CRAFTING WELLNESS STORY
LAFD Firefighter + RN/Holistic Nutritionist talk burnout, nutrition, and mental health
Sean Percy Travis is a LAFD at the Engineer rank, and Sammie Mancine is a RN and Holistic Nutritionist. They both sat down with MDF Instruments to talk about burnout, nutrition, and how to stay healthy through it all.
SPEAKERS Sammie Mancine, Sean Percy Travis, Brooke Smith
Sean Percy Travis 00:00
So I'm going to walk away from this and undo anything we said, What are the top three things that they could like think of, if you're getting burned out throughout your day, one breathe. And one of the breath patterns I really like for resetting if you're not doing box breathing, is inhale as much as you can through your nose and then a little bit more, so it's two inhales. And then an exhale through your mouth, to touch your toes, and then three transitions. Whether it's from call to call or from work to home, intentionally, no and say to yourself, whatever it takes that I am not on that anymore. I'm not on the rig. I'm not in the hospital. I am now at home. And when it's when we go from thing to thing to thing to thing overstimulated and don't release ourselves. That's when we get burned out. So transition well.
Sammie Mancine 00:45
It's being mindful of what you're putting into your body. It's making the the making the space and the time for your own self care and awareness, honestly, just awareness.
Brooke Smith 01:06
Welcome to our crafting wellness podcast. Today I have the honor of introducing john is Los Angeles firefighter and Sammy is a registered nurse and holistic nutritionist. Today they're going to talk a lot about nutrition and health and wellness and how to keep you healthy and safe.
Sammie Mancine 01:24
My name is Sammie Manzini, I am a registered nurse and holistic nutritionist. I'm based out of LA Sean Percy Travis.
Sean Percy Travis 01:31
I work in LA as a firefighter paramedic as the engineer rank, and been studying health and wellness and longevity practices for about 15 years. Now I got my college degree, a couple degrees in like fields working on my master's and doctorate towards that, and also have a few certifications in strength training, and develop a company called functional hero to help promote tactical health and wellness for first responders.
Brooke Smith 01:57
Sammie, I would love to hear how did you fall into becoming a nurse and a holistic nutritionist.
Sammie Mancine 02:04
And so let's say health and wellness has always been an obsession of mine ever since I was a little kid. In college, I studied physiology, because I thought I wanted to do the med school route. But I also had all these nutrition courses that I was taking along with it because I also in the back of my head, nutrition was always just something I was fascinated with. Because everything could always just apply to yourself. And I ended up not going the nutritionist route because I ended up would have, I would have had to stay in school for another year. And I was like I'm out. And then I ended up doing nursing school did that started working in hospital worlds and realized it wasn't really my my passion in that world, and then switched over to working in a regenerative preventative medicine, Med Spa. And was doing that. And holistic nutrition just kind of integrated its way in. And it was one of those things where I was like, all these people are coming in and no one's taking care of their nutrition. And I was very boggled by that. Because I'm like this is what's fueling your body. This should be this should be basics 101. And instead, especially in hospital world, you're seeing people just being fed cheeseburgers sodapop. You're getting all of these foods where nothing was actually nutrient dense, it was just all empty calories. And it just it boggled me seeing all of that. And I was consistently having patients ask me, Well, what should I be doing at home? What should I be integrating to help with this, and no one was really educating them on that. So that's kind of where I jumped in, and then took ship. And that's where I am now.
Brooke Smith 03:39
I love how you talk a lot about food being you know, obviously, it is a fuel for our body and our the choices that we make every day to put what we put into our body matters. And it's going to affect how we feel. Absolutely. People forget that because food becomes emotional, you know, because it's pleasurable. So you're like, I just really want to have, I'm so stressed out, I'm going to go for this candy bar, when in reality, that's actually the worst thing you're doing for yourself. In the moment, it might taste really good. But in an hour or two, when you're having that crash and your body doesn't have any nutrition, you're going to be feeling that. So I just think it's a really important thing to talk about, like how you battle between helping people with their emotional like response to wanting to eat something and actually making a choice to say no, this is what's healthy for me and this is what I should be eating because it probably becomes like a habit I would imagine.
Sammie Mancine 04:37
Oh absolutely and not even a habit but your body becomes addicted to those foods. So they they crave it they want it even though it has no nutritional help to your actual body. That's it. Their body craves it on a genetic level, it literally craves what it wants. So like for those who are addicted to sugar, as well as sugar brightens up the part in your brain. The same as heroin does. And they've done studies on rats as well, where they rats were given the option between sugar and heroin. And they kept going back to the sugar, because it has such an addictive quality to it. So it's very fascinating seeing how all these people who need all these help and but instead just go for whatever's quick and efficient, and it makes them feel happy for those few few minutes. And then afterwards, it's just a crash and burn. And long term, of course, it's just destroying your body.
Sean Percy Travis 05:26
So I'll introduce myself, I'm Sean, I'm a sugar Holic. I'm happy to be here. And I mean that seriously, I actually, I really do. So to back up what Sammy saying sugar is the most addictive drug we know on the planet. So to understand that we're not it's not a discipline issue, when you feel drawn to the cookies, or the chips with the sugar in it, or the bread with sugar. You're dealing with the most severe addiction, we know to man. And just understand that like, and for those of you that deal with alcohol or actual drug problems and have conquered them, you get it. Right. You don't walk into a bar if you have an alcohol addiction. So you just have to treat it as such. And I'm a sugar. I'm sugar. I'm totally addicted. So there's cookies on the table. I can't break the seal if I have one I ended up having and I'm not exaggerating, probably 20 and I believe that hammer and hammer down. And that's it. And think about to prove this, like think about is there any other food that you do that with? Like, do you pick up a broccoli, stick of broccoli and eat one and just start hammering down a whole bag like no, because your body's working on literally an addictive state. And it just obliterates your system. So for those of you struggling with sugar, highs, lows, ebbs flows, it's totally normal. Just understand it's an addiction, and we can conquer addiction by habits. And that's it. But yeah, yeah. So into the nutrition side of how we cook the station, everything yeah, I go bar nine to make sure. You know, everyone puts in 10 bucks for one meal. 15 bucks for two is kind of how we do it. And then we go out with that budget and shop at the grocery store and the cook whoever it is that day that cooks within that budget. Well, for me, I don't care, I take that 10 bucks for that one meal. But then let's say that's up to 10 guys at the station. So I have 100 bucks and say everything I bought was 150 I just absorbed the cost because I will rather buy the health food that I know is going to taste good. But also give the guys a good meal. And just absorb that cost that budget essentially in by crap. And just because I know one it is that addictive and to how destructive it is to us like, Sammy, and I'm sure you can confirm how many diseases essentially all of them are due to inflammation and inflammation due to insulin sensitivity and resistance.
Sammie Mancine 07:47
So yeah. All chronic diseases lead back to chronic inflammation.
Sean Percy Travis 07:51
Yeah. And the number one cause of that right now is we're talking Alzheimer's, cancer, cardiovascular, obviously, diabetes. how sensitive is your system to absorbing the sugar meaning can your insulin pull the sugar and put it in the cell? If right badgered down your whole life with high sugar foods, it just gets tired, for lack of a better word to say. So you're putting high sugar foods in your system and your insulin is like man, I'm over it. That's when you become insulin resistant. And you get stuff like type two diabetes and so on increase the inflammation.
Sammie Mancine 08:24
Right. And did you hear about that they're now considering all the timer's type three diabetes?
Sean Percy Travis 08:29
Yes. Yes, I did. Yeah. So your diseases are based off of how you eat? Oh, yeah. Right. And it's my no man. It's the one of the things that's really frustrating is that it's the older generation. It's my parents are 70s 80s. So it's that generation has to deal with this. They had no idea they were doing the best they could at the time, the food industry as much as we like to demonize it wasn't trying to make a bunch of people sick. They were trying to make food easy store well preserved well and get it to everyone's table for a cheap price. Why do you do that? You make it taste good with sugar, the cheapest sugar you can which is corn because it's subsidized. Put it in everything. And now you're dealing with sugar across the plate all the time, and now they're dealing with the after effects. So now we're talking 100% Yeah, sugar is sugar is the new cigarettes. Yeah. Oh, they know. Oh, you didn't think I saw the cigarette companies when they got handled in courts? Finally, you know, tobacco is a drug and that whole like campaign actually one. Do you know what they all put up? What? Sugar? Yeah, they all went into like, all the sugar companies, all the companies that promote sugar because they know they can do the same exact marketing campaign. Get into a kid, get into his head. Make it happen early, and then boom. You got to carry.
Sammie Mancine 09:43
Yeah, it really is scary. even watching little kids walking around when they have like their giant bags of Doritos are sodapop. They have all of these things that are just so sugar dense. You're like, this is serving your body's 00 value. Yeah, and actually, you said a statement that I'm starting to change in my own vernacular, and that's zero calories. Yeah, I actually want to shift that and say, I don't think there is such thing as zero calories, either good or destructive. And so a zero calorie food is actually destroyed. So if you empty calories, that's actually destructive food. Right? Oh, absolutely. It's not giving to your body, but it's not giving what is doing. It's destroying. Yeah.
Brooke Smith 10:26
Yeah, I love to talk a little bit about because I know should I get such a bad rap? Do we feel this way about natural sugar? Like, is that is it that way for fruit as well? Because I wonder my mom is, you know, she's older too. And she doesn't need a lot of stuff. And the doctor says, you know, you have to stay away from it. And I tell her well, Mom, I think fruit is okay. Um, and the doctor, let's tell her No, she can't really have any fruit. What is your thoughts about food, and being sugar because I, from what I understand, since it has fiber in it. Um, it's a different type of sugar altogether than what we're talking about. We're talking about like, refined, processed white, right.
Sammie Mancine 11:07
So usually, with my clients, I have them I'm okay with fruits and berries, unless they do have, like, if they're if they're showing to be pre diabetic, and they do have those issues, then I haven't switched more to the berries, because berries won't have as much of effect on your blood sugar level. When it comes to fruits, you just kind of have to be mindful with it because they can, they can spike your blood sugar. But again, I'm with you on the fiber, because they have the fiber and they are also healing your gut and that aspect, it's okay in my book, you just kind of have to be mindful. So like I have those who want to create all these smoothies in the morning, but I'll look at what they're putting in it. And it's just all fruits, I make sure that they integrate more vegetables into it. So that way, you're just at least not getting that huge spike in that blood sugar. And it's going to be a slow rise and then even out. So as long as you have some balance with the fruit, I think it's okay. And then if you do have that crazy sweet tooth, berries are my go to.
Sean Percy Travis 12:02
Yeah, and Sammy saying fibers are key, right. And it's how fast is that sugar getting into your system and then spiking and creating that insulin response that we were just talking about. If you don't have fiber fibers like your, it's your goalie, it's chilling it out, it's letting it absorb slowly, so that your brain doesn't get this like immediate boost of just like the craze, right, the sugar high and what happens after you get the sugar low. So if you get something high fiber, then it kind of creates that balance absorbing effect and is allowed to hit the cell at a healthy rate essentially. So it digests your GI tract at a normal healthy rate. So when you're having like, you know candy bar or anything with like, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, you know, or even just like juice concentrate, which doesn't have the fiber, what's it doing, it's you got the, you got to go without the brakes. So you're just getting this massive spike, and then you get the whole, you know, downward spiral of what's happening with high sugar, low fiber. Yep.
Sammie Mancine 13:03
And another way, if you do want to try and prevent the blood sugar from jumping all the way up in your meal, if you realize that you do have a bunch of fruit and berries with you, one of the best ways you can actually do it on your plate is if you go for the proteins and the fats first before you start eating the carbs, or the berries that can also help stabilize your blood sugar as well. So it doesn't give that huge crazy jump up.
Brooke Smith 13:30
And then that's a great tip. In both of your professions, it's so easy to not take care of them of yourself when you're taking care of so many other people, um, and a little bit about why you think that is, Is it because of stress, Is it because of, you know, crazy schedules being tired? It's kind of ironic that you know, when you are in an industry where you you're taking care of other people so much you forgetting about, you know, taking care of yourself. Absolutely.
Sammie Mancine 14:01
I mean, I saw that all the time in the nursing world, I saw so many nurses that would spend so much energy, taking care of everyone else, but they didn't spend any time Kate taking care of themselves. And that's was one of my biggest things that I was very much so made aware of that I need to protect my own energy and my own health because how am I able to take care of anyone else if you can't help others when you have an empty cup, so I was very much so trying to implement that because I would walk into a 7am shift at the hospital and come into a break room and the entire table would be filled with KFC chicken. Like everything was deep fried waffles, like you name it, where I was like, Where can I have a hard boiled egg? Or can I have something of any nutritional value, but they just kind of go for whatever is quick and easy. And I was talking to Sean earlier about this about how a lot of health professionals like they really do. Just go For whatever is quick and efficient, because a lot of times they don't even really get a break, they might get a 30 minute break, maybe a 15 minute break here and there. But unless they really push on it, like I had days where I didn't have any breaks, which is a illegal, but be it would just completely destroy you where I'm like, okay, I don't have time to eat, I don't have time to sit, I don't have time to care about myself for five minutes. And instead you're spending all this energy, trying to take care of your of your patients, but even they're not getting the most quality care that you could provide, because you're so depleted. And so it was really hard seeing that and are they're dealing with more health health issues, and their patients are, and they're still trying to sit there and work. Um, but I definitely believe that you just have to be aware that I feel like awareness is like number one, the second, you're aware that like, Okay, I need to at least make sure I get 30 minutes today, or at least get 15 minutes. And like go outside, take a walk around the block, try and get some nature, some sunshine just shining on your face, or making sure you have food that's readily available. Because a lot of times nurses would show up and have no food and then just need to go by fast food somewhere nearby, and have those two minutes to order and then quickly eat shoved down their throat and then go back to work. So it does take awareness of knowing that you need to prepare your food ahead of time, it does take awareness of knowing that if you need to take five minutes, just breathe and find that quiet space to do it, do it. Otherwise, your patients are at risk for your lack of care as well. So it's kind of you have to find that balance. But it's hard. Like people don't be getting out that mindset that they just need to keep Work, work, work, work, work. Don't take any time for themselves where you have to be your own advocate for that. So I don't know it's difficult.
Brooke Smith 16:49
Yeah. And the accumulation of you know, if you do that for one day, one shift, it's like, okay, you know, things happen. But the rest of these careers that can go for 2030 years 100% these are doing that. And like, obviously, that's going to wreak havoc on your body and you're going to be feeling it.
Sammie Mancine 17:08
Yeah. Right. Especially all the patients who tried to bring you cookies to thank you afterwards. You're like, No, no, I'll take carrots and celery.
Brooke Smith 17:18
Yeah, are they trying to like bring you a pizza?
Sammie Mancine 17:21
Yeah, I'm like please. No. I was the weirdo at the hospital that kept bringing in all the healthy snacks, where everyone else just wanted doughnuts or sugar of any sort where I was like, Oh, I brought vegetables. Sorry. It's funny. Half of my clients now are medical professionals in some route, whether they're nurses or pa is and they're asking me nutrition questions, because they were never, they never studied it. So they don't really understand. But they're dealing with high blood pressure. They have eczema, they don't, their skin's breaking out. And they don't know why like all of these symptoms, where I'm like, Well, yeah, you just need to eat healthier. And then the second I put them on a plan after a couple of weeks are like I feel like a brand new person. I'm not depressed, I'm not anxious, my skin cleared up. I'm not bloating, like, it really is interesting to see individuals who are supposed to be the ones that are 100% knowledgeable in the healthcare world. But then when it comes to their own health, they're kind of lost and say, Shawn, what do you see in the fire world?
Sean Percy Travis 18:24
Same exact thing. Yeah, it's almost you know, and I deal with obviously, first responder is considered your type A, your, your alpha, so to speak. And so we come into a lot of stubbornness and then neglect to look internal. Yeah. And, you know, I felt I felt it myself, obviously being part of that. But had to had the foresight to actually look internal and see, like, if I'm depressed and anxious and gaining weight, and also, you know, getting all these skin issues and stuff. What's, what's the problem? What's really going on? Yeah, and a lot of it is nutrition. And a lot of it is how we transition. Like you were saying, do your five minutes of just taking a debt with deep breaths, can you can you do that? The answer is yes. Like, no one is too busy to like just transition well, and on a previous podcast was talking about how I'll do that after every call, we have, whether it's three calls for the shift, or 30 calls for the shift. Every time I'm coming back in, you know, you can do this between patients or however it's just how do you transition, I'll do box breathing. And I'm driving the rig and we're all talking and stuff. So no one really knows what's going on. You don't need to sit there and be in like a meditative state, you know, in a cold dark room, like, just just control your breath, right and reset your system. So that brings you back into the creative, fear mindset. And totally box breathing. Again, define is, you know, pick a second so all the for four seconds of inhale, and you hold it, and then exhale for four seconds and then hold again for four seconds. So each side of the box is four seconds. Gotcha. And that just resets your system.
Sammie Mancine 19:52
Yeah, it's funny. I used to bring my lavender essential oils to work. Yeah. Because when people started it when People started getting overly stressed out, I would just send them out and put some lavender on them. But then it got to the point where physicians knew where I was by my smell. They can smell that. And they'd be like, Hey, can I have some lavender?
Sean Percy Travis 20:14
That's awesome. That's so funny. Yeah. So I actually I have this graph here. I can read it. But it talks about the states of early indicators to critical stress management. Right. And I think Brooke, that's kind of what you're getting into, is, you know, we're in a high stress, low stress environment, first responders, healthcare professionals, right, we go, go, go go. And it's almost taboo to take a 15 minute break. And what a 12 hour shift, Sammy, right. Like, what is that half the time?
Sammie Mancine 20:45
Like almost being 13 hours, too?
Sean Percy Travis 20:48
Yeah. Right. Yeah. It's always longer get there early, you're leaving late, you know, yeah. And because you're committed, you're passionate to your job at the same time, like, make sure you're able, and it's a slow chip at a big block. So you don't feel an overnight you don't feel over, you know, a week, a month, six months. But take, if you you know, if you've been on for five years, look at where you were five years ago, if you've been on for 10 years with where you were five years ago? Like, are you? Where do you want to be? Are you the same person? Are you better? Or are you like, just doing this like slow demise into what is this graph on the read off, and that leads to this generally disorder, but obviously make or break starts with stress. So you have that stressor, and then you'll get burnout, and burnout will start to create. And it's generally in this order this from you know, studies and studies of psychology, relationship, any issues to life change, major event, anxiety, parenting and depression, panic disorders, OCD, severe anxiety, eating disorders, to severe depression and suicidal. So that's the path you're taking. If you're on a stressed environment, which, if you're human, you are, but I just feel like first responders, health care professionals, military, we're kind of at the precipice of that, in my opinion, right? We can argue all day, who stress more but like, we're in that when that stress environment will, that's the road it goes down. If we don't maintain if we don't, like Sammy said, make sure your cup is full. Where are you headed, and dance is pretty dark. And I've seen it now. In the last podcast, I had nine. Now I know 11. I know 11 people who have taken their own lives in my line of work. And we just had this chord experience at one of our fire stations a couple of weeks ago, that five years ago, and we all we all know these guys, you'd like there was no way these guys would do this. So how did they get down that road of just like taking their own lives and doing in a horrific way? And it's it starts with you know, we laugh? Like, yeah, sure it is an addiction. And you know, you don't take breaks, oh, man, you guys, we work so hard. Like we're not sleeping, it's like we'll wake up. Because if you're not star and maintain your date in transitioning, right and then enter your day correctly, this is where it could lead. And it's not healthy. Like this is the darkest it can lead to, you know, we had a murder suicide within our fire stations. Not everyone's going to go that dark. But I don't even want to be on that path. You know what I mean? I don't even want to be like, teetering with those ideas with those. And I've dealt with depression anxiety through Montreal through lack of breast over stress. And it's not where I wanted to be. I looked at myself and I go, I don't even know if I would want to hang out with me. You know, I got my good days. My bad guys. like is this this is not okay. We have to fix it. And so we start doing this by self care. Eating right? Obviously, that's if you're not eating right, you're, you're screwing yourself right out the door. So but eating right, taking control of that and then taking control of your transitions like are you breathing right? Are you taking control your breath work? The one thing that can go from your automatic autonomic nervous system into your control, like, go back and forth to control your body? Are you are you stretching? Are you moving? Are you doing? We do like it's it's a it's a lifestyle that we've chosen. That's high stress, low rest, and we're constantly constantly chipping away at this block. Well, we know the road it goes down. It is super dark and dismal. And we don't want to be that person. That's better to hang around. We don't want to have right I don't want to be that dad. It's tossing his kids in the pool at age 16 having a blast doing and I'm gonna be.
Brooke Smith 24:23
We heard about out you're gonna be tossing your kids in the pool at 60 I love that. I love that. You know, because people we want to feel good. No one wants to feel bad, you know? Right. And to the point where you're like, Alright, I feel I feel bad enough now where I don't want to do this anymore. And I have to make those steps because I think it's just not easy to you people expect right now. I want to feel better right away. Oh, well. I eat broccoli and chicken last night for dinner. I didn't lose any weight and I still feel crappy today. What the heck. It's like it doesn't work that fast. But everywhere. We're in a society now. Where people expect it like, Oh, well, I did that one thing that one time. So it should work now and it just doesn't, it takes patience, it takes small changes, it takes some consistency. And I think that's what people need to realize is like, if you if you're looking and you're thinking, Okay, I have these two options for food today, you know, just always try to make the better choice, make the choice, that's, you know, the, the ingredients that you can actually pronounce as natural as possible, I would think would be the best as low as sodium sugar. And I'm trying to just like implement that as much as possible, instead of having a soda have water, how the green tea or have an iced tea? Absolutely.
Sammie Mancine 25:40
It's the small changes that make the big changes at the end. So I always tell my clients like, don't try and get overwhelmed with these fad diets, don't try and do all these different changes all at once, because it's not sustainable. If you can at least do one change a week, that will get you on the right path, you're not going to see results right away, but you will see them later on down the line. I noticed a lot of young people seeming to have a lot of like autoimmune and like thyroid conditions. Do you see that a lot, Sammy with what you do. A lot of them I have been saying a lot of autoimmune issues. And a lot of times it does go right back to your gut. And people don't realize that over 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. So when you are feeding it a bunch of food and you're just and it's not nutrient, nutrient dense, and it's just a bunch of processed food, inflammation is going to be through the roof and your body's not going to be able to have that proper immune system that it's supposed to build. So it is one of those things where it's, you are seeing it a lot. But the second you start making these minor changes, your body will appreciate it. And in the long run, you will see changes for the better.
Brooke Smith 26:49
So how would someone know if they were inflamed? Can they tell? Are they bloated? Or are they fatigue? Like what are the signs of that you might have inflammation and you might have gut issues?
Sammie Mancine 27:00
Yeah, it might be if you're feeling anxious all the time, if you're feeling depressed, you're bloated, your body just feels off like you don't you feel like almost like brain fog and the type of sense. your joints start to hurt. It's different things for different people. But usually you can also get a bloodwork done, have your CRP checked. And that's a huge inflammation marker as well to try and see what's going on internally.
Brooke Smith 27:24
Yeah, I'm kind of like back to watch on what you were talking about, with kind of just the way that the slope kind of goes down to this really dark place that obviously no one wants to go to. intentionally. I think I'd love to talk a little bit about functional hero. And tell everybody a little bit about how you're combating that and how you're advocating for, you know, first responders and firefighters and military and people in in these kind of jobs that might be unknowingly going down that path?
Sean Percy Travis 28:02
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Do it. The good news is that that's not the only path we can be on. Right, there's, there's numerous paths that we can be on in this life. And if we're on the overstressed and arrested, that's where it goes. And that's the status, right? We don't want to be in that I'm not going to be on the I'm committed, I'm gonna be doing epic shit my whole life, and I've chosen. So that means every day, I need to be doing something that adds to that pot, not to the overstressed pot. So is it? choosing the healthier meal over the doughnut? And the pie, right? Obviously, yes. So let's do that. Like Sammy said, Just pick a thing a day or a week, like just do something that gets you back over to that other path. And with that high stress, low resin environment of first responders and healthcare workers. It's tough, it's tough to make those decisions, especially when you're, you know, you're called upon nonstop. And we're almost expected, expected to show up actually, we almost we definitely are expected to show up 100% all the time. So how do we get back to ourselves? And it's by doing these lifestyle habits that don't take much time? They really don't? It's making that decision, like, Am I in the best shape right now that I'm ever going to be in for the rest of my life. And that was a gut check for a friend of mine who wasn't in that good of shape. And I'm like, Hey, dude, are you really making good decisions? Because the way you eat the way you move and the way you like transition throughout your day? You're it's, it's not you're not getting any better. So this is it, this is the best you're gonna be. Are you good with that? And obviously, he was and he started making some really good transitions. And, and so that's what kind of functional heroes coming on is, how do we get it in the hands of all first responders have the best way to move and the best way to transition The best way to regain the health of our nervous system so that we're in that, that strong, vital path? Like what are those things? We've all heard about it and, you know, you hear about like ancient practices. are new practices or whatever, you know? Oh, you shouldn't breathe well, yeah, okay. Oh, you should stretch. Okay. Yeah, like he well Cool. Well, it sounds simple until you go to put it practice in your own life and then it's right, you can only lead a horse to water. And so that's what I'm trying to do is lead every single one of us to that water and just say, Alright, here is the step by step, take the thinking out of it. The research has been done by people far smarter than me and more aged and wise and all that good stuff, follow panels across the board for decades. Here's the results do this. And so I'm pulling it all together and putting it in one app for that first respondent world that healthcare provider world of saying like look we get our lifestyle is not the cyclical one of your average ciment we don't wake up and go to sleep in the same bed every day. Nor do we go to sleep every night. We don't have control over our schedule and excuse my language, but there's something about that station. It's a joke like you never get to shit shower shave without getting interrupted, like so you're always on edge. Well, if I'm always on edge throughout the day, how do I bring that back? How do I bring that health back? How do I ever recover my nervous system right? They might taxing more with obviously, the caffeine, the energy drinks, right? They have long lists of stimulants tobacco. How many guys do I know that did that? Start with an eight in the morning? Lipper. And then I know guys that take a Lipper put did put patches in their mouth to go to sleep like it's dude there's there is some extreme like stimulant addictions going on in the station and in the force. And so how do we bring that back? Right? That's not that's not sustainable. So functional hero, I've committed Our team is committed to putting those those easy health and longevity measures into our hands in one fitness, right you can't talk health and not say fitness, the body was made the move the number one way to get rid of inflammation and increase your longevity increase your mood is to move. Right your musculoskeletal system is the biggest burner of blood sugar. So it was made to do this it was you want to regulate insulin move if you want to raise your blood sugar and your mood move. Like that's the one of the biggest things which goes show that the body and the mind and the Spirit are all connected. You can't have this mixed match hodgepodge thing, you have to realize it's all connected. So we've based off of decades of research, come up with a tactical tactical athlete that you are as a first responder come up with the proper ways to move they don't overtax your system, but rather help bring it back. So how do I continue getting stronger while not tearing it down? And there are ways we do. So there are ways to move in different periodization modes and methods. So we put that all that's it in the palm of your hand. Now what else? How do we bring that nervous system back? How do we get that transition throughout the day? How do we get your system reacting in a vital way and not a just trying to survive What? And so you put those habits in there and just get them one by one. Maybe you do them all today? Maybe you get through half the workout? Maybe pieces, maybe half of the bio hacks, maybe just one like I don't, I don't care and I don't care if you get it here or somewhere else. The point is like, are you adding to that bucket of life? Or are you going down that stress and burnout pill? Like Which one are you adding to today? Because there's no such thing as stagnant? You're either growing or you're dying? Pick one. So what are you doing today? Enjoy that cookie, but if you're gonna enjoy that cookie, like burning, you know what I mean? do stuff I got like 3000 burpees. Yeah, exactly. And I always I always do, I was like, Alright, if I'm gonna do this, then I have to earn it. I have to put something else in the other bucket I'm gonna have and if I can say, okay, two One, which is really hard to me so I can say yes to one cookie, then I gotta go do that, you know, whatever thing it is to put that back in the health bucket.
Brooke Smith 33:46
So yeah, my run being like burrito burrito like.
Sean Percy Travis 33:55
Exactly. And hopefully, like, we don't exercise, we can eat like crap. But I'm just saying like, if you're ever gonna, you know, you got a cheat day, once a week or once a month, or whatever it is, like, you start to lower your cravings. But every now and then it just, it is nice to have that glass of wine and a piece of squash pie, or whatever it is. But Enjoy your food and don't be an enemy of it. Don't let it ruin your life. Right? have it be the greatest source of health and enjoyment and pleasure. We were created to enjoy food. But we're not supposed to demonize it. So let's figure out a way to enjoy the crap out of it. Yeah, do it in a healthy way that rejuvenates our system and understand how to rejuvenate our system in so many different modalities that we that are tip of our fingertips, but you either do or you don't do so functional hero is bringing it to the palm of your hand in an app. Sign up, boom, there it is.
Brooke Smith 34:43
I love talking about not demonizing food and I would love to hear if you guys have advice on maybe some ways to have things a little healthier. You know, when you go to Starbucks and you order your latte or you want to have a burrito or whatever it is, do you guys have any advice on like how to just make normal things that people want? A little bit more healthy? Like, what do you guys do people who who need that energy fix who need that, like, you're in careers, like both of you are, are like, I need to pick me up, I'm working a 13 hour shift, or I'm working all night, like my body is not accustomed to being up at these hours, what do you guys do to um, to get that energy, um, that caffeine fix or whatever that is to get you through like an in a healthier way.
Sammie Mancine 35:35
So there are actually a lot of superfoods that also provide caffeine but it's, it's, it's just not the extreme to these Red Bulls or these bang energy drinks or any of these others. So I started having some friends that were also nurses in the hospital world where I would give them smoothie at recipes. I'm like, Okay, try bringing a smoothie to work in the morning instead of a coffee, if you need a coffee later on in the day, sure. But starting off your morning, instantly needing that coffee, immediately jumps up everything and then you crash back down. So I would always try and get them on a smoothie route first, give them a little bit of the natural sugars, give them some of the natural caffeine for the superfoods. And then through then later on in the day, if you need a coffee, you need a coffee but your your adrenals aren't getting burnt out where the second you wake up in the morning, that's the first thing that you need. So it's it's little little tricks of the trade. But those energy drinks are just a recipe for disaster.
Sean Percy Travis 36:33
Yeah, yeah, I fully agree. I mean, so what I've participated in and then also I've seen a lot of coworkers participating is doing I feel I need to get up. I just want to whether it be go do a workout or you know, just feeling sluggish throughout the day. It's jumped to the caffeine, maybe some nicotine and no water. So I have I have a checklist that I go down and these are granted. Nicotine caffeine, like these can be healthy aids, they can be phenomenal. nootropics stimulate the mind, have you be more creative, but own the drug Don't let the drug own you. And that's when we rely on in the morning. I can't wake up I have a blazing headache before I have a cup of coffee. It's like sorry, that's Yeah, I mean, I've been sent into that too. But that means that I'm addicted to caffeine biologically, so my brain cannot get to normal function. Without that caffeine, booze. The drug is now loaning me, so time to cut back. But when I'm feeling super fatigued, like tomorrow, I start a eight day shift, which is really cool. I'm gonna be at work for eight days. So when I go on these long stents or whether it be a brush fire, or just a lot of days at the station, I'm gonna run into burnout and some fatigue. So what do I do? I checked one, my first thing Have I been hydrating today. So if I'm feeling that brain fog, that just like holy cow, I can lay down next to that table, make it comfortable, like, you know, I remember back as a kid in school, I was like, magian just like getting on the ground under my table and like taking a nap. Like I get that tired, right? You know, and I'm not a growing boy anymore. So I shouldn't be this tired. So like, if I'm, if I'm not hydrated, that's the first thing so I'll go in and I'll chug as much water as I can take down and it'll help sometimes put some lemon in some Himalayan salt or Celtic salt, like an advanced salt, not a simple table. So they operate very different in your bloodstream. You know, just to help stomach ache because it is hard to digest and absorb a lot of water. So I'll put I'll put that down. You know what, I'm sweating all day. It's a very gritty job. You know, it's not like I'm an air conditioned room all day. So check that after a couple cups of water and like being intentional about hydrating not taking a couple sips but really putting it down. How's my energy my still foggy? Now I check my breath. Am I breathing shallow not recovering Am I you know, kind of in that stress mindset. Then I'll do a couple rounds of Brock's breathing, or 3160, which is three in hold for one, six out, or 478, which is the same pattern for in hold for seven, exhale out eight, eight seconds and do that, you know, a couple of rounds, four or 510 rounds. If I still don't feel good. And I'm like, but I really need to be going, then I'll go to the coffee, or then I'll go warm. And this is rare, right? Usually those couple of steps, you know, oral like, touch my toes, bend over and touch my toes, get my brain below my heart so it can kind of assist in that just like over oxygenation system into my head. Do a couple those methods. And how long would that take? 2030 seconds to do everything I just talked about right there. Right? Yeah, chug some water, take some breaths while I'm doing the water, touch my toes. If that really didn't work in a couple minutes, then I'll be like, Alright, I'm gonna have half cup of coffee, see if that boosts me a little bit. And not only that, now that I had the coffee, I'm also hydrated so it's going to like help my system out a little bit more. And then even then there are some for clean forms of nicotine like Lucy gum, which I'll go to that. But again, it's I only go to those things as the Okay, I'm really hurting and I need to be up for a couple hours. Right.
Sammie Mancine 39:56
It's funny you mentioned even like touching your toes because it is Like, just bend over, touch your toes stretch out. All of a sudden you stand up and you're like, Oh, I feel a little bit better. I used to make other girlfriends with me in the hospital, we would do like, Alright, 10 jump squats. Let's do this right now in the hall. But it was a second you did that your blood was flowing. You had a little bit of adrenaline. You were happy and you woke up a little bit? Yeah, yeah.
Sean Percy Travis 40:21
Yeah, yeah. And you start to realize, like your fatigue isn't actually a drain, or burnout. It's just you just need to reset your system. Like you just need just a quick reboot real quick, turn the turn the power off and right back on again. And you're like, ah, I feel revived, right? It's not the same as like having a shot of espresso or to know you're not hearing if that same gentleman, you're gonna be like, I'm okay. I'm okay. Like, I don't feel like I need to curl up around a table and pass out.
Brooke Smith 40:47
Sammy, I would love to talk to you a little bit about any kind of like, stretches that you recommend. Because now we're talking you were just talking about the jump squats. I think that's such a great little tip trick for for healthcare professionals who are like feeling fatigued, do you have any other kind of like tip tricks like quick wake me up, that you as a nurse would do with your co workers to kind of just get that energy back.
Sammie Mancine 41:13
Or to like, honestly, we would grab those sailine bags and just do like squats with press with those because we would we would laugh at it the whole time. And we'd be in the bedroom doing this. Of course no patients are seeing any of this. But it was enough to just like, okay, let's wake up the body for a second. So even doing like little lunges, sitting down into a nice deep squat, because it's kind of hard. Since you're not it's not the most sterile of worlds. And so everything isn't very clean. So you can't really lay down but even sitting in your chair and crossing your legs over bending over. And doing any type of that or even using your desk and popping it up to where you're standing instead of constantly sitting because most nurses are hunched over all day long charting. All right, stand up. Most of these desks are adjustable. So you can make it where you're standing up all the way, do some lunges while you're in that position. Do some charting any type of movement honestly is ideal, or even having like even having I would have one of my girlfriends, it's kind of squish my traps because you realize that you're also crunched up. And everything is so tense, where I would just be like, hey, breathe, and all of a sudden shoulders would drop two inches. So it is really bad when you're constantly focused and crunched over a computer all day long or moving patients all day long. Because if you don't have the proper body mechanics, it can really really hurt you in the long run. But yeah, any type of stretching any type of just bending over using your chair as a as a type of modality or just being aware that I shouldn't be sitting down for 10 hours of these days. Like I should be standing up I should move around. But yeah, it's it's difficult when you're in hospital world just because you only have so many places you can hide and try and do this. Like the bedroom was always my favorite, though.
Brooke Smith 43:03
That's great advice. I love that for you. Because I know a lot of times you can actually be super active.
Sammie Mancine 43:09
They have gyms at these. Firehouses. its not Fair, okay, you you're working now come on now and I'm just I'm like, you guys have a gym, you guys have a kitchen, if we had a kitchen, that would have been a world of difference. Instead, it was like one fridge where everyone just shoved their food in and that was the extent of that.
Sean Percy Travis 43:30
Which to validate what you guys are saying we should be the healthiest mofos you've ever seen them and we're not we literally have a set of weights we got bikes we got treadmills we got to kitchen and cook in our time is not our own. We're there. So you know, you're lucky to get a workout in if you get a full one in. You know, there's days where you don't even get to touch any modality. And you're out all day all night, you don't get to cook your food. So there are those days. But yeah, for like if say, say we're having that kind of day and I can't like literally go put together a workout and go in and out. Literally, the simplest thing is just touching your toes. That's that's about it. Like that little stretch right there. And we're actually on our feet most of the day. So read, tilting your pelvis back and forth, helps with that, and then doing the deep squat if you can, if you can't, you need to work on this, but get to the point where you can keep your heels on the ground and squat all the way down. So you shouldn't be on our toes like a catcher, you know, which, you know, I had years and years of being a catcher. So I was always in that squat position in baseball, and I still couldn't get on my heels. So I was literally in that position for because it's a very different pelvic tilt, which is where a lot of your issues have lower back mid back hip problems. If you have bad back usually a bad hips. So conquer the hip issues. A lot of times you'll be able to conquer the backgrounds and it helps with your your bio connectivity and you know how your biomechanics and what if you're lifting a lot which you know, most healthcare professionals are moving patients and moving equipment moving right What are you moving? Are you doing correctly? Do you have, right? Yeah.
Brooke Smith 45:06
Are you? Oh, no, I was gonna say, Shawn, did you guys ever do the back to back because me and one of my girlfriends his story to the back to back and then bend over so at least one would get the chest opener of that opposite being hunched over all day and then the other one we get that deep stretch. Do men not do that?
Sean Percy Travis 45:24
Yeah, I've seen a lot of guys jump on each other's backs. But no, it's just the back to back. Me, bro. Yeah, I mean, you know what, I'm gonna run it by a couple guys see what you get? Yeah, yeah, no, I haven't done that one. But there are in you know, I'm not alone in this there. You know, probably three out of four guys are very aware of what we're talking about at least half right, you know, being told generally with my statistics here. But as soon as someone bites in one another's energy, meaning like, Oh, I get this person's about health and longevity. You start play off of that, if you got people at your work that are like even aware of it play off of that, like Sammy was saying, like, she would go and do these, like, you know, thruster squats with, you know, sailing bags together. So play off of that. So I got a couple buddies at work to be like, hey, later, do you want to try to get in some core work and stretching? It's like, yeah, now we're keeping each other accountable. and nine times out of 10. When we go to do it, someone else is going to jump in. And you grab them, you clown them, you joke with them. But even if they're, you know, you just get in everyone's head and like, as you push back the the unhealthy portion of the meal at the table or whatever it is. People pay attention to that. Hey, dude, have some doughnuts. And you say no, no, not for me. I'm on the program. As the joke. You know, I'm on the program. People pay attention to that. And you know what else happens? If I go and take a bite of that doughnut? I watch? probably half my crew go do the same thing throughout the day. So yeah, instigating. I'm not saying I'm the lead. I'm just saying like, if I if I watched my buddy, go eat a bunch of doughnuts like now I'm more inclined to go do that. versus if he says no, no, I'm more inclined to say no, if he like goes and makes himself healthy smoothie, I'm more inclined to do that. So we jump off each other's you know, habits. So by creating one habit, or seeing your friend or your co worker, have that habit, like jump onto that, like create that momentum again, man, super impactful.
Sammie Mancine 47:16
It's cool, because then you start seeing people stop offering you these things, too. Like they'll stop offering you the doughnuts they stop offering because like, Oh, no, don't even do that. Or they start bringing foods that will be like, Oh, well, they'll eat this, I should bring this to incorporate that. Or, hey, this person doesn't eat meat. Maybe we shouldn't bring a bunch of cheeseburgers. Instead of we're gonna bring some veggie wraps.
Sean Percy Travis 47:37
I literally my last shift, we were at the store shopping. And one of the guys was a notice station guy that was cooking. And he goes to grab this big loaf of bread and like some cheese. And my captain or Jackson goes on, are they the guys, none of the guys are gonna eat that here. And I just like, right? Like, literally a crew of 10. And he's like, No, no, no one's gonna touch that here. Like getting a bar, which is awesome. Yeah, yep. Yeah. So that was that was a good sign of like, right habits create habits among other people.
Brooke Smith 48:04
Mm hmm. And because we've been talking a lot about, you know, physically moving, and we've talked a lot about, you know, the nutrition that we put into our bodies, but I would love to talk a little bit about mentally, how do we take care of that part of ourselves, and what you guys both each do in your professions to kind of take care of that part of yourself. And if you have any advice for other people, and what that is, Shawn, I know that you have a journal that you created. So we can touch on that a bit. But yeah, I'd love to just kind of touch a little bit on on the mental part of, of the connection between health and wellness with with the mind.
Sammie Mancine 48:45
Yeah, so when it comes to nutrition, people don't really think that nutrition has an effect on their mental health. But what happens a lot of the times is that I'm sure you've heard of leaky gut. And you're eating all these foods that are causing crazy inflammation in your body and you have these little junctions and your gut lining that prevent foods or bad foods from being seeped into the rest of your body. But when you are eating foods that are high inflammatory, they are super process high in sugar, high in salt, you're causing these junctions to now open up just a little bit. So now these toxins have the ability to seep into the rest of your body. And it's actually causing the blood brain barrier to become more permeable as well to these toxins, which is now allowing these toxins to go up to your brain which is why people feel the brain fog, depression, anxiety, how certain things can stress them out a lot more than normal. So nutrition does have a huge effect when it comes to your mental health. But for my own mental health, usually I do a lot of saunas, especially at nighttime, where when I go into the saunas, I turn off my phone I completely disconnect. This is my this is my time. Like there is no no one else's time but my time and it's I'm able to just decompress From the day, I'm able to just turn off my muscles relax, I'm able to flush out all the toxins in my system. And those sleeps are probably my favorite, because I just knock out for the night. And I also go for a lot of walks. And being outside in nature, people don't really realize how grounding it is and how calm you feel afterwards. So even if you are working a shift, I would always just go outside and just stand and sit in the sun because that was such a, I could breathe and I feel my shoulders drop and I would feel the stress just kind of dissipate from my body a little bit. So that was another biggie. But yeah, a lot of saunas, cryo therapy, I would like to say it helps with my mental health, but it just stresses as good as it is for your body. It's not my favorite. I'll take the sauna any day. And I'm not a journal, human. Some people are actually boxing, I consider my therapy. I'm like the opposite. I don't like to talk it out. I just like to punch it out. I don't think people realize how therapeutic that is for you. And just really getting any of that pent up aggression or any honestly, it's just energy in general. Afterwards, I feel that my brain is so mentally clear and so calm, that I just feel that huge weight has just been lifted off my shoulders. So I would say boxing and sauna and going for like nature walks. It's probably my favorite. When it comes to my mental health.
Brooke Smith 51:28
Ask you how long you like to go into the sauna for it. And you said he liked to do it at night? Get on? Yeah, turn off. Turn off the phone. How long are you going in for?Sammie Mancine 51:36
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