“Hurry! Hurry! Get in the car. I’ll have to drive everyone to school,” hollered single mom Anna Cabeca, D.O., a successful obstetrician. After butting heads with her four daughters during another hectic morning, Anna had no choice but to accept the fact that they had missed the school bus…again.
As she tore down the street, her nerves already frayed for the day, she realized she’d also forgotten to feed everyone breakfast. What is wrong with me? she wondered, as she pulled into the nearest drive-thru. I’m struggling to hold it all together!
After she passed a certain age, Anna experienced extreme menopause fatigue: exhausted, irritable, and mentally frazzled. What’s more, after maintaining her weight for a decade, she suddenly gained 20 pounds, seemingly out of thin air. “My main frustration was being a doctor but not having the answer,” Anna admits. “And I knew, that if I was struggling — as a women’s health and hormone expert — then other women my age must feel lost too.”
Yet when Anna turned to a ketogenic diet to drop the pounds, she didn’t experience the weight loss she expected, and she felt even more irritable, tired, and emotionally on edge, to the point where she felt her kids hated her. “I called it going ‘keto crazy,’’’ she recalls. “I thought keto wasn’t meant for women.”
In an attempt to figure out what was wrong with her body and mind, Anna tested her urine and discovered, “Wow, I’m really acidic. My body is really struggling.” So she immediately began adding more alkaline foods into her low-carb lifestyle, incorporating things like kale soup, bone broth, beet greens, and smoothies loaded with vegetables.
With this simple keto hack, she noticed, “I lost 18 pounds in six weeks, and I had better mental clarity!” Anna kept researching the relationship between ketosis and alkalinity — something that had been ignored in the medical community — and discovered, “The brain fog for many women is from low estrogen that dips with age. But we can use ketones and alkalinizing carbohydrates to fuel the brain.”
She adds, “When the body has an acidic environment, the cells are like a garden without a strong fence — weeds and bugs can get through. But alkaline foods work to maintain those beautiful boundaries to maximize our health.”
True to her profession, Anna didn’t stop with just healing herself. After losing 85 pounds and restoring her energy on her plan, she went on to write a bestselling book, The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better and Stop Hot Flashes the Keto-Green Way (Buy on Amazon, $16.99). She also helped countless women through her website, DrAnnaCabeca.com — accomplishments that never could have happened if she hadn’t regained her mental focus.
“Now, I believe that menopause is a time of limitless possibilities as long as we have our health,” she cheers. The biggest bonus to overcoming irritability is how Anna’s connection to her family has miraculously transformed. Her daughters are grown, but they all still live nearby and enjoy loads of bonding time with mom. Anna beams, “Sunday brunches are a regular occurrence. I love that time together. Now I’m in the best relationship with my children of my entire life!”
This article originally appeared in our special print edition, Keto Over 50. You can purchase the magazine in full on Amazon, $12.87.