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Vibrant Living: Unveiling Tailored Health Strategies with Dr. Vanessa Ingraham – Episode 156

Top tips from Dr. Vanessa Ingraham.

1. Pay attention to your light environment.

So the most important tip I can give you for productivity for mood for hormone balance is go outside in the morning, even if it’s 10 minutes, even if it means when you’re driving in your car, you open your window, you really need to get that morning light. Yeah, that morning light sets your energy level throughout the day, it sets your circadian rhythm to help you sleep that night. And sets your immune system function and just overall health so that morning light is incredibly important.

2. Important for us to cope with that better on a biological level, it helps to embrace some physiological stress.

Number two, I’d say. I’d say because we’re all under a lot of psychological stress, or, yeah, psychological stress, it’s important for us in order to cope with that better on a biological level, it helps to embrace some physiological stress. So that’s where things like having a hot sauna, having a cold plunge. Anything that’s going to kind of stress your physiology for a short amount of time will actually improve your ability to deal with psychological stress. There’s an incredible book if you’re interested in this called The Comfort Crisis.

3. Watch that light at night

Watch that light at night and make sure that you’re allowing your body to kind of properly wind down and, and do what it needs to do before you get to sleep.



people, light, circadian rhythm, night, supplements, brain, sleep, psychological stress, morning, entrepreneurs, brain fog, called, understand, optimized, business, bit, bahamas, stress, new zealand, nose

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:02

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. I’m your host, Debra Chantry-Taylor. And today I am joined by the delightful Dr. Vanessa Ingraham, who is a colleague and friend. She is an integrative physician. And I’m going to actually start by asking her to explain what that means. So welcome to the show, Dr. Vanessa Ingraham lovely to have you.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  00:22

Thank you. Thank you, Deb. So I guess so a lot of people are kind of familiar with this idea of kind of holistic medicine, it’s the idea of combining the very best of evidence based natural therapies with the judicious use of conventional therapies. So in, in the world of kind of integrative medicine, we’re not choosing sides, we’re looking at the person we’re treating the root cause. And we’re coming up with a strategy that encompasses the most appropriate treatments, and they could range from pharmaceutical intervention surgery, but also using lifestyle interventions, maybe botanical medicine supplements, in the biohacking world, things like nootropics, and peptides, and just kind of combining a personalized strategy for people.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:05

Excellent. So how did you get into that? Because that’s, that’s quite a different way of approaching the treatment of various diseases, but also just general life stuff. So what what drew what drew you towards that?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  01:20

Well, I kind of feel like I had no other choice. My dad was, or my dad is a was a is a conventional, or was a conventional medical doctor that grew up in the Bahamas. And early on, he kind of began to ask all the questions, he realized that the paradigm that he was educated under wasn’t giving him the best results in terms of helping clients, he was really feeling like, in terms of prevention, and in terms of really helping people thrive, you know, just the, the approach the conventional approach of you know, 15 minute visits, prescribing a drug wasn’t really getting him to where he wanted to with his clients. And so, you know, back when I was a small child, I actually had an had a reaction to a very standard medical treatment, so kind of led him down this path of inquiry, but asking kind of what else is there. And so he became pretty much one of the first you could call integrative or holistic doctors in the Bahamas. And then my mom, who was, you know, very entrepreneurial minded, but, you know, was was a housewife and was working with my dad decided to become an entrepreneur, and she opened a chain of health food stores in the Bahamas. So I kind of grew up in this environment where, you know, I had my dad as the doctor and my mum as the, you know, the nutritionist, supplement guru. And so I feel like even though I initially wanted to be a veterinarian, I kind of had no other choice. Actually a funny story, when I was I was actually in a pre veterinary program in the US, and 911 happened. And funny enough, brings us back to New Zealand, I was about to go into my first sheep lab to have my first experience with sheep, learning how to vaccinate and handle sheep. And then just as we’re about to go into the, the training, the teacher’s assistant runs in and says there’s been a terrorist attack. Long story short, because of that, I lost my international student visa and wasn’t able to get back into the program. So the universe had other plans, I ended up in a pre MediCal program. And then because of my dad and the influence on my family, instead of going into a more strict kind of conventional medical training, I decided to go into a, a program that had an approach that was more based on holistic medicine, integrative therapies.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  03:31

Cool. Okay, so how long ago was that then?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  03:33

And now Now I’m in New Zealand, and I still haven’t ever handled a sheet so.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  03:41

So when was that? When? When did you go into that? Or switch us back in 911? So that was a while ago?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  03:49

Yeah, so I graduated from from medical school in 2010. After which I just love learning. So I have this super passion for being a student. You know, if if things were different, I probably would still be doing a PhD or something else. But I’m at that point, I decided to do a fellowship in regenerative and anti aging medicine, which was kind of the cutting edge kind of research and things like stem cells and things like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. And that was through an organization called the American Academy of anti aging medicine. So I did that for after I graduated, did that for five years, and then ended up moving back to the Bahamas and working with my father, which was such an incredible experience. So I was able to kind of well work in his practice, and that was, you know, amazing learning.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:38

And it’s, that would be a lot of fun. I think working with your dad. So what brought you to New Zealand? Why are you here?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  04:43

So that’s a funny story, too. So I was working with my dad minding my own business, you know, taking care of my patients in the Bahamas. And then one day I had a I heard I heard that someone with a funny accent in our waiting room. And I came outside and I thought, Oh, this this guy, maybe he’s from England. This is a strange accent turned out he was a good friend of Michael male who is the founder of cookie time. And long story short cookie time in New Zealand is a large company. And obviously, you know, they’re producing a product that maybe isn’t the healthiest for people. So at that point, Michael, the founder of the company had been going through his own kind of midlife crisis, and decided to start a new, like a new venture. And his venture is now nutrient rescue. And so Michael brought me to New Zealand to formulate the products for nature rescue and long story short, I never left and fell in love with New Zealand. And I’m still working with me chert rescue,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:45

We can see that you’re obviously based out by the ocean there, which is I know you love being in the outdoors. And you’ve got a lot of research to show how important it is we spend more time outdoors, right?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  05:55

Oh, absolutely, I’d love to talk about that. Because it’s really our circadian biology, our light environment, our exposure to the elements, and our ability to cope with the evolutionarily appropriate physiological stress have a bit of cold, a bit of heat, a bit of UV light, that really allows are really, really optimizes our ability to deal with psychological stress. And that’s so important for high performance and entrepreneurs that we’ve worked with. And we could talk more about that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:22

Yeah, for sure. So you’ve been doing a lot of work with entrepreneurs, through entrepreneurs, organization and other organizations, what attracted you to working with entrepreneurs?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  06:34

Well, is basically just witnessing those that I love most in the world, succumb to burnout, you know, people with big passions and big goals, you know, compromise their health, and you know, just work too hard and end up in a situation where their mental health is suffering, the physical health is, has declined to the point where they, they don’t have the impact anymore. They don’t, they’re not great leaders, they’re not good. They’re not an effective at work, you know, they brain fog, they’re not sleeping well. And so that really, you know, seeing that with my parents and seeing that with my ex partner, it really drew me to kind of consider how I can make the most difference. And while I have big goals and big dreams myself, I’ve found that supporting the biology of those who are also there to change the world has been a really great way to, you know, impact, impact everyone and make every make the world a better place. Because

Debra Chantry-Taylor  07:23

fantastic. So what is that? So the burnout is obviously a big thing within entrepreneurs. But you mentioned brain fog, something that really fascinates me, because I actually thought for a long, long time that brain fog was just normal. It was just you know what happened. But now, now that I’ve learned a lot more about it through you, and I’m getting good sleep, and I’m looking after myself and getting out in the fresh air first thing in the morning and trying to work their circadian rhythms, you know, it’s changed dramatically how the brain actually functions. So what is brain fog? What causes it? And what can we do about it.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  07:56

So when we talk about brain fog, there’s different physiological causes of brain fog, but the ultimate experience tends to be the same. It’s the feeling like, you know, our brain isn’t firing as quickly, we’re maybe not not able to access words as before, we’re not as eloquent well spoken, you know, we’re forgetting things where, you know, we’re maybe a bit more snappy, you know, sometimes it affects our emotions, when our brain energy is low, we tend to not be as tolerant of other people and stress in our life. So that’s kind of the, the sort of symptom picture in it, it can also manifest often as brain fog is kind of on the spectrum with low mood. So can be, you know, not being able to be as sharp but then also just feeling a bit depressed or lacking motivation, or, you know, where’s before you jump out of bed, and you know, be excited about work, just that feeling of just another day. So that’s kind of the spectrum and the experience. And when it comes to the causes of brain fog, obviously, there’s individuality between different people. But the main causes or the main physiological cause often has to do with something called neuro inflammation. So that’s a mild level of inflammation that affects the brain. And our brain is just irritated or little bit inflamed. That impacts our ability to make neurotransmitters that ability, it impacts our brain’s ability to make energy, and it’s the brain’s energy or mitochondrial energy production, that allows our neurons to fire quickly and to be kind of sharp and on point. And then we go a level deeper the causes of that kind of broad neuron inflammation can be anything from hormone imbalances, stress, and cortisol is a big one. So when we’re under long term stress, that cortisol tends to be very irritating to the brain can also stem from things like gut inflammation or immune system imbalances. That’s why we also see kind of brain fog with things like long COVID, post viral illness, things like that. Can also be due to kind of sex hormone issues like as, as testosterone drops in men, especially when there’s a lot of Press that’ll tend to affect men’s testosterone, or women if they’ve had a lot of stress going through menopause when the ovaries stop working as well, and the adrenal glands, which make cortisol are now asked to kind of make sex hormones, but they’re quite depleted because of long term stress that can also impact the brain’s kind of immune system, this idea of neuroinflammation. Of course, then we have, you know, the obvious ones like lack of sleep. During sleep, it’s so interesting, just like we have our lymphatic system in our body, that helps, it’s almost like the, the garbage system, it kind of cleans things out and kind of moves, toxic metabolites and, and kind of gunk out to kind of clear our immune system out, our brain has something called the glymphatic system. And this is this part of the brains kind of cleansing ability is present only when we have deep sleep. So we’re not going into deep sleep, our brain doesn’t get that nocturnal kind of cleansing. And protein buildup can affect inflammation, different exposures to environmental chemicals, things like that don’t get cleaned up. And that can lead to a low level of brain fog. And of course, the last one is our lifestyle factors. So things like if again, our circadian rhythm is off, if we’re not getting enough bright light during the day, and it’s too bright at night, we’re not going to sleep as well, a brain fog cleanse as well. And we’re going to be left with brain fog. And then, of course, the other obvious one is nutritional deficiencies, and, you know, recreational activities, so things like alcohol before bed, you know, too much stressful, deplete certain vitamins, a poor diet, all of these things, it’s really it’s quite individualized. But the, the kind of the symptom picture is similar.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  11:44

So really, I mean, a lot of us will actually have multiple factors that are actually affecting it. And it’s trying to get to what the root cause really isn’t understanding what is driving those various levels and what what could be having an effect on the brain. So what you’re saying?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  11:59

Absolutely, it’s about discovering the root causes, and then almost like an onion peeling back, and being very strategic about where to start. So you know, someone may have little bit too much alcohol, high stress hormones, low sex hormones, and lack of sleep, like where do you start and really being systematic about starting with the foundation, and then often the other the things that are kind of built upon that foundation will prove on their own. So it’s about understanding the basics and creating kind of a strategy to address the individual causes. Yeah,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  12:29

Yeah, we’re very fortunate. And we these days, we got a lot more tools at our disposal to kind of monitor what’s going on. So you know, I’m a big fan of my aura or our ring, whatever you call it. And there are there are lots of different things out there that can actually help glucose monitors, things that are not, there will probably weren’t readily available to the average person in the past. What do you what do you recommend, do you have any sort of favorites little tools that you gather skills can be a real helpful tool to understand what’s going on.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  12:58

In terms of brain fog, I think you nailed it. So looking at sleep first is so pivotal, and so fundamental. So anything you can do to monitor sleep would be great. Like I love the aura ring. I like the aura ring, I’ll just say it right away, and no affiliation, much better than things like Apple watches. Because the aura ring, they actually use the color of the laser they use to monitor to do their monitoring is actually a red laser. And we talked about circadian rhythm and the fact that blue light at night can disrupt our sleep. If we have an Apple Watch that’s continuously blinking blue or green light into our wrist, potentially that could even impact sleep. So love the ordering, especially if you put on airplane mode at night, you can get so much information. But one thing I wanted to just mention about trackers. So the sleep trackers on the wearable devices, kind of this this generation where we’re are now, they’re not 100% accurate. At best, they’re probably about 70 to 80% accurate in terms of their monitoring. But the biggest, the biggest benefit of them, or the most important use is tracking your data over time. So we’re looking at trends, I want to tell people don’t get too hyper focused on what it says per night, you want to see how you’re doing over time. And as long as see that, you know, that readiness score and that sleep score go up. That’s, that’s great. But don’t get too hyper focused on all this one night, because there’s a lot of things that can affect the accuracy, day to day.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  14:24

And that’s probably true for most measurable devices, is we say don’t jump on the scale, either. You know, you’re actually look, you know, I’m thinking about this a little bit like us, you know, we’re looking for sure we look at the numbers, but we’re actually looking for trends to go where is something going right? Or is something going wrong? So we can do more of things that are going right and there’s other things that are going wrong. So it’s very similar to running a business really, isn’t it? Our body is absolutely,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  14:46

absolutely and you should take it that seriously. You know, when I when I get to talk to entrepreneurs and CEOs, you know, just just having that realization that your body business or the business of your health is going to be fundamental to the success of your overall business. So you know, address that one person, be the best CEO of your body as you can be.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:07

I’m just talking about sleep, you’ve kind of reminded me of something. I’m curious, but I’m not sure we had the answer or not. But, you know, there’s this whole thing that there are people who are morning people know people who are evening people. Is that a real thing? Or is that something that we’ve learned over time? Well, how do you feel about that?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  15:24

Yeah, so there is slight genetic kind of variation in so we have some code back it up. So we have our circadian rhythm is is under genetic control. So even if we were, say, placed in a completely dark cell for four or five days, we would still maintain a circadian rhythm. So there is some genetic, there’s a genetic component to that. And there is slight variation between if people will prefer to be more active a little bit earlier a little bit later. But what I’ll say is, in the modern world, most of this idea of morning and night people is driven by our light environment. So you know, I would challenge anyone who says they’re a night owl to go camping for a week, you know, have no devices and no light and then seek, and maybe after, if you still find you’re up all night, under the stars, then maybe you are a night person, but I think generally the, you know, it’s a bit of a gimmick, but it’s, I don’t think it’s it’s quite, it’s definitely not under the, it’s not as biologically maybe influenced as some as some like that people are, or podcasts or whatever, we’ll make it make it seem.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  16:32

And it’s interesting, as as we were talking about this other day, around the whole, yes, there’s the blue light thing, but it’s also about where the light is in the sky, right. So a lot of us a lot lately, modern homes, we’ve got all these downlines that are on all the time. And that actually mimics the sun being in the middle of the day, because that’s where the sun is in the middle of day, isn’t it? It’s right up high. So it isn’t just about the blue light. But it’s really about light in general, is that right?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  17:02

Absolutely. So the the the cells in our eyes, that sense, blue lights that are most sensitive, are actually at the bottom, kind of the bottom of our eyes. So light coming in from the top is going to be much more stimulating than that same intensity of light coming from the ground, because we don’t have quite the same amount of cells that are receptors at the top of the eyeball. So just like you said, you know, obviously limit your light at night. But if you, you know, if you are gonna have some lights, having a lamp that’s at eye level, or downlights, are much, much more, much more biologically appropriate and will interfere with sleep a lot less. I mean, the interesting thing about light, though, especially natural light, is it’s not ubiquitous. So throughout the day, natural light is continuously changing in terms of the the proportion of UV light, the proportion of infrared light. And we’ve we’ve evolutionarily adapted to be very sensitive to those changes. So first thing in the morning, when the sun is below 10 degrees, kind of coming up over the horizon, the, the, the UV light, which is kind of short wavelength, high powered light, it can’t really penetrate the atmosphere, so we have a lot of red light. So that’s so in the morning, that’s why sometimes the sunrise looks a bit pink, that UV or that infrared light that’s present in the morning, starts to set our circadian rhythm and programs or brain to secrete different hormones first thing in the morning, then when the sun rises, and it’s at a higher angle, and you get more of that UV light and the blue colored light. So the light throughout the day, actually is very different and gives our body very different information in terms of how it kind of programs us. So it’s really important to if you’re working inside all day, you know, like people used to take smoke breaks, take some breaks, where you go outside and your eyes, you know, without glasses, can experience the changing spectrum and intensity of light throughout the day. And that’s going to help with hormone balance, especially. And, obviously with sleep.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:53

Yeah. And it’s interesting, because, you know, I run client sessions here for full days. And in the summertime, we’re actually able to sit outside on the balcony, but it’s beautiful out there. It’s nice to get some sunshine. And I have to say it makes a difference of the energy in the room for the afternoon as well. Getting out just for that half an hour to an hour out in the sunshine in the middle of the day rather than sitting inside. It’s phenomenal what how that changes the whole. Yeah, the whole energy and mood in the room in the afternoon.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  19:21

Absolutely. So it’s not just blocking light at night. But it’s also I think we have a deficiency of bright light during the day. So when you’re in even if you’re in the comment a conference room in a stadium with the brightest under lights, that’s not going to be anywhere near as bright as outside on even the cloudy estate. So in terms of intensity, the light matters for energy levels and also for neurotransmitter levels. So things like dopamine and serotonin need a very high intensity of light to really be optimized. So even if we’re inside we think it’s very bright. It’s not gonna be anywhere near as bright as light outside. So that is probably why they experienced that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  19:58

Yeah, and I hadn’t thought about But in terms of Yeah, even when it’s cloudy, it’s still bright, right? It’s not as if it’s a lot brighter. Yeah. It’s very, very different to ignite. Okay. So sleep is obviously one of the most important things to answer and then getting the right amount of light not only at the right time, but just actually being exposed to that. So you can say, grow the chemicals, that’s all I meant, but the produce the chemicals that are required to kind of keep you all in sync, what other things should you pay attention to.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  20:30

I think the other the other things to pay attention to another big thing I see is, is this is our breathing. So breathing, just like our light environment is fundamental to health. And a lot of people when they’re under stress, they tend to breathe mouth breathe. So and also, because of, you know, being inside too long, we tend to be a little bit more stuffy, if we’re not moving a lot, our sinuses tend to be more congested, and people will start mouth breathing. And when we mouth breathe, and especially if we do this overnight, our brains don’t get sufficient oxygen. So our energy levels just go through the, you know, go through the ground. And so I think just focusing on as much as possible, even when you’re exercising, taking deep breaths through through your nose is key. And also just, you know, standing up and getting movement throughout the day. Like, that’s why I love the aura ring, you know, and the activity, it says, inactivity, and try to keep that down, even if it means you know, standing up for five or 10 minutes every hour to

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:25

decide the whole, the whole breathing, the whole nose, breathing, mouth, nose and mouth breathing thing, again, we talked about several weeks ago now and and you recommend because I’ve always been a mouth breather in the evening. And I knew that I was but I didn’t realize what kind of impact it had. And I’ve just been using a teensy little bit of tape just to actually hold them together. And it’s funny, you don’t need much because the mouth is just enough to almost, you know, remind your brain that you don’t need to open your mouth, and my sinuses have improved out of sight. And it’s really odd because I would go to bed at night in the past and I would actually feel really clogged up and I feel like I couldn’t breathe through my nose. And now that I’m actually breathing through my nose every single night by just putting a little bit of tape on my mouth. My sinuses are on a different level. And breathing through my nose is actually really easy now.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  22:14

Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s so important to if we think about just how we’re supposed to breathe. So the air, you know, the air outside tends to be quite dry, and it’s full of allergens and mold and bacteria and viruses. When we breathe through a mouth, we’re getting a lot of dry air, it’s going straight into our throat, and we’re inhaling things into our lungs that should have been filtered out through our nose, we breathe through our nose, we humidify the air as well. And we also get again, much better oxygenation to the brain. When we breathe through our nose. It also just talks horn talks to our nervous system. So nose breathing kind of puts us in a more calm state. Because if you think about it, evolutionarily when we breathe through our mouth, even if it’s a little bit it’s something stressful is happening. Yes, it’s so important for even heart rate for deep sleep for insulin and cortisol levels just knows breathing especially at night. Definitely. is interesting too, when you love

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:11

Breathe, yeah.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  23:13

Oh, sorry, love the sight. When you breathe through your nose, you also produce more nitric oxide. So nitric oxide is the it’s a neurotransmitter but it allows vasodilation so it was the opening up of of blood flow and the opening up of of your nasal passages. So breathing through your nose has a big correlation to your cardiovascular health as well just because you’re producing more nitric oxide and also the more you breathe through your nose, the more nitric oxide you’ll produce and the more open your sinuses will be. So that’s winwin simple trick. Wow.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:43

Yeah. So the other thing that we will see we see a lot of particularly with social media there’s all these adverts for supplements and you know take this supplement or they will do this take this supplement or they’ll do this and you know we’re almost led to believe that you know popping pills will will negate all the negative things that we’re doing in life which I’m suspecting isn’t really true. What’s your view on supplements in general?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  24:09

Well, I mean I’ll say directly a lot of my life has been funded by supplements like I said, my mum owned supplement stores so that you know helped put me through school so you know I’ve been around supplements have been in the supplement industry my whole life and while there are there are you know many appropriate supplements the first thing I’d say is until you kind of optimized your the basics your breathing your circadian rhythm, you’re eating a whole food diet then you really have no business you know spending money on supplements because they really are they really should be the icing on the cake, not the foundation to help treat or optimize health. And I mean honestly too there’s there’s a lot of crap. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s either like in terms of you know, there is good manufacturing process for and supplement companies but there’s a huge range of brands and ethical ethics in terms of production. So just like in people like to rip on Big Pharma, there’s also a lot of misinformation and a lot of poor manufacturing process and mis labeling that goes on with the supplement industry. So reputable brands are important. And also appropriate doses and timing of doses. So taking the same supplement and different times of day will have a different result. And the same supplement for different person will, will act very differently. So it’s again, personalized, but nail the foundations first and then consider it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  25:34

Fair enough. What about the nootropics and the drinks? You know, I’ve I’ve got to admit, I mean, I do take the mushroom every morning, but more it’s called an other Lion’s Mane every morning in my juice that I now make with my new juicing machine, but the things like the Reaper drinks that you now see that things that will say that they will actually boost your brain energy did. Is there some science behind that? Or is it a bit of a marketing ploy?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  26:02

Well, I mean that again, there’s a huge range. So the term a trophic basically means something that’s going to increase cognitive function without being harmful to health. And then these range from natural things like you know arepa, the black currents, all the way to, you know, off label pharmaceuticals. And I guess, like, it just really depends on the compound, I will put a plug in for black currant, because for nutrient rescue, obviously, we use them, but black currant, cultivar auricle Ben har. And it’s actually been quite well studied for its ability to increase dopamine. So it’s been used for people with mild Parkinson’s, and it’s actually been clinically tested help people’s reaction time. So there is something to certain compounds, definitely. But again, it just depends on the compound. And if you want s specific ones, I’d love to discuss them. But it’s hard to as a class, but again, you know, unless you’ve optimized everything else, then you know, that’s not going to help you.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  26:58

Okay, so with the so many things we could talk about, isn’t it, but I think what we’re really hearing is that it does come down to getting the basics right, and then working on things individually to understand what’s really going on in your body. Because just like, again, using the business analogy, all businesses are a little bit different. You can use frameworks, you can use tools to actually help them to get the best out of it. But it’s never going to be cookie cutter, because there are differences within the business itself. And I’m guessing that’s the same for the body. Right?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  27:27

Absolutely. And again, just understanding the root cause so in your business, understanding why you’re losing money, instead of just putting more money into marketing, you’re not understanding why you’re losing energy, you’re not understanding why your brains not working for throwing money at supplements.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  27:42

So where do you when you’re working with a client, and I know you love helping entrepreneurs, because of the massive impact they have, so therefore, you’re affecting more people. But if you’re working with an entrepreneur, what how do you first start, what is the first thing that you you do with a new client.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  27:57

So the first thing we do is basically help discovery. So that’s where we’ll meet for, you know, 60 to 90 minutes, and really get a good sense of, or I’ll get a good sense of who they are, what their goals are, and tease out, you know, what’s going on in their lifestyle, what their major stressors are. And then usually we’ll do some, either some functional or some conventional testing, just to get some idea about biochemical individuality. So it’s like, it’s the first process almost like with a business, you know, considering a decision, you want to do your discovery and your your investigation and get as much information can before you kind of proceed with the strategy. So that’s kind of where we start.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:33

Perfect. And then from there, I mean, as the name integrative physician suggests, you’re looking at all the different options that can potentially be used to treat the root cause of those symptoms. So that’s a mixture of devices and mixture of natural supplements, and potentially medicinal drugs, if required, as well, right?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  28:57

Absolutely. And also, you know, being able to give people a realization so they can better understand their body, I’m really big on education, because I feel like when people understand why they’re doing something, they’re going to be much more prone to pushing through and keep doing it. So you know, something like, you know, the benefits of cold therapy or having a cold plunge or cold shower, you know, it kind of sucks. So, unless you really understand how it’s gonna affect your productivity and really kind of feel the buzz of the, you know, two to three hours of increased dopamine, then, you know, it’s gonna be easy to not do it. So I’m really big on education, but providing simple strategies. So I do all the research and then I distill it down and then it kind of delivered to my client. And and obviously, there has to be an agreement. You know, I present things and they say yes, no, yes. No. And then we’ll kind of you find a way to track a goal and kind of monitor that over time.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:53

Beautiful, yeah. I mean, not having worked with you. I understand exactly how you work and it’s great because they I

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  29:58

Have in your cold shower. Have?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:01

I haven’t had a cold shower yet? No, no. But I think that what I’m saying is, I think that it is really important. It’s like, it’s even when we, when we work with teams in the business sense, you know, we could get some answers, it’s very easy to kind of say, Oh, you shouldn’t do this, or you ought to do that on that. But actually, the best thing you can do is to work with them to get them to come to the right realization themselves and have an understanding of the impact. And, you know, we encourage businesses to try certain things and see what happens and, and observe, you know, the very first session we do with a client, we get them to set some rocks for the first quarter. And I almost know that within that first quarter, it will probably go pretty wrong. But it’s really about them, then learning from that and applying those learnings going forward. Which is what what’s really important that where they’re, they’re involved on that journey, they understand what’s going on, because it’ll be very easy for you to just kind of say, You must do this, you must do that, you must do that. But actually having them involved in the process means they’re buying into it. So we’re not coming up with the answers, but we’re helping them come up with the answers.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  30:59

Exactly. We’re saying no, this is the strategy I propose. Try it out. If you see results, keep going. If not, we can modify it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  31:06

Perfect. Okay. So I always ask people to give some top tips and tools, but I want to do a little bit differently with you. We talked about kind of the foundations, the things that you should really work on. So let’s just recap on those and go, Hey, what are the things that people what are the foundations, people need to get right in the first instance,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  31:28

Whatsoever, say, so very first thing I’d say for high performers for, you know, even mums, anyone who is interested in optimal health, pay attention to your light environment. So the most important tip I can give you for productivity for mood for hormone balance is go outside in the morning, even if it’s 10 minutes, even if it means when you’re driving in your car, you open your window, you really need to get that morning light. Yeah, that morning light sets your energy level throughout the day, it sets your circadian rhythm to help you sleep that night. And sets your immune system function and just overall health so that morning light is incredibly important. So we really need that. So

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:08

Even just a second one car window is worthwhile doing. Yeah, definitely,

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  32:13

I mean, better is to go outside. But I mean, you know, if if someone is, you know, they leave, you know, they when they’re leaving the house, it’s dark, and now they’re driving to work and it’s light. If you open the window, the cool thing about light is it’s nonlinear. It doesn’t have to be shining directly in the window. As long as you crack the window, the light will fill the car and you’ll you’ll get you’ll get that that stimulus through nice. So nice, that would be the most so simple. I mean, if you want to kind of one up that, get some movement in the morning, and especially if you can go for a walk, or do something where you’re moving around under natural light in the morning. That’s that’s also just a great way to set up your day improve your sleep and support your hormones and stress levels.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:53

Yep, I must admit, oh, he goes my dogs now. We know what we’re doing is the key to setting up the day. And I think when I don’t get to do that walk, I feel terrible about it. So okay, so morning light even better. Next level up, get some walking in as well. Perfect. Definitely. Next thing, number two.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  33:11

Number two, I’d say. I’d say because we’re all under a lot of psychological stress, or, yeah, psychological stress, it’s important for us in order to cope with that better on a biological level, it helps to embrace some physiological stress. So that’s where things like having a hot sauna, having a cold plunge. Anything that’s going to kind of stress your physiology for a short amount of time will actually improve your ability ability to deal with psychological stress. There’s an incredible book if you’re interested in this called the comfort crisis. Oh, I don’t remember the author’s name but if you if you look up the comfort crisis, you’ll you’ll kind of learn a lot about that it’s all about how we’re much too comfortable you know, we live in climate controlled homes were inside all day, we eat you know, three or four meals a day, we’re never a little bit hungry. And because of this we become much more sensitive to the psychological stress. So a little bit of appropriate physiological stress I think would be and even that’s a hard workout you know, skipping a meal cold shower, anything like that will actually help your psychological stress resilience.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:15

Vega and it’s written by a guy called Michael Easter. So that’s Michael Easter. Yep, I’m gonna have a look at that. Perfect. Yep. Okay, so get some morning light, hopefully get some movement get some cycle psychologic psychological stress, but it’s physiological stress is what I was trying to say.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  34:36

Yeah, I’m getting some now getting a little bit too much sun so that’s

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:42

We mustn’t complain about that. We have not had good weather for a while so it’s nice to actually see the sun. And what will be the last kind of thing that you would suggest can really make a difference to to our busy, hectic overwhelmed crazy lives. Oh, there’s

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  34:57

some I’m just gonna stay with the really simple ones. I mean, The obvious one kind of falling in from the morning light is really being mindful about that light at night. Because it’s not just interfering with sleep, when we have light at night. So if we look at our laptop and look at Facebook at 10 o’clock when our brain thinks that should be dark, and increases our cortisol, our stress hormone levels, but also our insulin. So a lot of people struggle with weight they struggle with, you know, metabolic or cardiovascular disease. And a lot of this we don’t realize is actually driven by light at night, there’s a big study in China of I think, was almost 500,000 women, showing that light at night was one of the biggest predictors of diabetes, independent of diet. So just having light at night, increased blood sugar, increase the risk of, of metabolic disease. So, you know, at night, after the sunsets, using red lights, using blue blockers, using candles, if you have a fireplace, that’s a that’s a better form of light. Using downlights, like you mentioned, would be so important. And yeah, just just really being mindful of that few hours before bed of light. I mean, the other big one, too, is a connection between light and night and cancer. So there was a big study called the Nurses Health Study that tracked women over 30 or 40 years, and found the women that work night shift at a much higher risk of breast cancer. And, you know, years later as they investigated that they actually found that it’s because when we are exposed to light at night, we don’t make melatonin. Well, we’ve all heard about Melatonin is a sleep hormone. Yeah, great. But it’s not just a sleep hormone. It’s a hormone that programs our immune system at night to go out and find rogue cancer cells and to clear them out. And also to tell protected skins virally infected cells. So it’s an immune optimizing hormone, as well as the sleep hormone. So late at night, you know, you have diabetes or you know, increase your risk of different chronic diseases, but cancer, the big one for light at night. So I mean, the World Health Organization has even classified shiftwork, and circadian disruption as a probable human carcinogen. So this is a big one that really a lot of people are talking about.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:05

Okay, that’s huge. Okay, so I’ve got three really useful things. So the light in the morning, get yourself up and moving. Expose yourself to some control, physiological stress. So hot saunas, cold showers, ice baths, all that kind of stuff. And then really watch that light at night and make sure that you’re allowing your body to kind of properly wind down and, and do what it needs to do before you get to sleep. There is just one last question that this just raised for me. What about eating? I suppose I had something really interesting that at three to one, so three hours before you go to bed, don’t eat two hours, don’t drink? No. Was it one hour? One hour? I don’t know there was there was something there. What is it about eating at night? Why is why do we have to stop eating so soon before we get also in such a long time before going to bed.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  37:50

So similar to how like controls our circadian rhythm, our movement and our food timing, will will control our circadian rhythm. So if we eat late at night, that’s a signal to the body that we should be awake, then all of our energy and our reserves will go to our gut to help digestion and we won’t go into that deep restorative sleep. When we eat at night as well, if that’s the time we should be fasting, our blood sugar will be higher overnight. And that again predisposes us to having high insulin and cardio metabolic disease. So that’s great advice. definitely agree with that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  38:23

I have to have a look and read what they say. Three, three hours of eating two hours of drinking and one hour. No. I actually think you shouldn’t drink that nighttime. Anyway. That’s what I’ve always been taught. But I think it’s still a good it’s a good nice, quick, easy reminder. Good way to remember things.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  38:38

Yeah, no, I like it. That’s great. Perfect.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  38:40

Okay. So it’s clear to me that you know, you’re very, very passionate about what you do. You are still a researcher at heart, right? You love to get into all those details. Oh, yeah. Yeah. What I love about you as you bring it into a really useful, easy to understand bite sized kind of bits of information that you can actually apply really quickly and easily. I’ve been very fortunate to start working with you, we’re very early on our journey, but already I’m seeing the benefits. Like I said, there’s a nose breathing, the clearing of the sinuses, even just that the fact that I love I love knowledge and I’ve learned so much from working with you as well. So people want to work with you, who is your ideal kind of customer, and how would they get ahold of you?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  39:19

So ideal customer is someone who is actually ready to take some responsibility. Like I said, I’m not someone who’s just going to prescribe you medication and send you on your way I’m going to expect you to you know be ready to make some changes to you know, consider changing your schedule and you know buying in you know with your behaviors and resources for the client is accountable and just ready to make some changes. ideal clients also are people who are have that you know, ability to make some changes so if someone is like in a, you know, sprint of stress and you know, they’re not going to be able to do things then probably waiting until after would be more appropriate. Yep.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  39:58

So similarly I’m the kind of person, the person I work with, you know, you’ve got to understand there’s no magic silver bullet, there’s no magic pill, it’s not going to make everything go, right, you’ve got to actually put the work in to get the results out. And you’ve got to be prepared to be open to other ideas as well. So you know, sometimes some of the things that we’ve been taught, I think back to my childhood, some of the things that my parents kind of instilled in me had been shown not to be true. So you’ve got to be open to gotta go. Actually, I may have to change my view on this and be open and honest and be vulnerable, a little bit as well. Absolutely, yeah. That’s your kind of clients. Yeah.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  40:34

Absolutely. Yeah. Just ready to take charge of their health. And our, I’ve worked with kind of the spectrum from people who already have a diagnosis and what kind of a second or third opinion to improving that all the way to people who are, you know, athletes and peak performers and they kind of want to just optimize and kind of put that little icing on or put the icing on the cake. So there’s kind of a range and I kind of tailor my strategy. I meet people where they are.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:00

So that’s kind of out of it. Okay, so how do we get ahold of you? What’s the best way to get ahold of you?

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  41:05

So the best place is have a website it’s www.dr Vanessa dot life li Fe you can also find me on LinkedIn under Dr. Vanessa Ingram i n g R Ahn one

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:20

Probably the easiest way Yeah, that’s right.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  41:23

And for our for your for your guests. Do you can also I have a business WhatsApp, you can you can send me a whatsapp at Oh 22062018.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:33

Beautiful. Okay, look, thank you so much for for spending the time with us. I’m loving that view behind you. Guys enjoy the rest of your beautiful day. And we love you again soon. Thank you.

Dr. Vanessa Ingraham  41:45

Great. Thank you. Thank you so much. Damn,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:46

Thanks for listening to the podcast show better business better life. My name is Debra Chantry-Taylor. I’m an EOS implementer family business advisor, business and leadership coach podcaster and speaker. However, I’m also a business owner with several current business interests. I’m fortunate to have lived the high life with all the lifestyle, the toys, you name it, and then I’ve lost it all. Not only once but twice in two spectacular train wrecks. I know what it’s like to experience the highs and lows. I came across EOS when they launched into New Zealand using my entrepreneurs playground at an event center in Parnell, Auckland. I love the simplicity of the tools and then philosophy is fitted my personal brand statement perfectly. The brilliance is in the simplicity. I’ve always been passionate about seeing entrepreneurs live the life they love. And now I help them live that EOS life doing what they love with people they love making a huge difference in the world being compensated appropriately and with time to pursue other passions. If you want more information or want to get in contact about using ELS and your business, you can visit my website at Deb Deborah dot coach that’s dub dub dub Deborah D B ra dot coach. Thanks for listening.









Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional  EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand

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