Episode 5

Published on:

19th Jul 2022

What You Don't Learn in Medical School | Julie Foucher

Julie Foucher is a former four-time CrossFit Games athlete and family physician practicing precision medicine. She launched the Pursuing Health podcast back in 2015 while transitioning from CrossFit competition to being a full-time medical trainee. Based on what she saw in her medical training and CrossFit career, she realized her passion and unique position to help patients maximize their health through lifestyle, and she's committed to transforming primary care delivery to achieve this mission.

In this episode we discuss:

·     How to motivate positive health & lifestyle changes

·     The qualities & mindset that make an excellent doctor

·     Is precision medicine really the future?

·     What it takes to be great…at anything

This episode is brought to you by LMNT, InsideTracker, and 1stPhorm

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Dr Lyon: Julie Foucher yes. Hello. Hi, this is amazing. So we've known each other now for easily a couple years. and this is the first time we get to meet in person.

Dr Foucher: Yes. And it's been awesome. I've loved hanging out with your kids and meeting your dad and it's amazing. Yeah. It feels like old friends

e. You were in the games from:

You were trained at the Cleveland clinic. That is a very unusual combination. And not to mention your placings in the CrossFit games, it wasn't as if you were a weekend warrior, you did not place out of the top five. It's crazy. How does it feel to be such an underachiever?

that's a big question, but , it is pretty amazing, and I think for me, I feel so lucky with the way everything unfolded. I think I had so many opportunities to compete in CrossFit and in med school. And I think the timing, the way that things worked out, it really allowed me to be able to do both of these things at the same time.

Dr Lyon: And what was the timeframe? Were you in medical school while you were competing?

lege. So it was the summer of:

Dr Foucher: In Michigan. I was at the university of Michigan and I thought I, I had really felt out of place since I did sports in high school.

I did gymnastics. I did track and field. And then when I started college, I always knew I really wanted to be active and I wanted to use my body. And actually, interestingly, I thought about doing fitness competitions as a way to, to continue, but then I found CrossFit and it was immediately, as soon as I heard what it was, I thought.

This is exactly what I've been looking for. I just loved the idea of doing something different every day, incorporating gymnastics and weight lifting and endurance, working out in a team environment where you had a coach, you had someone telling what you, what to do. You had teammates, classmates, and the minute I set foot in the CrossFit affiliate that was in Ann Arbor, it was called HyperFit USA, I just knew I'd found my new home. So I was very excited. It's incredible. Yeah.

Dr Lyon: From the time that you had started, what did you study in college?

Dr Foucher: Actually biomedical engineering yeah, my dad is an engineer. So he really encouraged me to apply to the engineering school. And I had a lot of mixed feelings about it because I loved everything in high school.

I loved the humanities, I loved English. And I remember one day crying in my counselor's office in college because I really wanted to take a humanities class and I didn't have...

Dr Lyon: You're like, this is really odd.

Dr Foucher: Yeah, I know. Yeah. And I was in this weird position because I was a female in engineering and I had good grades in high school.

I ended up getting a scholarship and it came with a lot of implications. If I were to switch my major, I would lose that scholarship, which would've been a big deal.

And you were on an academic scholarship? okay.

Dr Foucher: So I ended up staying in engineering and it really was for the best I loved it.

I thought it was great for developing problem solving skills. I met some of my, some great friends in engineering, but it, to me, it was only interesting if it was around the human body. So I studied biomedical engineering. that context, I think, made it more exciting for me, but I was never really cut out to be an engineer.

Dr Lyon: was there a moment that you decided you were gonna go into medicine?

Dr Foucher: It was in high school. I think when I took high school biology and psychology, that those two classes, I was just so fascinated by how humans work, down to the cellular level and then learning about anatomy and, then the psychology of it too, that mind body connection.

Dr Lyon: And I think someone in high school suggested maybe you'd be a good pediatrician. And I thought, oh, that's a good idea. And I think that's where the idea first came into my mind and my mom was an optometrist. She had her own practice and That's an eye doctor for people that are..

Dr Foucher: Yep. And she had her own practice that her father owned before her. So it was very much a family, business, a small community. She took care of patients that her dad knew and their kids and grandkids It was a very, special place. And so I think that influenced me too. I was able to see the summer after high school, I worked for her for the summer and I saw just how powerful her relationships with patients and to me that was

I think the deciding factor of for going into medicine eventually was I loved the physician patient relationship.

Dr Lyon: Do you think that was conscious at that point in time?

Dr Foucher: I think so. So through college, I try to keep an open mind. I, so I started college, I try to keep an open mind because everyone at the university of Michigan goes in pre-med.

And so I thought, okay, let me just make sure I check out all my options. And I looked at industry careers in engineering. I looked at research tracks and ultimately I just kept coming back to that physician patient relationship. And it was so fascinating to me, just the trust that you have and the way that people

Dr Lyon: come to you with this trust without even having met you. It might divulge some of their most personal details that they might have, they might not have even told, their closest family members and then the responsibility that you have to then help them. that was what really drew me in it's a very sacred relationship. And it will always continue to be so I can absolutely appreciate that. . When did you decide in your college career that you're gonna go into medicine because that's very rigorous. Yeah. People must understand that in order to get into medical school, it really needs to be 100% of an individual's focus, even though you were doing CrossFit.

I don't know, on the weekends, was that during class? Was there a point in time where number one, while you were in undergrad, that you decided to go into medicine and two, obviously, where did CrossFit even play into that? Because, in order to be competitive in any sport, now you're talking about two things that are incredibly time consuming

Dr Foucher: Yeah, absolutely.

So interestingly, this is where I say timing played a big role because I started CrossFit the summer before my junior year of college. And that summer, or that junior year was really when, if you wanna apply to med school to go right after college, you have to start thinking about the MCAT and applications and all these things.

rise to the CrossFit games in:

And that summer I, I took the MCAT shortly, I think shortly after I had competed in the regional and qualified. And then I went to Bethesda and did an internship at the NIH that summer, and was submitting my med school applications. I think I submitted it right after I got back from the CrossFit games or something like that.

And so they were definitely happening at the same time. I think if I had found CrossFit earlier or CrossFit had been more advanced as a sport earlier,

: So was it, a newer sport in:

Dr Foucher: It was. So the first year of the CrossFit games was 2007. I,I remember the summer of 2009 was when I started CrossFit and I remember watching online the 2009 CrossFit games and these women at that point, it was still at this ranch in California,

wasn't at a big venue and it was like a fun backyard, barbecue vibe. And I remember watching these women thinking, oh my gosh, they are doing the craziest things. I could never do that. And I, they actually posted for all the female competitors, their average times, and their best times on some benchmark workouts, some lifts and some benchmark CrossFit workouts.

s. And so then I qualified in:

I think if I had, if it had been a little bit delayed, I may have delayed med school and said, let me just try CrossFit for a few years and see where this goes. And I'm so grateful that I was already down that path because I think I may have changed my mind. I might not have gone through with going to med school, or it might have been five or 10 years later.

Dr Lyon: It's really interesting. You say it as if it was there's an ease to it. there's an ease to this idea of seeing a time, competing in it, and applying to medical school.

That's not easy.

Dr Foucher: Nope. and there were some very low moments during that journey.

Dr Lyon: I'm sure that the listener at home, while you speak about it in this ease number one,

was it easy? And number two, how did you compartmentalize and was there a mindset? Is there, I'm sure there is to, fast forward to now, but what was your fundamental mindset going through competition while applying to med school?

Dr Foucher: So I think for me, it was really knowing what my priorities were.

competition quickly became my top priority.

Dr Lyon: Okay. Over medical school. I won't talk, I won't talk to professors


d, after, in that first year,:

and this is out of...

I don't know how, the total number that enter in the open is at that point was maybe like a hundred thousand or something. Now I think it's around 400,000 a year. that start.

Dr Lyon: So you

placed just to clarify, you placed in the top five out of a hundred thousand athletes while in undergraduate getting ready to apply to medical school.

, I'm not sure how you live with yourself. I mean, kind of a loser.

Dr Foucher: I don't know how all, like every step of the way it was so surprising to me. And it was also that early phase.

Dr Lyon: Wait, what was so surprising?

Dr Foucher: I think because, and this was a big part of my journey through my whole CrossFit games career was, building my own confidence.

I think I have always had naturally had the mindset or used to think that being humble was just shrinking and never really believing that I was capable as I really was. And so for me, I'd never been to the CrossFit games before it was all new and I'm sitting next to these women that I watched on video last year,

Dr Lyon: and then you crushed them.

Dr Foucher: And then I did so well and it was very surprising. And so then going into the next year, so this was, training during my senior year of college. And then the actual CrossFit games happened about a month after I started med school. And that was a very stressful time in life. A lot of transition, finishing college, moving to Cleveland, starting med school in the same span of time.

I also lost my grandmother who was, the first real death in the family of someone close to me and my uncle died unexpectedly. So there was a lot of things happening and my way of compartmentalizing or dealing with it was just trying to focus on the competition and get through that, and then I'll deal with everything else.

And so I really buried a lot of the other stuff in reacting to that. And, and my mindset going into the competition was very much, I just don't wanna do worse than last year because I didn't wanna be a fluke. I didn't wanna just get, I got fifth place last year. I don't wanna end up, in the bottom half or the bottom this year.

And because I had that mindset, this is so fascinating. I. and going into the games that year, all this stress starting med school was the first time in my life I ever experienced physical symptoms from stress. I was definitely in a stress state.

Dr Lyon: And what does that mean? Physical symptoms?

I wasn't able to eat a lot.

I had a lot of GI symptoms. like even, I couldn't even, I had no appetite, even though I was training.

Dr Lyon: So you were over training?

Undereating. You were probably not sleeping well. Yeah. and this is, did you realize something was off?

Dr Foucher: Yes. it was, the symptoms were pretty obvious to me, but I just was of the mindset

let me just get through the games, then I'll deal with everything else.

Dr Lyon: But it's really interesting. You were saying it was almost, forgive me, but it was almost a negative mindset. You were able to perform and execute, but it was almost as if you weren't coming from a place of courage. Yeah. And I

got this.

Dr Foucher: No, I was not. I was coming from a place of fear and scarcity and that played out. I ended up doing well in the competition going into the last event in third place. So I had the opportunity to be on the podium. And the last event was very well suited for me. It was a lot of my strengths, but for some reason I just fell apart and I ended up in fifth place again. What was the event or was it a culmination

It was,it was, a chipper. It had rowing wall balls, I think box jumps, ketlebell swings and a rope pull lay down and rope pull. And for some reason I got to the wall balls and just could not hit the target. No matter what, and it was crazy.

I thought I was in some weird Twilight zone, but, so I really bombed and I did, I ended up in fifth place again. And I looking back on that, I think, that's exactly mentally what I had prepared myself for. , Don't do worse than last year, even though I know I was capable of doing better. I think to me that was an illustration of how important our mindset is when we go into a competition and believing in ourselves.

And that's something that I intentionally worked on a lot during the following couple of years of competition.

Dr Lyon: How many

times did you replay that event in your head?

Dr Foucher: A lot. yeah, a lot. And really when I came home, I was, it was probably I think really the hardest time in my life, thus far, it was adjusting to med school.

I was really depressed because I hadn't dealt with a lot of the grief from losing these family members. And,I got to the place where I just was, I didn't enjoy training. I was crying all the time. It just wasn't good. And I kept telling myself, it's just because you're here, you'll go home for Christmas.

You'll see your coach, your family things will get better. I came back to school in January. No, not better. So finally, I ended up working with,two things happened. One. I had this conversation with my mom. I remember it so vividly. We were on the phone and she said, Julie, you don't have to do any of this stuff.

You don't have to compete in CrossFit. You don't have to go to medical school. We'll still love you just the same. And to me, that was such a powerful moment. When I realized I had not really defined for myself, why I wanted to compete. It was, I'm doing CrossFit because it's good for my health.

And next thing I know, I'm at a competition and I'm doing well, so I'm gonna keep going. And then I did well at the games, so I'm gonna keep going. And it was fun, but I had never really asked myself that question and identified with why am I doing this? Why is it worth all of the sacrifice and all of the, things that I am giving up in order to be training all the time and making all these decisions about nutrition and recovery and everything else.

Dr Lyon: I have a question for you. it's interesting typically at a very stressful moment, they say that we don't necessarily rise to the occasion, but we fall to our level of training or capacity . And interestingly enough, you had been a competitive athlete in high school. that takes a lot.

And then of course you were on an academic scholarship, which means you were not a slouch in high school. My question to you was had that mindset of fear really defined you up until that point, because it's unlikely that you were of a different mindset and then when the pressure was on you flipped it to a more negative mindset.

Dr Foucher: No, I think, and this is something I've only recently started to make a shift in the last two years. since I've graduated from residency, I think that I've always been conditioned to, growing up, doing gymnastics and being very much a perfectionist in school, in sports and everything that I did.

I think that, and really chasing achievements, because that's, you do well and people give you praise and then you wanna keep doing well. I really hadn't, asked myself a lot of those questions, a lot of the why, and really really developed a sense of self worth and self love independent of those achievements.

Even though I thought I had, I really hadn't.

Dr Lyon: Independent of external experience. Do you feel like if you were to do it again and you were to be in that position, where you were now competing again cuz you then went on and competed after that. how was that next competition?

Dr Foucher: Yeah.

So after I asked myself some of those questions and I identified with my why, everything changed. I really enjoyed training again. I had a great time.

Dr Lyon: Was it overnight?

Dr Foucher: It was pretty instantaneous. Yeah. I did some counseling work. Worked through some of the grief and started asking myself those questions and then it was pretty instantaneous.

Like it was going from one day getting to the gym and crying and being like, I'm gonna go home to the next day. Oh, this is fun again.

Dr Lyon: But isn't that

incredible? For anyone listening out there and any of your patients or any of my patients, the capacity to ask someone that one pivotal question can change everything.

And it doesn't have to be a long, strenuous, length of time of suffering. it truly is, what is that liberating insight and then it is it's instantaneous. It is. So you went from not wanting to train crying every day, to a moment of clarity to now all of a sudden having some kind of mental freedom, physical

Dr Lyon: freedom.

Dr Foucher: And I had my best ever finish. I finished in second at the CrossFit games that year.

Dr Lyon: And how were you doing in medical school?

Dr Foucher: And I was doing great in medical school.

Dr Lyon: yeah, that's insane. It is.

Dr Foucher: It's so much of it is about knowing ourselves, knowing our why or our purpose and knowing our values and living in alignment with those.

Dr Lyon: Yeah.

What is your why now?

Dr Foucher: That's a great question. And this is something I've done a lot of work on recently. It's changed. I recently wrote a life plan for myself. I love it. So I've been working, I've started working on it in January. And I feel very good about it now. And as part of that, my purpose statement is to have the greatest possible impact on humanity, by healing women.

Dr Lyon: I love that. Yes.

Dr Foucher: And I don't know exactly how that's gonna look or how that's gonna play out. I think we can't, we can't plan all the details, but I know that's something I'm very passionate about. and I know that it can happen in a lot of different ways. I feel very. blessed that I've had the experiences I have in CrossFit, and that I've been introduced to functional medicine and just wanna continue to learn about all the diverse ways

that we can heal, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually through Eastern Western medicine. all of those things.

Dr Lyon: And the obvious question is why women obviously you are one, I am one , but was there something that perhaps you wish you had that maybe had you tailor that to women?

Dr Foucher: I think for me, I think it is partially because of my own experience and I'm a woman and I can relate to women. I've always felt just a strong connection with women. And I also think that we just across the world, women are so powerful and our voices and identities. We are not even beginning to scratch the surface of tapping into those, whether it's in, a third world country where education will make a big difference in how a woman can, use her gifts to help her community, or, in a woman who's in maybe an abusive relationship.

Dr Lyon: And isn't able to fully use her gift because of that. There's I think there's so many different ways that this plays out. Yeah. But I think that if we heal women, we will have a huge impact on the world. I look forward to seeing that being a part of it. I whatever role I can play in that. That's it's really incredible. in medical school was there, medical school, I don't know about you, but I hated it.

Dr Foucher: Yeah. I went to a very non-traditional medical school.

Dr Lyon: Oh, you did? okay.

Dr Foucher: Yes. The Cleveland clinic program. It's a five year program and it's very research focused. So we do a full year of research, a couple summers of research, which I did enjoy.

And what did you do your research in?

Dr Foucher: So I did my research with Dr. Mike Roizen. He started the wellness Institute at the Cleveland clinic. Okay. And so we worked on a tool that was for primary care doctors integrated into our EMR that helped basically patients would take a questionnaire about all their lifestyle behaviors.

if they exercise, sleep, smoking, all those things, like all the things that you shouldn't do. And it would push that information to their primary care doctor. Say, Hey, they're high risk in nutrition and sleep, but exercise is doing okay. So spend your time talking about these things.

And so it was a very, it was a very interesting project. it's hard to move the needle in a conventional system, I think.

Dr Lyon: And Cleveland clinic yeah. Is very conventional, but open-minded So when you were there, you did research , that's interesting. I didn't realize you went to medical school there as well.

And then you did a residency at Cleveland clinic, correct?

Dr Foucher: Yep. Then I stayed in Cleveland and did family medicine residency there.

Dr Lyon: And how did you decide on family medicine?

Dr Foucher: So I thought going into med school, I thought the one thing I know I'm not gonna do is family medicine. Yeah, because I had shadowed our, my local family doctor and I thought, oh, this is boring and it's too broad.

And I being the perfectionist type, I thought, let me just understand one part of the body really well, or one system really well, and I'll be an expert in that. But then of course, I got to medical school and I was very naive when I started. I didn't really understand the healthcare system.

I didn't understand how much of a burden of chronic disease we have. And I think going through med school and being in CrossFit at the same time was very eyeopening for me because I was seeing how so many of the chronic diseases that we have. You have a patient who comes into a primary care office and maybe they have some high cholesterol and high blood pressure and maybe some prediabetes and you talk to them.

I remember being a very naive first year med student, trying to do burpees in the office, teaching them how to exercise, but you don't see them again for six months. Right? And so of course not much is going to change versus the CrossFit gym where I'm spending a lot of my time and nights and weekends, and seeing people dramatically change their health.

They're coming off medications, they're gaining confidence, they're doing things they never thought they could do. And to me, that was really powerful. And so I just felt very strongly that I wanted to be on the preventive side of medicine. And I really loved the idea of taking care of a whole family and that bio psychosocial model.

I think that probably came also from seeing my mom's clinic and how the relationships, the long term relationships she had with her patients. So that's what led me into family medicine.

Dr Foucher: Relationships clearly are very important to you. Yeah. When you went through, medical school, when were you introduced to functional medicine?

This is a great story. We, so I ended up doing two years. We normally do one year research in my program. I did two years and that's how I ended up competing in CrossFit. I did CrossFit. I spread my research out over two years and did competition during tho that time. And they were good with that.

I had to go, I made this very fancy prezi presentation and went into the Dean's office and told him why this was important. And, um, they were great about it. Amazing. very lucky there. And so it was during one of my research years and I saw, I got a, an email saying Mark Hyman's coming to speak for the wellness Institute.

Dr Foucher: And I hadn't really heard of him. I had heard of Chris Kresser. I had heard of functional medicine, just vaguely in the CrossFit community. I didn't really know what it was. And, but it just caught my eye and it meant I had to go across town, be up early. It was very outta my way to go there, but I just felt very strongly I need to go to this presentation. So I went and I get there and it wasn't just Mark Hyman coming to speak about functional medicine. It was Mark Hyman coming to announce the center for functional medicine at the Cleveland clinic. And so he was there, all of the department heads were there. It was a big deal.

Yeah. And I heard him, I heard for the first time him explain the foundation of functional medicine and what it is. And for me, it was, a light bulb moment.

Dr Lyon: I would love for you to explain that for the listener,

Dr Foucher: This concept that, the body is a complex system. and that it's not, we don't have all these separate systems like your heart, your cardiologist being separate from your GI doctor, from your neurologist, but they're all related.

And this idea of looking for the root cause of your symptoms and identifying those. And then, he explained the matrix, how you can map all these systems out on a matrix and see how they relate to each other and how best to address them and going through a patient's history, their timeline, to be able to understand all the different factors that are influencing who they are today, from what happened when they were in the womb, before they were in the womb to birth, to childhood, to now, and how all of that plays into their current symptoms.

Dr Foucher: And so when he explained functional medicine, it was a light bulb moment. It was almost, it was very similar to when I sat through my CrossFit level one and I heard them describe fitness and health. And I just thought, now that I see this, I can't practice medicine any other way, because it just feels right.

Dr Lyon: So they shortly after opened the center for functional medicine. And I was lucky that as a med student, I spent a little bit of time there. And then in residency, I did a couple of rotations there as well. And that is what put you

on that trajectory?

Dr Foucher: Then I started doing the Institute for functional medicine courses and also my residency was very open.

So I had a strong integrative medicine track at my residency program. All of our faculty members were very open to the concept of integrative and functional medicine. I felt very supported in that and a lot of other, my other co-residents had some interest too.

Could you have gone to residency anywhere or so you were not tied to just because you did the five year track at Cleveland clinic, you No, I, you could have gone anywhere. Yeah. I was the outcast in my class though, going into family medicine because we're very specialist driven. Because it's a, it's a research focus program. So a lot of people go into very sub-specialized fields. So very few of us in the history of the school have gone into family medicine.

Dr Lyon: There you go. Julie Foucher, Yeah. Black sheep of the medical school graduating class. Yeah. and have you loved it?

Dr Foucher: I've loved it. I've loved it. I love family medicine. I just, it's just, it's about the relationship for me. It's about sitting with people, it's about understanding how complex their lives are and how complex and different we all are as people.

Yeah. And we're not just these, isolated people who come in with symptoms who need a cookie cutter diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Lyon: And one of the things that is really unique about being as well trained as you are, is that. It's really important to understand the foundation of medicine in order to be a really good practitioner, I feel that it is vital to have had good training.

Because then if you know what the potential is to go wrong, then you can obviously know the potential to go, what could

Dr Lyon: possibly be

And what happened with crossFit. So you have this aha moment, which is really interesting. Yeah, because you talk about two moments of insight which means you're likely very familiar with, and I'm sure people can relate.

The listener can relate to this idea of having this feeling almost, not necessarily guided but there's

Like your intuition? Yeah. Yeah.

Dr Lyon: It's this strange knowing that this is the right place to be. This is the right thing. You knew it when you saw CrossFit. Also uniquely placed in the top five each year that you competed which, if someone saw your Wikipedia page that is pretty impressive.

It kind of makes you a legend ,

I have competed in a legends competition since then, which is kind it's very cool. It's really interesting. And then you have this moment that you are aware of functional medicine and then,what

Dr Lyon: happened in CrossFit?

Dr Foucher: So I competed in CrossFit then for two more years.


So 2014 and 2015, I was during my research year so I had a little more time to train,

Dr Lyon: but what about your mindset? What, and, how was, you had now shifted and all of a sudden you have this new confidence, you're loving training again, did you ever slip back into that more negative mindset? More perfectionistic. Did you ever have a relapse as they say it was?

set coach during those years,:

and 2013, I came back, I ended up, it was a very different experience for me. coming back, having a year off and not knowing what to expect. And I ended up in third place. So still back on the podium and it was amazing. I think it was also different for me cuz I came back. I was not in the top three during the whole competition until the very end.

Dr Foucher: So it was a very different experience. I was able to perform well on that last event.

Dr Lyon: Did you just, did you snap into it or it was just the event of chance.

indset plays out a lot. So in:

So they kept us in this sort of seclusion room as you're waiting to go out.

Dr Lyon: Was it padded ?

Dr Foucher: No, it was, Very hot.

Dr Lyon: Straight, did you have a straight jacket? Straight jacket.

ndset was so much stronger in:

performing and executing everything to my, the best of my ability. And it really went well. So that was great. And then in 2015, I was definitely the best I've ever been. I was in the best shape I've ever been. My mindset was stronger. I really truly believed I was capable of winning the CrossFit games.

And that is the year that I tore my Achilles at regionals. So it was devastating in the moment because I knew it was gonna be my last year competing, going in. I knew that after this year I was gonna go onto my clinical rotations in medical school. I knew that it just, wasn't gonna jive waking up at 4:00 AM for surgery rotation trying get my training.

Dr Lyon: I don't know, it's possible.

Dr Foucher: It wasn't gonna work and it was by that point, training was so all consuming. It was, I was training three to five hours a day, most days. And you think about your sleep, you think about your nutrition, your recovery, all those things outside of training.

Also, it was really almost a full-time job. And so I knew that was gonna be my last year of competing going in. And, I, I felt better than I ever have, but then having that injury was very devastating, but it ended up actually being one of the most powerful moments of my life because, it happened in front of the whole CrossFit community.

So I did this event and then this was on Saturday of the competition. The very next event was a handstand walk. And I interestingly had been practicing handstand walks. I had been working with Olympic gymnast, Dominique Moceanu and her husband to work on my gymnastics. And they had me practicing handstand walks with weights on my ankles to prepare for this competition.

So when I went to go do this event I had a boot on which didn't really phase me, cuz I'd been practicing with the ankle weights, but I was like, of course I'm gonna do it. It's a handstand walk. I can do that. And so I did the handstand walk and then after that event, I had been pulled aside for an interview.

Everyone else had cleared off the floor. I finished the interview and I turned around to go walk back to the athlete area and it was overwhelming. Like the entire crowd was so supportive. I could feel the energy from the whole CrossFit community. It's one of those when you're in a vulnerable moment and you can feel the support of so many other people just genuinely holding space for you.

It was so powerful. So I will never forget that, even though it wasn't the way that I wanted my career to end, it was really powerful. And for me it was also this lesson of it really isn't about the outcome. it really was this... it's about the journey. It's about the experience. It's about all the great experiences I had competing. The lessons I learned, how I became a better person. Even knowing that I had that mindset, I knew I was capable of winning, even though I didn't, that was a big win for me. I made a lot of wins in training that year, overcoming personal obstacles and reaching milestones I had been chasing for a long time, and those were really special, even though it wasn't in front of a big crowd.

It wasn't the way I wanted my career to end, but it was also special in its own way.

Dr Lyon: Do you still believe that that the journey is more important than the destination?

Dr Foucher: I do. I think we need a roadmap. We need to know. We need to have that why. We need to know our values. We need to have an idea of where we're pointing so we go in the right direction. But I think ultimately there's, there are things that are outside of our control. And if we, try to, grasp for those or try to beat ourselves up when things happen that are not necessarily within our control,it's not necessarily helpful.

Dr Lyon: And what happened after that?

Dr Foucher: So then I went full speed ahead into med school. I did my clinical rotations. I started my podcast. That was my way to keep in touch with the CrossFit community.

Dr Lyon: Okay. And when did you start your podcast?

Dr Foucher::

Dr Lyon: And that's, is that still going on?

Dr Foucher: That's still going.

So I've.. The best advice I got from someone when I started was just be consistent, just decide when you're gonna post and be consistent. And I've changed the frequency a few times over the years, but always,

Dr Lyon: I mean, it's not like you had anything else to do. Whether it was residency or all the other things or the work that you're doing now,

Dr Foucher: But yeah, it's been great. And then, I finished med school and went on to residency and residency was very much, I enjoyed it a lot. It felt it was a time in my life where I felt like I wasn't growing a ton, which is interesting. Cuz I was growing as a physician, but in life I felt stagnant.

I think because I had been so used to crossFit and yeah, school and CrossFit, like through CrossFit, I just grew so much as a person

Dr Lyon: ANd had school always come easy to you? Residency medical school.

it was challenging in different ways, but, yes, I was always good at just following instructions.

Dr Foucher: So if you told me study this, learn that I could do it.

Dr Lyon: And are you still good at following instructions?

Dr Foucher: I am, but I've opened my mind a little bit more. I now ask more questions.

Dr Lyon: okay. I mean, listen, I ask questions all the time.

Dr Foucher: Yes. And so after residency was really when things changed, cuz it was the first time in my life where I didn't really have a plan.

I thought coming out of residency, I wanna open a direct primary care practice, functional medicine practice. I had plans to do that. Then COVID happened. Things got a little bit delayed and for the first time in my life, I had open space to be able to just really get to know myself, I wasn't chasing the next milestone.

Dr Foucher: The next achievement. I didn't have, plan A, B, C lined up. I just had a couple of months where I had nothing.

Dr Lyon: Were you just

gonna, so you just graduated from residency and then had you had made no plans?

I had a plan to open a DPC. I was actually gonna move to Nashville, had started the groundwork for all of that.

Dr Foucher: And then I also, start, I found this company called wild health in Lexington. So then I ended up moving to Lexington

Dr Lyon: And is that's where you are now?

Dr Foucher: Yes, that's where I'm at.

So I, met the guys who started wild health around that same time, that summer after graduating from residency and they are precision medicine practice.

So very much focused on looking at each person as an individual. Looking at all the different factors that influence their health from genetics to, their specific lab markers, to their goals, their environment, and creating a very personalized plan for each person. And we had a lot in common.

We had aligned values. We also, they were involved in CrossFit and I had long term, I had always wanted to bring this type of medicine to the CrossFit community. So to me it seemed like a good match. And I did some part-time work with them for a few months and then ended up coming on full-time like a year and a half ago.

Dr Lyon: And in terms of what you do there, it's, it sounds like it's a comprehensive integrative clinic. and not just functional medicine. And I wanna mention the concept of functional medicine, which is truly root cause and I think there's a lot of controversy around the term functional medicine because, some of the practices are evidence based and some of them may be a little more nuanced fringe, not quite, evidence based. Which again, when we say evidence based is not just what does the science prove, but also the experience that a physician has have you had that experience


Dr Foucher: Absolutely. I think that was one of the other things that really attracted me to wild health was that they're very open-minded but also evidence based and recognize that evidence based doesn't just mean looking at large randomized control trials, But also doing N of one experiments.

And so everything we do is very data driven where, if we try an intervention, we always have an outcome measure that we're tracking so that we know it's doing what we want it to do. And if not, then we need to try something else. So whether that's a lab marker or a wearable data, we're always trying to make sure that we have an understanding of the interventions we're doing.

We're not just prescribing a ton of supplements without knowing if these are actually helping

the patient.

Dr Lyon: I think thatthat's very noble, especially because your training initially, you were very interested in functional medicine. A nd I think that a lot of practitioners, I think there's a lot of value in the concepts of functional medicine and also really important to know for the listener that it's components of it have been really diluted And again, the idea of being well trained in your scope of practice is incredibly important. Absolutely, I think it's like anything. I think CrossFit is another example of it. It's an amazing tool, an amazing philosophy, and it can be implemented in a lot of different ways. And some of those ways can be more effective or less effective in general.

Dr Foucher: And I think it's the same for functional medicine. I love the framework. I love the concept of addressing the root causes. There are a lot of different ways that can be interpreted and implemented. And so I think using our training, using the science is really important.

Dr Lyon: Was there,I had a moment in fellowship that really changed everything for me.

It was a patient. Have you ever had that experience where either there was a patient or a moment typically something really tragic, at least that, yeah. I think one of the things people don't necessarily discuss and maybe it's because they're very removed. Medicine is not easy.

And especially in training, it can be very depressing. And it's very, I don't wanna say sad, but there's a lot of heartbreak. And the reasons why I've experienced heartbreak in my training is you see individuals who are victimized by either decisions that they've made, that they can't come back from or a lot of misinformation that they've now really struggled with.

Dr Lyon: There's just numerous other things. And then also seeing people at the end of their life it creates quite a bit of reflection and I know for me, it took me a very long time to sit with that and to think about all the people that I saw who had been at the end of their life, an individual just going through it and families, was there a moment where you...

Dr Foucher: ESpecially being a geriatrician you're, you're really in there with a lot of the end of life care.

Dr Lyon: Yeah. You have, in my training as a geriatrician and again, I did a two year fellowship at WashU, so there's the geriatrics part, but I also did obesity medicine and that was also really sad at some deep level because of the metabolic implications in terms of brain function

, there's the interface. Did you have that experience? Did you think about it in that way?

Oh, there's so many different patient experiences that had an impact on me. I'm trying to think of some and

Dr Lyon: THere, there may not be, there may not be.

Dr Foucher: Yeah, I, there's one particular there's one couple in particular.

That I, that were really close to my heart that went through a lot over the three years that I was their doctor. And they really taught me a lot about patients because I think especially starting out, you come in so excited and you just know you're like, there's, you can feel so much better. We just need to do these things.

Yeah. And they just weren't that interested. And so we worked very slowly on small things over a long period of time, that moved, started to move the needle. So much of it was just about meeting them where they were at and helping encourage them, helping them to motivate their behavior change, but being there with them through every step and being ready for them, when they're ready to start making those changes.

Dr Lyon: And right now you see patients How do you motivate them for behavior change or do they come ready and primed for you?

Dr Foucher: It's a very different population. Now that I'm in a, cash pay, precision medicine practice. Okay. There is a certain selection bias that we have because people are motivated to start. Not all though.

I'm not, I'm gonna say that, a lot of people start and they don't necessarily believe in themselves that they're capable of making some of these changes or they're reluctant to make some changes. And so much of it too. What we do is tailoring to what's most important to the patient. What are their goals?

If it's somebody who just really loves their glass of wine every night and is absolutely not gonna give it up, then let's work around that. That's not just, tell them at every visit you have to stop drinking wine. Yeah. so it's still about meeting people where we're at, but it's a lot.

You start to see a lot more changes a lot more quickly when you have a motivated population.

Dr Lyon: And what would you say the top three things that you see and treat are?

Dr Foucher: A lot of metabolic dysfunction. So insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia obesity. I think actually interestingly HPA axis dysfunction. Is another very common one because we attract a lot of athletes. A lot of people who are...

Dr Lyon: That's hypothalamic, pituitary axis dysfunction. Essentially. It's the brain not necessarily communicating effectively with the rest of the body.

Dr Foucher: Yes. And it's often a result of this imbalance between stress and recovery and, stress is very important in all the different ways that we experience it, but also

then having the recovery in between so that our bodies can adapt to that stress. And so sometimes when people are, doing CrossFit six days a week and they have families and they have jobs and they have a million other things, a lot of times it's about dialing back a little bit and creating more space for sleep for, mindfulness or meditation for just more of a parasympathetic state.

So I would say that's relatively common and, just general GI distress. Yeah. I see that all the time. Which often are related to HPA axis function too.

Dr Lyon: Is there something that you love taking care of? I think don't worry. I won't tell the rest of your patients.

Dr Foucher: I think metabolic dysfunction is often easier because it's very clear, the few

triggers you can pull that are gonna make a big impact. The H PA axis dysfunction is rewarding, but it's really hard.

Dr Lyon: I would agree with you. Yeah. I have had that same experience

Dr Foucher: it just requires a lot of stress because, or a lot of trust because it, it requires someone, especially someone who's maybe gaining weight, even though they're not eating enough to say, we need to give you some more calories

so your body is more supported and nourished. That's very counterintuitive for a lot of people. And,it requires a lot of trust.

Dr Lyon: In terms of metabolic dysfunction, what are some of the levers that you pull for that?

I think the first one, it's hard to prioritize, but nutrition is big, obviously.

Just moving to a more real food diet, eliminating the processed foods, eliminating the sugar. I think CGMs continuous glucose monitors have been an incredible tool. Because it's that self education, I think for motivation, a lot of the wearable technology that we have now, whether it's the CGMs or whether it's looking at things like heart rate variability, just allowing the patient to learn and be curious and explore how these different factors impact them and impact their data is really powerful, more so than saying, let's make these changes to your diet and recheck your hemoglobin A1C in three months.

It's harder to see the impact that's having in real time. So nutrition is big CGMs, I think are very helpful. exercise, obviously.

Dr Foucher: Do you tell 'em to do CrossFit? I always would encourage anyone to do CrossFit, but I recognize not everyone is going to do CrossFit.

Dr Lyon: I'm a terrible CrossFitter. Ripped my hamstring a couple times.

Dr Foucher: Oh, geez. Again, it's about meeting people where they're at, what do they enjoy doing? I think one thing,

Dr Lyon: Do you say that because for me, if someone comes to me and they tell me that they just enjoy doing yoga, I'm like, listen, you and I, we gotta have a talk because I can appreciate that you enjoy it.

And there is a friction yeah. For starting and executing that just needs to happen.

Dr Foucher: Totally. I agree with you. Yes. So there are some things that some, parameters around them but I think resistance exercise is especially important in whatever, whatever manner that occurs.

But for CrossFit, I hope that we, as a CrossFit community will be able to change our, some of the public perceptions about what it is and be more welcoming to the general population. O, even to older individuals.

I could not agree more with you. Yeah. Because it's very functional. CrossFit when done well looks and amplifies different metabolic systems.

Obviously they all work together. But it, it really is incredible. It is. And it can create change, improve balance, improve metabolic health.

Dr Foucher: Yeah. And it's infinitely scalable. I think my favorite commercial from the crossfit games is always going to be the 100 year old man doing CrossFit.

I think that it's amazing. It's infinitely scalable and it is so functional. It's, our goal in CrossFit is to help people be functional so that they don't need help doing their daily activities when they're 95.

Where is

Dr Lyon: the public perception now of CrossFit in terms of just health and wellness?

I hear less about it. I don't know if maybe because I'm living under a rock , or my husband is yelling at me at 4:30 in the morning to get up and do burpees, which is totally plausible. where is it now?

It's hard for, from my perspective I think we can do better in making it more about the average person and less about competition.

Dr Lyon: Is it just as popular as it was, or is CrossFit now really geared

towards the athlete.

Dr Foucher: I think it is just as popular. I think that obviously the pandemic was difficult on a lot of affiliates and I think some affiliates closed during that time. But, and I don't know the details of, where we're at numbers wise.

But I, my general sense is that the CrossFit community is still strong. I've been to a few events in the past year and it feels very strong. I do think there's still a lot of focus on the CrossFit games, which I think is amazing. And looking at the pinnacle of what the human body is capable of is incredible.

I think that we can just, we can do a better job of communicating the power of CrossFit to the average person and not making it so intimidating for someone to walk in the door.

The athletes in the CrossFit games, they don't look human.

Dr Foucher: It's incredible. It's incredible to watch the things that they're capable of now.

Dr Lyon: Yeah and that probably becomes intimidating for the average person who is thinking, I am just gonna do Zumba, I can't walk on my hands and drag a sled.

My legs do not work like that.

Yeah. It's a challenge.

Dr Lyon: When do you counsel patients on exercise? Do you outsource it?

How? Obviously you've had a lot of experience.

Dr Foucher: I do talk to patients about exercise. One of the other great things about wild health is that we have every patient also works with health coach. And we are a very close team. So every appointment that I have with a patient, their health coach is also there.

So we're really all on the same page. We're a great team. The patient also then has follow ups with the health coach, where they might dive deeper into exercise or workout plans or things like that, or troubleshooting some of the different factors that come up. So I find that to be incredibly valuable.

But I always love talking about exercise with patients. You said something troubleshoot things that might come up what part of mindset do you think, where does mindset play a role in healing?

Dr Foucher: A huge role? I think so. And this is something I've only worked through and I still have a long way to go myself recently.

That negative self-talk that narrative, yeah. That inner critic that really helped me achieve a lot of the things that I did in life. But there comes a point where it's not very healthy yeah. Or no longer effective. And so really coming from a place of doing these things for ourselves, like exercise or eating well or sleeping because we care about ourselves and because we love ourselves and not because we hate ourselves and we're trying to beat ourselves up, I think is a very different mindset.

And a lot of it just like we talked about before is just shifting that intention, shifting that awareness can instantaneously make a big difference.

Dr Lyon: Do you think that it's a self worth barometer?

Dr Foucher: I absolutely do.

t seems that one of the things I always ask my patients is,

Dr Lyon: do you feel worthy of being healthy? Do you feel worthy of having the body that you've dreamed of? I think that self-worth, plays a huge role, and a lot of these other aspects are distractions. . you've had

that experience as well?

Dr Foucher: Yeah. I've had that experience personally, and I see it with a lot of patients so much.

We're trying to make up for that in different ways. Whether it's, I think it can be the same as whether it's with an addiction, with alcohol, with gambling, whatever it is, or it can be obsessing about exercise or nutrition or all these other things. And it's so much, it can be the same behavior, but the intention and the place that it comes from can make it so different.

If is it because you're trying to, beat yourself up or make up for some lack of self worth or is it because you really love yourself and you wanna take care of yourself?

what do you tell your patients?

I really always start with their why I love, I don't know if you know Dr. Wayne Jonas, but he always asks, what do you want your health for?

And so I think that's a great question. It's a great question. I love it. And so I try to ask my patients that question, because identifying with your, why will help when things get hard, when you have to wake up at 4:00 AM and do burpees or whatever it is, you have that why. And for so many people,

Dr Lyon: My why is punching Shane in the throat?

No, I'm just kidding. Don't really punch him in the throat I just joking for everyone.

And for a lot of people, it's, wanting to be able to play with their grandkids or wanting to take a big trip and hike up a mountain or,have a big impact on their community or the people around them.

Dr Foucher: And so I think identifying with that, why, and then breaking down. Okay. How, what behaviors are going to align with that why, or going to align with, getting you towards that


Dr Lyon: Yeah. So what you're basically saying is really deep self-awareness and having the action meet the desire for what that individual wants.

And I think that's really powerful. You talked about nutrition and I'm curious to what kind of diet that you eat. Big in the CrossFit community is this idea of a paleo diet? Yes. I'm curious as to what you eat, what you recommend, what your thoughts are. won't hold it against you

Dr Lyon: if you don't say anything

about protein you and I can still be friends.

Dr Foucher: You really have had a big impact on me. So the first time that I saw we didn't even meet, but I went to the Institute for functional medicine's annual conference. And Dr. Hyman said, you've gotta go to Gabriel Lyon's talk, cuz he knew I was in CrossFit and he's you gotta see this woman.

And so I went to your talk and you talked about protein, of course. And the pro-age study, which I have referenced so many times since then. And I remember printing it out and giving it to my residency faculty

Dr Lyon: THat didn't read it. I'm sure. No, I'm just kidding.

Cleveland clinic's pretty good.

Dr Foucher: Yes. And especially the one, our geriatrics faculty he's amazing. And he was, he read the whole thing. It was super fascinated by it, but, but so that has had a big impact on me. So I, for me personally, I really try to stick to real food. I don't, I, I don't eat gluten. I just really, I just feel better when I don't eat it.

Yeah. And I'm not, I would say I don't have celiac. I'm not super,if I have a little I'm not, I'm not gonna, have severe symptoms. Yes. But I don't feel well, generally feel better without it. Yeah. but that's pretty simple for me. I think I was much more strict about it when I was competing, but now, I don't necessarily measure all of my macronutrients or things like that.

And I think for patients, that's the number one is getting from processed food to real food is gonna make a huge difference in how they feel and then protein, making sure that they're getting enough protein. Yeah. I mean,I'm a little biased, those two things. Yeah. That's generally what I like to start with.

Dr Lyon: And then, and what do they, do you ever get any pushback, when you tell them they need to increase their protein or I don't know, meal distribution, which I'm hoping you're telling them now. I'd be very disappointed about that. Yeah.

Dr Foucher: We, I haven't gotten a lot of pushback. It's hard for people though.

I think because most people are undereating protein. And so it's something that they, especially at first have to be very intentional about.

Dr Lyon: And that's really interesting that you're saying that. So according to the NHANES data, which is the largest data set, the average female eats, I don't know, 75, 65 to 75 grams of protein a day.

The average male might eat depends, it doesn't even matter his size, a hundred grams of protein a day. That is, it's enough to prevent deficiency but is that enough for optimal health? Is it enough for longevity?

Dr Foucher: Well look at our, our health data, our population.

Dr Lyon: Yeah. You know what I, do you know what I think is gonna happen? I think because there's so much confusion in the health and wellness space regarding protein. I believe we are going to have an epidemic of osteoporosis. And I think that it is under the radar right now. and this idea, the common narrative is to reduce your protein from what we're already eating.

I think it's gonna be devastating. And you and I have both been seeing patients in clinical practice. for a really long time. at least I have you not, as long as me, I obviously look how good your skin is.

Dr Foucher: We were just talking about how I want all of your skin secrets.

Dr Lyon: I'm gonna share 'em all.

It's gonna be devastating for the population because when someone falls and breaks a hip that is devastating, devastating to them, to their family, whether they're gonna have to be using a walker, it just creates a ton of issues. And the data is really clear in terms of protecting bone health and that is obviously calcium, vitamin D, protein and weight bearing exercise, weight bearing exercises. And if we tell people to reduce protein intake, and many of them are not eating animal products, reducing protein intake, reducing a lot of people don't tolerate dairy I think that we are going to set ourselves up, bone forms during our primary years and it comes a point where it's not that you are laying down new bone it's about protecting the bone that you have. So anyway, that's

a side note. It's scary to think about. A side note, but I think that's one of the things

that we're gonna see

Dr Foucher: yeah. So those are the big things for me. And then I think one of the great things about wild health is we do have this precision approach and we do look at genetics in all of our patients. And so that does help to guide some of the nuances of the nutrition approach and create those N of one experiments

for our patients. But for me, those are the big kind of the

Dr Lyon: I'm not gonna put you on the spot, but I have to ask you about the genetic component. yeah. How much do you actually think genetics play a role?

Dr Foucher: It's a great question. So I think they can be helpful. I've seen them be most helpful as motivational tools.

Okay. I think there is, it's been, it wasn't something I expected, but patients that are willing to make behavior changes because their genes suggest that they may benefit from a certain change. So for example, there is an SH 2 B 3, snp that increases your risk of being sensitive to gluten doesn't mean you have celiac disease.

It doesn't mean you're sensitive, but the number of patients that I've had, who are willing to finally try a gluten-free diet because they have that snp has been surprising where, whereas otherwise, they would never have tried it before, but I also think, although there's so much, we still don't know and it's still so early.

I think that at least it gives us some sense of let's try this first instead of maybe cuts down on the number of N of one experiments we have to do for each patient to get to there.

Dr Lyon: I think that's great. Speaking of genetics. Obviously, I'm assuming you use medication you are a physician, a licensed physician.

Do you ever utilize genetic testing for drugs?

Dr Foucher: So I have not. Although we are adding that to our, we have a big personalized report that each patient gets, and I know a pharmaco genomic section is in the works. Yeah. And I've seen it be very powerful, especially for mental health and things like SSRIs.

Dr Lyon: I absolutely

have I would recommend that individuals speak with their physician and definitely get their blood work.

and pharmacokinetics. Very valuable. CMT, gene, if you are a major, do you guys test it? And do you tell people whether they should cut back on caffeine or

Dr Foucher: yep. We test, CYP1A2 for caffeine metabolism. There's some other interesting ones, for example, there's COL5A1, which is.

Puts you at increased risk for Achilles tendonopathy, which I wish I would've known about.

Did you test yourself? I did. And have it, and I don't know if it would've been the extra motivation I needed to take better care of my Achilles,because I was very in the competition zone, , but things like that, it may make patients think twice or it may make you think twice as a doctor about prescribing Fluroquinolones or

I don't actually prescribe those to anyone who's athletic.

Dr Foucher: Yeah. I think it's, I think it's risky, but I think,it's more information that we


Dr Lyon: Yeah. Any other SNPs or things that are coming up new, interesting. Or these are standard

tested ones that..

Dr Foucher: These are all pretty standard ones. We're always updating our report though.

Yeah. Dr. Mike Mallon, who's one of the co-founders wild health. He is beyond brilliant and is always looking at the latest research and, we have great data scientists too, that are always ..

Dr Lyon: That's incredible And do you use that also for supplementation

Dr Foucher: yep. So we look at things like, for example, vitamin D we look at vitamin D receptor SNPs vitamin D metabolism.

Trying to think about other ones there's even like TRMP. I think it is for magnesium related insulin resistance. So again, but these are, again, I would probably recommend magnesium for everyone, so it's not gonna necessarily change my practice, but a lot of these things I think are interesting.

Dr Foucher: And I think there's a big motivational, component. And I think that there's also something for patients about just feeling like, oh, they, this is me, this, they understand me, or this is unique to me. It's not just the standard treatment that they're getting from everybody. And so I think there's something there as well.

Dr Lyon: and that's incredible. and you're loving that experience.

Dr Foucher: I, yeah, I really enjoy it.

Dr Lyon: HPA axis dysfunction and GI. What do you do for GI?

GIS, GI symptoms are complex and there are a lot of different root causes. And so we look at all of them. We look at, diet, food, stress is a big one. obviously ruling out the big, scary things. we do a lot of microbiome testing.

Dr Lyon: And what do you guys use for that?

Dr Foucher: We use Thorne and Genova. Okay. .

Dr Lyon: And is that the GI map testing or is it ..

Dr Foucher: We use, so Thorne has a general microbiome test and then, Genova, I like their GI effects. GI effects.

And that is actually, is that a PCR test? I believe it is, and it looks at microbiome and it also looks at some clinical markers of like inflammation digestion

Dr Lyon: so we're talking about Zonulin calprotectin.

Dr Foucher: Actually, no, I don't think Zonulin calprotectin those, it looks at,oh, sorry. Calprotectin is not Zonulin. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr Lyon: And you find that to be really effective.

Dr Foucher: I like, I think they're different and complimentary. I think that the GI effects is a little bit more comprehensive cuz it's looking at some of those other clinical factors.

Dr Lyon: Do you, I'm just gonna throw this out there. Do you ever use old school infectious disease guys?

what do you mean?

Dr Lyon: Like old school and they don't really, they're not really around. I've searched, far and wide for in, traditional infectious disease physicians who look at stool samples, who look under the microscope.

Dr Foucher: Yes. So I recently talked to, I don't know if you know Lucy Mailing.

She is a microbiome researcher. I will introduce you. She is brilliant. She knows the microbiome research inside and out better than anyone I've ever met. And she introduced me to a lab. I wanna say, it's in Colorado. It's somewhere out west. That is basically what they do.

It's they, you send the stool and they will look at it under the microscope and look for any parasites, anything that might not otherwise be picked up on.

Dr Lyon: Wonder if we use them? is it PCI?

Dr Foucher: It might be, I don't know. I don't remember.

Dr Lyon: I would love to. Yeah. And have you been using their facilities? Sending it out?

Dr Foucher: I have not. I've recommended for a patient, but we haven't gotten the results back yet. Okay. So I've only just started to use it.

Dr Lyon: I'm really curious because one of the things I've seen many times, especially a lot with the operators that go overseas is that they come back with a ton of GI issues.

Yeah. And those individuals in their platoon have the same GI issues. And they go to places like Mayo clinic or Cleveland clinic . And what happens is they run PCR testing and those PCR tests come back negative and then you send it to old school parasitology and they find a zoo.

Dr Foucher: And it's all the same. I think that it's really a missing component to health and wellness. mean, I don't, know health and wellness, but I do think that the more advanced we've become the less capable some of our testing has become. Which is really interesting. We're testing for maybe the most common things, but we're still missing a lot.

Dr Lyon: So how are you maintaining your health and wellness? Are you training a lot?

Dr Foucher: So I still do CrossFit. It is, it looks very different than it used to. Okay. I do. I try to do five workouts a week. I love it when I can go to a class.

Dr Lyon: How long is a workout?

Dr Foucher: If I'm working out in the garage, usually between 20 and 40 minutes, but I try to go to make it to a class at least a couple times a week, just cuz I like being around the community and it's a better environment. I push myself more. but with the pandemic, I also love working out in the garage because it's so convenient and it saves you usually almost an hour worth of time by the time you drive

Dr Lyon: you mean because you're driving and coming back. And you're in Lexington kentucky.

Dr Foucher: Yeah. So I do that. I do yoga, like usually about once a week. I just love the practice of yoga. And then we talked about how I eat, sleep is very important to me. I really try to make sure that I get enough sleep. And it's only because I've seen the implications of not getting enough sleep.

I think I used to be able to handle it a lot better. and now, my ability to focus and function during the day, just plummets if I don't get enough sleep. So I focus on that a lot and which I'm sure is something that is difficult for you with two small children. yeah.

and it just made me think, what are your weaknesses?

yes. oh, and another thing I do, I've just spent a lot of time and energy on things like meditation, mindfulness morning routine, changing my mindset, getting rid of the negative self talk, being more aware of my thoughts.

Dr Lyon: Basically. You're saying that those things still exist. and it's not about eradicating it it truly is about managing it.

Dr Foucher: Becoming aware of it. Yeah. And not letting it take over.

Dr Lyon: It went from a monologue to now a dialogue. it sounds as if you now have a dialogue talking back to yourself , which is really powerful. . But who cares about your strengths? tell me about where your weaknesses are. I, so I think there's actually, nutrition is actually a big one for me. I would love..

I ordered you a burger. I ordered you a burger. Stephan you're getting the beyond burger. I'm so sorry.

Dr Foucher: I cannot believe they gave Gabrielle Lyon a beyond burger.

Dr Lyon: Like it's like I wanna refund I'm sure it's gonna be used as a door stop.

Dr Foucher: So I am the type person who I do great when I, I'll eat, I'll basically eat whatever's in front of me. if I'm at a restaurant and not everything McDonald's no, not everything I have, I have certain boundaries, but, I it's hard for me to, I don't know how to say no.

Dr Lyon: Yeah. So if I, is it because you feel bad?

Dr Foucher: No, I don't think so. And it's not specific thing. It's if there's bread, if someone brings up bread a restaurant, I'm not gonna eat it. Or, but for example, dessert. So my significant other is the kind of person who's gonna order three desserts and take one bite of each one. Oh. And that is hard for me.

I hate those people. those are the kinds of things I struggle with.

Dr Lyon: so you have a sweet tooth. Yeah. What about any mental weaknesses?

this is great. So in my life plan, I have a whole section on mental and emotional sections. And for me, I have realized, so a lot of it was negative self talk. Judgment is a big one.

Dr Lyon: Where do you think that came from?

Dr Foucher: I don't know, actually, I don't it, I don't think it, I don't think it came from my parents. I'm not sure. I think that somehow in the world, I must have just picked up on thinking that was the way to become better. Like just be harder on yourself than everyone is. And that will make you be successful. And it worked for a while.

Dr Lyon: It's interesting. which is why I'm training my daughter.

Dr Foucher: Yes. With all of her affirmations.

Dr Lyon: With her affirmations, because I think that we connect with other people and perhaps even on a subconscious level, we see how they're doing something.

And then we encode it without self-awareness and then it becomes a thing that we unwind.

Dr Foucher: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So that section of my life plan for this life plan I have basically a, where I talk about, this vision for here's the woman I wanna become.

Here are the things I know I need to address in order to become that woman. And then here's the plan for how I'm gonna get there. And so a lot of the things in the mental emotional section have to do with judgment, actually envy, comparison. I'm trying to think of some of the other ones, self worth.

I think I've made tremendous strides in all of these in the last two years, but there's still, it's a constant evolution. It's a constant process. Like you said, they don't go away. You just become more aware of them.

Dr Lyon: Yeah. It's really interesting with very competitive athletes and very competitive women, or men is ultimately you are comparing yourself to something out there and it's interesting when that switches and you become inspired by it. and seeing that if somebody else did it, you totally could crush that.

Dr Foucher: Yes. And that's how we all get better, right? Ijust seeing the whole field of female CrossFit competitors, what they're capable of today is because everybody has constantly been pushing that envelope. 10 years ago

e, what we were capable of in:

Dr Foucher: And that is an incredible thing. And I think that's in life. As we talk about healing women, it's about how do we lift each other up and support each other and keep raising the bar instead of constantly comparing and trying to beat each other down.

Dr Lyon: Yeah. I think the world is ready for you.

Dr Foucher: it's ready for us.

Dr Lyon: yeah. That's right, man. coming in hot. Yes we are. If you had one piece of advice for your younger self or your daughter that you don't have yet what would that be?

Dr Foucher: It would be that you are enough. It's your affirmations that you're teaching your daughter right now.

Dr Lyon: Do you remember what they are?

Dr Foucher: Let's see. I'm strong. I am strong. I'm kind. I'm courageous. I am worthy. And I am loved.

Yeah. they're so beautiful. Yeah.

Dr Lyon: Yes it is. We are creating the next generation

and that's. So for me, I've started doing affirmations in the morning.

so as part of my morning routine, I now dance and I say affirmations to myself, and it's a silly thing, but those words have such an impact on us. And thinking about her, saying that over and over again, now the subconscious impact that's gonna have over the course of her life is incredible.

Dr Lyon: That it touched you. Yeah. Touches me every time I see it. Yeah. Her little blonde curls and blue eyes telling herself that she's worthy. Yes. Go out and make a huge impact.

okay girl, it took me 32 years to learn that. So she is a step ahead.

Dr Lyon: Yes. Yes. Julie Foucher. It has been my great privilege to get to know you.

I think you are an amazing woman and I am so grateful for this time with you.

Dr Foucher: Thank you. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Dr Lyon: Of course.

Dr Foucher: Oh, I'm so excited to, to have been here. And I'm so excited about your podcast and for the things that you're doing in the world. So thank you. And I know this is just be the beginning. What we might do together.

Dr Lyon: And together we could change the world. I know that is possible.

Dr Foucher: most definitely.

Dr Lyon: Where can people find your beautiful self?

I, on social media, I'm really only active on Instagram at Julie Foucher. And if my podcast is called pursuing health on any podcast platform and then wild health is at wildhealth.com.

Dr Foucher: And for any of your listeners, if they're interested in checking it out, it is, there's a discount code. They can use DrLyon20,

Dr Lyon: I had no idea. Yeah. I'll link that. I'll link that below. Perfect. Is there a discount for me?

Dr Foucher: oh,

you can just do it for free. amazing.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

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About the Podcast

The Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Show
The Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Show promotes a healthy world, and in order to have a healthy world, we must have transparent conversations. This show is dedicated to such conversations as the listener; your education, understanding, strength, and health are the primary focus. The goal of this show is to provide you with a framework for navigating the health and wellness space and, most importantly, being the champion of your own life. Guests include highly trustworthy professionals that bring both the art and science of wellness aspects that are both physical and mental. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is a Washington University fellowship-trained physician who serves the innovators, mavericks, and leaders in their fields, as well as working closely with the Special Operations Military. She is the founder of the Institute of Muscle-Centric Medicine® and serves patients worldwide.