When two biohackers get together, the conversation is a fascinating and educational experience.
In this episode, Wade sits down with fellow biohacker Angela Foster, who was, in a previous life, a corporate attorney in London working a crazy amount of hours. She was driven, ambitious, talented, and made partner by age 30.
Can you relate to the hard-driving corporate ladder climber?
Soon after her overachieving run, dreams of becoming a mom kicked in. Of course, being a type A, high achiever, Angela thought she could have it all – the high-pressure career in corporate law and the “super mom,” picture-perfect life with her children.
The ticking biological clock, along with a sudden physical and mental illness, knocked Angela off the hamster wheel. Burnout threw her into a hospital bed.
Her entire journey is an incredible story to hear – Angela was at one point on several psychiatric medications for bipolar disorder.
Angela realized that recovering from burnout was going to require two things: patience and perseverance.
She also figured out how she needed to make a dramatic career pivot – from attorney to biohacker coaching. Although she was great at being a lawyer, Angela discovered that practicing law was not her passion. Through her physical ordeal and learning how biohacking could help her recover and feel good again, Angela found her calling: coaching high achieving women how to stay healthy and energized while balancing a successful career and love-filled family life.
Angela is a sought-after speaker to large corporations. Her talks inspire corporate executives to optimize the health and wellness of their employees.
Angela is also the host of a top-rated alternative health podcast called the High-Performance Health Podcast.
In this podcast, we cover:
- How Angela went from lawyer to biohacker
- Angela’s struggles with depression and suicide
- The difference between chronic fatigue and burnout
- How Angela got off of psychiatric medications
- The critical role spirituality played in Angela’s total healing
- Why the law firm was unfulfilling for Angela and why she loves life now
- How Angela shifted her mentality out of law into developing a holistic health process for her clients
- The first thing Angela has her clients do when starting their wellness journey
She thought she was bulletproof.
Perhaps you are a high achiever and can relate to Angela’s story?
At one point, after having her first child, Angela was diagnosed with postnatal depression. Here is how Angela responded to this news at that point in her life: “I’m bulletproof. That’s exactly what I thought because I always achieved whatever I wanted. I was like, ‘this doesn’t happen to me.’ The doctor says, ‘You need to sleep more, take naps in the day when the boys are asleep. I said, ‘No. I don’t need that. I’ve run all these deals. I know what it’s like not to sleep. I’m fine.”
“That was crazy.”
“So I carried on. But then my husband took some time off, and then I couldn’t get out of bed till like three o’clock in the afternoon. It was like everything hit.”
“I called the doctor and, as a type-A personality, I said, “You need to run some tests. Because I can’t get out of bed, I must be anemic. Can you check my iron levels, please?”
“After the tests, the doctors told me again that I have postnatal depression. I denied it until it finally took me out.”
Angela’s Spirituality as a Key Component to Burnout Recovery
She was suffering from severe mood swings related to the bipolar diagnosis and subsequent medications prescribed. Angela realized that her ability to stop taking medication would be a process – patience and perseverance are needed.
Angela knew she needed to first get “sustainable” on medication before successfully dropping it. She determined that spirituality would be required to smooth out her mood swings.
The problem was the topic of spirituality caused internal struggles for Angela due to her strict Catholic upbringing. Her father was Lebanese and a strict Catholic.
Angela figured out a path that led her away from that religion, yet she became more spiritual than ever. As she developed her spirituality aside from her Catholic dogma, she noticed that her mood swings became much more manageable.
As she transitioned off the medications, she figured out that the bouts of depression that occur every time she lowered the dosage were a natural part of withdrawal symptoms.
Today, Angela is pleased with her spiritual progress, as she is now medication-free. However, she knows her spirituality is still a work in progress.
There is so much more to Angela’s remarkable transformation. If you are suffering from burnout or mental health issues, work/life balance struggles, or feel like you’re going through the motions in life, you must tune in to Angela! She’s a living example of someone who has hit rock bottom, used pharmaceuticals at one point for years, and then was able to walk away from those medications.
Check out this episode – biohacking can break through your burnout!
Check out more about Angela Foster: bioptimizers.com/AngelaFoster
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Angela Foster on LinkedIn
Read The Episode Transcript:
Wade Lightheart:Good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the awesome health podcast. And today we're going to talk about a whole bunch of different things. Nutrigenomics, DNA, sleep, hormone, stress, biohacking, and how to shift into optimal health. Using a unique methodology developed by Angela Foster, who is a nutritional therapist and health and performance coach joining us from the great country of the United Kingdom. She is a former partner in a law firm who left the world of corporate law after suffering burnout and recovering from a serious illness in 2014, as a mother of three young children, Angela is on a mission to inspire and educate women on how to stay healthy and energized while meeting the demands of combining a successful career with a vibrant and healthy family life. She is a regular speaker to large corporations in helping them optimize the health and wellness of their employees. And Angela hosts, the high performance health podcast, a top rated podcast in alternative health. Angela, welcome to the show. Angela Foster: Thank you so much way. It is amazing to be here. Well, we Wade Lightheart: Got, we went way off topic in the 20 or so minutes before we got on this podcast and we were getting into existentialism and philosophy and all things that are going on in the world today. We will probably follow up on that later, but Angela, you want to share with people how you got started as a lawyer and ended up as a biohacker crazy, right? Angela Foster: Yeah. I don't know how many biohacking lawyers there are, but maybe there's a few listening. So how did I get started in it? Well, I do, you know, like a lot of people who get into health it's through what happened to me, basically I pushed the candle, you know, burn the candle at both ends, pushed it too high too far. And essentially I think law is kind of the polar end of health, right? It's the opposite end of the spectrum because you push so hard, like as a corporate lawyer, you're sort of managing and overseeing the deal. And these were transatlantic deals. In fact, they were like global between, you know, as far as India, the U S and the UK across multiple time zones. And you're managing all the specialists on that transaction. So you're kind of the one as the corporate lawyer, dealing with the investment bankers and not really getting much sleep at all. Angela Foster: And, you know, it was crazy things like working out at 3:00 AM while I'm waiting for agreements to be typed and things like that. And I think I got away with it for a long time in my twenties, we totally disrespected sleep, which now is like a key part of my methodology. But it set the stage really for the burnout that was to come. And I think actually for a lot of women listening, it kind of works until it doesn't. And then when you have children, life gets a lot more complicated. And I think the real kind of sideswipe for me initially, was suffering with postnatal depression. And that was completely unexpected. Like I'm a very energized person. So that was a kind of thing that I was in denial of for a long time. And Dr. Jordan Peterson Wade Lightheart: The famous psychologist at, of Canada who came to renown for, from challenging, a lot of things talks about this very topic. And he says, what a lot of women in the corporate world have not yet quite understood until they're get there. He says, I had many of these women such as yourself, and I want to see the correlation here. He says, they go through high school. They're top of the class. They go to law school, they're deadly, they kill it. They get inside a law firm. They partnering along, they get into their mid thirties. I guess they've got to take the call at 3:00 AM from their Japanese clients because there's a hundred million dollars on the line. And if they don't take that phone call, somebody else is next to them in New York city, that's ready to take that call. And, and suddenly they get this overwhelming desire to enter into family life and they have children. Wade Lightheart: And all of a sudden they are trying to balance an, an unbalanced double equation and less, they are of such rare, you know, genetic, physiological, mental, and organizational capabilities that they they're just like at some point things break down and he says, and they would come to his office at this point, when, how do I manage the stress of this crazy career, manage my kids and maintain my health. And usually one, if not all three ends up breaking down, creating crisis. Did that happen to you in at, around what age did that start? That's Angela Foster: Pretty much what happened. Yeah. So I may partner when I was eight months pregnant. I was 30, 30 years old. And then I, yeah, which is, as you say, probably I was a high achiever, right. I was kind of going through and, and I'd always looked after my physical fitness. Right. So it was always like running was the de-stress for me. I would work out in the gym. I ate pretty healthily, but nothing, you know, like I still indulged. But like most lawyers, there was always a lot of alcohol in London. So there was always like, you know, a lot going on. We were out late if we weren't working late. And then that was pretty much what happened. I had my son and I kind of didn't feel good after, after having a connected with him. But as you say, and as Jordan Peterson says, now these are two worlds that they really don't tie up at all right. Angela Foster: One is really emotional and loving and it's kind of like mama bear. And the other one is this hard nose, corporate lawyer that will do anything to get the deal done. And through, because the client's saying you've got to make it happen and they don't really mix. And so I, at the same time to be fair, I was having a series of gynecological knock-backs. So I was diagnosed with PCO asked before having my son, I then had surgery, they put me on Metformin. I couldn't tolerate it at all, could knee on it. Then I had surgery and they discovered, I had endometriosis said to me, you might never be able to have children. So when I say I may partnership and was pregnant at the same time, that was because it was kind of like, okay, they've said to me, I've probably got about six months is my best option where the endometriosis isn't that a full pregnant things are IVF. Probably never going to be an option because we know what it is. So I was kind of like, you know, let's just give both the go and maybe one or two, and then they both came in at the exact same time. Angela Foster: So that was crazy. So it wasn't mental. It was insane. And then, and I then after having my son, I didn't, I felt really, I mean, it was mental. I didn't feel like I, as I say, I think I had personally to depression after the first one, but then I went to see my gynecologist who says to me, well, if you want to have a second child, and it was a traumatic birth, I nearly both of us nearly went in it because I have pelvic disproportion. So he couldn't get out. He was like fully stuck banging his head against my pelvis, you know, in the, in the emergency. They then like, not my bladder. So I'm then rushed back into hospital because I can't walk thinking this is the pain of the C-section. And it turns out that actually the receptors to my brain are not working. Angela Foster: So I don't know that my bladder is just filling up with water, filling up with water and I'm not going to the toilet. And so obviously I could have had renal failure. So they had to kind of drain it off like two bags. And I had no idea. So there was a big, I was then having to get back on track. Right? All of a sudden here I am really successful, you know, coping with life and suddenly I'm completely flawed. I'm going to my brother's wedding. Eight days later with a catheter strapped to my back. That just took me down. Do you know what I mean? That was, how did I go from this to this? And I think that started that the decline. But then my gynecologist said to me, if you want to have another child just be aware, pregnancy is a great solution for endometriosis, but it will go black. Angela Foster: So I would think in six months time, just have a think about, it's probably going to take a while to fall pregnant. Well, by the time I was finishing my maternity leave here in the UK, I was three months pregnant with my second child. So that was you know, quite for long. So then w you know, within 18 months I had these two boys who wouldn't sleep and what kind of crazy and life was a bit mental. And my husband was a banker. So he wasn't around. So at this point, I was like, well, I'm going to take a bit of a career break. I had someone helping me. She said to me, you know, you've, I think you've got postnatal depression. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, no. That, that happens to other people. I don't have the, I definitely don't until exactly I'm Bulletproof. Angela Foster: That's exactly what I thought I you to, and you do, right? Because I'd never not achieved whatever I wanted. So I was like, that doesn't happen to me. And they were like, I think you need to sleep a bit more, take naps in the day when the boys were asleep. And so I don't need that. I've run all these deals. I know what it's like, not to sleep. I'm fine. She's crazy. But I carried on and then my husband took some time off. And then I couldn't get out of bed till like three o'clock in the afternoon. It was almost like everything hit. And I called the doctor. As, as you would typically do someone like me type a personality and says, I think you need to run some bloods. I can't get out of bed. I must be anemic. Can you check my iron levels please? Angela Foster: To which she points. She was like, Hmm. You know, is experienced doctor. She was like, I think maybe you have postnatal depression. I don't have that until finally it took me out. And I, I remember sitting there kind of visibly shaking, just saying, I actually don't know what to do, but I got back on track after that. It was then that I had my third child, beautiful little girl, and I thought I'd done all the work. Right? So in that period, I had taken medication for the purposes of actually getting my mental health back on track, seeing countless therapists. I thought I'd rewired my brain. And now here I was, again, I'd completely Bulletproof my system this time. Right. So pregnancy was not going to do it. And throughout that pregnancy, it was a different pregnancy. Although I was sick as a dog, like most women are, I was really, really upbeat. Angela Foster: And so then I hired a maternity nurse thinking, right? We're not going to do the sleepless nights. This time, everything is going to go to plan. And it absolutely took me apart. I think that was probably the worst experience and the hardest experience ever to come back to. And I think that over time, these neuro-pathways, you know, for anyone listening, I think what I understand is that these pathways can become more and more entrenched. And it's almost like if you imagine a field where people have trodden down and you get that wooden, you know, the muddy path, everyone can go on and it's almost like your brain's like that. And now that becomes the easy route, and you've got to learn to let the grass grow up on that and create a completely new way. But I had not obviously done that, having thoughts I had. Angela Foster: And so this time it was really bad. And that was when the thoughts of suicide were really taking hold. I was, you know, put in under psychiatric care or bipolar meds. And things were really, really tough. And then I, I feel like you, you can attract it into your life, or if you want to end your life enough. And I had this crazy situation where I believed my kids would be better without me, that I wasn't a good mother. I adored my children, but I thought somehow they're going to have a better life if I'm not a part of it. And then eventually they got like a flu, but in me I just got so sick and I got really bad chest infection kept giving me antibiotics. Couldn't get better. And then I got diagnosed with pneumonia, had a chest x-ray they were like pretty nasty on one left lung. Angela Foster: We're going to refer you because we think you have bronchiectasis. So they made a referral. And then the chest consultant calls me up and says, I need you to come to the hospital. Urgent me. Can you come here? So I arrived at the hospital like within an hour. And he said he was like, he kept showing me on the scan, look at your lymph glands, look at this. Can you see how enlarged they are? Can you see this? Can you see this? And I was just had such high fevers felt so sick. And I just thought, why do you keep talking about the lymph? Like, what is going on here? Why do we keep, you know? And I said, it was more of a throwaway statement. I said to him, like, do you think that I haven't just got pneumonia? Do you think I've got lung cancer or something? Angela Foster: And he was like, well, it's hard to say that you don't without a scam. So I'm going to put you into a CT scan straight away. So they put a dye into my system, had to look at the lungs and before I could even get back, sitting down, as I walked back in, he was like, as worse than I thought. And I was like, okay, does that mean I've got cancer? And he said, no, but the pneumonia is now spread it's viral and bacterial it's spread across both lungs. And here's me still in my lawyer mentality of, I was like, okay. And he goes, so I'm going to have to admit you. And I was like, okay, so I'm going to go home and pack a bag and I'll just pick up the kids from school and then I'll be back. He was like, I don't think you understand. Angela Foster: I don't know how you're still walking, but you are not allowed to leave the hospital. And that just, that really hit me hard because it was like, right. So now I'd kind of wanted to end my life. And now we're facing this then all of a sudden you know, they, they do my bloods. You're neutropenic, I'm hooked up to directs and oxygen. Fortunately, they never ended up having to intubate me. They thought they were going to have to, and everything's like going downhill really quickly. And the kids are gonna come home and mommy's not there. I just felt so awful. But I had, we were talking earlier before the show that for me was a really kind of, I guess, form of transcendental moment. And I don't know whether that lucidity came because of the very high fevers, because I wasn't a meditator at all. Angela Foster: At that point. I really hadn't, I'd done like cognitive behavioral therapy, but I hadn't really developed my sort of sense of spirituality and brain particularly well, my mind. And so I then just sort of felt like this, this moment that moved me of like, what the hell am I doing? I need to, like, I want to see my kids grow up. I want to be there for them. How can I do this? And it was then that I decided I'm going to get myself into the best physical, mental, or spiritual shape of my life. I don't know yet how I'm going to do it, but that's what I'm going to do. And within 48 hours, my blood start to turn around because, you know, antibiotics are going to do like bacterial pneumonia. They're not going to do anything for a virus. And that was amazing for me, cause that was my first real experience of like the mind and the body connection, like the power that I had, I could attract this illness and then asked me to go out. I could attract this illness. And then I could also like shift it round and get back healthier again. Wade Lightheart: It's beautiful. In that sometimes our biggest crisis is in life is our greatest opportunities. And of course in Kai Shu script in Asia, they write crisis and opportunity together. Something. I always so great danger and also great opportunity within danger because it's in these transcendental crisis type moments when our very identity has been threatened, that there is a little sliver of an opening for us to kind of open up. And I've spoken with people who've been involved in what looked like a hopeless military system situation operations and many have described it, this transcendental peace that comes across them before the moment of battle or whatever, or in the middle of the midst of there's this, this moment before that, it's like the deep breath before you jump into the, off the cliff into the complete unknown. And I think that, and much of the placebo effect, which is well-documented throughout all of the medical establishment yet very few scientists and researchers actually take apart that which creates that effect. Wade Lightheart: And I've always been fascinated because I always see everything in science and medical and health and biological components. When you look, I I'm a contrarian by nature, I'm born that way. It's very easy for me to think that way. I don't know why it is. It just is. And it caused great difficulty for me in my life. And my favorite saying out of a star Wars actually was Han solo, flying into a asteroid belt. And see-through, I was telling him the odds and he's like, no, never tell me the odds. And what I always looked at was if you look at a distribution of the bell curve and they have that, you know, that little 2% up at the top of the curve, that's kind of the anomaly that do the two or three sigmas dis distribution. I always go, okay, let's, let's take apart. Wade Lightheart: Let's take apart that piece with the circumstances. What were the actions? What was the thought processes? What were, what was going on with those people that gave such an extraordinary result? Let's study the mechanics, let's apply the scientific method, method, method to extraordinary results. But like, to me, it's like it let's, let's take a success subsegment of excellence and let's break that down. And I think that is where the great game and why I'm interested in the biohacking community and why I'm so passionate about talking to people such as yourself. Because if you look from what you've shared with our audience, you tracked and the level of excellence in your academic career, you tracked in a level, a level of excellence in your professional career. And then despite physiological challenges, you found a way to like severe physiological challenges. You, you gave birth to three children. And then, so this sets you up to this existential kind of crisis of the meaning of your mind and its influence on your health. So what happened after that? Like you start turning things around at 48 and then it's like, so at what point did you say, you know what I'm done with this whole lawyer thing, I'm going to be like, you know, like what happened there? Angela Foster: Yeah. So I kind of where I'd got L I was like, I'm taking a break from law initially. And then I decided, well, I've got to actually really sort this out. I've got to get really healthy. So initially it was like, why is it that when I was succeeding as a lawyer, my health always had to be sacrificed. So I was kind of like, how does that work? Because there must be a way of having high performance and optimal health. So that was my initial quest was like, how can you, how can you combine the two? There must be a way of combining the two. And then what I started to realize, the more I, because you go deeper and deeper, right. Don't do all the time. And and even now I'm just continuing to read. And then when you get into the spirituality side, it's like, it's the well from which you drink. Angela Foster: Right. There's always more. And I basically found that optimal health had to be the foundation of sustained high performance. Otherwise you're always going to burn out, right. And burnout is different, isn't it? Because you can have chronic fatigue and then you've basically burned your body out effectively. You've, you've really physically exhausted the body and then you can have anxiety or depression and you're exhausting the mind. And then burnout is where you've completely taken down the two. And that's what had happened to me. So now the, the mind is starting to manifest in the body and the body's manifesting back in the mind, but that positive feedback of then how I turned around, I was like, well, I really need to understand this, how can I get really, really healthy? So it was a fully holistic approach. And initially it was just, for me, it was selfish. Angela Foster: It was like, I want to, I'd made that decision. I want to see my kids grow up. I want to be a part of their life. How can I do this and be really healthy. And obviously when I'd had the endometriosis, the PCO S there's a long family history of heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure. I was like, am I heading down that road with the insulin resistance? I need to get this sorted. So I'd kind of already begun reading with that. But then it was like, I'm going to have to get really physically healthy for my children, but I'm also going to have to get mentally healthy. And the psychiatrist, those crazy you, you know, you're on bipolar medication. I was really drugged up and that really bothered me because I found it very difficult to wake up. I would, you know, there's nothing like being comatosed through, through strong, strong anti-psychotic medication. Angela Foster: And so I was, then there was always that fight of how to each day, how do I get back on track? Because it was dragging me so much at night because otherwise there was no sleep I wouldn't sleep. And so then I had to kind of figure out, there's gotta be a way of getting on this, getting off this. And I think, you know, people often talk about what's the secret to success in anything you do. And I really believe that perseverance and patience are so important because it wasn't for anyone listening. And I would never say to anyone, come off medication without doing it with an expert. I definitely went again against advice, but it was a long journey. You know, you saw my daughter walk in there she's nine. And I, this was when she was two that I had the pneumonia and it took me until 18 months ago to completely come off that medication. So it's been a huge journey and putting each piece together, you know, it had to be the physical, the mental and the spiritual. And I think if I let any one of those go down, when I'm busy, it starts to pull the others. I think you have to have all three. Wade Lightheart: One of the my foundational teachers is a fellow by the name of Dr. David Hawkins, who co-wrote ortho molecular psychiatry with Dr. Linus Pauling and Dr. Abraham Hoffer and outlined specifically in many of his lectures later on as a kind of a spiritual advocate, which I used to go take groups of people to go visit him. And he was just a remarkable individual. He's in all the psychiatric literature from, and in the 1970s, they turned the world upside down by saying we could successfully treat advanced psychiatric conditions with the combination of those three elements. And the backlash was horrific. And of course that spawned the whole orthomolecular nutrition movement. And so for our listeners out there, I think you touched on it, the yes, there's the physiological components and there's the psychological management of that condition. But the opening is spirituality, the, the, the nonlinear, the things outside of the mind, and I find it interesting Louise hay in her book, you can heal your life illustrates that challenges with the lungs are relative, relative to grief and grief oftentimes associated with identity, the identity of who we are, what we are, who we are associated with. Wade Lightheart: So that can be the loss of a loved one that can be the loss of a career or some aspect of a potential identification. And I think the Russian secret service many years ago determined that the biggest loss that people, the biggest fear of people have is not their fear of death is actually the loss of identity, which is often associated with death. And so when we're talking about remaking yourself, essentially, we're dealing with the identifying. And I think for people who have been sick or people who have been challenged, they often identify themselves as someone who is sick or someone who is challenged. And I think there's a real power in starting to identify oneself with someone who is healthy and whole and functional and see the challenges as invitations from divinity to overcome in this thing we call life. So what happened at this Angela Foster: Point? Yeah. Well, do you know, what's really interesting. I was going to pick up an appointment cause when you talk about the loss, the grief and the lungs and the loss of identity. So as I had struggled with the depression, and I'd pretty much worked out that three kids, this is why I was taking a career break. Initially three kids in four and a half years, wasn't really compatible with life as a partner in a corporate big corporate law firm, but they weren't going to mix either. I wasn't going to see my kids or, and I never, I had this thing in my head. I don't want to underperform in any one area, but then by taking that break, I was losing that identity. So I think I had lost myself, but when I came to rebuild it, and then I started to realize I could actually help other people. Angela Foster: One of the biggest battles I had to get over is the bipolar medication was keeping me stable. And while I had been diagnosed with my mate, so we'd moved on, obviously, cause the kids were older from, from postnatal. It was major depressive disorder was the diagnosis with possible bipolar. The fear was if I come off the medication in the medical community, the psychiatrist was like, if you come off, we could see big swings. And definitely one thing I would say is even while taking all this medication, I would go through phases where I thought I cracked it. So I'd be inspired by the work I was doing and the studying and everything I was doing, creating this new version of me and now it becomes supermom. And I wake up at 5:00 AM. I was on top for manager has been through for 10 K run, come back, looking after the kids, mommy. Angela Foster: So happy. Do you know what I mean? And what I learned over time, it was awful because that was always just the, before the crush was about to come. And then you'd go so far that so far down and the drop overnight could be, maybe I'd have a few days like that. And I thought I cracked it each time. I'm well, this is it. This is going to be, I'm going to be able to get back on track sustainably. And I obviously couldn't stop medication till I can become sustainable on medication. Right. So that was really, really tough as how do I manage those swings? And I absolutely think you're right. Spirituality is the only way, but I was having this kind of internal fight because I'd been raised in a very strict Catholic upbringing. My father's middle Eastern, but he's Lebanese very strict Catholic. Angela Foster: And I had kind of come away from the religious doctrine, but was very spiritual, but I didn't know that. So the, initially as a young person, I sort of separated myself from religion. So I was having this whole new journey on what is spirituality without religion. And as that developed, definitely as you say, I became much less vulnerable to these swings. And then I was able, and then it's the process of managing that transition off match, right? Because every time you've lowered the dose, you experienced depression again. But you have to know that that is a natural part of withdrawal symptoms. And then eventually having developed myself to this point and I am no way done or complete, you know, I know that I have a long, long way to go, but I feel like I've made really good progress. And please, now that I am medication free, Wade Lightheart: That's, that's an incredible achievement. I have many, many friends who are, have a variety of challenges as a scenario. And I think it's much more proliferated through the population than we might imagine. And one of our sub-companies that we created recently, it was a company called an utopia and it's actually, it's, it's customized individual neurochemical optimization for better cognitive performance. And so and our founding chemists behind it had a variety of severe challenges in his family and also in his love life with people who really suffered from this as well, he suffered that. And one of the things that we see with neurochemical dominance which is the court actually, which is interesting about that is the, the one link between Chinese medicine and Western medicine was discovered by a fellow by the name of Charles, when a famous Olympic coach who saw he would test for neurochemical dominance in his athletes. Wade Lightheart: So he knew how frequently he could train them. And, but there's other variances outside. He said he would only drill a tree coach acetylcholine and dopamine dominant people for gold medalists. Because like, if you're not one of those, you're not getting a gold medal. So forget it. But there's these other aspects of whether it's GABA or serotonin or the various types of neurochemicals, then we look at identifying people's neurochemical and what people experienced burnout. And we're seeing a lot of it, particularly in the dopamine feedback loops, which from our cell phones are causing dopamine is the kind of achievement hormone. It is the reaffirmation of the development of the skill that leads to success, whether that was back in the day, throwing a spear or starting fire with a Flint and we become better and more proficient in the development of skills, which is a dopamine dump, which increases the Axion Dendright connections to relate it to performance. Wade Lightheart: And as much celebrated inside of the world of achievement. Ironically these machines have created an artificial dopamine loop, which doesn't lead to the development of, of a new skill. It leads to the development of an addiction, much like say cocaine would leave you to a high dopamine response and addictive, well, guess what, we've created a digital delivery system and we see a lot of people impaired. And when you do that over and over and over again, there is a depletion of the neurochemicals inside the brain. And this is what we experienced as depression, burnout. I don't feel myself. I can't wake up. You're literally your neurochemical bank account, whatever associative, neurochemicals of that. And then your body starts to try and offset that with its own natural production. And in the point of bipolar from my understanding, and this is very, very crude folks, I'm not as, but just from what I've learned is we get these surges, these counteractive surges. Wade Lightheart: And of course, if you look at most of the creative people of the world, many of them suffer what's, what's called bipolar and historical aspects of the great artists and great writers and great all these people had these kind of tragic geniuses throughout history who go through what I would say, a more intense swing of these neurochemical components, which leads you beautify States and horrific depressions. How do you feel the situation of your life and your own neurochemistry and the extreme variants that you've experienced as a, as a partner and as a mother has led you to your career right now of helping other people in these areas? Angela Foster: Yeah, I don't know which point it came because at first it was like, as I say, it was my own journey. And then at some point in me, this turned into, I'm going to try and help as many people as I possibly can. It felt like there was suffering in the world and there is suffering in the world. And so I looked at it and I thought, if you look at my genetics and we can talk actually dopamine and the comp gene pair part right in that. And I think, you know, my genotype makes me more vulnerable because I'm more of the warrior with an, a type, right? So I'm more likely to take on things and vulnerable to burnout. But with the, when I looked at the things like, you know, blood sugar control, carbohydrate tournaments, fat tolerance, the PCs, all these things, I was thinking actually, do you know what I seem to be defining these things. Angela Foster: I'm getting my mental and physical health together. I'm not obese. I carry two copies of the Aptio. I could be right. How am I doing this? And how can I create a model that can show other people really simply the building blocks that they can put in place to get to their best state of health. And that in turn leads to the best expression of that. And it's become just a complete mission. It's all I live, eat and breathe every day I wake up in the morning, that's all I want to do. Do you know what I mean? And I think I'm so grateful for that experience because that's, what's allowed me to do this. And I think for a long time, I couldn't talk about it. It was very, very private, very private, because I feel like you can't heal, help other people heal from your own wounds. Angela Foster: Right? You can only do that from scars. So I had to turn those wounds into scars first. That was the biggest thing. And also it was too painful, right. People, I would have comments, you know, I do the school run and some of my friends would say to me, Oh, you know, somebody said that you, you just completely blanked her. And I know you're a lot like that. You're really nice. So I kind of put in a good word for you. And it's like, do you know what? I didn't even see them. Right. It used to take my son an hour and a half to pull me out of bed in the morning because I wasn't able to get out of bed. It became so physical that just I'd gone from being a successful lawyer to now just doing the school run makes me a success that day because I actually made it and I showed up and I took him to school. Angela Foster: And I remember a therapist saying to me, just don't do too much Angela. And I said, how can I be doing too much? This is the only thing I can achieve. And as I got better and better as I got more and more, well, I realized I just want to really help people. And maybe not everybody's into the spiritual side. Maybe not everyone wants to really tackle the nutritional side. Maybe some people more on the fitness, but I think it becomes addictive health. If you pick any one of those. When I look at my shift model rates really sleep hormones, and I don't just mean female sex hormones. I mean like appetite, hormones, neurochemistry. And then we look at insights, that's really the biohacking area. And then how do you feel your body correctly? And then the T is training your body and mind you can pick any one of those, but they all interlink with the others. Angela Foster: And when you start mastering one, you almost really feel enthusiastic to do another. Do you see what I mean? So it's kind of like a virtual model, then it doesn't matter where you start. It's probably easier if you start with sleep because sleep makes everything easier, but you don't have to start that. Do you see what I mean? And so it just, yeah, it turned into a bigger mission of how can I help people and if people get healthier and I've seen some amazing transformations in people and they come to me and go, it's just, it's changed my life. That makes me so happy. That that means what I went through as worth it. Wade Lightheart: It brings up to my awareness to individuals in the history history of the assistance of people, both on the physical and mental realm, Hippocrates the father of medicine, oftentimes attributed of Western medicine anyways, suggested that the best doctors were those who did not, were not born with robust health, with those who had great challenges and cultivated the capacity to understand, and to dive deep into the aspects of what produces health, because they needed it for themselves and also develop the empathy towards it. And Carl Young, the great psychologist who was a student of Freud yet broke away from Freud's paradigm model into universal consciousness, which gave forth to existentialism. And the idea of of a universal consciousness that was now separated into individual conscious said that one must incorporate the shadow of one's own life. So that one could be completely empathetic and compassionate without judgment for the people that they work treating. Wade Lightheart: And only through that, would you create the empathetic, energetic, compassionate component that allowed for that person to heal? Do you feel that your own, obviously life-threatening psychological shattering career ending challenges. If you could say some people would look at it that way. Right. And I'm sure there's some, maybe former colleagues back at the firms like, Oh yeah, Angela, she just made partnership. Couldn't handle, it just snapped, came on dine, and now she's off doing some biohacking stuff or whatever. She was just totally, you know, I'm sure there's that there's that component. And then there's other people that may have been in your firm that went through the same thing. And now, you know, kind of like, Speaker 3: How did you get out of this or do you feel your own challenges Wade Lightheart: Is, is as, as an asset to you, as someone who can really help a person that is, that is in that. And it's because so, so many people don't really understand the depth Angela Foster: I do. I think when you've been through it, and as you say, the, the lack of judgment, I think is the most important part, right? We're all doing our best with what we have. So if I can help you do even better than then we've got a result. And I think, you know, I'm fortunate in so far as the experience actually opens doors for me to talk to people because, you know, if I want to go and talk to employees or companies, the fact that I've been in a large corporation is helpful because they know that I know the environment and I know the challenges that are there. So I do think, I think everything that happens to us along the way is all incremental in our journey and is meant to happen. It happens for us in the order that it's meant to happen. It may not feel nice at the time. And it certainly was a struggle. I'm not gonna deny that, of course. And it was a choice to, to come away from that environment. But I think it was ultimately unfulfilling for me. So, you know, I had, I think people Speaker 4: At the law firm, for example, particularly the Angela Foster: Law, but law was unfulfilling actually. And they wanted me to go back and I just found it on fulfilling. You know, it was, I just thought this isn't where my heart is. Wade Lightheart: Can you just unpack that a little bit for Speaker 4: Listeners? Like, what does that mean? Angela Foster: So I loved that the only bit about law that I enjoyed was the thrill that there were two things. One was putting creative structures together that people hadn't done before. So that was the creation side of me, which has you say is probably makes me more vulnerable to things like bipolar and depression. But I, that was the bit I enjoyed was putting some structure that maybe hadn't, you know, getting it approved by the takeover panel and putting something cool in place. And then the other thing was the thrill of the negotiation that kind of round the table, swapping points and getting the best deal for the, for the client. Those two things were super fun, but the law itself is really not much fun. And I guess I wasn't that interested in it. Whereas if I was to read articles on health and books, I would, but if you would tell me to go and read a 300 page case, you know, judges report judgment, I would have read the headnote and at law school, and then that would have been enough it's it's quite boring. Angela Foster: Do you see what I mean? So fundamentally, you know, was it the right career choice in the beginning? Maybe not. For some reasons it was for the reasons I've just described the creative side, the negotiation side, the winning side, the competitive side. But I think the other side of it wasn't, and I do think that as you say, like the lack of judgment now, do you think, and when you work in health, you need to understand that you can do the best things ever. It still doesn't guarantee you optimal health. Does it, it just makes it way more likely there's no guarantees with anything in life. So Wade Lightheart: Other than it's, it's, it's, it's [inaudible] Speaker 3: As we discussed before the ultimate. Wade Lightheart: Yeah, of course. Maybe, maybe there's opportunities in in levels of, of experiential reality that we are not we don't have access to in this domain at that point. So we'll of course we'll all have the opportunity to find out sooner or later when you talk about your shift mentality and the opponents, th the, the, the system that you implement in helping people who might have gone through a similar situation, like who, who typically is your clients, how did you come with the shift mentality? How did you develop that process? And, and how does that impact your work both for you and for the client, your clients today? Angela Foster: It's a great question. So my client, I would say I run programs and then I take on a few one-to-one clients. They tend to be kind of people that are high performing in their field. A lot of entrepreneurs, I would say, and the reason that I guess, and a few kinds of CEOs and people in leadership positions, but a lot of entrepreneurs and I think that's and female entrepreneurs because the thing, the critical difference I've noticed with entrepreneurs, and I guess we're just in alignment in the way we see life is they're very much like athletes. And the whole idea behind shift is that you treat yourself like an athlete. They have to have the right mindset, the right affirmations to succeed. They can't allow that negative thinking, which is really what took me out. That's what depression is. They've got to train their body to train their mind. Angela Foster: They've got to fuel their body and the right way they've got to sleep, right. They've got to recover, right? They have to track their insights. Heavily use data is I believe that to really succeed at the highest level, we have to treat ourselves like an athlete and entrepreneurs really get this because they don't want be averaged. They want to be the best because where's all this going, you know, it was taken when I worked with entrepreneurs, I say, well, what's your big goal, right? So what's your vision, what's your purpose. And then what's the really big goal that you want from now. And then we kind of break it down into 90 day sprints. So it's like right now, how is us using shift, which is optimizing your mind, body, and spirit going to make that goal more successful happen faster, and really just make you that, I guess that Bulletproof human that's what we're trying to do. So yeah, that's how it impacts them. It's fun working with people like that because they're on the ride and they, they know that just to get even a little bit better, makes all the difference in what they can do. And in turn, what I love about that is when I impact those people, they then show up. And because they're already impacting a lot of people, there's this lovely ripple effect of helping me take it further. Wade Lightheart: I, I love this component and I think you have such a unique Scott story. And some people might want, what are, what are some, maybe some quick clips or some quick points that you implement with people that they can kind of check out, like, okay, you talk about shifts. So maybe you can give maybe five essential bullets that people in your program integrate with. And then we'll kind of lead into a little bit more of where people can find you if that's the kind of their thing. Angela Foster: Yeah, sure. So the first thing is to start actually becoming your own kind of biohacker. So I would say start taking data and you can start as, you know, for free, you can start with a journal. If you need to start understanding what you're doing and the impact that it has on your body and mind, because everything that you do from what you put in your mouth to how well you slept last night to how you engaged with somebody, and the thoughts you think is immediately affecting how you're showing up, or is it having a knock on effect later? So by actually getting really, really clear that's your first form of data is to start understand, understanding yourself, awareness. Exactly. Awareness, Wade Lightheart: Mindfulness. Yeah. Angela Foster: But I think it is. And I think awareness actually is a better word because mindfulness, I associate with sort of IDs, almost a presence and kind of a meditation, but it's more about being present than it is meditation. It's about focusing on what you are doing. Whereas this is bringing awareness to what you're doing and understanding, and actually starting to design your week around what you really want to see in it. And looking at time in a very different way. And then at the end of the week, really taking a hard look and going what worked, what didn't, because he's never going to go perfectly, but what really works and what didn't. And how did you feel after you did certain things or ate certain things. And then if you kind of start to think this is fun, then you can start with some of the toys. Angela Foster: Like, you know, I'm at the moment I'm comparing aura versus work, but you can start looking at those metrics and your recovery and your HRV and insights. And then you can work with a, you know, a functional and integrative practitioner, like where you can go a bit deeper and you can start looking at testing. So commonly, I will have everyone start with a DNA test because you never need to repeat it. So it's like, what is your baseline DNA? And where do we think there's, you know, there's areas that may be yours, slightly underperforming. We could actually control that epigenetic expression a bit like me with blood sugar management. We can see that on my genetics. That's really powerful. And when people see that they know how they can turn to change and customize their nutrition, their fitness, et cetera. And then couple that with other information, you know, start doing some organic acid testing and gut testing to see, well, here's my baseline now, how am I showing up? Angela Foster: And what's actually really happening. But it's about really starting to optimize all the key areas and making sure that whatever your overall arching goal, whether that is to be a better mother to be, or father, to be a better entrepreneur, be better in your job, whatever it is. Other health goals lining up. Because if someone says to me, you know, I want to basically make this huge impact on the world and make my company super successful. And at the same time, I've never done this before, but now I also want to compete. And when iron Ironman, we're almost trying to watch two different movies and you can't really concentrate on both. So I do think that's hard and I'm not saying you can't have it all, but I actually think that you need to decide on one goal at a time that is that overarching one and the others need to support it. Angela Foster: So I would then be looking at what's the minimum amount of fitness I can do that is enjoyable, anything over and above. This has to be for enjoyment, but what's the minimum that I need to do to be in really great shape, such that I don't need to recover as long, and I can give everything to my business, but I am in really great shape. You know, I've got the aesthetics, et cetera, and the physicality that I need. Whereas if you enjoy it and you want to go out for long rides and things, then that's great, but I wouldn't pick two massive goals, I think finish one and then go on to the other. So that's generally how it works, but if they want to kind of get an overview of where they are in their health right now, then I have like a fun kind of interactive questionnaire, which will give them scores on each of the areas of shift. And that's, they just go to your total health check.com and they can do that. And they get a personalized report on themselves. Wade Lightheart: It's it's beautiful. Final thoughts before we close off, where do you see the future in regards to integrating the things that you have inside of these? What I would call high performance, high stress lifestyles, so that the, the, you know, the, the, the medical doctors, the, the lawyers, the high pressure CEOs of the world, the people who are moving and shaking and determining the worlds are not sacrificing their health or their vitality or their soul for this. Do you see that at some, that this will be part of the partnership articling process, maybe down the road one day, Angela Foster: Do you know? I hope so. I think it's coming way quicker to entrepreneurs. Like if you look at them, the people at the top of their game, they are really in good health. The people that are really making an impact, I think incorporates is taking longer. Like I have dreams that I would love to see women succeed at the highest level in a way that aligns with their female physiology, because I think that they're, and that's really the hormone part for me is I think that we have been given a gift and we can be more creative at certain times of the month, more energized, we can show up differently, but certain times we're more reflective and we need to go inwards a little bit. And I think that if we could see that recognized and we could see that in girls sport, as they're going up, you know, what a young daughter, and just actually seeing it really opened up the opportunities so that the playing field becomes equal. And that men as well can have more time with their kids more time to actually pursue their fitness interests as well. And that we could have a more balanced approach. I would love that, but I think it is through us, you know, people like ourselves creating awareness and actually giving people the tools and having that knock on effect. And then they get a result and they tell someone else and they tell someone else, and we create that ripple effect across the world. Wade Lightheart: Angela, this has been so fun. Can you reach out to let us know where people can find you where they can get information about you and also you have a podcast just veer everything cause it's I know we only just scratched on the top of the surface and we'll dive into some more things a little bit later, but it was please share with us where we can reach you. Sure. Angela Foster: I'd love to. So my website is Angela Foster performance.com. As I mentioned a moment ago, you can go to your total health check.com. If you want to take the health questionnaire and get your own score and your personalized report, the podcast which Wade has been on and is one it's still one of my most popular episodes. I think we recorded that back in November, and we're about to record another one together in the next month or so. The podcast is high-performance health. And other than that, I guess my most active place is Instagram. So that's Angela as foster and people feel free to DM me connect with me there. Wade Lightheart: Well, Angela, your story is extremely inspiring. And I know some of my audience members are really going to connect and can appreciate that your journey and then what you are doing in the world. And it's a, it's a beautiful synergy between performance and health. And so I encourage everyone to check out your podcast to Kurt your, your social media, Instagram, all of those things, and take that test. You know, that's the first step of awareness. It's one thing to listen to us ramble on, on these podcasts and do our videos on stuff like that. But really the next step is to take action. So go down to that test, see where you're at and reach out to Angela and see what she has to say. Angela Foster: Amazing. Thank you so much for having me on and, and allowing me to spread my message a bit further. Thanks, Wade. Yeah, my Wade Lightheart: Pleasure. And for all our listeners at BiOptimizers, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the awesome health podcast. I'm Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers and we'll see you on the next episode.
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