Get to know more about our host in this episode as Maya shares her introduction to lifestyle medicine and plant-based diets, her journey and learnings over the past few years of podcasting, and her advocacy for a plant-center...
Get to know more about our host in this episode as Maya shares her introduction to lifestyle medicine and plant-based diets, her journey and learnings over the past few years of podcasting, and her advocacy for a plant-centered diet and simple lifestyle interventions toward a healthy quality of life. Tune in to stay healthy in 2023!
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[00:00:00] Maya Acosta: My goal is to bring resources to support you in making healthy choices. And we're talking about nutrition. We're talking about exercise and stress management in a non-judgmental way where we continue to have compassion for ourselves. You have more power over your health than what you've been told.
[00:00:21] 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 and increase longevity in a big way.
[00:00:41] Let's get started. Happy new year, and welcome to 2023. This is your host, Maya Acosta, and this is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. Welcome back, friends. This is the first episode of the year, and I'm so excited to be back. So, friends, I have been podcasting for four years, and this year I'm going into my fifth year as a podcaster.
[00:01:07] I can't believe it. Time just has gone by so fast. Now I wanna tell you a little bit about who I am, and then I wanna tell you about my podcast and the direction that I wanna go for 2023. Last year I produced over 110 episodes. I was releasing two episodes a week, and oh my God, I was so busy and exhausted.
[00:01:29] This year, I'm going to improve things a little bit so that I can be a little bit more relaxed, genuine, and available because I wanna improve the quality of life. I mean, after all, I talk about lifestyle medicine. All right, friends, if you've never heard of my podcast, let me just give you a little bit of history.
[00:01:47] Like I said, I've completed four years now as a podcaster, but before I was a podcaster, I was just an individual interested in health. I was not interested in going into medicine, into nursing, not even being a registered dietician or a nutritionist. I was just an individual who had a lot of interest and sort of felt like there was more to the way that I was raised.
[00:02:10] And so I would say that when I was in college, I took a nutrition class basically. Because I wanted to heal my relationship with food, and we do talk about that on the podcast as well. If you've ever battled with food, either overeating or undereating, restricting, or anything like that, we do talk about that from time to time.
[00:02:32] On the podcast, we also talk about mental health, but basically, I took a nutrition class because I wanted to gain healthy weight. I had been pretty much underweight most of my life, um, going into college, and it was in college that I decided to stop eating red meat and pork. And I wanna say the rest is history, but I mainly was a vegetarian and a pescatarian.
[00:02:58] I guess you could say if you looked at animal-based meats and you know you're focusing on protein, I guess you could say that fish was my main protein because I even had a hard time eating chicken. But I thought, for the most part, I was really healthy. I always said I was so lucky to never get sick. I didn't have like flues or colds or anything like that.
[00:03:20] I just thought I was like doing well. Into, until I got into my mid-thirties, and I've always been a workaholic. I've always had multiple jobs. I was a teacher at one time, but I've had different jobs. And so I was always go, go, go, go, go, go, go. And at some point, it all caught up to me. My immune system weakened, I started to get sick.
[00:03:44] I started to have fatigue. And also the other thing is that when we keep ourselves very busy, we don't make the best choices when it comes to food. And so from time to time, yes, I would go to the fast food joint and grab a fish filet or filet of fish, which is just not the best choice. But I didn't even think at that time that any of this food would affect me.
[00:04:08] And so when I was 35 years old, I was feeling like I was in my fifties, and I remember a school nurse told me that once. She was shocked at how fatigued I was and how little energy I was. So because of the fatigue, you can imagine, I didn't exercise, so I had a lot of things going on, and over time I developed what I didn't know I had at the time, but hypothyroidism.
[00:04:33] I started putting on weight, and this is prior to my forties. So yeah, just before my forties, things were happening, and I had no idea. I just thought it was aging, that your metabolism slows down and of course, you're gonna gain weight. And that's all I thought. I didn't think about other things like that cause I wasn't doing as much research.
[00:04:52] So I started getting weight. My hair started to fall out. I felt cold all the time. Very little energy. Lethargic, fatigued. I had adrenal fatigue as well, and at that same time as all these things were happening to my body, I started to listen to what I call today a podcast. But back then, people called it Talk radio, and from time to time, this particular show would have guests talk about various topics, and sometimes, they talked about health, and they had an expert talk about the epidemic of hypothyroidism and how underdiagnosed.
[00:05:31] These things are, I started doing my research. I went to a biological dentist to have the amalgams removed, the amalgam fillings that I had in my mouth because of the mercury. This particular guest spoke about the association between mercury and hypothyroidism, and then I found an endocrinologist who.
[00:05:50] Started treating me for this mercury that I had in my body. So I made changes. Then that was before meeting my husband, but like I said, I was already battling with weight, weight issues, and very little energy and all of that. So now fast forward to when I'm in Dallas, and we lived right across from a Whole Foods, and it was at Whole Foods where I learned about.
[00:06:15] Whole food, plant-based lifestyle. And this was because I found Dr. John McDougall's book, The Start Solution, and I started going through it and learning about foods that I could eat that at one point I thought I couldn't. All the starchy foods, all the foods that I have always liked, like the pastas and the rices and the potatoes, all the foods that I've enjoyed with sides of vegetables and all of that, and he talked about having like less oil, less sugar, less salt in your diet, and more starches.
[00:06:49] So that was the beginning of everything. Rip Esselstyn came through Dallas, I can't remember, a couple of years later. It could have been that same year, I don't remember. And my husband heard the message, and together we decided to make changes in our life so that we would improve the quality of life. And so I basically changed how I ate, and you know, that's like having to teach myself how to cook all over again.
[00:07:16] Before, I enjoyed kind of replicating like my favorite restaurant dishes here in my home. I enjoyed cooking with Riz’s daughters. I just really enjoyed kind of having people in the house and cooking and preparing meals. I remember I did that even when I was single. Always enjoyed preparing foods with someone, and then suddenly, I find myself having to learn how to do things differently.
[00:07:39] And so, but I did overnight, I stopped eating all animal-based foods, and that included dairy and eggs and butter and everything. Associated with animal-based foods, and I really had to learn myself, you know, teach myself how to do this. Over the course of a year, I had to learn how to eat healthier foods, how to add more beans, how to add more salads, more green leafy vegetables into my foods and.
[00:08:06] It all came as a result of just gathering more and more resources, and so that's why I started the podcast because, at the time that I started the podcast, there were only like a handful of podcasters talking about this stuff, and I'm talking about people that had been on this lifestyle, this journey for many more years.
[00:08:23] And myself, I saw that there were YouTubers talking about this way of living to date 2023 going into 2023. There are so many more people that are creating podcasts that are encouraging people to eat healthier, but that's what my podcast is all about. I basically started the podcast alongside my husband in 2018.
[00:08:44] He was my co-host. We used to go by plant-based DFW. Well, now I go by Healthy Lifestyle Solutions, and I enjoyed having him because he could give me that physician's perspective as a vascular surgeon; he sees the devastating effects of having poor quality of life, eating fast food, processed foods, and not exercising enough.
[00:09:06] I mean, it takes its toll on a person's health, and we often say that by the time an individual becomes my husband's patient, it's almost too late in terms of making lifestyle changes because some of the conditions and things that happen to the individuals, some are very hard to reverse or even to halt once you are down that train.
[00:09:28] So my goal with the podcast is really to help educate you as I'm educating myself because it never ends. We're always gonna be on this journey of just trying to support one another in terms of making healthy lifestyle choices. And last year, as I rebranded and as I invited guests, I really liked highlighting women.
[00:09:51] And people from the American College of Lifestyle Medicines Women's Interest Group that I'm part of. I really enjoyed bringing them on the show and supporting women. And so this year, that's what I'm going to continue to do. I'm not going to change the name of my podcast again. But I really want to support women in health because I feel that oftentimes we spread ourselves so thin and we're so busy doing for others that we forget to take care of ourselves.
[00:10:20] And a lot of times while the roles have changed, and many people are now preparing foods and doing the groceries and making decisions for the household, the gender doesn't really matter, but I like that I can support women in health. And as a matter of fact, I am going to start a private women's support group that's not on Facebook.
[00:10:43] I'll be telling you more in the next few episodes. I'll tell you more about it. My goal is to bring resources to support you if you're interested in making healthy choices, and we're talking about nutrition. We're talking about exercise and stress management in a non-judgmental way, where we continue to have compassion for ourselves and where we continue to be gentle with ourselves as we make choices because we always have so much on our plate.
[00:11:13] Don’t we? So last year, I was having two episodes, one on Tuesday, one on Thursday, every Tuesday, it was a guest. Every Thursday, I was supposed to have a solo episode, but sometimes I would have a guest because so many people wanted to come on the podcast. And I'll be honest, I got a little burned out. I did say that in my previous episode.
[00:11:34] So in order to continue to be here for you and for myself, I just need to make things a little bit easier, and so I will continue to bring guests on the show, but I'm going to make sure that they're aligned with the message that I'm working with because I just have so many people that now wanna come on the show, and that's a wonderful thing, but I don't wanna spread myself too thin.
[00:12:01] I have other commitments too, and I wanna tell you about those. So I've said before that I'm part of the POD Advisory Committee for PlantPure Communities. I don't know if you know what that is, but I often talk about it on my show. If you're interested, just go to plantpurecommunities.org/pac PAC, and you'll learn more about the committee that I'm part of, but just to give you a little bit of information, because this role being part of PAC keeps me very busy.
[00:12:34] So it was formed in 2021. The PPC POD Advisory Committee is a panel of dynamic pod leaders in the PPC POD network who represent thousands of pod members from around the globe. Members of the Pack are chosen based on the success and growth of their pods, their unique perspective skills, and dedication to PPC'S vision, and their innovation regarding community engagement in whole food plant-based initiatives and programming.
[00:13:03] So, as pod leaders, members of the pack are integral to the plant-based grassroots movement, having invaluable firsthand experience, which can ignite, transform and enrich PPCs endeavors to create vibrant global change, PAC members have the unique opportunity to take on a more impactful role with the pod network, share what has worked in their communities network with other pod leaders.
[00:13:28] Consider PPCs outreach strategies such as new initiatives and create greater change in the global whole food plant-based movement. So that's part of what I am. If you go on this link, you'll see I'm one of the first with my bio there, and you'll see that I talk about how I started this initially in Dallas, here with my husband as a code leader and as a matter of fact, as a pod leader, what we used to do before the pandemic is that we created educational opportunities for community members to come together.
[00:14:03] I had partnered with the library, and we would either show a film, have a panel discussion, do a food demo, or things like that in order to educate the community about the benefits of incorporating whole plant-based foods into your lifestyle. And then we're also part of the organization Walk With A Doc, which we are resuming this month again this year.
[00:14:28] We are holding walks every third Saturday of the month, and I'll make sure that I put a link on here as well. So, That has kept me really busy, and last year I worked with my team, My PAC team, the events subcommittee to create content for other pod leaders, and it consumed me so much that I sort of have to manage things so that I can be available.
[00:14:55] And successful in the areas that I'm part of without spreading myself too thin. And so I wanna make things a little bit easier for myself here on the podcast. And like I said, we will be resuming our walks. And if you live in the Dallas area, I would love it if you came to our walks. I'm gonna put a link in the show notes, but you would mainly go to walkwithadoc.org, and then it's Join a Walk.
[00:15:21] Well, I don't have a short link for that, but look for locations, and we are in Dallas, number six. That's sort of the area that we're the, I guess, the short name that they give for our organization, our walk. So basically, uh, I am going to continue. The next few episodes will be with me, and then I'll resume because I do have other guests that I interviewed last year that I wanna make sure I release our episodes this month and the next, so I'm gonna do that, but then my episodes on.
[00:15:53] Thursdays will be much shorter to the point, and that's gonna make it a little bit easier for me to continue to support you. And everything that I do on my podcast really helps to enhance my own health. So it's sort of like I'm always reminding myself to do this, do that. I live and breathe whole food, plant-based.
[00:16:14] So if you're interested in being healthy, If you're interested in learning how to eat more plants, how to do groceries, what to have in your pantry and all of that, I'm gonna have it, all those episodes I will release in the month of January. So look for my short segments, because that's exactly what I'll be covering.
[00:16:34] And so my women's group, I don't have a name for my women's group yet, but I have a link. So I'm very excited because this is something that I'm putting together. It's a platform Off of, it's not on Facebook. It's a platform that is like my own Facebook, where I will be able to bring women together for you to meet each other.
[00:16:57] For us to cover certain topics associated with lifestyle medicine. I'll be doing live streams. I'll be doing short little lessons, just a place where we can hold and gather information related to lifestyle medicine, but basically without spreading ourselves too thin. Even in that Department of Lifestyle Medicine, the focus is mainly going to be on.
[00:17:17] How to adopt and incorporate a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. And so all the details, and then, of course, supporting one another and making those changes. And I'm hoping that once we get everything started, we can start with goals and then see where we can go, where we will be by the end of the year.
[00:17:37] I'll also talk about exercise, especially for women over 40. What sort of exercise do we need to make sure we have regularly as we age to sort of age gracefully and prevent falls? There's so much that we need to do to make sure that we are healthy, and as a matter of fact, that's one of my biggest goals for this year is to get in shape.
[00:17:59] And then I'm gonna be talking about stress management. Now, this is something that is so important to me. It's kind of, it's about building resiliency. It's about taking care of our mental health. It's all one big category, but just really stress management. What can we do to make sure that we manage our stress that we manage, how much we put on our plate because I know that I've been guilty of having too much going on.
[00:18:25] And then, finally, I will be bringing back on my podcast the life coach that I work with. I've been working with her now for two years, and I have seen an improvement when it comes to my anxiety. And I've seen an improvement when it comes to my self-esteem and, and my voice, using my voice and finding my purpose, and be more clear about my life purpose.
[00:18:47] And I'm so thankful for Michelle being in my life, working with me through those difficult times. And I love her so much that I want to reintroduce her to you, and I'd love for you to learn more about her if you're looking for support and now Michelle has a women's group as well where she brings women together that she's working with once a month.
[00:19:08] So I really wanna bring her on the show to introduce you to her. Okay. So if you're interested in being in my private group, this is for serious women. This is for women who are actually, who want accountability, who want support, who wanna come together and really encourage one another. My link is Bit.ly
[00:19:29] Forward Slash Mayas tribe, that's M A Y A S T R I B E, I think about that. I don't know if that's gonna be the name of the show. I mean the name of the group. I don't know if I'm gonna call it Maya’s Tribe. That's just my link. So click on the link, provide me with your email, and then I'm gonna get back with you, and we'll see if this is a right fit for you.
[00:19:54] I don't necessarily want an open group for just anybody to join, and I do want it to be women. Women who are biologically born, women who identify with everything related to menopause, concerns about pregnancy, PMS problems, menstrual cramps, endometriosis, all of those health issues that women or stages of life, that women battle with.
[00:20:22] Let's see what we can do to improve our quality of life by making healthier choices. So maybe eating the right foods or exercising or managing our stress can help with some of those things. Like I said, I used to battle with menstrual cramps, and probably exercise, or yoga could have helped. I don't know. But today, I know different.
[00:20:42] And today, I see such an improvement in my life, and I'm so thankful. And I will say that one of the biggest reasons why my quality of life has improved is because of my podcast because I read a lot. I research a lot. I invite professionals on the show to talk to us about food and exercise and how to manage going through menopause.
[00:21:04] And it's not just about menopause, but it's mental health. Like I said, it's all of that. And so I hope that you consider joining my group. I'm very excited about it, and that's really it for us today, my friends. I'm sure that there's so much more that I wanna share, but mainly I wanna tell you that I'm going to continue my podcast this year.
[00:21:24] I'm also hoping to bring on other podcasters because the conversations are really entertaining when it's a podcaster with a podcaster because we just kind of know how the show's supposed to go. So last year, I brought two podcasters that work with the topic of sobriety. So they both have different groups where they support women in going sober, and so they both have their own podcast.
[00:21:50] And I'm actually, let me go ahead and just, maybe I'll link it here in this, in the show note. So if you are interested in going sober, and that word can have, you know, different meanings to different people. So I know that one of the coaches does not like to use that word, but if you're interested in changing your relationship with alcohol or if you're just done.
[00:22:14] But you want support, and you wanna come off alcohol, then you need to listen to these two podcasters. One is Tribe Sober, and the other one and Tribe Sober is with Janet Gourand, and the other one is with Mary Wagstaff. They both were on my podcast, and so Mary Wagstaff takes a unique approach in terms of how she works with women.
[00:22:39] Her podcast is called Stop Drinking and Start Living Podcasts, and I had both of them on the show. I joined Tribe Sober, I started reading books, and that's how I made the decision that I was done with alcohol. You don't have to hit rock bottom. You just have to realize that it's not the best thing to happen in your body, and that's a very personal and individual choice.
[00:23:04] But like I said, this is something that all these different things, you know, all we can do is give you the resources and offer you support, and then you make a decision to see if it's the right thing for you. But anyway, we'll talk about that too. We'll talk about how we can change our relationship with alcohol.
[00:23:21] I brought in the new year with a non-alcoholic drink, which was more of an apple cider, and I felt really good. I feel so proud of myself that I've been able to manage my stress to where I don't feel like, ugh, I need a glass of wine, and so I would love that for you as well. I know that women have so much, especially mothers have so much on their plate, that sometimes a glass of wine feels really good.
[00:23:46] My show is not about that. I don't focus on alcohol. I'm simply giving you two resources today if that's something since it's the beginning of the year. If you're interested in changing your relationship with alcohol, I've just given you two resources, and then we're gonna talk about resiliency and all that other good stuff.
[00:24:04] Okay, my friends, I'm excited about this year. I'm excited to speak with you and to support you, and you'll hear again for me on Thursday with a shorter episode. Until then, thank you for being a listener. 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.