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episode #290

Interview with Laura Rupsis: Habitual Eating, Work/Rest Formula and Ancestral Dietary Approach!

October 2, 2023 in Podcast


This week I interviewed Primal Health Coach, Admissions Director at the Primal Health Coach Institute, and Podcast host of Health Coach Radio - Laura Rupsis!

In this episode, we discuss her personal health journey along with:
  • Laura's Work/Rest Formula
  • Importance of Habitual Eating
  • The Ancestral Dietary Approach
  • How She Improved Her Sleep and Stress Levels
and her one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

Brian (0s):

Coming up on the GET, LEAN Eat, Clean Podcast.

Laura (4s):

I'd like to just sort of turn that term diet on its head to say, okay, this is not a temporary approach. I want you to think of the term diet as just the universe of foods you eat habitually. What are the foods that you eat habitually? 'cause that's what really matters, right? It's not what you eat once in a while that matters. It doesn't matter. Stop feeling guilty about it. It's what you eat most of the time that matters. So let's reconstruct the term diet. Let's throw out the bad nomenclature and just think about it as what it is. It's a your species appropriate diet. The things you eat habitually and So. we need to figure out a way to sort of make that fit.

Laura (46s):

And for many of my women, part of the reason they're undereating is because of the types of foods they're eating are nutrient poor

Brian (55s):

Hello. and welcome to the Get Lean E Clean Podcast. I'm m Brian Gryn and I here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was, five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week I'll give you an in depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long term sustainable results. This week, I interviewed Primal Health Coach Admissions Director at the Primal Health Coach Institute and Podcast host of Health Coach Radio Laura Rupsis. We discussed her personal health journey along with Laura's work, Rest Formula, the Importance of Habitual Eating. The Ancestral, Dietary Approach. How she Improved Her Sleep and Stress Levels.

Brian (1m 37s):

and her one tip to get your body back to what it once was. I really enjoyed my interview with Laura. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the show. All, right, Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn, and I have special guest, Laura Rupsis Hassan, welcome to the show.

Laura (1m 55s):

Thanks, Brian. It's fun to be here.

Brian (1m 58s):

Yeah, fun to have you on. Health coach, trainer, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, you name it.

Laura (2m 8s):

All the things. Exactly.

Brian (2m 9s):

Yeah, I've met Laura through my buddy Brad Kerns, and she's not only a coach, but also helps run their Primal Primal certification, health Coach certification. Right?

Laura (2m 22s):

Yeah. That's how actually you and I met way back, like years ago. Oh, right. When you were thinking of enrolling, you would've gone through me to enroll in our program.

Brian (2m 30s):

That's right. I do remember that. Well, I guess before we get into some, some details, what, what sort of brought you into this space and how long have you been coaching and involved with Primal Health?

Laura (2m 44s):

So what brought me into the coaching space? Or what brought Yeah. Yeah. So

Brian (2m 48s):

I guess both. Yeah.

Laura (2m 49s):

Okay. So look, I mean, I did not grow up with an emphasis on nutrition, diet, fitness. My parents were busy working adults as well. We always had, growing up, we always, my mom did emphasize kind of like a balanced diet. So. we always had a salad at every meal and that sort of things. But we still ate a lot of the processed junk foods for lunches. I had peanut butter and jelly. you know, we ate a lot of pasta. I'm Italian, my maiden name is Puglisi. Very Italian, lots of pasta. Every, of course, I don't know if it's an Italian thing or if it's just a human thing, big sweet tooth for, you know, all of that.

Laura (3m 30s):

But long story short, I was eating the way most people eat. I had the same sort of idea as to what constituted a healthy diet. Over time, as I became more aware of it, I didn't grow up with an awareness. But over time, as we get older, we start to hear more things and we start to be told certain things aren't good for us and And, what have you. But I ended up getting sick actually, in an effort to be well, which is ironic. Hmm. Okay. So I look, my, my last career before I left was in finance. I spent 25 years in finance in various roles.

Laura (4m 10s):

And the last 12 were very lucrative. I was what was called a wholesaler at the time. So my end client was not the investor, but the advisor that advises the investor. Okay. And I did a lot of education, a lot of public speaking, a lot of travel, a lot of entertainment. And I spent a lot of time on the road. And as you can imagine, eating out a lot, always having packaged foods in my car, drinking, there's always alcohol involved. A tremendous amount of stress and an image that I needed to maintain. So again, you know, you go down the rabbit hole about how to maintain a sort of Lean physique. I was a woman in a male dominated industry. The way I looked mattered more so with than some of my male counterparts, but, but many of my male counterparts actually held the same view.

Laura (4m 55s):

I did, you know, avid exercisers, all that. So I was eating a low Fat whole grain diet, balancing my calories in calories out, and spending a lot of time on the treadmill, on the elliptical. And lo and behold, I got very sick. And I found then I would get well, and then I would get sick again. And then I would get well and then sick again. And the period between getting well and getting sick got smaller and smaller and smaller until I was just sort of always sick. My particular illness of choice was upper respiratory infections. I was obviously allergic to something looking back, not to mention the chronic inflammation of a lifestyle and a diet like that.

Laura (5m 35s):

And it wasn't until I was just fed up. I was one of the lucky few that could afford to pay out of pocket for care. I made a lot of money doing what I was doing. And I could afford to spend thousands of dollars on another practitioner who did not take insurance that Brian fixed me with food. Maybe a handful of supplements, like some Chinese herbs and a probiotic. I thought

Brian (5m 57s):

You were gonna say, I thought you were gonna say Chinese food, Chinese

Laura (6m 1s):

Herbs, stuff that liked, helped calm the central nervous system and calmed inflammation, that kind of thing. And then, you know, a nice long dose of, you've gotta cut the stress, you know? And that's what healed me. I went for years getting sicker and sicker and sicker. I, I can't even tell you how many bouts of antibiotics I was on 'cause of the chronic sinus infections. And I went for years not getting well. And in six weeks my sinus infections were gone. My postnasal drip was gone, my allergies were gone, my headaches were gone. The brain fog was gone. I was able to sleep. The anxiety was, it was all gone or measurably better.

Laura (6m 44s):

you know, it, nothing's gone overnight, but measurably better to the fact that I then, I eventually went through a period where I, I didn't get sick for 10 years. Like, not even, not like nothing. So that's what really got me passionate. And I started just blogging about it. 'cause I was mad. 'cause here I was, I thought I knew the answers. I was a type A personality. I, I read everything I thought I knew, and I was lying to literally lied to in my point of view. And I had discovered this thing called the Paleo Diet because I was looking for recipes for foods that I loved, that I really couldn't eat anymore. Dairy is not my friend. I love it But. it does not love me. And I was just looking for recipes. The things that didn't include soy, things that didn't in include grains, looking for alternatives in this paleo diet thing kept coming up.

Laura (7m 31s):

And then I found Mark's book, and I found Rob Wolf's book. And I found Nora, I've read every book. I listened to every podcast, podcast like yours. And I just consumed it and just got mad that this wasn't, I'm like, all of this information's here. Why did I not hear about it? So I wanted to tell my friends evangelical, I was evangelical, telling everyone whether they wanted to hear it or not, about everything I'd learned and realized, okay, I don't wanna be like the nutrition police anymore. I wanted to just keep my friends, but I felt the need to get it out to the universe. Started my very first blog, which no longer exists, mom, god, paleo. And it was a few, handful of people that are like, why are you still doing this? Like my finance career when I was clearly passionate about something else.

Laura (8m 13s):

And that's when I decided to kind of pursue health coaching. And that's a whole other journey. But that's what kind of led me here. That was the start of it.

Brian (8m 21s):

Yeah. And, what year was that?

Laura (8m 24s):

Long time ago. Like, I was,

Brian (8m 26s):

I mean, you're probably what, in your mid thirties right now?

Laura (8m 29s):

Nice. No, I'm 52, but thank you for that. I was in my mid to late thirties when that started. I was about, I remember thinking to myself, I'm 38, not 88. I should not be on eight different medications. Okay. So that was 14 years ago. So it's, let's do the math. It's 2023 now. So you're looking at, you know, it's, it's been a long time. It's like 2011 ish, 10, you know, 10, 11 ish.

Brian (8m 57s):

Yeah. Yeah. And the paleo diet, which is obviously still around. I mean, I don't really love putting labels on diets. Right. I mean, there are, there are, you know, but I actually just did an interesting podcast on like, well, I, God, I quoted Marty Kendall, I if you know, Marty Kendall, he has a website called Opt optimizing Nutrition. But his, he, he looks at it from the viewpoint of just about focusing on nutrient-dense foods. Yeah. And just making sure that you're, you know, satiated and things like that. And the paleo diet is meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds. Pretty much. Was that, would you say that's, yeah.

Laura (9m 37s):

I mean, I think it's, if you could have hunted it or gathered it, it's kind of free game, right? It's a, it's a nutrient dense whole food diet. Yeah. Is the way I looked at it now, don't you? Absolutely. Right. I think what comes along with diet and like the names of a diet is a lot of dogma. And I remember that's how I found CrossFit. Actually, I, I don't know, side note, I owned a CrossFit gym for about nine years. And I, that, that was actually part of my journey out of finance into health coaching, is that I needed another source of revenue. So, we opened a gym, but that's how I found CrossFit. It was through Paleo rather than the other way around. Interesting. And I remember people being like, is this paleo?

Laura (10m 18s):

Well, that's not paleo. I can't eat it. And that, that just kind of seems silly to me. Right, right. And I, I kind of knew that intuitively. Is it, does it serve you or does it not serve you? Is it nutritious or is it not nutritious? Is it just a bunch of empty calories, but hey, it's better than a Snickers bar. you know, everything on balance, everything, there's, it's, it's, it's very rarely black and white. So, you know, I took from that little excursion down the road of paleo to more of this really geeking out on like evolutionary biology and, and really understanding why the body works the way it does. Why is type two diabetes even a thing?

Laura (11m 0s):

It's kind of dumb. Right. Why does the body do that? And, but when you look back through just sort of our Ancestral journey as humans and the environment that we lived in, I mean, other than maybe a hundred years ago, anything prior to that, we didn't live in this constant state of food access. You know, and I hearing Mark Sisson, who's the founder of the school, the school that I work for, and that you graduated from, but really just my mentor, one of the first people that kind of let that light bulb go off for me. you know, this idea like, rather than blaming the body for not working properly, it's actually a very elegant mechanism.

Laura (11m 46s):

Yeah. we can, during times of feasting, lots of food, we can just store it a we liter, just put it over here until we need it. When we are going through a period of time where we don't have access to food. you know, we're just kind of, most of us here in the US and in, and in many other locales, it, it just doesn't happen. But that's kind of where I started to go down that road. And to your point, in terms of satiety from a coaching perspective, that's the litmus test I use with my clients. you know, how long does it take for you to get hungry? If it's two or three hours your meal did not do its job. Right. And let's figure out how to build a better meal.

Brian (12m 27s):

Yeah. I always say like, if you can just eliminate snacking, And, you know, just focusing on having, sitting down and being like, present in your meals. I think that's like a big part of it. I just interviewed at Dixie. Her name was Dixie Huey. But she, she lived overseas, like in Paris for a long time. And they would have meals that lasted like four hours. Yeah. Right. Like, it just long times of just sitting there and conversing very low stress environment. Do we do that in the United States? No, I'm not saying you need a four hour meal, but can you be present and at a table and sitting and just enjoying your food as opposed to just in their car or on the run?

Laura (13m 14s):

Yeah. The, I mean, I, I went to Italy many, many years ago. My dad, my dad's company was on the hundred fourth floor of the World Trade Center, the, the buildings that fell after nine 11. And he took a bit of a sabbatical. He's Italian, has always loved Italy. And he just went and lived abroad for like three months and wanted to learn the language. And my sister and I went over to visit him. We spent about 10 days. And I will tell you, we ate a lot. I had gelato every day. And I lost weight. I lost weight, weight because we spent a lot of time walking. Right. I wasn't mindlessly shoving junk food down my face. They, they didn't really have a whole lot of that there.

Laura (13m 56s):

And to your point, our meals were local in-season foods. They don't have these big grocery stores. They had little markets, you know. Right. And the restaurants, what was on the menu was whatever was available at the market that day. Yeah. And they were reasonable portions. And here's the thing, they served a lot of smaller, smaller portions in courses. So you just sort of learn to regulate. 'cause you know, you've got more coming. You take a few bites here. And to your point, you just enjoy being with the people around you. And you enjoy the act of eating and just the act of being there with other people. It slows things down.

Laura (14m 37s):

You appreciate it more. To your point, there's less stress. And then, you know, we'd go get a gelato and we would walk back, you know? Right. Rather than being in the car and feeling as though you got a wolf down your meal because there's somebody waiting at the Applebee's front desk to sit at the table when you're done.

Brian (14m 55s):

Right. Yeah. No, there's something to be said about that. What, what is your eating like? Like has it, has it evolved over time? I mean, that was, you said a while back when you were in the corporate world. I mean, I think we all, our habits can change through the years. What, what, how has it evolved till now?

Laura (15m 12s):

Well, here's the thing, and and I don't know how many female listeners you have, but I, I've had to change things a few times just given where I am. you know, I, I started down this path in my thirties, and I was also, I had found CrossFit. So, you know, I went from what was essentially a standard American diet to what was then this sort of low Fat whole grain, lots of low Fat dairy paradigm that didn't do well. So I moved into more of this whole food kind of paleo ish lifestyle. And then realized, and, and actually that, that worked really well for me while I was actively CrossFitting pretty hard, you know, five days a week or more until it didn't, until I got older.

Laura (15m 57s):

And women, when we go through perimenopause and mepa menopause, our body doesn't respond to food the same way. And it doesn't respond to exercise the same way we need to, to kind of, and, and I'm not saying I still lift, I still do CrossFit. I just don't do it as often. I listen to my body. I have a target heart rate that I'm shooting for. you know, I try to go as fast as I can as long as my heart rate's within a certain range, because I know that if I go over a certain target, I do not feel well. I also know that I do better when I do more like work, rest, work, rest, work, rest kind of workouts, rather than just a 20 minute Metcon where I'm going as fast as I can for 20 minutes. you know, you kind of learn these things about yourself.

Laura (16m 39s):

Right. But from the standpoint of food, I, I eat more protein than I ever did. I eat far less sugar and carbohydrates than I ever did. And when I do, I'm much more mindful about when I try to target them around, when I think I'm actually gonna need it. Maybe there is a workout, I wanna do that. And I find, and I don't know how some of the, some women feel, I feel like I, I don't tap glycogen very easily. I don't think I kind of have to have it swimming in there. But I don't need a lot. Like a half a banana is more than enough. I don't need like this massive punch of carbohydrates.

Laura (17m 19s):

If I get just a little bit that helps and it makes me feel better. So I'm, I'm still all whole foods based. I would say I'm on probably on the lower carb spectrum, given my age, but I'm not a hundred percent keto all the time. I, I find eventually I might not sleep real well sometimes, and I need to adjust that. But that comes with just being like awareness and being, and listening to your body.

Brian (17m 48s):

Yeah. I always talk about that self experimentation and finding out sort of like, what works for you. Like for me, like I, I've added in more meals, actually. I've talked with Brad about this a little bit. Undereating is a thing, and too much restriction can, can go the wrong way. Like you mentioned. So I've added in some, some meals and some trying to consume a little bit more, especially just being active and stuff. Do you find that for yourself? I think, I feel like not only men, but women sometimes just tend to undereat for too long.

Laura (18m 22s):

100%. you know, we, this is, I end up having to unwind a lot of this with many of my female clients. My female clients that have been dieting for decades, right? They've been undereating and I hear stories like, I'm eating 1200 calories or less a day, and I can't lose weight. I'm sorry. You're 150, 160 pound female and you can't lose weight on 12. Something's wrong. And I have to sort of teach them how to reverse diet, you know? Right. So what I'll often do, what I, at the end of the day, so the reason diets don't work, I'm saying this in air quotes. I'm sure people aren't watching this, they're listening. But diets work if you stay on 'em.

Laura (19m 2s):

Right. The problem is, there's a reason you don't stay on 'em. They're sustainable for one reason or another. Sometimes they're unsustainable because nutritionally they're crap. Right? The cabbage soup diet, good lord, that just, you know, I'm just being cheeky here, but you get my point. There are some that are just nutritionally horrible. They are calorically horrible, way too low. Now your thyroid is gone, like cravings are through the roof, doesn't work, doesn't fit your preferences. This is a big one, right? Some people have to just be like, these are, these are the foods I prefer. Let's find alternatives that kind of scratch that itch that that, that you allow you to kind of live this way.

Laura (19m 45s):

It needs to fit your actual lifestyle. Folks like me, back in the day when I spent a lot of time on the road, I needed to be able to find solutions for when I was not home. Now I'm in a different situation. I work from home. I spend most of my time at home. I eat out rarely now. So it makes it a lot easier to control for that. So if you can't, I'd like to just sort of turn that term diet on its head to say, okay, this is not a temporary approach. I want you to think of the term diet as just the universe of foods you eat habitually. What are the foods that you eat habitually? Because that's what really matters, right? It's not what you eat once in a while that matters.

Laura (20m 25s):

It doesn't matter. Stop feeling guilty about it. It's what you eat most of the time that matters. So let's reconstruct the term diet. Let's throw out the bad nomenclature and just think it about it as what it is. It's a, your species appropriate diet. The things you eat habitually and So. we need to figure out a way to sort of make that fit. And for many of my women, part of the reason they're undereating is because of the types of foods they're eating are nutrient poor. you know, I, I would bet you I could probably get a woman to stay around that 12 to 1300 calories, but check it full of protein, lots of fiber and some healthy fats.

Laura (21m 9s):

And they're not gonna feel hungry at all. And their body's not gonna feel malnourished. Right? Yeah. So, typically speaking, I am, I, I do not get into fasting or intermittent fasting with Mike. I think that's a 2.0 project. I feel like we need to learn how to eat before you learn how to fast. I think you gotta earn the right to get there. And then when I start to hear, when I start to hear things like I'm, is it okay to not eat breakfast? Like, I'm not hungry, I keep forgetting, or I keep forgetting to eat lunch. You know? Right. And then this is now when we can have a conversation about honoring your body's natural hunger cues.

Laura (21m 49s):

A term we like to use at Primal in our, my Primal coach program is the concept of when, as an acronym, W h e n. When hunger ensues naturally, if you're not hungry, don't eat. If you're hungry, eat. If you're concerned about not getting enough calories, what I often will do is it's like, Hey, if like a not eating breakfast thing works well for you during the week, 'cause you're busy in the morning anyway, maybe consider adding another meal on the weekends. Sitting down and enjoying a really great breakfast with your family on the weekends and adding an extra meal in there can shore up any sort of hypocaloric issues that you might be having hormonally pretty easily.

Brian (22m 32s):

Yeah. No, that's a good, that's a good point. 'cause yeah, sometimes like, I'll just use my wife as an, as an example. She, I try to get her to eat more and she's just not like hungry. But sometimes you actually have to give your body a little bit of abundance every once in a while. Right. Just to, you know, get the hunger hormones going. If you're so used to restricting, your body is smart, it's just gonna adjust And, you know, probably end up just And, you know, excuse me. I probably end up just storing Fat and, and just suppressing your appetite as opposed to just giving yourself abundance every so often. I think that's important.

Laura (23m 9s):

Yeah. You can't, your body's smart, smarter than you give it credit for, and it's always seeking homeostasis. So if you're not giving it enough food, it's gonna adjust another areas that so that it doesn't need it. Right. Right. Other systems get downregulated when you're not properly feeding this beautiful body that you've been gifted with.

Brian (23m 28s):

How has the Primal Health, since you're, you know, with Marx si and the Primal Health Coaching, how has that sort of evolved as far as teaching diet and lifestyle?

Laura (23m 40s):

That's a great question. I mean, the core tenets of like an Ancestral Health approach have not changed all that much. The core tenets, and I, I, I don't foresee them changing all that much, to be honest. Right. I, i, from a nutritional point of view, I describe it as an omnivorous, nutrient dense, whole food diet of local in season foods. That's what we would call an Ancestral health sort of Dietary approach or philosophy. So that I don't see changing all that much. But some things that do change over time are really what is an optimal protein quotient. I think early on there was this noise about how you don't need as much protein as you think you do.

Laura (24m 21s):

And there's this thing called mTOR that if you drink eat too much protein, it's gonna tap mTOR too much and it's gonna cause cancer. Well, that turned out to be a bunch of bunk, and quite frankly, add, you are better off airing on the side of too much protein than not enough protein. So we've changed our curriculum around that. We've also sort of, we've always at our school talked about the concept of ketosis, the metabolic state of ketosis. This doesn't necessarily mean everybody needs to be on a ketogenic diet, but the metabolic state of ketosis is an utter gift to the human race. And all human beings should be able to move in and out of ke ketosis relatively effortlessly if you have a healthy metabolism that many of us have broken, for lack of a better word.

Laura (25m 9s):

But the good news is, is we can fix it and we can retrain it. And so the big questionnaire is what's the role of protein in Fat and the role of ketosis. A lot of people felt that in order to do this the right way, you just had to eat a crap ton of Fat all the time. Turns out that's not true. Turns out that ketosis is like carbohydrate and calorie restriction. That's what drives ketosis. It's just, just giving your body a lot of extra Fat. It's not gonna put it in ketosis. It'll give you energy, but Right. You can use Fat for energy, but why would your body unlock Fat if you're mainlining crap, tons of Fat all the time. you know? So it's, let's think through that.

Laura (25m 50s):

And if I am, here's the other thing, that somehow protein was equal to chocolate cake. That you are going to produce all this extra glucose in the system and you're, it's gonna kick you out of ketosis. So first of all, who cares? What's the point of being in ketosis in the first place? Because by the way, yes, your body can release ketones and body Fat, but if you don't use 'em, they just get restored. Again, I don't know if you knew that. Right. So all of these little things, these little pieces of the puzzle come out. Turns out that the concept of the body turning protein or producing its own glue, that's a demand driven process. The body's only gonna do that when it has to. So relax, a steak is not the equivalent of chocolate cake.

Laura (26m 31s):

And that if adding more protein keeps you fuller longer, you're better off doing that than avoiding protein, adding a bunch of extra Fat you don't need need or avoiding vegetables. Some people don't tolerate vegetables. There's the whole carnivore crowd. That's a relatively new emergence as well, is the carnivore diet, which for those listening, if you're not aware of it, I don't know how often you, you talk about it, Brian, but it's, it's basically all animal foods, you know, is that somehow bad for you? And many people have found complete reversal of certain illnesses that are mostly kind of gut related, but Right. And inflammation related. But, you know, a lot of this stuff has hit the purview of the Ancestral health scene that we've adjusted our curriculum to address and provide a more nuanced conversation around.

Brian (27m 18s):

Right. I mean, you know, the, the, the whole Ancest Ancestral health movement is obviously a, a, a good thing. But also too, sometimes it can be a little bit mis skewed in the sense that, you know, we're not living like we were living, you know, right. Like hundreds of years ago. And so, yeah. Just because they did it back then, does that make that, does that mean that's optimal for us right now? And that's something I know Brad has talked about on his podcast, And, you know, I've had some different people on here as well.

Laura (27m 51s):


Brian (27m 51s):

You know, it's like, you know, you're seeing this now a little bit in the carnivore space where, you know, like Dr. Saladino and things like that have gone from sort of this carnivore approach to adding in nutritious carbs to help for, for thyroid and hormonal health and things like that. So yeah, I mean, you know, there, it's always gonna, probably all this stuff will go in one big circle and probably we'll be talking about something else, another five, six years down the road. But I think it's important to understand what we did as an an as ancestors, but also not take that as like the, the, the only thing, right? Like, we're living in a different environment and we have different lifestyles than we did back hundreds of years ago as well.

Laura (28m 34s):

A hundred percent. I mean, I think there are tenants that, right? No one wants to go live in a cage cave and like kill animals with nothing but a spear, you know, whatever. Some, I don't know, Paul Saladino likes that kind of stuff, but that is not my idea of fun. But there are tenants I, I can absolutely stick to and omnivorous nutrient dense whole food diet and try to procure, you know, local in-season foods. That's certainly within my, my control. I can make sure that I move more. I mean, I'm standing at my desk right now rather than sitting down. I, I have a dog mostly so that I walk it. If I know I've got a dog that needs to go for a walk, I'm gonna get out and walk him, you know?

Brian (29m 14s):

I hear you. Yeah.

Laura (29m 15s):

Not to mention we just love our puppies, you know, but I also know my body is designed to push and pull things. It's designed to lift things. It's designed for Resistance training. And I know that if I don't, if, here's the thing with the human body, if you don't use it, you lose it. Right? So I can add that into my day. you know, I try to get sunlight in my eyeballs in the mornings, you know, I try to take a walk or get outside at night as the sun sets to let my body know, hey, it's the beginning of the day, it's the end of the day so that I can fall asleep more naturally, and I don't need sleep aids. you know, I can do my best.

Laura (29m 55s):

Here's the other thing I've really focused on recently is learning to say no to doing too many things.

Brian (30m 1s):

Oh, yeah.

Laura (30m 2s):

The whole chronic stress issue. I was always that, of course, I can do it type again, type a personality, right? Some sort of on my shoulder that I should be able to do all these things. I've just learned to say, no, sorry, you know, I, I have my list of priorities. I'll, I'll try to take a stress audit. And when, when things feel just really outta control, what can I get rid of?

Brian (30m 22s):

Yeah. And I know you've mentioned stress a few times. It's interesting. My wife's grandfather's 98, just turned 98. and we went over there to, we brought him like he, first of all, he's mentally all there and plays poker and does all this stuff. And we brought him just like a little gift, and we didn't get into a ton of it. He, I, I asked him, you know, how if he would give, like, what would he attribute living this long for? And he's like, I don't know. He's like, I ate like crap. He goes, all this stuff. He is like, I ain't like crap. I never exercised. He's like, but you know, I didn't have a lot of stress.

Brian (31m 4s):

you know, him and his, his wife had a sailboat and they'd sail all over. And they use that as just like an outlet. So it's, it's interesting. It's like, you know, you, you just thinking about that and having a, a health podcast, and we get so caught up in all the details and the nuance of everything. And not to say that diet and lifestyle as far as working out isn't important, but here's a guy who lives till he is 98 and still doing great, and he's, you know, just had low stress. Low stress. So

Laura (31m 39s):

It's, god, it's the biggest difference, man. I mean, I take a look at the difference in my dad from when he was working full. He's, he was in finance too. He was in research and he worked crazy hours, long commutes, lots of deadlines. And the difference between him then And now, now that he's retired and he is doing more things that he actually enjoys, and his health markers is dramatic. I mean, it's not just cortisol and, and, and I hate to kind of just constantly vilify it, but that's the predominant kind of stress hormone that I think wreaks the most havoc in terms of insulin Resistance and downregulating, other sym systems because of this presence of excessive cortisol.

Laura (32m 27s):

But there, there's other neurotransmitters involved, but And, now what I'm seeing too, I don't know about you, but I'm seeing all these supplements on the market on reducing cortisol. I'm like, you're losing, you're missing the point. Yeah. you know, I mean, I, I, I see that a lot. People looking to address the issue with just adding supplements and other things. It's still the magic pill problem. Right. Rather than just addressing the root cause

Brian (32m 55s):

And that'll never go, that'll never go away. Right. So, yeah. Yeah. That'll never go away. I, I think I'm not a huge supplement guy. I mean, I think it, it can play a role for certain things, but yeah. If you could just do things obviously naturally, I mean, you talk about your stress levels went down when you went left the corporate arena. What, what, was that just the main reason? Or did you do other things to help lower stress?

Laura (33m 20s):

I, I got ver I'm still a terrible meditator. I tried meditation. Terrible. My mind is always running a mile a minute, but just the act of trying it helps calm things down. Right. I kind of gave up the ghost on quote unquote being good at it and being, you know, but just the act of some quiet time focusing on the, right now, focusing on me And what I need right now. Whether I was good at it or not, good at really help. And here's the thing, you don't need an hour, five minutes. Right? The same thing with with breath work, you know, so, so for folks that are finding themselves in an acute, acute situation where they just need to calm down, those are techniques that really help in the moment.

Laura (34m 1s):

I don't know about you, but I noted notice a massive difference in my heart rate, my blood pressure comes down if I were to test it, you know, but it's, I can tell just not Now, I know what my body feels like when blood pressure is high. And I could, I could feel that come down, my body temperature and heart rate comes down, my headaches might kind of dissipate and go away, and I'm able to focus more on the task at hand. So I did bring that in. But in, in the early days, it was mostly, again, my version of the magic pill at the time. I, I needed it at the moment. And. now that I'm less hectic in the mornings because I work from home, I don't have to worry about commuting. I do have to get my girls off to school, but I, I will start my day with some sort of either breathing exercise or some sort of like meditative, like, let's be in the moment.

Laura (34m 50s):

What do I wanna get done today? Kind of mindset. And boy does that help a lot. The other thing that helps for me is journaling and writing things down. I've used to wake up in the middle of the night a lot with my mind racing all the time. And then, so you wake up at three o'clock in the morning and you cannot fall back asleep. This was a real problem for me. So I started waking up and journaling and writing those things down that eventually allowed me to fall back asleep. Now, I, just do that before I go to bed. I can get that all outta my head and just write it all down when I go to bed. Other people like to wake up and do it in the morning, right.

Laura (35m 31s):

Kind of form of, of metabolic. So I, I just, I feel like it allow, it gives our minds permission to let it go because we've written it down, you know? And, and I try to do that when I leave work too. I make a list of the things that I did get done, yay for me, little celebration, and then a list of the things that I didn't get done. So that goes to the priority list for the next day. And as I go, I just write things down and I check things off the list. And it just helps me stay reasonably organized without having to go too far off the deep end in terms of extreme organization, if that's a thing.

Brian (36m 5s):

Yeah, no, I, I love the, the, the journaling and like you mentioned, meditation does you, like you said, like I can just tell you're type A, right? So it's like, you don't have to be great at meditation. It's just, I think the act of doing it. I've been doing it 10 minutes in the morning over the last few months. I've done meditation on and off and like yoga, I, I, I, I do enjoy it, but yeah, like you don't have to do it for an hour. It could be, you know, five, 10 minutes a day.

Laura (36m 33s):

100%. Absolutely.

Brian (36m 35s):

So why don't we just touch a little bit on, on the Primal health coaching attributes and the reasons maybe if someone's listening to this, they would want to, you know, maybe start a career in health coaching if that was up their alley? Yeah,

Laura (36m 51s):

I mean, people enter health coaching for a number of reasons. The number one that I hear, assuming someone's not coming from the health or fitness area already, and just adding coaching, is they, these are typically people that have either always had or developed a passion for health, wellness, or fitness. So similar to my story, right? Where something happened, they had a health crisis of some kind, and the conventional means did not serve them. I hear these stories all day every day in one of my roles at Primal, which is Admissions director is about how conventional medicine, let them down.

Laura (37m 32s):

Conventional diets and fitness culture, let them down. And by sheer just serendipity discovered, you know, insert whatever it is, paleo, Primal, whatever it is, it doesn't even have to be, they find us a lot of times because we're big in that category, but they've learned that so much of what they've always been told is not true. And in many cases it's the complete opposite. Right. Or they realize they've been sold a half story, the whole calories in, calories out. Do calories matter? Yeah, probably. But not the way you think it does. Right? It's not that easy. The body's not a calculator. It doesn't work that way, right?

Laura (38m 13s):

So, they, they learned this And, now they have this new epiphany and they wanna do something with it. And so people will enroll in a health coaching course to learn more about it and gain confidence and gain a certification that will then help them feel qualified and equipped to go forward and help others. So some people go down this road and all they ever do is help family and friends. And they're perfectly happy with that. They have the financial fortitude to be able to afford to pay for a school, and that's their only contribution. And that's completely fine. We have a ton of people that really, they wanna do this part-time, you know, they, they love the idea of having a business, but they don't want the stress of starting a brand new job or a brand new career.

Laura (38m 58s):

Right? But they love the idea of leaning into, this is their hobby, I dunno about you, but back in the day, like that's all I did was read nutrition books like for fun. Yeah. you know, I might as well take this course and spend that time actually helping other people. And I, and I started charging them for it back in the day. I really didn't have to. I made plenty of money at my old job, but I found if I didn't charge 'em,

Brian (39m 18s):

They never did

Laura (39m 19s):

Anything. They no. Right. They completely, they massively under, I'm like, hello, I'm, I'm, I'm working 50 hours a week, I've got a couple of kids, I'm taking time out of my day to help you and you're not doing anything with it. Right? So, boy, there was a lot of, I dunno, resentment on my part. So I started charging people for it. And I'm like, well, if you're not gonna use it, that's on you. you know? And then eventually I, I made my way into it, you know, full time So, we see a lot of that. People that are just leaning into their own passion and they wanna see where it goes. Some already know what they wanna do. I wanna help this demographic, I wanna focus on this particular area, and they just kind of wanna know how to do it. So there's that. But then we do have a lot of people that come from the health or wellness or fitness and medical industries in some capacity that are looking to sort of get out of that sort of insurance or third party payer system.

Laura (40m 11s):

The just playing whack-a-mole with symptoms, And, you know, looking to get to the root cause. We're seeing a lot of that, a lot of nurses coming over, doctors, chiropractors, functional medicine practitioners, a lot of physical therapists, physicians assistants, but even folks that were traditional dieticians or traditional fitness folks that have begun to realize my clients aren't getting their results. So there's obviously something about the approach that's not working for a pretty big swath of people. And they've stumbled into kind of health coaching. They're realizing the missing link is no longer information. There's plenty of it out there.

Laura (40m 51s):

Yeah. The missing link is not information. The missing link is helping the client actually apply that information in a way that makes sense for them that's sustainable long-term, and allows them, here's the kicker, to develop new habits. People don't need more information and they don't need more willpower. They need to build habits. Our habits are all screwed up because our environment's all screwed up. And environment is hard to change. This is where coaching comes in.

Brian (41m 18s):

Yeah. Well put, I agree. I think like health institutes like yourself, and obviously there's other ones out there. I mean, I think this is how we become better as a society as far as, you know, we, everyone talks about how whatever the statistic is as far as obesity and the, how it's been on the rise. But I think this sort of grassroots, you know, health coaching sort of path is the way to improving that because it's obviously the education's there, but the accountability needs to be there as well. And you talk about people coming from, you know, physicians or they're already helping patients are re ready, but maybe they realize that they didn't get much nutrition coaching when they went through medical school, which I've talked to plenty of doctors who, which is true.

Brian (42m 2s):

So this is really the way of the future, I personally think, and the more we can get out there as far as coaching the, you know, the better for everybody. So

Laura (42m 11s):

Yeah. And, and look, grassroots is where it all started. you know, I mean, back when I started over 10 years ago, the only real path for health coaches was going out and starting your own private practice. And that was a dicey proposition because a big chunk of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle is what you eat. And in some states, there are licensure laws that are specific to dietetics as a profession that in some states can be pretty limiting. And unless you are a registered dietician or, or you hold a license as, as a nutritionist and that state, there's certain things she can't do that's becoming less and less thanks to an organization called the Holistic Council that's been actively advocating for access to more resources for the health consumer.

Laura (42m 59s):

Not just the health coach's ability to practice. But, but, but quite frankly, in the states where nutrition laws are the strictest, they have the worst outcomes, right? Because people have less access to actual help. So, you know, that being said, 10 years ago, it was, that was the only path and there were a lot of bumps in the way to get there. I mean, it really took a trooper and somebody that was dedicated to stick to it to get down that road. Now, the c d C has issued grants to organizations to develop health coaching programs to address certain illnesses, predominantly type two diabetes. And, and insulin Resistance, the VA hires health coaches because they understand their veterans need more than just information.

Laura (43m 42s):

These are individuals that are oftentimes battling P T S D. They are have been overworked and underpaid. I mean, you name it. So coaching is, is big, big in the VA realm. And there are a lot of organizations that are earning contracts and health coaching is a part of that. We are seeing insurance companies hire health coaches because they've realized, gee, it's a lot cheaper to ensure a healthy person than a sick person. Okay. So we're seeing that in corporations who have realized that when we are happier employee relationship, they spend less days in sick days. Plus the more benefits a corporation offers, the more attractive they are to high quality employees, potential employees.

Laura (44m 27s):

So we're seeing large corporations roll this out. We're seeing more just general clinical practices that the physicians are like, look, I got into medicine to actually help and heal people. And I don't feel like I'm doing that right now. So I need to kind of have another offering. And they're bringing, they're either certifying staff or they're bringing health coaches on, so now there's like legit jobs. Yeah. And some are just part-time contract work, which honestly for a health coach that's looking to go build their own business and they just need some part-time income, what a funnel opportunity to supplement your income. But there are more and more full-time salaried with benefit health coaching positions popping up every single day.

Laura (45m 12s):

you know, not to mention the companies and organizations now that have realized most people go into health coaching to help people, but they wanna be independent, but they don't want the headache of all the logistical business building stuff that have built platforms that health coaches can just plug into and get up and running. I mean, it's a completely new game at this point compared to when I started.

Brian (45m 35s):

Yeah, yeah, definitely. 'cause I've been through a decent amount of certifications and like, just the, the, the amount of just like, resources for these coaches when they graduate. It's just unbelievable. Well, this was great. I'll, I'll, I'll finish up with one, one last question that I ask most of the people that come to my podcast. If you were gonna give a tip to an individual and they were looking to get their, their body back to what it once was 10, 15 years ago, what one tip would you give that person? You only get, you gotta pick one. I know, it seems,

Laura (46m 13s):

You know, I mean, I that's hard. Again, this is the coach in me. There's no one answer. I, my question back would be, you know, kind of what does that mean? Okay. you know, so, so, but I have, I have like, in terms of, I guess my one answer would be to trust yourself. you know, if you are hungry, you need to eat. But don't just grab the most, the easiest thing. What are you really calling for now? Why are you hungry? Trust your body and ask your questions. Love that. you know, I think it will answer you the more aware you are and the more committed you are to actually listening.

Laura (46m 58s):

I don't know, is that a lame answer?

Brian (47m 1s):

You know, what, you know, I, I, I don't think it is, I don't think there's a necessarily a right. you know, like you said, it's, it's probably, it's tough because it's tough to give just one tip. But I think eating like, almost like what you're talking about eating instinctually and sort of, you know, getting in tune to what true hunger is and stuff. you know, the only thing is, you know, some people, when you talk about trusting yourself, what if that hasn't worked in the past? you know, then what?

Laura (47m 28s):

Right. Right. And that's a question again, why hasn't it worked in the past? This is where, where coaching comes in. Like that the whole like one tip thing is so not in my realm because it's not one thing, right? It's a conglomerate of so many other things. So maybe the tip is get to know you.

Brian (47m 46s):


Laura (47m 47s):

Right. Revisit and really get to know you again and start journaling all this other stuff and learn to trust yourself again. And look, I mean, I'm sure if, if the only thing on the table was a nutrition discussion, I think a lot of people would be like, eh, or protein or, or whatever, right? This one thing, Hey, eat 30 grams of protein at every meal and this solves the hunger problem. Right? I think that's a great tip. However, what if I re eat for other reasons than hunger? What if I'm not eating because I'm hungry, I'm eating because it's been a long day and I'm stressed out and my kids are finally in bed and they're my favorite ice cream is sitting in the fridge.

Laura (48m 29s):

I don't care how much protein you ate, if the ice cream's calling you, the ice cream's calling, you know,

Brian (48m 34s):

And, you know what, like you said before, you, you can have the ice cream, but as long as it's not Habitual, right? Yes.

Laura (48m 42s):


Brian (48m 43s):


Laura (48m 43s):

Of the time that matters.

Brian (48m 45s):


Laura (48m 46s):

Thanks for that.

Brian (48m 47s):

Yeah, no problem. Well, Laura, this was great. Best place for people to find you in Primal Health Coach, I'm assuming Primal health coach.com. Primal health coach.com. Yeah.

Laura (48m 57s):

Primal health coach.com is our website. And. what I love about our website is it's more than just, here's our courses, it's here's our block. Learn more about what Primal is about, food, about movement, about sleep, about coaching, about business, about everything. It means to be sort of an ancestrally aligned health coach. We started our podcast, which is Health Coach Radio, tons of content and great interviews with people that are out there doing it. But also just great doctors and great rds and business professionals and people that come on that podcast. We do live webinars multiple times a month. We invite people outside of Primal, health Coach Institute to just come on and, and listen. So there's, there's a lot of additional information out there, including all of our courses.

Laura (49m 40s):

'cause that's what's changed a lot recently. Brian is not only is it, it's not one portion.

Brian (49m 44s):

Yeah, I know. I noticed that.

Laura (49m 45s):

Yeah, we have nine. Wow. Nine different programs. Three more coming next year, by the way. So stay tuned on that one. But if you're looking for me, you can find me on my website is coach Laura dot fitt. I was, I was telling Brian before we recorded, it's kind of just there so people know I'm legit. you know, I have a landing page, but I feel fortunate. I've been coaching a really long time. Most of my clients are by referral now. So I don't really use my website to gain business because I've got, I'm full actually right now with individual clients and some contract work I'm doing. But you can also find me on Instagram coach Laura Fit Facebook. I'm just Laura Psi Rupsis. R P S I ss. But, but if you go, if you type in Primal Health Coach in any of those platforms, we're gonna pop up and we've got a great YouTube page too.

Laura (50m 31s):

Lots of video content.

Brian (50m 34s):

All. right. Laura. Well, thank you so much for coming on and dropping all this knowledge. I look forward to coming on your podcast in a few weeks. And yeah, thanks again.

Laura (50m 44s):

Thank you. Thanks for having me. It was fine.

Brian (50m 48s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned, In, this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

Laura Rupsis

Laura is a working mother of four who transitioned from the financial industry to pursue her passion for ancestral health and fitness. She holds certifications as a Primal Health Coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and more. With over 20 years of experience, Laura coaches clients privately and educates new health coaches at the Primal Health Coach Institute. She is dedicated to guiding individuals towards a holistic and personalized approach to health and wellness.


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