Dr.Ben Reebs: We’re gonna talk a little bit about stacking, sometimes known as medical stacking. People refer to it as your daily stack and today’s special guest is Lara Dilkes. Lara is a licensed acupuncturist herbalist cupping specialist and practitioner of all things traditional Chinese medicine. She not only owns her own integrative acupuncture practice in Portland, but also brought together her knowledge as a certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner to create a superfood supplement company, Lala’s Wellness. And most notable of the supplements she has is Super Cube, which is a caffeine enhancing supplement and can enhance your coffee, not only is it so it tastes better, but also so your body gets the effects beneficially and also stress can be reduced and so on. Lara is the mother of two boys and spends her free time outdoors with her feet in the ocean or hiking in the woods and she enjoys creating new medicinal stacks for her patients, customers, family and friends to enjoy. Welcome to the show, Lara.
Lara Dilkes: Thank you. Thanks for having me here, Ben.
Dr. Ben Reebs: So great to have you. So I’d love to hear a little bit about your personal journey. How did you get into stacking?
Lara Dilkes: Yeah. Stacking. Well, I have a history of some migraines that will make me have almost a mini stroke, the hemiplegic migraines, they’re familial. My mom got them as well. I remember caring for her as a child when she would get them and part of my recipe for success was cutting out coffee specifically, I could still drink macha, mate, green tea, black tea, whatever. But I found that it needed support in my body in order for me to avoid headaches. And so what I started doing is combining all sorts of things that I thought would help the caffeine in my vitamix. So I brought up some caffeine and started throwing other stuff in there to essentially make the caffeine work better in my body. And over time with the other prongs that were kind of things I needed to adjust in my lifestyle in order to avoid the migraines, that was the key was making the caffeine work better for me and cutting the actual coffee out. But still being able to have that ritual in a way that works for me.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Got it.
Lara Dilkes: Yeah, I was gonna say then you know, I had been doing it for so long and I had recognized that I was making these special ones for my patients in the acupuncture clinic and continuing to write these herbal formulas for people and noticing that it was actually a very similar experience when you drink a cup of coffee or caffeine with super cube in it. That it’s very synonymous to what you feel like when you’re on the acupuncture table, which you so kindly just mentioned that I actually stack treatments at the office, which I think is pretty cool. Thanks for observing that I hadn’t thought about that. And so I really wanted to offer them something that was one thing because they’re like lara, this is so hard. I’m combining all these powders and you’re making me put this, you know, liquids in here too and it’s, it’s a lot and I thought, you know what, I need to figure out how to get this into something that everybody can utilize. So I worked with some people to help me get it back, you know, get it in a form factor. Now, that what we like, and you just add a tablespoon to your coffee and you’re good to go.
Dr. Ben Reebs: So, are you drinking coffee again now, or?
Lara Dilkes: I wish. You know, I did get away with drinking Bali coffee because it’s so mild. I drank many cups of Bali coffee when I was there, of course, was Super cube in it. But I haven’t found a coffee here that I’ve been able to tolerate so much, but also being a busy entrepreneur, two businesses and two kids, maybe when I’m retired, I can actually throw coffee back in there again. We’ll see. But for now, caffeine in any other source seems to work fine.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Well, that’s really awesome. I know that my wife tried it and just loved it and you’ve got some other amazing products. Yeah, I mean, this really is kind of what we do in medicine, right? I mean, I’m a naturopathic doctor. You’re an acupuncturist. We’re always stacking for our patients to help them get the, you know, the most bang from the treatment.
And, you know, we’re using that law of synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And it really is where the art of medicine comes in as opposed to the science because we’re kind of tweaking it and tuning it and, and fitting it to the patient. And I know that you see a lot of complex chronic illness as well as do I. And of course, in today’s age, we have so many things with long COVID and tick borne illness and lots of autoimmune disease. I’d love to hear a little more about the different ingredients in your super cube and kind of you know how you’ve used the science to get the more profound effects.
Lara Dilkes: Yeah. Well, I would say a stack just in general. Like when you think about all the stacks that are out there, you know, there’s the nootropic stacks, right? That are really famous in the Silicon Valley. And then you know, Paul Stamitz with his mushroom stack, each of them are enhancing the main ingredient to get a benefit of, you know, some sort of effect.
So I think in general medicinal stacking really is just like a safe and mindful way of combining various medicinals. But for three reasons, one, we want to address the energetic, you know, I play with chi all day in my practice. So the energetic piece of things is really important and how much your organs are energetically functioning. Pathologically we want to think about it that way. And we also want to think about it from physiology, right? So just thinking of all these different aspects on how the body behaves, how are we going to send a message to help it behave in a way that is productive for the human organism right? And one of the things I think that I, you know, when I think about coffee or caffeine in general, you know, that being like let’s say the chief or the sovereign in the formula, right?
Like it is providing a central nervous system stimulant. It’s helping people have more focus, more energy, the ability to really tune in. And so, but it doesn’t behave that way in everybody’s body, right? Everybody’s body is a little different. So we wanna use medicinals that are not only safe, but also can be used over time. Like you can put it in your coffee every day.
It’s not something that’s so specific that it’s going to alter consistently like you wanna be really supportive. And so one of the examples would be if someone has, they’re waking up in the morning and they typically intermittent fast and they’re having a cup of coffee, but they get really sweaty. They have maybe some quick trips to the restroom.
They’re having the caffeine crash, you know, but they love all the beautiful benefits that come of it. One thing that we would add in is the proteins and the fats. So we would add in MCT, the Ghee and the collagen to make sure that the blood sugar is nice and stable. So you’re not experiencing as much of that high-low that you would with the crash, that you would with like a normal cup of caffeine which we are like to say when you have your caffeine naked.
So when you’re drinking caffeine naked, you have more of the up and downs and so super cube kind of brings it that way. So to answer your question, I would say fats and protein is a big piece of it. People often just refer to that as like a bulletproof coffee. Okay. So what’s so special about that? Or what’s so special about Super Cube if it’s just that, but it’s not just that the other thing is that we address the endocrine system.
So you wanna make sure those four functional mushrooms are synergized in the way that they behave in the formula to support the caffeine in general too, as well as the Chinese herbs and then the things that make it taste good that are superfoods. Yeah. So, I don’t know, I hope I answered your question.
Dr. Ben Reebs: So, when should people have Super cube? I mean, do you find that they do it in the afternoon? The morning? Just depends on who they are, what their schedule looks like?
Lara Dilkes: Yeah, I’ve heard many things. Most people wake up in the morning and they love their coffee ritual and they just put a scoop or they put a tablespoon of super cube in it. They go about their day. They can sometimes enjoy it in the afternoon if it’s in, like if you just add hot water and milk, it tastes just fine on its own and you don’t want to have caffeine later on, it will still provide that same sort of energetic stability, you know, increase in cognitive focus and function.
And you know, kind of get you through that time when you’d want to take a nap. But it gets you the, you know, it kind of gives you that focus and that drive and that energy to kind of get through the rest of the day. So people do both. Sometimes people put it in their, like protein shake before, before or after they work out, depending on what their routine is. We’ve seen that happen too. I’ve even put it on dessert at night because I wanna sleep well and I want some fat and protein before bed. So I’ll put it on like a little bit of, you know, fruit or yogurt or something if I’m wanting something sweet, but I don’t wanna go too big.
Dr. Ben Reebs: That’s awesome. So, basically we can think about it almost as like when we’d have coffee. I mean, except at night, you’re saying you could have it at night too and it’s not gonna,
Lara Dilkes: Yeah!
Dr. Ben Reebs: It’s not gonna keep you awake.
Lara Dilkes: Exactly. The adaptogens as you know, are non specific, meant to come into the body and provide support primarily for the endocrine and immune systems is where we see the research, like, really honing in on those. And so I think I’ve always kind of referred to them as a hug for your nervous system in a sense that, you know, when you’re tired, they kind of bring a little bit of support. But when you’re maybe a little anxious, they help to kind of bring that support in more of a consolidating way. I think on the edges that consolidation and support becomes really important. That would be one of the ways in which I think about how to put a stack together energetically is how do these behave energetically while they kind of bring down the edges of you feeling like a crazy person running around all caffeinated and then crashing, like it brings it in together.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Wow. So it actually could double, I mean, in the morning or the evening. I mean, you obviously in the morning you have it with coffee, have it in the evening. I mean, it’s pretty incredible. Pretty versatile.
Lara Dilkes: Definitely. Definitely. Yeah.
Dr. Ben Reebs: So like one stack that I do in my life is I’ll get up and have like exogenous ketones and then I’ll have like L-thyanine and alpha GPC and you know, Lion’s Mane in my coffee with MCT oil. And then I’ll have electrolytes and water and then I’ll go do like a high intensity interval training with my trainer or just on my own. And then afterwards I’ll take a quick hot tub and then a cold shower and then I’ll take a protein shake and then I’ll go to my hyperbaric chamber and just be in there for an hour afterwards.
Lara Dilkes: I’m curious to hear about how to do all of this, how do you do this?
Dr. Ben Reebs: That happens every Monday morning. So, Yep yep. And then I have different versions throughout the week. But it’s amazing to kind of bring it together and piece together. I’m curious if you have a couple that you use in your life. I mean, I know you live near the water. I’d be curious to hear as an acupunctutist what were a couple of therapies that you like to stack or lifestyles.
Lara Dilkes: Yes. My favorite stack is on Mondays. I’ll usually wake up and I do a, a pretty gentle yoga. I like to go to a class at 6 a.m. Then I’ll typically have my super cube with whatever sort of tea or matcha or whatever I’m feeling. I will usually hop in the infrared sauna after a little bit of dry brushing. I have both of those. And then again, I do a hot and I call cool shower because I don’t, I’m kind of slight and I don’t warm up again very easily.
So I don’t do super cold. And in Chinese medicine as you know, cold, cold, cold is like big no, no. So I do cool to kind of, you know, get that vaso constriction and really like tighten up all the tissues and get the lymph, you know, from going out to coming in. And then I usually kind of jump into my day. Honestly, I try to stay hydrated. I’ve been really interested about the exogenous ketones though. I was excited to hear you say that I’d love to hear more.
Because I do pretty much, I don’t, I wouldn’t say I eat Ketogocically, but I’m very mindful of my blood sugar and intermittently fast. And so, I feel like that’s kind of the next step for me is maybe exploring that sort of support a little bit more, but I love the stack that you’re doing in the morning. That’s great. It’s very cognitive focused. You must feel amazing.
Dr. Ben Reebs: I feel amazing. Yeah. And that’s really cool too what you said, like doing yoga and then doing an infrared sauna afterwards. I mean I’ve never done, I don’t think I’ve done that.
Lara Dilkes: Yeah, I used to do hot yoga but I can’t as much anymore. Just kind of with where I am in my life cycle is, I’m just warmer, it’s just too much these days. And so I just do a regular one, but the infrared sauna is the right amount of warm, like you get one quick sweat and it doesn’t, you know, I still have enough energy. I don’t feel depleted to get through all the things that I have to do, you know, in that day.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Absolutely. I agree. Well, this was fantastic. Where can people find you online?
Lara Dilkes: I am. Well, you can go to supercube.club. That’s where you’ll find the majority of Lala’s Wellness products. I’m also at PDX-acupuncture.com. If you happen to be in Portland and you want to come in and experience our integrative four step treatment for reducing pain. And then on Instagram, we are Lala’s Wellness. That’s kind of my personal page that I’ve been trying to get a little bit more health related and then there’s SuperCubeMe. So SuperCubeMe, if you wanted to follow more about the products themselves.
Dr. Ben Reebs: So is that four step program a stack then?
Lara Dilkes: It is! It’s all over the place. So good.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Full circle.
Lara Dilkes: Stack Stacking.
Dr. Ben Reebs: Sounds amazing. Well, that concludes today’s episode of the Modern Vital Podcast. We’d love to hear from you. We really value your feedback. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please leave us a review if you enjoyed this episode on Spotify or Apple, we look forward to having you join us next week for another exciting episode of The Modern Vital Podcast.