…Focus on the positive, what is good in your life, and the lives of those you love. Especially now, in these challenging times, and with quarantining more specifically, we have FOMO or fear of missing out, which causes us to stress, or feeling depressed. If we can focus on the positive and what we’re grateful for, we can dramatically improve wellbeing.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Anna Cabeca, known as The Girlfriend Doctor, is a triple-board certified, Emory University trained, OB/GYN. She speaks from experience. She has risen from her own ashes of personal tragedy that spiraled into depression from not one but two rounds of menopause, weight gain, hair loss and many other debilitating symptoms. Her journey led her around the world to learn about true health and natural healing. Dr. Anna came away empowered with the knowledge that modern medical training and research, combined with time-tested wisdom and remedies, will yield indisputable results.
Dr. Anna is an author of two best-selling books: The Hormone Fix, a groundbreaking holistic lifestyle program for menopausal woman and Keto- Green 16, a comprehensive nutritional plan to staying healthy and slim, at any age. She has also spent years developing and perfecting a complete suite of life-changing products and programs. Everything Dr. Anna develops is part of her own daily routine and based on her exhaustive research and never-ending quest to find solutions that help women reclaim their vibrancy, sexuality, health and happiness.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
I got involved in fitness and wellness because I was a chubby teenager. I come from an immigrant family and grew up in a small suburban town in Pennsylvania, Harper, PA. I was what seemed like the only child from immigrants in that area at the time, and I looked different. I was chubby, curvy, and I became body conscious quite early on.
I started exploring diets and going to Elaine Powers gym with my mom at the age of 13.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I have many interesting stories to share, but when I think of one that impacted me the most, I’m thinking of one that occurred more recently and led to a major change of style and branding.
I was interviewed on the podcast called the “Sheri and Nancy Show” run by Nancy Hala, a brand whisperer and Sheri Salata, Oprah’s former executive producer for over 15 years; and they kept calling me the girlfriend doctor.
Well, that title stuck with me, and is now my entire brand. I have really enjoyed embodying this messaging, it increased the level of approachability that I have with my audience, and really made a significant impact to my business overall.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
One of the funniest mistakes was actually made by a client who was using my product Julva©, which is a feminine health moisturizer designed to help against vaginal dryness during and after menopause, and she was using it on her lips. She messaged me saying that this was the most amazing product for her lips. And I’m like, are you using it on your lower lips too? And she laughed and said, yes,both. That led to another product line in my business, this time specifically designed for lips.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I wrestled with weight issues for years (and especially during menopause), struggled with PTSD, and experienced firsthand how your emotional state and mindset can impact your physical health, throw your hormones off balance and send your body into metabolic dysfunction. All that I am promoting and stand for is based on personal experience and years of research, trial and errors, until I found a method and products that work.
I strive to educate, impact, inspire, raise awareness, and also entertain, while helping women become the CEO of their own health so to speak; take the power back over their body, mind and spirit by providing natural solutions, methods, programs, and products and help restore, recreate, rejuvenate their health and their relationships.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Certainly, none of us can succeed without some help, guidance and insight from a partner or coach who holds you accountable and can really make a difference in your life. I met J.J. Virgin back in 2004, but it’s not until I created my first online program in 2009 that we actually worked together. I was a full time OBGYN at the time, juggling between family, work, and setting up a business, while serving my patients the best way possible. She introduced me to the one-to-many model and how to reach a broader audience at once; she explained that if I was saying the same thing over and over again, I should turn that message, or piece of information into a course or an educational webinar, I could share with my clients. Funny enough, I actually was her first coaching client, and this bond we developed is still strong today.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
The first issue that stands in our way is the concept of prioritizing ourselves. We live in a world where everything moves really fast, and we try to wear multiple hats all the time, we are all very busy, running from one responsibility to the other, and that stands both for men and women, and we easily put ourselves last. We care for those we love, we want to impress our boss, whatever the motivation, we easily forget to take care of number one. So it is crucial to block out this time for ourselves and really hold it sacred. Put yourself on your calendar, like you put everything else on the calendar.
Secondly, we tend to look at things from a negative lens instead of a positive one; for instance, if I don’t work out, I’m going to be fat and lazy, instead of saying to ourselves, if I work out, I will feel good about myself, and be healthy.
The mindset behind the motivation is important, it changes the dynamic, the energy and overall outcome, and if you look at all you stand to gain (vs. all you stand to lose) it will be easier to stick with it long term.
The third blockage is not having a plan. There is an expression that says, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A plan gives you a pathway, and implies your commitment to it, you get less distracted or rerouted from your goals. Of course, plans change sometimes, so you need to keep an open mind, and you should revisit it regularly, but having the mindset of sticking to a plan gives you a direction, a course of action, and gives you more control over the things that you can control.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
Number one: intermittent fasting; at least 13 to 16 hours between dinner and breakfast. That will help us decrease our hemoglobin A1C and improve insulin sensitivity, which also decreases inflammation. And that will help you feel better, and healthier.
Number two: eat keto green; low carbs, include plant foods, lots of leafy greens, and healthy fats such as salmon or oysters, into your diet.
Number three: focus on a good night’s sleep. And while you may not want to hear it, you should eliminate caffeine and alcohol, as that can have an impact on your beauty rest. Also add magnesium L 3 and 8 or magnesium glycinate in the evening.
Number four: HYDRATE, dehydration leads to fatigue and stimulates cravings.
Number five focus on the positive, what is good in your life, and the lives of those you love. Especially now, in these challenging times, and with quarantining more specifically, we have FOMO or fear of missing out, which causes us to stress, or feeling depressed. If we can focus on the positive and what we’re grateful for, we can dramatically improve wellbeing.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
Three benefits of daily exercise other than weight loss are: cardiac health; brain health as it increases clarity and your ability to reduce the chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s; daily exercise also improves growth hormone and a good night’s sleep, which are considerable longevity factors.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Cardiovascular exercises are known to be essential for your heart, it keeps the blood flowing, and it makes you sweat which helps your body get rid of toxins. There are however a few exercises that would be the less obvious choice as far as being included in a daily routine, but that I would highly recommend as they are absolutely critical.
Sun salutation is a wonderful exercise, it helps with balance, focus, relaxation, and flexibility; it’s easy to do and you can do it anytime, anywhere; you can set a goal to do three at the top of each hour as a study break for instance, or even just doing one will make a difference.
Lastly, and that is the gynecologist in me, I’m going to recommend pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises. This is important to strengthen our pelvic floor. As we get older, we start having issues with incontinence and pelvic floor relaxation, which can cause tremendous amounts of problems for men and especially women. So, keeping the pelvic floor strong is an exercise that you want to include in your daily routine for the rest of your life.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
Dr. Christiane Northrup’s “Women’s bodies, women’s wisdom” is a book that made a tremendous impact on me. It was given to me in 2000 by a patient of mine, when I had my rural practice in Mcintosh County, Darien, Georgia. It opened my mind on how to integrate a holistic approach to helping women through many of the gynecologic issues we face. I hope my book, “The Hormone Fix” becomes a similar resource to physicians now.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
You can say that it is what I’m hoping to do right now, by creating The Girlfriend Doctor Club. It is a plan to work with women from all over the world to inspire them to embrace the healing modalities that really work so that we can live our lives passionately, thrive in a loving relationship, fulfilling our missions and enjoying our days and a fruitful legacy.
My Keto-Green way is more than about what we eat. It’s how we live. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle and it is the healthiest way. I want people to experience this because the transformations are amazing every day. I read testimonials and stories online in my Keto-Green communities, of how this is changing their lives and their husbands lives and their kids’ lives. The goal is to continue with this ripple effect and keep spreading the goodness, the wellness.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
There is a verse in the Bible; Philippians 4:8 that reads “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things”. This rings so true to me. Our physiology will follow where our mind goes. So, if we live in fear, stress and angst, our physiology will be stressed, tensed and unwell. When we focus on what we’re grateful for, praise the excellence we do have, our physiology will follow in that direction too.
“Focus on the positive, think of it as a beacon of light and hope” — that would probably be my life lesson quote.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have lunch or a glass of wine with Brené Brown. Her work on vulnerability and courageous leadership has inspired me in so many ways, I would be honored to share a moment with her.
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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!