150: Magic Menopause w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca

Staying positive is one of the keys to navigating your way through menopause without thinking you’re going crazy. Or worse - giving in to the panic and despair you might feel! I invite you to join my Magic Menopause program where you can experience these changes with other women who get it.

Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t give up. Let’s take this one day at a time. You can go forward two steps at a time. [7:45]
  • Have a self-care day. Go out and treat yourself to a day at the spa, relaxing, and just enjoying your own company. This will do wonders for your mental health! [11:30]
  • Love is the most healing emotion. You can heal your hormones and heal your health by reigniting love in your life. [19:00]

About Magic Menopause

Coming into this season in our life doesn’t have to be a scary, stressful time. And it doesn’t have to be anything like what our mothers went through.

Yes, our bodies change again. Yes, our hormones fluctuate. And yes, this can absolutely cause our moods to shift.

But ladies, I want you to know that you have all the control over your menopausal years. You can be strong and calm throughout this period.

I know it can feel like a descent into madness and chaos. Just like when you went through puberty, your body is changing again. It’s easy to let the anxiety and panic take over, but you don’t have to.

Remember that being present is a present. Live in these moments and cherish them, whether you’re on your own or with your partner and family.

You Have to Keep Moving Forward

It can feel like an uphill battle when you’re trying to take care of your health while going through menopause. You lose weight, then you gain it back just to lose it again.

I have been there and I want you to know that you are not alone going through this. The only way out of it is to go through it. Keep moving forward and don’t give up.

And when you feel like you’ve had enough, I need you to know that you haven’t. This is not the straw that broke the camel’s back and it won’t break yours. You can get through whatever you’re going through and tackle these problems - I promise you, you can!

When you start to feel this way, I want you to have a self-care day. Whether you go out and spoil yourself at a spa or take care of yourself inside the house, spending this time connecting with your body and soul is vital for positive mental health.

Join Magic Menopause: The Program for Women Who Get It

I want to invite you to join me to go through my Magic Menopause program together. It’s always so much better when you’re going through changes with other women who get it.

We talk about what hormones you need to be aware of and how you can support them through these changes. When your hormones are in check, your mental health will be in a more stable state, too.

Another aspect of your health we cover in-depth during the Magic Menopause program is the concept that if your behavior affects your physiology and vice versa, we can use one to positively impact the other. This means positive changes to how we eat, move, and treat ourselves. 

By balancing our physiology, we can improve our overall behaviors and the actual longevity of our lives.

Finally, I want to emphasize how important love as an emotion is. Love for yourself, love for others, and love from others can help heal you. It is by far the most healing emotion and one you should cultivate more of in your life.

I invite you to join the next Magic Menopause program.

As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email team@drannacabeca.com.


In This Episode

  • How you can be strong in the face of crisis [3:00]
  • How you can consciously stop yourself from spiraling into panic and anxiety [5:15]
  • What hormones you need to be aware of to support your mental health [14:00]
  • How you can balance your physiology to improve your behaviors and the longevity of your life [16:10]
  • Why love has the most profound healing impact on your body [19:00]



“Present presence is a present. And being present is a present.” [2:33]

“Whatever it may be that causes us to fall off the wagon when we were doing so well, but now it’s one step forward, two steps back. That’s okay. It’s better than three steps back. We’re going to keep moving forward. The first thing is to accept where we are at and know, without a doubt, that we can make an improvement.” [7:11]

“I know it feels like the straw that broke the camel’s back, but none of this will break your back because we can be better tomorrow than we are today and tackle these problems.” [9:27]

“If behavior affects physiology and physiology affects behavior, we can use one to help the other.” [16:00]



Join the Magic Menopause Program

Find Dr. Anna Cabeca Online

Follow Dr. Anna Cabeca on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

Join the KetoGreen Community on Facebook

Buy Keto-Green 16


Related Episodes

139: The Neuroscience of Health, Hormones, and Happiness w/ Dr. Sarah McKay

130: The Link Between Your Beliefs & Your Longevity w/ Dr. Mario Martinez 

129: Improving Your Immune System Starting Now w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca



Dr. Anna:
What has this quarantine brought up for you? How do you feel? What questions have you begun to ask yourself? Are you living the life that you want to live? That you've dreamed you'd be living? Well, let me tell you at the start of quarantine, I want to be honest with you, I was really triggered and I became very emotional. I mean, this is a time like we've never experienced, right? But I'm not naive to trauma as I'm sure many of you aren't as well. We face some highs and lows in our life. We've had some amazing experiences and we've forgotten a bunch, but life has been good overall, right? We're here and listening and interacting today.

Dr. Anna:
Hello, everyone. I'm Dr. Anna Cabeca, the girlfriend doctor. And I am your first call for questions you have about your health and to address those issues you're dealing with within your life, those questions you need answers to, there is no such thing as TMI. So I want to tell you that you can ask or tell me anything as you well know. I want to see women overcome the traumas of their lives and the hardships that you are faced with on a regular basis, or those you love are, and we're in this together. So we are pulling back the curtain on all things in today's podcast. And we are going to talk about the transition of the hormone through menopause and how we really can breeze through menopause into our second spring. As the Japanese call this time of life, kanreki, second spring, a much better word than menopause, men on pause, mental pause. Oh my gosh. We've got it all there, right?

Dr. Anna:
So let's talk about today what is happening in our journey. And I want to answer some questions. What has the quarantine done? How has it affected you, your emotions? How has it affected those you love and your hormones and your eating patterns, stress patterns, your sleep patterns, your emotions in general? It's had an effect on all of those things for so many. Anxiety, depression, fear, worry are in abundance right now.

Dr. Anna:
So how do we create this peace? The peace that surpasses all understanding as it says in the Bible. How do we face tomorrow when there's so much uncertainty? Well, it is by being present today, they call present presence is a present and being present is a present. So this is really part of my messaging. Today is okay. Today on a daily basis, we are going to reframe our physiology and affect our lives and hormones moving forward with a sense of that peace that surpasses all understanding. How we can be the eye of the storm when it seems like everyone else is going crazy around you? You are steady, optimistic and smiling and feeling strong and healthy and resilient, able to face and withstand the storm.

Dr. Anna:
So that's where I want to bring you, especially during the season of our lives. So back to what I was telling you about the quarantine, becoming emotionally triggered. I mean, one of my daughters was overseas. I will say Amira was studying, with these big air quotes. Amira was studying in Nijmegen, this beautiful little town outside of Amsterdam. And she was there during the quarantine and Trump is closing the borders, right? And I thought, "Oh my God." I had fear-based thoughts like, "Oh God. I can't lose my child. I have to get her. I have to keep everyone safe and healthy. I've lost a child. I can't dare stand. I can't survive to lose another." And that triggered me. It absolutely did more alcohol, more food, more hibernation. And I recognized very quickly that I was spiraling. I was getting into that fear-based thinking. I'd been there before.

Dr. Anna:
If you have read my books, The Hormone Fix, and even Keto-Green 16, I talked about my journey with post-traumatic stress, how to convert PTSD to PTS, resilience, or post-traumatic growth. And that immediately I understood where I was going. And yet it felt like, "Oh my gosh," I was hopeless and helpless in this process despite all the good disciplines and practices, I know I was feeling it too. The weight gain, the ups, and downs, the emotional struggle, fear-based thinking, and it's almost that immediate thought. I was like, "Okay, Anna. Let's pull up your bootstraps. Let's go." Right? So it was kind of pulling my feet out of the mud, one by one to say, "Okay, what's my next right step. Let's change the way I'm thinking. My thinking based on love or based on fear and where is this directing me? So it was very conscientious but I didn't know. I didn't recognize until there was that moment where it was like, "Yes, I am sinking deep. I am sinking into the mud. And if I don't stop this now, who knows where it'll take me." Right?

Dr. Anna:
And so creating those disciplines and practices right away, recognize where you're at. And that's where inventories and questionnaires and quizzes come in, in my book, The Hormone Fix. I've listed those in my programs, Magic Menopause. I give you inventories, questionnaires, self-assessments all along the way so you can say, "Okay, where am I right now?" And that helps us identify areas that we're struggling with and also what our next right steps are. Then we look at, "Okay, this is my starting point, no judgment. But when I retake this in a month, I'm going to be feeling better. When I reassess how I'm doing in a month, I'm going to be feeling stronger." And that's really an important part of the process, of our healing process.

Dr. Anna:
So, I wrote one time a blog. Those are probably two of my favorite blogs that I wrote and subject lines were, one was, "Is this how Oprah felt?" And the second subject line was, "It's so easy being a single mom." Right? Oh my gosh. Okay. So really good blogs. If you get a chance to search my blogs on my website, you definitely want to read those. But is this how Oprah felt? I remember back when Oprah had really been so visual in the fact that she had lost this weight with Weight Watchers, and then she disappeared for a while. And it was because she had gained the weight back and is this how she felt about her journey? What does it make you feel like when you are successful and then you fall off the wagon, whether it's food habits, behaviors, thoughts, alcohol? Whatever it may be that we fall off the wagon, we can do this. We were on such a good track, but it was like one step forward, two-step back. That's okay. It's better than three steps back. We're going to keep moving forward.

Dr. Anna:
And the first thing again is to accept where we are at right now and know without a doubt that we can make an improvement. Just like you would encourage your daughter, your friend, your inner six-year-old self. You would say, "Okay, don't give up. Don't give up. You've got so much to live for. Don't give up, you've got this." Let's just take one next right step at a time. And let me tell you, when we do that and we do it with a group, we are more successful and I have found that to be true.

Dr. Anna:
And that's why really right now we are starting another round of my Magic Menopause. I'm leading it live. This is our eighth time I'm leading my eight-week Magic Menopause program live. And I'm excited about it. I'm like, "Whoo and boy do I need it?" I need it as much as you do and as much as those you love do. I want to work side by side with these warrior women with you to really transform your life, your health, and to walk out of the mud and wash it off our boots and step into our Jimmy shoes or whatever they may be, right? And move forward with grace and resilience and strength and confidence that we are stronger now than we were yesterday. We are stronger next year. We'll be stronger next year than we were this year or you can see around you.

Dr. Anna:
I've seen and talked to many clients that have found themselves really, in a deep, dark depression, anxiety-ridden just here in quarantine and struggling in quarantine, maybe with a spouse or kids, and then struggling with another natural disaster. We have a hurricane coming up as I speak in California. Oh my goodness. Dealing with those devastating fires and that on top of this, it feels like the straw that broke the camel's back, but none of this will break your back because we can be better tomorrow than we are today. And tackle these problems, tackle the physiology, tackle the issues that come about from chronic stress, real or perceived, physical or emotional, or mental or relational. All of these have a significant impact on our bodies.

Dr. Anna:
And I teach this and I'm so emphatic about it now, more than ever, because the loss of connection can be completely physiologic and prevented when we understand it. We have a saying at Emory University, one of our attending senior surgeon, attendance in gynecologic surgery would say, "Well, the eyes don't see what the mind doesn't know." So we're talking about fascia and if you don't know, there's a fascia break here to look for something anatomical, then you're not going to see it per se. But once you know, you start to see it, and isn't that the truth? Once you know something, you start to see it everywhere. It's like being pregnant. Oh my gosh. You didn't realize there were so many pregnant people until you're pregnant, right? Or maybe you've got gray hair now and you're like, "Huh? Look at all these other people with gray hair. Okay. That's good." Whatever it may be, you don't start to see it until sometimes it really is personal to you.

Dr. Anna:
So with that said, also it reminds me of a dear friend and a medical colleague, Dr. Mike Litrel wrote a book, The Eyes Don't See What The Mind Don't Know. And this is so true and it's true in our life. It doesn't matter how old we are. There's always something we can learn. There's always another right next step that we can take. And there is always someone we can help, right? Someone who's a step ahead of us and someone who's a step behind us and there's someone we can help. So we can not have the luxury of giving up. Now, does that mean we can't have a luxury day in bed or at the spa? No, absolutely you can do that. Absolutely can do that. I'm actually going to prescribe that to each and every one of you right now, doctors order, have a spa day, whether it's at home or in a spa, and snapshot a picture and send it to me. Let me know. Share with me your self-care day. So I like that idea actually, quite a lot. I may make an appointment after I'm done recording this podcast, actually.

Dr. Anna:
So this brings me to address what we're going to be doing and magic menopause, my eight-week program. So in my eight-week program, Magic Menopause, we go through hormones. We go through emotions, how they're tied to our physiology, and how they can affect our physical body. And we go through anatomy and morning rituals and evening rituals so that we can biohack so that we feel stronger and are more vital and energetic. Overall, we also go through testing and this testing program that I put in here, really, it is so high level. I only used to give it to my VIP, so my 10K clients, because it's such valuable information. So I spend over an hour going over lab testing and also troubleshooting labs with you and giving you additional resources to take to your physicians. Now, that's valuable. I've had physicians take my Magic Menopause program, which they have found this information to be incredibly valuable. I love this. I love this program. I think there's this song. And it is by Tasha Cobbs. She's from Georgia actually and she's a gospel singer and she sings this rendition of Break these chains by Tasha Cobbs.

Dr. Anna:
And we all have at some point something that is pulling us back and you know what? In times of added stress, it's like Pandora's box flies wide open. And we can see, we start to experience these patterns, chains, if you will, that haven't been released that are still holding us back in our life, holding us back from feeling joy, from feeling connected, from feeling spiritually aware. And when we have the stress physiology, when cortisol is up, right? When cortisol goes up with stress, this natural steroid hormone goes up, oxytocin goes down. And over time as cortisol stays up because we're so triggered. We're watching the news. It's hurricane watch, it's fire watch, whatever it may be, we're relationally stressed at home or in our minds. When that continued cortisol goes up, this area in our brain called the paraventricular nucleus says, "Okay, shut down because you're frying me out." And so now you get to this dangerous state where cortisol is low and oxytocin is low at the same time.

Dr. Anna:
So what does that feel like? That feels like a disconnect, that feels like isolation, that feels like loneliness, that feels like anhedonia or lack of joy. And that's a hell of a place to be, right? That's a hell of a place to be. I say, there's the physiology to grief. There's a physiology to divorce. There's a physiology to midlife crisis and physiology to burn out, right? It's all intertwined in this physiologic mix when we then maybe do oxytocin seeking behaviors. I talk about this in magic menopause and address this in my programs because it's really personal. What's oxytocin seeking behavior to you? How do you then find joy? Maybe the healthy ways like having pets until you get 20 pets or 20 cats in the house. Okay. To each their own but one cat's a little bit too much for me. Okay. I'm sorry. I'm a dog person and a horse person. Not yet a cat person, but maybe there's hope for me.

Dr. Anna:
So animals, pets increase oxytocin. Playing, laughter, swinging on a swing increases oxytocin. Yes, I say swinging on a swing because I don't want people to think swinging or being a swinger increases oxytocin, although it may. But I want to be very clear, getting a massage, getting a facial, having sex absolutely, gambling, shopping, addictive behaviors can increase dopamine, increase adrenaline, increase oxytocin, make you feel alive for that short fix. And so understanding this, being aware of it can help us address it. If behavior affects physiology, and physiology affects behavior, we can use one to help the other. We can balance our physiology and create disciplines and practices that improve. So these behaviors that actually improve the quality of our life, the longevity of our life, and the long-standing relationships. I write about this in my book, The Hormone Fix.

Dr. Anna:
And again, I shared this in-depth in my Magic Menopause program. But I said, this cortisol, oxytocin disconnect, right? This cortisol, oxytocin low, that feeling of disconnect in relationships is real. I didn't know this 10 years ago. I didn't know this 10, 14 years ago when I was experiencing this. This physiology led to my divorce, which led to my burnout in my medical practice. Before my son passed away before his accident which happened in March 12th, 2006, his tragic accident, I knew that I wanted my marriage to work. That weekend, that Friday night, he passed away on Sunday after church services. On Friday night, I arranged a babysitter, arranged for my husband and I to have dancing lessons, and then we had dinner. And I wanted my marriage to work. I was actively working on my marriage and I remember having a real intimate and ignited connection with my husband that night.

Dr. Anna:
But after months of post-traumatic stress, of grief, of physiologic shift, I no longer felt that connection. I no longer felt that connection and several years later, finally, we divorced. And let me just share with you. There was so much to that, that was hell, that was bad. There were years of that, right? But there's a healing that happens over time and as you do this work to heal, you can see things so much clearer. So much in fact, that after 10 years of hardly ever speaking with my ex-husband and having a serious breakdown in communication, to say the least after 10 years of divorce, we actually started talking again and actually have started dating again. Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the music. I don't know. Let's just take a break here and just go with that a minute. So there was always love there, but there was so much else that was layered on top of it that that loved didn't get to be expressed and understanding the physiology of divorce.

Dr. Anna:
Now, I'm not saying, "I don't know. I'm in this but who knows what's going to happen?" A lot of prayers and one step at a time, being present in the moment, that's the plan right now. But also because love is such a powerful emotion. Love has tremendous healing ability and the rekindling of love, the acceptance of love, the opening up to love is tremendously healing. So working with our physiology to guide our behavior and our behavior to support our physiology, that's the beauty of what we can do. That's the beauty of the power we have over our body over our present over our future, and the healing we can do in our past.

Dr. Anna:
In this round of Magic Menopause, we're going deep into this healing journey, into this reigniting love within ourselves so that it overflows healing our hormones, healing our physiology, controlling our major hormones, cortisol, insulin, and oxytocin to the highest level than I've ever gone before in any of my other Magic Menopause programs. So I've already interacted with some of my past ladies, and this time is for deeper restoration and deeper healing. So I'm excited about it. And I go into this in detail more in my blogs and there's a whole book coming on this eventually, but oxytocin is such a healing hormone. It is an antiaging hormone. I mean, decrease my wrinkles, give me more of it, right? Oxytocin is an antiaging hormone. It actually helps us restore our muscles and improve muscle cell regeneration. It's a natural analgesic. And all of you know who have been in love, it's a natural appetite suppressant. It absolutely is, right? You're not hungry. Oxytocin has tremendous healing abilities and oxytocin helps us feel this peace despite the storm that's swirling around us. The peace that is without understanding.

Dr. Anna:
That's my goal, this round of Magic Menopause, is to overflow with love and knowledge and inspiration to create a wise women community and the men who love them and the families and their extended families, right? To really create this health and healing from healing within our heart, our hormones, and who knows what else? Let's see where it's going to take us. So this is Dr. Anna Cabeca, the girlfriend doctor, and I look forward to seeing you in my Magic Menopause program and on a future podcast. Remember, there's no such thing as TMI. Email me your questions, your comments, your topics, the things that are on your mind that maybe you feel like, "Hey, there's no one safe to tell anyone else." You can email me. And you can email me personally at drannacabeca.com and my team at teamdrannacabeca.com. So I look forward to hearing from each of you personally. Thank you for being here in my tribe, in my community, and just know that I'm here for you. So bye until next time.

Back to blog
1 of 3
Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

Learn more about my scientific advisory board.