic Ayurveda is very – not against raw foods but it wasn’t a part of the diet in ancient India. But now, we are able to access raw foods that are cleaner and safe to eat, however, a lot of people are kind of eating cold and raw foods throughout the day because it’s easier. So, what is your take? How can we incorporate raw foods into our diet in a way that’s healthy?

[39:05] Stephen
It’s a good question, and I think that everyone needs some raw food. So, I am a believer in that because there are natural enzymes that you get from raw food that you can’t get anywhere else. And I’m a big believer in digestive enzymes in the first place; digest bitters; all these different things. I think it can be a nice adjunct to help you break down food better. But, two parts to that – as humans, we probably evolved or started somewhere in warm climate; it would make sense.
So, I love in Boston, if this wasn’t modern day, tens of thousands of years ago, well, let’s not say tens of thousands, let’s say millions of years ago, I would never be able to live here because all I would have is myself and the elements, and I couldn’t survive, it’s just too cold and nothing grows. So, this is not a natural climate for a human being, it’s just not. And so, let’s say that you’re at the equator, and you have access to lots of fresh fruits, it’s warm, it’s hot, you’re sweating, you’re replenishing all these things with live food, which, by the way, most produce is 70%, 80%, 90% water, so you’re hydrating your body. I think there’s a greater argument to be made for people living closer to the equator, eating more raw food. But the colder your climate, not only is it, I would say not great, in terms of digestion, I would say it’s actually fairly unhealthy for you because it’s more constrictive, actually it’s more expansive when, this cold food, and it doesn’t allow you to keep the warmth inside of your body. So, I didn’t phrase that properly, but basically, you need a little bit of heat from your food and some acids, actually, during the winter time, to keep the heat in your body, and then during the spring, that’s why we can have allergies, asthma, acne, heat rashes and all these things, because now we need to expel all of those acids and heat during the spring time.
And so, again, it’s stated differently, depending on the form of medicine that you’re studying, but from Ayurveda, that’s basically what we’re stating, and we’re looking at Pitta and all of these different things. And so, what I would say in that element is that, in Ayurveda, they were big believers in ease of digestion (and I love that) because one of the ways to heal the body is to nourish it and you nourish the body the best with slow cooked food.
So, when I was at some of these Ayurvedic clinics, there was no heating food at 400°F- 500F°, we’re talking about ceramic pots and different things like that, cooking it for hours. And I didn’t get it at the time but I get it now because my modern-day research (scientific research) is like “Oh, heating food at high temperatures causes more [inaudible – 41:46] and it causes more carcinogens”. And in Ayurveda, they kept the nutrition in the food by slow, warm, nourishing, easy to digest foods.
So, what I would say is this – the more imbalanced you are, the unhealthier you are, the less energy you have more cooked, nourishing foods. The healthier you are, the more robust you are, the better the digestive system; the warmer the climate, more raw foods.

[42:12] Sahara
I totally agree! In my own journey in overcoming the amenorrhea, I didn’t eat raw food. Going from raw vegan to not eating raw foods, that first year, at all, and then slowly starting to integrate it, like “Am I good here, am good here?” And now I can have smoothies and salads and all sorts of things, and I love raw foods. And that was one of the things that I was really missing in India, there isn’t really a culture of eating raw foods, it’s not really heard of and I just felt like a lot of things were so, maybe slow cooked – but actually pressure cookers are used so much in India right now, and to really make sure things are well cooked to the point that everything is just like mushy, and I was just like “I want something that’s alive and springy and natural”. But then, we can overdo that too, so it’s finding the right balance for us.

[43:01] Stephen
A hundred percent! And so many of the Ayurvedic foods are higher in lectins and other things like that, that by using a pressure cooker or this long-term cooking, you’re really breaking down a lot of this lectins and a lot of things people have fears of (oxalates etc.). So, the nice thing is that when you have a kitcheree or have this (Ayurveda is mush food), when you eat that food, it’s very easy to digest, it’s very easy, typically, on the digestive system although I will say, many people would CBO and can’t eat a based issues still might not do well with mung beans, dall beans in general. And so, that’s ok, it’s just means you can’t have them now, you might be able to have them (and most likely will) after your gut has been repaired, and that’s going to take probably around three or four months.

[43:45] Sahara
And that is a question I get often – of, “My doctor told me not to have legumes and grains, but I really want to do Ayurvedic nutrition, what do I do?”

[43:55] Stephen
So, if it’s just a blanket statement, because there are so many functional medicine doctors out there that are saying Keto for everyone, and that’s dangerous; and they’re saying no carbs for everyone, whatever it might be, it’s just, there’s no one for everyone, it’s actually quite dangerous. And the people that it’s most dangerous for, the Vata body types, because their bodies are always walking a tight rope. So, as a Vata, you need to take the most care of your body, you just need to do what you know is right for your body; don’t push it, do anything crazy. I’m still a big believer in self-experimentation, but let’s make it rational and let’s take small steps (especially as a Vata).
So, what I would say is, when it comes to grains and legumes, they, potentially, may be a little bit more difficult to digest, but we can always choose sprouted and we can always choose soaked, and we can always cook it a little bit longer, if we choose to. And that’s where it goes back to, again, did your doctor give you that recommendation for a reason? So, we don’t actually do any grains for the first 21 days to 28 days of our gut healing-based protocols (CBO protocol). And the reason we just don’t – we just don’t know, maybe you have issues with selectives, maybe you have issues with grains, who knows, But let’s eliminate it for a month and then let’s just slowly try to integrate one back in, and we’re going to figure out if it is or it’s not. And in the meantime you can still have squash and sweet potatoes and things like that, if you choose to.
So, what I would say is, people are too worried about grains, they really are. Oatmeal can be one of the best foods for people with higher blood pressure, high cholesterol, it’s a nourishing food, it’s an anabolic food, especially for a Vata body type.
So, at the same time, I don’t eat a ton of grains, but I’m not afraid of them, and I can eat some and you kind of know what’s best for your body type. So, little self-experimentation; but there has to be an elimination first, before you can then self-experiment, because you need to know what your baseline is.

[45:55] Sahara
I love that! And what do you say if someone eats legumes and they get bloated, that that’s a not for them or that’s an invitation to work through it?

[46:06] Stephen
If you get bloated from legumes, I would absolutely run. We call it the Candida Metabolic and Vitamins Test, it’s often called the Organic Acids Test. You need to see if you have yeast overgrowth or bacterial overgrowth, because it can just be fermentation. Legumes have fructans, just by nature, you’re not going to eliminate that. So, fructans break down to fructose and fructose is a nice fuel-based source for basically yeast and bacteria.
So, if you do have bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine, or you have yeast overgrowth in that small intestine, it’s just a fuel-source for it. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it means that “Oh, you uncovered a natural underlying issue that’s not going to go away even if you get rid of the legumes”, that doesn’t make it go away.
So, I love the discovery process and I ask “Hey, what foods cause bloating? Which foods seem to be ok?” And some people come to us and they only eat four foods and obviously, there’s a real issue, but we get it and understand.
So, I would say, use it as an invitation to explore. If you have yeast overgrowth, if you have bacterial overgrowth, you have to get that back into balance, because if you don’t, it can lead to autoimmune issues in the future, intestinal permeability, skin rashes, you name it.

[47:16] Sahara
I love that so much and I think that, yeah, we try to “Well, this doesn’t feel good, eliminate this, eliminate that, eliminate that” and then we’re down to four foods and we’re like “Well, I guess this is my life, just having these four foods” and doing the work to begin healing it.
So, what would you recommend for someone – I know you have so many different courses and protocols, for someone who is wanting to figure out what is at the root of their digestive issue, seeing if they have CBO, Candida, etc., how do you recommend to go about figuring out what your issue is?

[47:50] Stephen
Yea. Your community is a little more advanced, there’s no doubt about it, so they know more about the process, because for the average person – I wrote a book, it’s called “The Rain Barrel Effect” and I say just details – getting well, and really rebalancing your Dosha, is about learning what your toxicities are. But state it a different way, it’s learning about what your accumulations are.
So, for example, we think about, cooper is one of those minerals that our body needs – it fuels, it helps with the thyroid and it helps with the mitochondria, but if you have too much copper, because your zinc is too low, well now you can end up with anxieties, allergies, skin rashes, ADHD, all sorts of issues. So, it’s about accumulation, what is your body accumulating too much of that’s out of balance? And then there’s also the other side of that, and that’s deficiencies. So, your deficiencies would be – so we always talk about “Well, I just need more B-Vitamins or B12” or “I need more of this” and maybe that’s true, but very infrequently have I ever seen someone make a dramatic turn around with just Vitamin B12. There’s typically different layers to that and that’s one nutrient. Usually there’s a foundational approach that’s needed and there’s deeper level deficiencies and that’s because someone has low stomach acid, they have h-pylori, they have parasites, they’ve got yeast overgrowth, they’ve got bacterial overgrowth, they have intestinal permeability issues. So, what we do is we – “The Rain Barrel Effect” is going to detail all of that.
And so, what I would say is, it’s a nice place to start, but if you’re already a little bit more advanced, you want to look into what are called functional medicine at home lab tests. And you can work with a naturopathic doctor in your area, you can work with an integrated health practitioner pretty much anywhere in the world (virtually or otherwise) or you can work with us over at EquiLife. And what you want to look for are what’s called the Big Five Tests. Now, they go by different names but really, you want to assess the different areas of your body that are imbalanced. And I recommend this for people that are healthy and people that are unhealthy. And the reason is that, you’re looking at underlying root cause issues – and I just want to take a second to explain. Everybody should be running the blood work with their MD PCP every year. Your blood work is to just tell you do you have disease or not, like an actual diagnosable disease. Most people don’t; they’re on their way, but they don’t. Now, this is the issue – well before you ever get a diagnosable disease where your blood work is off, because remember, your blood work flows through your body, it’s a homeostatic fluid, picking up calcium when needed, picking up magnesium when needed, breaking down liver glycogen or even muscle tissue if it needs it for glucose – so, it’s balanced. When it’s out of balance, something’s really wrong. But these at home labs are going to tell you your gut, it’s going to tell you your hormones, it’s going to tell you your detoxes, it’s going to tell you your omega-3s, your heavy metals, I mean, so many – women are dealing with higher levels of arsenic or mercury or aluminum and now it’s affecting their hormones, namely thyroid.
So, again, Big Five or the starter kit to get, a good place to start because at some point – so, the reason why I’m so passionate about this too is that, the same labs I use today are what helped me turn the corner at 19 years old. So, I didn’t get well for a while, but two years of going to medical doctor, medical doctor, medical doctor, best in the world, all around Boston Massachusetts, with really brilliant minds, but they didn’t find the underlying root causes.
So, at some point you need to figure out what these underlying root causes are and then honestly, it’s not that difficult once you know. But when you’re always grasping in the dark, you might try this and get a little bit of results for a little while and then all of a sudden you don’t get results anymore and then “Why not?” It’s because the true, underlying, issue wasn’t rebalanced. So, that’s kind of a long way to dance to say I can’t recommend enough at home functional medicine lab testing.

[51:46] Sahara
I love that so much and I think it’s so important to have this information on ourselves, otherwise we’re just kind if walking in the dark room, just trying to figure our way out and there is so much freedom in “Oh, now I can see what this was and now I can go about an actionable plan that I can take”. I think a lot of people are just – it’s frustrating that our insurance companies don’t pay for these types of things. So, if you are to recommend to someone who is like “I want to do all these tests and learn everything for myself, money is tight. Where should I start? What’s the first or couple things that I should invest my money into that would give me the most information possibly about myself?”

[52:30] Stephen
So, two different scenarios – the first one is overall general health, digestion, you feel like you’re aging at a more rapid rate, don’t have good energy, all those typical types of things – The Starter Kit is going to be the best place that’s for bloating, digestive issues, knowing where your vitamin and mineral levels are at. A lot of people say “Well, I eat a good diet, so my vitamins and minerals are probably fine”, most likely it’s not the case. I mean, we’re dealing with so much soil degradation, the same nutrients that were in the soil in 1960s are not in the soil now (20 years later) So, all that’s really important, so the Starter Kit is basically your gut digestion, looking at all your detox factors, your mitochondria for energy, your vitamins, your minerals, your heavy metals. So, that’s two different labs.
But if you are a woman dealing with all the symptoms that I spoke about earlier, of estrogen dominance or potentially low thyroid, with some insomnia or just sleep-based issues, low libido, then you want to run, what’s called, the Stress Hormones Mood Metabolizer Test as a standalone. All of those are a part of the big five, but these are just different ones to kind of allocate your money towards. And that’s because, again, really clear picture – one tip I would give you is run little lab – if you don’t have your cycle right now, if you’re not getting your period, run it during the time that you’re having the most symptoms; the most irritability; lower mood; bloating, etc.
So, run it that day or around that time, because what you want to look for is specifically for estrogen dominance. And one thing that’s really important – most women do not have high levels of estrogen, so I want to just throw that out there. They have low levels of progesterone and there’s a huge difference, because women are told that they have too much estrogen and that’s what’s causing these issues, it’s actually not the case. I’ve run tens of thousands of these labs and for women all over the world, so it’s not like just women in Boston are experiencing this.
So, what happens is, when our stress levels get high, we start to produce more cortisol. The same issue that just happened with lowering of thyroid, happens to what’s called the hypothalamus pituitary gonadal axis or gonad axis. In women, the ovaries are also responsible for estrogen-progesterone as well, so we look at gluttonizing hormone, follicular stimulating hormone and all these great things – well, the last half of your cycle, the last 14 days, you’re meant to have elevated levels of progesterone peeking out around days 19, 20, 21. So, if you do have a cycle, that’s the best time to run your lab. If don’t, time the most symptoms.
What happens is – women’s levels of progesterone starts to fall and they can actually get some spotting earlier or they go up and down in mood the last 5 -7 days of their cycle. And again, estrogen levels are most likely normal, 9/10 times; progesterone levels are too low. And what happens is, high levels of stress, fight or flight, cortisol, sympathetic nervous system dominance deplete, or, I shouldn’t say deplete, shift the levels of progesterone away from active progesterone and more towards the sympathetic nervous system. And so, by understanding that, you know that hormone replacement is not the answer.
Again, I’m all for helping women to get rid of those symptoms, but the real answer now is working on the HPA axis, which is the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis, and what’s causing the stress. Sometimes it gut issues, sometimes it’s pain, sometimes it’s emotion, there’s a lot of different things around it. So, we work on that, and then, it’s not magic, all of a sudden now women can get their cycle back. We have so many women that now, can get pregnant for the first time, so it’s very rewarding.
And I’ll tell you this, that beyond getting well, what you learn about yourself in the process is just irreplaceable, it’s absolutely unbelievable. That’s how it was for me. I’m glad I didn’t get well over night, I’m glad there is no silver bullet, because I learned a lot about myself in the process.

[56:22] Sahara
Yes and I can totally relate because my exact issue was also in my hypothalamus, it was in the mind of having so much stress. And for me it was a combination of diet, raw vegan, not nourishing enough, the yoga practice I was doing (of Ashtanga yoga) 3-hours a day, super masculine, rigid, discipline, feeling disconnected from my feminine, on a spiritual level, feeling disconnected from my Dharma and it was all of these things, and then trying to figure out what I needed to do so it was like all of the stress and then not enough nourishment and grounding – my body is like “Oh, you cannot have a child, do not bring a child into this atmosphere!” so of course I’m not going to have my period.
So, it’s amazing how deep stress can really affect us on a physical level. And for people who are like overwhelmed of “Oh my God, how do I figure out what’s wrong with me”, sometimes just decreasing stress, you don’t need to know what the thing was but if you just decrease your stress levels, whatever could’ve been out of balance that you maybe were not able to label, falls back into balance. Do you see that happen a lot?

[57:29] Stephen
A hundred percent! We often tell people; we say to everybody “We’re going to figure this out.” Typically, for most people, there’s only about a dozen different reasons that cause low thyroid, a dozen different reasons that cause estrogen dominance, a dozen different reasons that cause high cholesterol, you know, we can just work with the variables, that’s it. So, as long as someone’s willing to stick with it, for themselves, you’ll figure it out. But you have to learn to control stress at some point in your life because, here’s the thing – we’ll help someone rebalance all the four different gut-based issues that there can be, and they’re good, and then six months later they email back and they’re like “I don’t know what happened, all of a sudden I’m bloated again!” Well, what happens is, something called ileocecal valve dysfunction, and they literally re-gave themselves CBO, because this ‘ileum’ this last part of the small intestine meets the cecum, the first part of the large intestine – and it’s meant to be a one-way street. And under stress, that valve stays open. And so, you literally backfill colon-based bacteria into the small intestine, which it was never meant to be there, and all of a sudden, now you have CBO again. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t eat the wrong foods, but stress caused, re-caused this issue. So now what do we do? Well, we work the protocol again and you’re learning again, but now this time, you’re with the understanding that, now, it’s not just about nutritional supplements and diet, it’s about lifestyle. Okay, let me take now those 3-hour Ashtanga-based yoga sessions to some meditation, a little bit of walking, some straight training, just kind of dialing it back and understanding. That’s why Ayurveda eventually takes over for functional medicine. In the short-term, you need the protocols, and in the long-term you need to understand you, your body, the mind and the body, how they go together, that’s how you maintain to keep your results for life.

[59:20] Sahara
I love that! So well said! And it is so important for us to, yeah, be able to find it and then come back to a state of balance so we don’t have the next thing and the next thing and the next thing and give up our own power into be our own healers, our own intuitive body-whisperers and know “Okay, here’s what’s happening in my life!”
And you know, I think, given our society, it’s hard to be totally stress-free. There’s so much happening in the world around us and our careers and the state of the world etc.
So, what tips do you recommend for people to decrease their stress, to let their bodies come into a deeper state of balance?

[59:59] Stephen
It’s about working with the natural rhythms of the day. So, I don’t believe that you need to be stress-free. I’m not stress-free, I actually would say I have a fair amount of stress in my work. Now, I do love it, don’t get me wrong, but when you’re working on – you know, I have a team of health practitioners and I read a lot of those labs, and people are sick, obviously. And there’s the wanting to help all of these people and I answer many questions every day – there’s stress. But we know from, Ayurveda has the times of the day and in modern science it matches that. When we wake up, our cortisol levels are at their peak (between 6am – 8am) and they gradually start to fall throughout the day. So, a lot of these people who they say that they’re night owls and all of these different things, and I know a lot of creators are night owls and all of these things, but the problem is, you are now becoming dysfunctional; you are keeping light on at night; you are creating higher levels of cortisol, which, it has an inverse ration with melatonin, so what’s now happened is, you’re decreasing your melatonin, which is a very powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer-based hormone, in its own right, and now the next morning when you wake up, you’re making a passed peak cortisol, so you might wake up a little bit groggy, passed your peak thyroid, and so what’s happened is, you’re not working with those natural rhythms of the earth and the own day.
So, what I would say is, allow yourself to kind of move through natural stress during the day, but I also recommend three check-ins with yourself. First thing – you have to have a morning ritual, I won’t go through the whole ritual today, maybe another day, but you need to have a time that’s your time in the morning. You need to enter and meet the day how you want the day to go. Set the tone in the morning, set an alarm on your phone throughout the morning or even just at lunchtime. Every lunch, I go for a walk by myself, just me, and that’s because I’m with people all day long – that’s decompression. So, I go from sympathetic to parasympathetic. Mid-afternoon, I have my work-out (parasympathetic, after my own sympathetic) and then before bed, whatever’s on my mind, I have to get it off my mind because I need a good nights’ sleep. Write it down on paper – now my mind does not need to hold onto that information anymore, I can come and look at it the next day.
So, even if you do those three check-ins, it’s a great way to look at it.
And the last part, I’ll just say is, always remember that no matter how bad it is right now, you’ve been through other hard times in your life and you’ve made it through every single one of those. You’re going to make it through this one, this one as well, you don’t know how yet, but you will. So, I just always have the peace of mind knowing that “I’ve been here before, not this exact circumstance; everything is going to be ok; it’s all going to work out in the end and I’m also grateful for everything that I do have right now.” So, that gratitude and perspective is what I try to live by.

[1:02:51] Sahara
I love that so much and I think that those are three great examples of exercising, taking a walk, writing everything that’s on your mind, journaling. Sometimes, if I have a lot, I’ll record a voice note of myself, just for me, just to speak out whatever it is that I’m experiencing and it’s just such a powerful way to just clearing your mind and letting yourself “Okay, now that that’s out, let me move on”, so I love these practices so much! And it really does illustrate how much the mind and body are interconnected and how we need to be talking about our lifestyle and our stress-relieving practices etc. when we are talking about these health issues because they really do go hand-in-hand. So, we’re grateful for your work, for helping so many people heal in such a holistic and integrative way.

[1:03:38] Stephen
I appreciate that, thank you very much!

[1:03:40] Sahara
And where can listeners, now, connect with you, try some of these labs, your courses and tune into your podcast?

[1:03:48] Stephen
So, my podcast is called The Cabral Concept, it’s a daily show and it’s about 20 minutes (25 minutes) long where each day is a new topic. And what I try to do is just teach just one little bit every day, and so what happens is, I believe knowledge in this field and in really any field, is an accumulation of knowledge where after listening to many shows, you begin to make connections, and as you make more connections you can see things at a deeper level. And I think, then, when people feel it’s the right time, when they’re ready to move forward, they can go to, which is my global integrative health sites, we work with people all over the world, and that equi.life, and that’s all the labs are, that’s where all our protocols are – everything’s open source. When I decided, in 2017, that, not that I would ever stop, we were working with 20.000 people a year (appointment-wise) and we said “How can we reach more people?” and the way was, it was always before you had a doctor, you had to go to a doctor to sign off their lab and people were always worried about asking their doctor for labs and all these things, we just said “Listen, let’s open source everything we do”. So, we gave it all away; we basically said “This is exactly what we do for digestion; Here’s what we do for female hormones; Here’s our functional medicine detox; Here’s our heavy metal detox; These are labs we use”. So, you can work with us and not work with us, and that to me is honestly your decision, but you can see what we do and then you can decide what’s the best choice for you. And I hope that that’s kind of a way for the future – open source information for everyone because one day I won’t be practicing and then the next generation of practitioners will say “Okay, here’s what we’re doing, these are the new research” and we’ll all begin to build off of that as well.

[1:05:30] Sahara
I love that so much! And it’s truly the way that the new paradigm is heading, of sharing information and knowing that if we can share this our minds can come together, we can come up with even better solutions. So, thank you so much for leading by example and I can’t wait to go on there and check it out and read through everything.

[1:05:50] Stephen
That’s great, yeah! Any questions, too, your listeners have, they can always ask. The easiest place to find me is just on Instagram and it’s just my name @stephencabral (Stephen with a ‘ph’).

[1:05:59] Sahara
Awesome! Well, thank you so much again for sharing your wisdom with us today, we so appreciate it!

[1:06:04] Stephen
Thank you again for having me!

[1:06:05] End of Interview

[1:06:06] Sahara
How incredible was that conversation! Now, if you are feeling the call to actually create a career for yourself as an Integrative Health Practitioner where you will be training under Dr. Stephen Cabral and learning all things Ayurvedic and functional, nutrition, digestion and healing, this really will allow you to take your practice to the next level. Maybe you’ve done Health Coach certificate before or studied Ayurveda, but you really want to go in this deeper way with a functional angle, to actually be able to heal people with hormonal imbalances, digestive issues and actually use labs to be able to find information about them. Well, if all this is really calling your name and exciting for you, well definitely explore this program.

[1:06:48] Sahara
So, I’m super-excited to be pairing up with Dr. Cabral to be offering a special discount exclusively for Highest Self Podcast listeners.
You’ll receive $100 OFF their Level 1 Certification or $200 OFF their bundled package of Level 1 and Level 2.
So, to get this discount head over to iamsahararose.com/cabral and you’ll be able to sign up there, get more information and be sure to say that you were referred by Sahara for your discount.

[1:07:20] Sahara
Now, if you’re wanting to just do the testing and get more support yourself with their tests and the customized supplements that you can get for exactly what you need, then I’ve also got a special discount for you. You can head over to their website at equi.life and use coupon code ‘Sahara’ for 10% OFF.

[1:07:42] Sahara
I had the pleasure of doing the labs myself, I did the Big Five, and I was able to find so much great information about my adrenal health, hormones, digestion, different heavy metals that could’ve been in my system and it really gave me this in-depth understanding of where my health is at right now. And they actually offer you a consultation with a Health Coach after. So, the Health Coach I worked with was able to identify foods that I should eat, based off my food sensitivity tests, different supplements and herbs that could support me with my healing, and to really give me this overall lifestyle analysis that I could really use these practices, these foods, these herbs, to be able to create a more balanced life for myself.

[1:08:25] Sahara
So, if you’re wanting to get this high level information about your overall health or just get a specific test done, or supplement, head over to equi.life and use coupon code ‘Sahara’ for your discount. You can find both of those links in the show notes and I’m super-excited for you to get the support that you deserve.

[1:08:43] Sahara
I hope that you enjoyed this Episode and I’ll see you in the next one. Namaste!


Episode 375: Ayurvedic + Functional Nutrition For The Modern World with Dr. Stephen Cabral
By Sahara Rose

Scroll to Top