Kate Vazquez joins me today to discuss the stress response and share her three core pillars to calm your nervous system.
Three core pillars to calm your nervous system:
- Identify your limiting beliefs
- Learn about your triggers and stress response
- Identify your conditioning
Listen to the Episode
If you’re feeling happiness and joy and love and gratitude and abundance, you are in a flow state. So, if we can tune into our emotions and how we are feeling, that’s our best test.”
– Kate Vazquez
About Kate Vazquez
Kate Vazquez is a Functional Medicine Physician Assistant, Theta Healing Practitioner, and the founder of Radiant Health. Using a functional medicine and mindset approach, she helps ambitious women overcome stress and anxiety to embrace who they truly are, feel alive in their body, and live a life they love on purpose.
Anxiety is a symptom that you are in a survival response, and it is a coping mechanism.
– Kate Vazquez
In This Episode
- What is anxiety? [8:28]
- The difference between acute, chronic, and low-grade stress. [9:28]
- The four primary stress responses. [13:00]
- Ways to prevent yourself from going into a stress response. [18:08]
- How the body responds when you are in a parasympathetic state. [22:30]
- How to differentiate between a survival state and a flow state. [22:49]
- How to maintain a flow state. [24:15]
- Kate’s three core pillars to calm the nervous system. [31:00]
- What your triggers will show you. [26:44]
- How to shift your state from survival to flow. [29:24]
- What you need to know about healing your gut. [33:41]
- How to use seed cycling to support your hormones naturally. [36:58]
Links & Resources
Kate’s Social Media Links:
Relative Links for This Show:
Gut-Hormone-Nervous System Connection: The REAL Causes of Anxiety: https://infoa5148f.clickfunnels.com/g-h-ns-connection
Join the waitlist for her podcast course : https://www.yourradianthealth.com/alreadyenough/
Link to Kate Vazquez’s book, Estrogen Is A Bitch:
Seed Cycling https://beeyawellness.com/
Kate Vazquez 0:00
If I had to focus on who was the person I wanted to become instead, so move from an anxious person to a person who is happy and fulfilled who has so much love and abundance.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:16
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Kate Vasquez. Today we're going to talk about the stress response and three core pillars to calm your nervous system. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint Podcast. Today my guest is Kate Vasquez who is a functional medicine physician assistant Theta Healing practitioner and the founder of Radiant Health. Using a functional medicine and mindset approach. She helps ambitious women overcome stress and anxiety to embrace who they truly are, feel alive in their body and live a life they love on purpose. Welcome to the show. Kate,
Kate Vazquez 1:04
I definitely thank you so much for having me. I'm just so honored and blessed to be here today.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:08
Well tell us your story. Tell us how you became so passionate about helping women overcome stress? Oh, yeah,
Kate Vazquez 1:15
Well, I, one suffered or was experiencing a chronic state of survival for over 20 years. And that's why I was experiencing stress and anxiety on a daily basis. But of course, I didn't know that at the time. You know, we only know what we know. And it was really impacting me on a daily basis to the point, I would wake up in the morning and my heart would start beating really fast, my muscles would start tightening up and get really tense. And then my mind was flooding with all these thoughts, all the thoughts from the previous day. And then all the thoughts of the things that I have to do right there in the moment to get ready for the day and all the thoughts that I have to do. You know, in the next upcoming days, though, my mind was constantly racing all the time. So I was in that survival mode or fighter flight, as we call it, you know, ready to just like, take on the day, but it wasn't healthy. It definitely wasn't healthy to be in that state. And it got to a point where it was affecting my health. In fact, when I was a child, I had migraine. And of course, I'd go to the doctors and we call just make sure she eats more, you know snacks during the day because I thought I had low glucose or something. And then as I got older, through college and became a PA, the migraines got to a point I was having like eight or nine a month. And I would see a lot of different doctors, I went to the primary and the eye doctor and dentists and neurologists and they all came the same conclusion. It's just stress, but no one really had a good solution for it. You know, they would prescribe me different pills. So I took medications for the migraines. I even took Prozac in PA school just to help with the anxiety. I got a mouthguard because my jaw was so tight, intense from stress. Sure, sure. And even the neurologist said, Well, why don't you just walk around with your mouth slightly open, true story. And I was like looking at him like he's crazy. I'm like, and this is supposed to fix the migraines. Yeah, so I heard it all from a lot of different practitioners. But no one at the time. They said Guess it's due to stress. But no one really asked me like, how are they feeling? You know, how are they coping or adapting to stress and giving them the tools to actually navigate it? You know, they just wanted to give me all these temporary solutions, which obviously didn't fix the stress didn't really fix the migraines. It just made me feel better in the moment. And the Prozac just numbed on my emotions. Yeah, it was really impacting my health. I even had gut issues like constipation, bloating and gas. And I was even on birth control since I was a teenager for acne. So I had a lot of health issues, but I wasn't able to piece it all together. Not only was the stress and anxiety affecting my health, it was affecting my fulfillment as a PA because I got into Yeah, became a PA to help people. But a few years in, I realized I wasn't really helping people and even though giving people a quick fix, because I was working in an urgent care, and people kept coming back again and again wondering why are they not feeling better. And it was like frustrating at the time because I'm like, I really wanted to help them. And not only was it affecting my career and fulfillment, but it was also affecting my marriage to the point. My husband was coaching me all the time. So the first couple years, you know, when you get married, it's challenging. You have to not think about yourself anymore. You have to think about the other person and learn how to communicate but being a type A perfectionist and go getter and I just didn't know how to express how I felt I would bottle up all my emotion. And if he would say something, I would get triggered and either like end up in an arc I would get defensive and ended up in argument or I would end up just in a mental breakdown, start crying, and that's how I would just release everything. And so it was just me getting, you know, just compounding on itself over and over the years, the first couple years of my marriage because I couldn't control how I felt the emotions, my husband was coaching me because he cared so much about me. But it got to a point he became my coach, not my husband. And I remember that day very, very clearly, when we were sitting on his old, ugly leather bound couch, because that's what we had at the time. And I looked at his eyes, and I can remember just seeing the pain and the sadness, and then happiness. And he said, I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. And when he said that, and he also was contemplating a divorce, I just My heart broke into 1000 pieces, because he was my soulmate. And I wanted to view it like he was the love of my life. I knew we could have an incredible marriage. But I couldn't do that at the time. All I could think about was like, wow, like, what's wrong with me? Why can I make them happy, like, I'm not good enough. And even though it was a very difficult conversation we had, I am so grateful for that moment, because that moment was like the turning point. And it woke me up to realize I need to do something about it. Because the baby I was experiencing on a pretty constant basis. Yeah, it was affecting my health, it was affecting my marriage and affecting my like fulfillment and life. And so from there, thankfully, he sent me off to Tony Robbins, because I didn't want to go, but he sent me off to Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:22
And I learned this history now just gonna share.
Kate Vazquez 6:26
It really started this journey of like, mindset development and personal development. And then I jumped into functional medicine because I wanted to heal my body holistically. You know, because unfortunately, Western medicine wasn't helping and helping me to understand what was happening in my body. So yeah, I jumped into functional medicine started healing myself getting rid of the gut symptoms, lowering cortisol because the head high cortisol, because when you're in that, you're in that survival state, you're producing a lot of cortisol, and then eventually coming off birth control, my hormones went crazy. So I learned how to balance those naturally. And I ended up writing a book called estrogen is a bitch to talk about that experience and help women understand that. But through it all, even though I felt so much better, and thankfully, saved my marriage, I still had stress and anxiety. And because I realized there was still a missing piece, that's been my journey, just really uncovering like what is happening in my body and understanding that I was in a chronic, sympathetic state. And yes, you can make changes when you're in that state of temporary feel better. But until we move out of that state, we're not able to get complete healing.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:33
So let me ask you, why do you think you were in that state and and maybe that's a whole nother long story. Or maybe you don't want to go into that?
Kate Vazquez 7:39
Yeah, I was able to discover the reason I was in that state was because I was operating as an identity of a stressed and anxious person, you know, type a perfectionist, and based off the limiting beliefs I developed from childhood, which created the conditioning to cause me to respond or actually not respond, but to react to different things in my life. And I was constantly seeking, you know, validation from others to make me feel like I was good enough, because the main belief that I had was, I'm not good enough. And that was running in the background in my mind for over 20 years. And so of course, when we have this belief, we're constantly striving, seeking achievement, so we can feel like we're good enough, you know, needing approval, validation from others to feel like we're good enough. Everything we're doing is just so we can feel like we're good enough, but it causes so much stress, so much anxiety in your body pushes back. And in fact, I think it now as like, it's a symptom that you're in a survival response. And it's a coping mechanism, because when we're under chronic stress, our body is going to respond in a physical and emotional way. And the emotions I was experiencing with like, overwhelm of fear, doubt, worry, you know, fear of failure, or fear, making mistakes, because again, I, if I made a mistake, I wasn't good enough. And then feeling it physically in my body, which was causing digestive symptoms, and then the muscle pain, the tightness in my neck, upper back and shoulder, which was triggering the migraines. It was like an eye opening experience for sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:14
I'm so happy you found Well, Tony Robbins, but also functional medicine. So let's go into the different levels of stress for the listeners, I'm sure many women listening are thinking, oh my gosh, that's me, I can resonate with her story. So what is the difference between acute chronic and kind of low grade stress,
Kate Vazquez 9:31
Though acute stress happens. Like for example, if you're driving down the road and someone cuts you off, you're like, you go into acute stress, because you now you're like, you're in that acute fight or flight, you got to protect yourself to prevent from getting in an accident. And of course, that means especially in California, where I live, that's happening a lot. And that was having me on the way to work, I would instantly go in and keep stress every single day on my drive to work and that's an acute stress response when you get something neatly done. happens, it's an acute threat, and it sends signals, we have thoughts and it sends signals in our brain to different parts of our body. So it's going to slow down signals to our digestive tract or reproductive organs, but it's going to also increase signals to our muscles in our dream fire up our adrenals. So that's an acute stress. And acute stress is not that we need it, you know, to protect ourselves. So example, if you're hiking in the mountains, and all of a sudden you see a bear, now you got to figure out, okay, am I gonna stand here and fight this bear, I'm not gonna run away, we need that response, to protect ourselves. And you know, if you think about our ancestors, it was built in to fight, you know, enemies that were attacking the lions and bears that were attacking them. So we need that built in survival mechanism to protect us from an actual threat. But the problem is, is that in our modern day into society, everything's a perceived threat. And so now we go from acute stress to chronic stress, where everything is affecting us, whether we realize it or not, and the low grade chronic stress, or those low grade chronic stressors that we're not aware of, you know, we can be aware of, like more of the chronic stressors like, okay, am I going to lose my job, and I have to pay my bills and stuff like that. But then there's those low grade chronic stressors, which are the structures we put on ourselves, the thoughts we have in our head, and that actually creates a lot of stress in our body. Because we, when we think of stress, you know, there's different types of stress, there's the physical stress. So obviously, when you're exercising, that creates stress in your body, or if you have an injury or go through surgery, and then we have the mental emotional stress, but we kind of like brushed it off, you know, we don't really dive deep into like, why why do we have this certain thoughts? And why are we thinking and responding in certain way. But then there's also the chemicals, you know, stressors, and that were exposed to chemical and environmental stressors. So you know, the toxins in our environment. And sometimes we get infections, like COVID, for example, was a infectious stressor that sent a lot of people into a survival response and actually worked with a lot of clients post COVID. And recognizing, whoa, their adrenals went into overdrive, because it just really ramped up their nervous system. So yeah, we get different infections, even Lyme, and mold can turn people into a chronic stress response. So there's different things in our environment, things that we can control, and then things we can't control. And that will create this chronic stress, or, yeah, we have these little low grade stressors throughout our life. So those are the different types of stress that people can experience.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:40
And they all add up,
Kate Vazquez 12:42
they all add up. Exactly.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:44
So what are different responses to stress,
Kate Vazquez 12:47
Though, what I realized is that we all respond to stress in different ways. Granted, you know, there's four different types of stress responses, there's the fight, flight, freeze, and Bong, because we know like, when you go into that sympathetic state, you're in fight or flight, but you can also freeze, most people go into one of those responses as their primary response. Like for me, for example, as soon as like something like triggers me or something happens, I immediately go into fight. And it didn't recognize that but once I learned
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:19
the same, I think we have,
Kate Vazquez 13:21
Yeah, cuz I get very defensive. Like, I want to prove that I'm right. You're wrong. Me too. That's the fight response. Yeah. It's so funny, because now that I'm aware of it, I see it so commonly, especially in my sisters, and my parents, and I'm like, Oh, my mom would go into fight, you know, when she was under stress, my sister is going. So I almost feel like some of this is like a conditioned pattern that we've learned, sure, but it's also very primal too. So we go to Yeah, defensiveness, white is when we kind of like run away, we want to not because we don't know how to process and feel what we're feeling a moment that we're all run away and find something to distract us or to numb our emotion. And that's where people will resort to like alcohol, for example, or shopping online or working. My dad, for example, when he was under stress, and he would run away to work. And that's how he would deal with his emotions. He wanted to remove himself, you know, from the stressor, my mom ran away to work, so he
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:16
can fight, there's the fight,
Kate Vazquez 14:19
Or flee. And then there's freeze where people just get paralyzed, and they just they don't even know how to react or respond or what to say they just completely shut down. That's the freeze response. And then the fourth one is fun, whereas people pleasing so for me, I would go Amelie in the fight, but then if the stressor continued, I would go into people pleasing, and that's that type a perfectionist, you know, personality trait you want to like, make everybody happy. So it's like, oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to say that. What can I do to make this right? You know, you start going into people pleasing, and that's a stress response instead of like recognizing, okay, yeah, I don't necessarily have to me and happy apart, you can still apologize. Like, I didn't mean to say that because I was in a stress response. But yeah, identifying the stress response was very, very powerful. Because once you're aware of that, if you say, example, get triggered, you can do something to prevent me going into that response. So what I do now is, if my husband says something that triggers me, before I start to go into fight, I will tell him, hold on, I need to go process this, which has been a game changer, because before I would get very defensive, we get an argument or, yeah, independent mental breakdown. But now I'm like, let me go process this. And he's really good about giving me that space, I will go into your room, I will sit and meditate and just think about what just happened. And then I come to him and say, Hey, what you said, I understand you're saying it from a place of love. But I got triggered by with my limiting belief, and they go through that whole process. And now we can actually have a calm conversation about it, instead of getting into an argument, which is better for the body, because now my body's not in that survival mode, I'm able to calm down back into a parasympathetic, which is that rest, relax, you know, flow state is what I call it. And it's such a game changer to be able to do that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:11
Thank you for bringing that up. Because I think many of the listeners are probably thinking, okay, yep, I fight or I flight or I freeze or one pot or people please that kind of rhymes. Of course, my question as you're saying, all this is okay, so how do we not do that, but it sounds like you're saying, part of the, you know, kind of healing process here getting you out of the state of chronic stress is just recognizing, just being aware and pausing. Okay, I'm not gonna fight, I'm not gonna run away. Because it is, I think it's still good to, I don't want to say deal with a stressor, but Right, have the conversation with your husband or you know, whatnot. But to stop first and kind of recognize where you're at before you throw the punch.
Kate Vazquez 16:46
Yeah, exactly. Cuz I realized I would say things to him that I would never ever say in a normal conversation when I wasn't in a stress response. And it's so interesting, because I would always hear my parents throw around the D word, divorce, you know, whenever they would get into an argument and fight. And I found myself thinking the same thing. And saying, Well, yeah, maybe even though I realized, like, divorce is not an option, like, I truly believe, like, we can figure this out, if we can just yet take that time to pause for a moment process with how to calm ourselves down, and then have a conversation about it. Because what we're thinking is probably not what the other person's thinking. We are always telling stories about what happened. And when we actually had that conversation, we realized, like, oh, the story we created in our head was not true. So we can do that. It makes a game changer. But yeah, you're absolutely it's just having that awareness, pausing. And doing something like for me taking some deep breath meditation to calm me down in the moment. And then I can think so much clearer. And then I can respond and say things that I actually would mean, that the things that I would, you know, I can change the outcome of any situation. I think I'm
Dr. Stephanie Gray 17:59
Once read a book, this is years ago, pertinent to the conversation, but I'm pretty sure it was called triggers, that helped you kind of identify what your triggers are, I'll have to go back and look at that post a link in the show notes. But let's talk about the nervous system and the gut and our hormones and kind of what that connection is you kind of alluded to that earlier. So let's dive into that. Yes, absolutely.
Kate Vazquez 18:17
That's, that's a great question. Because yeah, in functional medicine, you know, we learn how all the systems are integrated, and they're all affecting each other. So when I dove into functional medicine, you know, I started focusing on my gut working on healing that and then I realized I had high court cortisol level, so I was working on my adrenals. And then when I came up with birth control, my hormones went crazy. And so I was balancing that because I knew like everything's affecting each other. And I love functional medicine, it's been such a game changer just to heal and help my body to come back into balance with all these different systems. But then I realized like, there was still something missing in my health, like even though I got rid of the constipation, the bloating the gas, which was so bad, you know, I was bloated every single day to the point like it was uncomfortable I, I felt uncomfortable in what I was wearing. And it was not a fun experience. But also coming off of birth control. I had a lot of hormonal imbalances, which I never had, like I went on birth control for acne, not for period problems. And then coming off I had irregular cycles and breast tenderness and really bad cramps and how it can wait to and all that is going on. When I learned what was happening with my hormones, I was able to naturally balance them. And I talked about that whole process in the book and how I did that, but I still have anxiety and migraine. So I'm like, Okay, I'm like what's missing? What am I not doing to help my body completely heal? Because for me, I'm like, I want to feel my best. I don't want to guess still have the migraines for those. If you've ever had a migraine it debilitating. It's terrible. It was like an ice pick that's just pounding into your head and You're so sensitive to light and smell and everything. It just It literally takes you out. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. You know, with functional medicine, I was able to reduce the frequency and intensity to like one to three a month. But of course me I'm like, Okay, how can I get rid of this completely? You know, what's the missing piece. And that's when I realized the nervous system is still playing a role. Because we can test the gut, we can test the adrenals we can test the hormones, but we can't really test the nervous system, we can't determine are we in a sympathetic or parasympathetic state, but our bodies the best path, we don't really need a tech to tell us because if we listen to our body, and that's my goal when I work with clients is to calm inflammation, calm down, get the you know, if there's high cortisol, calm that down, calm down the gut symptoms, help the support the hormones, we can be more in tune and listen to our bodies and recognize, okay, if we're in that sympathetic state, that our heart rate is going to be faster, we're gonna have tighter tense muscles. Some people will have headaches, some people feel lightheaded, dizziness, nausea, you know, so we can be more in tune, oh, another client I had, she's like, Oh, I feel tightness in my throat when she feels like she's under stress. So start being aware, because I know like, for me, when I am starting to go into survival or turning on my sympathetic nervous system, my first symptom is the tightness in my muscles. So I know, oh, okay, I'm starting to get stressed, I need to do something to to move myself out. Because if I don't, and it continues, then it will trigger the migraine. In a parasympathetic state, you know, it's the opposite. Our muscles are soft and relaxed, our heart rate slower breathing is slower. Digestion is optimal. So we can break down our food absorb all the nutrients, our hormones are more balanced. So if we can learn to recognize, like the signs and the symptoms, we can know whether we're in a survival or flow state, and not just physically but emotionally too. So if you're experiencing and feeling stressed, and anxious and overwhelmed, even frustrated, worried, fearful, angry, you're in a survival state. But if you're feeling happiness, and joy, and love and gratitude and abundance, you're in a flow state. So if we can tune into our emotions and how we're feeling, that's our best test. And that's what I discovered on this journey is like, Okay, I truly believe like Hippocrates once said, all disease starts in the gut, which is incredible, you know, that he had that insight about 2000 years ago. And we have a lot of studies and research to back up how important that is. But I truly believe it all starts in the nervous system. Because it's our brain, that sending signals turning on our sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system are constantly switching back and forth, without us even thinking about it. And if we can really under truly understand the power of our nervous system, and recognize are we constantly in a survival state, which I was, I was like, 24/7, in a survival state. And even though I would do different things like yoga meditation, it would calm me down temporarily. But as soon as I would stop it, and go back into, like, whatever I was doing for the day, I was back into that survival state. So I had to figure out, okay, how can I maintain a flow state, and that's where that mindset piece, it comes into play, you know, identifying our beliefs, the stress response, the conditioning, but most importantly, learning how to recondition your mind and your body. But yet, the next thing?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:33
Well, that kind of leads me into the next question, I think this is where you're going, I was going to ask about the three core pillars you created to calm the nervous system. So maybe that's kind of what you're alluding to, let's go there.
Kate Vazquez 23:43
So if we can recognize we're in a survival state, yes, I highly recommend doing yoga, meditation, deep breathing, all those therapies, because that's what I used at the time to help calm my adrenals and calm my body. But in order to dive deeper, in order to maintain that sympathetic or semi parasympathetic state flow state, we need to identify what's happening in our subconscious mind. Because in our mind, 5% is our conscious awareness. But 95% is our subconscious mind. And that's where these automatic programming are happening. And that's what I discovered, I was like, Oh, my goodness, I conditioned my body to be in this state for the last like 2030 years of my life. So now I need to work on and conditioning, you know, or recondition the body to get out of that state of survival. So I can be in a flow state most of the day and only transition or go into survival when I actually need a two man. Yep. So those three pillars when I discovered that first we need to identify what are those limiting beliefs and thoughts that we have? Because our thoughts is what turns on our sympathetic or parasympathetic Nervous System, because the thoughts start in our brain, which then sends signals out, and releases chemicals and hormones and peptides. And that's what affects our different organs. So that's why I truly believe it all starts in our nervous system, because it affects our gut affects our hormones affects our adrenals, depending what state we're in. So we got to identify those thoughts and beliefs. But not only that, the second pillar is identifying what's triggering us, because Peter chrome once said, and he's an amazing mentor that I really dove into and learn a lot from that he once said, people and start or life will present you with people and circumstances to reveal where you're not free. And when he said that I was like, That is like the true definition of a trigger. So can we identify like triggers not necessarily a bad thing. But it's an opportunity to show you where you're not free. Because whatever the person says, it's their thing. Like they have their own beliefs and patterns and conditioning that they're dealing with. And not to take it personally to recognize, okay, they're responding, reacting, because of whatever belief they have. And I'm responding and reacting because of whatever belief I have. And so that was so powerful for me to recognize that. So I started Yeah, exploring that getting curious, okay, when I got triggered, like, why, like, what belief is this activating. And that was a game changer for me. And then the third pillar was to also recognize the conditioning. Because once we identify the beliefs and the triggers, we also have to identify the conditioning, like, where is this coming from? Like, what happened long time ago, that created this experience this memory. And so whenever we hear something, you know, that triggered that it causes us to think certain things feel a certain way, which then causes us to react and respond in a certain way. And we are constantly in this conditioning, which I develop within xiety. You know, for over 20 years, whenever anything happened in my life that was out of my control, or I had fear, I was constantly anxious. And so once I identified those pieces, those three core pillars, everything finally made sense. I'm like, well, that's why I'm the nice stress response. And so the key from there is to once you identify those pieces, it start to recondition the body in the mind. So that's like a whole nother level. First, we got to have this awareness piece first to understand, like, what's happening in our body?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:26
And it all sounds just hunky dory, right? Great in an easy, but it's totally not easy. So I'm wondering, like, how did you figure this out? Like, are you in therapy? Or did you legitimately just figure it out yourself? Like, I'm being triggered step back?
Kate Vazquez 27:38
Yeah, that is a great question. I actually didn't go to therapy, I just dove into learning from different mentors in the mindset, personal development space, and just taking in little bits from here and there. And I just finally put it all together. And I was like, Oh, this is what I mean, it took me five years to figure that out. But once I figured that out, I'm like, Okay, this is what's happening. And it was a game changer. And not only that, in order to shift our state, I had to focus on who was the person I wanted to become instead. So move from an anxious person, to a person who is happy to build who has so much love and abundance. So that is the next step in helping you to move out of that survival state they focused on, who do you want to become good, yeah. And bring in like, you have to like, visualize and feel it and bring in all your senses in order to do that. Because the subconscious mind responds to our senses. That's why we have memories based off our past conditioning, because of something we heard something, we felt something we felt, you know, like, if you listen to the song, it brings you back to memory. Like, for example, like I hear Green Day song, I forgot the name of it in the moment, but it only took me back to graduation, you know, in high school, because I linked that song to that memory, you know, or if I like now like cookies, it brings you back to that memory of like grandma's cookies when you were younger, when she would make them for you. That's why we have to bring in our five senses. Because our body doesn't, you know, when we're in that state of anxiety, we don't know what that happiness, love and fulfillment may feel like but we can bring in moments of time where we did feel happiness and feel love and gratitude, and start connecting that to recondition our mind and our body. And that's how we move out of that survival thing. Will you list
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:29
those three pillars all just together consecutive real quick, again, for the listeners? Yes, absolutely.
Kate Vazquez 29:34
So the first one, identifying those limiting beliefs. The second one is learning about your triggers and stress response. And then the third is the conditioning because the conditioning is where it's at. That's what's keeping you stuck in that survival state. If you don't identify the conditioning, you don't know you won't be able to can't change it. Yeah, exactly. You can't change it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:55
Awesome. That's also good. I want to go back to your book here for a second. You wrote the book You mentioned estrogen is a bitch. So can you. I know it's hard people ask me this and podcasts like some of my book and it's like, how can you sum that up in a few minutes? So I know it's kind of an unfair question to ask you. But can you tell us a little bit about your journey? Can we go back there and like it, tell us what was causing your bloating? And you know what, maybe you what foods you maybe eliminated? What not just the short version of what you kind of discovered to kind of get you back on track?
Kate Vazquez 30:24
Yeah. So at the time, when I discovered functional medicine, I worked on my gut first. And I actually did a test called violin, viola, me. I know, some people aren't a fan of it. But for me, it actually helped me, because it helped me to discover what are the foods I needed to avoid. Because in functional medicine, we're taught to do this crazy elimination diet, but it can be very overwhelming for people. And sometimes it's still not personalized. And for me, I wanted it to be personalized. So when I did the test, I had to remove tomatoes and cauliflower, apples, even hemp seeds, cashews, and when I removed those foods, and also gluten and dairy, gluten and dairy, I removed those first, actually, actually, no, I removed dairy first, but I removed those foods first. And I actually had significant improvement. But then I finally removed gluten, because I didn't realize until later, I was actually sensitive to gluten. And so removing all these foods really helped to reduce the bloating, but I also discovered I had the boat. So I use some antimicrobial herbs to help figure that out. But also taking probiotics taking things to heal the gut lining because things can really affect our gut lining. So for me, it was yeah, the chronic stress, obviously, for most of my life, but I also took anti inflammatory medications because I was very active as a child different was involved in different sports of sprains and strains. I really took antibiotics, maybe a handful times like one for wisdom, tooth removal. But antibiotics can affect our microbiome and gut lining, and then birth control, like it's not talked about, but birth control, there's even studies that show that it can contribute to leaky gut, so I had to repair the gut lining. So when it comes to healing the gut, I always tell my clients like if you remove food, like it's not enough, sometimes we have to put the bacteria back in, we have to support digestion. With digestive enzymes, sometimes we have to heal the gut lining. So it's a whole process in terms of healing the gut, and that's what I did. And then as for lowering cortisol at the time, I took adaptogens and I was doing yoga, meditation and deep breathing, but it was funny. I before I did the yoga and deep breathing meditation, I was taking on the adaptogens. And that's when I realized like you can't supplement the way out of stress. They're helpful. They're supplemental to doing the work. But then I doubled down and created a self care routine for myself in the morning, because I realized as soon as I remember, when I woke up, I was like, already on go mode and survival mode. So I created a self care routine to prime my body to calm my nervous system down. And it took practice. But once I finally got into the routine of that, now I do my self care routine. And it sets me up for the day and then a lot calmer. And if I don't do it, I feel it. So yeah, creating that self care routine was huge, but not only in the morning, but also wind down routine at that time. Because I discovered if I didn't wind down before bedtime, it was also going to affect my sleep. And then with the coming off birth control, my hormones went crazy. So I put myself on. Well, I didn't put myself but I did something called Seed cycling, because I truly believe like food is medicine, and it can really help us. And so the seed cycling that I did, I ground up pumpkin and flax. And I did that for the first two weeks. And then I did sesame and sunflower seeds the the second two weeks, though, you're doing it for the follicular phase and the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, and you basically alternate every two weeks. And that actually helped to regulate my cycle. Because my cycle was really, really with like 36 days, 30 days is like all over the place. And just the seeds alone really helped to regulate, but I still was having the PMS symptoms. And so I did the testing and looked at okay, how do I support my progesterone because my progesterone was really, really low, it was suppressed coming off birth control. So I had to support that naturally with herbs and supplements. And then I also had to support the metabolism of my estrogen, because my liver wasn't breaking it down properly. Because even though I killed my gut, I still had an issue with my liver that I needed to support with different types of supplements. So I talked about all these different things like the impact of the gut on estrogen metabolism. Yeah. How are our adrenals and our hormones effects? Because yeah, when you're also in a stress response, you're going to have lower progesterone levels as well. That That and the birth control, and then talk about Yeah, what you can do to support your hormones naturally. We say if you come off or your union, if you're not on birth control, I always start my clients on peds cycling because it's so simple. You can just add it into your food and it can really help make a huge difference. And then if you need additional support, that's where the Teflon supplements come in. In. Hey And I'm glad
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:00
you mentioned that because we haven't talked about seeds cycling on the podcast. I'm aware of it. Many of my patients have done it. But so for the listeners, are you literally buying raw seeds? And you? Are you great you're grinding them like yourself like with? Are you putting them in the right mix? Or like what how do you do
Kate Vazquez 35:15
Or like what how do you do that? That's a great question. I'm glad you haven't talked about it, because the cycling is amazing. And what I recommend is buying yet raw, full seeds don't buy the pre ground, because when you buy them pre ground in the store, they're already rancid. And you want to get all the nutrients in the seeds. So the flax and pumpkin seeds is really important in your follicular phase, the first half of your menstrual cycle to support estrogen production, but also metabolism. So it's going to have the nutrients to help support that because all the healthy fats and protein, so how much a tablespoon of each per day. And then what I do is I put it into the coffee grinder and then grind them up myself. And I was doing that every day. Now I get it, a lot of us are on the go busy. So I'll tell my clients even if you grind up at least for the week, that's better than just the pre ground sitting in the store, you can grind it up for so yeah, a tablespoon of each though that'd be like seven tablespoons of flax and pumpkin for the week, and then stored in your fridge. So that's better than the pre ground, especially if you're busy and on the go. And then you would do one tablespoon of sunflower and sesame seeds for the book or luteal phase, which is the second half of your menstrual cycle and do the same thing, you know, grind it up, and you can either eat them by themselves, or you could throw it into a shake, you could throw it on a salad, you can throw it into your yogurt, like you can just sprinkle it on whatever you want. And it's so easy to do. But there's also amazing companies out there, that makes it even easier. And they weren't out at the time that I did the C cycling but one of my favorite companies is called via wellness, it's ve y a wellness, and they already come prepackaged. They're like not like completely ground. And thankfully they're aware like it's fully ground and stored. So they actually refrigerate it, they package it and assure for us and they refrigerate and they send it to you and it's ready to go. So all you have to do they have it already packaged for you phase one and phase two, so you don't even have to think about it. So you could go buy the seeds on your own, or you can get the BL wellness and then you just do a scoop per day, which makes it so easy. So sometimes I'll recommend that to my clients, especially those that are busy and on the go. They don't have the time to grind the seeds themselves, like the wellness is a great, but sometimes I even used to be a wellness month and sometimes I still just grind them up a little bit more. Because when you grind them, it's easier for your digestive tract to absorb all the nutrients. So it doesn't have to work as hard to break it down. Because yeah, these have a lot of fiber that we have to break down. So I still just grind up the BSB. And it doesn't really take that long. You know, it's already you've put the scoop in Granite few seconds. And then
Dr. Stephanie Gray 37:55
Just to kind of sum up the theory for the listener. So if I heard you read that theory is that those seeds during the follicular phase are supporting you're seeing estrogen metabolism primarily. And then during the latter half of the cycle, the luteal phase I'm assuming supporting progesterone production, yes it supports in production, but also continues to support estrogen metabolism,
Kate Vazquez 38:12
Which is important because if estrogen isn't metabolized during your follicular phase, that's where we get all the PMs problems, though.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:20
So you're telling me I can have my Trader Joe's dark chocolate sunflower seed butter cups during my luteal phase I just bring this up one of my patients dropped this off yesterday because she knows I don't consume a lot of dairy and I'm gluten free and it's a kind of a running joke how much here at the office my husband's our office manager he loves peanut butter and specifically peanut butter chocolate you know cups from Trader Joe's but I don't eat a lot of them because they have dairy many of them so she dropped these off there's sunflower seed butter cups gluten dairy, soy peanut Trina, vegan, I mean they're delicious. I just had to throw in a joke because that happened. I love
Kate Vazquez 38:54
That I love that because you know that's actually a good point. Do you have the I mean I don't know how fresh the sunflower butter is but we have sunflower butter or like even tahini. Sometimes people will use that in their in their luteal phase to ground up. Destiny just for these Exactly. Yeah. So you can use that during your luteal phase. But for me I prefer like the fresh seeds that are raw that you can grind up so that way you're you can definitely get all the nutrients from that. But another point too, I love the chocolate because the chocolate. I actually tell my clients that if you want to have chocolate during the luteal phase like you can have chocolate just make sure it's a good quality chocolate and not a lot of sugar that milk dark, dark chocolate, not milk and not a lot of sugar. Because what I realized when even though I came off of birth control and I feel my gut and balance my hormones I have like the clearest skin I've ever had in my entire life after puberty, but what I discovered is when I was eating the chocolate right before my period Did I would break out and that's because of the sugar sugar. I tell my clients being mindful of the sugar if you want to have chocolate I recommend Yeah, you can get like evolved for example has 100% dark chocolate and I eat it with goji berries. So it's interesting because like if I eat with goji berries even though it's natural fruit sugars, it doesn't break me out like the processed sugars do. So just be mindful that like I say, chocolate is great because it has magnesium and we actually need more minerals for our period. So magnesium and iodine like all those minerals are really really important iron obviously. So yeah, if you're craving chocolate makes sure it's a good quality chocolate and not a lot of sugar.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:39
That chocolate will boost serotonin to help the PMs and the goji berries that's smart to have them proceeding bleeding and that'll support the iron. So yes, yes, food is medicine. Vector food is medicine. That's great. Well tell us I know you have a free masterclass. So tell us your listeners about
Kate Vazquez 40:55
Yeah, so I have a free masterclass called gut hormone nervous system connection. So we touched a little bit on it today. But what I realized is that, yeah, with anxiety, we have to understand like the real causes of anxiety, what can contribute because yeah, we have gut causes. We have adrenal, we have hormone, different types of hormones. We didn't talk about direct but do you have the thyroid you have, you know, all our our sex hormones, then there is also the pancreas, which is producing insulin. So we gotta be careful of blood sugar regulation. So I dive into all these different aspects even deeper, like what are the real causes of anxiety that's happening in our body that people should be aware of? So you can go watch that masterclass. It's for free. So yeah, that is my gift to you all. Because at the end the day I want everyone to be aware, when it comes to anxiety, or anything that we're experiencing, it's not just one thing. It's multiple things that are contributing. So what are all the things that we can do to help support our body to help us feel better? And that's why I created that masterclass.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:01
I love it. Thank you for sharing. I'll tell us where listeners can find you hear more about you.
Kate Vazquez 42:02
Yeah, so you can definitely find me I'm very active on Instagram at the cake Vasquez, and that's the a ZQEZ double these because it's Commonly Misspelled, but that's okay. You can find me on Instagram at BK Vasquez. Also, you can find it. Yeah. If you want to learn more information about me, you can visit my website at your radiant health.com.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:27
Awesome. Well, last but not least, tell us your top longevity tip?
Kate Vazquez 42:32
Oh, that's a great question. Well, I really truly believe like learning about our nervous system is really going to help our longevity. Because yes, lifestyle factors is definitely important. We need to make sure be mindful of the food that we're eating and make sure we're getting good quality sleep, and doing things to help our body to adapt to stress. But if we can really tap in and learn about our nervous system and recognize what state we're in, if we are constantly in a parasympathetic or flow state, that's where we're going to have longevity, because that's when our body is able to heal and maintain health. But if we're constantly in that sympathetic or survival state, that's where there's going to be imbalances in the body, and it's going to set us up to create diseases and disorders. So I truly believe like the key to longevity, is to help our bodies to maintain that parasympathetic flow state. And that's when we have our health.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:27
And that's an answer no one has provided yet, so love it. Well, thank you for coming on the show today and really encouraging our listeners that even if they're under kind of what you were in what I am right from time to time, that state of chronic stress that we really can reshape our conditioning, we can identify our triggers, we can balance our hormones, thank you for sharing, seed cycling, and ultimately that we can get ourselves back into what you call that flow state. So this was awesome. Yeah. And
Kate Vazquez 43:50
I wanted to say one more thing. Sure. lesson that I learned throughout this whole journey was that I already am a not like to keep working hard. Thanks for coming back around. Yeah, to prove my worth to prove that I am good enough. And that's why it's become my mission. Because I want if you're listening to this podcast, and you have what I realized is like a lot of this, men and women have this belief, I'm not enough. And I've even heard it from my husband, you know, on this journey. I'm like, Oh, I didn't realize he had that belief too. A lot of us have this belief. I'm not enough. And that is what puts us in that survival state. So if you can understand these beliefs, and then start to rewire your brain and recondition your body, to the point that you are enough, is such a game changer. And that's what I want everyone listening to understand like you are enough and you can embody that. And because I have this journey of going through the anxiety, I realized I needed to go through it. I needed to go through it and experience the pain fully physically in my body. The pain of almost losing my As in the pain of not feeling happy and satisfied what I was doing. So I can learn the tools and insights to overcoming anxiety and I can be here to help others do the same. And with that, I created my program called RND enough, which is going to help people to dive deeper into these three core pillars and then teach them how they can move out of that parasympathetic state because you are already enough and I want everyone to believe that
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:24
Awesome I assume that courses on your website as well then so listeners definitely check that out. And everyone who's listening tonight, go home and put on your mirror in your bathroom write sticky note that says you are enough. That is a great way to end this episode, I believe and I love that we focused on that. So you're enough listeners. I think that's a great way to wrap up the show. Thanks so much.
Kate Vazquez 45:44
Yeah, you're most welcome. Thank you
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:51
That was definitely an episode I needed to hear. I want to be in that flow state. If you're listening and you too needed to hear that know that you are enough. I'm so serious write it on your mirror speak that positive affirmation over yourself every single day. To further connect with Kate check out the links to her free masterclass, as well as the link to her new podcast course called already enough that I will post in the show notes. Also, I'll post a link to the seeds cycling company she mentioned. Lastly, to learn more about healing your gut to help with stress and anxiety. read chapter one of my book Your longevity blueprint, where I walk readers through the gut healing protocol. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. This podcast is produced by Team podcast thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting
The information provided in this podcast is educational no information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
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