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What a great LIVE chat we had with Dr. Bryan “Step.”

There are a lot of gems in this talk, I’ll summarize some of the key points below. PLUS I have time stamps for specific topics (see below). Please watch this video and take time to scroll through the notes below!

“You can’t unlearn what you learn. And therefore your brain starts thinking differently!” — Bryan Step

Root cause is looking at the cause of symptoms and conditions, VERSUS what mainstream medicine typically does – address symptoms with a pill. With root cause, things are so much simpler! Instead of complexity, you get “simplexity.”

So what is functional medicine?

“Functional medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.”

The Institute for Functional Medicine

VS traditional conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is GRAET at working with injuries, surgeries, etc. But has a horrible track record with chronic degenerative diseases that are caused by nutrition and lifestyle factors.


Dr. Step came up with a great acronym to help us self-assess our health, and therefore, figure out where to optimize:

  • S – sleep and stress.
  • E – Elimination habits and hydration.
  • X – Exercise, how much, what’s ideal. Mindfulness based physical activity

S – sleep and stress.

Poor sleeps exaggerates and exacerbates symptoms!

How do you know if you sleep well?

  • subjectively checkin with yourself and ask yourself if you sleep well.
  • objectively – are you getting 7 to 9 hours of bedtime?
  • objectively – quantify your sleep using wearable tech. Oura ring. Garmin watches. Whoop Strap.

For stress:

  • have a daily quiet time practice.
  • take breaks from work.
  • find things to do that make you happy.
  • cultivate and nurture social connection.

E – elimination habits and hydration

What are good elimination habits?

  • NOT having symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn, diareaha, or constipation.
  • You want at least 1 bowel movement per day!
  • Check your bowel transit time. Take 1 tsp of sunflower seeds, swallow them, see how long it takes to get through your system. You’re looking at 1/2 day to 1 day. Beyond 24 hours not such a great thing!
  • Itchy rectum could be candida overgrowth.

What about hydration?

  • Symptoms include dry mouth, chapped lips.
  • Ideally looking for 1/2 your weight in ounces up to 100 oz in a day. If you weight 150lbs, that’s 75 ounces.

X – exercise

Exercise is powerful. The muscle building and metabolic benefits last from 24 to 72 hours AFTER a good workout!

You need a combination of cardiovascular aerobic training and resistance anaerobic training.

Lift weights AT LEAST 3 days per week, hitting every body part at least 2 times per week. BTW, building and maintaining muscle is the most important fitness activity to do as you age.

Start with things you enjoy. Group classes are great for motivation and accountability.

Mindfulness based physical activities are things that take you into present moment awareness because they require your attention. Even better are things that you can quantify so you can use them as a measure of how good or bad your day is going.

Listen in for a more in depth look at Dr. Bryan’s best health tips!

Ways to Connect with Dr. Bryan:

  • Dr. Bryan Step on IG @dr_bryanstepanenko
  • Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on IG @drgabriellelyon
  • Dr. Gabrielle Lyon and Institute for Muscle Centric Medicine

Time Stamps:

  • 00:00:00 introduction to Dr. Step
  • 00:03:40 Dr. Steps personal story and what drives him to do what he does!
  • 00:17:20 what % of medical professionals are functional vs traditional?
  • 00:18:49 what is the difference between a classically trained medical doctor and functional?
  • 00:22:37 what are specific symptoms we should be paying attention to?
  • 00:23:27 SEX! an acronym Dr. Step came up with just for us to remember symptoms, check engine lights.
  • 00:24:15 sleep symptoms
  • 00:30:19 elimination!
  • 00:30:25 hydration and physical symptoms to look for.
  • 00:31:17 poop! constipation, bowel transit time, and other symptoms to pay attention to
  • 00:33:58 other digestive symptoms to pay attenttion to.
  • 00:35:34 exercise.
  • 00:44:42 mindfulness based physical activity.
  • 00:51:07 speak your truth. share your wisdom. share gifts, stories, experiences.
  • 00:52:55 “what is the single most impactful health decision I can make from a functional medicine perspective?”
  • 00:54:10 “is there such a thing as a no pill doctor?”
  • 00:55:30 “what is the best thing to do to stay healthy as we age?”
  • 00:57:27 “is there such a thing as too much?”
  • 00:58:15 micronutrients and supplements.
  • 01:00:36 enhabcing your ability to bounce back.
  • 01:03:01 “is there anything we can do to support YOU?”

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Paul C. Tijerina

Paul C. Tijerina | BS MFT CPT NLP | Nutritional Therapist & ATAVIST Life Coach