🫠 Psychonaut POV

[4-min read] Q&A with Lauren Sambataro, Biohacker & Health Coach

Welcome to Tricycle Day. We’re the psychedelics newsletter that’s also your personal trainer. That’s right; we’re here to pump 👏 you 🫵 up! 💪

Lauren Sambataro isn’t your average functional health coach. Sure, she’s in insane shape and helps clients meet their fitness goals, too. But for her, it’s all about the mental game.

We spoke to Lauren about how psychedelics support functional health, overcoming the isolation that often comes with healthy lifestyle changes, and using movement as a tool for creativity and integration.

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Lauren Sambataro Psychonaut POVV

Q&A with Lauren Sambataro, Biohacker & Functional Health Coach

How do psychedelics fit into your overall view on health, fitness, and wellbeing?

I believe everything begins with mindset because how we think affects all our choices. As a functional health coach, I've noticed that a healthy and clear mindset is essential to making any physical changes. Many of my clients face blocks, even when they’ve done all the research and know exactly what they should be doing. They still struggle to take the next step.

To me, that means a lack of neuroplasticity is what’s getting in the way. Those are the types of situations where microdosing psychedelics can make a big difference. I find that being able to get into the brain, carve out new snow tracks, and dampen the fear response is immensely helpful. Consistency is key in biohacking and health more broadly, so a regular microdosing protocol makes sense. It's about the cumulative effect of practices and supplements, not one-time efforts.

Our brain plays a central role in everything we do. By reducing the fear response and embracing new experiences, especially through a creative orientation like psychedelics offer, we can dial up the effectiveness of our health choices.

You’ve noticed microdosing kick off a cascade of other healthy choices for your clients. What are some of the challenging behavior changes that microdosing seems to help with?

Let's take the example of someone working full-time with a family. Integrating new healthy practices, like changing your diet or committing to an exercise plan, becomes difficult when the rest of the family isn't along for the ride. This is where plant medicines come in, as they help alleviate the feeling of isolation when trying something new.

As someone in the biohacking world, I've noticed that adopting new—sometimes experimental—health practices can lead to isolation, as other people might view those choices as unappealing or extreme. That alienation is counterproductive to our goal of holistic health, which really depends on fostering interconnection and social bonds.

Plant medicines soften the experience of emotional isolation and reduce the fear response. By engaging with our amygdala and reassuring it, we create a different perspective where we can incorporate healthy practices into our daily routines without disrupting our lives completely. This shift in perspective makes things feel more manageable and achievable.

At the end of the day, it’s worth the effort. When we do something we're scared of, our body relaxes, and we gain a renewed life force that energizes us and affects our persona. This vibrant energy is difficult for others to ignore. Being in the presence of someone who has shed their fear-based survival layer and stepped into an open-ended, creative, and exciting realm is energetically noticeable. You don't even have to actively do anything because people can feel it.

You’re not a proponent of microdosing for everyone. When is microdosing appropriate and when should it be avoided?

I tend to be fairly conservative, mostly because I recognize the prevalence of the "shiny new toy syndrome" in both the biohacking and health spaces. While there's been a resurgence of psychedelics as some kind of panacea, it's important to understand that microdosing is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

For microdosing to be effective, there needs to be a pause for introspection, preparation, and intention setting. Integration is also critical. And most importantly, you have to be honest with yourself about whether you’re willing to actively engage in the process. Don’t expect a magical quick fix.

If you find yourself constantly jumping from one fad to the next or trapped in a narrative of victimhood, then microdosing may not be the right choice. There are also some medical contraindications to be aware of. For example, people with schizophrenia and those taking lithium should avoid it.

What does your morning routine look like? And how can readers come up with one that serves them?

Start by asking yourself how you want to feel in the morning. Many struggle to get out of bed, but two things can change that: sunlight and movement. Sunlight acts as a powerful trigger for our circadian rhythm, with stronger effects than a cup of coffee. Movement, too, is transformative, not just because it energizes the body but also because it serves as a diagnostic tool. Like psychedelics, movement allows us to have internal dialogues, tap into our intuition, and uncover new insights. By moving, we can communicate with our bodies, which often go unheard due to sedentary lifestyles. This lack of connection leads to an absence of intuition and chronic illness.

Movement paired with sunlight is my preferred way to start the day. But I don't believe in imposing my routine on others since individualization is key. What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. That’s why I come back to the question of how you want to feel.

As a biohacker, I firmly believe in conducting "n of one" experiments—personalized trials to find what works best for you. Listen to your body's feedback, whether you're engaging in movement or not. Your body will guide you and let you know if something feels right. If an activity brings you joy, whether it's cuddling with your dog or anything else, it holds value.

Did you hear Diplo recently ran a marathon on LSD? What are your thoughts on psychedelics as an athletic performance enhancer?

I hadn’t, but that's amazing! I'd love to watch that while listening to his music. Last week when I went skiing, I decided to take a microdose, and it was pretty great. That said, I've seen so many people go on medicine journeys and completely lose touch with reality, putting themselves in dangerous situations. So, as much as skiing while tripping sounded amazing to me, I had to consider whether it was the right choice. I'm already a risk-taker, so I have to consciously check my limits. But hey, we only live once, right? It's all about learning through experience.

As a functional health coach, psychedelics aren't something I always pull out of my training toolkit with clients. Movement exploration, on the other hand, can be incredibly useful for building an open dialogue with the physical body. Movement isn't limited to just my morning routine; I incorporate it throughout the day to boost my energy and maintain mobility for a long and healthy life. I also use movement to fuel my creativity. That's actually one of the main reasons I started using plant medicines. It's like they awakened my inner child, bringing back that sense of play, creativity, and joy that had been muted and forgotten for so long.

For me, movement and plant medicines go hand in hand. Movement acts as a diagnostic tool, and when combined with psychedelics, it's like an explosion of creativity and feedback. Now, I'm not personally called to take them to the gym or on a marathon track, but when it comes to movement, I think everyone should engage in some creative play. Whether you think you’re creative or not, you are! Get on the floor, crawl, roll, twist, jump, and shake. It's liberating, and a fantastic tool for integration and growth!

Want more from Lauren? Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her podcast, Biohacker Babes.

That’s all for today. Before you head off, don’t forget to share, rate, and review Tricycle Day below. Catch ya next time, Cyclists! ✌️

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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. The use, possession, and distribution of psychedelic drugs are illegal in most countries and may result in criminal prosecution.

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