Wellness

forest

Gut-Supporting Supplements, Ketotarian Break Fasts, and Other Habits of a Functional Medicine Practitioner

In partnership with our friends at BodyBio

Functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole is someone we frequently email for information and likely too-personal dietary advice (love ya, Will!). Most of it ends up published here on goop dot com, in Q&A form.

There’s also a lot of wisdom we’ve picked up from him over the years, through conversations at In goop Health or from nuggets he’s dropped cohosting the goopfellas podcast—and we notice we tend to listen pretty closely when he talks about the ways he approaches wellness in his own life.

He has the rare soothing effect of someone who upholds a very aspirational way of clean living and yet helps you understand that striving for perfection is antithetical to what it means to live well.

So needless to say, we were excited to have an excuse to get him to record his daily rituals for us—the tools he finds most essential and also most manageable in supporting his overall health. And because his lunchtime supplements are a bit more complex than, say, a cup of tea, we had him sit down and break the science down for us on camera.

  1. 01

    Gratitude Practice

    “My day starts off with me waking up naturally. Right before I’ve even opened my eyes, I’ll typically take a few moments for gratitude. I find that it really helps me center myself for my day. Either I’ll just do a breathing meditation, nothing too formal, or I’ll do a Hebrew prayer. I love doing the Modeh Ani, which is an ancient prayer about gratitude. Research shows that people who cultivate more acts of gratitude in their life tend to have longer, healthier lives. And that’s what I want.”

  2. 02

    Intermittent Fast (with Earl Grey Tea)

    “From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., I’m consulting patients online. That’s a long day. I have to hold space for them: I can’t be distracted, and I have to make sure my brain is on point. When I see my morning patients, I am typically intermittent fasting, but I do drink Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is a black tea with bergamot oil in it, and I like to think the tea helps keep me sharp during my fast.”

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  3. 03

    Supplements to Support Brain and Gut Health

    “Around lunch, I’ll have my supplements. Recently I’ve been loving the BodyBio supplements because they’re really thoughtful, science-backed blends. There are two that I take: The PC and the butyrate. Our microbiome is all the trillions of bacteria in our gut, and they eat what we eat—and they like predominantly eating different plant fibers. Our gut bacteria ferment that fiber and make short-chain fatty acids. One of the short-chain fatty acids is butyrate. Butyrate has been shown in the scientific literature to support a healthy, balanced digestive system and a healthy microbiome. The PC supplement is another way of supporting my brain and cognitive function: PC is an abbreviation for phosphatidylcholine, which is a source of choline, which is important for the production of neurotransmitters involved in memory and overall brain function and cognition.”

  4. 04

    Ketotarian Break Fast

    “I am typically fasting until noon, when I’ll have a Ketotarian lunch. For people who don’t know, that’s my made-up word for a mostly plant-based, clean, ketogenic way of eating. For example, I’ll have a salad with an organic field green or spinach base, and then I’ll add some healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, avocados, and of course, an extra-virgin-olive-oil-based dressing.”

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  5. 05

    Daily Workout

    “Usually, I wake up and do some sort of fasted workout for about thirty minutes—maybe a cycling class on my Peloton bike, with or without weights, or a circuit-training routine or HIIT. The early rising is not about willpower: I listen to my body, so if my body needs more sleep, and I sleep in and maybe get the same workout in after work—I don’t beat myself up.”

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  6. 06

    Modified Forest Bathing

    “If I don’t do a more formal workout, I’ll try to get out in nature in the evening. It’s not only exercise; it can also be very therapeutic. I’m fascinated by the studies in the scientific literature looking at shinrin-yoku—‘shinrin’ is ‘forest’ in Japanese; ‘yoku’ is ‘bathing.’ The studies coming out of Japan and South Korea show forest bathing is a great tool to support our wellness: They’re starting to examine all the benefits that nature has for us in lowering stress hormones like cortisol, lowering inflammation levels, and overall improving biomarkers for human health.”

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  7. 07

    Ketotarian-Inspired Dinner

    “My dinner is going to be something else that is Ketotarian-inspired. Often that’s poached eggs with tomato, olive caper sauce, and a side of avocado fries. I use ketosis as a tool to maintain metabolic flexibility. Most people are only in sugar-burning mode, which is like kindling on the fire: You get light for a little bit, but you have to keep putting kindling on throughout the day to maintain energy. But I can put a log on the fire instead, and that’s burning fat for fuel—a process called ketosis—instead of sugar. I do a cyclical Ketotarian way of eating. I’ll do three to five days of a high-fat, low-carb way of eating. The remaining days of the week, I’ll moderate my clean carbohydrates. I increase white rice, fruits, sweet potatoes, things like that. I still want clean carbs when I want them. I eat intuitively. Food is not supposed to be miserable and punitive and dogmatic; it should be fun and delicious. This is just what works for me. And I’m an advocate for you to find out what works for your body.”

    coconut veggie stir fry

    Coconut Veggie Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice

    This recipe is one of our favorites from Ketotarian, Cole’s practical food book: It’s a simple, plant-based way to approach a ketogenic meal. Bonus: It takes only ten minutes to prep and fifteen minutes to cook.

    GET RECIPE

This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.


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