Self Care: Holistic Methods for Staying Healthy in the Winter
Guest: Dr. Tereza Hubkova | Season 9, Ep. 356

Dr. Tereza Hubkova is board-certified in internal medicine, integrative and holistic medicine. Her breadth of experience allows her to see your health from many angles.

With additional training in functional medicine, lifestyle medicine and herbalism, she has many tools in her toolbox that equip her to look for the underlying root cause of disease.

She finds a natural approach to health and healing often more rewarding and safer than pharmaceuticals, but prescribes medications when necessary.

Dr. Hubkova takes time to listen to your story and works like a detective looking for clues and solutions where others have not.

Before relocating to Overland Park in 2019 to lead the AdventHealth Whole Health Institute, Dr. Hubkova served high-profile clients at the internationally known Canyon Ranch Spa in Lenox, Massachusetts, for ten years.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “When diet is bad, medicine is of no use. But if your diet is good, then medicine is of no need.”
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
  • “I think we shouldn’t postpone good decisions and just do it. I don’t believe in too many resolutions. I think just when you remember that you fell off the track, just change that. Don’t wait, change it the next morning or change it that same evening whenever you realize that you have made some bad choices.”

What You’ll Learn:

Encouragement to get back on track with your health resolutions and tips on how to stay healthy in the winter.

This Episode Includes:

  • Getting back to the basics of health is critical to stay healthy during winter.
  • Sleep, a good diet, and staying hydrated are important basics.
  • The Whole Health Institute with AdventHealth truly supports a holistic approach to medicine.
  • Most diseases are caused by imbalances in our lifestyle, like not getting enough sleep or letting stress get out of hand.
  • Lifestyle medicine is about preventing disease and making lifestyle changes to support whole-person health.
  • It’s never too late to start changing your perspective on health and making good health decisions.
  • Negative emotions can cause inflammation so your mindset is just as important to overall health as a good diet.
  • Getting back on track with your health is as simple as deciding you are going to do it. Don’t wait till the next holiday, change your habits when you notice them.
  • Tune in to your body and listen to what it’s telling you about your health.
  • Through the Culinary Genomics program, individuals get to look at their genes and then cook food that supports those genes.

Three Takeaways from Today’s Episode:

  • Considering joining the Culinary Genomics program with AdventHealth to get an in-depth look at your genes and learn how you can cook to support your overall health.
  • Make the decision right now to get back on track with your health resolutions.
  • Practice better sleep habits, drink enough water, and eat lots of vegetables to stay healthy this winter!

Mentioned In This Episode:

Click Here To View Written Transcript of Episode

Dr. Robin

Welcome back to Small Changes, Big Shifts, building Rhythm and Resilience. So, I know you’ll join my conversation. I’m joined today by Dr. Tereza Hubkova, and she is board certified in internal medicine, integrative and holistic medicine. She’s a breath of fresh air, and she has tons of experience from health from many angles. She has additional training in functional medicine. Lifestyle medicine. That’s an interesting word. Lifestyle medicine. I want to err, quote that so you can pay attention to that during this conversation. Herbalism. She has many tools in her toolbox that equip her to look for the underlying root cause of disease. She finds a natural approach in health and healing often more rewarding and safer than Pharmaceuticals, but prescribes medication when necessary.

Before relocating to Overland Park in 2019 to lead the Advent Health Whole Health Institute, Dr. Tereza served high-profile clients at the internationally known Canyon Ranch Spa in Lennox, Massachusetts, for ten years. Dr. Tereza, welcome to Small Changes, Big Shifts.

Dr. Tereza

Again, thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Robin

I love for you. I’ve been getting to know you over the last few years. And so welcome again to the show. So, hey, I’ve got a question for you. How are you staying healthy during these winter months?

Dr. Tereza

I think it just goes back to basics. Getting your sleep, that is really crucial. Nobody should skip on that. So minimum 7 hours, but ideally 8 hours of sleep per night, eating healthy diet, not too much sugar, lots of vegetables and fruits, lots of nutrients, making sure that you stay well hydrated so your mucus membranes are healthy, destressing. So those are kind of like the most important things. And then I love using herbs, so those definitely help a lot.

Dr. Robin

I want to talk about herbs a little bit more, but being on the Northeast for ten years and now you’ve been in the Kansas City for two or three years in Midwest, and people might catch your accent. You’re probably not from either of those places, correct?\

Dr. Tereza.

I’m from Czech Republic, but I’ve been in the US for 25 years now. It may be even a little bit longer, 22 years in Massachusetts. Yeah. And now third year in Kansas. Well, I love our partnership with Advent Health. I’m curious, what are some of the good things you’ve been learning about this great system, not just in Kansas, but around the country? Advent Health. And what does that mean to be the leader of the Whole Person Health Institute?

Dr. Tereza

I love about Advent Health, that they pay attention to Whole Health, that they really want to take a holistic approach to healing. And they walk the talk. They open Whole Health Institute. It’s a great opportunity to bring something that really should be mainstream medicine. Lifestyle medicine should be mainstream, but it’s still not.

So I feel very privileged that I have the opportunity to kind of leave that here in Overland Park. And hopefully this movement will spread all around the US and all around the world.

Dr. Robin

And what is lifestyle? As I said in the intro, what is lifestyle medicine really mean?

Dr. Tereza

It’s funny because I sometimes get that question asked even from my friends who are cardiologists. They’re like, what’s lifestyle medicine? Well, most diseases are caused by imbalances in our lifestyle, mistakes that we do in our lifestyle. Maybe we don’t get enough sleep or we don’t eat the right food, or we have too much stress or we don’t exercise.

And that really leads to at least 70%, if not more of the diseases that we see in our offices every single day. So when people realize that and really get motivated to change, then that’s true prevention. And I’m much more passionate about preventing diseases than treating them. It’s easier.

Dr. Robin

Well, I believe a guy named Thomas Edison said the future of medicine is about more prevention. Right. So I’m curious, what have you noticed the last few years we’ve been in this thing called the COVID pandemic, and do you feel like people are getting more in tune or more open or more curious about lifestyle medicine?

Dr. Tereza

I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I was really hoping when the Pandemic started that maybe the silver lining that people will realize, wow, people who get really sick with COVID are the people who had too many pounds on them or were not eating healthy or were not sleeping enough and that they will take the opportunity to change. But I’m not so sure.

I mean, maybe some people did, but I also see a lot of people where the opposite happened. They started stress eating and they gained a lot of weight instead of losing, they were eating comfort foods. I am not sure. And I think it’s a huge opportunity missed. But it’s not too late. People can start changing anytime, right. So, every day will count the moment you start improving your lifestyle habits. That’s the moment that you will start improving your health. And these changes can happen really quickly.

Dr. Robin

That’s why I love doing the show. I was just with a provider and they were saying, do you really do you love doing this podcast? I love doing the podcast. Multiple ways that I learn. I make more meaningful connections. And then I always hear from somebody saying, oh, my gosh, I learned something new. It takes one thought that could change your life forever, one idea that could change your life forever. So I have to tell you, I do believe what you said is true. Some people have taken this opportunity to seize this opportunity to focus on their wellbeing, some have stayed neutral, and some have said, what the heck? I invite all of you today to take this journey with us.

We’re both extremely passionate about lifestyle and preventive medicine, and I’m hoping that some of you enjoyed the conversation I had last week with Dr. William Davis, who wrote the book Wheat Belly and had a new book that’s coming out next week called Super Gut. And we will be helping take people through that lifestyle.

So, Dr. Tereza, we know sleep is important. We know that vegetables are important. Hydration support. How does mindset play into this?

Dr. Tereza

Mindset a huge role. Because if you are feeling negative, if you are frustrated, angry, that has a very negative impact on your immune system. Those negative emotions can actually cause inflammation. And at the same time, your immune system is less capable of fighting cancer or less capable of fighting viruses. When you are stressed or angry, you don’t sleep so well.

So now the sleep deprivation causes immune problems. Now you haven’t had a chance to make your natural killer cells, which are like the assassins of the immune system that go after infections and kill them. Mind having peace of mind, optimism, laughter, all those things are really medicine. So, yeah, we should promote that every day.

Dr. Robin

Well, one thing I’ve always enjoyed about seeing you is you almost always have a smile on your face. I’m not sure if you know that, but that’s something I’m keenly aware of. Our time together, pre-pandemic, as well as the times we’ve got to catch up virtually. So I’m going to be totally transparent. I have had a tough January.

I have not been in my normal routine for multiple reasons. A, I’ve traveled, B I’ve dealt with a little bit of sickness and C, I stayed up and watched the Chiefs play or had too much sugar or alcohol. I’ve been a little off in January. How can people get back on track? What’s the first step you recommend?

Dr. Tereza

It’s just deciding that you’re going to do it. I think it’s our human nature that we tend to say, I’m going to have New Year’s resolution and then you fall off the track and that’s normal. Everybody falls off the back end, usually sooner or later. And then they say, well, maybe I might as well wait until the next holiday and then the next holiday and there’s a holiday every month.

And so, I think we shouldn’t postpone good decisions and just do it. I don’t believe in too many resolutions. I think just when you remember that you fell off the track, just change that. Don’t wait, change it the next morning or change it that same evening whenever you realize that you have made some bad choices.

Dr. Robin

Well, as lifestyle practitioners, we fall off track. I fall off track. But you know what? I try not to let it be months or even weeks and it could be in a week. I may have two or three bad meals or two or three beds sleeping in or staying up too late. But overall, get back on the bus as soon as you can. Right.

Dr. Tereza

And our bodies usually remind us, right. We start feeling editable, we didn’t get enough sleep or we just don’t feel well when we didn’t eat well. So just listening to our bodies, they are trying to send us messages all the time.

Dr. Robin

Yeah, I love that. I was always kind of tuning in. Your body is always talking. Are you listening? And so mine has been talking to me a little bit, saying, okay, your body doesn’t do well on wheat and dairy. So get rid of that again.

I love the work that Advent Health is doing. And you guys actually have a Culinary Genomics program. Tell me about that.

Dr. Tereza

Yeah, Culinary Genomics is our latest program. We’ve been actually doing it for about half a year now and have some really great feedback from people. It is using genetic tests.

So, we do a cheek swap to look at your genes and then we use those genes to motivate you, the knowledge of those genes to motivate you to make those lifestyle changes, mostly around foods, learning which foods you can eat that will work on those genes, on your genes, so that you can lower risk of diseases. You can dial down the risky genes. You can dial up the good genes that you want to dial up and hopefully enjoy better, longer, healthier life if you do that.

So, the genetic test is a little bit just like a motivation and it’s really cool information. I think a lot of people are interested to learn about their genes, but then we learn together about the different categories of genes, let’s say for cardiovascular health, brain health, bone health, hormonal health, and then we cook together. That’s the fun part.

So, our wonderful chef and nutritionist, Lisa Martley, is such a gifted teacher and just makes amazing recipes that are full of the foods that talk to our genes. So, we cook together, have fun, eat the meals together and learn.

And I think that the fact that we use our hands to prepare the meals right away after we learned the information just helps to remember. And people are more likely to then actually eat that way next week and next week and change.

Dr. Robin

Well, love Lisa Markley. She’s been on the show and we talked about her thyroid cookbook, which is, you know, I did some one-on-one consultations over the last week, several of them. And a lot of people have a thyroid disorder. And I also love what you said about the genome and how do we try to help the ones who are struggling.

I think a lot of people don’t realize we’re a bunch of chemical reactions. I don’t know about you, but I think about the Krebs cycle. I was not very good in chemistry to be totally transparent. But so, I just remember some of the different interactions and that we’re chemistry and our chemistry gets kind of triggered by what we’re putting our body on our body and what we’re thinking. So, it’s such a wonderful program. While you’re doing the culinary genomics program, how can people find out more about it?

Dr. Tereza

They can come to our website We also have a Facebook page. And just even through the main Advent Health website, we usually run the program almost every month. We have different versions of it. We have a six-week version. And people come once a week, usually Thursday night. And we learn together and we cook together. And then we have a lot of time to ask questions.

And we try to build community also around it so that people can kind of stick together and kind of share what they cooked and where they exercised and what they discovered in the store by a Facebook group.

And we have kind of like a crash course for people who are too busy to do the six weeks version. We have Friday afternoon and Saturday. So, kind of like a mini weekend version. So that’s been quite popular, too.

Dr. Robin

I love the crash course. Awesome. Well, great stuff. Love what you’re doing. Looking forward to sharing more about Advent health and all the cool stuff you’re doing through the Institute this year. I would like to end the show with kind of something maybe a little bit more personal. Is there a quote or is there a song or book that’s inspiring you right now?

Dr. Tereza

I read a quote because I use that in the program, which is, “when your diet is bad, medicine is of no use,” which is true because you’re just going to have one illness after another related to your poor choices. And you will just have another medication and another and it’s in a snowball that keeps rolling down the Hill. “But if your diet is good, then medicine is of no need.” So that’s the old Ayurvedic proverb that I really like.

Dr. Robin

I love that. Well, here’s the quote I picked for you, and it makes me think of your beautiful smile. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” And that’s Gandhi, So, to all of you listening today. I hope that you’re finding a little nugget today that you could input into your life. It may just be the mindset, the decision today to say, you know what, I know better, I’m going to do better and if you don’t know better reach out to Dr. Trevor and Lisa Markley.

They are phenomenal teachers and this would be a great program for you to get involved in and start to get your life back. Let’s do this. Let’s change this epidemic of loneliness, of Covid, of depression, anxiety and let’s take it and just start making the next best decision. Dr. Treza, thanks for joining me on small changes. Big shift.

Dr. Tereza

Thank you so much Michelle. Have a great weekend and have a great year.

Dr. Robin

Thanks for listening and now it’s your turn. Turn hope into action by implementing one thing you learned from this episode. I believe if you change one thing a month for the next twelve months it will change your life forever. Be sure to subscribe so you can catch new episodes each week. Visit the website for the show notes and don’t forget to leave a rating or comment. Blessings to you.

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