Melissa Ramos is a Nutritionist with a background in Chinese Medicine and is the owner of Sexy Food Therapy: helping people feel sexy from the inside out by balancing their hormones and their digestion. You can find her all over the media including YouTube for her engaging videos and online providing consultations.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:02] – Melissa is also a National Health Expert
- [01:20] – Her focus is on hormones and digestion
- [01:33] – Personally, Melissa struggled with digestion
- [01:47] – She was 25 lbs overweight
- [01:59] – She moonlighted as a bartender and just got burnt out
- [02:03] – Melissa had an ovarian cyst that ruptured
- [02:17] – After that, Melissa started focusing on hormonal health
- [03:39] – Melissa’s expertise is looking into peoples’ mindsets and stress levels for hormonal and digestive issues
- [05:09] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: People are scared of salt, but we require good quality sea salt. Put two chunks of Himalayan sea salt in a large mason jar of water overnight to become a brine. Get 1 tbsp. of that and put in another large mason jar of water to remineralize it.
- [06:33] – Melissa adds the brine to her water throughout the day, but she also adds lemon, apple cider, cayenne, and cinnamon
- [07:22] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Melissa’s worst moment was when her cyst ruptured. She was $20K in debt and without any furniture in her 8-month old apartment.
- [08:20] – “Pain and suffering is your guru”
- [09:00] – It’s important to create a community of like-minded people
- [09:27] – It’s not just about putting yourself ahead, but taking care of yourself as well
- [10:35] – JLD realized he can stay on top of his weight and tweak a little by adjusting his food intake
- [12:01] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Melissa had a huge blip on a live air show and everybody laughed; it made her realize she didn’t have to be perfect in front of the camera
- [13:10] – It allowed Melissa to be unapologetically raw
- [14:03] – Melissa talks about the funny blip she had on air
- [15:08] – JLD also shares about being shy in middle school
- [15:37] – What JLD realized is that everybody thinks that everybody is staring at them while dancing
- [16:49] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “#1 is being present… and another big part of my focus is writing my book proposal, which is going to be available via my hormone membership program called Sexy Lady Balls”
- [18:52] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “You can’t have the on without the off”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Switching from consuming glucose… to going on more of a Keto-based diet”
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Grain Brain – “it talks so much about brain health”
- [22:47] – Connect with Melissa on her website and inside her hormonal membership group
Melissa: Hell yes!
Melissa is a nutritionist with a background in Chinese medicine and the owner of Sexy Food Therapy, helping people feel sexy from the inside out by balancing their hormones and their digestion. You can find her all over the media including YouTube, for her engaging videos; and online, providing consultations.
Melissa, take a minute. Fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely.
So, you said it pretty much on my personal – oh, sorry – my professional life. I’m also a national health expert here in a national show, which is great – sort of our version of The View. It’s called The Social and it’s a show –
John: And that’s Canada’s version, right?
Melissa: Yeah, it’s Canada’s version. In my opinion, it’s a little better. I’m not gonna lie.
Melissa: Just bias there.
But, you know, my focus really is on hormones and poop. I focus mainly on women, although I do have a tribe of men who really are looking to balance their hormones too – because sometimes men forget about it. And personally, you know, this is something that I have struggled with myself.
You know, I had – When I was in advertising, which I did for over a decade, I produced over 40 commercials and I had horrible digestive issues. I had horrible skin. I was 25 pounds overweight. And, you know, later on, when I decided to leave and jump into the entrepreneurial life – which can be a bit of a roller coaster – I was moonlighting as a bartender and I just burnt out.
In fact, I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured and it tore off a piece of my right ovary and I was hemorrhaging. And they took out three liters of blood and I was left with about 24 staples. And after that, it was really the time that I began to super-focus in on hormonal health, because I don’t feel that enough people – you know, whether you’re an entrepreneur or not – actually, you know, consider that hormones play a major role on how our bodies function. So it’s something that I have a ton of heart for.
John: Hormonal health, Fire Nation, is something that we all need to be focusing on – and men, I’m including you in this as well. I was just talking with Melissa before we started the recording here, that I’m actually taking her five-day challenge right now. So, you can see Melissa online. She has these really cool challenges to just kind of alert us; get us to understand exactly what it means when we say “digestive issues”.
You know, I’ve been reading a lot of books on this because it’s my new-found passion – just nutrition and health overall, you know. Your gut, Fire Nation, is your second brain. Like, you have to treat it like that because there’s a lot of stuff going on down there and if you’re not happy with your energy, with how you look, you know, there could be some serious things going on there that, with a couple tweaks, could really help and improve some things.
So, Melissa’s five-day challenge is amazing; other things she always has going on. And, as I mentioned in the intro, her videos – they really are engaging. She’s fun, she’s quirky, she’s cute; all of those things. So, Melissa, thanks for puttin’ those out.
Now, within that, let’s talk about what you consider your area of expertise. Just break it down in a couple quick sentences.
Melissa: Well, area of expertise – really, I look at everybody, whether you’ve got hormonal issues or digestive issues – really begins with mindset and it really begins with our stress levels. And those are, for pretty much everyone across the board when I’m looking at them, I’m, like: Okay, so what are your stress levels like; what are your adrenal health look like; what’s your nervous system like? All those things are catalysts to how our overall body will function. As you said, the gut really is the second brain. So, when I see people out of whack, that’s definitely where I start with – absolute first.
And people are normally pretty surprised, John, that it’s not always about supplements and food and exercise. It’s, a lot of the times, sleep, meditation; things to actually slow down so that we can have the “on” – if we can have the “off”, we can have the “on” – really is how I look at it.
John: Sleep, meditation – those are actually two things that are a huge focal point in my life. If I’m not getting eight to nine hours of sleep a night, which I just know is my sweet spot, I’m not happy. And meditation’s just a way that I now start my day, Fire Nation. You have to think of the whole, full picture.
And Melissa, I’m going to challenge you here because I know – I definitely don’t know a lot – but I know a lot more than I used to know about this stuff because of books I’ve been reading and people like yourself and I’m following. What’s something that we, as entrepreneurs, probably don’t know that we should? And, you know, maybe one quick tip, tool or tactic that you think we’d find pretty interesting.
Melissa: One big thing, actually, is I know that people hear that they have to drink lots of water – which is, you know, a no-brainer. People don’t drink enough, though. The one thing that people, I find, are scared of is salt, and I think it’s because we hear from our doctors that salt is bad for us. But one thing I always say is: We actually require that salt but good-quality salt. So I always recommend things like Himalayan sea salt. In fact, those chunks – the Himalayan chunks – you can get them on Amazon.
And I always say get two of those chunks, put them in a large Mason jar of water, let it go overnight so it can actually create a salt brine. Then just put about a tablespoon of that in another large Mason jar of water and that, essentially, helps to re-mineralize your water and is incredibly nourishing for the adrenals. Because minerals are the yin; it helps to nourish the body. And that’s really what the adrenals are after. So, most people don’t know that you require salt – good quality salt – and that’s an excellent way of providing it.
John: Yeah, salt got a bad rap, no doubt. And, Fire Nation, we need to get back to realizing what our body really needs.
Now, Melissa, within that – like, what do you do in the morning? Like, I don’t want to go through a whole morning routing here but, just specifically to this point, like, when are you drinking that water with salt? Is it just once at the beginning of the day? Is it throughout the day? How do you operate there?
Melissa: The salt brine – when I add that to my water, I usually add little doses of it throughout the day. But in the morning, first thing, I would actually just start off with probably about 16-ounces worth of water, lots of lemon, a little bit of apple cider vinegar, some cayenne – maybe some cinnamon – and then I chug that back and that really helps to flush the liver. And automatically, I feel, you know, ten times better because I feel like my body’s being woken up. So, that’s a really great way for me to start my day.
John: Wow. Well, I’m adding a few of those things, for sure, to my morning routine. Love that.
Now, Melissa, we’ve been talking about some stuff that can really improve our lives – and, you know, smiley face; life is good – but at the same time, we’ve had the ups and the downs; as you mentioned, the roller coaster of all entrepreneurs.
What would you say your worst entrepreneurial moment to date is? Take us there. Tell us that story.
Melissa: I think my worst entrepreneurial moment was when the cyst had actually ruptured. Because I was running – trying to run – my business at the time and probably getting four hours of sleep because I was moonlighting as a bartender. I was about $20,000.00 in debt and didn’t have any furniture in my apartment, really, for about eight months of living here. And, you know, I just felt like I had hit rock bottom. I didn’t have any financial help. I didn’t have a partner. My family didn’t come from money. And, on top of it all, I was sick. So that, to me, was really, really challenging.
But truthfully, I find that most people look at pain and suffering as something that they have to run away from. And we tend to medicate, we tend to – whether it’s with food, whether it’s with drugs or alcohol; you know, even sex – but people medicate trying to escape it and get away with it. But if you actually look at the core of suffering and those moments when you’re really hitting rock bottom, there’s –
Like, pain and suffering is your guru; like, it’s one of the principle beliefs of Buddhism. So, you know, to be able to look at that and to be able to transform that pain and feel it completely, versus running away from it – which is what I ended up doing – you get these moments where you’re like, “Okay. This is really bad but it’s not the worst thing that can happen.”
But that probably was the hardest point in my entrepreneur career.
John: So, within that, what do you want to make sure that our listeners get? Like, what is the take-aways? What’s the lesson learned you want to make sure Fire Nation walks away with?
Melissa: When you’re at a point – the lowest point in your career – and you’re just thinking, “Oh my God. I can’t do this anymore”, I think it’s really, really important to be able to create a community of people around you – of like-minded people – who get what you’re doing.
Like, my parents didn’t understand what I was doing. Like, Sexy Food Therapy? I have Latin parents – they’re, like, “Melissa, Sexy Food what?” Like, “We’re eatin’ porn?” They just didn’t get it, you know – bless their sweet heartin’ face – but I – You know, you have to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, 1000 percent.
And, you know, the second thing is, is – as I said before – is instead of feeling like you have to fire forward and hustle forward, which I know is a big part of it – what, you know, they tell entrepreneurs to do. But I think it’s also important for radical self-care. Because, if your nervous system is just – you know, you’re in this fight-or-flight mode – you can’t make educated decisions. You won’t be thinking clear-headed. You feel like you’re going to fail.
And so, I really feel it’s important to take a moment, get some exercise in. You don’t have to exercise for an hour. You can exercise for 30 minutes. You can sit with yourself for 10 minutes of meditation. These are things that you can do.
So, taking care of yourself – Like, if you’re hustling with your business like that’s your baby, you also have to think of who’s driving that ship and that’s you. And if you’re not taking care of that, everything will fold.
John: I love that point about exercise. And the reality is, Fire Nation, if you’re putting the right foods in your body; if you’re really focusing on your nutrition, on your health – doing this hydration technique that Melissa’s talking about, amongst a lot of other things – you don’t have to go crazy in the gym. I mean, you definitely should be exercising.
And for me, I realized that wow, I can actually, really stay at my weight that I want to stay at – or even potentially drop some pounds, if I want to tweak it a little bit – by just part of my morning routine: I get up, I go down and I row on my rowing machine 2,000 meters. That sounds like a lot – that’s eight minutes. Eight minutes – I get a little bit of a glean of sweat, you know, because I’m pushing hard. I get up, I max out on pull-ups and that’s it. That’s like 11 minutes that I just – right at the beginning of the day, I’m knockin’ that out.
And then – you know what? Then I come up and I do my meditation and I do my journaling, and then I get into my day. And then, you know, if later in the day – you know, 4:00, 5:00 pm comes and I’ve realized that I’ve kind of done some good work throughout the day and I have time to go for a run or maybe hit the weights a little harder – then maybe I go and crush, like, a second workout because, you know, my workout in the morning was so quick.
But I don’t have to, because I’m putting the right things in my body throughout the day. And I’m not just going to say, “Okay, I just was on the treadmill for an hour and a half. Now I can go eat that burger and fries and drink a Coca Cola and have” you know, “a side of Ben & Jerry’s” – which, you know, is actually my biggest, biggest vice by a long shot.
Kate’s like, “I’m gonna get you a pint of Ben & Jerry’s that we can share, John.” I’m like, “You know that we can’t share a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Every bit of that spoonful is going into my mouth.” So she buys two now.
But anyways – let’s move forward, Melissa, because I want to talk about one of your greatest AH-HA moments to date. Take us there, tell us that story.
Melissa: It’s interesting because I just would get so self-conscious with certain things. If I’m on TV, I’m on a live-to-air show. You know, there is a lot of pressure in a lot of the media work that I do. And one of my greatest AH-HA moments, I actually had a huge blip on a live-to-air show and I said something by accident that everybody just began laughing; I began laughing too. But it sort of broke the ice and it made me realize that all this, you know, preconceived notion that I have to be perfect on stage – whether it’s, you know, in front of my camera in my kitchen or whether it’s on stage in front of a live-to-air audience that broadcasts throughout the nation – it doesn’t require perfection.
And I think that that took a huge load off me because the pressure that was on me, that was mounting continuously, to just be at this level – I was, like: I don’t have to be at any level, I just have to be on my own level. And that’s a level onto its own and that’s totally fine.
And that probably was the biggest AH-HA moment for me because it allowed me to be unapologetically raw. It was me and I didn’t have to try to, you know, compete or feel like I had to compare myself with an illusion of something that I feel that exists because of these filters that essentially filter out reality on social media. And the second I did that, it took so much pressure off because I think that entrepreneurs do this all the time – this comparison game – wanting to keep up, wanting to know, you know, the right people and getting stressed if they don’t know those right people.
But, at the end of the day, we have to give ourselves a little bit more credit. And the second that we can sync into that, we perform at a much higher level and become way more confident – and attract better things.
John: Talk to us about that blip. Just real quick, break it down. What happened?
Melissa: Well, it was a segment where I was talking about dry skin brushing. And I was saying that you have to dry skin brush always towards your heart. So I said, “From your toes to your nose and from your pitties” and I was supposed to say, “to –” and instead, I said, “from your titties to your”. And the host looked at me and she said, “You mean ‘pitties’, right? Like arm pits.” And I’m like, “Uhh… Oh, dear. Oh, no – I didn’t just say that.”
And it was just – You know, and I mean I was razzed about it every single time I go into the station.
John: Of course!
Melissa: And, like, “Can you please say that word again please?” You know, like – it just takes a load off. And I realized, I’m like, “Man, I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to be me.”
And that’s, I think, a part of the reason why people gravitate to my videos is because they see someone who does make mistakes on camera. They do see somebody who’s quirky; who sometimes falls over – because I will fall over my left foot if I could. Like, it’s just part of being me.
I mean, Fire Nation, we can all think back to a moment. I’m going to share one right now.
I was literally the shyest young man – and by “young man”, I mean like 7th, 8th, 9th grade. I was so shy. I would make up every excuse in the world not to go to the junior high and high school dances because I was too scared to even be in that gym. I wouldn’t dance. I was so shy.
John: And, to be honest, like 97 percent of people are pretty shy when it comes to dancing. I mean, you know, they can maybe get a couple drinks in them and feel a bit better but the problem that I realize, as an outsider – not even being able to go to these dances – was that everybody thinks that everybody is staring at them while they’re dancing. So, of course, you just have like ten people nervous about dancing because they think those other ten people are staring at them; where, really, all those other people are worried about themselves and thinking about people staring at them.
So, I said: You know what? What everybody just needs is one person that’s just gonna get out there and be, you know – either the worst dancer or just a goofy dancer; just have fun – to just break the tension, to just get over that hump and then everybody can feel like, “Well, you know – I mean, if John’s being such a goofball out there, at least I can, you know, start to shake around because now I’m not going to be, you know, that silly.”
And for me, that was just such a mindset shift. I went from not even being able to go to dances, to literally being the first person on the dance floor; like, being the person to break it down.
I still do that. I was just at a wedding on December 31st, 2016, to bring in 2017, and I was the first person on the dance floor. Like, I still do that at 37 years old now. I break it down first because I know that I’m not a great dancer but, because I’m not great, it’s gonna other people out having fun. So, Fire Nation, just realize that.
And Melissa –
Melissa: I love it.
John: Let’s talk about you right now. What are you most fired up about today, here in 2017?
Melissa: You know, the thing that I’m most fired up – it’s actually twofold:
Number one is being present. So, you know, it’s one of those things where everybody’s on the phone. And I get it - when you’re an online entrepreneur, that’s it. But when I’m present, I’m able to really focus in on what I’m doing. So, if I’m present and I’m, you know, working on something, I don’t have ten tabs open. It’s a huge pet peeve of me. I’m very much single-focused versus multi-tasking type thing. If I’m present and I’m with my husband, my phone is on airplane mode. Like, I don’t touch it. And that’s a huge, huge part because I do feel that it helps me to recharge. It helps me to focus better.
And another big part of my focus is writing my book proposal, truthfully – which is going to be all on my hormone membership program – called Sexy Lady Balls.
Melissa: “Lady balls” referring to your ovaries.
John: Of course.
Melissa: So, I’m really thrilled about that and, honestly, just moving forward and being the healthiest I can be; and switching up my fuel source, really, so that my brain can function at the most optimal level possible.
John: Fire Nation, being present is such a unique thing in today’s day and age. And, I mean, you have to use that airplane mode that Melissa was talking about – you have to. By the way, you have to when you’re going to bed at night and it’s by your head.
John: Like, put into airplane mode; don’t have that thing bompin’ around all those signals. So, that’s for sure. But, you know, when you close it down for the day, come on – let’s be present with the people that we’re in the room with.
I mean, I give Kate, you know, lovingly, a hard time when I, you know, am at dinner with her and when I leave to go to the bathroom, I come back, you know – she is on her phone, which is fine. I do the exact same thing but I’m, like – You know we’ve lost the ability to just be by ourselves too; to be present. Like, we can’t. Like, we’re like we’re awkward if we’re just sitting at a table, alone. We’re like – Well, if I just am looking at my phone, then obviously I’m important or doing something. So, no, Fire Nation. Challenge yourself. Get out of that.
And speaking of challenging yourself, Melissa’s going to be throwing some challenging Value Bombs our way during The Lightning Round after we thank our sponsors.
Melissa, are you prepared for The Lightning Round?
Melissa: Oh, hell yeah. Let’s do it. Bring it on.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Melissa: Fear, I would say. Fear. I was terrified that: How about if I don’t make it? I was an incredibly successful advertising executive. So, fear was a huge part of me that was really holding me back – absolutely.
John: Which is crazy, Fire Nation, because Melissa and myself were actually like real-life friends too. Like, we met in person multiple times. We’ve hung out at events.
Melissa: I kicked your butt during a workout, if you remember.
John: You kicked my butt – true story. She kicked my butt during a workout. And like, not like a girly workout but like – you know, like actually lifting weights and doing things like that. So this – She’s no joke.
And she comes across as just one of the most confident, strong women that, you know, I’ve met. And the fact that she’s saying this – I mean, Fire Nation, that’s just a reality. We all have this fear. We all have this doubt. So, just realize that. Drive through it.
Now, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Melissa: Honestly, it was from when I interviewed Deepak Chopra for Huffington Post and I asked him, “What’s the best advice you can give me?” And he looked at me – and I mentioned it earlier in this podcast – but he said to me, “You can’t have the ‘on’ without the ‘off’, Melissa.”
And that, to me, just stuck with me – which is the reason why, even though sometimes I wake up and I don’t want to meditate. Like, people think that you wake up and you’re just like, “Okay. I’m gonna meditate and I’m gonna clear my mind.” You don’t.
Melissa: It’s a filtering system. And, you know, being able to do that and having that time. Like, how much time do we get in our day where it’s complete silence? That has been absolutely a game-changer for me.
John: What is a personal habit that contributes to your success, besides meditation?
Melissa: It’s more of a product, to be completely honest with you. I mentioned a bit about brain fuel and, to be honest with you, switching up my brain fuel and going from – you know, whether it was, like, eating whole grains before and ditching those – my success is based on how my body also functions so I can drive this ship. And for me, switching from, you know, consuming glucose – so, breads, pastas; all that kind of jazz – to going on more of a keto-based diet and using –
Keto OS has been – I can’t even ramp the praises enough about it because I feel like I’m on top of my game. I’m alert. My mood’s better. I, you know – from a vanity perspective, my skin’s never looked better. My weight is consistent. I just feel so on top of it, so that probably has been, like, a huge part of my success, for sure, because I just feel like I’m functioning at my most optimal pace.
John: If you could recommend one book to join Sexy Lady Balls, of course – when that comes out in the future – what would it be and why?
Melissa: I really, really loved Grain Brain – out of all the ones that I have from a health perspective – Dr. David Perlmutter. So that’s probably the one that I would like the most because of the fact that he talks so much about brain health.
And I think that if you’re an entrepreneur, understanding how you’re fueling your body and how it’s actually driving how you feel, how you perform. Like, you want to hustle and crush it and all these terms that everyone uses – which is great – but if you don’t have the energy to do that, forget it. So I highly recommend it. It’s so eye-opening to understand how our gut performs and how it influences our brain. That’s a huge one.
John: Let’s end today on Fire, Melissa, with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, the best way we can connect with you; then we’ll say goodbye.
So, you can connect with me at sexyfoodtherapy.com; that’s my website. If you want to check out my hormonal membership group, Sexy Lady Balls, that’s just sexyladyballs.com – pretty easy. And I’ll also provide a little link about my favorite fuel source, which is the Keto OS, because it’s absolutely fantastic. And those pretty much are the ways that you can sort of loop in with me – and I’m everywhere on social media. Check out Facebook and just check out Sexy Food Therapy, even on Instagram, and say “Hello”.
John: I cannot believe that sexyladyballs.com was available. So, way to snag it, Melissa! I feel like that would be one of the top five domains taken back in the day.
But, Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hangin’ out with MR and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. If you type “Melissa” in the search bar, her Show Notes page is gonna pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz – time stamps, links galore. And, of course, head directly to sexyfoodtherapy.com or sexyladyballs.com.
And Melissa, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch ya’ on the flip side.
Melissa: Thank you!
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