Stress - Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #270: Stress – Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays

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TopicsStress - Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:27]
2. Shout out: @MealPrepGenius, Jenny Castaneda [11:19]
3. Resolutions for the New Year? [14:08]
4. Best workout when job is stressful [15:36]
5. Stress and stomach issues like IBS and gastritis [23:05]
6. Stressed about stress [32:01]
7. Stress and the holidays [36:07]
8. Parenting tip with Liz: Eliza Parker and Aware Parenting [51:30]

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Stress - Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Stress - Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Stress - Part 2: Working Out, Digestion, & The Holidays - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 270.

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 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I love ordering the same thing at restaurants every time I go.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a 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, and I hate, I hate, I hate the end of daylight savings.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. 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 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.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice Seafood and Organics, where a healthy diet is a vital choice. Purveyors of wild fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison; Vital Choice offers premium quality, sustainably sourced foods that are wildly delicious and delivered to your door. With minimal prep from freezer to table, it’s easy to get delicious protein like wild Alaskan salmon (my favorite) and Wagyu beef into your paleo menu rotation. Vital Choice also has a wide array of ready to eat canned seafood along with satisfying snacks like organic dark chocolates, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get shorter and the grilling season cools down, is your source for premium seafood and organics.

Liz Wolfe: Well, hey; howdy everyone, it’s me Liz here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh hey.

Liz Wolfe: Oh hey. I just can’t with you reading that thing. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Remember when you used to do the disclaimer in different voices?

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} That was a long time ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: Back in the day.

Liz Wolfe: That was way back in the day. We’re working it out. I feel like people like it. Anyway, so what’s up? What are your updates?

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:27]

Diane Sanfilippo: So last week I had the majority of my team in town, so team Balanced Bites if you guys are following on Instagram. Well, I guess it will now have been two weeks ago, but we posted a bunch of basically eating {laughs} because we went to eat a lot of the places I eat all the time, because my team is like; “We want to try all these places.” So we went out to eat a bunch, and we had a bunch of pow-wow meetings, and we did a bunch of planning for 2017, as well as for the rest of this year I guess. But that was really fun, really fun to get together and be in person and see everyone. So yeah, that was super fun.

What else? I guess just reminding folks about Facebook live. It’s been every Thursday at 5 o'clock Pacific, but because of daylight savings ending, as you noted in our intro, I might be pushing it up to 4 o'clock. So just keep your eyes peeled to the Facebook page for any notifications or anything I might share, maybe on Instagram. I’ll be giving information about what time that will be. I’m basically going to see what happens the next few days, how dark it gets, and see what time I’ll be doing those. Because I just use natural daylight to kind of light the whole thing {laughs} so the entire video production that comes from my phone will be shut down if there’s no light. So there we go.

What else? Master Class. So the Balanced Bites Master Class will open for enrollment for everyone; for students and practitioners in early December. We’ve got a wait list now, so if you have been hearing us talk about it for a long time, and you’re like; I don’t want to miss it! is where you can drop your email to make sure you hear about everything once enrollment is officially open. But it will open in December, and then the class will kick off about mid-January. So we’re going to let everybody kind of get through the holidays, and then sit down and focus on what’s going on with your health at that point.

And just a reminder, the class itself is for everyone. We’ll have a lot of details on the info page about more specifics. It’s not really for everyone, but I just mean it’s not only for practitioners whereas the beta initial launch we did recently was only open to practitioners because there were some things that we’re still testing out and working out the kinks on. But if you’ve been listening to this show for a while, and you’re not a practitioner and you’re like; “I want to take this.” I think it would be fun to do kind of a deep dive on things and learn a little bit more and figure out some more of your stuff that’s going on with your own health and body and all that good stuff, then that’s where you’ll be able to do it. And it’ll be really fun and we can’t wait to be able to guide you guys through this and interact with you and support you all through it. So there’s that.

And then stay tuned soon on the Balanced Bites website; I will have a gift guide going up. I realized, I don’t think I’ve done one in a couple of years. I always used to do a healthy holiday gift guide, and for the past couple of years I don’t think I have, because it’s kind of taken a while to have a bunch of new stuff pop up. Because I think at one point I had done them a few years in a row, and I was like; I don’t have something new I want to talk about. So we’re going to do a fun gift guide soon, so that will be really cool to put together. So I’m looking forward to that, so you guys can check that out on the blog coming up soon. What’s going on with you?

Liz Wolfe: Nothing. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You're a jerk.

Liz Wolfe: I just, I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: You always just want to do that. You’re like, “She’s just going to talk for 10 minutes, and I’m going to be like, ‘Nothing’s up. Next.’”

Liz Wolfe: Nothing. Nothing. I’m doing Facebook lives kind of a lot. A lot.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love your Facebook lives. I watch them.

Liz Wolfe: I swore I’d never do it but now I’m doing it, because give the Zuckerberg what he wants.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: This is what Mark is letting people see; give the Zuck what he wants. But I did discover, sadly, that I can’t even do them through the 4G at my house, at the homestead. The internet is not good enough; which stinks, because I kind of put myself out there, and was like; “Ok, I’m going to do another one tomorrow, and then I’ll do one the next day,” And I get home and lo and behold I can’t do them from my house and the closest place I could really go is maybe 30 minutes away. My friend Amy’s house.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So, it has to be when I’m in town or at a decent place for internet. And I’m really trying to segment my schedule so I’m not constantly flying by the seat of my pants. I don’t know what I'm going to do about working and childcare and all of that stuff. It’s kind of materializing how I’m going to handle these things, but one of the things I’m going to have to do no matter what is figure out where things are going to fit in my schedule so I can craft my day. So Friday’s are just kid, family, friends; that is it. I’m not going to randomly make a special trip somewhere where’ there’s decent internet. I have to, I don’t know, I have to kind of pump the brakes a little bit. I got excited about this, but I’ve got to make sure I can actually do it. So I’m going to shoot for Tuesdays as regularly as I can, but there is going to be a degree of unreliability depending on my husband’s schedule and who is around to hang out with the kiddo. So we’ll see.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think I basically am so unscheduled all the time that having a set time kind of reigns me in a bit and holds me accountable even though I hate having a schedule, it is nice to know; ok, I do it on this day. And it honestly does relieve some of the stress of, “when am I going to do this?” But, I think people can subscribe to your live notifications. I don’t really know the appropriate way to let people know how to do that, but I feel like on your Facebook page, I’ve seen it popup at the end of a live video. Like, if I watch your live video to the end, it will say, “Subscribe for live notifications” I believe. Or, there’s just; you know how Facebook has four different ways on your page to tell the page, “Please tell me when this person posts something.” I think there’s a way to do that. So if you’re not sure when exactly you're going live, but people want to be able to catch it and get a notification from Facebook when it happens, I’m pretty sure there’s a way for them to tell Facebook; “Please tell me when she’s live.” So your viewers can definitely pitch in for their own benefit {laughs} to make sure they’re going to catch you.

Liz Wolfe: I just…

Diane Sanfilippo: All that to say, people can, I think, subscribe to it.

Liz Wolfe: Fingers crossed.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which, it will just basically tell you when she’s live. It won’t be like, “We think Liz is going to be live in about 30 minutes.” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it’s this whole new layer of requirements. I have to tell people when I’m going to go live, and then I have to go live, and then I have to get people to subscribe. It’s just this whole thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. Here’s the other thing about live. It’s kind of like, it’s great if people can hop on live, but if you can’t, one thing I tend to do is put up a little, “here’s what I’m going to be talking about.” So at least if somebody has a question, I’ll put it up the day before or the morning of, and if someone has a question about that, they can post it as a comment, and I can try and get to it in the live video. It’s not the same as if you can hop on and make comments, and write back and forth. I mean, you’ve seen it, right? It’s kind of fun to kind of feel like you’re not just talking o yourself. {laughs} You actually get live feedback.

Liz Wolfe: I actually prefer just to talk to myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I’ll just mute myself for the rest of this episode.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But, yeah. I know people are really enjoying it, and people can watch the replay and post questions. I’ve been really trying hard to answer the questions that come in after, too, because I know folks are kind of watching. I think sometimes people don’t realize they’re watching a replay; and they’re, “Hi! Why isn’t she answering me?” {laughs} I’m like, I’m sorry, I’m not here anymore.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I’m not really here!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. Anyway. Well I like your live videos.

Liz Wolfe: Well shucks, thanks.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I’ve seen more than one comment, like, “We’re so glad you're on social media, Liz! “ They’re all like, “She’s come out from the cave! Cave girl.”

Liz Wolfe: Whenever I have decent internet, I swear to anyone and everyone that I will try to do a Facebook live. I Facebook lived myself putting on makeup incorrectly this morning.

Diane Sanfilippo: It was awesome.

Liz Wolfe: That was the whole point.

Diane Sanfilippo: I loved it. But you’re not alone on the internet thing. I have to literally sit in this one spot in my apartment so that the wifi is actually connecting properly and doesn’t cut out. Because Facebook is really persnickety about how strong your signal is going to be for those live videos.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I can’t even be in another room. I have to be right next to the wifi situation. So yeah, I feel your pain. Sort of.

Liz Wolfe: Sigh.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, it is just in my living room, it’s not an hour drive. But, it’s a pain nonetheless.

2. Shout out: @MealPrepGenius, Jenny Castaneda [11:19]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, who is our shout out for today?

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, this week we’re going to shout out to Meal Prep Genius over on Instagram, which is created and run by my friend, Jenny Castaneda, who you guys may know from Paleo Foodie Kitchen. She’s written One Pot Paleo; it’s a cookbook that’s awesome. And she’s been doing a ton of meal prep for probably over a year now, posting about it on Instagram, posting about it on Snapchat. Almost every Sunday she will meal prep, and post the whole time so we can see what she’s doing.

And so many people are getting on the meal prep; I don’t want to call it a bandwagon, but on the meal prep tip, I guess. Because when everyone is look at ways to make this whole healthy eating thing easier, we always tell you, “Be prepared, make food ahead of time,” etc. But sometimes that’s a little too unspecific and unguided and we’re not actually telling you what to make, how to make it, what order, what goes with what, etc. Well Jenny, she pretty much is the Meal Prep Genius, and she does it with real food. She doesn’t use any of those weird calorie-free syrups and all that kind of stuff. She’s keeping it totally real.

So, we’ll link to; she’s got a challenge, I think, coming up in December, and she has a way for you to sign up. She’s running one now in November, but I’m pretty sure that one’s already closed off. But she’s got one going for December, and I believe it’s at There’s a place to find the meal prep challenge, but I’m not sure if you can get to it right from her site, or you might have to go to her Instagram for @MealPrepGenius and click on the link in her profile, and it will take you right there. So pretty cool. I know tons of folks have asked us for tips about that kind of thing; what freezes well, what can you make ahead, and Jenny is totally your resource for that. She is the go-to girl for meal prep, so that’s why she’s the Meal Prep Genius. So go follow her on Instagram.

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. Resolutions for the New Year? [14:08]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, today we’re going to continue the conversation about stress that we started last week. But before we get into that, I want to ask you guys all a question so that we can start a discussion, and you guys can weigh in over on Instagram and the blog post to make comments. But as I mentioned earlier, my team was in town and we did some planning for 2017, and I’m curious about you guys. Have you started thinking about the New Year, What you hope to accomplish? Do you like to make resolutions, do you not? Are you a “start things in the New Year” kind of person?

I think a lot of you followed me last year on a journey when I started a meal plan in November and people thought I was crazy, because that meant that it would very specifically be happening over the holidays, which for me is totally fine, no big deal. But I’m curious about you guys. Let us know over on Instagram and in comments on the blog post for this episode, which is number 270.

And thanks again for posting all of your questions in response to our Instagram post. There were so many that we’re doing this part two, talking about stress and a little bit about stress in the holidays at the end, and how to handle this stressful time of year. And I believe; well, let’s see, this episode is going to air the week after. If you guys didn’t catch {laughs} Liz you and I are going to be doing a Facebook live. It will be this week, but as this episode airs it will have been last week, so if you guys didn’t see our live Facebook, then head over to my Facebook page so you can catch the replay of that. But Liz, I think we have some questions. Do you want to jump into those?

4. Best workout when job is stressful [15:36]

Liz Wolfe: Indeed I do. Alright, first question. {laughs} It just makes me; it tickles me to read these Instagram handles. It’s funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: PickyNicky7. “What kinds of workouts are best when you’re stressed? If you have a stressful job, are high intensity workouts additional stress on the body and adrenals?”

Diane Sanfilippo: You want me to jump into this one?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, you can speak to this a little bit.

Diane Sanfilippo: It seems like I probably should.

Liz Wolfe: But my answer to being stressed and over taxed is just not really moving my body. Not really; I mean, you can walk a lot.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, you’ve been walking.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Go ahead.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, well there are a few ways to kind of approach this question. First of all, I want to let you know that I have a video about this, because I did do a live video on this exact topic; the best workouts for when you’re stressed, over at There’s a page called videos, and you can find it there. I think it’s maybe the fourth or fifth one down. But here’s the thing; when I am saying there are a few ways to handle this, different people handle stress differently. So some people may be dealing with a stressful job, and they do ok with high intensity workouts on top of that, and they can handle it and it’s fine. Or they can handle it right now and maybe at another point in their life, they think they can handle it and they can’t. So there is no one way to handle this or one way to approach it.

But here’s what I’m going to say about it; if what you’re doing right now between work and working out is leaving you feeling really exhausted after your workouts. If you feel flattened, or like you got your arse handed to it {laughs} or if you feel like all the gas is out of the tires; literally you just feel flattened after your workouts and you also don’t recover from that feeling within a few minutes; like sometimes immediately after a hard workout, you’re feeling gassed, right? But 10 minutes later you should not feel that way anymore. You actually should feel better after a workout, you shouldn’t feel worse.

You can feel a little bit taxed, but that’s something that I think is hard for people to sense those things, and I think it’s something that as you train in different ways for longer periods of time of your life, you become more and more in tune to that. Just like a lot of people talk about being in tune to your appetite, and what you’re body is craving, I think the same is true of exercise, and when is it too much, and when is it a good amount of stress, etc.

So, all that to say, if you’re really stressed and you’re feeling flattened by your workouts, and you’re just not sure that what you’re doing in the gym is helping you deal with daily life. It’s not making you a stronger, more robust person, it’s just perhaps adding more stress, then I would take it back to things like walking, as Liz mentioned, preferably outside if you can, depending on the weather and depending on where you live, but that’s really going to be the best. And we talked about this in a bunch of past episodes; maybe we can link in the show notes. But maybe; I don’t know if it was an episode where we talked to or talked about some of the Katie Bowman work, but I know we kind of have this progression of the best way to walk being barefoot outside in the woods, and then kind of taking it all the way back down to the junk food of walking, on a treadmill at a gym. But I personally will tell you that to walk on the treadmill at the gym is better than to not walk, but maybe somebody else wouldn’t say that. But that’s one way to approach it.

So walking, number one absolute best; not just exercise, but really you can just think of it as movement for the body. Because sometimes you don’t need exercise, sometimes you really just need to move. We need to make sure that the lymph fluid in our body is moving around, we need to make sure that we’re not just totally atrophying and sinking into the couch. Our body just needs to have different physical inputs. So you could be swimming, if you have access to a pool that’s salt water versus chlorine that would be great. It is something that’s becoming more common now, so it may sound crazy to a lot of you, but many of you are nodding along like, oh yeah I’ve heard that the pool in town changed over, our YMCA, or whatever. Swimming is really excellent.

Anything like yoga or Pilates, just not one that’s super hot. I probably wouldn’t do that if you’re dealing with a ton of stress. But you may be ok with it. It doesn’t sound enjoyable to me because of my own heat tolerance, but that may be ok for you. But something that’s lower intensity like that, that doesn’t get your heart rate super spiked, that isn’t as intensely demanding of your neurological system. When I say that, I mean something like extremely heavy lifting, which I love. But if you’re really, really stressed and you show up at the gym and you try to do like a one-rep max, let’s just say, you’re nervous system has been on high alert all day and so for you to show up at the gym and suddenly demand that this heavy weight on your back that you drop and pick it back up in a squat, for example, your nervous system just may not be able to handle that. You may injure yourself, you may find that you’re not able to hit a PR.

It just may not be the right time, so I think we have to remember that stress is something that has a season for us, especially as we are athletes sort of in a gym and we don’t have seasons to it. Allow the stressful time of work or life to be your season; to be your off-seasons. Where out of the course of a year, let’s just say it’s 3 to 4 months that you just can’t be in the gym the same way. So fine, that’s your off season; go do walks, do something else, and then ease back into it at another point in time.

So that’s kind of what I have to say about that. And whether or not the high intensity workouts are adding more stress if you have a stressful job; I mean, they are. They’re always going to be a stressor, because training is a stressor. But typically it’s a hormetic stressor where it’s a negative impact on the body but has a positive result, so negative impact just meaning that stress but it has a positive result on the other side in terms of building muscle and all of that. But if you’re so extremely stressed in the rest of your life, you may find that you’re not able to build muscle. You may find that you’re not responding in an expected way to the exercise. So that’s a really good sign that it might be too much for you. There is no one designation of, “If you’re really stressed then this type of exercise isn’t good for you all the time.” Because it’s just, different people are going to handle it very, very differently.

That’s all I have to say about that. In terms of what to do about adrenal stress and taking care of your adrenals, there’s a meal plan in the second edition of Practical Paleo for adrenal health and stress management. I highly recommend you check that out. The most important part of the meal plans are not, in fact, the food and the meals, but they are the diet and lifestyle add and avoid. And I do talk about this in there, and I definitely recommend that if you’re concerned about it, then scale back. Because my whole purpose and goal with training and working out is to be as fit and strong as I can be for as long as possible, and to avoid injury in the process. I don’t want to show up at the gym, and I’m super stressed out that day, and I just try and go all out, and hurt myself and then for 6 weeks I can’t train. For me, that’s; if I feel like something is hurting or I feel like I’m too stressed out, I’m just not going to push myself. Because I’d rather step out of the gym for one day or two days than for 6 weeks or three months. So that’s kind of the way that I like to look at it, and that’s what I would recommend PickyNicky7 thinks about with this question. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: This is hilarious. I love it.

5. Stress and stomach issues like IBS and gastritis [23:05]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this next set is relating more to stress and digestion. I’m going to kind of combine these two, because I think essentially they’re one question. “Stress and stomach issues like IBS and gastritis; do you have tips and tricks to alleviate and overcome this, and quantify how much of an effect stress can have on your digestive system.” This second questioner has an upset stomach 24/7 and doctors tell her “it’s only stress” how can she be sure. Oh my.

Diane Sanfilippo: You want to jump into that?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I’ll make; I mean, you’re really good with the digestion stuff, but I think. Ok, so there’s a difference between the fact that stress absolutely has a profound impact on digestion; this is why in my skincare guide, this is why in your books, it’s always; lifestyle. You can’t leave out the whole anti-stress lifestyle section. Because if somebody is doing everything right, yet they’re still perpetually stressed out, that basically shunts blood flow away from your digestive organs when you're stressed out. Because when you’re in a state of stress, you’re basically in a fight or flight state. The state in which you digest your food and use it and absorb the nutrients from it is in the rest and digest state. So it’s totally separate states of the nervous system.

So when you’re stressed out, your body is not prioritizing digestion, your stomach acid will be suppressed, you won’t break down food as effectively. As the food kind of passes down the line, you’ll have poorly digested food that’s impacting your gut, and so on and so forth. So yeah, stress absolutely has a negative impact on digestion and thus overall health.

However, I think a lot of times when doctors or healthcare practitioners say “it’s only stress,” it’s in more of a dismissive way versus an actual, “this is a stress problem, let’s get you some tools to manage this and some strategies so that you can overcome this issue.” You know; I’ve been to doctors before that have said, almost “it’s stress,” but to the end that they’re implying it’s all in my head, if that makes sense.

So I think absolutely stress has a profound impact on digestion that’s completely legitimate, and how can you be sure? Well, you employ as many stress-relieving and stress release tactics as you can fit into your life, and see if that makes things better. That’s really the only way to know. And unfortunately, it doesn’t really count popping a Xanax and lying down.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I mean, maybe that works, I don’t know. I don’t have a script for Xanax.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} This is not an endorsement for…

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. {laughs} This is not. We are not backed by pharmaceutical companies. So in a previous episode, in the autoimmune podcast with Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott, they talked about an app called Calm that they both swear by; that could be worth trying. Taking deep breaths, chewing your food really well. I don’t know, that’s pretty much the best tips and tricks I’ve got.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, the other thing about stress, and I think we talked about this a bit last week. I feel like it’s been so long I don’t’ remember exactly what we talked about, because I talked about a lot of stress related topics. I mean, I feel like I talk about it all over the place. So I’m just going to pose this as a reminder, perhaps. But it’s not just; I feel like, people, when they think about stress, it’s like, “Oh, work is really busy.” A lot of times it’s like being busy or having a lot of demands put on us, it’s things that we can see or; do you know what I mean? It’s not always, I don’t think people are always identifying things that I would identify as stressful as being stressful. So what I mean is; again, this might sound a little existential, but this is true, and people need to hear it.

Living a live that is directed by other people, and not something that you’re really choosing to do; so if you don’t like your job, or you feel like there are demands put on you all the time, and you’re like “I don’t even want to do this.” And I’m not talking about in an, “I’m an adult and we have to adult and do the adulty things,” {laughs} I get it, there are things we all have to do. I don’t mean that. I mean big picture; do you live in a place you hate? Do you hate your job every day? Are you spending more time at your job than you are with your family, and you don’t even like the people you’re around all day. That is a huge contributor to just general poor health. The people we surround ourselves with, and the thoughts that they have, and how negative or positive they might be is so huge in terms of an impact on our health. I just don’t think people put enough value on that. And I know so many people in working situations and working environments that are totally negative and toxic. And I don’t just mean like toxic chemicals; I mean toxic relationships and toxic people.

And so on that tip, it’s also, are you in a relationship that’s negative or toxic? Do you have friendships that are really not friendships, you know? Friends that you really shouldn’t be friends with. Those are the things that we really need to think about when it comes to stress. I think that there are some people who have different ways of internalizing stress, and sometimes, if you’re the type of person who is really good at internalizing stress and not kind of burdening others with your problems, well unfortunately, your physical body is probably suffering as a result of that.

And this is, Liz, like what you were talking about with your kid. When the kid needs to express pain or discomfort or displeasure, it comes out in some way, and maybe it’s crying. And I think as we get older, we suppress all of that expression, and I think it can really have a negative impact on people’s health. And you know, I definitely see with myself, the happier I am the more I work to create an environment and a lifestyle and a life for myself that makes me happy, the less sick I get. Just, even a cold. You know? You're immune system response to that.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So; knock on wood, I don’t even know if I’ve been sick since we’ve moved here, maybe once, in the last year maybe. And I travel a lot so I feel like that can have a big impact. But it’s a big deal. So all of these things really do contribute. We need to pay attention to it. And let me be the person to tell you; if you hate your job, you have to find another way to earn money. You cannot spend most of your life doing something that you hate, because; what are you doing? I want to shake people. I want to grab them by the shoulders and be like, “Stop doing that!” you know? Find another way. And it doesn’t mean tomorrow you quit your job, because we have responsibilities and there are bills to pay and all of that. But work to reduce your bills. Do you need the car that you have that’s that expensive? Do you need to be buying $6 sauerkraut; can you make it for $1 with the recipe in a book that you probably have at home. Little things like that.

I don’t know; whatever. We can get off on a total other tangent here. But there’s just so much that goes into how stressed we are, and I think a lot of times people are looking to hack little things that are actually not going to make a difference. This is not about; it’s not even at this point just about chewing. I mean it is, and I’m with you; people need to chill out when they eat and chew, but chilling out and chilling what you eat if what you do 40 to 50 or 60 hours a week is something you hate; good luck with that. You know what I mean? It’s just kind of like we have to keep pulling it back out to this bigger, more macro view of just how are we living our lives, and does that even align with what we want? And now I just got really weird with people. So there’s that.

Liz Wolfe: No, very profound and eloquent; well said.

Diane Sanfilippo: Not rambly and weird and existential? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: No. you’re picking up the slack for me today. I told you, my kiddo was sick earlier, I just keep listening for her to choke on her own snot in the other room. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s delicious.

Liz Wolfe: But I care. That’s going to get cut out, I’m pretty sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think it will.

Liz Wolfe: Oh shoot. Sorry kiddo. Hopefully this will be; I don’t know, the country’s going to hell tomorrow anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

6. Stressed about stress [32:01]

Liz Wolfe: So hopefully the internet will; this whole record will be scrubbed and we’ll start over on November 9th. Alright this next one is about stress and weight gain from AliceDean88. “Will short-term stress increase cortisol and lead to weight gain, or is that only a byproduct of more long-term stress? Sometimes I get stressed about being stressed…”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: “Because I fear having elevated cortisol.” We talked a lot about your view of your stress in the previous episode about stress.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So, maybe this came through before we actually released that episode; I’m not entirely sure. But definitely refer to part 1 on stress for more context on this; because yes, getting stressed about your stress is probably the most surefire way to compound it. I would say…

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. And I feel like; sorry go ahead.

Liz Wolfe: Go ahead.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Well I feel like we talked about this; I don’t know, you and I had a weird therapy session {laughs} a few months ago. You had a moment of just feeling really stressed, and maybe we’ve been doing it lately just outside of podcasting, but just both of us feeling stressed and overwhelmed about all the work to do and all the social media to post and all the things. And this is just a practical thought on being stressed about being stressed; but I think a lot of times when we feel that way, it’s because we have a lot of things in our head that we’re not getting out and we’re not putting on paper and we’re not writing down when it’s going to get done or how it’s going to get done or if it’s even going to get done, or if it has to be crossed off the list. I think it’s a real; I don’t know, it just kind of a problem of our modern times. First world problems; we’ve got a lot of things in our heads that we want to do or we feel like we should do, whatever the case may be.

I really do think; and I can speak from experience, I’ve definitely been stressed about my stressed. I’ve been stressed about how much work there is to do, and I think most of the time it’s when it’s not quantified. When it’s not like; ok, what is all this stuff that’s making me feel stressed? Write it down. Dump it out on some paper and start crossing things out. Like, wait. .That’s not actually my thing to worry about; this other person is dealing with that. Or have a conversation with them and be like; “Are you handling this, or can you plan this for us, and let’s get that done. When is this thing going to happen?”

I personally try not to; I try to stress on a need to stress basis. I try to not stress about something that’s happening next year, right now; I mean, can we not? {laughs} Because I feel like it’s unproductive. So I really try to only deal with what’s happening right now. But I’m just like everyone else with everything that’s in my head. So I think that thing that Alice is talking about here is perhaps something that can be solved, at least partially, by getting it out of your head, because I think that’s where that stress about being stressed thing happened, when you are not dumping that stuff out. You’re letting things just stay on your mind when they need to come out of your mind, you know?

Liz Wolfe: My only comment on this one was going to be; it probably depends whether short term stress impacts your hormones enough to cause weight gain versus long-term stress. It does actually have a lot to do, I think, with your perspective about your stress and your techniques to deal with it.

I feel like she kind of knows that answer just by saying, “Will short term stress do this? I think the problem is actually how I feel about my stress versus how long or short it is.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think; what I was saying about getting it out, too. It’s like; if you can kind of nip it in the bud in the sense of you observe yourself stressing about your stress {laughs}, I just feel like if you can see that that’s happening, then you stop yourself and realize you need to do something about it. You need to make a plan; you know what I mean? If you see that, if you’re that self-aware that you’re like, “Wait; I’m stressing about my stress? Get a grip, I need to do something else.” You know?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. So good on her for kind of having that self awareness, but now it’s time to do something different about it than just stress about it.

7. Stress and the holidays [36:07]

Liz Wolfe: Very good. Alright, let’s get into a few meaty topics here about stress and the holidays. Because the holidays are upon us; because that stupid fake holiday, Halloween, is over.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And now we get to have warm family gatherings and Christmas tree farms and, you know, challah. I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Challah!

Liz Wolfe: It’s a beautiful season. Ok, so what we wanted to stress on is how stress can affect you.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Particularly during the holidays; so Thanksgiving, once this episode comes out, it will be next week. And we wanted to talk about a few of the common flags for creating stress for yourself as well as a few ideas to help folks get through the last few festive months of the year before January hits and we’re all just sad.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: For three months until the flowers bloom.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, we’re going to be buckled down and Master Classing it up.

Liz Wolfe: You’re so right!

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. So everyone can have that to look forward to.

Liz Wolfe: That’s so true.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So, I think the first thing; and actually this kind of dovetails on what we were talking about with the stressing about stress. It’s trying to do too much over the holidays; is this something that you end up doing? Do you overcommit to…

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Cooking things or {laughs}. Me neither.

Liz Wolfe: Actually, yes I have, but now I’m getting a little bit; {sigh}.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You know what stresses me now is the thought of traveling with the kiddo. And I feel like since having the kid, I’ve kind of wavered back and forth between being a total pushover and doing too much, even with that added stress of trying to navigate things with her; and I’ve swung the other direction to just being 100%; nope, can’t do that this year. If you want to do something, you’re going to have to come here, that type of thing. And that’s; I need to learn to do that more, draw that line and say; no we’re not traveling, no we can’t do this, no we can’t do that. Because it’s just too much.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So I’m back and forth.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I feel like we also have different time periods where use it; say that, you know, because in a few more years when it’s not really that hard, and maybe there’s a situation where you do need to go to someone else, you know. Maybe someone else really can’t travel, and you want to be with them. Don’t save up all of your passes for another time. Really use it if you feel like it’s too much and it’s too much pressure and too much stress. I think that’s important.

And you know, I think after you’ve gone through a little bit of time where you’ve had some holiday seasons that just have gone really badly; and you’re like, what could I have done. Could I have said no to something else, or could I have committed to making fewer dishes. Even if you’re hosting, I know a lot of times people who will host Thanksgiving will make perhaps the turkey, and then have people bring everything else. Think about how easy it is to make one dish to bring somewhere, and it’s so much work to host everybody either way. If you’re going to just host people and make one thing, it’s still a ton of energy and effort. But you don’t need to overcommit and make all of the dishes and kind of go crazy if that’s too much for you.

For me, making a Thanksgiving meal; it will be extra dishes to make, but for me, the cooking part isn’t the harder part. For me it’s the hosting part that’s a little bit harder. So we’ll just have a couple of friends over and it won’t be a big deal. But you just kind of have to learn to say no, I guess. And then planning ahead. Have you ever hosted people at your house for Thanksgiving, or for any of the holidays? Or you’ve always gone to someone’s house.

Liz Wolfe: Oh; I mean, because we’ve moved around, it’s never the same.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm. I think a lot of things; so we’ve got holiday eBooks that people can use and follow, and there’s lots of shopping tips and cooking tips and prep tips and all that out there all over the internet as people are looking at making their menus, but there are a lot of dishes that can be made ahead of time, and so instead of leaving things for the day of, or the day before, or even two days before, I think it’s really important for people to make food ahead and have it ready and not kind of go too crazy and just get things ready so you can just defrost it, no big deal.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I’m fortunate to not have a family that expects perfection {laughing}. I’m sure there are a lot of folks that are dealing with intense family pressure for performance related things, versus just getting there and being there. Yeah, my family would probably be happy with just, you know, eggs and bacon on Thanksgiving.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah, I mean I think as we all kind of get older we can manage those expectations. And you know, instead of making 5 types of cookies, maybe just make one or two and everybody can just calm down a little bit. And if someone else really wants to make 5 kinds of cookies, then more power to them. But you know, this kind of goes back to; whose life are you living anyway, and what the expectations are on you. You have to be able to stand up and say; you know what, this is what I have time for, this is what I can commit to and feel good about. And then, you know, just kind of circling back to staying focused on that and not getting too caught up in what everyone else is doing all the time.

So I think another one; I feel like there was an article that came out a couple of weeks ago that had said; perhaps it was mid-October that had said that that time of year; whatever people weighed that day was the lowest they would weigh all year. Basically saying that for the next 10 weeks all that could possibly happen; or at least typically, is that people will gain weight from mid-October until the end of the year, that that’s pretty standard. And just letting your health go. I think people tend to see this whole season as not a time you want to deal with paying attention to things like sleep, and not overdoing it with alcohol, or lots of treats that are around all the time. So I don’t know; what kind of advice would you have for people about that?

{laughs} You’re like; do it. Let it all go! {laughing} Drink all the wine!

Liz Wolfe: I know! That’s generally how; I’m just so happy to have discovered that I can moderate. It will be interesting this year to see how I do. Because I’m very much; don’t deny yourself anything if you want something. But the more you know about the quality of what you may or may not be eating, maybe that will guide your choices a little bit better. And you know; weight comes on, weight can go off. I just think; there you go. It’s the stress about it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s so cute that you have that mindset.

Liz Wolfe: I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I’m like, I can gain weight so easily, and to take any of it off is the most concentrated effort I will ever make on anything. I have to pay so much attention to try and make it come off. It’s very strange.

Liz Wolfe: Maybe it’s just easier for me to carry it because I’m so tall.

Diane Sanfilippo: Maybe.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think you just don’t care about food as much as I do. I just don’t think you’re as much of an eater naturally. Not that you don’t eat.

Liz Wolfe: Are you kidding me? Oh gosh, I used to binge on anything.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But because of you, I’m much more…

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s weird.

Liz Wolfe: Thoughtful. Like, food can be really fun. Good, legit, good food from like an amazing restaurant. To me, a fruit cake or; I don’t know, thumbprint cookies, I’m just not that interested in them unless they’re cool for some reason, like they use some amazing ingredient that was grown around the corner, or that uses pastured butter from this farmer.

Diane Sanfilippo: But here’s the problem; I think it’s because I cook really good food, and so then there is an abundance of really good food around all the time.

Liz Wolfe: You mean you don’t get Chipotle three times a week?

Diane Sanfilippo: I haven’t been to Chipotle in like a year. Isn’t that crazy?

Liz Wolfe: I have a lot of Chipotle in my life right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well that was all we had in suburban New Jersey as what to eat. But anyway. So, ok. Point, counterpoint. You’re like; whatever. Have the thing. Don’t freak out about. But for those of you who are good at moderating, then yeah. Don’t freak out about it. But; so back to what I did last year. I started a meal plan the beginning of November; and actually, I have something I’m starting now where I have a new training plan I’m doing and I kind of have a new food plan that I’m doing just because I tinker constantly, just see what works, see how it feels, whatever.

I definitely will allow the day to be the day. And have high quality, some kind of; I don’t know if it will be a pumpkin pie that I’ll make, or I’ll make some kind of dessert with the day, and the rest of it for me, the food is just kind of normal. I’ll probably make turkey, and like a sausage based stuffing and sweet potatoes or potatoes; it’s mostly pretty normal clean food anyway, but just having a dessert or maybe having a little bit more of it to eat. And I’ll just have it the day of and that’s kind of it.

If there are some parties coming up; I think we’ll probably be having a holiday party at some point. I’ll just kind of arrange the rest of my week in anticipation of that. Most of the time, you don’t have a holiday party that you don’t know is going to happen, so if you’re somebody who is more like me where you do better with a little more {laughs} it sounds weird, abstinence. But if you’re an Abstainer, and you’re like; “Nope. I either have it or I don’t. It’s either all or nothing.” Whatever, then I think planning for those moments of; you know you have your company holiday dinner coming up and you don’t want to be a total buzz kill and not having the champagne or whatever, then you don’t need to go crazy all week just because it’s the holiday season. You can have that moment, that meal, and enjoy it and then kind of get back on track right after that and it’s not really that big of a thing, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think whichever way works for you, I think either mindset diffuses the power of the food. It’s just food and it’s just whatever, but it’s also to be enjoyed, and we don’t want people to feel totally stressed about it or feel guilty. Like, well, if you had the pumpkin pie, and you had the champagne, or the wine, or whatever, you should beat yourself up for it. It’s like, ok you had the thing. You made that choice, cool. And whatever is going to happen the next day; moving on. It’s not going to be the end of the world either way and hopefully just enjoy it in the moment.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Agreed. Enjoy it in the moment.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so any travel tips, I guess. Are you traveling for the holiday or not at all?

Liz Wolfe: No; we’re staying home.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} We’re staying here, and I believe we’re just having two friends over and it’s going to be a very small Friends-giving. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Friends-giving.

Diane Sanfilippo: My family is not; I don’t know. We’re not big gifty people, and we’re not big holiday people. I’m not. Actually, what happen was. Here’s what really happened {laughing}. My mom asked what we were going to do, and I said, I’m not traveling at the holidays. That’s exactly what happened; that was the exchange. I was like, I refuse to travel anywhere near Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’m in airports enough as it is; I’m not traveling at the busiest times of year. No. {laughs} So that’s really put the kibosh on anything that might have been happening in terms of traveling to be with family for my little nuclear family. But Caitlyn Weeks, Grass Fed Girl, and her husband will be in San Francisco at Thanksgiving, so they’re going to come over and have Thanksgiving dinner with us and that will be really fun.

But if you are traveling, pack ahead of time, check the weather where you’re going, because what it is where you are may not be what it is where you're going. Make sure you have all whatever documents you need to be traveling with. I think it’s important, especially at this time of year, to bring something with you that you can do at the airport. Obviously, there’s going to be wifi, but have something just in case the wifi is kind of like, not working at the airport with a million people trying to connect to it.

But there’s a pretty good chance that things are not going to go as planned. There’s going to be a weather delay, or there’s going to be something happening; whether it’s traffic on the road or there’s something going on with the delay at the airport. Things are going to happen, and I think it’s really important to, not only give yourself a little bit of extra time to get to and from, but just kind of expect that things could go wrong. Not to be negative about it, but don’t expect travel at the holidays to go smoothly and perfectly and be on time. And don’t take it out on the people around you when it doesn’t, because it’s not their fault.

{laughs} You know, like I just can picture it now. All of the upset, and all of the disappointment and stress that happens when you’re trying to travel; especially when you don’t travel often, so travel alone is stressful, and then add on top of that the fact that everybody is traveling, the airports can be really crowded, the security lines can be really, really long. So that’s definitely something to kind of be aware of.

I will always tell people to bring extra snacks for any kind of travel, even if it’s a short flight, for example, or a short road trip. You just can never know what can happen, and we just do not need to be hangry around our loved ones when we’re traveling {laughs} so bring some snacks and make sure that you’re well equipped for that. Those are kind of my tips if you are traveling.

Liz Wolfe: TSA precheck?

Diane Sanfilippo: TSA precheck definitely, #notsponsored. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that’s definitely been helpful. Some airports more so than others. There are some other ones too, now, that I think people can try. But yeah. And pay attention to what you’re supposed to do in that security line, if you don’t travel a lot and if you’re not in precheck, especially, you’re going to have to take your shoes off, your laptop comes out of your bag, any liquids you have need to be in a Ziploc bag, it needs to come out of your bag. Little things like that that will just make the whole thing smoother. Make sure you don’t have a random water bottle in your purse. I can’t believe I was guilty of that not that long ago. I was like; oh my gosh, what is this, amateur hour over here? {laughs} I’m on a million flights, and I forgot the stupid water bottle. It just holds up the line. Anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo has opened a new location on the East Coast. Since they’re still operating out of San Diego, as well; this means local produce and meat coming from both coasts. And drastically reduced shipping prices. Check out their new and improved website, to take advantage of low shipping rates; and be sure to use coupon code 1FREEBACON. That’s the number 1; free bacon, and receive a free half pound of bacon with the purchase of a meal plan. Go to

8. Parenting tip with Liz: Eliza Parker and Aware Parenting [51:30]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, enough about stress. {laughs} Do we have a parenting tip from you this week, Liz?

Liz Wolfe: Yes. I feel like I’ve talked a little bit about this before, and I’ve recommended this person many, many times. If what I say and the remarks I make about parenting resonate with you, and you think; “golly, maybe we are kind of like-minded, and I should check out some of the resources that Liz has found and likes,” then, yay! If my parenting stuff does not resonate with you, I am by no means suggesting that there is any kind of right or wrong way. I support all loving parents 100%.

But, I’ve found a way that has been really, really great for us, and I wanted to give a shout out and kind of a parenting tip, as well, to the woman who really kind of help me birth myself as a mother, really took away a lot of the stress I was feeling around parenting; in particular around bedtime and around crying and around sleep, which I think a lot of people have those same issues. So Eliza Parker from; and also from She’s one of the most perceptive, amazing human beings that I’ve ever connected with. She really connected with my kiddo. I’ve been in touch with her for at least a year, probably more, now that I think about it.

So if anyone is curious about aware parenting or about child-led developmental milestones and things like that, absolutely you’ve got to check out Eliza Parker. She’s phenomenal.

Liz Wolfe: Alrighty, that’s it for this week then. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find 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. See you next week.

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