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Spiritual Awakening & Biohacking with Dr. Molly Maloof (EP#108)

Mason sits down for a chat with the innovative and ever inspiring Dr. Molly Maloof for an epic conversation spanning from the highly contentious COVID 19 vaccine to stress, sleep, biohacking, spiritual awakenings, and many relative roamings in-between.


We're so excited to be bringing you today's episode of the SuperFeast podcast. Mason sits down for a chat with the innovative and ever inspiring Dr. Molly Maloof for an epic conversation spanning from the contentious COVID 19 vaccine to stress, sleep, biohacking, spiritual awakenings, and many relative roamings in-between. The world has had some massive shifts since the last time Dr. Molly was on the show; Dr. Molly opens up about her 2020 spiritual awakening, views on psychedelics, and life in America in a time of COVID. Dr. Molly shows her expertise honing in on the topics of stress, sleep, insulin resistance, and why she utilises technology devices like the Ōura ring to prevent illness and optimise health.


Perhaps what I enjoyed most about this episode, other than Dr. Molly's fascinating technological health insights, was how this conversation flowed despite moments of contrasted views. There was no ideological tribalism, just good conversation; in the name of high quality, investigative thought. Tune in for mind expansion.


"Use these health technology tools to gain awareness, but don't depend on them to function. The real mastery of your body is when you have interoception and know how you feel by listening to your body's signals".


- Dr. Molly Maloof



Mason and Dr. Molly discuss:

  • COVID 19 vaccine; Dr. Molly's journey.
  • Protecting against viruses by keeping stress levels low.
  • How viruses disrupt metabolism and increase inflammation in the body.
  • Self-actualisation and ego transcendence.
  • Cracking yourself open; doing the work emotionally and spiritually.
  • The Ōura ring; heart rate variability and sleep monitoring.
  • Therapeutics devices to monitor stress.
  • What HRV (heart rate variability) says about stress levels.
  • Dr. Molly's approach to treating clients and assessing health.
  • Your muscles are a power pack, and exercise charges your batteries.
  • Chronic Fatigue and burnout.
  • Biomarkers from over-exercising.
  • Insulin resistance; How to recognise and avoid it within your body.
  • Interoception, and why we should all aspire to have it.
  • Biohacking.


Who is Molly Maloof?

Dr. Molly Maloof’s goal is to maximise human potential by dramatically extending the human healthspan through medical technology, scientific wellness, and educational media. Her fascination with innovation has transformed her private medical practice, focused on providing health optimisation and personalised medicine to San Francisco & Silicon Valley investors, executives, and entrepreneurs. Molly's iterative programs take the quantified self to the extreme through comprehensive testing of clinical chemistry, metabolomics, microbiome, biometrics, and genomic markers.



Molly's Website

Molly's Facebook

Molly's Instagram

Molly's Linkedin

Molly's Twitter

Maximising Your Human Potential with Dr. Molly Maloof (EP#47)


Molly: (01:18:10)
Oh, it's called the Psychedelic News Hour, and it's part of the Psychedelics Club, or the Psychedelic Clubhouse actually. So, my friend Dave [inaudible 01:18:19] and I were the first people to record a podcast on this viral platform, and it just has just blown up. So, we're going to be releasing these recordings this year, and yeah, we record every Friday at 11:30 pacific time. It's just been a joy and this thing I look forward to doing every week, so super fun.

Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?

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Check Out The Transcript Here:


Mason: (00:01)

Molly, mate. Welcome back.


Molly: (00:05)

So good to be here, Mason. It's been a while.


Mason: (00:08)

Yeah, it's been a while. Yeah, it was pre-pandemic when we spoke on the podcast last. But, always feel connected, always tuning in to your great ramblings and sharings and wisdom on Instagram.


Molly: (00:26)

I do ramble. I ramble on.


Mason: (00:29)

Rambling's good, I like it. It's like it's authentic. Hey, let's talk about, first of all, how are you going?


Molly: (00:34)

You know what, I'm starting to actually believe that I know a few things about health despite always questioning myself and questioning everything I know, I'm really starting to feel pretty confident. I just landed a book deal with a really great publisher, Harper Wave, and I'm-


Mason: (00:54)

Damn. HW.


Molly: (00:55)

Yeah, I know, I'm stoked. I'm just feeling like honestly frustrated about some annoying health issues that have come up, but also really confident that I am just a great medical investigator and I'm good at solving problems, and I can solve anything. So, I'm just like really optimistic, slightly frustrated and very excited about the fact that you may or may not agree with this, but I did get the vaccine, and I'm going to be travelling in April when I'm fully vaccinated, and I haven't been travelling a lot, and I'm going to be going out into the world again. So, I'm pretty stoked about that. But yeah, it was a really hard decision to get the vaccine. I was really unclear whether or not it was the right move. I know these are highly contentious because of how quickly they were able to get out into the market, but I did a lot of homework on them, and I actually personally have worked on a vaccine before. So, even though it seems like this technology is brand new, it turns out that there's been a lot of people working on this for many, many years, and it just seems new to us because we haven't really paid attention to the people in their clinics and the research institutions actually doing the work to lay the groundwork for this.


Mason: (02:09)

I will say, have you got your highlight around your process, around getting the vaccine saved? Have you got that saved in your highlights?


Molly: (02:16)

Oh, I'm going to save it in my highlight today. Thanks for reminding me to do that.


Mason: (02:20)

[crosstalk 00:02:20]. There's one thing-


Molly: (02:21)



Mason: (02:22)

You say, and it is contentious, but as long as we can all sit down and have a good yarn about it, that's all I really give a shit about is having a good yarn about these things. I really enjoyed watching your process of you get there to decide, and even it's fun watching someone who thinks about these things so deeply talking about you getting one brand vaccine versus the other. Then also, going through the process of getting called out, of going, now you come back and make sure you respect those of us that don't. You did a really good little retraction of a comment, which I think takes a lot of balls. This is going to lead me somewhere else because it's interesting you going, you're going to travel now because you've got the vaccine, and I've gone through the process, I went through it last year in autumn [inaudible 00:03:11] from the Daoist perspective to mourn. And for me, I'm just mourning the fact that I may never travel overseas again, and then gotten to the point where I'm like, "Sweet, cool," I can-


Molly: (03:21)

Well, you're living in Australia and it's magical there.


Mason: (03:24)

Yeah. It's true.


Molly: (03:26)

I'm really jealous by the way. Here's the thing, I'm probably not going to be travelling abroad a lot, even though I would like to. But, you're right, I have done a lot of mourning. I also just, I think we have all done a lot of mourning. I think that just I'm someone who's extremely, pretty used to travelling a lot, so I actually was like... Last year, I was all over the country to be honest with you. I was in Hawaii, LA, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida, and a few trips to Austin, and that felt limited to me. That felt limited. So for me, I understand that I'm not a typical, normal person. A lot of people don't travel very much regularly, but I was travelling almost every week or every few weeks, multiple times a month. And it really caused me to slow down, and it was good for me to slow down, and I needed to slow down, and it was actually highly productive to slow down. But, I have this deep sense of disconnection to a community of my friends all over the country and world that is not being easily replaced by small numbers of close, close friends. Like, I genuinely miss my groups of friends. So, I feel like a massive community deficiency right now, and that's mostly why I'm travelling.


Molly: (04:43)

But, going back to the things we were talking about before, yeah, I did save my vaccine story. I'm going to save my vaccine story on my Instagram. I think it's important for people to understand that I'm not pro-vaccines for everyone. I think it's a personal decision. I think autonomy is important, and I think that obviously we could talk for an entire hour on vaccines, and we're not going to do that today. But, the point is that some countries don't have nearly as big as a problem as America does. We are the worst of the worst, and unfortunately because I'm in an environment that's so infectious, I felt like it was the right move for me to make. But, I totally understand if other people in other countries with lower infectious rates don't really want it, and I don't see if you need to get it frankly. I just happen to live in a really screwed up country.


Mason: (05:29)

[crosstalk 00:05:29] as I said, the stories are really fascinating, especially with the context that you talk a lot about. You're talking about vitamin D deficiencies and talking about everything else that everyone could be doing for their immune system as well as [crosstalk 00:05:39]-


Molly: (05:39)

Yeah, yeah, it's not just about vaccines.


Mason: (05:41)



Molly: (05:42)

And also, I talk a lot about viruses in general, and I had been talking about viruses for the last few years, and a lot of people don't realise that just living a life of chronic stress breaks down your immune system, and it sets the conditions up for you to be infected with diseases like viruses. So, viruses are particularly just nasty, because they can really disrupt your metabolism, and they can also increase inflammation throughout the body. So, they basically set off all the alarms in the house, and then they unplug your refrigerator so nothing fucking works in the kitchen. So, everything is a mess. I'm taking care of a bunch of patients with chronic viral infections, and I personally just thought that if I were to weigh getting chronic COVID, one in 10 people could get chronic COVID in America, either that versus getting less than one percent chance of getting a side effect from the vaccine, I was like, all right, this is a hard thing to decide, but I chose the vaccine instead. Anyway, we're not going to talk about vaccines all day, but because I know a lot of your audience is like, "Oh my God, already don't trust her because she's talking about vaccines."


Mason: (06:52)

Well, I mean, the good thing is I think first... and maybe, but it's also, that's a good opportunity for everyone to have a good little step back and reflection on themselves, and putting out a quick judgement on someone just because they got a vaccine, or likewise, there's probably a lot of people listening who are now trusting you because you did get the vaccine.


Molly: (07:12)

It's probably true, yeah. Well, I've seen both ways. I've actually had a lot of people tell me on Instagram, "I don't agree with your opinions on how to manage COVID or treat it or prevent it, but I still listen to you because I actually really like your opinions on a bunch of other things." So, you pick what works for you, and you take what you learn from different people, and you try things on, and then things that don't work for you, you don't have to wear.


Mason: (07:40)

That kind of ideological tribalism and extreme judgement , I mean, we've been talking about it a bit at the moment because we're in late summer here versus you going into that transition period into spring. So, from a spleen, soil philosophy or energetic, we're at a time where you kind of start, you come down, you hit the ground, and you start reflecting on where your intellect is serving you, and where it can be tuned up to be like, so you're having high quality thoughts, high quality beliefs that are actually helping you move towards being a better person, high quality ideas and thoughts that are taking you in the direction of being effective at manifesting your intentions or your dreams or whatever it is, just being a better person. So, I think that it's a really good opportunity here, and that's what I'm doing, I'm just really watching whether the quality of my thoughts... I like having judgement , whether my judgement is really basically quality, and taking me towards more of a place where I'm feeling myself... Gosh, what's the word I want to use there? I mean, I don't want to lose myself into an ideology or a set of beliefs, and the vaccines are the area where it's so contentious that people are going to lose their sovereignty or their capacity to stay connected to that observer part of themselves, and they're going to quickly fly off because their spleen's-


Molly: (09:02)

It's a tribal decision for a lot of people, you know?


Mason: (09:03)



Molly: (09:05)

It's like, I'm either in this tribe or I'm not, and if I'm not, then I don't believe anything that this person has to say. And the truth is is that I've seen some great health influencers, in my opinion, have some fairly irresponsible belief systems around certain things that I personally think are scientifically sound. Yeah, at the same time, I'm like, wow, I still respect that person's opinion on nutrition, because they're really good at nutrition, that's what they're trained to know about. So, I really feel like sense making right now is really hard, because there is so much misinformation in the world, there is so much science to work through, there's so many people that you have to choose to listen to. Then, you have to sit and make a decision for yourself and your family. That is a lot of stress for people who maybe didn't have enough biology in high school, or didn't take science classes in college, and it doesn't seem logical or intuitive to them to listen to people who maybe have more experience in that arena.


Molly: (10:08)

At the same time, I wish there were more scientists who actually questioned the overall messaging that we've been promoting around this infection, which is like, everyone's been so focused on the science that they haven't focused on the basics of health. They haven't been talking about sleep, they haven't been talking about nutrition, they haven't been talking about exercise, they haven't been talking about community and all these things. There haven't been any really strong strategies for managing the health of our country aside from the things that we know can also inhibit health. So, it's like a really, really complicated time to be alive, because on one hand, we need social interaction, we need to touch people, we need to eat healthier foods, we need to get outside, and we need to have some sense of normalcy. So, I think it's been really hard for people because on one hand you want to follow all the rules, but on the other hand, I still need to maintain my health. Then, you have basically find some sort of middle ground, where the two Venn Diagrams of health and sickness fixing overlap, where you can actually thrive in the midst of adversity. That's what I've been trying to do this whole time.


Mason: (11:23)

Well, the trust is all gone. I mean, who's going to trust when they've got authorities going and dragging surfers out of the water. I'm just like, this doesn't make sense, guys. This doesn't make a lick of sense. How can we trust you when you're focusing completely on this? The whole political-


Molly: (11:39)



Mason: (11:39)

I know, I've been watching how it's working here, how it's working over there, the level of contradiction and [crosstalk 00:11:45]-


Molly: (11:45)

It's a mess over here.


Mason: (11:46)

Non actual leadership, you know, not these qualities of leadership that we-


Molly: (11:50)



Mason: (11:51)

I was talking about, before this, I'm reading a bunch of business books and trying to figure out a way to take all those concepts that are going to structure our business without getting past the soul of our business right now. The kind of leadership qualities that you see talked about in all of these books is something that's so not valued for most of the parties that are in power right now. Therefore, why am I going to trust you guys? Then, it's going to create more division. That's not the reason why I'm not taking the vaccine. Personally, I've just got my little core meditation that I have on it, and that's why most of the time, I just shut up on it. I get asked a lot about it, more and more these days I get asked about vaccines and people wanting me to do spiels on the podcast, and I'm like, I've been at that point of my influencer career when I think I have a moral obligation to use my platform to talk about something, even when I haven't gone down enough of a rabbit hole, and haven't sat with it long enough in order to actually feel like I'm justifying... not justifying, but having validity to sway people's opinion based on what mine is.


Mason: (12:57)

So, I think I'm enjoying just shutting up. Then, I like listening to people who have gone down deep ends on each side of things, and then watching out for their ideology, and watching how they're just creating more division, or potentially create really good insights right there on the fence. Anyway, I don't know. As I said, I've mourned that I may never travel overseas because I'm not going to get my little vaccine card. I'll accept the consequences and go on laughing and playing otherwise.


Molly: (13:32)

I'm going to come visit you.


Mason: (13:33)

Yeah, yeah, you can come over here.


Molly: (13:34)

I can get to Australia. I have a friend who's a doctor there, and he said he would get me in the country if I needed to get there. I personally would much rather be in Australia right now. My only issue is that all my clients are in America, and so it'd be kind of hard for me to move my business there. But-


Mason: (13:49)

You'd just be doing early mornings, very early mornings.


Molly: (13:53)

It'd be really hard to do work. I'd have to mess up my sleep schedule, and that's not going to happen. But, I don't know, to get to some positive notes of all this, I do really feel like one of the silver linings of all of this is that there are a lot more people thinking about health-


Mason: (14:12)



Molly: (14:12)

And thinking about balance and harmony-


Mason: (14:13)

For sure.


Molly: (14:14)

And thinking about how do I actually maintain resilience in my body and capacity to be able to fight off infections better. And they're more interested in things like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda and alternative medicines, and frankly that's where truly I think a lot of health is made, and modern medicine is mostly the battlefield for people who are ravaged by chronic illness and major illness, acute illnesses. So ideally, you want to be in peace time metabolism with a healthy diet and lower stress levels, and just really properly taking care of yourself. But, the reality is that most of us who are high performers, and a lot of my clients are, really do struggle with stress. I'd say that a lot of people have pretty much nailed nutrition and exercise, but are still unaware that they're over training or that they're overworking themselves or that they're overextending themselves. One of the things, I don't know if you've ever noticed this in people, but I've seen a lot of people who do a lot of the main lifestyle habits that are necessary for creating energy in the body, and you build up this capacity, and you kind of feel like you're unstoppable.


Molly: (15:28)

So, you go out and you spend all of this energy doing amazing stuff in the world, and then you find yourself before you know it, starting to burnout and starting to be tired, and starting to feel out of whack and out of balance. I personally experience this multiple times in my life, so I know it's real, but I've also seen it a lot in my clients who are just really successful people, and they're doing everything right, but then the stress hits them over time. And maybe they end up with a really bad virus, and before you know it, they're really not well. So, I think the real challenge of people who want to be high performers is this balance of how do I put my body under stress in order to get stronger but not to break. That's the real aim in a lot of cases. It's actually a pretty big challenge to do that.


Mason: (16:21)

This might be a weird segue, but I think just going based on your experience, because you've got a personal amount of experience in navigating that give an inch take a mile. We observe it a lot here. I'm definitely like that. We've kind of identified especially... you'll see, from looking at which organ is the dominant organ. Liver people are always like that. They're just such go getters, and they just can't [inaudible 00:16:55], "Oh cool, I feel kind of okay, I'm going to start a bajillion projects right now, and then burn out." You were saying at the beginning that you're now trusting that you know something about medicine. So, that brings in everything that's like a cliché of [inaudible 00:17:09] whether it's imposter syndrome, but I think that's not the best way to put it because I think there's a... You've now arrived at a point where you've actually grounded in yourself a confidence and an acknowledgement that you know your shit. I say, not through getting through the imposter syndrome, because quite often I think when imposter syndrome is present, that might be a bad quality judgement that you have on yourself, that you're an imposter. But, it doesn't mean the feeling that you might be able to slow down and learn some more and refine the way that you communicate [crosstalk 00:17:44]-


Molly: (17:44)

Oh my gosh, yeah. Yeah. There's so much I... It's like knowing what you know and knowing what you don't know, and being able to admit when you don't know something. Also, recognising that to be honest with you, I teach at Stanford, and I haven't met a single student who doesn't have imposter syndrome, and they're like the top students in America. So, when I realise that all these really smart, bright people had it, I was like, "I'm done with this shit." We're all really talented. In fact, you don't need to be an Ivy League person to be really talented, but the point I'm trying to make is that some of most successful people actually struggle with admitting that they know their shit, you know?


Mason: (18:27)

Yeah, but I think where you will see burnout a lot of the time, and correct me if I'm wrong, if this is your experience, because I'm just talking from my experience. When I am sitting in that, I've got a subtle feeling of imposter syndrome, or if I went to the heart of that, it's probably just saying, "Hey dude, slow down." [crosstalk 00:18:46]-


Molly: (18:45)

Yes, totally.


Mason: (18:46)

Acknowledge what you really do know, don't worry about trying to prove yourself with all this other stuff, just sit in the knowledge and then slowly just chop wood, carry water and learn what you need to learn. So, I've a few times kind of relate to... I think what's taken me is that needed to prove myself because I'm trying to prove that I'm... yes, dad, I am good enough, or whatever I'm trying to do, and take myself to burnout, that when I came back to reality, go, all right, I'm not an imposter, I do know a lot. Then, I come to terms with a lot of acceptance with where my life is, what options I actually do have based on the knowledge and skill sets that I do. All of a sudden, I felt less likely to go into that burnout cycle. I was curious for you, what you felt those critical moments or tweaks in mindset or activity were that took you from going into that burnout and imposter through yes, you just accepted you knew your shit. But, I watch you grind and work every day so I know it's not just a, "Hey, Molly. Stop feeling that way, you know your stuff." Amazing, I do know my stuff, and know it's perfect. I know that there was a lot of stuff going on in the background.


Molly: (20:04)

I think honestly a lot of it's come from just talking to patients. I've had just a lot of really positive outcomes with clients in the last year, and I've just seen their bodies just transform and reverse all sorts of things without any medications at all really. So, to see people get better and be like, "Oh my God, this all works," and just have people tell me regularly, "Man, everything you tell me works." I would hope it does. That really encourages me honestly, that's really helpful, just seeing people get better. Also, I have really worked on my spirituality in the last few years let's say. Really since, let's say, it was about 2019 August when I just was hit with a massive spiritual awakening. Since then, it's been a massive ego just excavation, dissolution, and reconstruction, and just trying to... really, that was really what it felt like. It was really quite painful by the way, and I would recommend everyone go through it if they are ready for the real work of life.


Mason: (21:18)

Was yours quite cathartic and sudden? What were you-


Molly: (21:21)

Oh yeah.


Mason: (21:23)

Deep diving into meditation or plant medicine? Did anything kick it off?


Molly: (21:26)

Okay, so the awakening actually was quite interesting. So, I study how to create bioenergetic capacity in the body, and I've been doing a bunch of things that I had been studying, which was fasting. I did a three day fast, I spent a bunch of time in the sunlight because I was charging all my batteries. Then, after I broke the fast with a really healthy California meal in wine country, and then I went the next day and worked out at a gym, lifted weights and did high intensity interval training, and then a sauna. So, all of that is just massive bioenergetic capacity building. Then, at the same time, I was kind of on a date, and I was really attracted to this guy, but it turns out that he was not at all interested in pursuing anything sexual at the time, because he was working through a bunch of his own emotional shit.


Molly: (22:11)

So, I was really frustrated sexually. So, there was all of these energetic things combined. Then, I ended up seeing my community at this beautiful dinner after the whole weekend was over. I come home one night, and I just literally in bed... It's so funny even saying this out loud because it's so embarrassing, but it was like... I was thinking about how in the future we're going to have clinics for giving people MDMA and other psychedelics, and I was really just alive with vitality and possibility in the future. I just started having this full body involuntary orgasm. This is so weird, I cannot explain this. This is a crazy experience, how am I going to tell my friend about this? No one's going to believe me. Then, I was like, "Oh shit, this is kundalini awakening. Fuck." Sorry, you [inaudible 00:22:58].


Mason: (22:58)

[crosstalk 00:22:58]-


Molly: (22:58)

Then, I was like, because I remember one of my friends who's this amazing spiritual woman was telling me about her experience, and only the context from her experience to understand what was happening to me. So, I was like, reading books about this afterwards, and I was just like, "Oh whoa, wait, wait, hold the phone, I don't know if this is actually a good thing." Because the funny thing is, I had kind of been praying weirdly for the first time in a while. To God, I was like, "Man, I just need a taste of enlightenment. There's got to be something more than this existence that I'm living right now." Because I was really struggling before that moment with a breakup and a business readjustment, and a lot of things were changing in my life, and I was really struggling.


Molly: (23:40)

I just asked the universe. There's got to be something more to life than this. I wasn't quite depressed, but I wasn't happy. And so, that thing happened and I definitely came out of it excited because [inaudible 00:23:55], that is so cool, this thing just happened. Then, I read about it, and I was like, "Oh no, this turns people's lives completely upside down, and I just don't have time for that. I just don't have time for this." So, luckily, I had a meditation retreat lined up. Then, through that meditation retreat, I actually had a vision of these books I wanted to write, and had this... I snuck a pen and paper in, so I wrote out the entire outline of the book in the retreat.


Mason: (24:21)

Very Vipassana.


Molly: (24:23)

Very Vipassana right? , yeah.


Mason: (24:24)

Oh, it was? Okay.


Molly: (24:28)

It was definitely not allowed, definitely not allowed.


Mason: (24:30)

Very naughty, yeah.


Molly: (24:30)

Super rule breaker, but I mean, I did it anyway. Then, it felt like every time I would come back into the world... After I went on that retreat, I came back into the world, and it just felt like this massively heightened sense of... All of my senses were heightened, and it was almost like too much to take because I was living in The Mission of San Francisco, and there was so much fucked up shit in the street. I'm sorry to cuss, but there was homelessness and drug addicts, and shit all over the sidewalks, and it was just filthy, and I couldn't really handle the energetics of San Francisco at the time. So, I went back to meditation, to another retreat, came out of it, had the same experience, and I was like, "Maybe I'm not supposed to be in San Francisco right now. So, I decided after, let's see, what was it, the second retreat, that I would just take a sabbatical in Maui, and ended up really using that time to really get to know myself again. Those six months were pretty pivotal. Then, right when I was coming out, of all the spiritual transformation, and all this growth, COVID hits. So, I'm like, "Oh God." I was really excited to go back into the world, but I was also like, "Oh God, there's like a pandemic." Yeah.


Mason: (25:46)

I remember you, you were sharing a bit then. Because I was kind of in the [inaudible 00:25:52] in the middle of the pandemic and very aware, because we've got Chinese herbs and blah blah blah, all these kinds of things. But, I remember watching people almost pleading with you in your comment section to please come back to reality and learn what's going on.


Molly: (26:05)



Mason: (26:09)

It was a good living vicariously, for me to live vicariously through you going, "Oh, that'd be so good to just be like, not really, really aware of what's going on in the world right now, and just being still flying up in spirit, and whatever it is, whatever way you want to put it." Then, I remember you getting back and going, "Holy shit, this is real. This is really real."


Molly: (26:35)

I know. And to be honest with you, I'm actually really grateful for all the pain and suffering I went through in the last year, because I had an injury, and I had a bunch of hormones dysfunctional because... and I moved back to the Midwest for part of the time, and all of that challenge of literally I had a lot more health challenges in the mainland than I did in Hawaii by like a factor of a 100. It gave me this ability to really develop a deeper sense of empathy for America, and for what people in the Midwest go through. I was like a west coast health guru who preached about health, but really I had kind of lost touch with how hard it is to be healthy in most of the country.


Molly: (27:19)

So, by coming back and actually experiencing my world change so dramatically, like what it's like to be isolated, what is it like to eat food that's not in accordance to what I would prefer to be eating, what it's like to be indoors for wintertime, all sorts of stuff that I just wasn't used to doing. I, A, realised that like, oh, I can handle a lot more than I thought I could, and B, it just makes you realise if you don't have perspective of what most people are dealing with, then it's really actually quite hard to really preach about health, because you don't really have any understanding of the average person's life, you know? You have this understand of your optimised version of life, and that's just not the real world for a lot of people. So, it actually I think made me a better doctor, I think it's made me a lot more empathetic, and it's certainly humbled the shit out of me, which has been really, really good for my ego as well I would say.


Mason: (28:22)

[inaudible 00:28:22] dig. That's a really good way to put it. I mean, it's a great way to put it because it's not just [inaudible 00:28:29]. It's not just a stagnant moment in time where an ego dies once. It's like, no, it goes on and on, and on and on and on. [inaudible 00:28:37] digs [crosstalk 00:28:37]-


Molly: (28:37)

Oh yeah, it comes back, and then we have to dissolve it again, and then it brings back, and then [inaudible 00:28:43] question is how do you find this medium between ideally self actualization and ego transcendence. That's really the goal, you know? And every time I-


Mason: (28:53)

What have you been doing to stay grounded?


Molly: (28:55)



Mason: (28:56)

Yeah, sorry, I do want to hear that point.


Molly: (28:58)

Oh yeah, yeah, what am I doing to stay grounded?


Mason: (29:00)



Molly: (29:02)

To be honest with you, my family has been unbelievably supportive and kind. I'm very fortunate my family has some beautiful homes that I've been able to stay in. Basically, instead of being isolated in San Francisco where all my stuff's in storage, I spent a lot of time with family, and that grounded me a tonne. Okay, so fun fact, I hate winter, and I was really quite sad about being here in winter, but I also wasn't... but, it was really bad COVID this year in the... obviously in the winter time, it was quite horrible, so really travelling and moving wasn't an option. So, I started running outside in like subscribe 30 degrees... I guess, what is 30 degree Fahrenheit in celsius? I don't remember.


Molly: (29:48)

But, basically, very cold, freezing weather. I started running outside in nature, and it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't particularly fun, but there were some ice storms that made it kind of pretty, kind of beautiful I guess. But, I started running outside, and I was using the cold to actually make me stronger, and I was using the elements as a weighted vest. So, essentially, I was teaching my body to adapt to an environment that it wasn't adapted to. self actualization and ego transcendence.Oh, yeah? The herbies? [inaudible 00:30:45]-


Molly: (30:44)

The herbies.


Mason: (30:45)

[crosstalk 00:30:45] as well according.


Molly: (30:45)

Yeah, I did a lot of mushrooms to be honest with you, a lot of medicinal mushrooms this year. I did some psychedelics as well. So, I did a couple mushroom trips, and I have to admit that it still makes me nervous to talk about it, but I think it's important that people hear that there is a healthy way to ingest psychedelics without hurting yourself. Basically, I really found that when I was really struggling emotionally during the pandemic, being able to fully feel all of my emotions was really, really helpful for just getting me to feel a sense of release. We waddle so much up, and we stay so stoic and strong, and there's a point where you're just like, "I got to feel everything." Feeling everything is definitely something that most people don't try to do regularly, and I think it's actually really important.


Mason: (31:40)

Coming from being in San Fran, and that tech bubble, I think that's the interesting thing. I do want to get to talking about psychedelics, but let's maybe chat a little bit now about that extreme of health, about hearing about feeling emotions. So, you've been talking about going to meditative retreats, but in that kind of time, doing things that were quite... even though we've all, not that we've all done them, but a lot of us have done things like that. They're extreme. Likewise, I've been to deep dive 10 day ayahuasca retreats, 10 day meditation retreats. These big things to crack your lack of capacity to get deep and see what's in the way of you feeling emotions and working through them so on and so forth. That's an extreme thing, and then sounds like you've really come back and consolidated your capacity to consistently feel your emotions balanced out with this capacity to stay within, not necessarily even just the tech world, but definitely reading your biological markers, being in that technological [crosstalk 00:32:46]-


Molly: (32:45)



Mason: (32:45)

A capacity to really have high quality intellectual thinking about what is optimal in the body, and helping [crosstalk 00:32:55] as natural as possible, helping yourself and your clients come back to whatever word we want to use, balance homeostasis is optimal.


Molly: (33:02)

Sure, yeah.


Mason: (33:03)

Let's talk about that, because I definitely... as I kind of shared before we jumped on the podcast, I'm kind of getting into a point where I'm grounding. I'm still quite Peter Pan ish, but I'm really going through that time in the movie Hook where Robin Williams' Pan comes back and really learns to become a businessman. But, I'm trying to do so and not have that step where I completely forget who I am as a child and as that Peter Pan in a creative sense, and stay really integrated. So, I'm at the point where as we were talking about before, I've had so much space to stay completely as a purist when it comes to my health, and now, even though I've always utilised little grounding mats, and little technologies that [crosstalk 00:33:55]... I've definitely resisted the word bio hackers, and I still do, but the utilisation of these whether it's gadgets or [inaudible 00:34:04]. I'm ready to let it support me, because I'm feeling quite connected to who I am, and I've got my chop wood, carry water capacity to stay in nature and feel my emotions. But, I'm ready to feel optimal in this space that's quite unnatural, being in a warehouse, in an office, and running a company like this. It's become more natural, but I don't consider it [inaudible 00:34:28].


Molly: (34:29)

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.


Mason: (34:31)

And I'd like my wild body, my health to remain kind of wild. So, let's dive in. What I've got myself an Oura ring, let's talk about that, and then let's go through all the other kind of things that your executives and you are doing to stay completely killing it, like killing it.


Molly: (34:53)

I appreciate that. So, first off, I really appreciate what you have to say about doing the work emotionally and spiritually. If you aren't in this positive mindset and staying focused on trying to be aware of your emotional state and your inclinations, it's really easy for your health to just go south by just having consistently negative attitude toward the world. So, you've already done a lot of the groundwork of the spiritual and the emotional, and they are very much going to impact your health, but they're not the only things that do, right? So, for a long time, I spent only my focus was on biology, and it wasn't until the last few years that I really started to dig into the mind body connection and the mind, body, spirit connection, and realising like wow, these are other very important pieces of this health puzzle. But, that being said, the biology still matters.


Molly: (35:53)

So, I find that for a lot of people who are really interested in natural health, they're doing a lot of really important work, which is maintaining the right mindset, maintaining the right sort of energetic vibration towards their existence to keep them in a state where they're less likely to break down because they have so much positive health capacity from just their general existence and the way that they live their lives. That being said, our bodies are like houses, right? So, think about your body like a house or a car, it's not going to stay pristine forever. Anyone who's ever owned or used a house, rented a house, realises that stuff breaks, things break down over time. You can build a brand new house, and within a few years, something's going to break, right? So, your body is not that much different, right? Unfortunately or fortunately, we are subject to the same laws of nature as anything else so entropy happens or more disorder will happen over time inside the body. And with that, you got to keep tabs on some pivotal biomarkers, and what I would call internal sensations. So, you can gain awareness of what's really going on inside your body. So, there's a few different ways to investigate what's going on inside the body, and the things I mentioned just now were biomarkers so laboratory tests.


Molly: (37:15)

So, I've always been a big believer in more labs, better data, that's better health. But, I'm also a big believer that labs are just a snapshot in time. It's like a picture of your body, a picture of your house. It's not also like a perfect picture, it's actually missing a bunch on information, and it's only that one picture in time. So, that's why I'm really into continuous monitoring. So, that's why I like putting the Oura ring on people. I'll even go as far as to have clients were the [inaudible 00:37:44] therapeutics device to monitor their stress continuously through heart rate variability, because a lot of my clients say, "Oh, I'm not stressed out," but then you put one of these on, you're like, "Well, your HRV sucks like most of the day. What's going on at work?" Or "You HRV is really bad at home, what's going on with your relationships?" You can really triangulate where the stress is coming from their life. But then, there's also the qualitative, right? So, the actual sensations that you feel about your life that you need to actually review. So, I have four different questionnaires I give someone on stress for example, but I have literally an entire packet of questionnaires I give each new client to get a baseline qualitative understanding of their health experience.


Molly: (38:25)

So, there's the qualitative and the quantitative, and then there's also as part of the quantitative, imaging. So, I never really thought that I would be someone who would recommend imaging to people until I started just getting it for experimental reasons. So, I was in Japan doing some work with a company a couple years ago, and I went through the entire Japanese employer health system, and experienced what it was like to be an employee in Japan and what would happen if you lived there. And they do endoscopes and ultrasounds and x-rays and all sorts of things that you don't do in America, just as precaution, just for screening. I discovered all sorts of interesting findings that were helpful for me to actually have a better understanding of what my body looks like. Then, I got an MRI this last year, and a full body MRI gave me this view of the inside of the body. Let's say you've only had a house that you've only seen from the outside, and then from the inside, you've only got letters about what's going on inside, describing what's on the inside, but never actually seen the inside before.


Molly: (39:27)

So, I finally got the view of inside of the house, and I was like, "Oh my God, there's all these weird things that I never knew were there." So, this has always been my aim of my practise, and the aim of my promoting to people, is systems biology is an understanding of the body that comes from multiple levels of how we are designed. So, there's genetics, there's metabolomics, and biomarkers, right? There's the actually physical body. Then, there's the body within a system. So, I'm also looking for my clients about their air quality in their environment. So, I'll literally look up their air quality index where they live, and I'll say, "Hey, so I don't know if you know this, but the air quality index where you live is terrible, and you need to get these air purifiers because you really shouldn't be living there."


Molly: (40:15)

Another one of my clients for example lives in a really loud environment, and I said, "Look, I know that you don't think this is an issue, but the decibel level in your neighbourhood is actually really loud, and that's causing your body to experience unsafety signalling." So, it's really about seeing this individual person within the context of their life and in the world. So, that's kind of how I work, and it's actually really, and it's this very bespoke medicine. It's like custom detailing, custom suit making, custom detailing a car. It's not really accessible for a lot of people, but in the future, my brain will be software so everyone will be able to get this.


Mason: (40:58)

You get really excited when you go through an MRI and see what's going on. How do you coach people to not freak out when they start learning all these things [crosstalk 00:41:07] negative? Because I'm sure it comes up and it looks like if you're being effective with your clients, you obviously are effective at helping people through that.


Molly: (41:16)

Right. So, one of my clients recently discovered he had some kidney dysfunction. According to the national kidney association or whatever, there's like another name for it, it's stage two chronic kidney disease. That sounds really scary, but actually it just means he has impaired kidney function, it's like not perfect. So, it's not serious, but it's something that he should know about. Because if you don't know that you have impaired kidney function, and let's say I get really sick and you're in the hospital, they give you a bunch of contrast, that could actually cause damage to the kidneys-


Mason: (41:49)

Contrast, sorry?


Molly: (41:53)

Like contrast for a CT for example, it's very necrotoxic. We were thinking about getting him this type of test to check his heart function, and I said, "You know, I don't really know if we should do this because you don't have any real symptoms, this is mostly based on your lab results, and honestly I don't know if your kidney function is good. Let's check your kidney function." So, we look at his kidney function, it's not perfect, and then we look at his MRI, and he actually has some facets of his kidney that are hyper intent signalling, which means that there's been a bit of damage to his kidneys, which he actually has a history of kidney stones, which a lot of people think, oh, kidney stones, no big deal, right? Well actually, if you actually have something blocking your flow of blood or urine, basically the flow of... Blood goes into the kidney, and then it comes out as urine.


Molly: (42:43)

So, if you have a stone that's causing this impaired flow, that can actually cause damage. It's kind of like there's a dam that got plugged or something, and there's backflow, not good, right? So, just having an understanding of someone's body can actually help them not freak out about things in the future because they feel like they have this awareness. Okay, like these are my weak points, this is what I should be watching out for. I don't have to necessarily work every one of these things up, but it's nice to have the piece of mind of knowing this is what's going on in my body. For example, in my own case, I had something that could be benign, but I have a family history of colon cancer, and because of that, I ran some extra labs on myself to make sure I didn't have any blood in my stool or any colon cancer markers on my labs. I just did those little extra things to make sure that I wasn't missing something, right? For a lot of people, they would rather just wait until they're broken before they worry about anything.


Molly: (43:50)

But, I'm like, "Look, do you really want to wait until things are completely broken before you get help, or would you like to keep up with the maintenance? So, it's the difference between somebody who in their home just regularly does maintenance and fixes things when they start to break, and somebody who just waits until something’s completely broken to get someone to come in and fix it. It's a different perspective, and it's not for everybody, and it's certainly not the way the healthcare system works today. But, I'm a believer in prevention and prediction, and participation and optimising health early versus late.


Mason: (44:23)

It makes sense, and I think you nailed it. Because you're using an MRI and this testing that's associated with the modern medical model as we are right now, which if you do find out all this stuff about yourself, and all you've got is modern conventional medicine, that doesn't fill me with much faith. There shouldn't be, because there's no capacity most of the time to go actually get to the bottom of it. But, you're talking about utilising techniques that are within the realm of for lack of a better word, holistic, trying too get to the bottom of it without using drugs and surgery if possible, which is a completely different-


Molly: (44:55)

If you can, yeah.


Mason: (44:56)

If you can.


Molly: (44:58)

I mean, the goal is to try avoid using drugs and surgery if you don't need them, but also to be... the reality is that I have had some clients who just frankly had some weird genetic conditions. I was able to discover these genetic problems that none of their doctors throughout the whole world... They had unlimited funding by the way, and they could literally get to any doctor, and no one could figure out what was wrong with them. So, I said, "Let's do a clinical [inaudible 00:45:25]." And you know what? When I first started ordering these, they were thousands of dollars, and now they're like hundreds of dollars. To be able to have this control at access over your bodily information, to me, this is freedom and power. So, he discovered that there was... He had [inaudible 00:45:45] in his family history. There was some inbreeding very early on. He lived in a country that had a lot of that, and so he's on medication, but the thing is, he's on it for a good reason, and the truth is is that we have these genetic predispositions to disease, but life is what activates those predispositions to express themself as disease.


Molly: (46:09)

So, life is stressful, and I used to be this kind of we should just do everything natural and we should just recognise that a lot of chronic diseases are preventable. And the truth is that about 80% of chronic diseases are preventable, but the reality is is that we are experiencing so much stress today that it's really quite hard to be able to truly avoid a lot of these conditions just by the nature of the amount of stress that we're under. So, I'm shifting my attitude a little towards more of a surveillance and prevention attitude through technology, instead of being let's just throw it out and just focus on natural because the truth is is that I have a lot of friends who are vegans and they've still gotten cancer, I have friends who frankly who died way too young, and I wonder if they had maybe been doing some surveillance if they maybe would have caught these things earlier.


Molly: (47:11)

So, I've seen a lot of things that I would like to have not seen in people that are supposed to happen a lot later in life happen earlier. I'm starting to accept the fact that our environment is truly very polluted, and there's a lot we don't have control over that I wish we did. So, part of my mission is now trying to really, truly educate people about the reality of existence because it's not the same as it used to be. It's not like even 100 years ago. There's so many more chemicals in the environment than there were 100 years ago. It's astonishing. There's just luckily a newfound interest in preserving the environment and cleaning up these toxic sources from our lifestyles, but for a while, it was very taboo to even talk about the things that are potentially poisoning us.


Molly: (48:00)

So, I'm kind of on a ramble and a tangent, but the point I'm trying to make is that there's so many things that are in our control, but there still shit that isn't that we have to pay attention to, and recognise that we can do everything perfect with our lifestyles and still get sick. So, the angle I'm at is the healthcare system is not really there to prevent your disease, even though they say they are. They're really there to make sure that once you're really sick they can help you. If you want to really go out of your way to identify you're getting sick way earlier on than the moment you get diagnosed with hypertension or heart disease or cancer or high blood pressure, or sorry I said that, but or hyperlipidemia or diabetes, you might want to be attending to this earlier on. So, a lot of these things are very slow growing and slow moving, and so you can nip them in the bud when you're young and are actually motivated to change versus when you're older and already set in your ways.


Mason: (48:54)

That's a good ramble, just going to give you that [crosstalk 00:48:58]-


Molly: (48:57)

Really long ramble.


Mason: (48:59)

Yeah, that was. I did enjoy that one thoroughly. Can you go back, even if we get nice little snapshots, the Oura ring?


Molly: (49:08)

So yeah, okay-


Mason: (49:10)

Purpose, why you like it.


Molly: (49:12)

Love the Oura ring because of heart rate variability and sleep monitoring. The main thing I'm looking for with sleep on Oura is just how much time did you actually get in bed, how much rest did you actually get. None of these things are perfect for REM cycles or non REM sleep. You really need to wear a head based EEG monitor to get a truly good assessment of your sleep cycles. Nobody wants to wear those, but that's really the best way to get them. But, this is just quite good for letting you know, how much sleep did they actually get, did they wake up, did they move around.


Molly: (49:49)

Then, as I've mentioned, a lot of people are like, "Oh, I'm not stressed out," but then you're like, "What's your heart rate variability," they're like, "I've never really looked." You've got an Oura on. They're like, "Well, I don't know what those things mean." And I look up their Oura, and it's like 20, and I'm like, "Okay, it should be at least 40, optimally 60, you're pretty low. You say you're not stressed out, what are you actually stressed about," and my friends are like, "Oh, I don't know, existential angst because the environment's going to shit and there's forest fires everywhere." And I'm like, "Oh yeah, that's pretty stressful, right?" They're like just realising that they're under stress that moment. So, helping them bring awareness to their stress levels. Then frankly, movement is so important. I mean, gosh, I had to really work hard to get steps in in the last year because of so much isolation and living indoors. I had to actively go outside and just really try to get as many steps in. I bought foot pedals I could use while on calls, like under my desk.


Mason: (50:48)

I saw those on an infomercial the other day, they're so funny. I was just going to... I mean, I know they're actually good to sit under your desk. Is that what you mean? The little one under your desk?


Molly: (50:58)

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.


Mason: (50:58)

It's so funny.


Molly: (50:59)

They're so silly looking, but honestly, it's like moving your body is really quite important and sedentary behaviour just sucks balls for health and metabolism. I've literally seen one of my family members go from having pretty normal physique to pretty big belly and no muscle tone on her legs because of sedentary behaviour, too much bread, and alcohol. It's like, look it's all just stress, moves fat to your stomach, okay? It's just the way it works. Cortisol causes central adiposity. Not moving your body wastes your muscles. So, if you waste your muscles, you end up with frailty as you get older, and frailty and bone density loss will kill you faster than anything else because you'll fall and break something and then you're screwed. That's what happens when people get old. They get old and frail, they fall, and they die. It sucks. It doesn't need to be our lives. So, weightlifting is really important. I'm always asking my clients about their exercise regimens, almost everybody doesn't exercise enough, and it's really important to properly learn how to exercise. So, other things that I'm looking at like-


Mason: (52:06)

Can I ask there with exercise-


Molly: (52:08)



Mason: (52:08)

Just quick, I think it's always interesting, because it seems to always be getting refined, and I'd like to hear from you where you see an optimal based on getting the levels that you want, optimal exercise regime.


Molly: (52:24)

I think most people should be doing about an hour a day, six days a week. I know that sounds crazy but that's the evidence for all cause mortality lengthening the most. But, that being said, exercise is a stressor, so if you're burned out, chronically ill, or really, really sedentary and really out of shape, you should not just go jump into high intensity interval training and intense weight lifting regimens. You have to give your body time to adapt to greater demands, and that is something that no one talks about even though it's so important and injury is so common when people start exercising. So, it's all about dosing exercise like medicine. You don't just take the big giant dose, you kind of work your way up to the proper dose, and you slowly adapt to this greater demand.


Molly: (53:11)

So, I personally think that you need to mix weightlifting and cardiovascular training. A lot of people who are into weightlifting are like, "You don't need cardio." But, guess what? Without cardio, you don't have a strong heart, and without a strong heart, you increase your risk of heart failure when you get older. So, you've got to exercise your heart just like you got to exercise your muscles. Your heart is a muscle. So, I'm a big believer in cardio and... But, not a lot of cardio, and not a lot of chronic cardio. I'm not really into super extended, long cardio sessions because your body just becomes really efficient with that energy when you do too much cardio, and then you end up burning fewer calories, which is not what you want. You want to burn more calories.


Molly: (53:48)

So, that's why weightlifting is so important. I do a little bit of high intensity interval training because, like I'm talking 20 minutes, maybe once a week, and that's because that is a very potent signal for mitochondrial biogenesis, that little boom, cause this burst of energy production. But that's again, in a person conditioned to do that much exercise. If you're experiencing chronic fatigue, you're going to have to pace yourself. You're going to have to do a lot less. You have to literally listen to your body until you're able, and mostly walking is what most people should start with. If you're completely sedentary, you should just start walking. Just walk, walk, walk, walk as much as you can. Then, slowly, as your body starts to be able to handle more demands, you can start doing things like body weight exercises, just air squats, pushups, sit ups, things like that.


Molly: (54:36)

Then, over time, I mean yoga is another phenomenal thing for everybody. I mean, yoga is just so magical for health. Then, over time, as your body gets stronger, the thing that I try to explain to people is you should be exercising not just for health, but because it gives your body the ability to do more, it gives your body the ability to create more vibrancy and more experience in life. You can do more with yourself, you can hike higher mountains, and you can do more... you can go canyoneering down waterfalls, you can do all sorts of cool stuff with your body that you couldn't do if you were sedentary. So, I'm all about trying to get people back into the mindset they had when they were kids, where you wanted to play constantly, you wanted to go climb trees, you wanted to see what you could do outside. Exercise should ideally be something you look forward to doing, not something that you are like, "Oh, I got to go exercise." I exercise because it's medicine for my brain, and because if I don't exercise, I genuinely don't feel like my mood is good. I just don't feel positive or happy like I do when I do exercise. So, for me, it's medicine for sure. It's definitely medicine for my brain and the ADD for sure too.


Mason: (55:45)

Yeah, so good. I mean, that's like [inaudible 00:55:47] are just having consistent every week conversations around how... You've got a four year old, you've got to hone in. Because I know you can make the excuses that there's no time, we're both working full time in the business or spending time with [inaudible 00:56:03]. Then, trying to spend time together with [inaudible 00:56:05]. It's just been nice to feel that progression towards just getting a little bit organised, just go into this calendar a little bit more so, so you can really ensure that you're getting that time exercising, because I think you're right. This is one of the top things I've noticed that's like smashed me in the face since having a kid.


Molly: (56:24)

Well, another thing I just want to add about exercise that I think is a new perspective that people don't think about is your muscles are battery packs. They're literally like power packs, they literally make and store charge in the mitochondria, that's why they're red. So, exercise charges your batteries, and not exercising sends the signal to your brain that you don't have high enough demand, and so you stand down regulating energy production. So actually, your body literally adapts to the demands based on the signals it gets. So, when you think about your body and what you want it to learn how to do, if you want to be more powerful with your muscles, you need to do powerful movements. That will increase your ability to create power, right?


Molly: (57:08)

So, if you want to have endurance capacity, like yeah, running for two hours a day might be what you want to do, but I wouldn't recommend that because when you do that long exercise you actually start developing really lean muscles and really efficient muscles, and unfortunately that will actually create... Your body is basically sending the signal, okay, I'm going to have to go run for hours in the future, that means I should actually really become really efficient with energy, and you don't really want that if you want to maintain the physique and work as a knowledge worker all day long. So, I'm all for just getting the right amount of exercise, not too much. If you go over an hour of vigorous exercise a day, you can actually impair your immune function. So, too much vigorous intensity exercise is actually very, very bad for your body, and that's why I've seen a bunch of athletes get chronic COVID.


Molly: (58:07)

So, over training is also not optimal, which is why I'm like, you want to hit the sweet spot and you want to gradually get there. Let me be frank, it took me many years to go from basically sedentary to working out six days a week an hour a day. It took me literally years, like eight years to get to that point. You do not need to do this overnight. You can do this slowly and gradually over time. Anyone who tries to convince you that you need to start an intense exercise... you start where you're at. Do what works for you, listen to your body. If you feel like you want to do more, do more. But, really listen to your body, and just look at exercise as a signal that you send your brain and your body to produce more energy, and for your brain to produce more neural connections. Exercise increases BDNF in the brain, so it gives your brain more ability to problem solve. So, it's actually really, really good for brain function. I exercise for the functional benefits as well as for the mood benefits and for the physical benefits, and not just for the fact that it's going to make me live longer.


Mason: (59:10)

What's your major biomarker to measure whether someone is overexercising?


Molly: (59:17)

That's tricky, right? Because a lot of it comes down to... I mean, I'd say heart rate variability is a big one. So, the two big ones you want to look at for exercise... there's a few big ones, right? So, you want to look at VO2 max and that's your oxygen carrying capacity. That's important for cardiovascular exercise. You want to look at your grip strength. You can buy grip strength monitors, but that's like one way to do it, is grip strength.


Mason: (59:40)

How are you measuring VO2 as well?


Molly: (59:43)

I use an Apple watch, but a company is sending me this home VO2 max monitor. We're now just getting these devices that are able to be done in the home. Usually you need to go to a clinic and do this. But, you can just run for 20 minutes, use an Apple watch, and in about a few runs, it'll start calculating your VO2 max.


Mason: (01:00:02)



Molly: (01:00:03)

So, it does, it's pretty cool how it does that. Then, heart rate variability is also important because I had a client who was training six days a week, and she was like, heart rate variability was 20, and I was like, "Girl, you need to lighten this back up to five days a week, two off days, just walk, and chill out." Her heart rate variability improved, she started losing the weight she couldn't lose, she started to just have major muscle improvements. So, she was just over training. So, I would say, sleep is a big biomarker too. If you're overtraining and your cortisol's too high, you're not going to sleep well. So, really listening to your body with sleep, it's like, oh wow, I'm not sleeping well, and I'm exercising a lot, maybe there's a connection.


Mason: (01:00:49)

All righty. What about, what I'm interested in is insulin measurement.


Molly: (01:00:56)

Ah, yes. Insulin, so everybody's talking about blood sugar monitoring, right? But, a lot of people are now starting to understand insulin resistance is a problem. So, I had a client this year who was physically under a lot of stress, who wasn't? But, he was like, "Man, I struggle with waking up in the middle of the night, like 12 o'clock every night. I just have to eat sugar to fall asleep." And I was like, "That sounds like insulin resistance, buddy." I told him to read my friend Ben Bikman's book called, Why We Get Sick, because really underneath almost all chronic disease is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is an adaptive response to a threat and to stress, but unfortunately it's maladaptive when it's chronic. So, in the acute phase of stress, our body responds by clamping down on cells and trying to free up glucose so it can get to the brain. But unfortunately, and by the way, when you're moving your body and running away from something, you actually don't need insulin to get sugar into the cell.


Molly: (01:01:58)

So, it's basically kind of a glucose partitioning response, and it decides where the glucose goes, and it's designed for you to be able to escape dangerous situations. The problem is that we have chronic stress every day. Chronic stress tends to make people in modern life eat the wrong foods, so we tend to crave carbs and we tend to crave sugar, so that spikes insulin. Then, basically that insulin spike consistently with the wrong foods at the wrong times, and the wrong amounts, basically ends up with this secondary form of insulin resistance that is literally dietary related, and it happens to people who are skinny and who are fat by the way who just eat the wrong things in the setting of stressful conditions. Their bodies end up usually having too much cortisol concurrently, and that basically directs the glucose to basically the liver and basically directs it to get stored as fat. So, you end up with this central adiposity and you get this skinny fat in people who are skinny, and then you just end up with this fat belly in people who are fat. So, insulin-


Mason: (01:03:09)

What's the skinny fat look like? Can you explain that? [crosstalk 01:03:14]-


Molly: (01:03:13)

Yeah, yeah.


Mason: (01:03:13)

You can see it resonating as there's like a lack of health within the organ system and you can see it linked to what you're talking about, but it's hard sometimes to wrap your head around what it looks like.


Molly: (01:03:26)

So, we've traditionally thought that people where sick and unhealthy if they were fat and overweight, but it turns out there is metabolically unhealthy obese people, and then there's metabolically unhealthy non obese people. There's also a small percentage of metabolically healthy obese, not as many as you would think. Then, there's also the unfortunately only about... I don't actually know the exact percentage, but the ideal state is metabolically healthy and not obese. That's the ideal. So, we've been focused on obesity and not obesity with the BMI measurement for too long, and unfortunately, that's always been designed for population health and not really for the individual. It doesn't take into account muscle mass. So, now we know this understanding of metabolically unhealthy, that's basically defined by over fat or under fat. So, if you are over fat, you can be skinny, but have too much fat on the body, and not enough muscle. So, in that situation, it's like the person who doesn't exercise, but if they eat whatever they want, but they've got too much fat in their belly, but they maybe don't look fat in their clothes. But, if actually take their shirt off, you can see that their belly is just kind of chubby. Maybe their waist circumference could be normal, but the problem is that the fat's around their organs. So, the worst is like that visceral fat. The visceral fat is-


Mason: (01:04:49)

Kind of looks like the aliens from Men in Black. You remember those really aliens? [crosstalk 01:04:52]-


Molly: (01:04:51)

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, it's most common in people who do have a little bit of a higher waist circumference who are skinny, and you see that they've got a gut, but their legs are skinny, that's metabolically unhealthy. So, what happens is, essentially if you have this insulin resistance, you can have basically high insulin and relatively normal fasting glucose, and maybe if you're wearing a glucose monitor, you have pretty normal [inaudible 01:05:26] glucose. But, that insulin is the telling marker because too high of insulin is like, uh oh, your body is in a growth state, your body is producing too much of this growth hormone, and that's not great long term because over time if you continue to eat the way you do and you continue to not exercise and continue to stress out all the time, what that does is it wears down your body's ability to maintain homeostasis, and that is your blood sugar level, right? Your blood sugar level is a barometer of your health, just like your blood pressure is a barometer of your health.


Molly: (01:06:02)

We call high blood pressure and high blood sugar diseases, but really what they are is indicators that a person's body has been under a lot of wear and tear over time and they're no longer able to maintain the normal thermostat level, okay? So, their bodies have a new set point, and that shift in set point is really where disease starts to develop. That's a signal that your body is starting to develop disease. So, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, all of these are predisposing you to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and dementia. So, it's funny because we look at all these diseases as separate diseases, but the way I see it is totally different than a regular doctor. I look at all of these things as the inevitable expression of disease risks in people who have undergone significant stress over time, and unfortunately their bodies started to break, or they're most likely to break, or they had the biggest weaknesses. So, yeah, that's how I see health, and that's how I see we solve 80% of all preventable disease is we look at the source.


Molly: (01:07:07)

So, we look at what are the biggest drivers of insulin resistance. Well, not moving your body, big one, eating foods at the wrong times like late night eating, big one, eating too much packaged, processed, refined carbohydrates, refined vegetable oils, big ones, disrupted microbiome, huge problem for metabolism that no one talks about is the effect of the... the microbiome dysfunctional sets you up for all sorts of diseases, and all sorts of dysregulation because the microbiome disruption basically sets you up for chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammation is like the alarm systems in your body going off, and your mitochondria are like, oh, shit, the alarms are going off. What am I going to do? It senses danger signals, right? Any time the mitochondria sense danger, you start going from peace time metabolism to the cell danger response, which is like, batten down the hatches, we've got to protect the house. That's when you're not ready... you can't really do maintenance on a house that's in danger. You actually have to make sure that it's safe to live in.


Molly: (01:08:11)

So, we got to get people out of this chronic stress response, we've got to get people moving their bodies properly, sleep is so important because if you don't sleep well then you're going to be under stress by default, period. Without sleep, you have no repair, no regen, you can't rejuvenate your body without sleep. So, stress and sleep are two sides of the same coin, part of one pillar of health, movement is part of another pillar of health, and metabolism is another pillar of health. They're all overlapping Venn Diagrams. Then, for the last one, the big one, is just connection in grounding within your world. So, where do you live, what is your relationship to your environment, what is your relationship to your spirituality, to the universe, to your family, to your community, to your country? All of that plays a role in your overall health status too, and basically will determine whether or not you're going to thrive or not.


Mason: (01:09:10)

Just quickly, what's the device you use to measure your insulin levels?


Molly: (01:09:14)

You can't measure it at home right now. I measure it in labs. So, you've got to get a fasting insulin first thing in the morning.


Mason: (01:09:21)

What device, what was I writing to you about getting? Is it blood sugar? Is that what you do-


Molly: (01:09:25)

Blood sugar, yeah.


Mason: (01:09:26)

That you measure?


Molly: (01:09:31)

Blood sugar, insulin are very important because blood sugar is this fundamental biomarker of health. Insulin is a biomarker of essentially your metabolism, like what state are you in right now? Are you in a chronically growth state? If you are, you're more likely to be putting fat around your belly, gaining weight, and also setting yourself up for cancer. So, insulin is a great marker but it's not a continuous marker that you can measure easily. Blood sugar you can measure all the time.


Mason: (01:10:04)

I think I sent that to you [crosstalk 01:10:08]-


Molly: (01:10:08)

Yeah, I'm wearing a continuous glucose monitor on my arm right now.


Mason: (01:10:12)

Do you always wear that?


Molly: (01:10:15)

This actually is a good point that I'm going to explain that is really important. I wore a glucose monitor since 2014, like off and on throughout the year consistently. I was a way early adopter on glucose monitoring. That being said, the real game changing idea came when I realise that glucose monitoring, stress monitoring, movement monitoring, these are all really valuable tools, but the real goal is that you start developing a lifestyle that doesn't require you to have to do that at all, and what's called interoception, which is the ability to sense the inside of your body so that you can understand how it feels like to have a high blood sugar spike, how it feels like to have low blood sugar, how it feels like to be stressed out, how it feels like to sit all day long and now feel good in your body. You want to use these tools to gain awareness, but not to depend on them to function, because the real mastery of your body is when you just know how you feel by listening to your body's signals. That takes practise, and these are biofeedback devices.


Molly: (01:11:22)

So, I'm all for using biofeedback to develop your ability to sense these internal signals that you maybe are out of touch with, but the goal is to not be obsessed with the numbers and to feel like, because I've seen people get stressed about numbers to the point where it throws off the numbers. So, it's like, I'm really interested in having awareness but not feeling like I'm dependent on technology to function. I will also add that neurofeedback is something I haven't really dug into yet, but I'm starting to dig into it, and I think it's quite important, but yeah, I'm not quite there to talk about it, but I'm definitely excited about brain monitoring for sure, and I think consumer models are getting better and better.




Mason: (01:12:04)

I think that's why I like listening to you about this kind of thing because I can see you're not... [inaudible 01:12:09] I'm going to speak for you, you talk about-


Molly: (01:12:11)

No, it's okay.


Mason: (01:12:12)

Going down the route of just being able to actually be connected to your body rather than going on the trajectory where it's like, well the only way you're eventually going to be able to get this optimal thing that you want because you're obsessed is uploading your consciousness into some little chip or being plugged into a VR constantly, which is always my little subconscious, just my resistance.


Molly: (01:12:34)

Fuck that.


Mason: (01:12:35)



Molly: (01:12:37)

No. I mean, every single movie that you watch that's sci-fi these days about the future, it's not that... I don't think anybody really, truly wants to live in an environment where you completely lose touch with nature, or you completely lose touch with your body, and you just are completely plugged into technology. If anything, I think the pandemic has taught us that we're dependent on technology more than ever and we also crave nature more than ever, we crave connection more than ever, we crave normalcy more than ever through just the littlest things. I'm all for tech, but I'm also all for balance, and I don't think it's really balanced to develop this relationship with technology that's completely dependent on it. I'm very trans humanist, and I'm very much a believer that technology can amplify and enhance our capacity, and that's cool as fuck, but I'm also like part of me is a big believer that we have innate superpowers within us that haven't been unleashed or harnessed yet, and of the people who have figured this out are the monks and the meditators, and the people who have refined their consciousness to the point where they can do magnificent things with their bodies without even having to touch a single device. That's the real game, that's what I'm going for next, that's what I want.


Mason: (01:14:00)

Hallelujah. Yeah, I really love this approach that you take. I think I relate to your mind and approach, and why I've always, even though I've skated on the edge of the bio hacker community and been related as being one myself, I've been way more obsessed with measuring my optimal through feeling my internal world, and then also getting realistic about just how as life gets really busy, we can utilise more technology. It's so obvious us saying that. I mean, I have a tonic herb company that's trying to help people, mostly in Australia utilise Chinese tonic herbs, which is an ancient system yet through modern technology and infrastructure able to get that here to help people get to the point where they are somewhat maybe a little bit more optimal so then they can go connect and grow their own herbs [crosstalk 01:14:56] their own herbs. So, I'm doing the exact same thing. So, I think that's why I'm just-


Molly: (01:15:00)

Well, I don't have time to do that. I'd rather just buy your shit. I love your stuff.


Mason: (01:15:03)



Molly: (01:15:03)

And the thing is is that, I'm going to add one big thing about your company that I think is really important, and that's that the biohacker world is quite nerdy, and is quite... there's issues with it that are kind of like, people take a lot of experimental liberties with themselves, and I'm no exception. But, the truth is is that most people are looking for a lifestyle that's sustainable, and most people are looking for a lifestyle that's enjoyable. What I love about your product is that you can add these to drinks, you can enjoy the process of getting healthier, and it's not this gross thing you have to consume, it's part of your regimen. It's like I enjoy making multiple tonics a day if I can. I love... that's just a part of my routine, and when you can implement things as part of a routine that feels good, that you enjoy, that give you health benefits, you're just more likely to stick with it. So, like there's this company that I'm testing out right now, and I'm not going to describe the name because they already got mad at me once for talking about them-


Mason: (01:16:07)

Yeah, I was going to say, drop it [inaudible 01:16:10], but if it's instruction from them, don't worry.


Molly: (01:16:13)

Yeah, the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes there's companies that come up with products and services that are far too complicated for people to actually be able to accomplish or even enjoy doing. So, I think it's like, as people develop products, and people develop things for people, you want to develop stuff that's going to fit within an individual's lifestyle, that they're going to actually enjoy doing. A lot of people are just like, "Yeah, bio hacking's cool, but I don't have a million hours a day to figure out my health. I just need some things that work and that make me feel good," and that's how most people think, and that's where lifestyle medicine really comes into play, and it's not always about the latest and greatest cool tools. It's like a lot of it comes down to what are the daily habits that you actually do that sustain your health and keep you feeling grounded and centred and balanced.


Mason: (01:17:00)

Yep, sing it. I think it's just like, for me, it's always been semantics. I'm like, if I call it life enhancement, then I'm completely down, or yeah, the tuning into your capacity to generate sustainability and longevity, then I'm like, yeah, cool, but hacking biology, I just never can get past the words. But, hey, how about, what do you reckon, should we jump on a podcast maybe in a couple of weeks or a few weeks and we'll just do full psychedelics?



Molly: (01:17:30)

Oh sure.


Mason: (01:17:32)

Rather than try and kind of chew through it now.


Molly: (01:17:35)

Oh yeah, no, that's a whole nother topic for sure, yeah.


Mason: (01:17:38)



Molly: (01:17:38)



Mason: (01:17:40)

And we'll go super deep, and I might even, what I'm vibing is I'll put up questionnaire box the week before and everyone can go and-


Molly: (01:17:52)

Oh, yeah, it'll be super fun. Yeah.


Mason: (01:17:52)

Yeah. Everyone can go check out your work-


Molly: (01:17:53)

Let's do that.


Mason: (01:17:54)

You're talking about it, what's that new app called?


Molly: (01:17:58)

Oh, The Clubhouse, Clubhouse, yeah.


Mason: (01:18:00)

Clubhouse. Parler was a different one. Clubhouse, I'm so [crosstalk 01:18:04] with these social platforms. Clubhouse, what's the name of that Clubhouse?


Molly: (01:18:10)

Oh, it's called the Psychedelic NewsHour, and it's part of the Psychedelics Club, or the Psychedelic Clubhouse actually. So, my friend Dave [inaudible 01:18:19] and I were the first people to record a podcast on this viral platform, and it just has just blown up. So, we're going to be releasing these recordings this year, and yeah, we record every Friday at 11:30 pacific time. It's just been a joy and this thing I look forward to doing every week, so super fun.


Mason: (01:18:39)

So, everyone can go and check that out and see where your stance is on psychedelics. It was cool we were talking about when we first met. What was it called again? Mind, body...


Molly: (01:18:47)

Mind, body, green, revitalise, yeah.


Mason: (01:18:50)

The revitalise in Arizona. Was that right?


Molly: (01:18:53)



Mason: (01:18:53)

Were we in Arizona? Gosh, I'm so-


Molly: (01:18:55)

It was in Arizona. Yeah.


Mason: (01:18:59)

And that panel, it was like Rick [inaudible 01:19:02], and some other people-


Molly: (01:19:03)

Oh yeah, and the founder of Whole30, and this other psychiatrist, and it was like definitely two doctors who were like, "Yeah, psychedelics are great for people," and two ex-addicts who were like, "Drugs kill, drugs ruin lives," and we were like, "We know, but they can also save your life and improve your health, and actually they're not that simple, you can't just deduce them into this bad bucket." But yeah, we can talk all about that next time for sure. But yeah, I kind of like pointed out, hey, people have been using these since the beginning of our evolution, it seems like they played a role in our evolution so maybe we don't throw the baby out with the bath water, and we actually look at them as potentially useful.


Mason: (01:19:47)

Well, and the other thing is people, it hasn't just been a free for all taking whatever, mushrooms and psychedelics. There's always been expertise within the tribe or within the area and specialties in using these in order to get the best outcomes and not use too little. I think that's a nice element of what you bring. Looking at how they integrate into a lifestyle long term without flying off into that place where they do become excessive, and then seeing how to use them as smartly as possible within a therapeutic setting. I think it's rad.


Molly: (01:20:19)



Mason: (01:20:20)

I think it's [crosstalk 01:20:21]-


Molly: (01:20:21)

Yeah. Well, I can't wait to talk more about it.


Mason: (01:20:23)

Me too. Hey, thanks for coming and having a good old chinwag about all these things. Yeah, it's been nice. I can feel a little bit more comfortable leaning into this technological world. It's always my biggest resistance. I'm like, my little conspiracy theorist comes out, but-


Molly: (01:20:42)

You know what? It's good to have both perspectives, and also the truth is that not everybody needs all this. You live a really pretty healthy life in a very healthy place with not a lot of pollution it sounds like, different story for somebody living in a modern city in America where our food is toxic, our air is toxic, our water is toxic, and we have a lot more risks I'd say than the average person probably where you live. So, I'm all for a little bit more tech to prevent, predict, but again ideally we can fix our environment so we don't have to worry about this as much. Because if our environment is healthy, we are healthy. So, hopefully we can all play a role in continuing to build awareness around cleaning up the earth.


Mason: (01:21:29)

Amen. All right-


Molly: (01:21:31)



Mason: (01:21:31)

Have a good night. I think yeah.


Molly: (01:21:35)

Yeah, you too.


Mason: (01:21:36)

Is it-


Molly: (01:21:37)

Great chatting.


Mason: (01:21:37)

Yeah, you too. Is it-


Molly: (01:21:38)

The sun's setting, yeah, I'm going to make dinner.


Mason: (01:21:41)

All right, sweet, are you in spring energy at all yet? Are you still feeling fall winter?


Molly: (01:21:44)

Soon. It's spring's kind of almost sprung.


Mason: (01:21:50)

Almost sprung? Maybe you're probably in earth, you're in that earth grounded period. The earth sits between all of the seasons, the soil season. The spleen comes up, and the next [crosstalk 01:21:59] integers. You're probably sitting there like us, time to kind of just ground a little bit.


Molly: (01:22:04)



Mason: (01:22:06)

All right, love your work, and I'll be in touch about jumping on in a few weeks.


Molly: (01:22:10)

Sounds great. Talk to you soon.


Mason: (01:22:11)



Molly: (01:22:11)


Back to All


The Science & Spirit Of Herbal Medicine with Sajah Popham (EP#109)

In this rich conversation, Mason sits down with the brilliant herbalist Sajah Popham; Founder of School Of Evolutionary Herbalism and Organic Unity in southern Oregon, for a journey into the otherworldly space of plant alchemy, herbal remedies, spagyric medicine, and...

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The Science & Spirit Of Herbal Medicine with Sajah Popham (EP#109)