There are few wellness pros who will shoot as straight with us — and with as many holistic insights — as Dr. Sara Gottfried. Dr. Sara is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches how to achieve natural balance and vitality, and is the author of a slew of useful wellness reads like The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Reset Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet — all modern classics for women seeking optimal health at every age without compromise.
Over the years we’ve talked with Dr Sara about a little bit of everything, but below, she shares her personal daily routine (pre-COVID) that says it all…
Daily Breakfast: I mix a chocolate protein bowl with prebiotic human milk oligosaccharides, filtered water, lavender sea salt, flax seeds and sliced banana. I perform intermittent fasting daily in a 16:8 protocol, so the bowl is either right before a workout or immediately after, as a recovery bowl.
My Food Philosophy In One Sentence: “Food is information for your DNA.” My philosophy is to use my fork to influence how my brain body functions and feels. Food is data not just for your own DNA, but for the microbes in your gut, whose DNA outnumbers human DNA 100-to-1. Food first, then supplement as needed.
Daily Supplements: Vitamin D 5000 IU with Vitamin K2; Set Point packet for my sluggish metabolism, energy and thyroid; and a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus salivarius that’s shown to help with gut wall integrity.
Can’t Live Without My: Daily check of heart rate variability while I meditate. It keeps me on track and tells me when I need to chill more. So I measure my HRV every morning with a bracelet while meditating, then I track HRV throughout the day, looking for the schedule items that make me stressed and take me out of coherence.
Once A Week For My Health I: Disconnect. I turn off my phone and refrain from checking my email for 12 to 24 hours. Taking a digital detox helps me stay centered and sane. I spend the time with my family and reboot before diving into the full workload and responsibilities, but the truth is I can’t be trusted to not sneak a peek, so I put my phone in the safe.
Fave Workout: I am obsessed with power zone training with Matt Wilpers on Peloton, and then I take Robin Arzon’s classes for the fun factor. I go running with my best friend every Sunday, which is the best therapy on the planet, but it doesn’t get me into great shape like Matt and Robin.
Best Healthy Food Option On-The-Go: Macadamia nuts. The healthy monounsaturated fat keeps me satisfied so I don’t crave sugar or other brain/body party crashers.
Always In My Fridge: Sauerkraut, miso, leafy greens (right now, chard and kale from my garden), a jar of bone broth, liposomal glutathione. And, oh yes, a jar of cut and raw vegetables like celery, carrots and radishes. There is no debate about the benefits of vegetables, so I like to just make it crazy easy to comply.
Always In My Medicine Cabinet + On My Vanity: Vintner’s Daughter facial oil (a cult favorite), Slow Flow for my heavy days, binder powder for liver detoxification (contains Bentonite clay and activated charcoal, i.e., the works!).
At Least Once A Week I Cook: Wild-caught salmon or steelhead for the brain body boost from Omega-3s.
If I Could Give Just One Piece Of Health Advice It Would Be: Exercising smart for 1 to 2 hours per day a few days per week is better than intense exercise, like running, which puts too much stress on the body by raising the wear-and-tear hormone cortisol. I recommend adaptive exercises mixed with burst training for the best route to fitness.
Current Reading List:
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
The Power of Moments by Heath Brothers, because they are the coolest
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Crazy Health Idea That Actually Works: Saunas. Sitting in a hot sauna, dry or wet, guides your body to age well. Sauna bathing is also relaxing; it eases stress while adding to your healthspan. Hot saunas increase circulation, lower blood pressure and are associated with longevity. It’s like a mini workout, and the heat allows you to sweat out toxins through your skin.
My Non-Negotiable: Minimum 90 minutes of deep sleep! Poor sleep quality is an epidemic that so many people simply take for granted as part of a busy lifestyle. Yet not having healthy sleep patterns can contribute to a host of health problems: accelerated aging, high cortisol, weight gain and depression, just to name a few.
Studies show a link between weight gain, lack of sleep and insulin resistance. Furthermore, sleep debt leads to dietary indiscretion and weight gain in women because we’re too tired to make wise food choices. In other words, get that solid seven to nine hours that your body really needs.
Simplest Way To Improve Health: Flossing. It fosters longevity—independent of brushing one’s teeth—as does seeing the dentist at least twice per year (I go quarterly). If you don’t floss, your risk of mortality is 30 percent higher and if you see the dentist only once per year, you raise mortality by 30 to 50 percent. Flossing can prevent periodontal disease after as little as one month of regular use. I recommend flossing at least twice a day. No one does it right, so get a reminder on good form.
Go-to Morning Beverage: Matcha. I’m a slow metabolizer of caffeine so I get jittery and mildly insane on coffee, but matcha is just my type. Plus I suck at detoxification, so the polyphenols in matcha do it for me.
Fave Healthy Getaway: Point Reyes National Seashore in West Marin County, California. This location is my muse and simply brings out the best in me and my husband! It’s the county where people live the longest in the United States and for good reason: You hike everywhere in fresh air, eat local organic food and generally feel like the best version of yourself (i.e., your birthright!).
My Current Mantra: Up. Soar. Yes. I’m determined to do my first pull-up this year, so this is my mantra as I face the pull-up bar each morning.