How Meditation & A Plant-Based Diet Changed Dr. Rakesh's Life

In 2015, Dr. Rakesh Jotwani was four years into his career as a hospital doctor. He was feeling burnt out and his wife became pregnant with their third kid. Dr. Rakesh ate as he had always done to deal with stress. Whenever he came home to his wife and kids, he brought all the negative feelings he had during work. After attending a wellness training session from work, Dr. Rakesh decided to start meditating 10 minutes a day after work to help him deal with stress. A few weeks later, his wife noticed how much better he was getting along with her and the children. Dr. Rakesh tried a whole food plant-based diet. After three weeks, his blood pressure was normal again, his cholesterol had dropped by 40 points, he reversed his prediabetes, and lost 10 pounds. Since switching to a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Rakesh has lost a lot of weight and has helped his patients treat their chronic diseases with a plant-based diet!
Hosted by
Laurie Marbas
Last updated
July 15, 2022


00:00:00 Introduction
00:01:12 Why Dr. Rakesh wanted to become a doctor
00:19:30 When Dr. Rakesh became a vegetarian
00:30:09 How Dr. Rakesh got into meditation
00:39:22 When Dr. Rakesh began switching to a fully plant-based diet
00:42:16 The first three weeks Dr. Rakesh was plant-based
00:45:08 Dr. Rakesh weight loss from switching to a plant-based diet
00:55:19 Dr. Rakesh's advice to others

Podcast Transcript

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Welcome to the podcast. I'm Dr. Laurie Marbas. And today I'm very excited to welcome Dr. Rakesh Jotwani. How are you?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I'm great. Nice to, nice to meet you. Nice to be on your show, Laurie.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Fantastic. No, you've got a great story. And you know, I really think people really enjoy hearing from physicians who have their own transformations, which you have quite a transformation, and now you have a new calling and purpose in life, which is really fun. That's right. To really hear. So let's go back to the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about your history, first of all, why would you even wanna go to medical school? What, what was your prompt there?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Huh? That's a good question. Well, I for my childhood very much said I didn't wanna be a doctor because that was something my parents wanted. My parents are first generation Indian immigrants, and many, I think many people obviously immigrants this country and they want something better for their kids. And south Asians in particular is probably true for other cultures ethnicities as well. The south Asian in particular, they really, really are fond of their children going into medicine. And so my mom would say that, and I would say, no, I'm definitely not becoming a doctor. And and then as I got older, like in high school, one, I realized that I really had a strong motivation to serve and to serve other people in a capacity where I felt like I was bettering their life. And and that I had inclination, like I really enjoyed science.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And I, I went to college sort with this open mind. I told my parents at that time too. I, I, I don't know what I want to do. And in the back of my mind, I thought maybe I wanna do medicine, but I don't wanna admit that <laugh>. And and then I, and then I took, you know, sort of pre-med classes. But I remember meeting with the premed advisor and she said, well, you know, a lot of people won't say they wanna go into medicine, but really the question you have to ask yourself is like, can you imagine working with people who are sick and, and very quickly in my head, I was like, that feels right to me. I can't explain why, but I started volunteering at the hospital. And I volunteer volunteered at the, in the cancer ward, like just being a patient navigator at the university hospital I was at.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And then I took a seminar in death and dying, and I volunteered with the hospital chapel. And I went to college in the south, in North Carolina and at duke. And so some very religious people and just a very religious culture, I should say. And that was a very powerful experience actually to like go meet with people who were ill in the hospital and then to be with the chaplain who was trying to comfort and suit them. And I, and that experience like, felt so powerful that I said, wow, I could have the opportunity to have these types of connections all the time and to provide this service. And I like science <laugh>. So I I did, I decided kind of late then. So I took a gap year. And I actually did AmeriCorps in Chicago.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I did part part of AmeriCorps is this program called Vista, which is volunteers and service to America. And I worked at a healthcare nonprofit in Chicago, I'm originally from Chicago. And this was an organization trying to expand healthcare coverage for people in the city and the state and ultimately for the entire country, but really working to try and expand universal coverage, big proponent of a single payer system. And I learned a ton in that in that year. One of the things we did was actually organize people who had a lot of hospital debt or medical debt. We would run a, a helpline for people and we would identify people with really compelling stories. And then we used their stories to help provide those stories to change legislate, like to lobby for legislation. I wasn't technically supposed to key lobby <laugh> because that that's a government program. So I still have to do some of that stuff. I think I won't get in trouble now that was in 2002. Yeah,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: It was probably a time limit there <laugh>

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And then I went to medical school and yeah, it was, you know, it was a lot, it was a lot of stuff to, you know, cause it was just a lot of stuff to learn and you learn anatomy and then you go through your rotations and it seems like at some point I lost sight of maybe why I went into medicine. I, I don't know. I, I say that because I, I felt like there were so many, there's always just so many like hurdles in medical school. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, there's all the big exams. And then where are you gonna go for residency? And but not, not completely. I think I knew I wanted to be an internist. At that I had realized at the end of medical training, I didn't really know exactly what I wanted to do again. I thought maybe I'll specialize, cuz it seems like that's what everyone's doing right now.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: But so I, I specialize, I, I, my original residency was an internal medicine and I matched in San Francisco at U C S F. So I'm not from here, but I was then dating now married to someone who's from the bay area <laugh> who said, and she was a year younger than me. Also in medical school into different schools actually, but met through friends and she said, I really have been wanting to, she, she had been in Chicago for eight years and she said, I really want to move back to San Francisco. And I said, well, I don't, I there's a large chance I won't match there <laugh> but we can try, I can try. And I was I, yeah. And, and, and I feel very fortunate. I had a great experience in residency. I did a specific pathway at, at U C S F in health equity.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And so which was centered at San Francisco general. So on my elective time, during my second and third year we did all sorts of really interesting things like worked at community clinics and we got specific training in motivational interviewing actually through like an organization that does a lot of substance abuse counseling in the east bay. And at the time I remember thinking like, I'm not gonna do substance abuse counseling, like why would, and so for the listeners, right, motivational interviewing is a, a style of interviewing where you're eliciting the individual's motivation for wanting to make change. And it was developed originally in the substance abuse counseling practice of substance abuse counseling, but now sort of broadly is used all throughout. It's particularly useful in what we do right. In lifestyle counseling. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. But at the time I remember thinking like, <laugh>, this is interesting, but when am I gonna use this? So it's funny how the universe works like that. <Laugh> cause I didn't know what I wanted to be still, but I thought I wanted to be a kidney doctor. Mostly cuz again, I really like science and I love like the Neron and all the electrolyte that

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Nerd, as you can get that and that's right. Quality

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: <Laugh> that's right. That's right. It's all that. And I felt actually very like at home with that. So I was like, oh, I should be a nephrologist. And so again, I didn't decide till like towards the end of training. So I took a gap year and I worked as a hospital pH hospitalist hospital physician for a year before I went, I did end up going to nephrology fellowship. And then, and then very quickly into that fellowship, I, I realized, I was like, oh, it's not just like really interesting hospital cases that you're doing all the time. Like it's, it's a lot of it is you're in the dialysis unit and it's a lot of chronic management which is not bad. My wife is actually a nephrologist. I just realized that it didn't really, it didn't really well, I'll be honest. I, I think dialysis sort of become the default.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: A lot of things we do in medicine. Right. These very kind of, I would say extreme things like, you know, taking over the work of someone's organ with this very convoluted machine is not normal. Right. We'd agree. In fact, when dialysis was first developed, it was so it was rationed because there were hardly any machines, but now has become the standard. Like it's almost like default, right? Oh, okay. Your kidney fails. And then you're gonna go on this sort of unnatural machine which I think ha is an excellent, amazing tool and like much of what we do with medicine, with like medications and technology, perhaps like just broadly gets applied to everyone as sort of default when it doesn't, I don't know if necessarily makes sense for everyone or we don't take the time to have the conversations about whether or not it makes sense because it's become such the default.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: So I realized I couldn't practice in that like environ, like I thought first I thought, well, maybe I should change. Like this needs to change. And I started developing like a research project on the ethics of ending dialysis and having those conversations. And and then we had our daughter, our first child during that time when I was in fellowship and after she was born, I just really started questioning like what I wanted to do with my life. I was like, do I want to change a system that, you know, I don't necessarily agree with. That's just creating a lot of like tension and, and, and, and stress in me. And like every day I would feel that I would go to work and I would be like or, or, you know, I thought back to when I worked as a hospitalist for that year and I got to, I was at a community, same I'm at the same hospital now.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I was at a community hospital. It's also an academic hospital. So there's training programs but it's community hospital. And it's also like a tertiary referral center, like within the system. So saw interesting cases. I was working with presidents and medicine training sort of trains you to be a hospital <laugh>. So I was good at it too. Like, I felt very comfortable with it. So I was like, I'll do that. Cause I, again, I was just like, I don't really know what I want. Do I don't wanna be a nephrologist. Like I started checking off like the boxes of things that I was like, I can't go to every fellowship. So I finished my first year. And part way through that year, I, I, I decided, I, I kind of just got in touch with the people. The, the, the chief of the department I had had been working with for that gap year.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And cause I was feeling so guilty where I was feeling like I had done this terrible thing. Like I was gonna let down my mentors. And and, and so when the hospital I worked at said, oh, we'd love to have you back. It felt like this weight was sort of lifted. Like, yeah. Oh, I don't have to do this thing. That felt like a terrible, wrong decision. No, no. In retrospect, of course not like there were lots of things I could have done. I could have, you know, applied for other jobs. But at the moment I was just feeling like this is the end of the world, right? Like, I don't know, I'm leaving all these things. I built up to this and I don't know, you tell yourself this story. 

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Well, you know, and those decisions always lead to other opportunities. You have a very good knowledge base now about renal function, which is interesting as we get into further topics. But you know, if you look back at just your storyline that you just shared, it's a lot of service. You're, you're thinking about the ethical side of things. You're thinking that's right. About having to make things better. Is this the right choice? So it doesn't surprise me that you're at where you're at. <Laugh> it really doesn't. I mean, if you look back, it's like pretty 20, 20. 

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: It's interesting.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yeah, no, that was, that was a definite common thread through is that's where it's led you. And that's where a lot of people end up in medicine who enjoy lifestyle medicine is just, it's a service component. Right. I had this similar thing cuz I wanted to be in the military and serve and thinking those would be my life. And then after four years I'm like, get me the heck outta here. <Laugh> cause I love the people that's right. I cannot do this anymore. That's that's right. Yeah. So I mean I interesting get that. Oh, I totally get it. I totally get it. There's so many people on your path. I can't even tell you how many conversations that I've had with similar folks. But this makes it interesting though. But so during this time you, you know, like, I'm sure this is highly stressful. So tell us about the next phase. Like you're dealing with the stress and what, how did you deal with stress and what did that lead you? Yeah. To your own health consequences. That's

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Right. That's right. Know that

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Other part

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Of the story. I, I dealt with stress, I think for much of my life with food, I, from a very early age, I learned, you know, I learned everyone learned like come for and everyone learns like how comforting food can be. And we always say this now, I don't know if it's true, but I grew up in the early eighties. Right. And was, oh, we didn't, my parents all say, we didn't know how bad sugar was. And I think that's true. Like I think we knew it was bad, but not like how we know it is now. Like right. They used to get us whatever cereal, you know, I'm not, and again, I'm not, I mean, they were just, they were just like, this is what everyone does. I would have Coke. Like, you know, they limited it, but they were like, you could have it on the weekends. My children have never tried were so,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: You know, honestly, it's, it's interesting though, because when I grew up, we didn't have it just cuz we couldn't afford it. I mean, literally we could not afford. There were, there were months that my grandmother didn't bring us groceries. We wouldn't have eaten. And so we grew our vegetables, we had a ton of potatoes and beans. We had some meat, but it was expensive. We had dairy. But honestly I would, we had a Popper's diet that was really healthy just because, but we never had that process too. My mom would like, you get box cereal. My mom's like, no we're gonna get oatmeal grits. That's what you're getting <laugh>

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And, and cereal cereal. And that was like amazing for, for your habits and health probably at the time you were probably like, oh I wish I had whatever Lunchable or that's when I was a kid.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I did, honestly I coveted my friends that's that had all these little cute little snacks and stuff's, I mean, I remember days my mom would put two slices of bread together and butter and that was my lunch. I mean, it was bad. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> <laugh> so I totally appreciate that. But my husband's family, my husband's Filipino and his family came from the Philippines and he was born here. Very similar experience. He's like they would buy him bags of chips. They were military. And so then he goes, we have a bag of Cheetos gone before we got home <laugh>

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And listen it, if you're an immigrant and you come here and then you work hard and do well, then part of that American like lifestyle is like, because in India they couldn't buy any of that stuff. Right. They wanted that stuff where they saw that stuff on TV and they would be like, you know, they might once in a while get a, a soda or something, but it was so uncommon that then they came here and they're like, oh, this stuff is everywhere. And now we can give, but no, I, I, the, I don't wanna give the blame to my parents actually, but they a very simple like Indian, they tried very hard to make that like the food we ate and I was just exposed, you know, like, yeah. When I got to high school and I think my senior year of high school, you could go off campus and I was like, I can go to McDonald's every day <laugh> and for $2 you can get two cheeseburgers and two fries, like right. And so that's, I did that every day in senior year of high school, I got the $2, two ch double cheeseburgers, whatever at McDonald's.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I will tell you what happened when I was a kid. You know, my parents did prevent us from wanting to go out to eat. Was that my dad <laugh> my stepdad would tell me that the McDonald's hamburgers made out worms and all, all these straight. And I knew as I got older, that was BS, but I would not for the life of me, just the thought of eating, anything like that gross me out so much. I was like, I want no part of it.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: <Laugh> that's smart. That's smart. Oh no. And, and then when I got to college, it was even worse. There was a Chick-fil-A on my campus. Oh,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Which highly addictive,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Highly addictive. I didn't know what waffle fries. I was like, I don't know what these things

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Are. There's something special about 'em

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's all I could say. <Laugh> and then, and then my freshman year, my grandfather died. Oh. And that was like the first like close family member that had died. And, and it's interesting. I mean, he grew up, not that far from us. He lived with my cousin, my aunt and uncle. And so I used to see him all the time and I didn't know if I was particularly close to him, but I just saw him all the time. And it affected me like way more than I was expecting. Like I was, I remember, I think it was like my, you know, I was in pre-med bio and there's a big exam. And then I found out and I flew home for a couple of days. And I don't know. I was like, I wanna do something hard to remember how fortunate I am and to remember him.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And I asked myself, what could I do? That's really hard for me. Like that would be a reminder. And I was like, oh, giving up meat because I love me. <Laugh> Aww. I love meat a lot. So I became a vegetarian from that point on, through I think my first year of medical school. So for like six years I was a vegetarian and I was like so unhealthy, like I was the unhealthiest vegetarian, right? Like very, very early on. I was like, okay, I can't even mean anymore. What can I do? And I found Morningstar farms and Boca and I, you opened my fridge in freezer, in college. It was like full of all these that's all I ate and cheese pizza and you know, like veggie, like I, lot of cheese ate a lot of processed meat and, and Coke. And like, there was a Coke, the

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Orioles and Dr. Pepper

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. There was a Coke machine on the floor. And I was like, you can have this every day and you can use your card. Like it blew my mind. And I was like, I'm,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: It was a card. Like your, your meal card,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: You, you swipe your card and you could use it in the vending machine. And you could order, you could order Jimmy John's and you could order pizza and all these things. And then when I became vegetarian, I was like, I could still order all these things just <laugh>. So I, you know, and then when I got to medical school the first year I found it very stressful. And and I, none of the people, I was like my roommate and the people I was eating with regularly were vegetarian. And so I was always having to order something separate or this, that, and it was, and I really remember, I really enjoy meat. Like it was like, I would see everyone eating it and I'd be like, I want that. I want that. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so about six months to, I was like, you know what, I can't it, this is, this is negatively affecting me. My that's what I told myself. I'm gonna go back to eating meat. So I did. And then I, I went back like really hard. <Laugh> like, I started going to like in Chicago, there's all these steakhouse. I mean, as a students, I didn't have a lot of money, but like we you know, on, on like my roommate's birthday, we would go to a steakhouse or something or and certainly like, I was like getting back. I was like, oh, there's all these different burgers. Do you know white castle?

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yes, yes. Yeah. <Laugh> I never ate there, but I know what they're.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I wish I had any, no, no, I shouldn't say that, but

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I, I, plenty of Chick-fil-A after my,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: These little burgers and I was adult. Yeah. I would be studying and I'd order that. Or again, it was just sort of like, this is the food that comforts stress and it was like pizza. It was, you know, I had to order at every restaurant taco bell pizza. Hu. It didn't matter Popeyes. And I just I didn't see a problem with it. You know, in fact it was sort of like I'm working so hard. Ah, this is how I treat myself. I deserve this food and, and didn't realize it until, you know, just doing that for years, as you can imagine, it catches up with you. And I was doing that intermittently, I would like, like when I got married in 2009, I was like, I wanna lose weight for my wedding. So I just cut a lot of that stuff out. And I cut my portions down a lot.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I didn't really change the food I was eating. I just started eating less of it. And I forced myself to run every day. And then I lost 30 pounds in like a few months. And then the day after my wedding I ordered my wife, answers the door. I was in the shower and I come out and she's like, are you having people over? And I said, why? And she said, you've ordered enough barbecue. Like I ordered ribs and barbecue, chicken and Mac and cheese, all this stuff. And I, I, I have not eaten any of this stuff for, you know, however many months I had this was and what happened, of course in a few months I regained those 30 pounds and more, and in the midst of all like my career decision and residency residency, you know, you pull 36 hour shifts every few days, which in retrospect, I'm like, how did we do that?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: <Laugh> I think it's like, anyway. Yeah, I think it's insane. But you do that by eating this stuff, eating like sugar and caffeine and just like, keeps you going. And then and then my daughter was born and and then I went back to work as a hospitalist and having a child and having a new job, being a young physician, all very stressful. And they get at the hospital, they cater food every day, Chinese food, Thai food, pizza, like this is the food, right. That, that we feed the doctors. And so I would eat that every day. And and I think I, I saw this wellness speaker when I started, who went through like the phases of, of a physician, like a physician's career mm-hmm and I, this always resonated with me. And when you start off right after training, it's sort of the heroic phase where you're like, I'm a new doctor and I can do all these, you know, wonderful things for people.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And I can write a prescription like you can <laugh> maybe in residency is that, but even out right outside of training, it's this sort of this heroic phase and the heroic phase can last like couple years, two, three years before, eventually you enter what he called the doldrums. <Laugh> the doldrums are like, where you're like, you know what you're doing, but it's sort of this day to day. Some people that happens five years, 10 years into their career, some people I say for me it happened maybe four or five years into my career. And I was just sort of like every day showing up to work. And I felt like I was maybe starting to go through the motions a little bit. And and then I would come home and I'd have this litany of, and at this point we had two kids.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: So we had my daughters three and we had a one year, year old. And I would, I would tell them anyone who would listen like this happened today. And this happened today and this nurse did this and they're making me work this shift. And I don't know, I was I was like always complaining, always complaining until, you know, my wife pointed out and she would point out, she would say, we, we were in a good mood. And then you came home. Oh, and I know. Right. And I, I, I said to her, I said, you know, I don't get to complain at work. I have to be collegial. And that's how it was to me at the time. I thought this is I'm playing a part at work where I have to be this collegial person now, honestly, that's how I felt. And one time she said to me, she said, why, why is it fair that the people you say you love the most get the worst version of you. Hmm.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And that didn't feel good. You know, it's like, no, that's not it at all. I love you guys. And, and, and that, I say that now, like at the time, I don't think I realized that that was really act of kindness, that she was being so honest with me. This is the people that you care about the most that you show that honesty and your, you know, she's, she knows, she knew how, how reactive I was. And wondering, like, should I even TA talk to him about any of this, because he's only gonna get more, you know, upset or annoyed. And serendipitously there was a, a evening work session and required to do like a certain number of hours of these extra off work, like learning sessions every year. And one of 'em was run by the physician wellness group. And it was called evidence based workplace happiness.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And it was all the things you can do to be happier, which when I read that, I said is there dinner <laugh> are they serving food? And okay, I'll go to this. It's it sounds interesting. But but it also, I was skeptical cuz I was like, that's not really, that's not really my choice. So I went to this talk, it was two hour session at night and there were a bunch of people there. And, and I remember one of the first things they talked about was gratitude. And how you showing gratitude regularly is the way that you can be happier. And I was like, okay, that sounds good. But then they said, no, we're gonna have you experience it. And they had us pull out our devices or phone and they said, we're gonna send a message, send an email or a text to somebody you work with and tell them specifically why you appreciate them.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And I had an office mate at the time, this guy, Ray who had been he's 20 he's, like 15, 20 years senior to me. And so he would give me a lot and he had also three kids and and his kids were older. And so I would just get a lot of really like Sage advice from him. And he's just also like someone I could go to with clinical questions. And and I had certainly been talking to him about like my struggle and in my home. And I told him that, I said, Ray, I just really appreciate you. And like your friendship and having this support from you and this work makes it a lot better. And so I put my phone away and then they said, how do you feel? And I was like, oh, I feel better.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: <Laugh> I was like, I feel better. Actually. I do feel better. I was like, that was life for me. I was like, oh wait, maybe I could do that every day. And I would feel better. And I was like, what else could I do? And then they started talking about what else can you do? And that's when I learned about, I had heard about, I mean, I actually tried meditation in the past. I grew up in Hindu family. My faith was Hinduism and I tried like some meditation in college and not with the effect of sort of being more present and mindful. You don't really know what my motivation for, for wanting to try maybe just more to call my mind. But but then I downloaded the Headspace app, you know, and cuz that's what they, they recommended. And I started I started doing it in my car, started meditating my car for 10 minutes.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I would pull off to the side of the road by our house and and I didn't know what to expect from it. All I knew is that I sent a text message to Ray and I felt better. So I was like, let me try this out too. <Laugh> and then and then within a few weeks my wife pulled me aside and she said, what's going on with you? And I said, what do you mean? And she said, I don't know. You just seem like you're in a better mood when you come home. And you're, you're just like more present. And I was like, oh cool. Like, yeah, I'm kind of like wanting to do that, you know? And, and she said, and you're coming home a little later <laugh> I said, I'm meditating in my car. I swear. And she didn't believe me.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I was like, no, I'm using this app. And she, she didn't meditate at the time either. And and, and then she also, she was like, I'm glad it's working for you. Cuz I kept telling I'm like, this is the best stuff ever. You have to do this. It really starts to change your relationship with your thoughts and starts to create this space where you can start responding. So reacting, I started telling her all these things and and eventually she tried, she tried it. No, not again, nothing bad to my, we had three young kids and there was one night where she was just like, I came home and the kids were like, they were almost like, they were like a little afraid cuz she was yelling. She was like yelling. She, I think was kind of really at her wits end.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And then I saw her and she was kind of shaking and I said, why don't you go upstairs? Take some time to yourself. And then she came down like an hour later and she said, I, I tried the app and it really helped. It really helped me calm down and sort of see myself in, in that moment. And so now we both have become like really big believers and I talked to a lot of my patients about, but anyway, that, back to that, I mean that was, that was where I feel like everything kind of changed for me. Mm. Cuz I started looking at my life as more of a series of choices. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> as opposed to being like a victim of circumstances.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yeah. That's, that's a big part of it. I, I think it's almost like when you are first confronted with patients who start a plant-based diet and they see numbers changing and it was all because of choices. So the chronic disease is not a sentence that's right. That was given to them that they can't, you know, it wasn't their genetics and it wasn't, you know, just their luck of the that's right law. It was like, these are decisions and it honestly empowers you and gives you joy in the fact that that's right, wait a minute. I do have a choice. And all of those things come to, I feel like, you know, your whole life you kind of, or what you've told me, I don't know you a hundred percent, but, but it's interesting how you kind of floated between things. Right. And kind of, but then when you get to this point of just sitting back and thinking and observing, because which is basically what meditation is, right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: You're observing the that's the situation it gave you the power to see that you don't have to react to the emotions or the thoughts that's right. Or anything. They don't own. You that's, it's a it's right. Very powerful place to be in a, a relief <laugh> I find it as a relief cuz you don't have to react to all these thoughts and emotions. That's like, wait, I'm not that thought's, I'm just observing that thought. That's right. I'm not that emotion that's it's gonna pass. And so it's very, it's a empowering to, to see that, but it's a lot of that is it's. It's pretty cool. So then what led you down the lifestyle medicine track? Where did that go?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Well, you know, it's, it's just what you're saying. Like I started observing my thoughts and emotions and I started realizing that I was making a lot of choices that didn't really align with what I said. I, I said I wanted to be like a good father. I said I wanted to be there for my kids and I would come home and you know, I was, I was suddenly like, like having a lot more fun, like grab dance parties and playing games and all these things that I, that were accessible to me. And I started realizing like, yeah, I have to like be around for them. Like I can't just go on living based on my, like my hedonistic pleasure wheel, where I was. Right. What can I eat? That's really enjoyable. There was a, a there's an in and out next to a crispy cream. Not too far from where I walk. Oh my. And so it's like a

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Deadly

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Combination post call in residency. That was, I would go there cuz when you put your order in, at the, in and out, you can go get right. I was like, I that, how, how, how can I reconcile what I'm doing right now? Like, and with, with these three little faces. So mm-hmm <affirmative> as luck would have it again at work there was a doctor from Sacramento, south Sacramento who came to give a CME talk on plant-based eating. And he told his story Raji MaQuita

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I don't know him familiar with, I know some of their Kaiser folks, but

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:Not him. Okay. Oh he's he's he's well, he's an amazing amazing individual, amazing human being. You should have him on your podcast. Yeah. He, when he was 40, he started getting chest pain. I tell you a whole story, but he started getting chest pain. He drove himself to the emergency room. He was dropping his kids off at school and had blockages cardiac blockages. And so they extended him and nobody talked to him about diet or lifestyle. Right. He went on American heart association, diet started exercising more started we meat and started red meat started using olive oil. And then, and then like six months later, he was at the gym on the treadmill and started getting chest pain. Again, went back to the hospital. His STS had closed off. He had more disease needed bypass surgery. And so he started asking he's like, what, what can one do?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:Right. And so he, it didn't take him long. He he's like looked in the literature and he is like, oh, you can actually reverse heart disease with diet. Like why has no one told me this? Like why did I have the first procedure? And no one said like, and by the way, if you wanna prevent <laugh>. So he made it his mission to go around to every medical center at our, in our entire Northern California region to tell his story, to share this. And I was sitting in the audience and I remember hearing his story. I was, I was he's Indian, like me and I was six, I think, five years younger than him, five years younger than when he had, I was 35. And he had his heart attack when he was 40. And I was thinking to myself this is going to be me in five years.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Like I can see this now. And the other thing that was so memorable about that session is they, the lunch they served was a whole food plant based lunch. And which at the time, like I would think is like grab food. Why would I eat this? But it was black be and sweet potato quesadillas, but there was no cheese, right? It was just a mashed sweet potatoes and black beans, very well spiced. And it came with a side of guacamole and a side of really good salsa and like whole wheat tortilla. And as I was eating, I was like, this is really good. <Laugh>, I'm really enjoying this. Like it's got acid and flavor and texture. And like they had made them a little crispy and I didn't think much of it other than remember, I can think back to that now. Because I went back to the same talk.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: He didn't come back the next year. Somebody else from health education gave cause every year they do this three week plant based challenge, plant powered challenge three. He, he started it like at his medical center and then it sort of spread and they had been doing it for a couple years at my medical center. And I remember the first year hearing about it and sort of like, why would anyone do that? That was my thought, like, why would I even do that? And the second year hearing his story and then saying like, I need to do this. And so I signed up for it. And then the very next day, like went to the conference and they were serving like pizza or something. And I was like, I can't do this <laugh> I can't do this because I was not ready to make that change.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Like in my head, I thought this is something I should do. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but I didn't know what food I was going to eat. I didn't know how to cook the food. So what I did do thankfully is I said, well, that black beans, sweet potato Casillo is pretty good. And I bet there's more things like that. So I did meatless Mondays for for about a year. Yeah, it was about a year because then the plant power challenge came back. I said, I'm ready. Let's do it. I knew what I was gonna cook. I had learned how to make whole food plant based lasagna. I had learned how to make all sorts of different tacos. It's like all the things I really love. Yeah. I had learned how to like cook those things and, and it didn't, I realized this, this whole world of making these things, then I did it for three weeks, a hundred percent, whole food plant based.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: This is going from, you know, I was still eating, my fast food choices were getting better. Like, I don't know if you know what, like taco bell, they have a fresh gum menu. <Laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> oh, I know I would dressing. Yeah. Yeah. I would start getting some like healthier options at these restaurants. But but then for three weeks I I did a hundred percent and then I felt like a different person. Like, you know, it's not even understatement, you're shaking your head cuz you, you you've seen this. Probably so many people now, but the time I, I was like really three weeks, but I was sleeping better. You know, I had a Fitbit at the time. This is the most amazing thing my resting heart rate went from. Like the eighties. I have a screenshot of this. Cause I show it sometimes went from the eighties to the like sixties mm-hmm <affirmative> and I didn't start exercising in these three weeks.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I wasn't exercising at the time. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it's just, my heart was getting butter, blood flow mm-hmm <affirmative> and that wasn't enough evidence for me right after that. I said, okay, I'm gonna do this 80% of the time. <Laugh> 20% of the time I'm gonna eat the food. I love like on my birthday that year I went to a steakhouse cuz that's what I used to do. I used to, when I had the opportunity, I was like, oh a steakhouse <laugh>. And and I remember my heartburn, which I had suffered from for so many years in residency and med school. Cuz at this point I went to the doctor, Laurie and I, my, at this point, my weight had really, really gone up. I was obese at that time. And then which my doctor told me, he's like, yo, you're, you know, he put on my problem list and the chart, he put obesity on it. And then my blood pressure was high. He said, well we'll have you come back and recheck it. You don't have to start any medicines right now. All my cholesterol, my LDL cholesterol was like 1 68 or one 70 or something like that. Your

Dr. Laurie Marbas: LDL was

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: One 60 LDL. Yeah. Yes.

Dr. Laurie Marbas Okay. I know because we are heart attack just

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Seeking about the, and I was prediabetic and I was prediabetic. Wow. And most of those things reversed in three weeks. My blood pressure normalized. My cholesterol dropped like 40 points in three weeks. My prediabetes reversed. And, and I lost like 10 pounds and I wasn't trying to lose. I mean, I, I, the whole time I was like, I was like this was going on. I was like, you know, that's just my destiny. I'm a bigger guy. I'm, you know, I'm gonna kind of, I never thought this is my choice. This is the food I'm eating, but it's so funny. But now I get that so much with patients. I never, I, I, you know, it could be easy to be like, why don't you understand? No, but I'm like, no, I totally get it. I was living like that for so many years.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And I and then I I said, wow, I, you know, lose weight, sleep better. I have more energy. So I started that 80%. But then I went to that steak dinner. My heartburn came back, terrible heartburn that night. And I felt terrible the next morning. I almost like, felt like sluggish. And I was like, oh, sounds maybe silly now. No, I don't think so. Like I didn't, it was more light bulb moment again. It's like, oh, the food you eat, it affects how you feel it. Doesn't, it's not just how it tastes. <Laugh> right. It should taste good. I still believe my food should be, I should wanna eat. Exactly. And it has the opportunity to make you feel good. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And then as that year went on and I just gravitated towards eating the food that made me feel good and tasted good.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And the cafeteria, I was like, oh, they make spring rolls. Cause Vietnamese spring rolls. They always used to get the one with shrimp, but right next to they had one with tofu and I didn't and you know, and, and then I was like, why wouldn't I eat the tofu? The tofu one makes me feel better and it tastes great. So it was that kind of thing that I just, I started doing that more and more and more and more until until I was like, what is it that I like, or that I used to eat and how can I eat that now? You know, I discovered banana ice cream, ice cream. I was like, perfect. Now I don't have to, like now I have this like whole food plant based version of ice cream that I can make on demand and I can eat the whole blend. And it's like, I ate two servings of fruit. Like I didn't do something wrong. I just did something good for myself.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And it tastes like ice cream. So you're like happy even more.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. That's right. That's right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Oh my gosh. That's right. So what, tell us a little bit about, so you also had weight loss. How much weight did you end up losing?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I in the first year I lost close to 50 pounds. Wow. And then since then I've probably lost more than 70 pounds. Amazing. And the, I tell my patients all the time, I say, you know, the cool thing is when you find, when you eat this food and you find ways to, to love it and eat it in delicious ways, this is not like what I had done for my wedding or what most people do to lose weight, which is that they punish themselves, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, this is actually giving yourself a gift every day. And you just gravitate towards this natural, healthy weight because you're eating food that, you know, nature intended and, and you can overeat, you know, I show that forks over knives, diagram of what 500 caLauriees looks like probably five times a day to my patients, cuz I'm like, this is the, you don't have to count caLauriees.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: If this is all the food you're eating or 90% of the food you're eating, you can't overeat this food. And so that's also very wonderful because somebody, you know, who, who doesn't wanna punish himself, like who doesn't wanna count and write every little thing they're taking and wants to feel like they can eat and enjoy, you know, and eat to satiety and eat to fullness and things like that. That's me very much. Like I like to, and now I feel when I get seconds or even thirds, I'm like, no, this is just even better for me. <Laugh> I'm getting more poly.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: You sound like you sound like my husband, the more plants, the better I am <laugh>

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. That's right. That's exactly right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Speaking of spouses is your wife and your children follow suit.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. So my wife is always a vegetarian act. Oh, she was a vegetarian until she met me <laugh> and then I got her to start eating meat as terrible <laugh> she started trying it. She never really like gravitated towards it, but she would have it. I think we'd go to restaurants and stuff. But then like then mostly had kind of been a vegetarian and and my in-laws who lived in nearby, like they are also vegetarian and from very young age, started feeding my children. So my kids eat almost completely plant based diet. But they often gravitated towards those things, even before I made my change, because that's what my mother-in-law was, feeding them very simple, south Indian, vegetarian food, like just lentils, rice and simple vegetables. And they would eat that from four months on. So they developed a taste for it.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Like my, my middle son who's eight. He loves salad. Yeah, just, you know, he love, they all love vegetables and beans. And we, at this point have not said to them, you can't have whatever. Like when they go to school and stuff, so sometimes they eat meat, like they'll eat chicken nuggets or something like that. And I've just been, will be out. If we go to a restaurant or something, they will choose like a bean and rice burrito or they will choose because they enjoy that. And they, and I think back to when I was their age and I'm like, that was like the punishment for me. It's so interesting how different, but we also celebrate now, especially since I, since we've transitioned, I've transitioned to answer your question. Yeah. My wife has sort of embraced this as well. She was always vegetarian.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And then when I first told her I came home, I saw I'm gonna eat this way. She laughed <laugh> she was like, no, you're not <laugh> I can't. She's like, didn't you say this a year ago? And I was like, that's why I've been doing meatless Mondays every Monday, which she also thought was ridiculous. Cuz she's like, I'm a vegetarian. Like you can't just pick one day a week. And I'm like, no, you don't understand it was your primer. It was your primer. It was, I was building now I understand it because now I've learned all these things about behavior change. I was building my self efficacy and my confidence, I was in the, you know, precon play contemplative state and I was getting preparation. And you like to take your time that's right in this state. That's right. <Laugh> that's right. That's right.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And then and then the very next day in this three week challenge, she bought pizza sausage pizza for me for dinner. And I said, why did you get didn't you hear me yesterday? I said, I'm gonna. And she said, oh yes, that's right. I didn't think you were being serious about that. And I didn't eat that pizza. And I think that she, yeah, she was like, oh wow, this is a, like, this is something's going on. Something you something's going on. Something's different. You're meditating in your car. You're telling me you want to eat the plant-based diet. Like I don't. And so I I over time have, have really influenced the whole, like now all the, my wife used, she likes to bake and she used to bake standard American, like, you know, butter, sugar, all eggs, all these things. Now she does complete whole food. Plant-Based baking. Do you know whole food? Plant-Based cooking show Jill daltons chip

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Channel. Yeah. I'm I'm I'm familiar with it. Yes, yes.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Yeah. And she she makes all her desserts, our whole food plant based sweetened with dates. And she makes a thin mint cookie cake, which if you never made that highly a hundred, 2000% recommend it it's the most moist delicious. Right. And the, the frosting is cashews and dates and Coco powder and some peppermint extract. And the cake itself is O flour and almond flour and dates and super moist. And we have that now. Even my kids asked for it for their birthdays. They said, mommy, make that cake. And we just had it for my birthday. And even for her birthday, she'll make it or I'll make it. It's that good? Right. Wow. And so that's, that's yeah, pretty much everything. Most of the things we're eating. I mean, we buy some, like I have kids, so I started buying the impossible nuggets for them cuz I was like, okay, if you wanna eat chicken nuggets, there's something that some lab close enough,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Close enough where you don't have to. I recently have, I was so I, that was my goal 80%, 90%. But recently I've, I've say a hundred percent. I recently decided I'm gonna be vegan. I read ed winter's book, which is this, this is vegan propaganda. And and we got a dog during the pandemic. I had all of these things in my head. I was like, I can't reconcile this anymore. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so I don't tell my patients necessarily, and I don't encourage them. I always emphasize like it's about eating more plants. Right? Cause you get the benefits and that's definitely what I experience and what we know is like, you get so much of the benefit from eating more plants and if you do it right, like you end up crowding out all this other stuff. And if you keep crowding it out, eventually there's no more space for anything but plants. 

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Really interesting me to how people will gradually go into it or overnight. So I was overnight that's

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Right. Literally. Oh really?

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Oh really? Yes. So I, I told you earlier, before we started, how that's right. The patient came in and I started reading the China study by TECO Campbell. I literally read that in two days. I was so like I was telling my husband, I was like, look, they're turning off cancer by <laugh>. Plan's like, what is going on? Yes, that's right. And as I was in my own head trying to figure out what this meant personally and a practice for me, it was like, oh my gosh, this is such an amazing tool to use with patients. And I had a patient with lupus that came in and living in Western Colorado in a little town. You're a lot of everything. So the nearest rheumatologist was over an hour away and they only came in maybe once a month from Denver. So I lived on the other side of the Colorado state. Oh wow. The rock. I mean, there's these big things called the Rocky mountains on the other side. And so 

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: <Laugh> that's right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: <Laugh> but she, I got her, she came in, she was on 12 meds. I put her on a plant based diet cuz she said, I, I, I don't know what else to do. She was like, feel horrible. I'm having migraines every day. She was 50 pounds overweight. I was like, try this plant thing. I was reading about the anti-inflammatory component. Two weeks later we had measured her C R P. It was like three times high, normal, two weeks later she had lost eight pounds. CRP had dropped. Yeah. Wow. Just outside normal. Her migraines were gone fast forward. Five months stopped seven meds. Anyway that night that's two weeks came home. Overnight. Three teenagers were going on the plant state. My husband's like, are you still cooking? He's like, whatever. <Laugh> I'm like, yes. He's like, so the kids were like, don't argue with mom, cuz mom, you know, going through medical school, through little kids. I, they were five, three and 10 months when I started medical school. And oh

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Wow.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: So, and being the military, I was like, listen, I ain't, I'm not your short order cook. I'm your mother. You will eat what I have in front of you. Right. But when we went out though, the kids would, you know, order what they wanted. And like you said, you know, they choose to do things. That's what I noticed with my, my 13, 15 year old, my daughter went off to college and she took a little bit longer to come around, but she has. But <laugh>, everyone's plant based now. But the, the interesting thing was the boys started ordering tofu instead of chicken. Yeah. But I totally get that, but

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: So yeah, yeah,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yeah. Yeah. Now here you are. You've made these transitions, you're a hundred percent you're working towards, you know, sharing this message with your patients. Where, where would you do like, so what would be your advice to someone cuz it's a really interesting path that you took that's okay. And these were all these li bulb moments for you. That's right at the universe. I don't feel like there are coincidences. I feel like it just presented to you when you're ready to hear the message. That's

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: But what, what do you think is, is your, your advice to someone who's contemplating this? Yeah.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Well I have, I've thought a lot about this because I, well, I meet patients in the clinic. And it's like, sort of what are the, and I think about my own experience, right? And it started with sort of understanding a bigger purpose, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> what are, what are my bigger goals or aspirations for my life, for my kids, for my family. And what's meaningful to me that I would say is like what do I call the roots? Your roots, your roots are what, you know, ground you that's are since by the way, is R a K the letters of my name, R a K so roots. And then from roots, it's like awareness A's awareness. Right? So really understanding, like, what is it that you do and why do you do what you do for food? It was like, I always thought, and I helped my patients now, like, what is it you like about food?

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Or what is it that keeps you eating the things that you eat. And so much of it is tradition and the emotion associated with food and how we use food for so many things, for comfort, for stress and food addictions that we have, cuz the food is designed that way. And so that awareness piece is like, okay, like, why am I eating? Like, why am I eating this and why am I eating now? And what is it that I like about food and how might I re-engineer like new food or different food to eat that way. But you could use that awareness piece for any change that you're trying to make. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and then K is how you make change, which is kindness. And it goes back to like, what I said is, you know, if you design a punishment for yourself, you're only gonna do it for so long before, you know, you're like, I don't wanna punish myself anymore.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And you'll go back to the thing that you think you deserve or that you enjoy mm-hmm <affirmative> but kindness is different, right? Kindness is like, how can I make changes that feel good to me and are also good for me. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and reflect that higher purpose aspiration, you know, cuz that feels good, really, you know, to, to live up to that and to move towards that with your choices and your behaviors feels really good too. And kindness is also like showing up, you know, showing up for yourself. I've I've learned a lot about like self-compassion and self-kindness and you know, when you grow up I'll be honest, you know, kids are mean, and I, I grew up different. Like I grew up one of the only like minority kids in my school and I was also overweight. And so nobody wanted to pick me like for the kickball team <laugh> I was always the last one, this type of things. Like, you know, you internalize those things, you tell yourself a really negative story and and to, to, to kind of sit with that and unlearn that and and to start to be kind to yourself, like that's really powerful. So mm-hmm <affirmative> roots awareness, kindness. That's how we, that's how we make change. You, you understand your reason, you, you understand what it is you do and why you do it. And then you make changes in a way that are kind to yourself.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that's beautiful. I think that's fabulous, which is a wonderful segue to your website and that's right. Your information. That's right. So please share. I know it's under construction, but hopefully by the time this podcast airs, it will, should be, be live

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Let's let's get it. Yeah. This is, this is giving me your motivation to, to hit the button. What is your, yeah. It's it's rock your life. So I'm rock Dr. Rock and rock is RA K. I know people see it. They'll say rack, but they'll just have to spend a minute browsing and they'll understand. And it's that it's rock. How do you rock your life? How do you live a life that's worth living that? Cause I really, and you know this from your own life and all the lives of patients you've changed. It's like, it's not just about like reversing disease and improving the numbers. Like it really changes the trajectory of your life, right? When you start living with these intentional choices of how can I make choices that are going to benefit me, benefit my family and how, and then it, it carries over into so many things.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Like it doesn't just change your life. It changes the lives of so many other people that, you know, right. I, I feel like it's that light that sort of shines. And then I see it now. I see it in my patients and their kids and like will come in and they'll be like, dad is eating to and Tempe and, and <laugh>, he's lifting weights in the garage and it's like energy, you know, it's like, that's great. And so I wanna, you know, I'm starting this website, it's rock your life.org, R a K L I F E or no, Y O U R L I F e.org. I decided.org because you know, this is like a social mission for me. Like I really want more and more people to connect with this idea that they have this ability, this powerful ability to take control of their life.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And it's really by taking control of your lifestyle habits. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and the cool thing is we have so much now in the way of science and research decades, really of how people make change and effectively make change. And, and you know, this as well as I do, like that's something in our healthcare system needs to get much better at is leveraging that and, and, and supporting people to make those changes. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so I asked myself, well, what's the way I can start doing that now more for my patients and for other people. And I spend a lot of time in these short visits in the clinic, right. We had 20 minutes. So I've also thought, like I create things, more resources that I can just basically have them go see on the website. And I do, I send them to like, you know, the big ones for overnight nutrition facts. And and I also spend a lot of time just talking to them about these, these three big pillars that I talked about. So I was like, oh, I can, I can I can share that with them.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And now you can share this podcast and they can know your

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Whole story. That's right. That's that's right. That's right. That'll be cool. Yeah. That'll be cool.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: That'll be cool. <Laugh> well, that, that's, it's, it's very, very true. It's what's fun though, is to, when you start a journey like this, and just briefly from my own experience and just looking back, you know, this is 10 years from me being on a plant based diet. I've been a doctor for 20, some odd years and you're looking back over time and you're just like, wow, that, that one incident where that patient, I accidentally said, stop eating, eating, dairy. That's right. And just, I can't even, I mean, the, I know <laugh>,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I'm never gonna forget. That's so cool. Is accidentally prescribed a flash.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I did. I accidentally prescribed what me say, which has now turned into <laugh>, you know, every year it just, it continues to evolve my my business, you know, so now I'm chief medical at blueberry health, which will soon be more medical cuz anyway, there'll be a podcast explaining the name change, but they're considering me a co-founder so there's three of us and Murr, you know, he sent me this book. He said that the surrender experiment and by yeah, Mickey singer it's incredible, incredible story. So you haven't read it. I would highly recommend

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: It. I have not read it.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And then he wrote a book called the untethered soul, which I read like in a day. And then another book he just released called living untethered. So basically it's regarding mindfulness meditation, but the surrender experiment was his life story and I <laugh>, he made it like, it's incredible story. The journey that this man took. And I, he lives in Gainesville, FLaurieda. I've tried to get him on the podcast. He doesn't do podcast line. So I'm gonna go when I go to college for FLaurieda later this year, I'm going to go try to meet him in person.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Oh

Dr. Laurie Marbas:Cool. And but yeah, it's it's just, it tho those three books, honestly, in the last two to three months have just, I mean, I felt like I've already gravitated towards that. I've already kind of been that type of person, but this type of it just lowers the

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: I'm definitely gonna, I mean, yeah. I'm definitely gonna re yeah, it'll be right to convince

Dr. Laurie Marbas:The like, you

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Don't have to

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Convince me. Yeah. I'm telling you, I I, I feel like it's just it's, it's opened, it's like it's opened, I don't know what to do the door, the windows or something to let more sunshine in. And it's just like, oh my gosh. It's like another layer. That's beautiful. Yeah. It was really cool. It was a really cool experience. But anyway, so there's a, another resource for you, but whew. Yeah. It's fun. Well, you've had, I, I feel like you're just beginning your journey and it'll be really fun to see where you're going because your energy is fantastic. So I'm excited to see where you go. Oh,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:<Laugh> appreciate that. I really appreciate me getting to meet you. One thing I've learned for the last few years you, before we started, you asked me if I've been to the American college of lifestyle medicine conference, and I've been a couple times and just the energy of those conferences and how, and all the amazing, incredible people like, like sort of connect on this like higher energy, like Waveland. I can't really explain. Let

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Tell you you what I mean, let me, no, I tell you what my husband calls it. He goes, Laurie, you're going to be plugged it back into the mothership to your <laugh>. I was like, yes, yes. I am going back to the mothership. Cause I come back like,

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Yeah, right.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I've

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: Never been that energized from like we to a conference.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: No, it's a, I mean, I've been to all sorts of American academy, family medicine, American medical association, you know, we go through all those, the regular conferences are kind of <laugh> years exhausting by the time you that's. Right. You've done with day one. That's right. And these are like, every day is even better. And then you, you just like, do we have to go, can we go another day? You know, I <laugh>.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And the food is so good. It's all plant based, breakfast, lunch, dinner. And you're just, I don't know. And even like the stance with like products and stuff, it's like really interesting services and you're meeting people. It's all about

Dr. Laurie Marbas: The world people. Oh, amazing. And I'm, I have friends from literally almost every continent at this point from these type of conferences. And 

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: The last thing I'll say, which is really tied to this is that I re I was, I think what I was remind when I'm reminded of, when I go to these conferences is, goes back to that. And maybe it's what you were saying. It's that through line, it's like, I'm reminded of why I went into medicine. Yes. Because this is what I was called to do, to heal people, to serve in this,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: The antidote to burnout.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. That's right. I say the same thing because it, it was the end to do it from my burnout. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and it really is like why people are burnt out because they see this exhaust cloud of patients stuck in this system that is failing on so many levels.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yep, yep. No, I, it pulls you right out of the doll rooms you're describing

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: That's right. Oh yeah. Dold rooms. And then he had cocooning <laugh> and where you're sort of reflect in and then calling.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yep.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: And, and that's, and that's what I've sort of been to doing. I've been cocooning. And, and then I feel like,

Dr. Laurie Marbas:I think you about

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:Finding my calling.

Dr. Laurie Marbas:You're broadening your wings, like a butterfly

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:That's right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>

Dr. Laurie Marbas:That's right. A very beautiful butterfly.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:Sweet of you.

Dr. Laurie Marbas:<Laugh> but it's fantastic. So what a joy speaking to you and thank you for sharing your story for

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani:Listeners. Thank you for giving me the time and yeah, absolutely. Appreciate you. Yeah. I'm looking forward to meeting at one of those conferences.

Dr. Laurie Marbas:Oh, absolutely. We'll definitely meet in person. So that'll, that's always so much fun cuz you're like, wow. So always some people go like you're so much taller than I thought you were. I'm like, oh, <laugh> okay. Yep.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: So we stayed at five, seven I'm five, like eight, about five, seven and a half. I say five.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Everyone thinks I'm like five, three or five, three.

Dr. Rakesh Jotwani: We're about the same honey.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: <Laugh> yes. Yes. My daughter is a little tiny. She's got those Filipino jeans, but my husband's only five six, and my boys are like five, 10, and it's like, I did something <laugh> my daughter goes, I gave all my tall jeans to the boys. I'm like, well, they needed it. <Laugh> funny, but oh, well, but thank you again. And everyone, please check it out. Rock your life.org and rock that's right. R a K r.org. Got it. And we'll sure that's in the show notes as well, but wonderful. Yeah, definitely. Check it out. Share this guy with your friends and thanks for listening everyone.

Laurie Marbas
Laurie is our Chief Medical Officer, double board certified family and lifestyle medicine physician, licensed in all 50 states and DC.

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