Break Free From Anxiety w/ Dr. Sara DeFrancesco

Anxiety is something that many people, especially those of us who are highly sensitive people, deal with often. Usually the same combination of relaxation techniques, therapy and mediation are portrayed as the only options, but there is another way. Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a root cause naturopathic doctor who helps people discover their root causes so they can reclaim their power, rebuild their health, and make their future years the most fulfilling of their life.

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Understand The Interconnectedness Of Your Body

Today Dr. Sara is here to talk about everything anxiety and HSP related and provide you with tools to approach anxiety from a multifactorial point of view. Even if you don’t identify as a highly sensitive person, Dr. Sara is a wealth of knowledge with a unique perspective that brings to light everything anxiety related. Everything from your gut to your diet and stress levels can play a role in your anxiety, and with Dr. Sara’s help you can start to understand the interconnectedness of your body and get to the root cause of the problem

If you don’t know what to do about your anxiety but want to avoid the victim mentality that is perpetuated in our society, Dr. Sara’s tips will help you thrive despite your anxiety and honor your unique neurology to move forward and utilize tools that help you feel your best. By taking the stigma out of anxiety and providing yourself with the knowledge you need to understand your body you can begin to thrive on a day to day basis.

Anxiety is not a genetic lottery, and there are things that you can do to reduce your symptoms and create a healthier brain environment. Are you ready to take back control of your body through Dr. Sara’s easy to implement lifestyle tips? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

On Today’s Episode

  • The biggest issues causing anxiety and other chronic inflammatory conditions (11:50)
  • How to stop reinforcing negativity and practice new thoughts and actions (19:02)
  • What you can do to feel more grounded and do the things you love (23:50)
  • Tips for thriving as a highly sensitive person while honoring the neurotype (26:10)
  • Ways you can support your body and build yourself a foundation of health (28:42)

Resources Mentioned In This Show


“You can really change your tendency towards anxiety by addressing some of the imbalances that are going on in the body and brain. And that really negates any tendency towards anxiety that you may have in your genetic blueprint.” (8:01)

“There are so many women who they feel like a failure, but really this limitation of options is what’s failing them.” (11:47)

“It is okay to feel bad and take the time to grieve something that is frustrating for you, but it is a disservice to yourself to stay in that place.” (15:23)

“Knowing that you are an HSP should be like you just got your cape for your superhero costume.” (26:48)

“Of course we need to have healthy neurotransmitters, but the key to having healthy neurotransmitters is really having that rock-solid foundation of digestion, lowering inflammation, making sure we have the right nutrients, making sure we have enough protein, and really managing our stress.” (32:26)

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Listen To Your Body Podcast is sponsored by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Registration is now open for the NTA’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Online Program. Learn more and save your seat (and don’t forget to mention my name on your application!)

man and woman cooking in the kitchen with veggies and chopping board

Break Free From Anxiety w/ Dr. Sara DeFrancesco FULL TRANSCRIPT


This is Episode 276 of the Listen To Your Body podcast. On today’s show, I’m welcoming naturopathic doctor, Dr. Sarah Defrancesco. We’re talking all about anxiety and the highly sensitive person. The next evolution of Harder To Kill Radio is here. Welcome to the Listen To Your Body podcast. on this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind and soul health, and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively. Hear Your body’s signals, and trust yourself more deeply. I’m Steph Gaudreau, a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach. On this podcast. You can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with food movement and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones. Now, onto the show. Hey there, thank you so much for joining me today on the podcast. I really am so grateful. I truly appreciate that you take some time out of your week to spend it with me and whoever My guest is or just me solo on the mic. It really means a ton. And if you haven’t yet, hit that subscribe button on your podcast app. So today’s show is with a dear friend of mine, Dr. Sarah DeFrancesco. She is a naturopathic doctor in Portland, Oregon, and she also works virtually, she specializes in anxiety solutions for highly sensitive people. And today she’s bringing us into that world. We are chatting about how to see high sensitivity as a superpower and how you can nurture that in yourself and how to approach anxiety from a multifactorial point of view. So, I hope you’re gonna find this podcast interesting today. Even if you do not happen to identify as a highly sensitive person or have that particular trait, I know that you’ll find Dr. Sarah’s point of view and the things that she is sharing to be very valuable. And of course, if it’s not something that you are dealing with, if you have a loved one who is managing this then this may be a good podcast to share with them. Before we hop in today, remember to join my Listen To Your Body newsletter. This is something that I send out. It has teaching coaching thoughts and actionable stuff regarding intuitive eating, body neutrality body image, and really so many of the topics that this podcast covers and more you can do that at You know, one of the best things I ever did for myself professionally was to put myself through the nutritional therapy associations NTP program, I did that in 2018. And I really looking back can see how incredibly important it was in my ability to be able to approach and address people’s nutrition from a really bio individual approach from a range of nutritional strategies, everything from how to properly prepare foods, how to restore balance in the body, how to include things like emotional well being, the role of the environment, sleep, movement, stress, all of that was so incredibly powerful, so important in my ability to listen to my body to my ability to coach people through what that’s like. The MTA is The sponsor of today’s show, and I want to encourage you if you’ve been wondering what their programs are like, what you’ll learn in terms of motivational interviewing your clinical and practical skills, everything that you need to know to be able to work with people from a bio-individual approach to nutrition, head over to their website, nutritional there’s a link also in my show notes that you can check it out. And if you want to hear my episode that I did on nutritional therapy, then go ahead and tune in to Episode 188. Their registration is now open and seats are going to fill up pretty quickly. So go over to nutritional therapy comm to learn more. And of course, if you join, don’t forget to mention my name on your application. Dr. Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today.

Dr. Sara

I’m so excited to be here. Especially With the new direction of the podcast, I just love it. We just have so much juicy stuff to dig into about listening to your body.

We really do. I am so thrilled that we’re able to do this for the dear listener. Dr. Sarah and I have known each other for five, six years, five or six years now. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like we don’t get to see each other in person all that often. But whenever I do get to see you, it is just like, I’m wrapped into warm hug. And I just appreciate who you are so much. And so I am extremely grateful that you are spending some time with us today. And we’re going to talk about I mean, we have so much stuff we could talk about, but I would love if we can sort of set the stage for some of the things that we’re going to talk about with regard to things like anxiety, digestion, we’re also going to talk about some stuff with HSP’s and empaths. And your intuition so so much going on. You know why? This is a survey question. I feel like how do you start off a topic? So great. But yeah, you know, I think it might be helpful to hear for people like, what are some of the things that are troublesome to you that we hear about anxiety out there in the world right now? And why does that not jive with your perspective and your approach when you’re working with your patients?

Dr. Sara
Yeah. Yeah. So we do have a lot to cover. And it’s like, it’s okay because it’s all connected. And I think that’s kind of what we want to share today is that all of these things are connected, even though they might not seem like they are. And the biggest problem that I see with anxiety is not the anxiety itself. It’s actually, you know, the messaging around anxiety, that people are told that this is something they will just have to deal with for the rest of their life. That it’s basically, you know, their unlucky genetic destiny. And that’s totally incorrect and it’s really really troublesome because it stops people from even believing that there’s an answer for them out there. And so, you know, you can’t go looking for an answer or a solution if you don’t believe it’s possible. And, you know, Sure, yes, there are, you know, some genetics that contributes to anxiety. And so that’s when you may see that anxiety runs in a family but there’s other reasons why anxiety might run in a family. And what we know about the body in dealing with lifestyle, nutrition, stress, stress gets left out a lot is you can really change your tendency towards anxiety by addressing some of the imbalances that are going on in the body and brain. And that really negates any tendency towards, you know, anxiety that you may have in your genetics blueprint.

I think that’s going to be, hopefully, for people listening to this will be a bit of an eye-opener because we are talking off the air and off the air. Like I say that like, this is a big production, it’s literally me sitting in my living room and you’re sitting in your living room, but you know, off the air we are talking about. Especially so anxiety, yes, but also in the context of, for example, highly sensitive people and, and or empaths because we know that that empathic trait can overlap with HSP that there’s so much out there that just like, to me is like a bit of sad er, it’s like, oh, no, I have this. This is so sad. Everything is you know, like, how am I going to cope? And I understand that but I also feel like, you come from a really different perspective, which is, you know, how do we help people who have these Things, three off, instead of thinking about this as a sentence now, like, you know, I don’t know about you, but when I learned I was an HSP I was like, okay, like I was relieved.

Dr. Sara
Yeah, totally. Like, oh, this makes sense. I’m not crazy

I’m not crazy, but then there’s that. I feel like that double-sided, that like double-sided sword where you learn about it. And for some people, they’re like, Well, shit. Now what? Yeah, now I’ve got this thing.

Dr. Sara
Yeah. So you know, I first of all, like I really feel for the people who maybe, you know, you might be listening to this and you might be in that space. Like, I have anxiety. I don’t know how to deal with it, or maybe HSP highly sensitive person and huge, huge overlap between the two which we’ll get to in a little bit. And so I do understand being there and being like, I just I need people to understand how painful This is for me because I don’t understand it and I feel alone. I think that’s where we see a lot of like rallying around like, you know memes that are just expressing how difficult it is to live with anxiety day to day. But we have to move past that place if we want to get anywhere because if we focus on the problem and how difficult it is, then we don’t have the opportunity or the time and space to focus on the solutions. And because in conventional medicine, anxiety is seen either as, like a temporary there’s something going on in your life like a stressor that’s causing anxiety, or it’s seen as a medical condition based on your genetics, and then you’re told Okay, well, the ways to manage this are relaxation techniques, therapy, and medication. And the women who come into my practice, have tried all of those things and failed, and then they feel like a failure, and they feel like they’re stuck. And that’s I think, why so many people are stuck in that place. have like, you know that you’re like, I don’t know what to do. And so all I can do is feel my pain.

And I get that because I have been there I was stuck in that place for five years, I used to have anxiety and panic attacks, and I don’t anymore. And so I am living proof that this is possible, and so are my patients. So, you know, what do we do instead of that? I think, first of all, we just have to say, we have to tear down this old story that relaxation techniques, therapy, and medication are your only options. Now, if that works for you, awesome. I love it. You do you, but there’s so many women who they feel like a failure, but really this limitation of options is what’s failing them. And that’s who we want to really speak to today and say, Hey, like there’s so much you can do. So, you know, just jumping right into some of the biggest issues that I see causing anxiety. They’re the very same things that cause so many other chronic inflammatory conditions. So they’re things like inflammation. Now there’s a lot to unpack there. Where I see a lot of inflammation coming from is, you know, gut inflammation and chronic infections that people don’t know that they have, for example, claustrophobia is a normal bacteria that everyone has in their gut. But when it’s overgrown, it’s known to cause anxiety, depression, and even severe, you know, brain health issues like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and even seizures. So, you know, we have to stop with this old story of like, these are your three options, and if that doesn’t work for you too bad. I mean, lots of women come in and they tell me Well, my doctor just keeps increasing my medication or we keep trying different medications and like, I’m just not feeling how I want to feel or you know, you Either it’s not working at all, or it’s just not working, you know like they’re having breakthrough anxiety all the time. So, you know, that’s one issue. Another huge issue and I see this in the, you know, highly sensitive person quiz that you take, which we could link to that people want to check that out. Yeah. There’s a lot of blood sugar issues going on. And this blood sugar is driven by this sort of vicious cycle of poor sleep, blood sugar, imbalance, anxiety, and then poor sleep to start the thing all over again. And, you know, yes, of course, we need to address nutrition there and balanced blood sugar that way, but one of the biggest things that is creating this vicious cycle is high stress. And so, you know, when we have high stress, cortisol is going to increase blood sugar and you know, even if you are have done a blood test with your doctor and the glucose number your fasting glucose, which is usually tested for is normal, there can be fluctuations throughout the day not just based on what you’re eating but based on your stress level. And this is what’s driving a lot of this. So just there are just two things that can have a major, major impact. And you know, when we address those things that really blows this whole like, you know, genetic destiny story out of the water.

That’s super helpful. Just to go back to one thing I said earlier to clarify so I don’t make people feel upset. I don’t mean that they’re the one like people that are learning that they’re you know, they are dealing with their anxiety that they are highly sensitive people are the ones that are like, feeling like you’re it’s like the energetic, the dominant energy that we talk about energy right like this is the kind of dominant energy that I I see and feel a lot like in the collective or like even folks who are teaching about this, it’s just like, it’s just really sad energy. And I totally…

Dr. Sara
I totally, I mean, it’s a mentality. Like, it’s a victim mentality. And it is okay to feel bad and take the time to grieve something that is frustrating to you. But it is a disservice to stay in that place to yourself, right? And I think like, because anxiety is so misunderstood, that, you know, it’s driving people to feel like there’s nothing that can be done. And when you feel like there’s nothing that can be done, you’re the victim. And it’s not something that people are doing wrong themselves. It’s our society that you know, perpetuates this idea and it’s, you know, unique to what’s called mental health disorders which I disagree with that label at all. experience. anxiety or depression is no different than having diarrhea in the bathroom, it is a health condition, and it can be improved. And we need to take the stigma out of those things. So I also think that’s why people will just feel hopeless. I mean, I can speak for myself and, and I, I so many of my patients have experienced this when I had anxiety and panic attacks, I felt so much shame. And I felt so alone. And I thought I was going crazy. And, you know, you look to find help, and most of what’s out there tell you Well, you know, you have a mental health disorder and you’re different and it’s always going to be this way. So, you know, I think like people are rallying around this, like, you know, this message of please understand me because I am different. When you know what, what I propose is that Yeah, let’s How you’re unique, but let’s move you forward with the tools that you need to feel your best and be your true unique self. Because what I see, especially with anxiety, is you know, people who have anxiety are so naturally intuitive and so naturally empathic and many of them have a neurotype called, you know, high sensitivity or in the research, it’s called sensory processing sensitivity. It’s not a disease, it’s not a symptom. It’s just a normal, it’s a normal difference. And, you know, the issue here is that we’re so focused on you know, this genetic destiny and there’s something wrong with you, instead of saying like, you are so awesome, and I know that you feel a little, you know, out of sorts, because when your brain is, you know, has nutrient deficiencies going on in your body has inflammation.

Can you add to it when your cortisol which is your stress hormone is all over the place because your blood sugar is wacky, you’re gonna feel a little crazy? And that’s actually a normal response. So like, we want to get people to a place where they can go, like, you know what, like, now that I have dealt with the inflammation and the stress like now I’m just like a proud, you know, a person who is free of anxiety and maybe you have high sensitivity and now you can enjoy all the awesome benefits instead of dealing with the challenges of that. So I think that’s like, what it comes down to. It’s like, yes, there are challenges, but you can overcome them. So let’s focus on the solutions instead of the challenges and if we and getting back to why this conversation, in particular, is so important is because, you know, the more you enforce a certain thought or a certain action, whether that’s You know, getting up and going right to your phone in the morning, or whether it’s like when you talk about your anxiety, you talk about it with shame. Like that’s reinforcing that idea until it becomes so real to you. You’re walking right past solutions in your life. And so we have to undo that we have to practice thinking differently, acting differently. And then those actions actually create new neural pathways that create a new level of health that creates a new level of thought processing and creates a new level of comfort in your own body and with your own emotions. And that opens up all the doors of possibility for you, whether that’s health, finances, success in your job, you know, being open and loving with your family. So I think that’s like that’s what’s on the line is like, we just have to let people know that they have possibilities in their life and the current, you know, societal norm and the current conventional model shuts all of that down and we have to, you know, we have to fling these doors open and air this hole out. And like, you know, let the spring air and as we move into March here,

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I’m so glad that you brought all that up because, we are also talking before we started recording, the tarot card that loves to show up for me is the eight of swords, which is like I’m in prison in my own making, and it’s just like, literally I could walk through this at any time. And there’s this really interesting dynamic that I see between the like, Oh, this is something I have, right i or i, you know, if you go that this far to say I am right then becomes even more solidified, but I have, you know, a highly sensitive neurotype for this chime in.

Dr. Sara
a little anxious rescue dog I adopted three months ago so we’re gonna sound so sweet.


But you know, it gets out there gets that point where you feel like, okay, so for me, I was like, holy shit, alright, I’m not crazy everything that I’ve experienced for the first like 35 years of my life, I’m not just nuts, but then also that that label can become really constraining. Right? And I think that’s kind of worse than what you’re saying, like you’d get so like, it just becomes so heavy, that like, this is the label this is the energy of the of that label. And if I let that define every single thing about my life, it it turns from something that’s like enlightening and could be potentially helpful in so far as helping me look for solutions in this universe around that particular thing versus now this is just what I have and what I am and I can’t escape it.

Dr. Sara

Totally. So, you know, first I think we have to address like language. And this is something I’m actively trying to retrain myself and retrain my patience is and I actually learned this from Dr. Joe Dispenza, who is amazing, definitely check them out. You know, instead of saying like, I have this, we can first say, my body has this when we’re talking about, you know, health stuff, and that can be helpful because, you know, I think one of the major reasons you have this podcast is to talk about, you know, you’re not just your body, right? You’re not just your nutrition or the foods that you’re eating, you’re so much more than that, right? So we have to watch our language about that because when we commit like I have this we’re just driving it in deeper and we are like solidifying that energy in that thought to us. And then you know, the whole like, you know, the thing that I am So, like, I just threw me off, like when I started really looking at some of the information that’s out there around like highly sensitive people. And the sensory processing sensitivity is a lot of it is about, okay, well, if you’re highly sensitive, like you’re gonna have to avoid certain situations and, you know, talking about that, that’s okay. And, and that’s totally it is, it’s totally okay. I mean, I tell my patients all the time, like, if you’re not feeling good, it’s okay to cancel plans, give yourself permission and only show up when you’re feeling awesome. But that’s also in the context of we’re in the process to help them feel awesome. So I think there’s like a lot of avoidance advice, and that that might be what you need to do when you first start out on your journey. But I would like to see the conversation more turning to Well, what can we do so you can feel like more grounded so that You are able to still do the things that you really wanted to. And what I see in the high sensitivity quiz, as I, you know, kind of look at, you know, this kind of the best metric we have at this time to say like, Are you highly sensitive or are you not? You know, I’m reading this and I’m like, well, this sounds like blood sugar imbalance. And this one sounds like high cortisol, and this one sounds like inflammation. So I want to be really clear and say that I’m not in any way, you know, saying that we should not take this seriously. I mean, I, I’m a highly sensitive person. And it’s actually been really relieving for me to realize that because it’s like, oh, okay, well, I understand my brain now. Now, but the question is, what am I going to do about it? Right. So, um, you know, I hope that we will see in the future and this is something that I’m investigating and hope to share more on soon. is like, you know, in the research about highly sensitive people, the sensory processing sensitivity, they’re looking at MRIs of like a person who’s not highly sensitive versus a person who is highly sensitive, or a person who has a DD versus a person who has high sensitivity. And so they do see that there’s differences in these MRIs of the brain, but nobody’s looking at Well, what are nutrient deficiencies that are common in people who have high sensitivity or what are inflammatory triggers? Or what are like traumas or you know, emotional traumas that are common in folks who have high sensitivity? So I think just like anxiety, you know, high sensitivity, a lot of the information out there is like, Okay, well, you have this. So here’s how to negate and avoid some of the challenges with it. And I’d love to flip the script on that and say, Well, how about we figure out how awesome Can you feel like what are the things that we can do so that you can feel your best and thrive as a highly sensitive person, and still really honor the neurotype.

Because with high sensitivity, people literally process information differently. They’re much more empathic, they are picking up all sorts of social cues that other people overlook. And they’re picking up all sorts of information and they can easily feel overloaded. And so knowing that you’re an HSP should be like, you just got your cape for your superhero costume. Like it should be like, Oh my god, this is amazing. I just have to figure out how I can thrive right and every superhero has that story, right where it’s like they find your power and they don’t know how to use it, and it’s a total mess and they blow things up by accident. But they figure it out, right. And that’s why HSP is as well. So I don’t want anyone to feel defeated by that. I want people to feel empowered by that. And so I think we need a lot more voices and a lot more, you know, information coming forth about how to thrive as an HSP.


Hmm, yes. And I love that analogy that you gave because I know how much you love superhero movies.
So much obsessed? Yes, yes. We’ve had many off the air conversations about like what we’re watching in terms of movies. I love that. I love that rallying cry. I think it’s so incredibly important and you described, you know, so many of the things that I go through on a daily basis as well, I know I had to, you know, limit the number of conversations I actually have with people because talking all day is really hard for me. I’m always I’m forever talking to Z and saying, Do you smell that? Yes. And he’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And it’s crazy. But you know, what you are giving us some really great avenues to explore, you know, how can we support? You know, are there nutrients or other things that we can turn to or at least start to gather more information about that can help support you, we’re talking about inflammation. I mean, there’s got stuff I’m sure they’re like if you could give us some, some tips or things that people might be able to start investigating, that could help support their bodies, since their, you know, their bodies have this high sensitivity, what might a few of those things be?

Dr. Sara
Absolutely. So, you know, the way that I see it in, sort of, like building the foundation for health is when we work on our digestion first that’s going to naturally improve our nutrition because it’s going to solve any problems that may be going on with malabsorption and it’s also going to improve crease or immunity. So in my opinion, it’s like without dealing with the digestion, you know, we’re really leaving a lot on the table. And we’re not taking the essential steps to make meaningful improvements with nutrition and immunity. Like there’s lots of people who are already eating a great diet, they don’t need to cut out more food, certainly. And they may, they may not need to change a whole lot, they just might need to improve their digestion. So, in my clinic, we do digestive testing, I often find chronic infections like bacteria, parasites, yeast, and so on. And so we have to address that and that takes so much inflammation and stress off of the body in multiple ways. It’s also a huge thing that can cause blood sugar imbalance because the gut bugs, they like to steal things like iron, for example, they like to steal protein, and so they can cause blood sugar issues. Blood Sugar issues can lead to these, you know, adrenal issues with high cortisol. So, you know, definitely addressing digestion, balancing blood sugar getting good sleep. And, you know, definitely, especially with high sensitivity I’m very curious to see how many people with high sensitivity are experiencing adrenal issues and have high cortisol a lot of the time and I don’t think that’s something that has been looked at. And then, you know, this is what’s going to lead to a healthy brain, the brain needs the right nutrition, it needs the right stimulation. So this is where we could say, Hey, you know what, like, turn off the news, just turn off the news.

And, you know, only follow the news if you’re going to do something about it like it and it’s gonna feel good to you. And really be mindful of where your attention is because you’re just hanging out with people all the time that are like You know, Doomsday airs, then you’re going to think that that’s reality, and it’s probably not. So just definitely watch your stimulation, and then, you know, creating the right environment. So, you know, the brain needs oxygen, we need to make sure that certain nutrients are there and specifically with anxiety, nutrients, like the 12, full eight, vitamin B six, magnesium and zinc and iron would be, you know, the top that I see that are often deficient. And then, you know, this is definitely, you know, it’s like, Okay, well, is it that they’re not eating enough of those things? Or is it that they are eating them and there’s malabsorption going on in the gut. So sometimes I feel like a broken record that it’s like, the gut, the gut, the gut, but the truth is that if we, you know, we have to build that foundation to have a meaningful effect on our brain on our hormones on our neurotransmitters and notice That’s the first time that I’ve said neurotransmitters in this entire conversation. So, you know, I all addressed that, you know, of course, we need to have healthy neurotransmitters. But the key to having healthy neurotransmitters is really, you know, having that rock-solid foundation of digestion, lowering inflammation, making sure we have the right nutrients, making sure we have enough protein and really managing our stress. So, again, like going to that genetic destiny thing of like, well, you have anxiety, so you just have the wrong neurotransmitters and you’re totally stuck with that. That is totally false. And you know, something that’s very common in women as well is when there’s a lot of stress, there tends to be a hormonal imbalance and lower progesterone. So especially if you’re noticing that in a second half of your menstrual cycle, so from oscillation to the day you start bleeding if your anxiety is worse than or If you have like a stiff neck and trouble sleeping, that’s often a progesterone issue. And progesterone is our hormone that is pushing the Gabba pathway and that the GABA pathway is what lets us feel relaxed. It’s literally what, you know, shuts off the brain. It’s like hitting the brakes instead of hitting the gas.

So, you know, it’s, it’s complex, and yet it’s not. The best place to start is really, you know, by managing your stress by, you know, making yourself a priority and doing things that you love. You know, you have to experience joy if you want to bring joy into your life. And for a lot of people that can be a struggle in the beginning. One thing that I asked my patients, every single visitor I asked them, you know, to tell me three things they’re grateful for and why And sometimes in the state that they’re in, that’s a challenge at first, but they practice and they get better. And guess what, their health gets better and their life gets better, too. And the thing that I’ve seen over and over again is if someone cannot get past that, and they refuse to address that like I’ll say, you know, tell me three things that are good and why and they’ll say, Oh, I knew you’re gonna ask me that. Like, we’re in trouble if we can’t get past that. So, you know, I think like, this is the place where we have to honor what people are going through and we go through rough times. You know, we’ve all been there. And we have to choose to move forward at some point. Otherwise, what is the point?

Mm-hmm. Yeah, such a, you said that so well, and I’m glad that you know, you’ve been bringing up a lot of the foundations of health that lead to a nutritional therapy, obviously digestion and blood sugar and things like mineral balance. And things like that really, really important for providing that foundation or at least getting people to a point, right. like they’ve including all these different facets, and so important, and I’m glad that you brought that stuff up. You know, I guess I have one last question. And that would be, how do you feel like working on some of these things with people allows them to have a better to have, let me rephrase that. I just got, like, way ahead of myself. How do you think that working on these things with your patients helps them to better listen to their body better to better create that connection or foster that connection to better be able to tap into their intuition and so on?

Dr. Sara
Yeah. So you know, to me, healing is about listening to your body. And, you know, I think that people see their symptoms as like punishments or challenges a lot of the time, but really, they’re, it’s just your body asking for what it needs. And so if we reframe it like that, All of a sudden, something that feels like your greatest pain or your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength and your greatest self-development journey. And you know, what I’ve seen consistently, whether it’s anxiety or another chronic illness is, you know, once people’s bodies are feeling better, then they have the energy for their hopes and dreams have come back in. And then they do amazing things. They go like, you know what? This job is not for me, like, I’m getting something better and they’re able to get it because they have the energy and the awareness of who they are. Because I think like, when we’re feeling sick, we lose the awareness of who we are. And I think, you know, when it comes down to it, that’s a lot of what we’ve been talking about today is like, you lose yourself and you become anxious. And that’s not true. I don’t want that path for anyone. You can become yourself again, and All of a sudden, your hopes, your dreams, the passion that you have in life comes back. And from there, once your body’s feeling better, there’s you know, however you want to say a self-development, a spiritual journey that awaits you to become the highest version of yourself, whatever that means to you. And that is what keeps me doing this work. That’s what keeps me you know, excited about helping people with anxiety, especially because if you were dealing with anxiety today, you are so attuned, and that is why, at this point in time, you may feel so much pain, but when you learn the tools to get out of that pain, there is such a beautiful transformation on the other side for you. And I think that’s what it’s all about to listen to your body. Your body is just telling you that there is a Change that as needed, so you can feel your best.

Mm-hmm. I love that. That’s such a hopeful and just wonderful note to tie it all upon. And I just thank you so much for this gift of your time and your expertise and your heart in sharing this with the listeners, I know that there’s going to be probably a lot of jumping-off points from here a lot of questions that people have. So how can they get connected with you? How can they find out more about the work that you’re doing? And you should follow Dr. Sarah on Instagram, by the way, so

Dr. Sara
Yeah, awesome. Thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure. So you can find me at We’ll definitely put that in the show notes for you. A little tricky to spell. You can also find me at Dr. Sarah De Francesco on Instagram. And you know I’m here in Portland, Oregon. I work with patients here as well as consult long distance. So I really look forward, you know, I really look forward to the questions that come up around this conversation. And I think it’s going to really open up a really exciting and fun dialogue. So can’t wait to talk to you guys.

Yeah, thank you again so much for coming on the podcast. I have so much love for you. And I really appreciate you being here with us today. Well, thank you stuff right back at you. Thanks. Alright, that’s a wrap on this episode with Dr. Sarah De Francisco. Of course, you can get the Show Notes for this episode over at my website, Steph You can also find transcripts of the episodes so take a look. If you want to catch back up with something read more about what she was talking about or you want to connect with Dr. Sarah. You can do all of that through the show notes. Thank you so much for tuning in today. Remember, hit that subscribe button. And more importantly, if you have a friend, a loved one, somebody that you care about, that you think would benefit from this show any of the podcasts that I do or this episode in particular, please forward it on to them, you will be making a difference in their life. Sometimes you’ll never know the right message, the right information, the right Karen and feeling of being loved and cared for at the right time can make the world of difference for somebody that you know and love. On that note, until next week, thanks for joining me and be well.

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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