The YOGI M.D. Podcast

Physical Health - Declutter your Kitchen - with Annie Gaudreault

Episode Summary

In this week’s episode, meet Annie Gaudreault, Healthy aging expert, nutritionist, and founder of VEEV Health and Wellness. While we focus on nutritional concepts, we also dive into what it means to take good care of ourselves sustainably.

Episode Notes

Annie Gaudreault is a holistic nutritionist, speaker, wellness coach.

As a healthy aging expert and nutritionist, Annie founded VEEV Health & Wellness to support smart and successful women at mid life lose weight, sleep better and get more of what they want. An endurance athlete with 12 marathons and 3 Ironman triathlons under her belt, Annie lives what she preaches.

A prior 25+ year career as a brand consultant working with executives of Fortune 500 companies gave her a solid background to serve the wellness needs of those living busy lives.

She is a regular speaker to the media, corporations and lifestyle organizations on various topics of health and is a healthy aging expert.


Mindful Minute

Annie says that her driver, her value, is that she wants to age with strength, to be able to have the most quality of life for the longest amount of time. This is why she exercises and this is why she eats well. What's your driver for taking good care of yourself?


The YOGI MD Podcast Theme Music by Lisette Kelly (bass and guitar), Maya Bishop (vocals), & Nadine Kelly (percussion); Produced by Tim Buell.

Episode Transcription

YOGI MD  0:04 

Welcome to the YOGI MD podcast. It's Nadine, yoga teacher, health coach and retired doctor here to bring you and your body together, not in sickness, but in health. Thanks for taking this time for yourself.


Do you want to have a full and more vibrant life, then don't neglect a single part of your health. Taking care of yourself responsibly means balancing your social, emotional, mental, physical, intellectual, and spiritual health. It's a multi dimensional, more comprehensive, and more rewarding approach. I hope you've enjoyed and learned ways to improve your social, emotional and mental health so far, but now it's time to nurture our physical health. All of my guests compel you to care for your body so that you don't just survive but thrive. Former two time Olympian Bayano Kamani.


Bayano Kamani  1:10 

nstead of asking someone for extrinsic value, a why you should do something, you should have a starting point with your first why start there and along the way, you'll collect other reasons for doing it. So that no matter what situation presents itself, you will still have a why for getting out of the door.


YOGI MD  1:35 

Sleep physician and psychiatrist Dr. Cara Ooi.


Dr. Cara Ooi  1:40 

When teens get so off with their sleep, that actually restricts their freedom. And a lot of the teens that I'm meeting with, they're so exhausted that they're just locked into that, and they don't have freedom and they can't explore it because they're so tired. And it erodes their relationships. Treatment for teens and is very different from adults. It's about allowing them to have good enough sleep such that they can function and then they can do what they are supposed to do as teens, which is to figure out what they want.


YOGI MD  2:08 

Healthy aging expert and nutritionist Annie Gaudreault.


Annie Gaudreault  2:13 

My value is that I want to age with strength and be able to have the most quality of life for the longest amount of time. That's my driver. You have to have an intimate relationship with yourself, first and foremost, nevermind your husband or your wife or partner whatever. Starts here.


YOGI MD  2:33 

And founder of Yoga for Arthritis, Dr. Steffany Moonaz.


Dr. Steffany Moonaz  2:39 

Pain deteriorates gray matter in the brain. Meditation builds gray matter in the brain. And so you can think of, and especially because it's in similar regions, you could say that meditation is an antidote for the effects of chronic pain on the brain.


YOGI MD  2:59 

If you are curious about becoming a physically healthy human being, you'll be happy you took the time to listen. Today we have healthy aging expert and nutritionist, Annie Gaudreault.


Annie, one of the things that Yoga has taught me is how easy it is to live without really feeling connected to our bodies. I know I did it for a long time. Until something happens, there's pain, or there's an emergency where you have to address it by going to your doctor. So I would really like to talk to you today about really and truly occupying our bodies and paying attention and taking really good care of ourselves before it becomes an emergency or even before it becomes an afterthought. I have so many students in my yoga classes who say that they have achy shoulders, they have frequent headaches, they have achy backs. I would love to start with how we treat our bodies, how, by how what we feed our bodies.


Annie Gaudreault  4:31 

Ah, what a beautiful beginning. I love it. I love the fact that you start with basically the concept that at every moment of the day in our lives, that our bodies are receiving messages they're transmitting, and we either have our ears and eyes open or we don't. Remember how many times in our lives We go from point A to point B, in the car, for example, and we go, we get there and we go, oh my god, I did not notice one thing, which is so focused on the after, there was no, in the moment, I did not notice any tree, I did not notice any cars, I did not notice a beautiful building. We are not present. It's the same with our bodies. And so we're starting with food. And it's a very big one. Because food being the number one ingredient for us to be able to, you know, function, right. It is definitely number one element. But you know, we've all heard of this concept of intuitive eating. And I gotta tell you, I'm the least woowoo person you will ever meet. I am 100% science based, but what it means to be intuitive, and it can turn off some people, so I want to be very clear that what it really means is that every day your body's telling you from how you are feeding yourself, what's working for you, and what's not working for you. Every day your body tells you differently. It could be a headache, you talked about that. It could be discomfort. Oh, this does not quite feel right. And you're not really sure. But it's somewhere in the vicinity of, you know, of your abdomen, right. I can't pinpoint exactly where but it's not feeling right. The other things I also like to talk about is every opportunity for your body to have other energy, or to actually deplete. So some foods, right? Some foods give you energy. And I always call it it either tops your fuel tank, or deplete your fuel tank. Funny enough, because you would think well, I'm eating that means I'm topping and I go, No, some foods drain you. So that whole notion of being connected to your body with food is to pay attention. Pay attention to how your body is responding, because it is giving you the message every single time whether you're listening or not. The message is there.


YOGI MD  7:16 

So what's a practical example of something that you found in working with your own clients, a general category that is a an energizing food or category of foods versus depleting.


Annie Gaudreault  7:33 

Oh very simply anything that would be you know, good vegetables, and you know some fish or protein source, legumes will give you energy. Now, if I load up my plate, with starchy carbs, like potatoes, like enormous amount of pasta, lots and lots and lots of bread, fried foods, I will completely drain my energy. I like to do analogies with cars, because usually people get it. But literally it would be taking your car and then getting into like, you know riding in the sand, it'd be like, (sound), it really comes to a stall. So fried foods, complex carbs are very well known for just completely depleting you. Funny enough, also, all our little addictions to sugar also do that. *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  8:38 

What I heard in your answer previously too is that we are individuals, and we need to pay attention to our individual cues. Can you talk a little bit about that?


Annie Gaudreault  8:51 

Oh, great question. Because we're all looking for that one size fits all thing right, oh, I heard that. That's the solution. That's, that's the diet, that is the thing that will, you know, give me the vitality and also make sure that I don't gain weight. And a lot of people are also, let's be honest, are looking for, you know, solutions to perhaps a few extra pounds. So we're all looking for that magic bullet. And while there are some guiding principles that are pretty universal, we are all different. And our culture, our backgrounds, the geography, where we were born, even as you now being a doctor, you know, our mother's gut is the one that will determine our gut. We all react differently. So when people say well, you know, I, you know, I'm I'm gonna go vegan because that's, that's the thing to do. And it's a responsible thing for the environment and I personally have nothing against that. But I also say, Okay, now if you are going to explore this, make sure that you are listening to what your body is saying, because for some people, it's a beautiful, smooth transition. For some people, it's very, very difficult, and they don't have energy, and they are really not doing well with it. So there is something important about experimenting, but I always say, be curious and then listen for the response, right? Explore and then see how your body does with that.


YOGI MD  10:27 

And what I'm also hearing is that that takes time.


Annie Gaudreault  10:30 

Yes, and we are an impatient culture in North America. So that is a challenge, because people want quick fixes. I read everywhere, that's the thing to do. I'm just going to go on it, boom. And there is no is this right for me. And don't forget that your needs at 20 or 30, at 40, at 50, change. So sometimes some of the problems that we're experiencing with food is that we have not adjusted. I used to be an endurance athlete, and my nutritional needs were significantly different. Back then, I was my 30s, I was in my 40s. Now I'm in my 50s. And while I am still active, I don't train 30 hours a week anymore, right? So my needs are also very different. And I'm a menopausal woman. So my needs again are different. Right? So, so paying attention to what is going on.


YOGI MD  11:33 

You're also getting to this extremely salient point, which is our needs evolve nutritionally too, at different stages of our lives, especially as women. Can you speak a little bit more about that?


Annie Gaudreault  11:48 

Oh, my God, this is this is really juicy. This is really juicy, because I think that there is so much that goes on with women at midlife. Hormonal changes trigger a cascade of reactions. So while we think oh, well, okay, you know, it's just estrogens dropped, you know, end of the story, you know, my life will go on, you have to go, huh? You know, actually, there's a lot more than is actually going on in your body that is triggering this. So one of the number one things that I see, actually, and this is a we could do a whole podcast about this Nadine, is this whole misconception that what you eat is what you absorb. And I often have to say to people, I don't care, what you're telling me is in your journal, what I see in your nutritional assessment is that there are some serious, serious gaps. And that's because you are not absorbing because you are not digesting your food. This comes, a lot would say you know 45 on because the gastric juices are deplete, are diminishing. So in, you know, make it very plain is the food arrives in the stomach, and it just does not get broken down. Because there's less, there are less gastric juices. There's a cascade ripple effect of, you know, discomfort. So whereas normally, you know, 10 years ago, this was not an issue, the same food is impacting you. So I see a lot of women not being, not having enough protein, so they're feeling tired. Yes, maybe because a little bit of the sleep has been, the pattern has been disturbed by you know, hormonal, still a lot of fluctuation with the hormones. So while they're experiencing, for example, acid reflux, as you know, is a huge problem. I deal with that with a lot of my clients. And unfortunately, they are taking drugs that are not helping solve the problem. And often misdiagnosed as you know, you have too much acid, Well, the reality is actually the opposite. I see so much need around educating people that very simply, you can stimulate, you know, the production of gastric juices, or we can supplement super easily with that, and it solves a problem and people start digesting properly again, past the age of 45 we need to increase the level of protein and women have been shy to eat protein. Regardless of your philosophical preferences around eating, your protein needs have gone up yet you have not adjusted. So basically any type of protein whether it's animal source, so whether people are eating chicken, beef, lamb, you know, organ meats, or they are into fish. I'm a very big proponent of coldwater fish, the small, smaller the better by the way because it has less exposure to mercury. So you know trout and salmon, sardines, haddock, extremely good sources of fish and or vegetarian sir sources, right? So we are looking at legumes, legumes mixed with some other, for example, rice or quinoa, very good sources of protein. I'm a big fan, regardless of your, your preferences to have a lot of variety. Variety is what makes the body very, very exposed to different minerals, different qualities of protein, and environments as well. *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  15:40 

Sometimes research is saying that activity is more important than what you're eating in terms of maintaining your weight, and then times change. And studies say, no, it's the diet that's more meaningful, what you're putting in your mouth makes more of an impact. So what do you think about that?


Annie Gaudreault  16:03 

Hmm, oh, that's a good one. I still believe that nutrition plays a greater role in in the BMI conversation. However, my prescription number one is always to women, move more. Just use your body more. We, you know, you started the conversation today with this whole connection, everything is connected. Yes, it's important for burning calories, of course. But more importantly, in my opinion, it is a key determinant for mental and emotional health. Because activity triggers, hormones, feel good hormones, in all of the longevity studies. They never say it's the people that were on the Bowflex, or the Jane Fonda program that lived the longest. It's the people that use their body in a natural, organic way every day. So think about centenarians that still carry their grocery bags, they go up and down hills, they go up and down stairs. Here, what do we do in North America, we remove all of that we say, Don't move, we're going to do everything for you. And you should definitely not have stairs to go up and down. We actually remove the ability for people to naturally stay active, right? We say oh because you're getting old, you will be frail. And we don't want you to hurt yourself. It's actually the opposite. Moving, keeps you strong. moving your body keeps you mentally, emotionally and physically in good health.


YOGI MD  17:45 

So you know, here's the thing, though, we know this information, we are bombarded with this information, it's difficult to implement it that I think this is a good segue for your story, because I was really inspired by how you describe connecting with your own body through the discovery of activity, because you started running later on in life.


Annie Gaudreault  18:10 

Sure, because I started reading enough because I thought, Oh, my God, look at me, you know, I'm a tall lanky person, I am 5'10", and so on. It was not like, Oh, my God, you know, I made for this. Not at all. I started running because I was an uber stressed out, you know, executive and running is the only thing that you can do, well, I thought at the moment, you know, 12, 12 months a year. I can step out of my home, I don't need to schedule, I don't need to be part of a gym, I don't need to make a certain time at the gym. So what was working for me is the fact that I had flexibility of time. I could do it whenever it worked for my schedule, because I was working all these insane hours. And I got a little bit of the bug, because it was such a nice thrill to finish a race and I was doing you know, half marathons. And when I signed up for the bigger event, which was the marathon at the time, that's when you start to spend a lot of time with your own mind. It was totally coming to Jesus moment for me. It was a deeply spiritual time, because I had never truly spent time with myself, listening to my thoughts. I had not, it I know it sounds crazy, but I had been in doing mode my whole life. What do I need to do? What are the grades that I need to get? And then what's the job that I need to get? And then what's the clients and what are my goals? And what are the you know, what's the money and the treadmill, right?


YOGI MD  19:47 



Annie Gaudreault  19:47 

So I believe that listeners will be relating to that many people will be relating to that. So I had not spent any time figuring out who I was. So when I started running it If you had asked me, What are your values? What do you stand for? What do you believe in the world, I would have been like, work, I would have had no idea, I would have been like, well, I'm just like everybody else. I had no idea who I was, this is scary, because I'm like late 30s. This is a little bit of what happens with a little bit of endurance events, you know, you get, you get the bug. And I did one marathon after the other. So all year round, almost, I was training, and spending a lot of time. I really discovered who I was, because I had a lot of dark moments when you are on a run, and it's 30 degrees Celsius, so you know, 80 degree Fahrenheit, and you have to do all your training, and it's hot, and it's awful, and you're feeling tired, you get you know, the dark clouds move in. Those dark clouds are indicative of your own go to's, right, your own demons. So I, you go like, why am I doing this? This is stupid. I'm stupid. If you start to listen to what actually those watches are telling you. They're indicative of what your weaknesses are, what your belief system is, what you've been told your whole life, oh you're no good. Why did you even think that you could do this, I remember actually failing to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And that was a big goal for me and I, and I failed by a couple minutes. And I cried, and I cried. And it was all the old stuff coming in. I finally understood. Oh, my God, this stuff has been playing in the background for all those years. And I never even knew about it. It was a discovery. It was like opening the kimono. And it was like, Oh my god, it's not all nice in here, people. There's a lot of things that are not positive. They're not the things that are that are helping me, they're not the things that are actually making making me a better human being in this world. *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  22:20 

Okay, I can so relate to your story. Through martial arts and training to achieve my black belt, I had similar demons to contend with. Because this is it's funny, you know, you're talking about these 30s. I was in my late 30s, too. Just overachieving and never really stopping to figure out clarity around values. And and who I truly was, I couldn't answer those questions, either. They were all very external. Well, I'm a mother, and I'm a doctor. And I'm a this. And I'm a that, and everything looks great on the outside. Do you think that these types of connections, the true connections with your body can be achieved without it having to become a crisis? Do we have to have, as women these come to Jesus moments, where it's do or die? Where we have to figure out who we really are? Because we are in crisis mode?


Annie Gaudreault  23:34 

My gut says, No, you don't have to necessarily go into crisis mode. But I think there needs to be a trigger. And I don't believe that all triggers need to be labeled as crisis. Because otherwise, we are on automatic pilot. That's why meditation I think is so powerful right now. It is all about being in the moment and witnessing the thoughts, right, witnessing the thoughts, just like as clouds would go by. So you know, you don't need to necessarily get cancer. But sometimes it's like you, you read a book, and it shakes you up, and you go, Wow, this could have happened to me if I hadn't done this, right. So there could be triggers of awareness that are not necessarily a crisis. I always say like, the body starts with a little tap, gentle tap on the hand, and then and then eventually whacks you a little bit and then you still dismiss it. And eventually there's a two by four on the side of your head and you go, I cannot believe what just happened to me. And why is this so strong? Well, because little triggers were small, small, small and become big. For some people, they listen when there's a trigger.


YOGI MD  24:47 

We have these opportunities to be in our bodies and really take care of ourselves beyond a superficial New Year's resolution or Okay, now my dress doesn't fit. So now I have to start a new diet or starting a new exercise regime. I guess what I'm getting at is, we're individuals who need to show ourselves some compassion. And we need to figure out what that means in order to really, truly take good care of ourselves beyond numbers, because it's not fun, who wants to grab a journal and write down every single thing she's eating, and jump on a scale every day? Where's the meaning in that? That's what I heard from, from what you were talking about, there's more meaning there's a deeper level of self care. And then the numbers follow. I'm not saying that they're not important, but they're not the primary driver.


Annie Gaudreault  25:59 

And it's never never never fulfilling.


YOGI MD  26:02 

Mm hmm.


Annie Gaudreault  26:04 

It's never never fulfilling. So you are never happy, you always want more pie. I don't really look at the number. My value is that I want to age with strength, and be able to have the most quality of life for the longest amount of time. That's my driver. My weight fluctuates like everybody else, a normal human being, but not by massive amounts. But I'm always deeply aligned, that activity, moving my body is critical for my well being. A number is like a BonBon, right, like, sweet, nice, but then it's gone, you know, after 10 seconds. There is nothing deeply fulfilling about it. So you're 100%, right? It really the more you know, yourself, and the greater your values are ingrained, your actions are so easy to follow. That's why a new year's resolution without the values being very clear in your actions, following in a logical way, in a respectful way. You know, that's why some people are very successful at these things. And some people are not, when it's disconnected, of course, you drop it, because it is going to be hard. There is nothing fun about putting your shoe la- your your running shoes, and lacing up when it is minus 10 outside, I am not gonna lie. But I still do it because I go, this is bigger than a being cold for 10 minutes, this vision of health is way bigger than a temporary discomfort. So that that is the way that I look at it.


YOGI MD  28:03 

It's a compass, those values, those core values, they're your guide, you can always come back to that. I'm doing this because of X, Y or Z. It's an invitation I hear. I hear an invitation here to the women listening, who might be struggling with external motivators to take a deep dive and find what's really meaningful, so that you can work from the inside out rather than the outside in and figure out furthermore, what that means for you. Because looking to someone else, like my daughters and my mother and my sister, they like different things than I do. But I don't have to worry about that. I don't have to try to be like they are, I can find inspiration. And that's the other thing. Yes, that's the other thing to bring up. You know, as I was listening to you talk about running marathons and I have a sister in law who's run Iron Man and she's done all kinds of extreme sports. And I go there's a part of me I'm not going to lie that says, Oh gosh, I'm not doing enough or I should be more like that. But then there's another part of me that goes well I can find inspiration in that and I could admire and be happy for but I don't have to do that thing to find my worth or to be valuable. I don't have to compete. *MUSIC*


Annie Gaudreault  29:41 

I love what you just said. You have to pull inspiration from others. You know again, I started to talk at the beginning about you know, your your your batteries, you know, food other, making your batteries or having more energy or being depleted. Inspiration fills your batteries.


YOGI MD  30:03 



Annie Gaudreault  30:04 

Right, it fills your battery, then you go, oh my god, you know, when I lack a little like umph, I will go to somebody that I deeply respect. And I will watch a video of them when they speak about a certain topic, I get fueled, or I will read, you know, a passage by them. And then I, it's not to become them, but I go on now okay, you know, I'm filled. And now I've got what it takes. And I'm going to tackle what I need to tackle based on my values and my goals. It's not about comparing myself to them. It's about getting that beautiful inspiration, that energy that now allows you to fulfill your mission.


YOGI MD  30:51 

There's no one size fits all like you said at the top of the hour.


Annie Gaudreault  30:57 

Yes, it's hard for people because it means you got to do the work, you got to do the work to determine what it is that you need.


YOGI MD  31:07 

Well, you have six pillars that you talk about for health. And the third one I want to address is environment and emotions.


Annie Gaudreault  31:18 

Yes, oooh it's a big one. And it's interesting, you know, in those six pillars of healthy aging, as I've called them, environmental and emotional health is something that people always surprise that I will talk about. People have goals or make goals. And what they lack is, are systems. And I will really repeat it again, because I want people to understand this. Most of the time, people don't lack valid goals, they lack proper systems to reach those goals. And environmental emotional health either will allow these systems to live, or they will basically deter. So let's start with environmental health. So what does that mean? Well, there's two components to that, first of all, is literally environment as in nature. So we know from science, that nature, spending time in nature heals. It decreases cortisol levels. We know from the Japanese, you know studies around spending time in you know, in nature, they even have a word for it will come back to me. I'm not quite fluent in Japanese. But they prescribe time in nature there to decrease blood pressure. So all the markers of stress are well attended by spending time in nature, it fosters positivity, it also is great for problem solving. So whenever this is a tip for somebody who's trying to problem solve, and is stuck, go spend a little bit time in a park and then come back and the juices will will be flowing. The other side of it is your your environment, your home, think about it is your environment at home set up to support your goals. So a one that I like to use is when I was training for Ironman, I had, you know three different sports. So it gets quite chaotic with all the all the stuff. And I had set up my lobby, just before I would get out of the house, to have three bins of a for each of my sports. Everything was organized, so that it would have to think about it. My, you know, my helmet, and my gloves, and my bottle, and my shoes. Everything was ready to go and the little maintenance that I needed for the bike, everything was in one basket organized neatly by the door. Right? I had, I had basically created my environment to support my goal. Right. And I know that it might sound over simplistic, but if you think about healthy eating, is your kitchen set up to help you eat healthy, right? Do you have the tools organized? Do you have a pantry that actually has healthy food organized simply because it is hard day to day to do all of that? I'm the first one to admit it. Right. So have you set up your environment to facilitate things? *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  34:57 

You know, it's interesting you say that because this something that I worked with, organizing the kitchen, such that the tools that I need are readily available, and I reduce clutter. It's so easy to order online, this gadget or that gadget. Are you going to use it and if you're if it's not going to be a practical thing that's useful to you that you use on a regular basis, then it's clutter, it's taking up some room. And we may not think of it that way. But you go in the kitchen, and you open up a drawer, and it is a little bit agitating to have to dig for a simple spatula. So why not just have the things that are most useful, easy to grab, that's what I'm hearing from what you're saying, make your convenient, so that you don't feel a level of stress already, when you're walking into that room to go address something maybe that you may not feel like doing or necessarily like all of the time.


Annie Gaudreault  35:57 

Mm hmm. You know, the author, James Clear, he wrote "Atomic habits", right, very well known. I loved how he talked about that concept as removing the barriers, remove the barriers, so that it's easy for you to have those healthy, healthy habits or be organized. I always say, if you are living in an environment that is cluttered, it's because you are refusing to be clear about your goals. And you are not wanting to see the truth. That is what's happening. So you use the clutter as your excuse for not getting the things that you want to get done. Because you are afraid. And it is very real. We all have that. We all have that. So I always invite people to look at what are the areas of your life, in your home that are not organized to support you. And then whatever you whatever it is you go, Well, that's your answer. Let's say my garage is filled with things that my children use 20 years ago, right? And we've never I've asked my kids to come and grab what they wanted. And you know, they never do and all that. So what is in that? What are you avoiding yourself? It is a wonderful way for us to actually get the answers that we need so that we can move on. Because otherwise, think about your batteries again, this steals energy from you. Every time you said you know you have to look for that spatula, every time that you open the cupboard every time that you open the garage door, every time that you look into that closet, it steals energy from you.


YOGI MD  37:48 

Yes, you know, there's this strong tie to this identity of a mother and nostalgia and wanting to honor those years, or what I found some people do is that they have an aging parent and they have boxes my mother passed away a few years ago. But they're her things and I don't want to get rid of her things because they were my, they remind me of my mom.


Annie Gaudreault  38:15 

Absolutely. And what people don't realize is that this is stealing precious energy from today. It's stealing precious energy from being able to have the health that you need. It's actually holding you back. It's putting weight on you. So that's why the environmental health is so important. It's so sneak, it is so sneaky. And it's usually one that clients bark a little bit because they go...


YOGI MD  38:42 

Yeah, resistance.


Annie Gaudreault  38:44 

What does that have to do with my health? You know, you're a nutritionist and wellness coach, what does, what does that in my garage have to do with it? And then once we do the exercise, and I always say let's start with something small. So let's start with a tiny little closet somewhere. And then let's let's look at how now you feel about it. And everyone always has this massive aha where they go, I had no idea what this was doing. I had no idea what burden this was on me. So that's why environmental health is so critical to health.


YOGI MD  39:19 



Annie Gaudreault  39:21 



YOGI MD  39:21 

Having multiple dress sizes in the closet ... I know you've seen that too before. I used to be this size. I want to be this size now, so I have three different dress sizes. Hopefully one day I'll get back down to this. You're putting all this pressure on yourself.


Annie Gaudreault  39:39 

You need to have the environment support you, right? Some of those decisions are hard. *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  39:53 

And it gets at this another idea which is you can't just take something away because it leaves a void. So if you remove something that was a barrier, what are you going to replace that thing with? What healthy habit? Are you going to implement there?


Annie Gaudreault  40:11 

Absolutely, absolutely. Knowing what matters to you. What do you need to build personally? Music, art craft, community, giving back, spirituality, whatever the dimension, fill it with the things that fill your cup, not deplete your cup.


YOGI MD  40:35 

Love it.


Annie Gaudreault  40:37 

And that's how the emotional health is tied to right because that pillar is two pronged. Because, you know, the biggest predictor of obesity is other obese people around you. That is the biggest predictor that is scientifically measured. Because who is around you, deeply influences you, people either are supporting you, in your, you know, in your pursuits of your goals, or supporting your values, or they take away. And there is nothing neutral. And this is something that is difficult to understand. But there is nothing like oh, that person is just, Nope. If it's not contributing, it's actually taking away. There's a woman years ago that I heard in a conference, she was in her late 80s. She owned a very prestigious spa, somewhere in Nevada, one of those beautiful, you know, New Mexico places. And she used the expression that every year, she would prune the tree of her life. She looked at what, what was in her life, who was in her life. And just like we need to prune trees to make them stronger, and give them a stronger root system, she did that with her own life. And this is not a malicious pursuit. This is not to say that person is bad or that person is good. This is not at all that pursuit. This is about an honest recognition of where we are. We talked about how our needs change in life. Well, you change as an individual, and sometimes who is around us, and what is around us is no longer serving us. So it's about establishing what do we need to prune? It is no different than a family saying, Oh my god, you know, we had a 2000 square foot home when we had two daughters, and they're now moved on, we now need to look at what our needs are. Does it even make sense to live in this neighborhood now, or maybe we want to grow in a in a an environment where we were, Well, we have more free time, therefore, we want to be able to go fish or this and that. Maybe we need to even change location. So it's about realizing that sometimes things no longer serve us. But it's not about saying that they're bad. It just is no longer serving us. So my invitation for the audience today is look in your life. Every year do this process. This woman was actually saying that she does this diligently in January every year. As an exercise. I just thought there was so much wisdom in that process.


YOGI MD  43:40 

Yes, there is.


Annie Gaudreault  43:41 

Scary. I know. I know.


YOGI MD  43:43 

It is. It is. And especially when you start to bring other people into it. So you're a married person, or you have a family or you have a circle of friends. And maybe someone in that circle is no longer working. They're not working for you. But for the other people in your circle of friends. They're not feeling that way. So I love that you brought that up because that's not something that people think about as clutter. The people in our lives can also be clutter.


Annie Gaudreault  44:12 

Absolutely. And again, it will influence your health right? Always go back for me as to how is this influencing your physical health, your emotional health and your mental health? *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  44:33 

Do you have a question for me?


Annie Gaudreault  44:35 

I would love to know from your perspective, you saw sick people in your life. Why is it that regardless of the fact that we know better, we don't do better.


YOGI MD  44:48 

Any what I believe is what you said before. It goes back to doing the hard work. It is not fun to pick up the mirror, the hard work of taking into account all of these different aspects of your life. It's not a simplistic formula. If I weigh this much, then I'm good. But there's more to it than that. So if you're not attending to the different pillars of health that you mentioned, the different dimensions of health that I've been exploring with my own podcast, these things all influence your overall well being, and it is hard work. The simple thing that you just mentioned, the emotional, if a person makes me sweat on a regular basis, I know like, I shouldn't be spending time with that person. And I have found that to be true during my life. I know it sounds strange, but that person is stressing me out to the point that I am having an actual sweat response. The courage as women to say no to things, it's so hard. So


Annie Gaudreault  46:03 

We can do a podcast on this whole thing.


YOGI MD  46:04 

Absolutely. Absolutely. So being able to execute and really advocate for yourself, while also balancing being compassionate, doing things that you don't feel like doing. I think those things all deter people from really, really digging and taking good care of themselves. So what is your personal definition of what it means to be healthy?


Annie Gaudreault  46:32 

Uh, you know, there is this whole concept of the body's always looking for balance, you know, homeostasis, I know that I'm in a good place, when I am really at peace. So and what it means to be at peace for me is, am I living according to my values? Am I doing my best? Am I eating my best? And there's a big difference between being perfect here, am I doing my best based on today? And when my answer is yes to that, then I am in a healthy place.


YOGI MD  47:09 

Thank you very much for being here. It's been an absolute pleasure to get to talk to you and learn from you.


Annie Gaudreault  47:16 

Thank you for having me. It's so so so wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity. And I hope that for all your audience, this is you know, there's been some good nuggets of wisdom in here.


YOGI MD  47:28 

And we can find you at?


Annie Gaudreault  47:31 

So very easily just go to my website, which is That's v as in Victor e e And all my contact information is there social media, all the 21st century contact information. *MUSIC*


YOGI MD  47:58 

And now it's time for the Mindful Minute. Annie says that her driver, her value, is that she wants to age with strength, to be able to have the most quality of life for the longest amount of time. This is why she exercises and this is why she eats well. What's your driver for taking good care of yourself? *MUSIC*


Dear wise women, thank you for growing our community. Keep using your wisdom and emotional intelligence to share this episode with someone in your social circle, who will benefit from hearing it,. Your grandma and your mom need yoga. Maybe you need yoga too. I teach yoga to wise women. I believe in empowering and educating wise women to thrive on their terms at every stage of life. Let's hear what a wise woman has to say. "I'm a worrier. It's a little much, I think, and yoga always calmed me down. You know, it gave me a positive focus. This everything's gonna be okay. It's just really been like a centerpiece in my life. And I didn't have that until virtual yoga." To learn more. Connect with me at And finally, podcast theme music is by my niece, Maya Bishop on vocals, my daughter, Lizzi Kelly on guitar and bass, yours truly on percussion, and produced by Tim Buell. Thanks for being here. See you next time.