Episode 302 | January 24, 2023

The Spark Factor with Dr. Molly Maloof

A Personal Note From Orion

Today’s episode covers important insights on health and wellness. If you’re interested in topics like personalized medicine, digital health technologies, biofeedback, assisted lifestyle intervention, psychedelic medicine, and science-backed wellness products and services, you’ll love this discussion with Dr. Molly Maloof.

Dr. Molly provides health optimization and personalized medicine to high-achieving entrepreneurs, investors, and technology executives. For three years, she taught a pioneering healthspan and wellness course at Stanford University Medical School. In the years since, she has launched a company inspired by her unique philosophy of health. Since 2012, she has advised and consulted more than 50 companies in the digital health, consumer health, and biotechnology industries.

Dr. Molly recently released a powerful new book: The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient, and Feeling Better Than Ever

She is one of the coolest doctors I’ve ever met. And I think you’ll agree after tuning in to the show!



In This Episode

  • [02:29] – Dr. Molly Maloof shares how she found her passion for health and how she developed it.
  • [06:39] – What is the science of love?
  • [13:42] – What happens when one loses the feeling of love? What is the answer to coping after a loss?
  • [16:03] – Dr. Molly discusses the women’s body cycle and gives biohacking tips for women in their 20s-40s.
  • [26:59] – How can you practice self-love, and how can it change your life?
  • [32:27] – Dr. Molly talks about the importance of knowing your triggers.
  • [35:15] – What are Dr. Molly’s discoveries about fertility? 
  • [36:10] – Dr. Molly describes the different diets women in their 20s-40s should practice. 
  • [42:57] – How does one’s psychological and spiritual health affect fertility?
  • [47:23] – Dr. Molly shares her favorite things from her book, Spark Factor.
  • [49:08] – Dr. Molly’s top three tips for a stellar life.
  • [51:03] – Find more biohacking tips for optimal health at Dr. Molly’s website and follow her on social media. You can also buy her book, The Spark Factor and get a pre-order discount.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hello Dr. Molly, and welcome to the Stellar Life podcast. It’s awesome to have you here. I can’t wait to talk to you about all the interesting and amazing things that we’re going to share. Before we begin, can you share a little bit about yourself and how did you discover your passion?

I was not a healthy kid. When people ask me, “do you just love health stuff so much because you’ve always been so healthy?” I was like, “you don’t know me very well. I’ve not always been healthy. I’ve certainly had my share of health challenges in this life”. I think it was because I grew up a sickly little kid. I had pneumonia a bunch; I had strep throat regularly; I had my tonsils out; I had impacted teeth; I had oral surgery; I had ADD; I didn’t take stimulants until I went to medical school. 

I definitely just had this deep knowing in my gut that I was going to be a doctor. It was fifth grade, and I was like, “this is it. This is the job.” But I’ve always been entrepreneurial too. I started my first business in 5th grade. I’ve always been this entrepreneurial doctor-type person. I knew it was kind of a weird outlier in a lot of ways as a child. I was like, “I’m not a normal doctor. I’m definitely going to be different from the normal doctor”. But I knew I was going to be a doctor. So I got to become a doctor, and then the job that I had was a bit of a nightmare. 

I ended up getting out of the mainstream medicine business and started my own practice. Got my license and started working with startups and working with executives as a private doctor. I kind of made a name for myself in a very competitive, ruthless environment at Silicon Valley, which was a really unique time to be working in that world. The last ten years in Silicon Valley before the pandemic were like the golden days. There’s so much amazing stuff happening in SF. But at the same time, there are a lot of things that have changed. 

And so, I did leave eventually, but while I was there, I ended up teaching at Stanford and building a course on optimizing health span. 

Did you have students fall in love with you? 

I’ve always been into how we move education forward in the health space.

I had one actually amazing student become a mentee of mine. He wanted to become mentored by me, and I was like, “sure, I’ll mentor you.” I definitely have always been interested in education. I was an educator at medical school. I designed a course on optimizing health when I was a medical student, and I ended up putting up all these doctors to work for me. 

I’ve always been into how we move education forward in the health space. That’s kind of why I wrote this book. Because I was like, I really want to take the stuff that I learned from the cutting edge of science and just figure out how to teach this model of health to the masses. 

Another dream of mine is being achieved, which is really kind of fun. It’s kind of looking back on my life at 38; I’m like, “wow, I achieved almost everything I wanted, which is pretty neat.”

But that’s been a result of a commitment to health and a commitment to optimizing my health. Because with more health, you get better performance, you get greater productivity, you get a better mood, and you can do more. 

It’s literally potential human medicine. Health optimization is about human potential. It’s about creating literally so much energetic charge in your body that you have enough energy to do everything you want to do. That is what I’m here to teach, and that’s what I’m here to explain to people. 

I’m a deep generalist. I’m not an expert in anything. I’m an expert in many things, but I’m generally pretty good at understanding metabolism, mitochondrial health, microbiome health, and wearable technology. I even started a drug company once. I ended up pivoting to building a company around the science of love, which is actually much more nourishing than drugs. I’ve done a lot in this short life, and I’ve been really passionate about how we understand the first principles of health and then how we measure and amplify health.

That’s led me to this book—The Spark Factor—which is really a treatise to my career and my teaching career, and my work with patients. 

Unconditional love is powerful medicine. If we could all love unconditionally, our existences would be full of profound peace and joy. Click To Tweet

Yeah, I definitely want to ask you more about your book. But you mentioned the science of love. What is it? What is the science of love? Because people say love is the answer. Isn’t that simple? 

We say love is the answer. But as I’ve discovered through my research, sometimes love is the answer and sometimes love is dangerous, actually. 


Yeah. If you’re in a stable, happy relationship with a family, you’re not the audience I’m trying to speak to right now. But if you’re a young woman who’s fallen in love with a psychopath when love is lost, men can lose their minds—and women too. 

I’ve seen men and women when breaking up; it can cause major depression. It can cause psychotic breakdowns. I’ve seen people lose a family member and go into bipolar breakdowns. Love is the answer. But when love is lost, love can break the brain. Lack of love can break the brain. Of course, we need love. But the thing is, what we forget is that sometimes we lose love. Loss of love can create profound destabilization of the human nervous system and contribute to all sorts of problems with mental health dysfunction.

That’s why love is so important and why we need to create as much love as we can in our lives and nurture our relationships with family and friends, and ourselves. But there are also great Ted Talks on unhealthy love. It’s about things like stalking and harassment. There are women who are, including me, who’ve been the target of online harassment and stalking. That’s when people fall in love with someone, and it’s not actual real love. It’s not like true love or anything.

They fall in love with a hologram.

Yeah, they’re calling love an avatar. That, to me, is really scary because we also don’t realize that people are going to fall in love with AI in the future. 

Oh, I got goosebumps. 

Yeah, it’s scary. It’s actually probably the main reason I’m concerned about AI taking over is the ability of AI to love. It’s either going to save the world or destroy the world. 

I work with people who work in AI, and I have clients that are executives at AI companies. I know a lot about AI at this point. I have friends that run AI companies. I’m not completely terrified of AI, but I think that we need to be thinking about the consequences of what happens when AI and humans fall in love. That is going to happen. If we’re not careful, it could actually be really problematic for the human species. 

I’m really interested in the idea of what if AI could teach us how to love better. What if AI could teach us how to love unconditionally? What if we could turn to AI as a source of unconditional love? That might actually make us healthier and stronger. 

If you turn to AI as a source of unconditional love, you will fall in love with AI. 

Either that or you’ll treat it like a God. People look at Jesus. Jesus is either a person, a prophet, or the son of God. But he came to the Earth, and he died and then was resurrected, and now we worship him. What did Jesus teach us? Jesus taught us about unconditional love. That is a really powerful medicine. If we could all love unconditionally, we would live in a world of profound peace and joy. But we don’t, and a lot of people struggle with it immensely. 

Women are more likely to want to tend, befriend and nurture. Men are more likely to protect, defend, and aggress.

The war in Ukraine is a great example. I mean, war in general, is a great example of how humans don’t know how to love. The interesting thing about men and women that I didn’t know is that men are based on vasopressor dominant, and women are oxytocin dominant. Women are more likely to want to tend, befriend and nurture. Men are more likely to protect, defend, and aggress.

There was an interesting little experiment that was run on little girls and boys. They taught them how to cook. They left them alone in a house with food in the fridge that was uncooked. They basically saw what happened. The house with all boys ended up in pandemonium; They were playing as though they were like mini warriors, and they were destroying things, drinking coke, and weren’t really eating properly.  The house filled with all these girls were taking care of each other. They were cooking and nurturing each other. This is clearly a biological difference between the sexes. 

We do need men to protect us. We do need the masculine. The polarity and the balance is important. We don’t want a society that has no warriors. We need warriors. But we certainly don’t want to live in a world that’s only in this state of fear and aggression. There’s a lot of destabilization. There are a lot of mass shootings right now. I think that’s a consequence of abuse and neglect of children, of children growing up in isolated environments where they don’t have enough friends, where they’re ostracized.

A lot of kids grow up with screens more than with people. 

Exactly. And screens are not a substitute. Screens are how parents teach children how to regulate their nervous systems. That’s not healthy. There’s evidence that suggests that if you use screens to regulate nervous systems, it can actually contribute to other problems. We don’t want to turn to technology as our solution to coping with challenging experiences. It doesn’t work the way we would like it to work. We need to teach our children to regulate, and we teach through example. We teach them that when they throw a tantrum, we need to help them tune into their emotions and just be present for them. Yet we constantly try to silence these things because it’s hard. 

Your pain can be a major source of power once you overcome and heal from your trauma.

I constantly work on myself to become a conscious parent. And I try to avoid screens as much as possible. And just be there with my little one, eye level, when he’s like throwing the worst tantrum. I find myself that sometimes I can’t. I’m just like, “okay, here you go, just watch this.” But as long as we do it in balance, it’s more like a human than a screen. 80%-20%. 

Look at it like edifying education. Let’s choose things that are actually good for their minds, that are feeding their minds with knowledge. Some of these shows for children are so dumb that, no offense to the people making them, but they can’t be making kids smarter. I say all these things, yet I’m not a parent yet. I do think I have to raise my younger siblings. Growing up as a teenager, I was definitely a big part of taking care of them for my parents. I do feel like I have parenting skills. But it was from taking care of my siblings growing up. My parents were present and around, but I also played a big role in the family.

That’s awesome. I want to go back to the loss of love because you said that a lot of people break and have psychotic breakdowns.

Or major depression or suicidality. I had a friend who lost a husband, and she became suicidal, and it was really pretty profoundly problematic. 

I have a friend like that, unfortunately. 

The answer to a breakup and the loss of the life of someone you love is to surround yourself with people that you love. The problem is when people don’t have that.

A real true friend will be there for you on your high and lows.

This is why you don’t want to lose yourself completely in a relationship, and you want to build a social network and continue to keep that social network. Because you need those friends for when things get challenging, that’s what your friends are for. A real true friend will be there for you and your high times and your low times. There are some people out there that will only be there when things are going great. That’s not really a great true friend. You want to surround yourself with really true friends who have your back when things are really hard.

Relationships take work. They take time to invest in. They require effort. They sometimes require significant efforts to maintain, like the relationship with my parents was really impeded by my living in a different city across the country from them for many years. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to really rebuild that relationship with them in a bigger way. I was so grateful for the pandemic for that gift because if I hadn’t had that time with my parents, I don’t think I would be as close as I am to them today, and I wouldn’t be spending so much more time with them. 

That’s been a really interesting adventure as well. It just realizes that a lot of people don’t want to invest in their challenging relationships because they feel so injured by their family members that they’re like, it’s not worth it. But it’s really worth repairing. It really is. It’s really, really worth repairing things. Because of your family, there’s no one else like them in the world. Sometimes they are going to be hard to deal with, but it’s better to have people that you can trust and love around you than not.

Wow. There were so many directions I could go now. You have so much knowledge. I want to talk about women. 


I know that women tend to get more depressed than men. Is that correct? 

It’s interesting; men actually commit suicide more than women. This is interesting, but generally speaking, women do, I believe, suffer from more anxiety and depression. But it’s interesting that men act on it more, which is probably a result of the present basic dominance and the fact that they’re just naturally a little bit more violent than women are. I mean, men are more likely to commit homicide as well, things like that. Obviously, there’s like a little bit of a difference. Women are cool. As a woman, I’m just astonished by my body. 

I agree with you!

Relationships take work, time to invest and significant efforts to maintain.

My body is so cool. The fact that I’m a different woman for every cycle of my menstrual phase is kind of fascinating. There’s when I feel really attractive when I’m ovulating. There’s when I’m feeling really strong during the follicular phase, and I feel like I can just go out and conquer my workouts.

 Then there’s like the more inward-oriented, more relaxed version of me during my luteal phase. Then there’s the part of what I’m trying menstruating where I’m just like, “I just need to chill and relax.” Then there’s the fact that we change throughout our lifespan. We go from child to pubescent to woman. I’m 38, and I finally feel like a grown woman. I’m like, “whoa, I’m like a grown woman. This is cool.” I’m in a different phase of my life. I’m almost 40. I’m going to be 39 in a month. That’s wild. 

Yet I feel, in some ways, like settling into who I am. I have a newfound confidence in myself that I didn’t have when I was younger. I have a better relationship with my body than I’ve ever had. I have better sex than I’ve ever had. That’s cool. They don’t really tell you that growing up in your late 30s is the peak of your sex life. Then you hate your perimenopause. Then you hit your menopause. That’s when things get really interesting because now you’re changing again. Then you decide, do you want to use hormones or not. Some women can’t use hormones, and some women love it. I will personally be using hormones when I go through change. 

That’s why I wrote this book because I want women to be like, “oh, now you have a biohacking Bible for your body.” This is volume one. There’ll be another volume coming when I go through perimenopause and menopause, and I’m going to hack that too. That’s the fun thing about being a woman. I mean, there’s pregnancy and fertility, right? I know you wanted to talk about fertility. There’s a whole bunch we could talk about there.

Before we go into fertility, what are some of the biohacking tips for women throughout, let’s say, their 20s, 30s, and 40s? What do we need to do in each stage of our life to have this optimal life optimal result? 

One thing I would recommend women do is, if you’re a teenager, one of the best things you can do in high school is getting really fit. Join organized sports. I’m a huge fan of organized sports for girls. 

You’re going to be so proud of me; I just signed up with a personal trainer. Before the interview, before I got home.

Getting into a consistent fitness regimen will set you up for longevity.

Well done! Getting a trainer is great. If you’re young and probably can’t afford a trainer, you can probably join volleyball. I was a cross-country runner. I think that I really set up my metabolism for success in my early teens because I was an athlete. I definitely screwed up my health in my 20s by not exercising. I went to college and medical school, and I didn’t exercise enough. I lost a lot of my fitness, and I think it really contributed to my test anxiety and to my general challenges of energy issues. I would say if you’re in your 20s or in your teens, getting into a consistent fitness regimen is going to set you up for longevity.

I ate a lot of fast food and processed food as a teenager. If I could go back and do that all over again, and if I knew that these things were causing me acne, I wouldn’t have eaten them. But I didn’t know there was a connection between what I ate and my acne. I had blood sugar problems all through high school, and I didn’t even know it. That was a really big wake-up call for me when I started realizing that, like, “oh, I have hormone issues because I have blood sugar issues.” Getting your blood sugar stabilized, eating real food.

Sugar affects your hormones. 

Yeah, 100%. Yep. Because of insulin. Because insulin is a growth hormone, it actually contributes to acne formation—excess insulin output. It can affect estrogen balance as well. 

What would I do in my 20s? I wouldn’t have been sedentary the entire time. I definitely would have drunk a lot less. I only drank for like two years of college. The first and the last year, I didn’t drink very much. For the middle two years, I drank a lot. If I could go back and do one thing differently, I wouldn’t have been a drinker. I’m still very smart.

But everybody has to go through that phase. 

Sure. I don’t really think that’s true anymore. Because we have so much more knowledge now, we thought that alcohol was sort of okay when I was in college. We know now that no alcohol is safe. I had maybe three drinks in two weeks of vacation. That’s not very much alcohol. Like maybe four drinks max. That’s not very much to drink. There are a lot more people binge drinking than they should be. A lot of women binge drink. 

Alcohol is a carcinogen. It causes cancer. We don’t want this in our bodies. And there’s a lot of sugar. It causes liver toxicity. I had to really work on my liver in my 20s because I think I trashed my liver in my college years. Blood sugar balance is something that is really, really key. Once you hit your 30s, you got to keep tabs on your hormones because things are going to change.

If you don’t have a fitness regimen by 30, you better start one because it’s all hormonal shifts.

If you don’t have a fitness regimen by 30, you better start one because it’s all hormonal shifts from there on. 

I used to be so fit. I did the Tough Mudder. I did martial arts. I used to be so strong. And today, I came to the trainer, and I was like, listen, for the last four years, I kind of did nothing. Since my C-section, it really messed me up, and I started getting hip pain every time I took a class.

Have you looked into Pelvic Floor Therapy or PPT work of your pelvic region? 


Yeah. I’m designing a sex therapy protocol for modern sex therapy. One of the things I discovered in meeting with people was that after birth, you could have your tendons and especially after a serious childbirth. C-sections people tell you what happens, but it’s pretty barbaric. They rip you open. 

It’s barbaric, and it’s awful. 

It’s terrible. 

But it can give you adhesions. So you probably have an adhesion you don’t know about, and you probably have some ligaments and tendons that are mauve out of place. Getting pelvic floor PT is actually one of the best things you can do to fix that hip pain. Because hip pain is actually probably referred to some of the muscles in your hips misaligned because of your C-section. 

Oh, that makes total sense. 

Oh yes, totally cool stuff. All these things are connected. If I really want to understand something, I just go to the experts. I’m like, “hey, tell me everything you know about this.” And then they do. But I’m shameless at just asking for help from people. I feel like I know a lot more about the pelvic floor than I did even six months ago. 

Yeah. I did a session with this doctor, and he was on Stephan‘s podcast—Get Yourself Optimized—but I forgot his name, unfortunately. It’s going to be in the show notes. I’ll remember. It was a Zoom session. He had me lay on the bed and just open up my legs a little bit. And then he had me hold a position for, I don’t know, a few minutes until my whole lower body started shaking. And then that shake went up my body. It’s almost like you activated the chi of the body.

I did that, too, by the way. I did this entire type of therapy. Who did you do yours with? 

I don’t remember his name. 

I did it with this guy, Anthony, I don’t know if you know him. But it’s similar. This whole Somatic Therapy is really powerful medicine. It made a big difference in my nervous system. I did this for five days.

I feel much better since. But I really like the idea of the pelvic floor exercise. It sounds really good. Thank you so much.


So you said that we need to train, obviously, to get our body strong. I’m going to pat myself on the shoulder one more time for doing this today. Very grateful for my dear husband, who pushed me to do it. Because he was like, “come on.” He knows how much I miss being strong. I missed having muscle mass.

You will get there again. You will. 

The twenties, exercise, 30s, exercise and basically exercise for the rest of your life. 

Basically, if you want to look like JLo, you have to exercise. She’s been dancing her entire life. Here’s the thing. I’m not perfect. I fell off my exercise regimen for like a month, and I got out of shape, and then I got back into shape. You fall off regimens, and then you get back on. The key is just for you to be really compassionate to yourself. 

One of the things I would recommend doing when younger is you could start a self-love practice in your teens; I was so hard on myself in my teens, my 20s and my 30s, and I’m like 38, and I’m like now at a place in my life where I actually love myself. It’s like, “oh my God, it didn’t need to take 38 years.” Come on.

How do you self-love? 

Utilize your food as medicine, and make your kitchen your medicine cabinet. Click To Tweet

It was really studying love. I was like, “oh my God, why is it so much easier for me to try to love others and yet it’s hard for me to love myself?” Then I realized, “oh, I sometimes struggle with loving others when I have conflicts because I’m hard on myself.” I was like if I want to love other people better, then I need to be nicer to who I am. 

What kind of things shifted? What did you do to be nicer to yourself? 

I worked on my attachment with my parents and my attachment style, which is an interesting thing to work on. I did a lot of internal family systems work by myself. I tried to get to know different versions of myself. I kind of went through my entire life every age I was and tried to get to know that version of who I was that was still with me and try to heal whatever injuries they had. That was really helpful. 

Then I dropped all shame I had around sexual trauma. When you drop the shame, it just lifts your consciousness massively. If there’s anyone out there who has shame about any traumatic experiences they’ve had, you don’t have to feel that way. We’re told that we need to be ashamed of things that have happened to us that are painful. But that’s just cultural. That’s not our fault. It wasn’t your fault. You don’t need to harm yourself twice. If someone harmed you once, you don’t need to harm yourself again. 

I started my company because I wanted to solve sexual trauma for women. Among many things, I was like, well, clearly, there’s a lot of women out there that have sexual trauma and have sexual dysfunction.

One in three, something like that. 

Try new things until you find what you love, so investing in your health won’t feel like work.

Yeah. One in three is assaulted. One in four abuses children, and one in five are raped. That’s CDC data. That’s a lot of women. About 60 to 80% of those women are going to have sexual dysfunction. That’s why I was like, well, the first thing I’m going to build with this company is sex therapy. It’s drug agnostic, but we’re going to be using different medicines with it when they become more available. 

Like what? 

One of the things that I’m interested in right now is this drug called Vyleesi. PT141 is a peptide that increases arousal in women and, I believe, men. I’m going to work on testing the therapy with that medicine, with and without it. And then MDMA is about to be approved for PTSD. It’s probably going to be maybe one or two more years. But it’s a drug that is profoundly powerful for PTSD. 30% of women with sexual trauma have PTSD, which is a big cause of sexual dysfunction. 

Yes, for sure. 

Relationship problems are a big cause of sexual dysfunction. MDMA is a great medicine for relationships and for just helping people say things they didn’t want to say. But it’s not for everybody by any means. But it is a tool, the toolbox, that should be carefully studied and researched. That’s one of the things that we’re going to be doing.

Whatever you’ve been through brought you to where you are today.

I can say about myself I’m one in five, I’m one in four, I’m one in three. And at the end of the day, whatever you’ve been through brought you to where you are today. There is always a way to heal that trauma. It’s available if you only put your focus on it. It’s so available. Like, then, there are so many healing modalities. 

I know. Somatic therapy, MDMA assisted therapy is coming, as is Exposure Therapy, EMDR, and Narrative Therapy. There are all sorts of ways to do it. If one isn’t working, try another one.

Whatever you’ve been through that shaped you and got you to where you are, you can always co-create your reality with the divine at any given moment. 

Yes. That’s a thing!

And manifest. At any given moment, you shift like that.

The thing that I’ve learned is if you have trauma, you can work on it, and you can overcome it. It can become a major source of power for you if you can overcome your pain. But some people will never want to overcome it because they are attached to it. They will use it as an excuse to blame everyone and everything in their life for who they’ve become. That’s not healthy. Those people will always try to find happiness outside of themselves because they can’t find it inside. 

To me, if you’re not actively working on your traumatic experiences, if you do have them, not everybody has them, but some people do. But if you’re not working on it, it’s just going to continue rearing its ugly head in your relationships when things are really challenging. It’s a lifelong process. It’s not like one day you wake up, and you’re like, “boom, I’m better! Everything’s gone”. No, it’s like, “I still have to work on these things”. 

We’re imperfect. Suppose we have self-awareness, which we can build. I have not always been super self-aware. I definitely had to develop it. It can make a big difference. When you’re like, “oh wow, I noticed I got really triggered last week by a friend who was saying questionable things about a friend of mine that I’ve been friends with for ten years.” And I realized that her comments really triggered me because somebody had said some negative things about me last summer that weren’t true. I felt a little traumatized by having rumors spread about me. 

If you’re not working on your traumatic experiences, they will continue rearing their ugly head in your relationships.

First of all, what does it say about me? And second of all, I don’t think you’re right. I think this person is a really good person. I really care about this person. They’ve had my back for literally ten years. I said to her, “look, I don’t want to fight with you, but I definitely want you to know if this is what happened to me or what came up for me. And I really care about this person, and I really care about the reputation. I don’t want people saying things about them that aren’t true.” 

That’s an appropriate response to a conflict saying, “look, this activated my nervous system, and this is why. Also, I don’t want this to cause our relationship to be affected. I really care about you, and if somebody was saying negative things about you, I would have your back too.”

It’s really high awareness to know that it activated your system, and it’s because you are full of knowledge and you’ve worked on yourself for so long. In order to get the right response, one needs to know themselves and really know their triggers and when they activate. Then they have to work on opening their throat chakra and communicating the right way. It’s all a journey.

I know you mentioned you wanted to talk about fertility a little bit. I think this might be a fun one to discuss. 

Sure. Go ahead. What did you discover about fertility? 

I discovered a lot of things, so many things. First off, there is a reason why we should probably use protection when we have sex. That’s why every time you develop an infection in your pelvic region, you can increase your risk of infertility.

Really? Wow. 

Yeah. Every episode of public inflammatory disease can scar the fallopian tubes. I had a friend get what is called a hysterosalpingogram.

That’s a long word. 

Yeah, it’s a long word. They shoot dye into your fallopian tubes, and they can open them up, and they can remove some of those adhesions, which is pretty neat. That’s one thing a lot of women should know.

What is it called again? 

The Spark Factor by Dr. Molly Maloof


And where do you get it? 

You have to go to an OB-GYN.

And they all have it; they all know about it?

Yup, pretty standard. But that could actually unblock the fallopian tubes, which is pretty cool. Then the second thing, insulin resistance, is a big one. So polycystic ovarian disorder or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a big problem. About five million young women in the United States have this. It’s basically an insulin-resistance condition. It’s caused by essential abnormalities in egg formation in the ovaries. These are the women that need to be very careful with their sugar and starch intake. I would actually recommend a lower-carb diet for these women.

The way I kind of describe this is like, if you think a piece of fruit that’s over-ripened, it’s going to turn a little bit. To under-ripen the fruit, you have to reduce the carbohydrates. Fruit is very carb-rich. At the same time, there are a lot of women out there that are underweight. Especially if they exercise, they can develop a relative energy deficiency in sports, which is usually called the Female Athlete Triad

This actually happened to me in high school when I exercised so much that I lost weight, and I ended up stopping my period for three months. I’ve seen this happen in women in their 20s and 30s. It can affect your fertility if you’re not ovulating. You have to make sure that you properly nourish your body too. These are the women that actually need to eat more and put weight on. I actually up their carb intake and have them gain some weight. 

Do you have a certain diet that you recommend?

It very much depends on the individual and individual body types too. Some people are going to be actually thin and slender, and they’re going to do really well with a higher-carb diet. But heavier sets are going to be better typically on an ancestral diet.

At the same time, these are not hard and fast rules. Some people change things over time. Some people find that they do really, really well on a keto diet, and then after a while, it doesn’t work for them as much anymore, and they feel like being on a more balanced diet.

It’s important to get some data to drive this decision. If you see in labs, I measure mitochondrial function, lipids, blood sugar, and a lot of these different biomarkers, and I can see how to change a person’s diet depending on what their lab work is telling me. 

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So if I see somebody’s blood sugar running too low, it might be time to increase the carbohydrate intake. If I see that their body fat is really low, they’re not ovulating, and they’re getting period, that’s like a pretty good sign that we need to calculate their energy availability. I have that calculation in the book, which is kind of cool. 

If somebody has high insulin, high blood sugar, and high testosterone and is not ovulating and it has weird periods, then they probably should get worked up for polycystic ovarian disorder. There are a bunch of other things that you can do for fertility, which is kind of interesting. Just thinking about a woman’s nutrient density of their diet. I run low iron, and I run low on ferritin, and I have to eat more red meat to maintain my iron levels. Just getting your iron levels checked is really, really important for fertility. If your iron is low, you’re going to have an easy time getting pregnant. You need to have at least 75 mcg/l. And then Coenzyme Q10, I take that, and it’s really important for mitochondrial health.

Which one? CoQ10?

Yeah, CoQ10. I love the company MitoQ. They make a really good Coenzyme Q10. They’re from New Zealand. They make very bioavailable Coenzyme Q10. This is probably one of the biggest mitochondrial-boosting supplements that you can get. It’s really, really important, so I supplement with it. Your eggs produce mitochondrial DNA, and that gets passed on to your babies. If you want your kids to have strong metabolic machinery, then it’s good to load up with Coenzyme Q10 if you’re trying to get pregnant. 

I used to take a lot of CoQ10 when I was pregnant. 

And then vitamin C is a really important antioxidant. Fats are important for fertility. You need to make sure your cholesterol levels are greater than 160. 

What type of fat are you talking about? Cod liver oil or fish oil? Is that really necessary? 

Oh, fish oil is 100% necessary. Your baby’s brain is made of Omega-3s. I’m a huge proponent of fish oil. Big, big, big proponent. 

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Selenium is also key. A Brazil nut a day can do that for you. Sometimes I make Brazil nut butter, but I realize it’s kind of dangerous because it’s a lot of Selenium.

You get a lot, yes. 

So you don’t want to overconsume. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are really great for making sure your CRP levels are less than 0.5. Acai is a great antioxidant-rich food that can improve your fertility. Eggs are rich in choline, which we need for optimal metabolic health.

And for our brains. 

It can also help prevent birth defects. I would say with dairy; it’s kind of tricky. It’s like if you’re underweight, then I would recommend high-fat dairy, but if you’re overweight or if you’re dealing with polycystic ovary disorder or obesity, I would be more careful with dairy. But dairy can be good for women who are underweight. 

I wouldn’t do a lot of chronic cardio. I would do more weight lifting, yoga, and a few sprints here and there. Too much chronic cardio can actually impair fertility, which is kind of interesting. 

And I’m going to be going on an egg-freezing journey next year, which is exciting. 

Congratulations. What do you think about heavy meal detox or juice cleansers?

Oh, yeah. I mean, I’m not really into juice cleansers per se, but I think an occasional cleanse is good for resetting your satiety signaling. 

I’m going to go into juice cleanses just because I started feeling really bloated lately. I’m like, “okay, it’s time to reset.” 

I personally don’t really like juice personally cleanses. My body doesn’t do well with liquid sugar. I just feel like I’m up and down all day long on a juice cleanse. I like this company, Kroma. They make a great cleanse. Prolon is also a good one. But you know, it’s to each his own, whatever works for you. There’s that. 

Yeah, I love that.

There are a bunch of things that impair fertility. Things like trans fats, donuts, fast food, packaged processed foods, and fried foods. Very, very bad. 

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What about the psychology and the mental part, the spiritual part of fertility? 

A big one is anxiety. A lot of women are like, if you’re going to be anxious, you’re going to send a signal to your cells in mitochondria that you’re not safe. You really want to be in a state of peace of mind if you’re trying to have kids. You don’t want to be super duper, duper stressed. It’s not optimal; it’s not going to help. I would think that a little bit too. 

Yeah. When I went through IVF, the doctor gave me a 5% chance to conceive. In my mind, I was like, it’s not 5%; it’s 95%. Hello!


I did a lot of things. I did vision boards and affirmations. 

I believe in manifestation with your mind. I think you can make anything happen with your mind if you have the right mindset. 

Yeah. I even had a session that was talking to the baby’s soul and actually having a conversation with my baby’s soul. I have to admit; it sounded exactly like him today. 

Oh, my God, wow.

I mean, the same energy. 

That’s amazing.

Very, very assertive, and you do this, and you do that. This is what you need to do, Mommy. It was very powerful. Really beautiful.

Oh my God, I love this. What did he say? What did he say you should do? 

One of the things that he told me to do was do Theta healing and past life regression, which I did.

The subconscious is so powerful, and we must tap into it as much as possible.

Wow, I love that. I really think that the subconscious is so powerful, and we need to tap into it as much as we can. I’m regularly doing right before I go to sleep and right before I wake up; I spend that twilight in a state of visualization, a state of manifestation, a state of thinking about what I want to create for myself in my life. 

I love dealing with the subconscious mind. I do hypnotherapy. This is one of my favorite topics, alongside awakening your inner goddess and women’s power and like just self-love. Those are my favorite things to learn and teach at the same time. Because everything that I’m teaching, I’m learning. Still on the journey. Will be on the journey forever. 


Another thing that I think is really important for fertility is acupuncture. Because I worked with somebody, I was in Israel back then because I had to take care of my mom. She had some issues that I had to take care of. I went to this lady that studied in China, and she did acupuncture. She really increased my egg count with acupuncture. You saw a difference. 

What exactly was the difference? 

I don’t remember the numbers, but more was the difference. I guess the count and the quality really increased. I really believe in Chinese medicine. If you go to the right person, it’s amazing. That’s really amazing. We talked about anxiety. I know that it’s becoming popular to do microdosing and all kinds of psychedelics. What’s your take on that? 

I mean, first of all, these are unapproved as drugs yet, so I can’t really recommend them. But I can say that if you are interested in learning more about them, you should go to my friend’s website, thethirdwave.co. A lot of women are turning to microdosing to manage their moods. I personally have found that mushroom microdosing just makes me really anxious. So I don’t do it. I’ve tried it. It makes me super, super anxious and it’s definitely not helping. It’s not going to work for everybody. 

Nothing works for anybody. Nothing. That’s why you have to try and try and try. 

Yeah, exactly. But I mean, plenty of people do it, and it works for them. I think we need more research, for sure. 

I want to be respectful of your time. I know you had so many interviews today, and I’m so happy that you are here and we’re talking about your book. A little bit about your book, what was the journey like and what are your favorite things about your book?

What are my favorite things about my book?

Yeah. What do you like the most about your book? What are you the proudest of? 

I mean, what I would say is I’m probably the proudest of the fact that I finished it and was able to launch it. I’ve wanted to write a book for like forever, and I did it, and now I’m launching it, and it’s like happening. I think what I’m most proud of is taking really technical stuff and making it; I think comprehensible. 

I’ve got a lot of people to read it and say like, “I took a ton of notes.” It’s really cool to hear people say that they really felt like it was understandable because it was really complex stuff that I was teaching to a highly educated audience at Stanford. My clients are extraordinarily highly educated. To take that knowledge and make it approachable to people was really a huge feat and was not easy to do. It took a lot of work.

That’s what makes it a great teacher. It’s really easy to use jargon. You sound smart. But simplifying things and concepts is the hardest thing to do. 

Totally, totally. I did have help, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I did this thing completely by myself. But it was really in collaboration with my friend Eve, who made a big difference in getting this thing ready to go. I also have great publishers. The publishers I’m working with are really exceptional.

And your book is The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient and Feeling Better Than Ever. Congratulations!

Thank you!

Before we say goodbye, for now, I have two questions. One, what are your three top tips for living a stellar life, and where can people find you?

First is, oh my gosh, make your food your medicine. Make your kitchen your medicine cabinet. My kitchen is filled with all sorts of elixir ingredients and adaptogens and nootropics and all sorts of stuff that makes me feel really healthy and well. I really look at my food as my medicine. 

And I really want to ask you about it right now. 

I know, I know, I know. I mean, it’s funny because I’ve got my matcha, coffees, chocolates, maca, and random nootropics, you name it, it’s over there. But I loved having my kitchen as an elixir station. I use it for smoothies; I use it for elixirs. I’m constantly making elixirs and teas. I love green tea. I love all sorts of different kinds of fun things to drink. That makes my life more fun, for sure. 

Then I would also say the last thing is the quality of your relationship will be the quality of your life. It makes a really big difference in how you live and how you exist. Don’t underestimate the power of relationships, and invest in your relationships. 

The third is to try to get in touch with your environment every day. Nature is really healing. I love going outside riding my bike. I love waking up in the morning and seeing the sunrise. I love feeling strong, well, and connected to nature. Even if you live in a city, I live in Austin; I live in the middle of Austin. I ride my bike around the lake and in the water. It’s cool. It’s fun. I’d love just the adventure of getting on my bike.

Find an exercise that you really love. Find an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. You will do the things that don’t feel like work if they don’t feel like work. Experiment until you find the thing that you love.

Beautiful. And where can people find you and get your wonderful book? 

Yeah. Find me at www.drmolly.co. My Instagram is @doctormolly.co. I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter at Molly Maloof, MD. Feel free to email me at mmaloof@nulldoctormolly.co. My book’s available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I’d love for you to pre-order it right now since it’s a big pre-order bonus right now with a lot of great things. 

Wonderful. Dr. Molly, I think you’re one of the coolest doctors I’ve ever met in my life.

Thank you. 

Thank you so much for sharing all this knowledge with us, thank you for being here, and thank you for being so cool. 

Thank you. Let’s be friends. Nice to meet you, Orion. 

Again, a pleasure to meet you. And yes, we will. And thank you. Thank you so much, listeners. Remember to make your food your medicine, invest in the quality of your relationship, get in touch with nature and have a stellar life. This is Orion. Until next time! 


Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓}Prioritize your health. The healthier you are, the more productive your life will become. A healthy body and mind enhance your performance and improve your mood.

{✓}Do everything in your life out of love. Love is important in amplifying one’s health, and there are many ways to create love. Start with nurturing your relationship with yourself, your family, and your friends.

{✓}Keep a consistent fitness regimen. The key to an optimal life is sticking to healthy habits. Create a daily fitness goal that includes a workout routine and a meal plan that suits your lifestyle. 

{✓}Consult experts to understand how to optimize your health. Don’t be shy about asking questions when it comes to becoming healthy. Seek your Doctor’s advice or hire a professional coach.

{✓}Cultivate your sense of compassion not only for others but for yourself. Start practicing self-love and remember, to love other people better, you must first show love and kindness to yourself.

{✓}Build a compassionate social network. Invest in a circle of loved ones with those you know will be there for you through all circumstances. Attend programs or join organizations that resonate with you.

{✓}Make peace with and befriend your body. Embrace your body’s uniqueness. Make it a habit to thank your body for fulfilling its function.

{✓}Tap into your subconscious mind. Spend time in a state of visualization and manifestation, and be clear about what you want to create in life.

{✓}Connect with nature. Studies have proven nature bolsters your mental health. Embark on a nature walk before sunrise or sunset and become one with your environment. 

{✓}Visit Dr. Molly’s website for helpful health optimization information, and follow her on social media @doctormolly.co. Also, a pre-order bonus of her book, The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient, and Feeling Better Than Ever, is available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Links and Resources

About Dr. Molly Maloof

Dr. Molly is passionate about extending healthspan and maximizing human performance through her medical practice, personal brand, entrepreneurial and educational endeavors. She is currently working on a variety of exciting projects for both her personal brand and company, Adamo Bioscience.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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