October 27, 2022
239: Celebrating 4 Years of Podcasting with Maya Acosta

In this episode, join us as we celebrate this podcast’s four years of success and four years of inspiring individuals from all walks of life to adopt a healthy lifestyle and foster overall wellness. Be empowered by Maya’s pod...

In this episode, join us as we celebrate this podcast’s four years of success and four years of inspiring individuals from all walks of life to adopt a healthy lifestyle and foster overall wellness. Be empowered by Maya’s podcasting journey, how it has changed through time, how she adapted a plant-based diet, and how she first became an advocate for healthy living! Keep supporting this show to learn more!

This episode covers the following:

  • How Maya started her podcasting journey
  • The beginning of a plant-based lifestyle
  • Healthy Lifestyle Solution: The ultimate rebranding
  • What to expect in the upcoming episodes

Resources mentioned in this episode

Website Link for this episode:

All the show notes for our episodes are located on our podcast website:

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Connect with Us
Website: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions
Instagram: @healthylifestylesolutions
YouTube channel: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions
Subscribe to our newsletter: Our Newsletter
Leave us a message: Speak Pipe Voicemail
Rate Me: https://ratethispodcast.com/hls


[00:00:00] I picked up Dr. McDougal's “The Starch Solution,” and that's the foundation of how I learned about the plant-based lifestyle, but I want to add why I started the podcast. So, as I was starting to heal my own body, I decided to adopt this way of living, there was a lot of misinformation. So, I really had to dive into the literature, including discovering recipes that would optimize my health. 

[00:00:25] You have more power over your health than what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta, and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life.

[00:00:49] And increase longevity in a big way. Let's get started. Hello, my friends. Today I celebrate four years as a podcaster. Welcome back to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm your host, Maya Acosta, and I've been doing this for four years, and actually, I celebrate in the month of October. There's no specific date, but I wanna tell you a little bit about how I got started.

[00:01:15] Tell you a little bit about what I do behind the scenes. And I'm gonna make it short because my husband and I are going to a sort of reunion with some of his former roommates when he was in medical school. So when I come back, I'm gonna tell you a little bit about that. But let's get started. I wanna tell you how I got involved in the podcasting world and what it means to me and what you can expect in the future.

[00:01:37] So, in 2018, my husband, Dr. Riz, and I went to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, and at that time, I knew that I was already going to start a podcast. As a matter of fact, I had the most basic equipment with me. I already had contacted a cute little juice shop in the area, and I set up an interview with her. So we went to the sailboat show because we're very much lovers of sailing, and we knew that some of the celebrity popular sailing channels from YouTube.

[00:02:10] So we went to the sailboat show, and we knew that we were going to connect with some of the popular sailing channels that we follow on YouTube. We're huge fans of some of these. There were about three or four different channels, YouTubers that were at the boat show, but we also were interested in like what is the latest when it comes.

[00:02:28] To some of the boats and the equipment and all the gear and so many things that we're fascinated with. We also attended a Beneteau boat party because we own a Beneteau. And so, for us in 2018, this was the beginning of a life that we expected that we were gonna have. So Riz had more time. He already has set up his business, the vascular center, and he had a little bit more time.

[00:02:52] So we actually thought we were gonna be spending more time on our sailboat. My intentions with the podcast was to basically interview people as we traveled, as we went from one area to another in our sailboat, and I still wanted to highlight people that are in the plant-based world, whether there were local businesses or individuals or other sailors that are adopting this way or adopting this way of eating and are seeing results. And so I started in Annapolis in October, and I say that today because it happens to be, uh, the Annapolis sailboat show is happening again, and unfortunately, this time we can't go, but a lot of our favorite sailboat or sailing YouTube channels will be there.

[00:03:34] So I'm a little disappointed that, uh, we just have so much on our plate. And so I contacted a local business ahead of time, and I said, Hey, this is who I am. I'm starting a podcast. I wanna highlight people in the plant-based world, and I would love to come in. To your juice shop and record.

[00:03:53] And so we did. I did it probably towards the end of the sailboat show, and it didn't work out, and I don't think I fully aired the episode because we had so many distractions. Not only that, you can hear the refrigerators in, you know, all that. What feels like white noise is picked up in the microphone. My first lessons of where you do not wanna record, you do not wanna record near a refrigerator.

[00:04:20] Another issue that we had is that customers were coming in and out of the juice shop, and so we had to stop back and forth, back and forth, and uh, it dragged on, and it was not my best episode, but that was one of my first recordings. Now the very first episode that you hear in the series of all these episodes that I have under Healthy Lifestyle Solutions.

[00:04:41] If you go back to episode number one, that was recorded in our hotel room in Annapolis, and I remember I had a small recording device that I had not figured out. And so when Dr. Riz and I, our mics were off, in other words. And so when you listen to it, you can hear me in the right ear, like if you're using earphones and you hear him in the left ear.

[00:05:03] And so our audio was off, but I loved it so much because it was genuine, and it was our first recording that I decided to keep it, and I never did rerecord that intro. But in that episode, episode one, I'm just sharing why we decided to start a podcast. And I'm gonna tell you my reason why, and Dr. Riz was my co-host early on.

[00:05:26] Maybe about 15, maybe 20 years ago, I was listening to a show that is now considered kind of like talk radio, but it would've been a podcast back then. I got a lot of my information from that show, believe it or not, and there was a particular physician that was in this show that was talking about the association between hypothyroidism and Mercury, and at that time, I was already having health problems.

[00:05:51] I had gained weight, I was feeling fatigued. I was very cold, and so I did more research. I bought his book. I started looking into this whole Mercury thing. I met a friend who had mercury poisoning. At that time, I was living in San Diego, and he sort of told me this whole story of the treatments that he underwent to detox from the Mercury.

[00:06:10] I decided to go to a biological dentist at the time to have the silver fillings amalgams that I had for many years in my teeth. I don't even remember what I had in place, but many, many years ago. So I asked the biological dentist to remove the feelings because of my concerns that they probably are releasing mercury into my blood system.

[00:06:33] Well, it turns out she was very well informed of all of this, and the reason I chose her was for the same reason that she specialized in the removal of mercury fillings, because you can be re-exposed as amalgams are being extracted. So at that time, we had this conversation and many people dunno that biological dentists are well-informed in the field of nutrition in other areas.

[00:06:57] So we had a conversation, and she asked me if I had ever been tested for Mercury, and I said no. But I started to tell her the symptoms that I had and she sort of, Thought you might have some thyroid issues. So we ran all sorts of blood work, and it turned out that I had extremely high levels of mercury in my body and I don't remember what the numbers looked like, but if you were to look at a scale from one to a hundred, I was.

[00:07:24] Over a hundred, like 120 in terms of the toxicity in my body, uh, in terms of how much mercury I was holding. Apparently, my body wasn't detoxing, and it could be because I was experiencing, I had low metabolism. I was fatigued. I was tired. I could hardly exercise. I could hardly even walk on the treadmill because I was so overwhelmed.

[00:07:46] Let me also add that I was mainly a pescatarian because when I was in my twenties, during my college years, I decided to stop red meat and pork. So anyway, so that means I stopped eating all sorts of foods, and I mainly ate seafood and fish, you know, just fish. So, we extracted the amalgams. I went to an endocrinologist, and we started sort of like glutathione IV and also some vitamin C to help, you know, support my body and all of this.

[00:08:18] And then around the same time, I was already living in San Diego and already knew my husband around that time. And then I relocated to Dallas, and it was very hard. Closely with the endocrinologist, and he sort of over-prescribed me, and around that time, it cost a lot of weight gain. All right, so fast forward.

[00:08:38] I am now living in Dallas, and I'm new in my relationship with my husband, and I am overweight. And as a matter of fact, because I got over-prescribed all sorts of medications to support my adrenals. And my thyroid, I might have gained, it felt like close to 40 pounds in about 30 days. It was ridiculous. A lot of it was weight gain, but my legs thickened up like sticks, even like heavy.

[00:09:06] Heavy. And my face got real puffy, and I gained a lot of weight. And so I have a few years where I don't really have a lot of photographs because I didn't wanna be photographed. I do wanna share the photos someday of what I look like at my heaviest, but it wasn't just about the weight. It was how horrible I felt it was, how fatigued and my self-esteem dropped, and I felt helpless.

[00:09:28] I felt like there was like this was the end. This is the way that I was gonna live the rest of my life. I was lucky enough that we lived. Right across from the Whole Foods. And so I went over to the Whole Foods, and I would go like that. You know, I would go to the Whole Foods and do groceries, and sometimes I'd walk around and look at their other products, which included some of the books.

[00:09:50] And I picked up Doc McDougal's, The Starch Solution, and I've shared this story in other episodes, so I'm gonna kind of that's the basis, the foundation of how I learned about the plant-based lifestyle. But I wanna add why I started the podcast. So as I was starting to heal my own body, so I decided to adopt this way of living, there was a lot of misinformation.

[00:10:14] There was so much I didn't know. So I really had to like dive into the literature, including discovering recipes that would optimize my health. Eating a lot more greens. I would say that Dr. Michael Gregers, the Daily Dozen, the app has really supported me. His book, The How Not to Die book was extremely helpful, and if you were to sit in my office today, you would see that I have tons of books associated with lifestyle medicine, and nutrition.

[00:10:43] So all of that really helped me, but after we started learning this information, my husband came on board about a year later after he sort of saw me figure it out. We were traveling a lot, remember that? I said at the time, we had a lot of free time to travel, nothing like today. And so I started experimenting, you know, went out to restaurants, trying to see how I can put food together.

[00:11:06] And then we said to ourselves, Well if we know this information, Shouldn't we share it with the patients? Shouldn't we tell them that there might be something or there may be something that they can do when it comes to their health? Now, many of his patients already advanced, so it's hard to reverse something like gangrene or very advanced cases.

[00:11:29] But we started with that, with the idea that maybe we should provide this information to the patients. We also know we're members of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, and they provide literature that we can purchase for the office, for the clinic. And so every patient that would come through for a consult would receive literature associated with how to adopt a plant-based diet so that they could go home and, you know, make that decision and know how to get started.

[00:11:57] And so that's sort of how that happened, how we started introducing the content to the patients. And then we thought we should support people in the area in Dallas, and we didn't know anybody that was on board. Like I said, I learned this through the McDougal book, but I also learned through YouTube channels.

[00:12:15] I thought that around that time, starting a podcast would be helpful for people who could not attend. So, for example, a lot of, uh, Dr. Riz's patients are not as mobile and can't get around, so if you can just listen to a podcast, you're more likely to receive the information that way without having to travel to a lecture, which is what we were doing at one time.

[00:12:36] We were holding lectures in the Dallas area, so Dr. Riz was my co-host, and it was very important for me to have him a physician on the show, because I felt like that really validated our message, like it really could empower the patients to say, Hey, I'm hearing the doctor say this. And so at the time when we first started, Dr. Riz did have the time, and we would record, say on a Saturday, and we would interview two to three people, and then I would release those episodes one episode a week, and we got to the point where it was almost impossible for him to be available because you know, especially the clinic started demanding just so much more.

[00:13:16] And he still works out of two other hospitals. So, needless to say, I ended up continuing on with the podcast, and it has been a true blessing for me to rebrand the podcast away from Plant-based DFW, which is the name of our organization here in the Dallas, where we work with people locally. Healthy Lifestyle Solutions really reflects what my goal is, is to offer those lifestyle medicine tips that many of my experts are trained in. And so we're not limiting ourselves to nutrition, and we're not limiting ourselves to the DFW area that's Dallas Fort Worth, but we're expanding all over and meeting people from all over the world who need to hear this message.

[00:14:01] So we talk the main component, the most important piece of the puzzle. Is plant-based nutrition. It is what you eat. Nutrition is key. Stress management, exercising, having healthy relationships in your life are equally important. They all play a role in our health, our perspective, how we see ourselves, whether we're always looking at the negative aspect of ourselves.

[00:14:26] All of that can impact our health, and it, it's been what I've always been interested in. As a matter of fact, one of the things I didn't cover is that before I met my husband, I was very much into nutrition. I was into reflexology. I was into not so much Ayurveda but Homeopathy and the Tapping solution.

[00:14:47] So I was, for years, I had been studying and attending workshops and meetup groups where I was connecting with people associated with all other ways that we can hear our hearts, our health, our spirit. And I feel that living in San Diego really foster that. I was part of more kind of involved meditation group.

[00:15:08] And so I was always interested in that. But believe it or not, I was interested in all sorts of ways that I can heal my life, but I never understood the power of nutrition. Can you believe that? So all the books that I read today that all the authors that I, and specialists and doctors that I'm familiar with, I didn't know anything about them 20 years ago, but I definitely knew about other modalities.

[00:15:30] Like, uh, Sound therapy, the Tapping solution that's EFT to release trauma and other emotions. So I was always interested in that in the amygdala and emotions that I need to process. So all those things were always on my list, and now I'm adding to that tool belt. I'm adding lifestyle medicine, and so it's very important to me to continue to do this.

[00:15:53] I feel like I've been rambling because normally, when I put together an episode, I script it so that I have more clarity. However, we're getting ready for a trip on top of me celebrating four years. I have a lot on my plate, and I really just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you, my listener, for connecting with me to, for tuning in every week and hearing from our experts who devote at least one hour, uh, from their busy schedules to share with you ways that you can take control of your health and optimize your health.

[00:16:27] And so it's an honor for me to be that vehicle that provides a platform where I'm supporting mainly women. And that's something else that I wanted to share is, I joined the American College of Lifestyle Medicine a few years ago after around the time that my husband became boarded in Lifestyle Medicine and I joined the Women's Health Interest Group.

[00:16:47] And right away, I felt like I had found my home because there are a lot of women in my family, more women than men, and there are so many health problems. It's a driving force for me to find ways that I can support us. You often hear me say that I feel that life demands so much of us, especially women who have children and still are married and still have to run a business or have a job.

[00:17:14] And then there are the women that don't have all the additional support with a significant other or a spouse and have children. So there are many categories that I'd like to feature, and some of the ones that are coming up are on supporting women who want to. You know, have a child and have a healthy pregnancy on a plant-based diet.

[00:17:33] And then we wanna talk about how to support your children by bringing on pediatricians who can talk about how it's the optimal diet for your child. But there are ways that we can talk about this by bringing in the experts, and those are some of the things that you can expect on the podcast. But I am going to continue to focus on women's health.

[00:17:53] While I do have men that listen and people from all walks of life, I really feel that women bring this message home, they bring it to their families, they share it with their girlfriends, their friends, And so we are sort of that driving force can support everyone else. And if you think about it, I was the one that brought my husband on board.

[00:18:12] Because I was already interested in all these other modalities, and I knew about the plant-based lifestyle, and so I brought it to my husband. He now shares it with his patients. He now is changing lives, and so kudos to you and to me and all women who are really invested in the people that we love and really wanting to support each other, and so I wanna encourage you to share this podcast with another woman who is interested in taking control of her life.

[00:18:41] And so we will continue to talk about other things like the month of October, we're highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness month. And so I have Dr. Simran, who recently shared her story of being diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation. We have Dr. Amy Comander, who came on to talk about how she offers support for cancer survivors, and she's an oncologist.

[00:19:03] And so Dr. Rizwan, my husband, will come on next week and talk about soy and the myth associated with soy. And people fearing that. So if you have other topics that you'd like for me to cover, please let me know. There are plenty of specialists who would like to come on the show to talk about how they can support you, about their, you know, reproductive issues and even skin issues that women face.

[00:19:27] Talking about mental health is absolutely important to me, and, uh, having specialists who are trauma-informed, who are trained in working with patients and their trauma, all of that is important to me. And so I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to continue, but I'm more focused in supporting women in health.

[00:19:46] I am so excited about it. You have no idea what it's done to my own life and how I'm improving my own health as a result. Now the Lifestyle Medicine Conference is coming up in November, and I wanna say it's around November 13th through the 16th. So many of these experts that have been on my show will be in Orlando, Florida, for the conference.

[00:20:06] Many of them I've never met in person. And so I'm really excited about that. And so, stay tuned, I have a lot of ideas in my brain of things that I'd like to put in place for 2023. Like I said, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just gonna continue to bring more experts from all over the world that can support you, my listener.

[00:20:26] And so thank you once again, and feel free to leave comments. I'm gonna put some links in the show notes, but you can actually leave me a voicemail, or you can always email me at plant-basedmaya@gmail.com and let me know how that podcast has supported. Is there anything that has really benefited you? I would love to hear from you, and as always, thank you for being a listener, and have a great weekend.

[00:20:49] You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast with your host, Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.