S2 E6: Anxiety & Healthcare with Michelle Shapiro

In this episode, we will be focusing on the nuanced subject of anxiety and our failing healthcare system. I’m joined by my friend and colleague, Michelle Shapiro. Michelle is an Integrative/ Functional Registered Dietitian and Patient Advocate practicing virtually in New York City. In her one on one practice, Michelle helps executives heal from stress and digestive issues so they can lose weight and restore their energy, while experiencing a deeper connection with themselves and with life. 

Michelle created Wellness Map, a functional medicine patient advocacy membership to empower clients to become the boss of their own healthcare and teach them to navigate the healthcare system , all while getting access to discounted services. Michelle works to connect members with Naturopathic and Functional Medicine Practitioners to create sacred spaces for healing.

The goal of this episode is to shed light on the possible root causes of anxiety and break down how to get the health results you want in a healthcare system that can feel like it’s failing you. 
Links & Resources:
Follow Michelle on Instagram
Check out Wellness Map
Visit Michelle’s website
Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance
Mineral Imbalance Quiz

Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian.

Unknown Speaker 0:03
And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner.

Amanda Montalvo 0:05
And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods.

Speaker 2 0:12
Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, email physiology and metabolic health.

Amanda Montalvo 0:20
Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey.

Unknown Speaker 0:25
We hope you enjoy it.

Amanda Montalvo 0:37
In this episode, we will be focusing on the nuanced subject of anxiety in our failing health care system. I’m joined by my friend and colleague Michelle Shapiro. Michelle is an integrative functional registered dietitian and patient advocate practicing virtually in New York City, her one on one practice and your one on one practice, Michelle helps executives heal from stress and digestive issues so they can lose weight and restore their energy. While experiencing a deeper connection with themselves and with life. Michelle created a wellness map of functional medicine patient advocacy membership, to empower clients to become the boss of their own health care and teach them how to navigate the health care system. All while getting access to discounted services. Michelle works to connect members with naturopathic and functional medicine practitioners to create sacred spaces for healing. Thank you so much for being here. Michelle, these are really big topics. Will we cover everything in this episode? No. Will we have you back? Yes.

Michelle Shapiro 1:30
Oh, my gosh. I mean, the issue is that you and I could talk for 10 hours about each one of these things. And we have. So I’d have to say, Amanda, it is the joy of my life to be with you here today. I am so so excited. I’ve been excited for this.

Amanda Montalvo 1:45
Yeah, we’ve been playing this one for a while. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll see Michelle and I meet up with our friend Jillian a few times a year in Connect where Michelle is in New York, Julian, if you don’t follow her, she’s at Jillian graves. And she’s in Boston. And of course, I’m from Connecticut. So we all get along our northeasterners I brought Michelle on there’s so many topics we could possibly discuss. But I was like, what do people need? And what’s something that I feel like isn’t quite being talked about a ton, and things that I hear just like everyday, which I know you’re going to relate to? And a lot of that’s just to shed light on one anxiety? And what are the different causes a lot of things we know about anxiety, we, you know, from a holistic perspective aren’t actually true, which we’ll dig into. But then also our healthcare system. And I actually got this request from a woman in my membership, she cuz she’s just super frustrated, trying to find the right doctor, all that kind of stuff, and just how difficult that has been. And this is something we talk about a lot. So we can kind of get into the nitty gritty there, too.

Michelle Shapiro 2:44
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that these issues, funnily enough, are also really interrelated. So we’ll see where they play into one another. And these are things that you definitely talk about a lot. But I think we can do a deeper dive for everyone here, which will be really exciting, too.

Amanda Montalvo 2:58
Yeah. So why don’t you share a little bit about your background and like your health journey, if you don’t mind and just how you got to focus. So specifically, you’re really focusing on like weight loss, anxiety, gut issues, what brought you to that space in the functional nutrition world.

Michelle Shapiro 3:14
So every solid practitioner usually has a really solid story to go along with them. And it’s a it’s a healing journey for all of us. So thank you for inviting me to share my story. And I think it is important for me to introduce myself, because the areas that I treat are, of course that I’ve experienced. And that’s super common amongst practitioners. Not necessary but common. So I grew up in Queens, New York once was in a super huge High School, 5000 students very diverse, which is my favorite thing about my upbringing overall. And I think that growing up, their individuality was something that was really appreciated from the time of being around eight years old till I was about 17 occupied a larger body. And I realized growing up in Queens, you know, I have a big sense of humor, or was class clown at that high school, by the way, a major shining accomplishment in my life, that’s all I have, basically, is that accomplishment. But I realized growing up in Queens that, you know, body sizes were a lot more accepted diversity in every single area of life was a lot more accepted. And I was going to the University of Delaware, and I realized, oh my gosh, like, I don’t know, if people are gonna except me in the same way. It’s a much more homogenous environment. So I was like, I think I’m gonna have to do something to be like conventionally accessible. When I go there, because I had the same friends growing up. And I had the same huge life like I had, I had a beautiful life and wait for me wasn’t always a huge concern, even though I was at the time, what would be qualified as 100 pounds overweight. So basically, in the time before going back to college, I just made a decision because of the type of personality that I have that I’m going to just lose all of the weight before I get to school. And this is a huge trigger warning. This is not a tale of what to do is the tale of what not to do. So I basically just, you know, frankly, I starved myself before I went to school and I was rapidly lost. Again, huge trigger warning If you suffer with any sort of major major sign of what not to do not a not a to do. But I lost 90 pounds in about three months before I went away to college. And, sure, as I expected, I when I went away to school, everyone was so welcoming to me and so not welcoming the people occupying larger bodies, which kind of gave me this dissonance too. But along with my weight loss came a tremendous amount of anxiety. And a lot of other medical issues started coming up to my thyroid became dysregulated, I was constantly cold all the time, my hair was falling out in clumps, and I was having debilitating panic attacks. And this was something I had not experienced before at all. And every single doctor’s appointment I went to, they said, Oh, you know, actually, you could lose five more pounds and really recommending, oh, your blood pressure’s low, but maybe it’s because it was spiking. And then it was well, so let’s give you you know, a beta blocker, let’s give you this medication to help with your blood pressure that also help with your anxiety. And it basically became I just was just walking mystery illness, I was having these panic attacks that were so debilitating all the time. So I realized at that point, I was like, I need to kind of find a way to undo this because I don’t accept this idea that Michelle Shapiro is an anxious person. Now, this is the way that we view anxiety in the conventional medical system is you have anxiety, you are an anxiety disorder. And I was like, Well, I didn’t have anxiety disorder three months ago. So I can’t just have it now magically, and I can’t magically get rid of it without medication. And I knew this wasn’t a medication deficiency, but there was something larger going on. And that prompted me to work with a naturopathic physician who later became my business partner, because I really appreciated his approach so much, but and then I kind of appealed that way. So my goal with clients is I want them to heal. If they want to lose weight, do it right the first time so that you don’t actually impact your body in such a negative way along the journey that you’re picking up the pieces for years after, because it’s taken me a long time to get my health back. And to reverse my anxiety,

Amanda Montalvo 6:56
I didn’t realize that your anxiety hit with the weight loss, I thought that you had always struggled with it. So that is, you know, you learn something new. That is very interesting to me. And it brings me we’re going to skip ahead to one of my important questions, because in all these are Instagram posts from Michelle. So go follow her at Michelle Shapiro if you’re liking everything we’re talking about. So you have this really great post about how nutrition and lifestyle how basically making changes to your physical body, if that’s impacting your mental health, like, are you making diet changes, lifestyle changes, that maybe they’re supporting your physical health? Maybe like, I’m just thinking weight loss, because you just mentioned that in your story. But how is that impacting your mental health? And like, are you sacrificing that? So it sounds like that’s really what you went through?

Michelle Shapiro 7:44
It was a total Papa weasel, right, you push one issue down, and then the other one kind of pops up. And we see this all the time with clients who are working with like, digestive issues, right, so they, and they’re trying to lose weight. So then they start like pounding vegetables, because I think that’ll help them and then their digestive issues get worse. So it’s like one issue starts to get better. And the other one kind of, yeah, so our body really appreciates a very delicate equilibrium and really appreciate non forceful changes, really, really gentle changes. So anytime you’re going too far in one direction, there’s going to be a kickback and another direction. And if your body senses, any sort of huge change, even if that’s one that’s perceived as positive and society, there’s usually something that’s going to kind of rebel or rebound as a response to that. So for me, that was my body, basically screaming at the top of its lungs at me, like Michelle, please, please eat something. And that was my body’s way of communicating to me with through my anxiety.

Amanda Montalvo 8:37
How do you see this showing up in clients that you work with?

Michelle Shapiro 8:42
So I really view the reason that I work with these three conditions together is because I really view them as like the trifecta, honestly. Because usually, if you have like a digestive issue, the actual hormones that you need to feel happy and healthy are created in your gut, right. So if your guts not happy, your brains not going to be happy. And then there’s that beautiful feedback loop between your brain and your gut and it kind of becomes a cycle. And altogether a body that is stressed is going to be very weight loss resistant. So I see clients encountering anxiety on a let’s we can talk about anxiety, kind of from a mental level and on a physical level. So it can show up physically as low blood sugar waking up in the middle of the night. And then it can manifest mentally is racing thoughts are what you would prototypically you know, expect as anxiety. So if I see someone that goes on like a low a really low carb diet, two weeks later, it will be like weirdest thing. I’m waking up at 2am I have anxiety. I’m like, super not weird. You went way too low on carbs, like it’s super expected that that would happen. Also, here’s what we can do to support you. Sorry that you’re experiencing that because it can be super uncomfortable and really scary. So it’s this delicate, beautiful balance between these three that I always see and again, if someone goes too far in the weight loss column, the anxiety starts to kick in if someone goes too far into maybe just comforting themselves. So much, you could have maybe some issues with digestion or weight too. So you have to kind of make that balance really, specifically and individually.

Amanda Montalvo 10:08
I like to that you’re so like, you talked about making gentle changes, because I think that’s so not the norm. And or just not people’s natural instinct, when it comes to their health. They’re like, Oh, I just I need to go to some sort of extreme, because that’s, I mean, that’s really what society teaches us, right? Like, you have to go low carb, you have to do intermittent fasting, or whatever, vegan, whatever the extreme is, but taking it to one of those extremes. And so if you feel like you’re not going hard enough, it’s like, oh, but it’s not going to do anything, when in reality, it’s really just going to help make this process a lot easier and less stressful on your body. Absolutely, I

Michelle Shapiro 10:47
think it’s favorable and comfortable to think in black and white. For people, definitive things are always safer to our like, environmental, biological brain than things that are ambiguous. So I think people think if I just do this, then x results will come. But our bodies are these like insanely complex machines, and you post one thing, all that you talk about with minerals and hormones is this system of compensation, and balance and rebounding, right, like everything you do impacts everything else. So it’s not as it’s not as fun to also make gradual changes, it’s more fun to make drastic changes. And people want quicker results for the things because they’re actually uncomfortable. So I don’t blame anyone for taking drastic measures at all. And you also mentioned something that I need to just drop on all of us, which is I was vegan during this time, my whole weight loss journey was vegan, and I was actually vegan for over 10 years, which is something again, another sort of warning here, but I would not recommend that I don’t really do you have Amanda and I have a pretty similar stance on this too. But I was also slowly depleting a lot of those vitamins, minerals, and like building blocks for hormones and neurotransmitters all of that time. And I think that that final weight loss was the you know, kind of knockout punch, for my body to just say I am over you, Michelle.

Amanda Montalvo 12:07
And think about it. I just think of all the things that are released when we lose body fat, like from our fat cells, I mean, toxins, iron hormones, I mean, it’s like half sometimes it’s like if people are struggling with weight loss, obviously, there’s so many reasons, but I’m like, can your liver even handle weight loss right now, like if we’re being realistic. So it’s, it’s, I’m happy that you brought that up in that. And I, whenever Michelle eats me and stuff, I remember when she first started bringing it back, and she would like text me and be like, you’d be so proud of me. I’ve had me this many times today. And I’m like, I am very proud of you. You keep doing

Michelle Shapiro 12:43
100% And that would bring our beef jerky on our trips together at the same jerkies I love it.

Amanda Montalvo 12:48
What was it like sour patch kids or something like

Michelle Shapiro 12:52
that was our first round. We were we just like forgot to eat for five hours. And then I started sneaking Amanda Sour Patch Kids under the table. It really did the trick.

Amanda Montalvo 13:01
Our brains a lot. So you know your brain needs glucose. So why don’t we since we’ve kind of like talked a little bit about anxiety, you said a few things I want to dig into more. But let’s go into because I’m sure some people are already thinking of like what physical anxiety versus how can show mentally like, oh, but what about like, what are the things that most people get wrong when it comes to anxiety? Oh, I

Michelle Shapiro 13:21
love that question. Okay, so I would say like, let’s break it down one by one. So I think the first thing is that anxiety is an identity or a personality. So we have this idea about anxiety being I’m just an anxious person. I’m a Jewish girl from New York, by the way. So if there was like a identifier for anxiety, it probably would be that. But I don’t believe that that’s an actual personality trait. I view anxiety as a messenger from your body. So anxiety is telling you, hey, either something internally or externally is not feeling safe. And for the rest of this conversation, I’m going to continuously kind of use the language of evolutionary biology. So I’ll be saying, imagine you’re a caveman cavewoman. Okay, so basically, anxiety was a built in system for us to understand what our potential threats were right. So we were a cave woman. And I love this example. And we wanted to go up to a different tribe and ask if we could join their crew, and they rejected us, we would get tremendous anxiety because it was a threat to our survival, right? So we desperately as human beings need connection and when we lose connection, and unfortunately, like we have, you know, so much of us been isolated. We have just this kind of baseline of anxiety because we think we’re going to be attacked by a bear on our biological levels. You know, our biology hasn’t changed so much in the past even probably million years. So I think that what you know, those kinds of cues in our environment that detect safety are working all the time so your body can communicate anxiety to through giving you some pain, like low blood sugar. It can give you your heart pounding, it can give you these kinds of physical cues. Your legs can be shaking, you can feel your stomach aching. Have those kinds of cues to kind of give you a notification like, Hey, we are not safe. So anxiety gets really out of control when we continue to ignore it. And this is the second kind of misconception, which is that the kind of just calm down or just relaxing, which drives me crazy as a human in general. But the way I view anxiety and I give this visual is there’s like a little kid at the playground. I call them Timmy. And he wants his mom’s attention. And he’s pulling on his mom shirt, kind of like in the Family Guy scene with doing Lois, where he’s like, Mom, mom, you know, and he’s pulling his mom shirt, the more that she ignores him, the more he screen, or her attention, basically, I need to tell you something, if she would just look at him and say, hey, what can I help you with? He would instantly calm down. So that’s actually what we want to do with our anxiety. So the next thing I want to say is that the other big misconception about anxiety is that we should hate it. It’s actually a vital survival mechanism is telling us Oh, my God, something’s really, really wrong. It’s kind of like our fire alarm, right? You don’t want to turn the fire alarm off, there’s a fire, you want to find out what the fire is, and how you can take it down, basically. So anxiety is a beautiful, sacred messenger. And the first thing to do when you’re ever feeling anxiety on a physical and mental sense, it’s actually ask for more and lean into it. And it’s so counterintuitive, and so freakin unpleasant. But really, that’s the only way to dissipate it. Because you’re telling your body, I’m acknowledging you, I hear the threat signal, and I’m here to support you. So those would be like my top three common misconceptions about anxiety.

Amanda Montalvo 16:30
I think, too. It’s like, I mean, what one I love the way you frame it is it’s actually a tool. Right? It can be it’s, it was built into us as a tool for safety. I think it can be harder to recognize because of the world that we live in today. Like, I mean, some people do have to fear for their physical safety on a regular basis, but a lot of us don’t. And so it’s we’re not necessarily looking for a tribe to be a part of, you know, like, we’re creating our own lives, and we have our own homes and stuff like that. So it’s, it’s this idea that Okay, so maybe it’s not the same circumstance, but I can still recognize this is like, what is going on what what need is not being met, or what’s off in my body, that’s leading to the anxiety versus like, oh, my gosh, I have anxiety. And then all of a sudden, it’s like, oh, well, like, your mom has anxiety. So maybe it’s like a genetic thing or something like that, like, and I think that can like quickly become a part of your identity to where it’s like runs in your family.

Michelle Shapiro 17:27
Yeah, it definitely is kind of 100% Definitively and conventional health care viewed as a diagnosis and a standalone diagnosis. I don’t view two things a diagnosis, obesity, and I don’t view anxiety as diagnoses, I’ve used them more. So anxiety is just a symptom. It’s just a symptom of something that you want to dive deeper into. And a good example of what you’re saying is I live on the 40th floor, and the elevators quick. It’s like a minute and a half to get down on the first stop. But there’ll be days when it will pause for a second and I’ll just feel my heart pounding and other days, it’ll stop for 10 minutes. And I will find it all. And unlike Oh, it’s not about the elevator, what is going on here, Michelle, and it’s kind of just a cue for me to look in a little bit like, Ooh, did you not sleep? Well, yesterday, have you? Did you not eat regularly today? Like what’s going on with you? So when I get anxiety I, I mean, this honestly, it coming from a person who had panic attacks several times a day, serious panic attacks, I legitimately view it as a gift when it comes now. Because I’m like, Oh, you’ve gotten my attention. How can I help you? And I really respond with compassion when it comes up now to I think

Amanda Montalvo 18:32
the issue is in just like with most things in our healthcare system, is that we want it most people think well, how do I fix it? You know, they’re focused so much on the anxiety, and not on why it’s happening. And then it makes it impossible to treat.

Michelle Shapiro 18:48
Absolutely, yeah, that was exactly my experience. And every doctor I walked out with, like 10 diagnoses and that time, by the way, I was like, given medications left and right. I never took one of them. I was too anxious to take the medication. I was like, there’s going to be side effects of these. And I know people who are anxiety sufferers will really understand this too. But yeah, it’s it’s, it’s the idea that the body is broken and can be fixed. And the idea that if you give one medication for one thing, it won’t impact other things, because that’s the medication for that thing. But how do you think your body responds to having its safety signals turned off? Right, so I think there’s some really interesting research about around these medications too, because in the long term, there’s some rebound effects if you go off of it, essentially where your body’s like now I’m really gonna yell at you. And yes, it’s the view of the body is being broken and that’s the

Amanda Montalvo 19:41
concern or issue. Yeah, I’ve seen clients where some people have no issues they they go on, it helps they come off like they went off no big deal. It’s like it barely happened. Other people they go on it maybe didn’t help them like they thought it was going to so then they want to come off ASAP. because they’re like, well, now I feel worse, or it didn’t solve my problem. And now I’m taking this prescription medication like how’s the impact on my body, and then weaning off, it turns into a like years process of their body, readjusting and working on those signals. And it can be really hard. If you don’t have someone like constantly reminding you, it’s like, well, you did take this medication, it’s gonna take time for your body to readjust as you come off every edge. It’s just hard because everyone reacts differently, because it’ll be like, Well, my friend took it and she was fine. Exactly

Michelle Shapiro 20:31
at every doctor kind of prescribes it differently, which is the other issue too, because you’re not sure some of them say willy nilly. Everyone’s on Wellbutrin, you know, like Wellbutrin, everyone’s on it. Some doctors say it’s going to be really serious detox processes besides to go off of this. So that comes into our healthcare piece of the conversation too, which is that we don’t always have transparency around these medications, too. I just want to say if you’re on an SSRI, anxiety medication, this is not 100% not medical advice. Please discuss with your doctor before making any changes to your medication. And you know, there’s a, there’s no judgment from either of us ever. If you decide to take a medication for yourself, it’s your body and your choice. Always,

Amanda Montalvo 21:08
I have so many clients that have either they continue to take it, they’ve chosen and taken at certain times in their life in different seasons, like postpartum, whatever it is. And whether it goes well or not. It’s like, it’s, there’s a reason, right? It’s like, it’s I don’t think there’s any need for people to completely suffer, especially if they’re on like that, lower that more extreme end of the health spectrum where maybe they have a ton of symptoms, they’re really struggling on a day to day basis. It’s like, it’s not bad to use something like that, as you’re working on your health overall, sometimes you need that, and it’s totally fine. So no judgement here. Can you talk a little bit more about how our gut health impacts our anxiety?

Michelle Shapiro 21:52
Yes, there’s an Information Superhighway between our brain and our gut called the vagus nerve, and really impacts kind of these, like different systems that are at play. And when we think about, you know, our brain being anxious, we don’t want to digest let’s take it back to evolutionary biology, when our brains are anxious, we don’t want to digest food, okay, if you need to run from a bear, or a lion, or whatever geographical region, you’re in, right, your body doesn’t want to be digesting, going to the bathroom along the way, it’s going to hold your digestion and feed off your digestion too. So a lot of the cues that we get for should our digestion turn on or off, we’re going to get from our actual brain and it connecting to our gut to so it’s really, really, powerfully positive. The other thing is that our thoughts can create those tangible changes that go between our gut and our brain. Because if our brain is saying direct, stop digestion, it can alter our gut bacteria. And then right back and kind of we take it from the gut up is, a majority of our serotonin is produced within our gut, which is our happy hormone, right. And a lot of our hormones and neurotransmitters are produced in our gut. So if you have an imbalanced gut, if your guts not working, then you’re actually not going to have these hormones created, and you’re not going to get them passed through in the places that you actually need them for usage. The other thing is just on a very, you know, tangible, non scientific note, right? We know like when we feel not Well, still scientific, but very layman. When we feel nervous, like we get butterflies in our stomach, right, we don’t want to eat, and that can impact this right then. And really, you get into the cycle of not eating, which can impact your digestion or overeating, which can impact your digestion, that can be rooted in anxiety. So people are seeking again, those comfort foods, because they’re feeling stressed, respects got it understood, then that can also impact their digestion, too. So you have this cycle between your brand your gut that kind of goes around and around. And there’s a lot of mental and physical inputs between the two of them. And you can get into a pretty rough cycle with it, where I have these clients who have digestive issues and the supplement protocols, gorgeous foods, perfect, everything is going great. But if they can’t get their stress and anxiety, to a manageable level for their gut, or really reverse it, which is ultimately gold working with me, they’re just not getting better, they just don’t get better. And that’s because their whole stress system is on the entire time. They’re not activating that rest and digest system that we like to say with our parasympathetic nervous system, which is that state where you can actually digest food, if you are stimulated, you literally cannot digest food. So huge issue for people when they’re anxiously eating or not eating because of it, because your entire digestion is altered from that too.

Amanda Montalvo 24:35
And I that’s such a good point and that most people that I see that have anxiety, almost always have it paired with a gut issue. Sometimes they’re not even aware of the gut issue. It’s like, because they’re maybe they just it hasn’t been bad enough for them to notice. Or they’ve dealt with it their entire lives. So it’s their norm, but most of the time they’re going to be paired together. And I love what you said about how if you Don’t get your anxiety and stress under control. It doesn’t matter how perfectly you eat how well you take your supplements, you can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick. Absolutely, it’s,

Michelle Shapiro 25:11
it’s a physical impossibility, our body will not feel rested enough to actually do what it needs to do to digest food. Not to mention, I have clients who have severe gut issues over long periods of time, the stress of going out to dinner for them, making sure there’s a bathroom nearby traveling, not wanting to be embarrassing, or perceived as embarrassing at work functions and things like that feeling bloated and uncomfortable in their quotes, those are all just going to trigger that mental anxiety, just that kind of classic anxiety that we would think of which is those racing thoughts, uncomfortable thoughts, negative thoughts, and and all that too. So you know, you have that classical representation of it. And then also, as we know, there’s all this beautiful little scientific stuff going on underneath the hood too.

Amanda Montalvo 26:03
Hey, Amanda, here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode, to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health through mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation, are you putting the foundations in place, especially what was we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the, the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there. So you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this, and how to get started with all that just so you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it, I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode.

And I think one of the you know, if you’re someone that is, has ever or is currently dealing with anxiety, or gut issues, or a mix of both hormone problems, for a lot of people listening, most people are pretty desperate for information, right. And now the first place that we’re gonna go is going to be social media, unfortunately, I mean, I say unfortunately, but obviously, like we both share a lot of helpful information on social media, I want to bring this up, because I think it’s an important topic, a lot of people are getting out the majority of their health information online. And you have one really great post about how there’s a difference between, like there’s people that are all along a spectrum, some people are more extreme. They’re like the tent, they’re at 10% capacity, right? They have tons of symptoms, they’re really struggling day to day, some people are just looking to optimize their health. And then there’s a million people in between that. I really like how you talked about there’s differences in the types of information those people need, and how we need to be careful with the information that we are consuming. And even applying and taking action on from the internet, share your thoughts on that whatever you want to share. But then also like advice for people that are consuming a lot of their information on the internet and things that they should look out for. Yeah, absolutely. So

Michelle Shapiro 28:23
like you said, there’s we all are on the kind of let’s say there’s a spectrum of health and maybe in the negative 100 to zero is people who are constantly symptomatic and really, really don’t feel good. But my heart is for those I have to be honest, unbiased. Those are my people. I love those people. And then kind of people from zero to 100 who feel okay to tremendously well on any given day. When you’re looking for information online, let’s say something like anxiety right? So we look at these pages and there’s a lot of this what I would call junk functional medicine. So junk. Functional Medicine is not junk. Real functional medicine is awesome, but junk functional medicine is take this one food, or one herb and heal your anxiety, take CBD take all these things, these independent things will heal your anxiety. For me that’s still conventional medicine because I know your clients know by now but the difference between functional nutrition or functional medicine and conventional medicine as we like to view things from a root cause perspective. So there’s literally no way that any one supplement or one medication can make a tangible difference in your anxiety if you don’t know where your anxiety is coming from. So I asked people who are specifically in the realm of sickness, to not look to add on flashy fun, and just throwing your money down the toilet on these like flashy fun supplements and products and do the harder more unpleasant thing of taking a look at kind of the really important lifestyle things versus you have to get sleeping eight hours drinking enough water eating regularly the right foods for your body, socializing with friends and getting some sunlight before you focus on adding this like new high tech cool biohacking supplement. Now if you’re at 95% health, and you just want to go I’d like an infrared sauna, 30 minutes was really going to do it for me that’s going to really, that’s totally possible. But if you’re trying to climb, you know, 100 percentage points to just get to zero to where you can feel okay? It’s always going to come down to those essential lifestyle things and one supplements not going to do it for you. So I would be really weary of social media posts that say, you know, these are the foods that fix anxiety, you know, these are the top supplements to fix your anxiety because it’s so individualized. And also you have to address the root cause. I’m a firm believer when it comes to anxiety and God issues and weight loss, that these are not things that I like to manage or cope with, I hate those words, my goal would be to reverse them, all those kinds of Instagram posts that are like these foods for this are really intended to help in the in the moment, maybe reduce a symptom, but really lead you away from from looking at the root cause and getting into it. So anything that look, they’re they’re always so cute these graphic to I’m like, who their designer, they’re adorable, these graphics, you know, really avoiding, you know, one stop solutions for larger things that are going on in the body. So I’m gonna say something controversial, which is that I actually don’t believe that the first thing you should look for on someone’s Instagram is their credential. Because I think that we can vary a lot in our experience. Now someone has like a one month nutrition certification, are they going to have as much basic scientific knowledge of someone with a five year degree? Probably not, you know, if we’re playing a statistics game, but otherwise, I wouldn’t be looking for expertise. First, I would be looking for the way information is displayed. And what I always love to look for is when there’s really no ego and the information to I think that’s really important, because most likely, the better practitioners have worked with people. So for so long, and so deeply. And Amanda, you’ll do. And don’t be scared by me saying this, but it’s almost like the more you know, the less you know, and that’s how we feel when you when you drop your ego and a healthcare position, you realize that there’s so much more to learn about everything, even when you’re an expert in the area, someone who, who wants themselves as the expert with the answer is someone that I would avoid. So someone who’s saying, Here’s what I’ve got, I’ve seen it work really well with people before. I like that person better. And I like a practitioner who can say I don’t know, but I’ll find out. So really looking for practitioners, not necessarily only based on their credentials, and this is a very controversial thing to say, as a registered dietitian, with a lot of, you know, academia under both of our belts, but look for the practitioner who is willing and eager to research and has had really, you know, tangible, successful experiences with clients. And that seems to be really positive. It’s hard to navigate social media also looking for information based on what’s for you and what isn’t, but try to weed out is this person helping people in that zero to 100? Are they helping people in that negative 100? Zero? I’m not a negative 99. Right now, I feel like crap. I don’t need to be going to someone who’s like, you have to try the cryotherapy. You know, it’s like, that’s not your person right now. But it might be in the future. So find the people who are where you’re at and who really have no ego. That’s the goal.

Amanda Montalvo 33:16
I love that. I think especially when we think about who we’re following, like you said, or the types of people that they’re helping, like, sometimes we come across a really popular post, and we think oh my gosh, this has so much engagement. There’s like a billion likes and all these comments. That person might not be talking to you. Right? Like I get some new like menopausal women that are like does this apply for menopause? I’m like, I mean, I I’m really, I literally say in all my marketing that like I’ve helped menstruating women, do I help menopausal women? Yes, I help a lot of women transition into menopause. But it is different. And there are some specifics that are slightly different. So it’s like, that’s when I recommend Maria and Kristen from wise and well, like, hey, this post is not for menopause. But you know, who is? Here’s an account? And yeah, is it difficult to like? Not everyone’s gonna send you to another account? Because I mean, obviously, that’s like time consuming on the practitioners part. But it’s just important to keep in mind, who is this person talking to and serving? And if you’re not sure, like, look at their bio, look at their website, because most of the times we know if something is meant for us or not, if we really sit there and try to listen, like you might see the supplement and be like, Oh, I just I don’t really know about that that feels weird, or like a food recommendation or a diet recommendation. Usually, that first response is correct. And to try to listen to that if you can, most of us know what we need, if we can just kind of quiet all the noise around us. And that can be really hard with social media because there’s just so much information constantly at our fingertips. There’s a million videos, you can watch a million reals. Like it’s really and it’s difficult now with marketing. A lot of people use really black and white fear mongering type posts because they like they do well. But I would say try to go to the people that you feel like actually care. Maybe they you get really annoyed when they say like, I’m not really sure it it kind of depends on the person. But that’s a good response. Okay, like we don’t want to be getting medical advice on the

Michelle Shapiro 35:15
internet. Exactly. And you have been so committed to just presenting the truth and factual pieces of information that you’ve seen in research and you like me, were the first people if if we think some a new study comes out that disproves us, we’re like, Alright, cool, let’s look into this. And the willingness to just be fervent and your beliefs of something when you’ve seen it so many times, but also be willing to have an openness to seeing something in a new way, I think is really important. Nutritional Science is really, really, really hard. It’s like a lot of observational studies. It’s just not good, like scientific criteria, because you can’t really have that because there’s so much human, like impact on it. So we’re interpreting the research as much as we can, and using our both of our experience working with 1000s of clients to enact as the best way we can. But we’re the first to admit when you know what this change, and this feels totally different. And what we learned in school as dietitians is totally different than what we practice. Now, even though the basis of science might be the same. But I think that willingness to accept new information is super important, too. I will

Amanda Montalvo 36:22
say I do not live and die by studies. And I’m probably the only dietician that’s going to say this. But I don’t love when people are like I’m 100% evidence based on like, so you don’t use any of the knowledge that you learn in clinical practice. It’s like, because half the time what I see in a study doesn’t even match up at all with what I see in practice, because those studies are done on men, or menopausal women or women on the pill. And so I just feel like a lot of people will be like, Oh, show me the study, I’ll get other IDs that reach out to me wanting to the PubMed ID. And I’m like, first of all, like, Sorry, just Google it. I mean, it’s not that hard. If I said,

Michelle Shapiro 37:02
the word I said, and put it into Google, and then it’ll type PubMed.

Amanda Montalvo 37:06
Please, please Google things before you reach out to someone like this is just like a PSA, Google them, look at their feet, I have so many posts, go to their blog, I have a blog on my website that you can search to find things, it can be pretty frustrating when you feel like you’re trying to put all this information out there. And then, you know, people send you like rude comments and stuff. But basically, when it comes to like evidence based stuff, like we’ll be waiting forever, that like the science is so behind, at least I feel what I see in my day to day practice.

Michelle Shapiro 37:33
I think there’s a bit I think it’s 20 years is around what they say it takes 20 years, yeah, for the science to shift. So what we’re learning 20 years ago, is what we’re seeing now, basically,

Amanda Montalvo 37:42
and then it makes it even harder when you know, I have clients that will own us gonna bring us into the healthcare part of the discussion, but clients that will bring studies, because I just have the nerdiest, loveliest women in my community. And they, they’ll bring studies if they have if they if they’re trying to get a specific test, or maybe like something ordered by their doctor. And they’ll bring studies and the doctor doesn’t even look at it. Or they’re like, why don’t have time to view this, or this is only one small study or whatever. And it’s really frustrating, especially when you’re going that extra mile. The studies are helpful. Yes, we want to listen to science, but it’s also important to listen to people. And I think that’s something that you do really well.

Michelle Shapiro 38:21
Yeah, I think you do too. By the way. I think that, again, when if you are bringing a doctor, you’re in pain, and you’re scared, and you’re looking for answer, and you’re being met with ego and condescension, to me it’s like the biggest crime and like every doctor takes an oath do no harm as the first kind of like principle that all doctors labor under. And to me that is so harmful to people who are like literally begging for answers, it makes me like it makes my skin crawl, thinking about like your clients who are so committed to their health that they’re like, I know, the only way I can communicate with this person who I’m paying money to, is to try to prove something to them. So I actually have a just playing off of that a little bit. I have a workaround with that too. So if your doctor happens to be egoic, but like ego having but you can’t actually see another doctor, so you’d have to go to this practitioner always come through with the symptoms, not the diagnosis. So don’t come with the answers come with more questions and boundaries. So what I like to have my clients do and I have on my website as a freebie is how do you how to leave your doctor point without feeling like crap. And what I want people to do is just take basically everything that’s going on with them and put it on a piece of paper, draw a little human body on it, or you can download it from my website, and then draw little lines on the side of it and say here’s, you know, next to my head, I have headaches every day. You know, next to my God, I’ve done a great deal of time and go to the doctor with your symptoms. They can’t do much with research. They’re not going to read it and they Unfortunately, and they can’t do much with if you say I have this diagnosis, or I heard this, but what they can do and you can do is force them to look at the bigger picture by showing them the bigger picture. But I think that going in with the research as noble and sweet and courageous as that absolutely is, I can see how that’s not going to work at this current healthcare system, which thinks and I just love that about your your membership gals, though I do. And I can also see again, maybe an alternative that might work.

Amanda Montalvo 40:30
Yeah, and I’ll make sure that I link that how to leave your doctor’s appointments handout that you have in the show notes. But I usually say like data, right? It’s the same thing like especially if you’re seeing like your gynecologist, or you’re trying to get someone to like order hormone labs for your thyroid panel or something like that. You like Michelle said, symptoms, put it on that little like person write it in? Or if you’re tracking your cycle, your basal body temperature? And does it suck that sometimes the doctor doesn’t know that a low body temperature is going to mean hypothyroid? Yes. But it’s still better to bring as much information as you can. And at least that can give them a reason to go ahead and order the labs. And then maybe the labs come in, and they’re like, Okay, now we can do something because I was wrong, and something is totally off.

Michelle Shapiro 41:16
I also have another trick based on what you just said to so I like to play the confusion card. This is not I would never write this on a blog entry or something. I’m just telling you guys this on demand a podcast. But I would be like, isn’t it? I don’t know if I’m wrong about this. But like, isn’t like your body temperature related to your thyroid or something? I don’t? Is that what it was? I thought I read that somewhere. I could be totally wrong. You’re the doctor. Obviously, you know better. But I would almost be like a little bit coy about it and a little confused about it and let them still draw the conclusion, within a perfect normal health care system. I wouldn’t be advising people to play games, I would advise transparency. But if you know, and I know, there are just doctors who are operating under this condescending egoic model. And if you need something from them, you might have to frame it a different way. And I hate that it has to be gamed, but if it has to I’ll teach you the rules of the game too.

Amanda Montalvo 42:12
I can’t even picture you being like that I have too much rage. I’m so drawn away. Yeah. That actually it was great answer to one of the questions I had about just what like a lot of my finds feeling frustrated, not like not getting what they want out of their doctor’s appointments. And, or I have a lot of people that asked me like, which doctors should I see. And they can’t even get a referral from kind of their main PCP because they don’t know who they should see. So again, like, write down all of your main issues, because the more information you bring them, the better that they’re going to be able to help you. And these appointments are short, right? So you it has to be timely. If you track your cycles, bring that information, have some specifics. I love like most apps are going to have like a summary page, just like all your averages. That’s what I usually tell my clients to share. I think those are some really important points, we have to get to the the lose weight question because here I’m reading I just need to talk about this. So one of my biggest pet peeves and something that I hear probably the most frequently from clients and women in my community is when they go to their doctor’s visits, no matter what it’s about. If they have weight to lose, even if they don’t, oftentimes, when they’re bringing up a concern, a symptom or a lab tests they want to look at or maybe they’re looking to optimize their health. Usually, it’s like they have a pretty major issue and they have concerns and they’re told to just lose weight. Can you talk about your feelings on that? And then any recommendations for people that are in this situation?

Michelle Shapiro 43:45
First of all, let’s all take a deep breath. Because after you said that I lost my breath, that phrase makes you lose my breath. Yeah, so first of all, the phrase just lose weight is what I like to call lazy healthcare. That is Lazy, Lazy healthcare. It’s like if you went to the doctor and you said I have an earache, and they said, oh, you should stop having an earache, then. So people are coming, asking for solutions. Again, weight gain is a symptom, it’s not a diagnosis. So you’re telling people to fix the symptom without telling them a how to do it. So if a doctor says that you first of all, just direct response, okay, how cool how? That’s the first thing I would say and I said it. If doctors have ever said it to me, I would say cool how the only thing I want to say is this, the confusion card game and everything like that, but the one thing you have to be transparent about is your boundaries. So if this is a doctor who does not specialize in nutrition, if this is a doctor who does not have experience with weight loss specifically in seeing people long term for weight loss, I would walk into the office and set the boundary and say, unless I am distinctly asking you about weight, I am not going to have a discussion about weight today. There’s no reason for me to be weighed on here for strep throat. I don’t need to be Wait. So I think that is something that you can be, it’s really hard. I know. Seriously, everyone, I know how hard it is to do that. But that is a hardened set boundary I bring into every single appointment, I say, you know, weight is not on the table, for me essentially, that in and of itself will will turn the conversation around. But again, someone telling you to just lose weight to me, first of all tells me they literally have no idea to help you how to help you to do that. And what happens in doctors offices, often is more often than not, is they’re going to recommend a vegan diet. Just because 20 years ago, the cardiovascular literature told us vegan diets help with heart disease, which we know has been huge meta analyses have come out recently that have just proven basically those original studies that were much smaller. But that’s really the basis you’re going to want under so if someone this is where I would say we would focus on expertise and on Instagram, but if you’re in a doctor’s office, and there’s not their specialty, remembering in these conversations around nutrition and weight that doctors take one nutrition class and their million years of schooling, how it’s very different depending on what type of doctor but they are extremely educated. But the one thing they’re not educated on is nutrition, because that’s not the model of healthcare in our country. So the model of health care in our country is fix the broken body. It’s not heal the body reverse conditions, from the inside out using nutrition and supplements. If you were seeing a doctor in different country, by the way, they would absolutely be asking you about your nutrition. And a doctor should never comment on your weight. If they haven’t asked you about your nutrition in the first place, by the way. So that’s another thing if the doctor has not asked you about your nutrition, lifestyle, supplements, sleep, everything, they should not be telling you to lose weight, and you have every right to say I’m not engaging in conversation with you. This is not what I’m here for every right to set that boundary and I hope I can hype you up to do that. And then on a just a compassionate soft note. I know how I was when I was a teenager, I was petrified going to the doctor’s office because I would get like terrible. It was it was almost like report cards. I like report cards. I was like nerdy I was like going to the doctor’s office was so scary because they’re, they believe that you’re waiting the doctor’s office and I I remember one doctor who herself. I just remember being so angry as a teenager because I’m like, I wanted to be like mere overweight too. And like I remember that like salty part of myself coming up, but she was like, you should just like eat turkey sandwiches. And I was like, what I was like, what does that mean? Like, it’s so added, like, she just like has like lean meat or something. And I was like that’s so out of context and then prompted to tell me, you know, oh, you’re gonna get diabetes, if you don’t, my blood sugar was fine, but she was like, in the future, you’re gonna get diabetes, you don’t stop what you’re doing. And I’m like, I don’t even know what I’m doing. I’m frickin 11 years old. What am I doing? I don’t know, I’m really again, my. So if the doctor is not a specialist in nutrition does not ask you about your nutrition. Or if you don’t want it, you have every right to refuse to be weighed in the doctor’s office, you have every right to have a discussion about your weight in a doctor’s office.

Amanda Montalvo 47:56
And I think the biggest thing to keep in mind, we’ve seen this over and over and what like now we know, it’s like weight is a symptom. It is not the cause even when people talk about like, obesity epidemic, all that stuff. Okay, but why? Right? It’s not like, that’s the obesity the weight is not the issue, there is a deeper issue leading to that weight change. And that should be the focus. And so it’s it’s so hard to advocate for yourself when you’re at the doctor. And I totally get that. And it’s something that I feel like I talked about with clients all the time is I’m like, it’s okay to disagree with them. people disagree with me all the time, which is normal, right? That is like a very normal and healthy thing. Humans

Michelle Shapiro 48:40
don’t want to the God and one of the person both are human beings.

Amanda Montalvo 48:43
Exactly. And your doctor should be working with you alongside you, they should not just be telling you what to do. Like whenever I go, your doctor should be working for you. But I think of like a health care practitioner. It’s like, I never just give someone a protocol. I’m like, How do you How does this feel? Like do you think you can do this? Should we should we like remove some of this stuff? Like, here’s what’s absolutely essential, here’s what I think would be great if you can handle it, and like what do you want to focus on? That’s usually not how it’s gonna be in the doctor’s office. But I think if you can open up that dialogue and that conversation aid can be so I have some doctors that have been so receptive, and I’ve been absolutely wonderfully shocked. And I’ve had many that have not, but it doesn’t hurt to at least try to have that conversation.

Michelle Shapiro 49:26
Absolutely. And leave the door open. Remember, they are highly educated and a majority of them did go into it for the right reasons. This is not a bashing doctor saying some of my best friends. Some of my favorite human beings on planet Earth are doctors. Some of the smartest people I know are doctors. And there are a lot a lot of good apples. They’re not all bad by any means and we really need them so for sure. Going in with a really positive attitude. I also recommend doing some breath work before going into appointments because it really can be legitimately traumatizing. Getting on a scale for people can be traumatizing walking into a doctor’s office. We don’t usually We go to the doctor to brag about how well we’re doing right? We’re already in a vulnerable state, because we’re often seeking answers. So acknowledge and give compassion to yourself for the vulnerability that it is. And try to go in with an open mind and as much information as you possibly can. And

Amanda Montalvo 50:13
then the one last thing I want to dig into is you recently did an Instagram post about how good health care shouldn’t be a secret. And I was like, yes. And this is kind of what we’re talking about. Right? Like, obviously, Michelle, and I, like even Michelle, she was talking about she has a naturopath she recommends that you worked with you recommend other people. I’m often recommending other practitioners or people are like, kind of like asking me like, who should I see for this? Or like, I often think of clients with endometriosis. Like they really need a team, right? That condition really needs a team of providers, because there’s so many different facets. It’s, it’s like, okay, but how do I find that? Right? It can seem like it’s out of reach, and then it’s not accessible for so many people. So can you talk a little bit about what you mean, when you say like, good health care shouldn’t be a secret, and how you’re specifically working to make good health care more accessible?

Michelle Shapiro 51:05
Yes, oh, my gosh, this is like the Juicy, juicy stuff. So for years, I’ve been working with clients and I have worked with over 1000 clients. Over however long I’ve been a diabetic for seven years. And that time, I realized, wow, you know, what we do even as holistic, functional dieticians, you know, we can really get in there. But I still need this testing from a doctor, I still need these pieces of the puzzle, I still need another set of eyes on this, there’s still a part of this, that really, we need collaboration within healthcare. And remember, Amanda and I are not ego as practitioners, so I don’t own your healthcare. I’m a little tiny piece of the puzzle for an overall clients experience and their healing journey. So I’ve been doing for years, honestly, just like directly connecting my clients, with practitioners and doctors, and what I actually do is I go to the length of fitting in the appointment with them too. So I’m like, I’ll come to the appointment, I will be your person, you’ve been working with me for six months, I I’ve totally have a good grasp on your health if you need to express something to them. And I think it also takes away that veil of this as the expert. And I’m just like, not important enough. And I’m not smart enough to understand this conversation. And even though I would never recommend a practitioner who did that, I think people don’t feel safe and doctors offices too. So I like to just like bring my people you bring your people will have a, you know, a medical party, basically. So I think that for a lot of people, I even have dietician friends who are like, Oh, my gosh, you have a doctor who will like get these tests for your clients. And I’m like, it shouldn’t be like that, it should be really easy to do this. And, and so I developed this system, it’s a monthly membership called Wellness app where clients can basically learn how to navigate these appointments better be exactly what practitioners they’re going to need to see. And then give you those referrals for what those practitioners look like. So the practitioners in my membership are all first and foremost, super compassionate. They are qualified practitioners, of course, but they really, really listen to clients. And then I also am in a unique position to be able to jump in. And I’m not recommending anyone in the wellness mat membership, who is not highly vetted and has not worked with many of my clients before. So if someone wanted to even apply to be a practitioner, I’d need to speak with a tremendous amount of their clients to understand what that experience is like. And there’s this idea of healthcare being like good health care being like a secret, there’s like a boys club around it, where it’s like, you kind of feel like it’s like is that person so rich, and the clinic is good health care is that person like a health care professional themselves, and I really want to just, there’s literally no reason everyone shouldn’t have good health care. It as is very cost prohibitive to get crappy health care, it’s equally cost prohibitive to get good health care. And I’m trying in whatever way I possibly can by providing honestly three services in this membership for people to for them to try and experience functional medicine. And another feature that I’m really excited about. Related to this, the secrecy point is I’m going to actually have my naturopathic physician, Dr. Costco, he’s going to just jump on for a couple hours onto a live with everyone in the membership. And people are going to say, here’s what’s going on with me. And he’s gonna say, here’s the type of doctor you should be seeing, which I think a lot of people like, I don’t even know where to start. I feel terrible all over. What do I do. So I’m so excited for that. And we’re going to have one already next month will be scheduled. And actually by the time this airs, love like for under our belts already, but he’s going to come on and give that information to people because I really, there’s no reason any of this should be a secret. And every and mostly every other countries. They’ve got it figured out where it’s a lot more normal than this. It is really weird here. It’s like this weird game obstacle and you have to know someone to know someone to get good health care. And then it’s not even good when you get there. I just want it to be normal, basically. So I’m not going to change the whole system, but I’m going to give people the workarounds that they need to actually kind of game the system as much as they can.

Amanda Montalvo 54:52
And I think that’s one of the coolest parts about it. If you aren’t gonna mention, I was like you have these cute days like I feel like honestly that’s one of the biggest benefits are people to talk to a physician and say, Hey, like a functionally minded physician, say, Hey, here’s my background, here’s what’s going on. What kind of doctor should I see? Because half the half the battle is just figuring that out. And then you also have classes and interviews inside there, too, right?

Michelle Shapiro 55:18
Yeah. So there’s this piece of it called Wellness perks, which is like, what I would assume would actually be people’s favorite thing, which is that they get these access to free services. So at the time of this airing, there’ll be more, but for the first launch, when it’s opening next week, oh, my gosh, when I’m listening to this, I’m gonna be like, Wow, what a journey it’s been the past, however long, they basically get free access to services, it could be like free acupuncture, free cryotherapy, free of those things that could help someone at the negative 100 or the positive 100 to just dip their toe in it a little bit, just to see if it’s something that actually makes them feel good. And then maybe at the facilities, they might want to work with those practitioners. And any perk I gave, I’m going to do an interview with the practitioner. So if I say here, you should try this cryotherapy, I’m going to show you who’s administering this cryotherapy. And I’m going to interview them. So you have trust in this person, because I have trust in this person. And I want you to build trust with every practitioner you work with. So I want you to get a feel for if you don’t just walk in from a Yelp, you know, from any kind of referral. And, and not know what you’re gonna get, I want people to be I want total transparency, and to see exactly what you’re gonna get. And I also just want to get people as much free services as possible, because I know how totally wonky the system is, especially in New York City. So I’m going to try to do the best I can to help people that too, and you don’t have to be in New York City to join the membership at all. It’s just where the first perks are coming in. Real good people good reason to fly there, Amanda.

Amanda Montalvo 56:43
And I love wellness map, I was like, I kind of can’t believe this hasn’t been invented yet. Michelle, like you’re like really hands off of this. Because when you think about it, it makes sense that you are kind of gathering all these resources for people in one place. And like, even like, I’m going to have a class in there, a bunch of our practitioner friends are going to have like classes. So like, not only can you learn and take stuff away from the classes, but then if you need to go a step further, and find someone to help you with your specific health issue. I feel it’s one of the best ways and like, streamline ways to do that.

Michelle Shapiro 57:15
Yeah, I hope it’s like a little marketplace for people and a community. And that’s that’s my goal for it is for people to really feel like that. The other has to do one more feature, Amanda, just one more tiny feature, which is something that you’ve actually done in the past, which is, you know, working with Amanda for I’m sure if you’re listening to this, if you’ve worked with her or you’re going to work with her, please, please work with her. Like there’s no one better she is this compassionate expert in this lane. And Amanda is going to be my person for the master your minerals program, if people wanted to do hair mineral tests, they were wanting to learn more about their hormone. So there’s going to be a portion of it, where people are actually going to be able to find practitioners to order some of these really challenging tests to get and I know like let’s say something like a Dutch test, which Amanda works with intimately. Usually you’d have to work with a practitioner for months at a time to be able to get those tests, it could be 1000s of dollars, just initiating to start that. So there’s different lab packages for all different kinds of tests and all different kinds of conditions, where it’s kind of like an ala carte menu, and you can buy just the test with an analysis with a practitioner. And then if you want to work with a practitioner of the future, you can choose to do that. But you don’t have to, like, you know, buy everything upfront, you can actually just get the test and the analysis to start with. So you have some tangible working points from the beginning. So I’m trying to limit and cut corners as much as I can and limit the costs for everyone. And I have so many healthcare professional friends in New York who can’t even get access to these tests. So they’re themselves. They’re like, Oh my god, I’m a doctor, I’ve never been able to take the test. I want to do it myself. So that part’s really exciting, too.

Amanda Montalvo 58:47
Yeah, I think that having testing accessible is important. But also knowing which test is the right test. So if you in exactly this map, make sure that you figure out which tests is the most appropriate for you. Because I will say I see so many women spending hundreds, if not 1000s of dollars on tests. And I’m like, yeah, that probably like won’t really help you move the needle. But again, that’s the benefit to talk within the community and figure out which one’s right for you.

Michelle Shapiro 59:12
Exactly. And Amanda’s program will be in the community as well and and showcase very loudly in the community. Because I love master minerals and all the work that Amanda’s doing one of my literal favorite practitioners and I think there’s not one client of mine who doesn’t follow you on Instagram at this point. I’m like, go follow Amanda. Go Well, Amanda right now,

Amanda Montalvo 59:34
I’ve done hair testing, which I love. It’s so it’s been really cool. But I’ll put the link for wellness map in the show notes for this podcast. And then if you guys do join, I will have a discount code for the course so like anything that’s the other perk is like if you need to do multiple courses and stuff, it’s a lot easier or to order multiple tests because you’re going to be getting them at discounted rates. So I’m excited for wellness map I can’t wait to share about it when you officially launch. And I just really appreciate you for being here and talking about some of these harder topics with me.

Michelle Shapiro 1:00:07
Yeah, the literal like I said joy of my day of my week. You are one of my favorite humans. Definitely my favorite practitioner. Thank you all for listening so much. And if I were to leave with like one sentence, it doesn’t matter if you’re either negative hundreds, zero or 100. There’s always a 10% you can go up and there’s always something you can do. You could be having 100 panic attacks a day, it could be vomiting 10 times a day. No matter where you’re at. There’s always somewhere for you to go and just don’t ever lose hope. Listen to your bodies. And thank you so much, Amanda for having me on the podcast. I thank you so much for listening to us guys. Oh my gosh, what a privilege.

Amanda Montalvo 1:00:45
Thank you so much, Michelle.

Thank you for listening to the RU menstrual podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please consider leaving us a review and sharing the podcast with someone you think it will help. If you are new here, we can’t recommend enough to start with our mineral imbalance quiz. This is going to give you an idea if you are at low, moderate or high risk for mineral imbalances. And then of course, make sure you follow us on Instagram at hormone healing rd. And consider signing up for our newsletter if you like nerding out and you’re just loving these podcasts but maybe you’re a little bit more visual and you want to see things too. We go into a ton of detail in our weekly newsletter. So we would love to have you join us there. All right, thank you and we will see you in the next episode.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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Hormone Healing RD