Balanced Bites Podcast with Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | New Year's Resolutions & Healthy Sleep Tips

Podcast Episode #328: New Year’s Resolutions & Healthy Sleep Tips

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Balanced Bites Podcast with Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | New Year's Resolutions & Healthy Sleep TipsTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:56]
  2. Favorite memory of 2017 [10:47]
  3. Sleep and resolutions [20:01]
  4. Sleep as a priority [25:47]
  5. Supplements with sleep [29:59]
  6. Blue blockers [39:13]
  7. Looking forward to 2018 [42:28]

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You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 328.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the new book, The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 6 years. AKA; we’re getting old. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice seafood and organics. Purveyor of premium sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Vital choice offers a wide range of fish, shellfish, humanely raised meat, protein rich bone broths, and paleo friendly snacks like organic dark chocolate, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. My favorites from Vital Choice are the king salmon and the scallops. And Liz’s favorites are the salmon and the tanner crab. Bring in the New Year with premium seafood and organics from Vital Choice; and visit to see some of our favorites there.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:56]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Hi Diane, how are you?

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m doing great. Happy almost New Year!

Liz Wolfe: Wait. Happy almost New Year. So, can I just tell everybody kind of what we were doing off the air, and what we do every week?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We have a ton of really interesting conversations before we start recording, and we’re like; “Save it for the show! Save it for the show!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, “Stop talking to me!”

Liz Wolfe: So, at some point; somewhere last week. I don’t know what I was doing. I was probably cleaning the house or something, and I had E! News on just for some mindless volume while I was cleaning. I mean, no, I was listening to a science podcast. What am I talking about?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So I had E! News on, and they were talking about Kelly Ripa. Which is a whole other topic of conversation; what she did to Michael Strahan. But what they were talking about was how Regis Philbin, when it was Kelly and Regis or Regis and Kelly; used to literally refuse to talk to Kelly Ripa until they were on the air. Because he wanted to save all of the banter for when the cameras were rolling.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: So maybe you and I should just take a total vow of silence until we start the podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m totally into it. Scott may or may not appreciate that. {laughing} As he goes to edit the show and we start talking about who knows what. But I; yes. I’m in.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Ok good. Alright, we’ll remember that for the next one. So, until then, why don’t you tell us what’s going on in your life?

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, the biggest news I guess since last we were here. Now I feel like Kelly Rip and who is it; Ryan Seacrest. Are you Ryan Seacrest? Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario? I’m the dog?

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Now I do feel like I just want to be Kelly Ripa. But who doesn’t want to be Kelly Ripa {laughs}. I don’t know what she did to Michael Strahan.

Liz Wolfe: You can be Kelly Ripa.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. So you're Ryan Seacrest. That’s fine. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s fine with me.

Diane Sanfilippo: So the biggest news, I guess, is that I have my new book baby in my hands!

Liz Wolfe: Yay!

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s super exciting! Kind of exhilarating. This is one; it sounds kind of weird to say this. But the way that Practical Paleo sort of came to be started out as a pretty clear vision of how I wanted that book to; I don’t know, just be laid out. What the sections were going to be, all of that. It was like; ok the front is going t be this. Then the meal plans. Then the recipes.

This book was kind of the same way, where I very much had this picture in my mind of what I wanted it to be. And now it has come to life. Whereas some of my other; well, the other sugar detox books. There wasn’t this picture in my mind. I know that sounds weird, but maybe some other creative folks have that going on.

So this one just feels really good to flip through it and see it on the pages. I went through the whole book in a Facebook live video where I showed kind of every section and how it’s laid out and how it works. I mean, I can talk more about it at some point. Maybe, in next week’s episode, we’ve got some time that I’m going to get into a little bit about what’s in there. Because I know people have questions and a lot of people listening have don’t the detox but just want to know what’s different about this book, and if they need it or not. So there’s that.

And the book tour is going to kick off starting January 2nd here in San Francisco. I like to start things right at home, so that’s nice for me. So heading down to Orange County, then Montclair, New Jersey. Philadelphia area in Cherry Hill. Washington D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Kansas City; you and I will be together. Yay!

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And then Boulder, Denver, Sacramento, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Salt Lake City. Then I’ll be going over to the Sundance Film Festival to just hang for a few days and have some fun with some friends. And then Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma. All three of those will be with my friend, Robyn Youkilis, from Your Healthiest You. She’s just awesome. So hopefully you guys will enjoy getting to meet her as well.

And yeah, that’s pretty much it. I just like to rattle off all the cities, because I know when I listen to podcasts and somebody is coming to my city, I kind of don’t perk up if they just say they’re going to be on a tour. I need to hear my city. So I like to kind of share all of that.

Liz Wolfe: That’s a lot of traveling.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. Aren’t you like; “I’m so glad I’m not doing all of that with you.” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yes. I am. You can patch me in via Skype, but that is a lot. Good for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: It is crazy. But, I don’t know. I was looking at the plans. First of all, I have this massive guilt about all the cities I can’t get to. I don’t know; I just, this is one of the only times where I hate saying no to people. I hate telling people I’m not coming to your city. No, I’m not. But I don’t know. It’s fun. I don’t know, it’s really fun. {laughs}

Anyway. If you guys are preordering the book; you still have a few days left until it releases. Don’t forget, go to to get in on those goodies. And if you're RSVPing for a tour date, it’s But you can link to that anywhere on any of the websites and all that good stuff. So I think that’s kind of the big stuff. What’s going on over there?

Liz Wolfe: Nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: You always say that, but I know it’s not true. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I know. There are so many things going on over here, that I can’t pick one out. As always, I’m fitting in work wherever I can. And also; let’s see if I have anything interesting to share. Oh, here’s something interesting. I have been using olive leaf extract to help keep my entire family well during this season. And I found a really good children’s olive leaf extract from Seagate. It’s whole olive leaf, it’s not the extract of the ingredient that’s been mostly studied for its, I think antibacterial and antiviral effects. But I always like doing the whole plant anyway, because I think there are always some synergistic effects there.

So, it’s like a little kid’s tincture and probably glycerin with some peppermint. And I think it would probably be appropriate for ages 2 and up. So if anybody has been looking for kind of a daily type tincture that they can do to support their immune systems, then that’s a good one for kids. And my husband and I have been using the Gaia herbs olive leaf extract.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like it.

Liz Wolfe: That’s all that’s going on with me that I can think of off the top of my head, quite frankly. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I mean, having a book project certainly gives me a lot to talk about. But that’s awesome. I mean, that sounds like a really good solution. And it seems to be working.

Liz Wolfe: It does. Well, I mean, you know. It could be a coincidence. There’s always that possibility. But I think it seems to work well. Let’s see, I’m trying to think of what else I’m doing. I personally have also been taking a mushroom blend. It’s called mushroom daily from a website called

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You always find the best really specific websites.

Liz Wolfe: I do. Yeah. I’m really, really good at finding the one thing that I would use. Like, for the most part; from what I know. And I know very little about mushrooms. I’d like to know more; add that to the list of things that I’d like to be doing. And I did a lot of research, and it seemed like the conclusion from a lot of people that knew a lot about mushrooms was that while the mycelia of mushrooms can have some benefit, generally people seem to agree that fruiting bodies were better.

I don’t really know what that means, but basically what I know is this particular supplement is really, really well tested and screened for contaminants. It’s fruiting bodies only, and there is some really good research around some of the mushrooms that they use. In particular, this blend includes reishi, which has been studied for things like viruses for HPV, which I think is really interesting. So I think it’s helping. I think it’s been beneficial. Nobody’s got time to be sick around here, that’s just the long and short of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It knocks everything off track.

2. Favorite memory of 2017 [10:47]

Liz Wolfe: It really does. There is no time to be sick. Alright, so our first segment here, I think that we should list our favorite memory from 2017. Diane, why don’t you start us off.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Why do I have to start?

Liz Wolfe: Because your name is listed first. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: This presupposes that I remember when things happen anymore.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Are we talking on the podcast, or just life excitement things that happened in 2017?

Liz Wolfe: Do you have a favorite memory that involves the podcast?

Diane Sanfilippo: Again, I can’t remember when anything happened on the show in the last 6 years. I’m like; didn’t we just talk about that? And I go back to the archives, and I’m like; oh that was episode 25 {laughing}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to stick to just life in general, all of that. So I’m going to make this a favorite moment, because it seems to recent to call it a memory. But I guess, favorite moment. It was; I remember, I mean. I think it was like May 5th. May 4th or 5th. I was flying out to the Beautycounter leadership summit, and that was the day; and actually while I was on the airplane. So airplane Wi-Fi, not exciting. Not fast connectivity. But I’m sitting there with my phone, getting text messages, waiting to hear if we got this house or not. And I found out on the plane.

Which I then realized that I had actually flown to that event a day sooner than I needed to. And I was kind of upset that I wasn’t home to get that news with Scott, and just kind of be excited for the day. But that was a really good memory. Because, I don’t know. It was halfway through the year. It was the beginning of May. And it was just this really pivotal moment where; I don’t know. When Scott and I were first dating, and then living together, we were living in a condo that I had purchased before he and I even met. So until this house, we hadn’t really picked a place to live entirely together. An actual place to live.

Our apartment, I had gone out to see it, and said yes and signed paper. It was a rental, but he hadn’t actually seen it in person. But this house was kind of the first time since we were married and living together that we both came and looked at the place and were both like; yeah, this is our house. So to find out that we got it was so huge, because I know it’s not the same in every real estate market across the country. But San Francisco’s real estate market is just insane, and it’s not a buyer’s market. It’s definitely a seller’s market. So we just didn’t know if we were going to get the house. There are always multiple bids, and you're just kind of sitting.

And I was like; if we don’t get this, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Because we just had a really specific; I mean, this is just the story of my life. I applied for one job after college. There was one house we wanted that we had seen. So that was just huge. I’ll never forget. I was physically shaking when I looked at my phone and it was like, “We got the house.” I’m like; oh my god! And I’m on the plane. I have no one to turn to and be like, “Did you hear that?! We got the house!” {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I got to the event; where was it, Dallas I think? And I just kind of, I think I was in the hotel hanging out and coming down from all that. Because for a couple of weeks leading up to it I was just super anxious and really stressed out waiting to see what would happen. So yeah, maybe not that exciting for everyone.

But I think most people who listen to the show and have kind of heard my journey about everything with mine and Scott’s relationship, and then also; I don’t know. Just knowing how much we love living in this house now and making it our own; it’s just been very, very memorable. I guess. That whole moment spurring into what it all is now. So that’s mine. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That is super special. I love hearing about that. I remember when you found out that you got it. And it was just so exciting. Especially to find your dream house in San Francisco, your dream city. It was just; I remember how special that was. So yay! Congratulations again.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay!

Liz Wolfe: I’m glad you're happy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you.

Liz Wolfe: So my favorite memory from 2017; this isn’t going to sound like a happy memory. I mean, my kid does adorable things every two seconds. So there are a million little happy feelings that she gives me. But I think the most; maybe I’ll do the most important memory from 2017, is I would say discovering, thanks to Kristine Rudolph, my friend and colleague from Exploring Wellness. I talk about her all the time. She’s kind of like the big sister I’ve never had. And that one person who, no matter what she sends me. No matter what she posts. I’m going to read it; I never scroll past.

She linked me up with Dr. David Hanscom’s book, Back in Control, and I did an interview with Dr. Hanscom for the Balanced Bites podcast this year. And getting me linked up with his expressive writing technique, and everything he said and everything he researched for his book was probably the most life changing thing for me that I needed so desperately at that time.

I really encourage people to go back and listen to that podcast with David Hanscom. I’ve gotten incredible feedback on it. People who have been suffering with chronic pain for years and years and years. Or have relatives, loved ones that have suffered from chronic pain for many years who have seen profound improvements in an extremely short time, only using Dr. Hanscom’s techniques. And they’re free. They’re completely free. You buy the book, or you can just listen to the podcast. Never buy anything at all and still reap some benefits.

At the time that I discovered his stuff, I was really in the depths of, first of all accepting that I was dealing with really extreme postpartum anxiety. I had just, I think, I don’t know that I had been prescribed medication yet; that’s a whole other saga. It’s something that didn’t end up being right for me; I totally support medication for other people when they need it, but it wasn’t what I needed. What I needed was this book and this neurological intervention that expressive writing provides.

And I was really in the depths of; I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Something’s wrong with me physically. I was having near constant heart palpitations. Working with a cardiologist to try and figure out if there’s something wrong with my heart; there wasn’t. Totally structurally normal, yet they told me that the heart palpitations were real. They weren’t all in my head. I was having heart palpitations and panic attacks and all that.

And within one day of doing this expressive writing, my heart palpitations decreased almost to nothing. Every once in a while I still get them, and when I do, I know that my body is telling me that I’m under some stress that I’m not really realizing that I’m under and I need to get back into the expressive writing and back into the program that Dr. Hanscom talks about in his book.

But to feel like you're this close to losing your mind and you don’t know what to do, to waking up in the morning feeling good is the; I can’t even express how grateful I am. To Kristine, for showing me his work. To Dr. Hanscom for putting it together. And that, by far, is what I think changed the course of 2017 for me. It helped me focus more on my work. On my family. It helped me in every way. I’ve been able to do pretty well with this new job that my husband is in, where he’s gone very, very frequently. I just feel like I wouldn’t be thriving as much as I am now if I hadn’t discovered it. So I’m so, so grateful for that.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

3. Sleep and resolutions [20:01]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, folks! It’s that time of year again when we get to talk about resolutions!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. People know how I feel about this. And we’ve talked about this on previous podcasts. And I think last year’s podcast, in particular. It was probably last year, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Who can remember.

Liz Wolfe: I think is still; I know, who can remember. Is probably still really important, and worth revisiting for folks that are interested in this topic. There was a time when I was really just like; oh, come on. New Years resolutions. Pbbfft. Just like, no thank you. But then we talked about the differences in personalities. Who this kind of works for, and who this works against. And it’s a really interesting conversation.

But for this year, we both read an article on, I think it was New York Magazine’s, The Cut. It’s from last year, actually. But it talks about how 50% of the country will set New Year’s resolutions, and only 8% actually keep them. And this article was so interesting to me. Because this is never something I ever considered as being the big reason why the majority of people who set resolutions are actually failing at them. The article talks about lack of sleep. And it makes so much sense.

So I’ll read a few paragraphs quickly, and we’ll get to talking about it. From the article.

“This isn’t something to feel bad about. Changing your behavior, whether it’s eating less, exercising more, or whatever else, is really, really difficult. But there’s a chance you're facing these challenges in a hamstrung way. And there’s an easy solution; get more sleep. Keeping New Years resolutions, after all, requires self-control, energy, and focus. And if you're sleep deprived; which a sizable chunk of Americans are, you're likely lacking in all of these departments. There’s voluminous evidence that those countless little decisions that, when added up, lead us to fail or succeed at our New Year’s resolution — take a cookie or leave it; go to the gym or stay at home watching football — are affected by our level of stress and exhaustion at a given moment.”

And then the article goes into more detail. And we’ll link to the article in the show notes so you can read it at well. But essentially the argument is; if you're exhausted, you’ll have less willpower. You’ll have; I mean, willpower is kind of my least favorite word. But I think folks get what we’re talking about. And you can kind of tumble down the rabbit hole of non-resolutionary behavior. Which is a phrase I just made up. Unhealthy eating, lower productivity, and less energy.

So I found this to be really profound and interesting. That maybe the top goal for anyone doing a New Year’s resolution; is to maximize their sleep. And then their secondary goals can be whatever it is they really want for themselves.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Well this; I mean, it’s so timely. Because if anyone is following me on Instagram, especially Instagram stories, which is kind of the peek behind the curtain of everything. Just everyday life stuff, from what the dog is doing to what I’m eating. Lately I’ve been posting my Fitbit tracker’s sleep record. Which, I use it as a snapshot. It’s not one of the super intense trackers where it watches your heart rate, and tracks your deep sleep and all that. Because I’m really good with just the basic information. Too much information for me, and I think it would just drive me crazy. {laughs} Because if it tells me bad things, I’m like; alright this effort is not worth it. So I like having the basic information. And I like just seeing the progress over time. I do my best not to beat myself up over one night that wasn’t the best sleep ever. But just looking at the progress over a month or three months.

But yeah, I mean this is such a great topic. Because it’s a new way for us to look at this idea of resolutions. And like you were saying; the word willpower. Really what willpower comes down to is feeling like we have authority over our decisions. I don’t know; the word I want is just on the tip of my tongue. But that we really just are making the decisions that we’ve told ourselves that we want to make. And in those moments every single day, there are so many inputs that come into play that affect those decisions.

Those of us, like you and I, who run our own business. Really, we wake up and we have to determine what we’re doing every day. Even if somebody demands something of us, it’s still sort of our own decision. We’re constantly; and as a parent. I bet this is exactly what’s happening as a parent, too. Literally all day long, you're making decisions. And it’s true for anyone.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, decisions and adjustments, for sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it’s true for anyone. And maybe, even at any job where you're kind of in the ranks or what have you, you are making decisions all day. I think that’s just something that we underestimate how much that exhausts us throughout the process of the day. As we go through the day. So if we’re starting the day really tired, then we’re just not setting ourselves up for being able to make decisions clearly and in a way that we feel best suits our needs.

I know that this happens to me. If there’s a day where I didn’t sleep well, and I had certain things planned; it pretty much all goes to hell in a handbasket. I’m like, I don’t know what just happened, but based on the fact that I did not sleep, the day is; I mean, as stated in the article. It’s less productive. I obviously don’t have the energy. So that’s really been my focus.

4. Sleep as a priority [25:47]

Diane Sanfilippo: To your point about issues with anxiety. For me, I do find that working on my sleep is also helping a ton. Because I think that’s something that; I don’t know, we just really underestimate it. And it’s one of the biggest factors in our life. I would say before even food is sleep. Because everything we do all day also contributes to whether or not we can sleep. I don’t know; what’s you're take on that? Do you feel like this is a good way to approach it? To really be focusing on sleep?

Liz Wolfe: I think it’s genius. Yeah. And I think it’s also a challenge to people who are like; no, I want to say my goal is to lose 2 inches. I want to say my goal is to workout every day. Well; if you really, really want that. If you really want what you're saying you want, what’s it going to take to get there? And I think the really true answer is, you need to get more sleep. I was actually; do you remember years ago when I talked about how when I prioritized sleep, I was going to be at like 8 p.m. every night. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: You're like, how funny was I, without a child.

Liz Wolfe: How cute was that? Exactly. How funny. Hilarious. No child. No petting zoo that I’m trying to take care of out here. Yeah. But still, I acknowledge 100% that that’s just not possible for most people. But it’s still telling. And if I could even get a fraction of that level of health back by prioritizing sleep to the degree that is possible, and really making adjustments to that. And I think 99% of people can. 99% of people can choose not to watch TV before bed.

I am so guilty of that, because bedtime is when I kick up my heels, and I’m like; “Got the kid down. What are we going to do next? Party, party, party. Which Housewives is on?” It’s just that moment you take to yourself and you eat something. You sit down. You relax. Whatever it is. It’s the same thing for people that work a really demanding job. Because that’s what parenthood is, right? A really, really demanding job. You get home, and you're like; I’m going to take this minute for me.

And zoning out to the TV, to some kind of blue light device, is almost easier and less mentally; it requires less mental investment than drawing a bath and taking a bath. Or just going to bed. So to the degree that you can, work on your sleep hygiene. I think it’s really, really important.

And I was actually; this is interesting that this came up for this podcast. Because last night, before we actually got the podcast topics, I was reading it was either an op-ed or a Q&A in the New York Times where somebody had asked about whether they should prioritize getting an extra hour of sleep, or getting up early to workout. And I was actually pretty pleased with the answer that the doctor gave to this person. Which was, it’s kind of a horrible question.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But opt for sleep first. Because sleep determines how well you recover from exercise. Sleep determines whether your exercise does what you want it to do, or whether your exercise just causes more stress. Sleep determines even how you digest your food. Our muscles, I think, have circadian rhythm. Or at least respond to our circadian rhythm. So all of those things are really important. And what the doctor said was; if you want to work out more, then work it in during the day. Go up a flight of stairs. Do some air squats. Not in heels.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: if I made add onto this; do all of this in zero drop shoes. Don’t do anything in a high heel. Or even a running shoe, because those are basically half-inch heels. So you work those things in during the day. And that will be beneficial. But I was really happy that the doctor seemed to be saying that it was really important to prioritize sleep. This seems to be going mainstream a little bit.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So I think this is genius. And I think it’s really a challenge to people. Do you really want this, or are you just saying you want it?

5. Supplements with sleep [29:59]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So, a couple of other things that come to mind here. I don’t remember how long ago; I’ve gone through phases where I’ve gotten blood work done and tried to get to the root of some, just issues going on with how I’m feeling overall. And gotten some supplements. And some of those, for the short term they work. And I think there’s always been this intuitive part of me that has known that I was not getting enough sleep. Or quality sleep. I don’t know.

Sometimes I think there’s a point to which I feel more responsible than I “should” for certain things. I don’t know how else to explain that. But if my health isn’t feeling in tip-top shape. If I’m just feeling too anxious or stressed or whatever, I really always go back to those basics that we’ve been talking about for years and years. Whether it’s nutrition, or sleep, or interpersonal relationships. Which I think are also; I don’t know, there’s some sort of triad there. Maybe we need to look at Maslow’s hierarchy and see where all these things fall in.

I’ve always felt like; here I was, taking whatever supplements to support thyroid health. Or digestion. Whatever, anything. And I think in the back of my mind I always knew that if I could get better sleep then a lot of this stuff would start to heal on its own. Not that there’s any specific illness. I haven’t ever been diagnosed with anything or any of that. Just this overall fatigue.

In the last couple of months, even though I have been dealing with a lot of stress, I would say that my every day feelings of that crazy exhaustion and; I mean, I would be moving through the day and just feel like I could sleep at any given time. And I would say in the last month or so, at least, I have not felt that way.

Of course, there have been days where I take a nap at some point during the day. But I know for sure that I have not spent every day feeling like I’m so tired I could go to bed at any given time. So that’s been a really big upside. To just focusing on trying to improve my sleep all the time, as my sort of primary goal in terms of my health. It works little by little.

And it takes a really long time to do anything about it. It’s not something that you decide today you're going to get better sleep, and next week you have better sleep. It’s an ongoing process, and much like our nutrition and our goals for our health. Or if anybody has weight loss goals or any of that. It’s not about the short term. It’s really about the long term, and the long game.

So, to this end, there are some supplements that I’ve been taking to help with stress, and anxiety, and sleep. And I shared those recently on my Instagram stories. Maybe we’ll link to a couple of them in the comments. It was funny that you mentioned Gaia. I know we were texting about this this other day. But I found two at Whole Foods. Which, for me I can order practitioner supplements. But my body is super sensitive. And I find that what I can get from Whole Foods, for example, they work. I don’t need something that’s more potent or more intense at this point.

But I found one that’s an adrenal health nightly restore. And that one seems to be working well to help; I don’t know, just calm my whole system so that I can sleep better. And one I’ve been taking during the day, that’s just called stress response. And both of those have adaptogenic herbs. And the nightly restore actually also has reishi mushrooms. You were talking about mushrooms earlier. And cordyceps. As well as ashwagandha and some other adaptogens. So things that we know about will be helpful.

But for me, it’s been just this; I don’t know. Just this conscious effort to make that the priority. Even when we’re talking about the tour schedule for example. It is something where, when I make plans for a flight the next day. When I look at what time we’re driving somewhere, or what’s going on. What days I have a break. When there’s a day when there’s a break and there’s no event planned, I will not also plan anything else. I will plan to lie in bed and basically just mellow out and try and recover. Because even though each event is only two hours, it’s a lot of adrenaline. And I love doing it; it’s so much fun. But my body will feel that for sure.

So if there are two or three days in a row where I have events, there’s then going to be at least one day off where I get to just be super mellow. And sometimes people say; “Oh, if you're going to be in the city, let’s go here. Let’s do this. Can you come to this restaurant and do whatever?” I honestly say no to all of it. And all of that is feeding into getting better sleep. You know what I mean? It’s not just about what you do for an hour before bed. It’s about decisions all day.

So there’s just so much that goes into it. And you know, I think the topic of exercise also, for people who are paying attention to actually getting their training. At some point during the day, whether it’s an actual workout or like you were saying, movement during the day. That does also contribute to better sleep so if you were looking for an upside to exercise that’s contributing to this goal of better sleep, it does generally help you sleep better. But there is always a caveat.

I had, what I would consider, sort of a paradoxical response. But not really. To exercise recently. And I think you’ll find this interesting. I feel like what I’ve been dealing with for the last few weeks is almost a nervous system injury. That’s what I’ve been calling it.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I told Scott; I was like, can you please order another chiropractic table to have in our house? We actually don’t have one here. I’m like; I need to be getting adjusted way more regularly. Because I feel like my nervous system has been just on overdrive and responding to things that it shouldn’t in the wrong ways. And I’m doing my best mentally and emotionally to reprogram and reframe things so that I shift my mindset so that I calm my system down.

I can’t explain the way it’s felt. It’s like; I mean, I could try. But it’s like there’s a vibrating knot in my sternum. And it just has felt out of control. And in the last couple of weeks, it’s getting better. But I have felt like, when I exercised, I felt worse. Way worse. And part of that is an adrenal thing, but it’s really felt more like my nervous system can handle the input of that intensity. I felt like by lifting weights, even for just a short period of time. I wasn’t doing anything crazy. In the moment, it wasn’t bad. In the moment, I felt fine. But afterwards, for a couple of days, I didn’t feel great. I wasn’t sleep great as a result. Getting some breakouts, which I think were just totally hormonally related. And all of that stuff is connected.

So, that’s kind of where I got to. I was like, I feel like my nervous system is just kind of saying, enough. Whatever is going on, all of this stress input, is just not working. So you know, luckily working on sleep is really helping that. The supplements are helping. All of this to say; a focus on sleep seems, for me, the best effort. You know?

Liz Wolfe: Yes, indeed.

Diane Sanfilippo: So anyway. Plus, it doesn’t seem, I don’t know. We know how many of our listeners get really hung up on the scale or how they look. And I feel like, let’s just shift this to something else so that we can really focus on something that doesn’t have to do with appearances. You know? I think it’s fine; put your lip gloss on. It’s not to say that I don’t like to do those things. But I do think that focusing on something other than how we look as the goal of making change, I think it’s a worthwhile effort.

Liz Wolfe: So, can getting better sleep help me with my New Years Resolution of putting on lip gloss every day?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it can.

Liz Wolfe: Perfect.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ve got four Beautycounter lip glosses literally in a tray. Hold on, can you hear this? Sitting in front of me at my desk. {clink, clink, clink, clink} {laughs} There’s four of them right there!

Liz Wolfe: For in case our internet actually connects well enough for us to have a Zoom call and you can put on lip gloss for me? Thank you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, if somebody decides to videocall me out of the blue, I better be ready with the lip gloss.

Liz Wolfe: You better be ready with some bare shimmer! {laughs}

6. Blue blockers [39:13]

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s right. So, just quickly in terms of what we’re doing to get better sleep. Not only am I taking those supplements; which do just help from an external standpoint in terms of getting my system to reregulate. And I’ll note that these supplements do not include melatonin. I just physically don’t do great with melatonin. It’s not something that I generally recommend as a first choice for people. I think working with adaptogenic herbs and just calming herbs is a good idea. Lemon balm, passion flower. They all tend to come in kind of blends. But that’s a good first step.

To your point about screens, one thing that I have done for a very long time is I’ll listen to something before I go to bed. So I do have to make a quick; ok, my night shift is on so it’s dimmed out. It’s as dark as my screen can possibly be. Just pick the thing I’m going to listen to, and listen and go to sleep. That really does help me a lot. I know growing up I always watched TV to fall asleep. Which obviously was a bad idea, but this was when I was a kid. So that’s something that I’m pretty quick to just make the selection and move on so that I’m not looking at that screen. What else do you usually do to wind down and get ready?

Liz Wolfe: Passion flower is a good one. You just reminded me of the passion flower tincture that I have downstairs. I’m going to start doing that again before I go to bed. We talked on a different podcast about how there’s really no free lunch with blue blockers. I know people really love their blue-light blockers. But I gave an anecdote about how putting blue blocking lights in my house actually ended up basically stealing an hour of sleep from us. Because it actually kind of replicates sleep, versus keeping you from the negative effects of blue light exposure. It also kind of tricks your body into thinking you're sleeping when you're not.

So there’s a time and a place, surely, for blue blockers. But you're not going to get that hour of sleep back just because you used blue blockers to watch Real Housewives before you go to bed. So just be conscientious of that.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a note to self, right? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Uh-huh. Yeah, exactly. So that’s about it for me. I like everything you said, for sure.

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7. Looking forward to 2018 [42:28]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so really quickly. Let’s talk about what we’re most looking forward to in 2018.

Liz Wolfe: Me first?

Diane Sanfilippo: You first. What are you looking forward to?

Liz Wolfe: Ok. I am most looking forward to continuing on my health journey to just kind of bring myself back from this anxiety and stress that I’ve kind of been suffering from since my daughter was born. And to release Baby Making and Beyond in 2018. That’s definitely, definitely, probably happening. No, it’s definitely happening. So I’m super excited about that as well. How about you?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Definitely probably. That’s hilarious.

Liz Wolfe: It’s definitely happening.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m keeping short-range in mind. Really looking forward to the tour. Just looking forward to meeting everybody and making new connections. I’m looking forward to that. I don’t know. I have to keep my eyes focused on the fairly short term at this point. And yeah, I think that’s it.

Liz Wolfe: Well I’m excited to see you in Kansas City, for sure!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay! That’s going to be super fun.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, that’s it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at and Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. It really, really helps. See you next week.

Comments 1

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