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Category Archives for "guest/interview"

June 28, 2022

How to get adventure ready with Katie Gerber

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On episode 544 of 40+ Fitness Podcast, Katie Gerber, co-author of Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency, helps us prepare, train, and enjoy even the longest hikes.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:00.010] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:03:01.640] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:03.540] – Allan

I'm doing okay. Yeah? Doing all right.

[00:03:06.420] – Rachel

Good.

[00:03:08.110] – Allan

Well, that's good. Good to hear.

[00:03:10.470] – Allan

Well, we're into the low season, and so what happens is we have all this blank time at Lula's, so you're looking at just day after day after day of no people here. Now, that could sound great to somebody, but it's revenue. We got to pay the bills. We still have employees. We still have electricity. We still have things we got to do. And so there was nobody, like, no bookings at all. I was really only on one listing agent out there besides ourselves. So you can come directly to our website to book. But we're then connected into we were connected into one other, what they call Ota, which is just someone who sells your rooms for a commission, and we run one, and they dried up, so we weren't getting any up from them either. And so I've been working since we opened to try to get on these other places, and they just weren't happening. And I was like, I just don't understand. I do what I'm told to do, and then nothing happens. And so I managed over the course of the last three weeks to get on two of the other ones.

[00:04:22.150] – Rachel

Good.

[00:04:23.410] – Allan

And that's helped. A lot of bookings are coming in through those two other sources, one in particular, and then there's one other source that I wanted to be on. And when I first tried to start doing this, like I said, this was back November. I'm trying to get on this one, and we had already had it was already an account, and so I was just trying to access the account, and things were a little backwards for them because to ask for help, you have to log in. Well, I didn't have the login criteria.

[00:04:52.350] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:53.200] – Allan

I couldn't log in. Okay. And because I couldn't log in, I couldn't get to their extranet to ask for help, and there's no external email or anything to contact them at all. There's no way to reset the password. There's no way to do anything else on that site, and so you're just completely locked out. So I created a new site. I'm like, I created a new website, another one, like a whole new start all over. So there won't be any reviews on that and all that. And that's fine. We'll work that out. But I go to set it up, and they're like, we want to confirm your address.

[00:05:27.920] – Allan

So they want to mail me something. Well, we don't get mail here. You can't physically mail something to me. You can mail it to a US. Address, but that's not going to confirm that I'm at a physical address. So then they want to do it online, and I've been going back and forth. They're like, Are you on airbnb? Send your listing stuff, and we'll confirm you. I sent it, and I got nothing. And then they sent again, and they say, Okay, well, we can get on a zoom call with you. I'm like, Cool. So I go to book the zoom call, and then it comes back with this, okay, your appointment is set. It's going to be on Google Meet, but there's no link to the Google Meet. I email the woman, I'm like, I didn't get a link. I didn't get a code or nothing. And we're supposed to be on the call. It didn't happen. And so I booked another one right after it on the same thing. And again, it never sends me a link to the meeting, and she's not responding to emails. So I've been working on this for months, months and months and months, seven months going on now.

[00:06:27.560] – Allan

And just this one place I can't I'm not going to say their name out loud, but one of them that I was trying to get on because it's one of the bigger ones, they're not equipped to help.

[00:06:39.490] – Rachel

That is so bizarre. Crazy thing.

[00:06:43.550] – Allan

So that's my morning frustration supposing to have someone get on a Google call with me so I can confirm that we are who we say we are, where we are. And yes, that fell through. And still she's not responding to my emails. And I'm like, I don't understand.

[00:07:01.810] – Rachel

No. Terrible customer service.

[00:07:04.380] – Allan

It is, but we are on those other bookings, and so if you're looking for a vacation spot, come on down to Bocas Del Toro. We've got rooms.

[00:07:14.590] – Rachel

Awesome. Yeah, that sounds great.

[00:07:18.100] – Allan

So how are things up there?

[00:07:21.190] – Rachel

100% things are great. I've had a really rough spring with allergies just to pick up mano, and I haven't been running for about a month because of the mano and the fatigue, but now I feel I'm back to normal out there walking the trails and enjoying some time outside. So I'm feeling really good outside doesn't want to kill me right now.

[00:07:41.290] – Allan

Outside, doesn't want to kill me right now.

[00:07:43.780] – Rachel

Not now, anyway.

[00:07:45.910] – Allan

All right.

[00:07:46.660] – Rachel

Feeling great.

[00:07:47.890] – Allan

I guess that's just one of the odd things I really have never suffered with allergies. And I lived in Austin, and I'll tell you, you moved to Austin, and you may not have these problems before you moved to Austin, but almost everybody who lives in Austin develops allergies.

[00:08:05.860] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:08:06.380] – Allan

Fortunate. I never did, but I was only there for about three years, so maybe I just missed it, but yeah, unfortunate. And then here in the jungle, nothing.

[00:08:17.500] – Rachel

That's awesome. That's really good. I didn't have these problems in Florida. When I lived in Florida, it was not nearly this bad, but the trees on my property here, I'm pretty much allergic to most of them. It's just my poor planning on taking notice of the wildlife in my area.

[00:08:36.670] – Allan

Okay, well, I hope that things are good and that things are not trying to kill you and you can get back out to your running.

[00:08:42.920] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:08:44.770] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk to Katie?

[00:08:47.300] – Rachel

Yes.

[00:08:48.210] – Allan

All right.

Interview

[00:09:30.910] – Allan

Katie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:33.850] – Katie

Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:09:35.630] – Allan

Now, your book is called Adventure Ready: A Hiker's Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency. And I have clients that hike and love hiking. I actually have one. He does a lot of day hiking, and then I just got a client and his aspiration is to do Appalachian Trail. He'll be 65, so he said he's going to break that into sections. And so I think when people think of hiking, because I know, like, here on the island or on the different islands they'll put together hikes, there's a hiking group. I'm a member, although they tend to plan a hike, like, they'll email today for a hike they're going to do tomorrow. And I'm like, I didn't have time to plan. I didn't have time to schedule. And no, I can't make that one. So a lot of them work that way. But these are hikes through the jungle, and they're usually a few hours, like half day things. But hiking is really kind of this diverse sport, if you will. I mean, similar to running where you could just do a 5K or you can do a marathon or you can do an ultra marathon or even take it further, some 100 miles multiple days in a row.

[00:10:50.410] – Allan

Can you talk about hiking and kind of some of those variables that maybe we haven't heard about so we can get an idea of where we're going with this?

[00:10:59.290] – Katie

Sure, yeah, that was a great analogy with running. Like, there are many ways to engage with hiking and backpacking and this whole world of through hiking, which is something that my book speaks to. And so with day hiking, that's what you're talking about. Like, you have that local group that does a lot of day hikes. So that's essentially just anytime you're getting out for the day, not sleeping out overnight, it could be a couple of miles, or for some people, it could be like a 30 miles day. It could be a day hike. It's a big day hike, but it could be a day hike. And then there are these long trails that usually referring to there's a debate about what a long trail is, but it was like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, anything that's usually like 100 or so miles or more, anywhere up to a couple of thousand. The Continental Divide Trail is 2800 miles, and there are different ways to hike that type of trail, to backpack that trail. Essentially, you could do it in sections. So some people will hike like a couple of sections each year and eventually what we call a thru-hike, which is to hike the entire trail.

[00:12:05.900] – Katie

They will thru-hike it over maybe a decade or something by adding up sections. Or there's some people who like to go out and to hike the entire thing in one season. So maybe they start like the Appalachian Trail, for instance, that you're talking about your client. Maybe they'll start in late April in Georgia, one of the terminus, the southern terminus, the Appalachian Trail, and hike all the way north up to Maine, the northern terminus, in one season. So that's 2200 miles. So yeah, there's a lot of different ways to engage in hiking and backpacking kind of depending on your life and how deep you want to go.

[00:12:39.880] – Allan

Yeah. And if you're doing over 2000 miles and you go the wrong direction, even a step, that's no problem,

[00:12:47.090] – Katie

you don't want to do it.

[00:12:51.650] – Allan

You had some great stories in the book about exactly that, especially when you're talking about the Orientating and back before GPS were really popular and you're looking at a map and you say, well, that's that ridge and you start walking that direction only to find that no, the next ridge that you were looking for isn't there. So you got to turn around and go back to where you were.

[00:13:10.390] – Katie

Yeah, it's the worst. It's the worst feeling. Exactly. Especially when you're on like a 2000 miles hike, even missing a trail junction by a mile and having to backtrack you're just like, no. Yeah, that's why learning the navigational skill set can be really helpful.

[00:13:25.220] – Allan

And you do really good job. I was in the military and had do a good bit of that myself before the days of GPS, the compass and the map of your friends if you learn and practice and I think that was one of the key things you talk about in the book is this is a skill that requires practice. You help us with that. Now, one of the things you put in there and I love it because I live on an island in the Caribbean and so people bring things here and they leave them. The locals are kind of the worst, but people will go out and they will make a trail less likable, less fun. And we actually, because some of the stuff is private property, we've had owners just say, no, you can't come on my property anymore because of this. But you talk about the seven principles of Leave no trace. Can you go through those? Because I think it's really important when we're doing these things to make sure that we're doing them responsibly. So just to give people food for thought, if they're going to get out of nature, which is what you need to do, you should be out in nature. What's the protocols or etiquette we need to follow?

[00:14:30.030] – Katie

Absolutely. Yeah. And I appreciate that you're bringing this up? Because I think any of us who are going to spend time in the outdoors should be aware of these principles because we just want to leave as little impact as possible out there so everyone can continue to enjoy it. Essentially, there are these seven leave no trace principles that we talk about in the book, and obviously we didn't develop these, where there's a center called leave no trace center for outdoor ethics. Essentially, these principles are designed to minimize our impact on the outdoors, help us be good stewards of the land that we're walking through. And so these principles are designed mostly for backcountry use, but they can be used anywhere, like you said, in a local park or on your trails, out behind your house or anything like that. Sure, I'll briefly go through them, and we can talk a little bit about each of them. So the first one is to plan ahead and prepare. So by planning ahead, essentially, like individuals who are going out or groups that are going out can be better set up to stay safe and then to practice these leaving a trace principles.

[00:15:28.950] – Katie

So, for example, if an inexperienced user goes out into that country, maybe in the sierras, and they don't know that there's a fire ban there, because in the southwest, where I live in Colorado and then west of me, we have very severe wildfire problems in the summer. So if someone doesn't know there's a fire ban and they only brought food that can be cooked over a campfire, then they're almost like forced to start a campfire where they shouldn't be starting one. Or maybe if someone doesn't plan a trip properly and they don't know what the trail is going to be like, and it's more rigorous than they expect, and they have to camp in a place that's ideal, then they could be damaging some of the fragile surfaces, for example. So that's why planning ahead and preparing as the first step is so that you can be a better practitioner of these leaf and trace principles. So travel and camp on durable surfaces is the second one. So durable surfaces would be anything like sand, rock, ice, snow, anything that can withstand impact. Some vegetation can, some can't. And examples of nondurable surfaces would be like cryptobiotic soil, which is a type of living soil in the desert that prevents erosion.

[00:16:39.110] – Katie

Delicate alpine tundra would be another one, like wet meadows where you trample the grass and it doesn't bounce back easily. So just knowing, like, what are durable surfaces, what aren't durable surfaces, traveling on trail where you can and if you're traveling in a group, knowing how to minimize your impact on those non durable surfaces, essentially knowing where you can camp where you're not going to cause further impact and just how to go about that. And then the third one is disposable waste properly. That refers to, of course, packing out your trash. A lot of people may have heard the phrase pack it in, pack it out but it also refers to human waste which in many cases like in a river quarter should also be packed out or if you're like in a fragile alpine environment it should also be packed out or if you're going to barrier waste like which digging a cathole is sort of the way that the accepted practice to go about that to know that you have to take it deep enough 200ft from water, away from high use areas, away from game trails and places that animals are going to use regularly and then packing out your teepee in some places where it's like moist and hot and it's going to break down, that's fine, it'll probably degrade but in a lot of places especially again where I live where it's dry or if you're in the alpine and it's just not going to break down because there's not enough heat and there's not enough moisture, just pack it out and knowing the best practices around that and one other part of that whole topic of it's not really disposing of waste but it kind of goes under.

[00:18:10.720] – Katie

This is like not putting soap into the waterways. A lot of people like oh well it's a biodegradable soap, I can use it in the waterway but we don't want to do that as well. So it's part of that leave no trace ethic. The fourth one is leave what you find which is pretty straightforward. It's like any we go out there because we all want to see these beautiful flowers or beautiful we find beautiful rocks or like when I was in Utah guiding last month we were finding artifacts like old arrowheads and things like that and it's so tempting for people like oh I want to take this home and I want to show it to people, it's so cool. But part of leave no choice ethics is just leave what you find. Other people want to enjoy it as well. And then another part of that is to avoid landscaping an area with like fire rings or log chairs or things like that avoiding like moving things around too much in an area or if you do naturalizing it again before you leave the area. Minimizing campfire impacts is principle number five. Again I mentioned fire ban so knowing when and where fire bands are in effect if you are allowed to build a fire in an area knowing whether it's going to cause potential damage to that country there looking around knowing is there sufficient firewood that I'm not going to further impact the area.

[00:19:26.600] – Katie

Like will removal of this firewood be noticed? I mean understanding how to minimize the impact if you do build a fire, like if you build a fire ring you should build it in a ring if the one exists you should dismantle the ring if it doesn't exist and there are other methods to building campfires that you can minimize your impact. Respecting wildlife is principle number six. So that's just like keeping your distance, not being too intrusive. I think we've all seen those national park photos where people are having their cameras and they're right up in the moose's face or, like, way too close to the bison or the bears, and it's obviously stressing the animal out. And so it's like, we want to avoid that. We don't even want them to know of our presence unless we're trying to just sort of gently spook them away so that we can pass through a trail. But it also means not camping too close to a water source where we might be scaring the animal away from coming to the water source, not camping right on top of a game trail where we might interrupt their travel to and from where they're trying to go.

[00:20:28.920] – Katie

So, yeah, just generally being respectful of the wildlife. We're in their home, so we want to be respectful. We would being a house guest in someone else's home, and then the 7th one is being considered by other visitors. We're all trying to be out there enjoying nature. And so I think just being cognizant of what you're doing, like using your headphones instead of playing music loudly through a speaker, which might disrupt other people or disrupt the wildlife or keeping your dog leashed or just sharing the trail with other users, whether those are pedestrians or equestrians or bicyclists or whatever it is, just being thoughtful of other people so we can all enjoy the outdoors. And if you want to learn more, is this lnt.org is the place to go to really get all the details on that.

[00:21:16.890] – Allan

LNT for leavenotrace.org? Okay, cool. All right. Now it's the end of June, and so for most of the places that people would be either hiking or training, because that's the other side of it, is if you're going to start your hike next April to do the Appalachian Trail, for example, you're training now, so you're getting out and training. And one of the things that happens for a lot of us is we're trying to push ourselves because, again, we're carrying a pack. That pack could be over 40 lbs, maybe 50 lbs sometimes when you first start with the food and you're in the heat. So you've got to train your body to do that. We're going to talk about conditioning in a minute, but one of the things that hits a lot of us is just the heat and all those things that can happen with regards to illnesses, heat illnesses. So we're talking about heat exhaustion, heat stroke. Can you kind of talk us through what we should be looking for as far as symptoms, that the heat starting to really be a problem for us and what we should do about it?

[00:22:16.410] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely something valuable to be aware of. So, yeah, as you were just saying, these heat illnesses can occur essentially like on a spectrum, there's a progression. So there's heat rash and heat cramping which most of us are familiar with, like from exercising outdoors and heat, those are pretty common and can be prevented and treated by consuming adequate water and salt and cooling off and resting in the shade. And then as you mentioned, there's more serious forms of that. If those aren't treated, that would progress to heat exhaustion and then to heat stroke. These also result from exercising in the heat and the humidity, not consuming enough water, salt and they can essentially cause the body temperature to rise above critical levels. So prevention is best. So if we can stay hydrated, consume electrolytes, pay attention to when we're starting to overheat and we can rest and not try to, we are pushing ourselves, but maybe try to not push ourselves beyond what is comfortable in the heat or at least just paying attention to our own body and what's going on in there. So you're asking about symptoms. So heavy sweating, muscle cramping when you start to get a headache.

[00:23:34.830] – Katie

Nausea is a big one that I've seen before. If you're starting to get nauseous, dizzy, of course fainting is a pretty obvious symptom. Pulse can change, either become really rapid or really weak. So when you're starting to see any of those changes, there should be like red flags. Like hey, it's time to slow down, find some shade, cool off immediately, whether by putting cold water on the skin, any way that you can cool down, replace some of those fluids in the body, take some electrolytes if you haven't been taking in any salt or anything like that. And then if you don't treat that, that can progress to that heat stroke which is a medical emergency. So if it progresses to that point and that's a temperature greater than 103. And some of the symptoms would be that you stop sweating, actually you start to get slurred speech and essentially there's any changes in consciousness, that's when you need medical help. And so hopefully you're carrying some sort of either a cell phone or an inreach device which is like a satellite communication device that you can get yourself help.

[00:24:36.590] – Allan

Or you're traveling with a hiking buddy. And so this is something also if you notice that your hiking buddy is getting confused, they've stopped sweating, start asking them a couple of questions that they should be able to answer and if they really start struggling with those types of things, it's time to call it quits and get that person some help. okay. So yes, we need to condition ourselves for this stuff. And you start thinking, how does one go about training for a 2000 miles plus hike? And it kind of brings me back to my marathon days and the way we would say it was you either feel the pain before you do the run or you're going to feel it after you do the run, but this you're going to feel it during because this is not just a one day thing. And the phrase you use in the book, which I like, is to hike yourself into shape. And some people can and do that, but it's going to make for a very unpleasant first few weeks. Can you talk about how someone could go about planning and conditioning program? You have some in the book.

[00:25:41.090] – Allan

I don't have to give all the way the stretching and all of this stuff. We're going to talk about that's in the book, but it just gives us an overview of how someone can look at planning their conditioning so they're ready. Like my client that wants to be able to do this in a few years, he wants to start conditioning himself for it. What should he be considering and how should he be going about this?

[00:26:02.090] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, it's a great idea. So you can hike yourself into shape. So some people, they're kind of different schools of thought. Some people are like, oh, you don't have to do any training ahead of time. You'll hit the trail and just walking every day, you're going to hike into shape. And it's like, yeah, that's true in some cases, but you're going to be a lot more prone to overuse injuries and just to not completing the goal that you set out to do. So of course, I and my co-author Heather, are big proponents of physically training yourself to be ready for that hike. And I think the longer out you can start, the better because that way you're not going to be tempted to ramp up too quickly. So that's one of the principles that we talk about with training, is building a training plan for yourself where you're balancing cardiovascular training, strength and mobility exercises and rest, of course, because that's an important part of a training plan, as well as giving yourself your body enough time to adapt to the stressors from exercise that you're actually strengthening building muscle and not like just wearing yourself down.

[00:27:04.100] – Katie

So, yeah, the training plans, we essentially talk about how to build your own individual training plan. And we go through some exercises in there where you can test yourself for muscle weaknesses. So that's one aspect of it is doing different tests on your own body so you can determine if you have places where you used to get injured a lot. We're going to invite you to focus extra strengthening effort in that area, whether through different exercises, whether that's through doing lunges or toe raises or calf raises or things like that. So figuring out where your personal weaknesses are and then building a plan that builds your endurance by slowly building up the miles, gradually including enough rest days in there. And we talk about a protocol for how to figure out where to start because it depends. Are you starting from the couch are you starting from someone who is already relatively in shape. So we kind of talk about how to build those miles gradually and what to start with and how to build up. And then including those strengthening exercises and those mobility exercises like I was talking about, whether that's strengthening your inner thighs or strengthening your hip muscles or things like that.

[00:28:18.040] – Katie

Any of those muscles you're going to use with backpacking. Essentially, we're just trying to get the body adapted to carrying a weight on the back over uneven surfaces, because that's different than what a lot of us are used to and what a lot of our bodies are used to. We talk about how to build those, balance out those aspects in a training plan so that your body hit the trail with your body being ready, and you're not going to have to go home early from overuse injuries. And it's so much more enjoyable when you show up in shape. I've seen both sides of it. Some people go off the couch and they just struggle a lot. And then other people focus a lot of time into that training ahead of time. And you can hit the trail doing more miles and it hurts so much less. And you can keep up with your friends if you're going in a group. So I'm definitely an advocate of training your body.

[00:29:08.800] – Allan

Yeah. One of the things I kind of liked about what you had in the book was it was also know yourself. So it's like put on a 40 pound pack and walk kind of the same grade of hills and things that you're going to be doing on there. And if you notice, okay, your core is not really stabilized well enough that you can handle a pack. You need to maybe bolster your core work. Maybe you're arching your lower back and over time that's going to fatigue. You can do some cobras and some things like that to just make sure that you're in a better condition to handle how your body is going to respond. Because I saw something and there was where I got to find this because it was so cool. It was the trail pronation, which I guess as you're carrying weight and you're moving up a trail, the way you walk, the way you move, it changes it changes the whole dynamic of your kinetic chain. And as a result, you have to look at the shoes you're wearing and be ready to change those out regularly. You also need to just train yourself to be in that different position for hours at a time.

[00:30:17.090] – Katie

Yes, absolutely. It's such a good point as a lot of people, especially sometimes, like, if people just do walking as their training or they're transitioning from running or something like that, they kind of forget about how putting a pack that's anywhere from 20 to 40 lbs on the back really changes, like your center of gravity and how you carry your body. And exactly like you're just saying, how does that affect how you move and how do you train for that?

[00:30:43.070] – Allan

And then how much you've conditioned yourself, then blends into the plan for the trail. It's like if you know you're not going to be able to do 20 miles a day for five consecutive days, then you've got to come up with a plan for one, okay, maybe it's going to take you a little longer. You probably have to carry more food so your pack might even be heavier and you're going to move slower. Yeah, but that's your plan and you have to kind of balance that out. And so knowing your conditioning and then that helps drive your plan. Knowing your plan helps drive your conditioning and it's kind of a back and forth thing.

[00:31:13.370] – Katie

Absolutely. Yeah, exactly like you said, knowing the daily mileage that you're capable of, what's comfortable for you, taking into consideration that weather might get in your way or heavier pack might slow you down, all that stuff really ties into exactly how much food you're going to need to carry when you're expected to get to point B and then point C and D resupply places along the trail. And you're also thinking about, okay, am I going to finish in time to fit inside this weather window is what we say. Because you don't want to be out there on a 2000 miles trail. It's a little different than planning for a three night or even a five night trip because you're like, oh, I'm going to go out and it's June 1 through six, no problem. I know the weather is going to stay nice, but when you're out there for months at a time, you have to be kind of thinking about, okay, am I going to be able to finish in time? Am I going at a pace that's adequate to get me to Canada before the snow starts flying and all of that. So it's another reason why being trained and like you're saying, just knowing your body and what you're capable of is very valuable.

[00:32:19.270] – Allan

Yeah, well, Heather did a fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail. I think if I did it, it would be the slowest time and I would have to go through a lot of snow, probably two years of it, to get that baby done because that's something else. Now we can talk about the physical preparation, but I know from experience that you can get yourself as physically prepared as you ever want to. You can have all your planning, you have everything mapped out, but stuff happens. This is hard stuff. You're not talking about walking an hour or 2 hours and then calling it a day. You guys are doing upwards to twelve, maybe even more hours to get the distances that you want to get so that you can keep this sustainable for you. How do you mentally prepare for something like that?

[00:33:14.750] – Katie

yes, such a great topic and one that I really love talking about with people because it's something that a lot of aspiring through hikers or long distance hikers don't think as much about. They think a lot about I've got to get the right gear and I have to practice my navigational skills and I've got to get my food ready and all that. And all those things are super important and we cover them in the book. But that mental preparation aspect, that's something I wasn't ready for on my first hike. I mean, I kind of had an idea from having read blogs and things like that, but there are some tough conditions out there. Like you said, you're not just out for an hour over the course of multiple weeks and months, you're going to encounter crappy conditions, you're going to miss your loved ones, you're going to be hungry, your body is going to hurt no matter how well trained you are. There's going to be a lot of aspects to it that you can't really prepare yourself from a fiscal perspective, but you can't prepare your mind for it. So, I mean, I share the statistic in the book, but it's estimated that 75% to 85% of aspiring through hikers on what we call the Triple Crown trails, which is the at, the Pct and the CDT actually quit before reaching their goal.

[00:34:31.770] – Katie

And when you think about that, it's interesting because backpacking is a skill set that you need to learn, but it's not particularly technical. Someone who does, who studies and goes out in practice, you can become proficient at it relatively quickly. And yeah, it's a great physical feat to accomplish, but you can adjust your pace, you can slow down and all of that. So why is it that so many people are failing to reach their goal when they're out there? And I think it's a lack of mental preparation, failing to prepare your mind for the fact that it is going to be hard because I think when a lot of people are thinking about going out on these trails, they're thinking about all of those really desirable things like the beautiful scenery and being away from their laptop or their work schedule, kind of being on their own time, the simplicity of being out there, all those things that draw us out there. But they're not necessarily thinking about the fact that they're going to have blisters on their heels that are the size of a quarter and that they're going to run through their food too quickly and be hungry or they're going to be scared at times, whether it's of animal or weather or anything like that.

[00:35:39.150] – Katie

So yeah, there's a saying that through hiking, success is 90% mental and it's mental preparation. That's why we kind of go through some different strategies in the book of how to prepare yourself mentally for a long hike. And I'm happy to dig into those if you want to get into those specific?

[00:35:53.840] – Allan

Yeah, absolutely. Now, I know I've written a book, too. Congratulations on the effort. But you also said you like to journal. You are already sitting around with a notebook every day after you finished your hike or maybe even the morning before you started your hike. So I imagine that discipline of journaling helps you with writing this book as well. So I know that was one of the big ones that was but the one that was most interesting to me was the practice voluntary hardship.

[00:36:24.050] – Katie

Yeah, it's an interesting one, I think, that you don't necessarily think of right away. But for me, that came about really when I started running when I was younger. I did cross country in junior high and high school, and I noticed that when I would so it's become skilled at anything. It's practice and it's putting in the hours. And I would notice that when I made myself go out on the rainy days or go do twice a day in the afternoon. So I grew up in Ohio, and it was hot and humid, and I would make myself go in the morning and then go again in the afternoon no matter how much I didn't want to. And it was amazing because I would get out there and I would be like, oh, this isn't like that bad. I survived this. Like, oh, I went out in the rain and I survived it. And so I think that principle of practicing voluntary hardship is like building your inner resiliency, like letting yourself, your body and your mind know, I can do this hard thing. I'm capable of it. And this hard thing isn't going to it might not be even as hard as your mind is telling you it's going to be.

[00:37:27.760] – Katie

Like with those runs, I was saying, Oh, I got out there and I was like, Oh, I got wet. Okay, that's not a big deal, I'm fine. Or just putting yourself in those situations, anything that's sort of a little bit on your edge of discomfort to just train your body and your mind into that belief and knowingness that you're capable, you can do those challenging things.

[00:37:51.230] – Allan

Yes, I had an author on it. I know his first name was Michael, but his book was called The Comfort Crisis. It was a great book on this topic. He got himself in a situation where he just got dropped off with these guys out in the tundra about as far north as you could ever go, and he spent 30 days out there. And it's kind of one of those things it taught him that in these hard things do they'll teach you this, that you guys said words like embrace the suck, or those types of things. And it's funny to say, it's not funny when you're doing it, but then after it's over and you survive, it's kind of like, well, good. I feel like I've accomplished more because I went through this hard thing and I think that's where the kind of build up of all of this is going is okay, yes, you can journal, you can meditate, you can breathe, and those are all important things just for life, everything in life. But if you make things hard on yourself here and there, it just gives you this resilience from a mental perspective that you wouldn't have otherwise.

[00:39:00.010] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And there's like a big trend in wellness and such a trend, but science and research behind it is like cold baths and cold exposure and part of it is like yes, it does have absolutely benefits for your mitochondria inflammation, all of that. But I think part of it too is like the mental benefits. Exactly. It's like showing yourself that you can do hard things and you can get through it and that makes you more capable for other hard things in life.

[00:39:28.450] – Allan

Yeah, because I prefer the heat shock proteins of going out when it's in the high eighty s and putting up with that versus the cold any day. Maybe I need to do that. But I don't actually have anywhere I can take a bath here, so I'll have to figure out and the ocean is 70 deg, so it's not going to do it. But I agree with you there.

[00:39:51.120] – Allan

Katie. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:00.750] – Katie

Yes, that's a great question. So of course I'm going to say daily time outside. For me, that is probably one of the biggest, most valuable wellness practices in my own life. Even if it's just you only have time for ten minutes, 15 minutes, getting outside, ideally as close to sunrise as possible, getting that natural light into your eyes, setting your hormones, optimizing those for the day, your circadian rhythm, all of that and just the stress relief benefits of being outside. I think it's so valuable, I think having something planned each day that you look forward to or that you're excited about, whether it's a walk outside or for me, like journaling time over my coffee or my tea, whatever it is. Time with a loved one snuggling, a pet, whatever it is. Maybe it's part of a morning ritual, anything that I think feeds and nourishes you. It's such a great antidote for the busy and often like stressful lives. Many of us live in the modern life or find ourselves in, whether it's a stressful day or a season of life. Just having those things each day that we can look forward to. It's just really important having that reason to get out of bed.

[00:41:10.130] – Katie

And then that kind of leads into my third one, which is something similar we talk about in the book. It's like knowing your why, having that strong sense of purpose or vision for what you are, putting your energy towards each day, what you're putting your time towards in this season of life. Something that just keeps you going through the inevitable challenges that you're going to face in day to day life. Just having that strong sense of why and purpose.

[00:41:35.970] – Allan

Thank you for that. So the book is called Adventure Ready: A Hiker's Guide to Planning, Training and Resiliency. If someone wanted to learn more about that book or learn more about you, Katie, or your co author Heather, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:50.290] – Katie

Sure. The best place to go would be katiegerber.com, which is my website, and then my co author and I, Heather, are both active on Instagram, and so mine is @katiegerber and she's @wordsofthewild. So you can find either of us there. And I have more information about those online courses that are the companion to the book there. There's also a free backpacker nutrition course on there. So lots of backpacking resources on the website for anyone who is interested in doing more long distance hiking, backpacking, day hiking, any of that. So I just want to help people get started and get out there safely and confidently.

[00:42:25.680] – Allan

Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/544, and I'll be sure to have the links out there. Katie, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:42:36.270] – Katie

Thanks so much for having me. It's a lot of fun talking to you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:42:46.330] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:42:47.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a great interview and listening to Katie talk, really just invigorated my excitement about hiking. And I've got a big hike plan this fall. We're supposed to be hiking across Isle Royal up in Lake Superior, Northern Michigan, and all the tips that she had to share with you were just fantastic. It was a great interview.

[00:43:09.260] – Allan

Yeah, it's a really good book. She and Katie and Heather, they're pros, they do this regularly, they've done it for a while and they know their things. They know their stuff. Heather having the record fastest known time for the trail, that's not something you just get showing up. You got to keep moving. You got to keep doing it. And so that's why I thought it was really important to have them on to talk about this book because a lot of people, this is an accessible thing for a lot of people now maybe not 2000, 2200 miles hike throughs, but that said, you break it into segments, you break it into pieces. Most of us are going to live within daily reaching distance to do a day trip, to go out and just do a day hike. And it's a great way to reconnect with nature. It's a great way to just get away from all the digital toxins and stuff in our lives. And don't take your phone except to have it in your pocket as a GPS if you get lost or to call for help. But this is a great opportunity for you to get out, see things that most people don't see because they don't bother to venture out.

[00:44:34.140] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So many things to chat about. She had mentioned showing up in shape and being prepared, and I just wanted to highlight that going on a hike is a little different than just walking to your mailbox or walking through the grocery store or something. Sometimes these trails, like my little trail downtown that I use a lot, is asphalt paved. I can't get lost, so it's a perfect trail for me. But there's a lot of dirt trails and there's a lot of things to see out there, and it's a little bit of different type of hiking, and you need to be prepared for that. Different type of walking.

[00:45:06.590] – Allan

Yeah. And the weather and everything else. That's what in this book. That was one of the other things. They do a really good job of walking you through the planning. There's worksheets. There's all kinds of things in there for you to literally plan your hike and then go do your hike. I wanted to discuss that with her, the preparation, at least from a physical perspective and then from a mental perspective, because, yes, you can plan to use the hike as part of your training because if you do fewer miles, the beginning, and then you can build up your endurance and you can do more. And maybe if you're working really hard I know if I tried to take three months off to go do something like that, then I'm going to be working my butt off those last days, and they're going to be long days, and I'm not going to have training time during the week and maybe not even on the weekends as I'm trying to get myself ready to take that kind of time off to go do it. So, yeah, you train how you can with what you have to get yourself in the right kind of shape, because the worst thing you want to get into is that you throw that 40 pound pack on your back and you can't really even do it.

[00:46:21.230] – Allan

Your three month hike just became a three year hike because you can't do it. So you're going to want to be at some level of condition to be able to hit some mile markers. You're going to want to be able to put some miles in. So the training is important, but you will be able to somewhat train yourself to be better as you go. So you can even factor that a little bit into the plan of a gradual, I like to say gentle nudges of additional mileage as you go as long as again, and she even said this in the book, is you got to factor in your rest days. Probably Heather didn't take too many rest days when she was breaking the record, but when you're going at it, you might plan okay, we're going to be near this city there's town and I'm going to go act like a townie for a little while to eat restaurant food and sleep in a hotel bed and take showers, lots of showers. And then you can go for another sprint, but you have to factor in who you are, where you are and then do that and then the mental side of it, I was telling you before we got on the call I was going to do 9 miles Sunday and I kind of didn't feel really good about my digestive system when I have messy pants.

[00:47:38.640] – Allan

And so I thought so I stayed around town. So I was like, okay, I'm going to stay between my house and the gym. They're about a little over half a mile away. So I'm just walking down towards the gym and sort of walking right back towards the house and I do a couple of loops and I'm like, okay, I feel pretty good. And then I got about a mile out of town on an outback and so I'm somewhere around 5 miles and I noticed that my arm is chasing and it's very uncomfortable. And so now I have this do I quit or do I not scenario. And I was like, well, I have a mile to walk back and then I could put something on it. But then am I going to really want to get out and continue to do this or would I just quit? And so I was like, no, I'm just going to finish it. And this is uncomfortable, but I'm going to embrace the suck, if you will, and just keep going. And today I'm wearing a tank top. That was a tank top too, but I'm wearing a tank top with a much bigger drop in the sleeve so I'm not re scuffing it as I go.

[00:48:41.810] – Rachel

That's good. Yeah. We're preparing this trip for Isle Royal and we've been planning it for over a year. We're going to walk about 50 miles across from island end to end. And there are no showers, there's no gas stations to pick up food. So we're practicing everything that we need to have on this island right now. Actually, over the weekend, Mike and I were taste testing some different freeze dried foods, really lightweight camping foods that we'll be packing in. We're testing our equipment. We're making sure our tent can withheld some leaks if it rains. You know, there's a lot of planning that goes into that. But also while you can do some conditioning on a hike like that, it is good that you arrive at having practiced your equipment and know what it feels to wear a 30, 40, 50 pound backpack. I mean, there are certain things you can't just show up as a newbie. The first time Mike and I hiked Isle Royal with our family, gosh, I think it's going on 30 years ago. It was really neat to see this wonderful newly wed couple they had chosen Isle royal as their honeymoon vacation.

[00:49:51.320] – Rachel

And the woman had never hiked before in her life. And when we did find them at the end of the island, her feet were just blistered because she didn't practice her boots, she wasn't prepared for the backpack. I mean, they're just a myriad of problems that she had. But she gutted it out, she made it to the end, which is amazing. But my best advice, if you want a successful and happy and fun trip, is to show up fit and practice to the best of your ability.

[00:50:19.850] – Allan

And that's what the preparation is key. And that's one of the things that this book is really good about, because it asks you all the questions, like something you're going to say, like, you were just talking about food. How many calories will you be burning every day? So how many do you need to consume to maintain? And so it's not the normal, what you eat. You can say, Well, I only eat 1600 calories a day. That's when you're sitting at the computer doing your job, driving around, you're not walking 12,15, 20 miles a day or more. Because some of these hikes, they're doing eight to 10 hours of movement per day, easily. And so they're looking at their calorie requirements and say, Okay, that's easily 3000 calories. And this is for woman, it's a lot, but they need to have that amount of calories. And how much do all those calories weigh? Because if you're carrying a casserole dish, yes, it's heavy. So, yeah, the freeze dried stuff, the granola stuff like that, and then get knowing that it's something you can tolerate. Because the worst case thing is that you get out there and you eat something that doesn't agree with you, and you're not making your miles those days because you're in a bush in a squat position.

[00:51:50.000] – Rachel

Yeah, that's a problem. We have very precise transportation on both sides of the island. We get dropped off at a certain time and then we get picked up on the other side of the island in, I think, seven or eight days. So we need to be there no matter what, otherwise we're getting off the island. It's very important that you know how to practice all these things. And like she said, the mental aspect of it, if you've got blisters, you've got an upset stomach, you've got shaping, these things are very common and you need to be mentally prepared to push through it. Like in our case, when we have a very specific time, we need to meet our planes. There's a lot to it, but it's so fun.

[00:52:33.010] – Allan

Well, you do need to check out this book. I think this will help you a lot.

[00:52:36.560] – Rachel

I think it will. Thank you so much.

[00:52:38.680] – Allan

Right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:41.470] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:52:42.450] – Allan

You too.

[00:52:43.170] – Rachel

Thanks.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to become a superager with Jim Owen

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Jim Owen (author of the book Just Move: A New Approach to Fitness After 50 is a 40-year veteran of Wall Street and is also the founder and CIO of the center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership. He is the best-selling author of The Try, The Secret to Success in Life and Career, Cowboy values, recapturing what America once stood for, and the Prudent Investor. On his 70th birthday, he looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw. He committed to change. And now at 82, he's in the best shape of his life. He shares many of his super-ager strategies and tactics during this interview.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:18.550] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:01:20.460] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:22.810] – Allan

Well, we are now out of the closet, out of the bedroom, into the house. My wife Tammy got covid, so we've had her quarantined for this week. And I've been living upstairs in one of our rooms, which is not bad. It's a really nice place, but just having to take care of her, having to take care of everything else. And it's been a lot. But it's a good week.

[00:01:52.840] – Rachel

Yeah. She's feeling better?

[00:01:54.650] – Allan

She is now symptom free, so she's gotten over it.

[00:01:58.420] – Rachel

Good.

[00:01:59.320] – Allan

She had tested positive on Monday and she tested herself and then she tested positive again. She went to the hospital and tested and got a positive. So this at home test, you can get false positives sometimes she got a positive, I got a negative. And then we quarantined her. She went to the hospital the next morning and it was positive. So she finished up her fifth day yesterday, the day before yesterday, and then just out of precaution stayed another day and a half, two days. So she's just now coming out of the apartment today.

[00:02:36.110] – Rachel

Cool. That's good news. Very exciting.

[00:02:40.030] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:02:41.570] – Rachel

Oh, great. Mike and I went camping this weekend and had a great weekend out. Our first weekend of camping. And it was a beautiful time. Nice, peaceful, relaxing. It was a good time. Nice to be out.

[00:02:55.330] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have this conversation with Superager Jim?

[00:02:59.090] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:03:35.350] – Allan

Hey, Jim, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:37.820] – Jim

Thank you, Allan. I'm delighted to be here.

[00:03:40.640] – Allan

You know, you're in your 70s, mid-70s now, I guess, right? 76, maybe.

[00:03:46.380] – Jim

Allan, I will be 82.

[00:03:50.290] – Allan

Okay, we're going to play some of the video. We're going to save some little clips here and there. And so I want people to look at this because you don't look like a normal 82-year-old. Not by normal, I mean an American 82-year-old man. You look very different than most of us think we're going to look or would look when we're 82. And a lot of it is the stuff that you shared in this book.

[00:04:15.600] – Jim

And that's kind of the real story, because I'm nobody special, believe me, if I can do this, because when I was 70, very different story. That's what we're talking about, my story.

[00:04:28.710] – Allan

Okay, well, the book is called Just Move: A New Approach to Fitness after 50. And I started when I was in my mid-40s, realized that my job was killing me. My life was killing me. I was unfit, unhealthy, and just going downhill and fairly miserable. So I started making some changes. And those changes reflected who I changed into. And in many ways, it's the same for you. You came upon it, said, hey, I got to do something, and you started making some changes. Can you talk a little bit about your story?

[00:05:02.770] – Jim

Well, Allan, when I turned 70, I was in terrible shape. My back was killing me. I'm not talking about a little back pain. I'm talking about excruciating back pain. Both knees were shot and my right rotator cuff was frozen. If that weren't enough, I was probably 20 to 25 pounds overweight. But when I think about it, and I'm sure that many of your listeners had the same thing, the worst of it all was low energy. I just didn't have the energy I had when I was younger. And I said, boy, I said to my wife, I look in the mirror. I don't forget as long as I live on my 70th birthday. And Allan and I said, My God, I'm an old man. And I said to my wife, I'm an old man. She said, Sweetie, don't worry, you've still got game. She paused and then she said, unfortunately, that game is being gone. That's a true story. So that got me thinking, okay, I got to do something. Today, I'll be 82 in October. And now I'm in the best shape of my life. I couldn't do one push up on day one on my 70th birthday, I could not do one push up.

[00:06:40.490] – Jim

I can bang out 50. I don't do it every day because it's not good for your shoulder. But I can bang out 50, and I weigh less than I did today than I did in high school. And I look back and say, yeah, it's transformation. But, Allan, I think the takeaway for your audience is I'm just an average guy. So if I can do this, go from being weak and overweight and so on, anybody can do it. I'm nobody special. I'm not a Superman or any of that stuff. I think the basic message to your audience is, if you want to get more fit like you did, you want to get healthier, you can. It's never too late. Doesn't matter. Obviously, if I'd done this earlier in my life like you did, I wouldn't have had to have worked as hard. Let's be honest about it, okay. But if you're 75 years old, you still get more fit. And still now 82, and all I can say is I'm in the best shape of my life. I feel lucky. But it wasn't a gift. I had to show up and do the work. And that's the basic message to your audience.

[00:08:06.800] – Jim

You have to show up and do the work, and you have to have kind of a long term view. And maybe you can help me out. If there's a secret, if there's a pill I could have taken, there's a shortcut. I never found it, frankly. I just showed up, did the work. But anybody can do this. You don't have to kill yourself. You don't have to have a gym membership. You don't have to have a personal trainer. Not really. So that's my story.

[00:08:39.280] – Allan

Well, if there is a magic to it, and I think this is where most people struggle is, and you would have struggled with this a lot as well. You hurt, you're in pain, but you're in a bad place. And you know that there are two directions. You're kind of at a fork in the road. And as you said, it's your stark reality.

[00:08:59.140] – Jim

Absolutely. Fork in the road is a great way to look at this.

[00:09:04.510] – Allan

And now for you, it seems, because I was looking at it kind of the same way of saying I'm either going to keep dying or I'm going to start living. And that's the way I kind of looked at it. But being inactive was really, I think, one of the big problems both of us kind of faced at that point in our lives. We weren't active. What are some of the risks that we were facing when we're not moving our bodies and not doing the things we're supposed to?

[00:09:30.370] – Jim

Well, this is one of this book I wrote. I wrote this book, I guess five years ago, published by National Geographic. They've never done a book like this, but they were sort of fascinated by this whole concept. Let me just say this, Allan. I came across one statistic that I want to share with you and your audience, and this is really what got me motivated. If you make it to 70. Statistically, out of a very large sample of people, I'm not talking about ten people from Denmark. I'm talking about 100,000 people. Statistically, you will live another 15 years on average. And I said to myself, If I feel this bad now, can you imagine? In 15 years, I'll be in a wheelchair, I'll have a cane, I'll be slumped over, whatever. That was my motivation, to be honest about it. What happens if I do make this? So the reason that you and I are on this health kick I think, it has nothing to do with I need to lose 10lbs or I need this or that. It's not about living longer. Maybe this to you. It's not to me. Okay. But I want to live as happy and as full of life as I can.

[00:11:05.010] – Jim

The killer. And that's why this book is called Just J-U-S-T I'm a Southern accent. Just move. Is that one of the problems is that all of us today, or most of us sit too much. The average adult. This is not my opinion. This is, I think, Harvard or somebody, or maybe I think it's Harvard Medical School says the average American adult sits between 8 and 11 hours a day. That's between the computer, hunched over a computer, watching TV, kind of relaxing, whatever you want to call it. That's part of the problem. That's why my basic thing is just move. It doesn't matter what you do, as important as you've got to do something as opposed to sitting. The reason that sitting is bad. I know it's a cliche, Allan, but sitting is kind of the new smoking. If you sit, you will have aches and pains. There's no doubt every doctor will tell you that. And the doctors themselves probably sick too much. Okay, we all do. That's just part of our culture. I've worked hard my whole life. I deserve some relaxation, that's all true. But you will have aches and pains. You will have tight hips.

[00:12:35.250] – Jim

Absolutely true. The tight hips are often what leads to this back pain. I didn't know that. Again, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a kinesiologist. I don't have an advanced degree in Gerontology. I'm just an ordinary guy. That said, if I feel this bad now, how am I going to feel in 10 years or 15 years? And that was the motivation for me.

[00:13:04.890] – Allan

Yeah. I was looking at my life with my daughter going on and doing things like CrossFit and obstacle course races. And I was thinking to myself, she wants me to come and be there with her. But she was thinking of it in terms of me being a spectator.

[00:13:24.330] – Allan

Sit. And watch her do her event. And when she started talking about those things, I was like, Well, I don't want to spectate. I want to participate and I can't. I'm not there.

[00:13:36.630] – Jim

That sums up. And I did.

[00:13:38.710] – Allan

And then as I really got into thinking, about this long term what this means as far as my path, my aging curve. I noticed my grandfather, he was in his ninety s and he could not take care of himself. And so then it became this mantra of I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. So it's kind of funny, kind of silly, but it's kind of those concepts of I want to be able to do the things I enjoy doing with my family. We didn't have mud runs when I was younger, so now we have mud runs. And when I have grandkids, I don't know what they're going to be doing. But I also don't likely want to be a spectator for much of it if I can participate in any way. And the only way I'm going to do that is to keep myself healthy and strong. The only way I'm going to live to see 105 and still be healthy and strong is if I'm doing the right things day in and day out. And the next thing is avoiding mistakes, because I can tell you over the course of the eight years I was trying to figure all this stuff out because we don't come with an operating manual, although now your book gives us a lot of that.

[00:14:41.730] – Jim

Right.

[00:14:42.280] – Allan

Your book does give us a lot. What are some common mistakes that we make as older individuals trying to start an exercise program?

[00:14:50.970] – Jim

I would say the first thing is that most people and I live in a senior community, as we call it. Okay. And I see people I'm probably a young person, to be honest about it. My wife and I, we've been married 52 years.

[00:15:08.860] – Allan

Congratulations.

[00:15:10.240] – Jim

I think the biggest mistake is that people don't have a goal, which I don't ask you where it came from just out of my head. But when I started this program, I had one goal, and it was I want to be 80 years young. And at the time, I was 70 years old. So I wrote this down. I'm 80 years old. I want to be 80 years young. What do I have to do? And Allan, again, I'm not an exercise nut or some freak or gym rat. I didn't know what to do to be honest about it. And observing people was part of this, Allan. And what I noticed was that there were people who were 60 who looked and moved like they were 80. There were people who were 80 who looked to move like they were 60. And I said, what do these folks know who are 80? I said, I want to be one of those. And I call these super-agers. That's my term for it. I don't know if that's not a medical term. I call them super agers. Now let me be clear. I didn't say super men and I didn't say super women or Wonder Woman.

[00:16:47.710] – Jim

These are ordinary people who made a decision Allan, just like you did. What do I have to do? Okay. To lead a happier, more full life, not to be 100 years old or whatever. I'm not saying you can exercise every day, but one big lesson out of all this is that DNA is not your destiny. And what I did, I talked to people who were what I call Supe-Agers, people who are 80 years old, 85 years old, what the heck do they do? And there were some very common traits of these people, and that's how I developed a plan. The other mistake people make is they say, okay, I want to get fit. Okay. Do you have a plan for getting fit? No, I do the treadmill. I go walking. Well, I'm going to tell you, walking alone is not enough. People in your audience you're going to go, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Well, I love to walk. Okay, so let's make it real clear. Walking alone is not enough. So whether you have a gym membership or work out at home or whatever it may be, there are other activities you have to do if you want to get more fit.

[00:18:28.050] – Jim

And I talked to the experts, for what that's worth, there are lots of conflicts of interest. There's a lot of showman in the fitness industry. I'm a little bit cynical, as I suspect you are about the industry itself. Everybody's promoting something, but it doesn't matter when I talk to the experts, plus people who are actually what I call Super-Agers. And that's where I developed a program and I want to show you my T shirt. I call this, Geezer fitness is what I call this. So the best advice I got ever, I want to share with you and your audience and I can get a kick out of this. The best advice I ever had, somebody who was probably 85 years old, I was never quite sure how he was, but he looked like a million dollars. And he said, Jim, if you want to get motivated and stay motivated, I'm going to give you a secret. I said, Gosh, we love secrets. What's the secret? He said, Buy a couple of compression shirts. I said, what is a compression shirt? And he showed me, he says, what the athletes wear. So on day one, I show up and I had a double, the highest thing you could have, okay, whatever it was.

[00:20:02.610] – Jim

And people looked at me on day one and said, this guy has no pride at all. And the fact you try wearing a compression shirt if you're 5lbs overweight the fat hangs out. And people would look away and say, this guy has no pride at all. And to be honest about it, that's what kept me motivated. Pretend I've worn one every day since, and I love putting stuff on here. I've got one called Spartacus. So if I'm really at my best shape, I say Spartacus. If I'm not such good shape, and now I'm wearing a medium. So that's kind of what kept me motivated. People just couldn't believe it. Does this guy know how awful he looks? So try a compression shirt. And if you're 10lbs overweight, it's really embarrassing. So anyway, that's what I did and it kind of worked. It just kept me motivated day after day. And all of a sudden I started wearing a large and now wear a medium T shirt. And for a guy, one problem that men have is that they develop that punch okay and very difficult to get this off. So one mistake that people make, Allan, which I didn't know about, I didn't know what core meant.

[00:21:29.610] – Jim

I thought core referred to a six pack. Now, core is a band that goes around your upper extremity. It starts about here and goes down to your thighs. And if your core is weak and mine was incredibly weak, you will have back pain, I guarantee you. So one mistake that I would guess that 80% of people make in your audience, they don't do enough core. Again, I didn't know this. I'm not a medical doctor, I don't have a PhD. But what I found out the hard way was one reason for my lower back pain was a weak core. So for the first, probably two or three years, I would guess at least a third of my workouts exercising was on the core. Here's the good news, Allan. I'll be 82. I have zero back pain. None. Nada. So I look back and say, whatever I did seem to have worked. But a big part of this was the core. So it's not about being in a dynasty, it's not about Allan how many pull ups can you do? I can do. It has nothing to do with the ego. It has to do with, quote, functional fitness.

[00:22:58.030] – Jim

So I'm going back to what I said earlier about mixing it up. There are basically five dimensions of functional fitness. Now, when you're young, you're motivated. I want to look good in a bathing suit. Nothing wrong with that, okay. Or I'm getting married in four months. I need to lose 15lbs. So it's very vanity driven when you're older, older, being 50, 60, 70, 80, whatever. Presumably you're less vanity driven and more driven, as you said you were, by the desire to be functional, to be able to go through a day without aches and pains, without being slumped over like this, being able to stand up straight, not having a Walker, not having complaining all day about, oh, God, my back hurts this and that and so on. And so that's what it's done for me. When I say I'm in the best shape of my life, well, I have no aches and pains. What is that worth any amount of money? I can tell you that had a good career in the investment world. All I can say is the hour a day that I spend on exercising working out is the best investment I ever made.

[00:24:21.580] – Jim

How do you put a price on this? I don't know how to do it. I can say all the money in the world if you're 80 years old and let's say you're a rich person, whatever that means, and you end up in a doctor's office three or four times a week, what have you achieved? So, Allan, I call all this stuff winning at life. That's how I frame what I do. My goal, I want to win at life. How do you look back on your last days and aches and pains and the doctor you know your doctor better than you do your kids and your loved one? I don't think that's winning at life, personally. I don't think being dependent upon your kids to take care of you when you're older. I don't think that's winning at life.

[00:25:13.150] – Allan

Let's take a quick step back, because before we get too far away from the functional fitness, I think this is important for someone, particularly someone that's just starting out to understand. So the gym culture. I've been in the gym a lot over the course of my life. There's this thing, and you'll notice all the cardiovascular machines are really close to the door. And that's where 90% of the people that come in, they stop right there at the treadmill because it's easy. They understand it. You turn it on, you walk, you turn it off, you go home. And kind of the funny thing is you might live a mile away from the gym, but you're going to walk 3 miles on the treadmill and not walk to the gym. But a lot of people stop there and they look to the rest of the gym, either by not knowing what to do or even having, like you said, a plan. And for the plan to be successful, as you mentioned, it has to address functional fitness. And you mentioned Core. And we were going to say, yeah, the walking and cardiovascular endurance is important. Those are two facets of functional fitness.

[00:26:13.420] – Allan

But what are the other three that we should be looking toward to be a super ager?

[00:26:18.850] – Jim

Well, a clear one is strength. And when you say that, wait a minute, I'm not a muscle head. I'm not trying to be Mr. or Ms. Adonis. I'm not talking about that. Here are the statistics. When I did this book just move the National Geographic, it took me about two years to do the book. And when I got through and turned in the manuscript and they said, this is great. Oh, by the way, we need to have an expert read every page and evaluate it. I said, what?

[00:26:55.690] – Jim

Oh, yeah. Well, I said, I don't think anybody can do that or would do it. They found somebody out of Duke University who was, I guess, a gerontologist, and she read every paragraph. And so we agreed upon that. And then they said, Jim, oh, by the way, one more step. You have to source everything you said. What does that mean? Well, we don't want your opinion. You have to say, where did your opinion come from? I said, why don't you tell me about that? Because you would never have signed the contract. So I had to source it. And I said, because there's so much BS in the fitness world. So when I threw out these statistics, it's not my opinion. It could be Mayo Clinic, it could be whomever. But the book was not my opinion says this or that. Okay. But what I learned was from the experts is that how important strength training is. And that does not mean lifting heavy. That's what people get in trouble. You can do a lot of stuff with very light dumbbells. So my advice to your audience is maybe you're using 15 or 10 pound dumbbells. That's okay.

[00:28:22.450] – Jim

I can show you some exercises that you're going to say, I suspect you're in good shape, that you're going to say, Gosh, this is hard, Allan. 15 lbs can be hard depending on what you do. Okay. But here's the reason why in a nutshell, is because you lose strength as you get older, that unless you do something to offset that, here are the statistics. You're going to lose about 40% of your muscle mass by the time you're 70 or 75. And this often leads to the problems. So you have weak bones and so on. And so, again, I'm not a medical expert, but that's what the experts says, not an expert alive they wouldn't agree with that. That strength training and it's not being a muscle head and it's not lifting heavy at all. It has nothing to do with that. You don't need a gym membership. You can do it at home. I can show you exercises to do, just push ups, that kind of stuff that anybody can do them. You don't need a trainer, although a trainer is very helpful in sort of laying this out. But the first one is strength training that you have to do as an adult.

[00:29:46.790] – Jim

And the second, the other one is balance. So here are the statistics. One in three, there could be one in four adults, 65 and over fall every year. Now think about that again. I'm living in a senior community. Allan, if I told you how many friends we have or acquaintances where you want to call them fall, you would not believe it. And typically it's at night and for some reason it's in the bathroom. I don't know why, but we'll see somebody said, Where's Joe? Where's Nancy? Oh, man, she fell last night, banged her head. Then you're talking about something that's pretty awful.

[00:30:36.090] – Allan

Yeah. One of the statistics you had in the book that I'd like to share is that a quarter of a million people fall and go to the hospital with a hip fracture every single year. That's insane.

[00:30:53.370] – Jim

It's stunning. And these are people who are not in such bad shape. Something happens. Now let me explain to you. I fell myself and broke my wrist three months ago. Say what? Yeah. I got through working out, had a cup of coffee in my right hand, tripped. We have Oriental rugs, for better or for worse. We have Oriental rugs, tripped on the rug and said, If I spill this coffee, my wife is going to really kill me.

[00:31:31.230] – Allan

That thought would be it, but that was the thought in my head.

[00:31:34.830] – Jim

I think I did.

[00:31:38.190] – Allan

You flung the cup across the room.

[00:31:40.280] – Jim

No, I didn't spill the coffee. I fought with one hand. If I fell with two hands, guess what? I'd catch myself. Broke my wrist. I was in the cast for it's been four months now, and it's still not quite okay, but I'm a lot better. And so this goes to show you and my wife said, what happened? I said, well, I didn't spill the coffee, but I broke my wrist. It was a clean break, thank goodness. But even so, it could happen to anybody. In my case, I tripped on a rug after working out. It could happen to anybody. So you could fall this afternoon because you're walking along with a friend or your daughter and you're talking and you're not looking down. And there's whatever reason, the concrete, there's a bump in the road, whatever it may be, in the trail, for example. You'd be surprised how many people are trail walkers and they trip because of, who knows, a branch comes in, they're talking, not looking down. And so you have to do something about some kind of balance training. Now, we're not talking about this takes 2 hours. One thing that's very important. There's a big difference between training and exercising.

[00:33:12.890] – Jim

I didn't learn this in year one or year two, but training is what I've been doing. Training means you're working toward a goal. Exercising, Allan, is what most people do. They go to the gym, they do a slow slog on the treadmill while they're watching the news. That's most people who are older.  I don't think that works. So when you're working toward a goal, you tend to be more efficient. So when I see an hour a day, in order to do that, you've got to be efficient. I think the magic number for me, at least is 30 minutes of walking. I do walk and think everybody needs to walk some kind of cardio endurance. I think the magic number personally is 30 minutes. I think it's diminishing returns. If that's the only message I'll leave you with today, there's diminishing returns in all of this stuff, whether it's walking or push ups or sit ups or whatever it may be. And you have to sort of understand and you learn this the hard way because the goal is to be efficient. What can I do? How can I use this hour efficiently? And what you learned, what I learned is that people who are in shape learn how to be efficient, how to squeeze stuff that's essential into 1 hour.

[00:34:56.860] – Jim

It could be 45 minutes. And nobody says that you can't exercise for 20 minutes three times a day. No big deal, 45 minutes a day. But I find out that works for me is an hour a day. And I do balance. I do my cardio on the days I do strength training. What I should have told you was, here's my program. I do strength training three times a week. Okay. I do cardio three times a week. So I walk pretty actively. But I don't run. I don't jog because my knees, I walk. Stretching is critical. If you don't stretch, it's a big mistake when you're older. You will have aches and pains. There's no way around that. Now you can say, Jim, I do yoga. Great. Pilates. Terrific. Okay. But these are the main things that someone has to do, and every older person is I don't know what to do. I don't have a plan. Well, there's some trial and error, and you sort of have to learn what works for you. The best motivation on is getting results. Here's some good news for you. If you're in bad shape like I was, the results come very quickly.

[00:36:23.770] – Jim

That's what people don't realize if all you do is walk. When I started out, I literally out on day one, could not walk more than probably four blocks. And I was huffing and puffing. That's how bad the shape I was in. But I said, you know, I'm going to do a 30 day deal now. Why 30 days? I have no idea. I just said 30 days. It could have been 45 days or 20 days. I was amazed by simply every day trying to do a little bit more. I wasn't running or jogging or any of that stuff, just walking. At the end of 30 days, I felt so much better. You have no idea. My wife's friend said, what is Jim doing? What do you mean? He looks so much more energetic. When you're older, that's what happens when you walk. Okay. And so what I found for me was the sweet spot was about 30 minutes, and I do it three times a week. Beyond 30 minutes, it's kind of missing returns. I'd rather use those other 30 minutes to do strength training and other activities. That's all it is.

[00:37:40.960] – Allan

right. Well, in your book, Just Move, there's a ton of these types of tips. You talk about how much time you dedicate from each workout, the different things you have images of some of these exercises. So there's a lot in this book. But if you wanted to just say, what are a couple of your favorite takeaways from the book that if someone were thinking about buying your book that you want them to know, want them to look for, what would that be?

[00:38:05.240] – Jim

Well, that's a great question. And I think what I would say is you have to find your why. What is your why? Why are you even thinking about taking up some kind of a program? Okay, now your why might be, I don't want to be a burden to my kids. I don't want to say, well, I'm sorry I can't go with you on this trip. I've got to take care of my dad. Man, I don't want that. I want to be able to play with my grandkids. Everybody has their own try, but that's sort of the motivation. My motivation again, was I want to be 80 years young. That may not be your goal. It was my goal. Okay? You have to find that. And the other important takeaway is you have to have a plan. Without a plan, a goal is just a dream, in my opinion. So a goal and a plan. And then you have to actually show up and do the work so you can talk about this stuff all day long. I think the only mistake the other takeaway is the goal is not perfection. So I know you like to exercise and it's really improved your life and that kind of stuff, but perfection is not the goal.

[00:39:31.830] – Jim

The exercises that I do, I don't do very well. I try, but we all have our issues. So the other thing I want to make sure that everybody understands is you can work out every day, okay. And it's true that your DNA is not your destiny. That's an important concept to me. That means you can do activities that will help lower the risk of a serious disease. Heart attack, stroke, okay? Certain cancers, all that's true. But I have to tell your audience this. When you get 80 years old, you will have issues and no amount of exercise, no amount of eating right. No amount of managing stress, none of that good sleep habits. You will still have stress. I don't know anybody who's 80. It's like having a car. Okay? You have a great car, but there's a certain mileage. I don't know. It's 150,000 miles. Your car is going to break down. Well, guess what? Your body breaks down, but it's okay because you're in shape. And I've had some issues. I don't want to go into them myself other than a broken wrist. But the big pay off from all this stuff, Allan, the big pay off is what you have to think about,

[00:41:03.900] – Jim

What's Jim want to payoff from all of your exercises, all of your hard work? You know what it is? It's the confidence that whatever life throws at me, I can deal with it. And what I'm suggesting is the real benefit of all this stuff is mental as much as physical. So given where I came from, getting where I am now doesn't mean I'm not going to have issues. That's just BS. I do have issues. I will have issues. But it's the confidence I can deal with whatever life throws at me. I don't care what it is. If I get hit by a truck, if I get cancer, if I get all the bad things that happen because of the confidence that comes from hard work and getting results, you can deal with it. The other thing out of the book that I want everybody to really kind of think about, these are all just insights. There are no rules that I know of, but they're insights. The other big insight that I think is important is that attitude is so critical. Okay, so all we're talking about here is looking forward and not back. Allan, I cannot tell you how many people I know who live in the past and every single one of them is in bad shape.

[00:42:43.270] – Jim

I'm looking forward. Now, I'm going to say this to your audience, and I believe it. I honestly believe my best days still lie ahead. Is that positivity? That's a critical element. If somebody says I don't need exercise, I don't need to eat healthy or eat clean, I don't need any of that stuff. Okay, that's fine. That's your choice. Ok. The problem is you're going to end up at some point, you might lose your loved one, then you're going to be by yourself. Okay, maybe you have a caretaker, but your world is going to shrink. It's the opposite out of what you said. Your world is going to shrink. You spend your day in a small apartment when you're 80 or 85 years old. Loneliness. And all of this is what tends to lead to depression, but even worse, Alzheimer's and dementia. Now, I may end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, but I'm doing everything I can. Okay. Staying active. And also, I want to share with you one last thought is that we talk about physical fitness, and that's very important because fitness is the foundation of healthy aging. That's the other message. But there's more to healthy aging than that.

[00:44:18.830] – Jim

There's also mental fitness, and there's emotional fitness, and they're equally important. So in my case, the reason I'm doing this interview is not to sell books. If my story can inspire somebody to get off the couch and just move, as opposed to just sitting, that's my legacy. To be honest about it, I wrote a best selling book called Cowboy Ethics. 160,000 copies. Best selling book. This book maybe 25,000 Max. You don't sell excise. Books like this don't sell unless it's written by George Clooney or Brad Pitt. That's the truth. So the money I make off this book is not worth even talking about. To be honest about it, it doesn't matter. This is for me, is a legacy. If my story of going from incredibly bad shape and back pain and terrible feeling and so on to where I am right now in the best shape of my life, I weigh less I did in high school, and I'm just an average guy. I'm not anything special, okay? If that can inspire somebody that's more important to me, that's my legacy. I want to look back on my life and say, and this is the whole idea of purpose.

[00:45:50.270] – Jim

Now, you're too young. I suspect even think about this.

[00:45:55.340] – Allan

I'm 56 years old.

[00:45:57.590] – Jim

That's young. You're a kid.

[00:45:59.990] – Allan

I am a kid. I agree.

[00:46:04.070] – Jim

But what keeps you going, what keeps you alive is that having the passion or the purpose. I look back on it and say, I will look back on my life on the last day of my life and say, Did I leave things better than I found it? If it's true that I did it's because of my writing and my speaking, I made my money, so to speak, in my career. Not that I'm a rich, rich guy, but I have enough money. Okay? So I'm lucky on that score. But the legacy is what's important to me. It's not the books I think sells on Amazon for $15 or whatever. Okay. And if you think somebody is going to make a living off of writing a book, well, I guess Michelle Obama can do it, but most of us can't do it. I sure couldn't do it. But it's the legacy factor that is so critical to me. And that's why I do all this stuff. You have no idea. I get emails from so many people, and I'm not big computer guys. I told you to be honest about it. That's just not me.

[00:47:21.520] – Jim

I don't like emailing, any of that stuff. But if my story can make a difference and that's why I do all this stuff, that gives me more satisfaction. I also did a film. I produced a film called The Art of Aging Well, and it took two years. Now, when I say produce, what does that mean? Well, producer of a film hires the people. I'm not behind the camera, hires the people, oversees the quality, and basically does the marketing. Okay. Jim Havey, who's out of Denver. I've known Jim for 30 years. Jim has won three or four Emmys. I've not won an Emmy, but we did a film together again. He's the film guy. The Art of Aging well, and just when we got it finished, this pandemic hit, I can't go on the road and speak about this. I'm basically a communicator. That's kind of what I do. I get in front of an audience, it could be 20 people, it could be 1000. I don't get rattled with an audience. And I said what I'm going to do, I've got two years invested. I can't go on a plane and go any place anymore.

[00:48:42.640] – Jim

So I said, maybe, just maybe a PBS would carry this thing. Well, we got on PBS, and I'm very proud to say 124 PBS stations carried this. And your audience, there's no charge for it. I raised the money from I had sponsors. That's what I was. But your audience can look at it's called theartofagingwell.com. It's free.

[00:49:13.830] – Allan

Okay, cool.

[00:49:14.980] – Jim

I'm very big on what you're doing. For example, I really think it's the emotional connection that you make with it's, not the information. If information was the answer, everybody would be working out, eating clean, managing stress, getting a good night's sleep, that kind of stuff. Information doesn't do it. I can give you a 700 page thesis. You're not going to read it, much less take action. But what you're doing with your communication skills, I hope what I'm doing with my writing and creative process inspires people to make these changes. And all I can say is small steps add up over time. So don't think about, that's why I had a ten year goal. My ten year goal was to go from being 70 years old to 80 years young. I never found it. If it was a pill, believe me, I'd be taking it right now. I don't know where the pill? There may be a pill that I do.

[00:50:29.870] – Allan

There's a pill. It's called exercise. And you're doing it six days a week.

[00:50:35.230] – Jim

To me, I would rather spend. So I look back on that and say, Jim, what have you learned from all this stuff? Well, me, I'd rather spend an hour a day doing what I'm doing right now. Okay. As opposed to an hour a day in the doctor's office. And that's what it's going to be like. I don't want to be in a wheelchair. I don't want to have a Walker. I don't want to be bent over like this. I want to be as healthy and as alive and have the energy as long as I can. Having said that, there will be a time. It could be tomorrow. But, Allan, it ain't going to be today. Okay, that's all you can do.

[00:51:22.370] – Allan

Jim, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:51:30.520] – Jim

that's beautiful. I think you've done probably a better job of this stuff than I did. Again, I'm just an ordinary guy. But one of the messages is one, it's never too late to get started. Don't think for a second when I'm 75, there's no point now. I might as well have that three dips of chocolate ice cream or something like that. It doesn't matter with your the sooner you start, the better. There's no question. Now, does Jim Owen wish he had started this program when he was your age? Absolutely. Okay. There's no question about that. But I didn't. I started at 70. You can start at 75. And it's not about getting fit. It's about getting more fit than you are. Now, I had took a long view. Ten years. Okay. I guess you could say I'm fit. I don't know what else I can do, but your DNA does play a part in these underlying conditions. But I like to think that 75% of your health and wellness is lifestyle driven, and we can argue all day long about this. Well, maybe it's more like 60%. I believe it's about 75% lifestyle. Now what does lifestyle means?

[00:53:04.990] – Jim

Exercising, eating clean, okay, managing stress, which is critical. Okay. Getting sufficient sleep, it's that kind of thing. But also and this is what the exercise people don't talk about all that's great. But that's physical health, physical wellness. There's also that mental wellness and emotional wellness, and that's what I'm into now. I want to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend. And that to me today, means more than saying, Gosh, I just had a personal best with pushups. I suspect that I'll be in no better shape in two or three years. I am right now. I don't know what I could do because you can get injured when you're older. So if you do too much with your shoulders or whatever, maybe legs, whatever, you can have a problem. So do I work out as hard as I did before? No. The reason is we all have low energy days. That's another message I want to give to your audience. At my age, you have to recognize the recovery days are critical. So today I'll be working out this afternoon. Do I work out as hard? No, but I work out pretty hard for me.

[00:54:49.550] – Jim

But do I work as hard as I did five years ago? No, I don't think anybody does, but I do cover the bases. I do push myself, but it's incremental. It's not major changes. I don't know how to do that. Can I get more lean? I could probably lose a pound or two. That's about it. Can I lift more weight? Maybe, but do I want to take the risk of hurting my shoulder? Not really. And the recovery days become much more important. So the other message take away from all that we've talked about is when you're older, you have to listen to your body, not to Jim Owen, listen to your body. And I think that's the best guide that I can give you. Listen to your body, particularly when you're older, but you've got to have goals. You've got to have a plan on how you're going to get from here to here. And if you don't just kind of, you have to cover the basis. And you do have to continually improve. And that's sort of the hard thing to understand about this. Let's take a push up, okay. If all you do is plane pushups after you can do about 25, I think you're better off progressing.

[00:56:19.510] – Jim

So I keep progressing. I do more difficult exercises than I did before. That's how I progress. So I do stuff that I probably couldn't have done five years ago, but I don't do squats with barbells on my neck and stuff like that. Or let's just take push ups, okay. A diamond push up, push ups like this. So in every exercise. This is what makes ourselves so fascinating. You think about push up as a pushup. No, it's not. You're going to put your hands like this, like this. You're working your body different ways. The core is the critical part. You've got to have a strong core to do what I do. I guarantee you that. And that's why when you say, Jim, every once in a while I'll take part in the competition with my peers. They want to hear where I live. I live in La Jolla, okay. And I won against all other people my age. Okay. And why? Well, I work out. That's why. A lot of people could do one thing, but they couldn't do the whole thing. This is a test, if you will, but it's great fun. And I want to say one more thing on this.

[00:57:44.900] – Jim

Is that the one regret I have in life? This may surprise you. I want to get your take on this than anything to have been a great athlete. Anything. My brother, who's older than me by two years, was a star athlete and scholar, baseball, basketball, football, and track. The best athlete in a pretty damn good high school. We're from Kentucky and great high school. He was number one. I never scored a touchdown. I never hit the winning home run. I'd have given anything to have been that gifted athlete, which I wasn't I had learned in football. What's interesting about this is I found my inner athlete and I have an athlete's attitude about what I do. And that's why it's fun for me. The exercise part is challenging and fun. And guess what? No surprise to you. A lot of terrific athletes in high school and College, when they get my age, they don't do anything. They got burned out. I can't tell you how many people I know who were good athletes. And so finding your inner athlete to me has made a tremendous difference in terms of confidence and attitude. And the attitude is what kind of keeps you going again to repeat it, I look forward.

[00:59:14.860] – Jim

I don't look back. So many people my age continue to talk about the past. I can't tell you I get so sick of this. Well, when I was in high school, when I was in prep school, how about looking forward? What are you doing now? What's your challenge now?

[00:59:33.470] – Allan

And that's the big thing with me. I was the athlete in high school. I was a very good athlete and then fell out of it in my 30s. But I was an excellent athlete. I was in the US imagery, military. I was super fit all the way up until my thirty's. And then I let it go. And it took me a long time to get it back. But I can tell you all the things I ever did, all the winds, all the shots, everything that I did do all of that, none of those compared to the feeling I got running across the finish line with my daughter at a tough Mudder and knowing that I could keep up with her. She didn't have to wait on me. I was as good an athlete as I'd ever been, and I was able to do that. And you talk about the looking forward. I've got another tough Mudder scheduled in three months, so I'm going to be back up in the States. I'm going to be doing another tough Mudder because I can, because I want to, and I train for it. As you said, train, not exercise.

[01:00:34.880] – Allan

I have a goal. I have a mission. I have a plan. All of those things that you brought up here

[01:00:41.630] – Jim

I'm so impressed. You have no idea. My daughter, we have two children. They're both adopted at birth. We couldn't have kids and married 52 years. Our daughter's name is Allegra, and she's 38 and she's an athlete, and that's her. And she does this tough mudder. I've never done one. She says, dad, when are you going to do a father daughter thing?

[01:01:06.830] – Allan

Yeah, do one of the smaller ones. The tough Mudders are now broken up. So the original one was like 12, 13 miles. So it's pretty tough. Now, that's what they call the 15K, which is, I guess, closer to 9.5 miles, but they have a 5K version. And so the obstacles are going to require upper body strength, grip strength, that type of thing. You're not really running a whole lot because the obstacles are probably no more than a mile away from each other anyway. So you pretty much jog to the next obstacle, and then you wait your turn to get on that obstacle. But they are a ton of fun. And based on looking at you right now, I don't see any get your wrist completely fixed, but I don't see any reason why anybody that doesn't set their mind to do something like that couldn't do it. And if there's an obstacle you can't do, there's no shame in that. You give it a shot, you do your best, and then you move on to the next obstacle. It's a lot of fun. And yes, if you're doing it with your daughter, that's going to be a special day, I promise you.

[01:02:11.320] – Jim

Well, I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this. And I have never talked about this with anyone except my wife. But when I hear your story, are you ready for this? I want to be in the senior Olympics in my age category again. So I'm not competing against somebody who's 75 it's every five years. And I would be in the 80-85.

[01:02:38.520] – Allan

Just started creating those age groups because they figured I got these people in the 80s that are now having to compete with people in the 60s that wasn't right. So they've corrected that. And because they've got Centurions doing it now, they have an over 100 category, and I have no doubt. Yeah, I have no doubt. Within ten years. They're going to have to start breaking that up because it's not fair for 115 year old to run against 100 year old. So good. Congratulations on that. 

[01:03:09.850] – Jim

Well, you may not be aware of this. I live in San Diego, in La Jolla. San Diego. San Diego started this instead of in addition to track and field, they also have and now for the first time in the season, and they have an exercise thing. So I'm not going to run 100 yards because of my knees. Okay. I can't do a lot of stuff that you can do, but I have a feeling I can compete in the 80 to 85 senior Olympics in the exercise part, and I can train for that. And I've never talked about with anybody. But hearing your story, It'd be a blast to do it.

[01:03:58.470] – Allan

Let's stay in touch and talk about that.

[01:04:00.390] – Jim

It's about doing your best. I did my best. And guess what, pal? You beat me this year. Next year. That's part of the motivation stuff. Yeah, that's great.

[01:04:13.450] – Allan

So, Jim, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book, Just Move. Where would you like for me to send them?

[01:04:21.630] – Jim

Well, what I would do, frankly, is go to Amazon. This book is going to cost you, I think, $15 and change. Two years of work. And this is like a cup of coffee. So it's not like Jim is getting rich off a book. I think the book is really well done, if I may say this. Okay. And it covers the gamut. And I can tell you there's nothing in this that you don't know. So the book is not really not written for you. You're an athlete, okay. It's the person who, in fact, is a couch potato. I'm not sure where to start or how to do this stuff. I believe in the basic core exercises that everybody needs to do, and you can make all this stuff complicated. And I want to leave you with this one idea. If you want to make what we talked about today complicated, be my guest. I don't think it has to be at all. It's pretty simple stuff. You got to mix it up. You got to keep progressing. You've got to do more than just walk. But you don't have to have a gym membership if you don't want to.

[01:05:40.800] – Jim

You don't have to have a personal trainer if you don't want to. Okay. But you have to move. And you say, I love to move. We have a friend in Santa Barbara who's 92 years old, who is a competitive ballroom dancer. I'm talking about competitive, like on the national stage. That's pretty damn. You can do kayaking, you can do bicycling. There's all kinds of ways to move. If you say, Jim, I'm just not the gym rant type, okay. I've told you what I do. It's worked for me. But if you want to do kayaking, bicycling, Pilates it's all good stuff as long as you are moving and not sitting. But I've built the case here that the cardio endurance is not enough. You should do the other stuff. But I'm not here to pound the table and change somebody's life unless they want to. This book was written for somebody who essentially is skeptical like this. Tell me why I need to do this. Okay. Here are the reasons, but it's not my job to try to. I'm not a personal trainer. I'm not selling protein powder. I have no wax to grind. It's not going to change my life.

[01:07:09.920] – Jim

If somebody says I'm a couch potato, I'm not going to change your call. Good luck, because I can tell you what your life is going to be like when you get my age. You're going to have aches and pains, spend half day in the damn doctor's office. If that's what you want, it's fine. Me, I'd rather not do that. So that's kind of the takeaway. But the book, I need a wonderful book for somebody who is a couch potato, who says, I don't need to know more about this. I want to know more. But I'm not a personal trainer. I'm not a life coach. No, I'm just a guy who said, here's my story. If my story can inspire somebody, then that's my legacy, and that's why I do it.

[01:07:57.380] – Allan

Thank you, Jim. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:08:00.800] – Jim

Well, listen, I have to tell you, you inspired me, and it's not used to inspire me, but your story, you have a terrific story. You're a terrific communicator. Okay. And I think you've got a terrific life ahead of you. It's all I can say.

[01:08:21.040] – Allan

Thank you, Jim.


Post Show/Recap

[01:08:29.130] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[01:08:30.460] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was so fun listening to a successful story like his at 85, he sounds like he's the fittest he's ever been. Oh, 82.

[01:08:39.690] – Allan

He's 82. Yeah, he's 82 now. He started his journey when he was in his 70 years, when he was turning 70, because he just had that moment. And most of us that go through some form of transformation like this, we come up to this moment and it's like, oh, I have to do something. And what he was is he just 70, and he felt old and he didn't like the energy level. He didn't like anything about it. And he determined that he was going to change that and committed to changing it. And his overall vision was that by the time he turned 80, he wanted to feel younger than he did when he was 70. And he has and he did, but he did some important things. And normally I try to drive these conversations. Jim is a Rambler. So he went on and on and on, but there's a lot of gold in there. Don't poopoo that like he did. I think it's worth our time to listen to people who've done what you want to do. Listen to people who've struggled through this and learn everything you can from them. So I was more than happy to just sort of hand the mic over to Jim and say, okay, run with it, because it's a good conversation.

[01:09:55.590] – Allan

But one of my key takeaways here is that he didn't play around with this. This wasn't that he dabbled at getting more fit, and it took him all these years. He went straight in and said, I'm hiring a trainer, and I'm going to make this change. And he got a good trainer, and a trainer made him younger, helped him exercise, get stronger, add muscle. And so now he is effectively from a biological age, probably younger than he was twelve years ago.

[01:10:28.980] – Rachel

My gosh, that's just incredible. And I love that he does all the things that we all should be doing Besides cardio. He does strength work. He does balance, which is really important. Even I need to work on that as a runner. And then he does the stretching. The other thing I need to do more of as a runner. But it's awesome that he dedicates his time to doing all of these different modalities each week.

[01:10:52.920] – Allan

Yeah. And so his schedule has him doing exercise for 1 hour, six days a week. That sounds like a lot of people say, oh, my God, I couldn't give an hour and go to the gym every day. You probably spend that much time watching Netflix in a week, 6 hours. And if you really look at it, 6 hours is a fraction of available time you have in a day. So I know we all feel like we're busy, but if you don't make this a priority, it's never going to happen. This is not something you phone in. He had to go to the gym and go through those workouts, and he's working on the other modalities and getting better there, too. And that's one of the cool things about this is when you really dedicate yourself and you put the time in, particularly at the beginning. We call it newbie gains, but you're going to see change really quickly. And that can be very motivating. But you got to start.

[01:11:55.740] – Rachel

Right. I love how he also said that he would rather spend an hour working out than an hour in the doctor's office. And I have to agree with that wholeheartedly. I would rather be exercising once a day or several times a week and just feel healthier and stronger for it. There's a lot of his lessons that I've learned at a much younger age. But again, going back to his age of 82, I'm just flabbergasted that he has put so much time and dedication into his own routine, and he's sharing it in his book. I just love to see people in this age bracket working out like he does.

[01:12:34.370] – Allan

Yeah. Now, a lot of books, when I'm talking to the author and I've read the book, it's like the same style the same thing. So I almost feel like as I've read the book I've already had a previous conversation with this individual. But I will say this Jim's book is much better organized than this podcast episode was. Jim knows his stuff and he put a lot of effort into writing the book. It's very well organized. There are workouts, there are stretches with pictures, all how to do this stuff. He does tell his story in there, which is very uplifting to know for sure. There's always a chance, but you got to get started and then it's a very well organized book for you to have a full program to get yourself started. But I'd still encourage you to look at getting a trainer and I know that's an investment the time is an investment and actually doing the work is an investment, but those investments pay off huge dividends, particularly in our current era where we need to keep our bodies as healthy, as strong as they can to just deal with everyday crap.

[01:13:43.710] – Rachel

For sure. Yes, for sure.

[01:13:47.830] – Allan

Because if you're starting from a better base, you're better off in the end. Regardless.

[01:13:54.570] – Rachel

Going back to his story, he started off with back pain and knee pain and all these things and now he doesn't feel that anymore. He's changed his lifestyle so much that he's healthier and more fit now than he was at age 70. It's just incredible.

[01:14:10.140] – Allan

Yeah, it's a good story and there's a lot of gold Nuggets in this episode. Even more in the book, so it's a good one.

[01:14:19.460] – Rachel

Yes, I love that. Great interview.

[01:14:21.580] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[01:14:24.880] – Rachel

All right. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to optimize your nutrition with Alan Aragon

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One of the most common questions I get is: “How do you optimize my nutrition for…”.

Whether it is for weight loss, building muscle, or performing better, there are many factors. In his book, Flexible Nutrition, Alan Aragon answers this with what science tells us.

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:03.680] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:03:04.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:06.630] – Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:03:07.920] – Rachel

Good.

[00:03:09.310] – Allan

Been a busy week. We had that flood here in the gym, and so we've been trying to work on the roof and keep that going. So that's been pretty massive. And then, of course, they took the holiday break, took a couple of days off, and it rained for two solid days. Which was great. No, it actually ended up being great. We were like in a rainforest and a tree, like almost like a Treehouse thing. And it wasn't really technically a tree house, but it felt like it based on where it was on the Hill and then just sit there. I read two fiction book novels.

[00:03:42.650] – Rachel

How nice. What a nice change.

[00:03:46.140] – Allan

Yeah. I mean, I don't hardly ever read fiction anymore because I'm constantly reading nonfiction. In fact, I think I've got a book I've got to read today. But, yeah, it's kind of crazy. I sat down, I brought two books with me because I just wasn't sure how far I would get into the first book, and I ended up finishing both of them.

[00:04:05.070] – Rachel

That's awesome. Would you recommend either of what you read?

[00:04:09.160] – Allan

Well, one of them, yes. I suppose. I don't know if you get on Amazon and prime and the Netflix kind of stuff, but on Amazon Prime, there's a show called The Man from High Castle.

[00:04:22.730] – Rachel

Oh, I've heard of that.

[00:04:24.050] – Allan

Okay. And it was a really good series. And so this was the book that basically was the basis for that television show. And obviously when you have a television show with all the episodes and all that, there was a lot more into the plot of the show than there was in the book. But it was really interesting because particularly since I knew the characters from the show to get into their head, because now this was told from basically the Omnipotent perspective where you're in his head, each of these characters head. So that was good. But it's a good book. It's interesting. And then the other one was called Bocas del toro. But oddly enough, none of the action in the book actually happened in Bocas del toro.

[00:05:15.050] – Rachel

So I wonder what the inspiration was for that name.

[00:05:18.660] – Allan

Well, that's where the guy ended up. The main protagonist, I guess, of the book. He ended up in Bocas del toro at the end of the book, but it was kind of he said it was based on some actual facts and things that had happened to people. So you have to assume that this was a person that actually dealt with this.

[00:05:38.330] – Rachel

Cool. Very cool.

[00:05:40.260] – Allan

So how are things with you?

[00:05:41.800] – Rachel

Good. I actually just finished a book myself. I read this book probably once a year or so. I just finished reading The Old Man in the Sea by Hemingway.

[00:05:51.730] – Allan

Yeah.

[00:05:52.340] – Rachel

It's a classic tale. It's a quick read. And I've been thinking about why I was so drawn to it. And it's about endurance. It's about a man holding onto this fish for as long as he could and after several days of holding the line. But one of the things in the very beginning of the book that amuses me so much is that the old man is in Havana in the, gosh, when was that? Prior to the 1950s, I think. And he liked baseball like a lot of Cubans did. And probably still do. But his favorite player was DiMaggio and he was talking with one of his friends about baseball, and he said he needs to watch the Tigers of Detroit as well as the Indians of Cleveland, who have changed their name recently to Guardians. But it was just interesting to hear him talk about the Detroit Tigers, which is our team. So it was just really a fun little twist at the very beginning of the book, but great book. I would always recommend it.

[00:07:01.930] – Allan

Cool. Well, you ready to have a conversation with Alan Aragon?

[00:07:05.820] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:07:53.730] – Allan

Alan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:56.610] – Alan Aragon

Hey, Allan, thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here.

[00:08:00.210] – Allan

Now your book is called Flexible Dieting: The Science-based, Reality-tested Method for Achieving and Maintaining your Optimal Physique Performance and Health. I've read a lot of books. You're probably my I want to say close to 330th interview over the time I've been doing this podcast and I read every single book and there's at least I would say 100 citations that I earmarked or just made notes of that I want to go back and read because this was so well researched, so well organized and put together in a way that when you get through it and you would kind of admit this yourself, there's points where it feels a little trudgy because there's science and it's hard not to. But when you get done, you're like, this is what science is supposed to be, not some of the stuff we've been doing for the last few years, not what nutrition science has been doing for the last several decades. This is how you do science. And I really appreciate the way you put this book together.

[00:09:16.990] – Alan Aragon

Oh, cool. Yeah. Well, thank you. The book's title is kind of misleading. I was asked to do the book and then I said to myself, you know, this is my opportunity to leverage the powers of a large publishing house to write the ultimate evidence-based nutrition book that covers how to optimize body composition and athletic performance and just go fully science-based with that and try to make it readable for the mass audience. And so calling the book Flexible Dieting, it sounds like some almost like a pop diet book that has some sort of a hook. But then when you go through it, it's like gosh, if I wanted to learn about all the macronutrients, if I wanted to learn about different ways to enhance various sports, and if I also wanted to kind of learn what flexible dieting is that's in there, too, among a million other things? It's an interesting book, man. I commend you for getting through it. It's like an encyclopedia.

[00:10:38.330] – Allan

Well, it is and it isn't. Yes, it is. It is. From the perspective of when I have a question about when is the best time for me to take my protein? I have a chapter on that. I've took a couple of chapters. Whether I'm dealing with performance, whether I'm dealing with strength, whether I'm dealing with fat loss, whatever my goals are, I literally now have a reference book to go back and say, okay, at least from a baseline of what science was in 2022. So this is one of those books where I'm sorry, but in about five to ten years, you're going to have to I think you've tied yourself into a second and third edition or something like that. I think there's a rule. Yes, but at least what we know today. Yes. We're going to start with because it is important flexible dieting, because that's the hook, if you will. But that is a part of the fact that there is so much information out there, and there are what a lot of people call the hard and fast rules, the rigid. You must do this. You must do that. And a lot of us really struggle with that.

[00:11:51.820] – Alan Aragon

Yes.

[00:11:52.720] – Allan

And what we're talking about is the continuum of dietary control. Could you kind of go over what that is and why that's really important for us to understand because particularly weight loss or muscle gain and they're kind of on other sides of each other. But if we're really looking at changing ourselves and we want to eat the right way, common sense would say, well, find a rigid plan and just do it, grind it out, even if you don't like it. And that's going to get you the best results. But for a lot of people, that's not true.

[00:12:26.650] – Alan Aragon

Yes. Diets are all effective as long as you stick to them. And the $64 million question, well, in Elon's case, the $44 billion question would be how do you stick to a diet? And so what I feel is the magic answer to that is you have to find an approach that works for you. You have to find methods that work for you as an individual. And this is going to be different from everybody. It just varies from person to person. And there are certain immutables. Like, for example, if you wanted to lose weight, you have to impose a net caloric deficit by the end of the week, technically, not necessarily by the end of the day. If you want to gain weight, you have to sustain the opposite hyper caloric conditions or caloric surplus conditions. And as is the major public health issue of obesity, there is a problem with the general public eating too much by the end of the day, the week, the month, and you can take anybody on the planet and give them a script and say, hey, follow this 100% and they are going to lose weight as long as that script imposes a caloric deficit.

[00:14:09.650] – Alan Aragon

Now, the minute that deficit gets swallowed up or just gradually stamped out over time, then the diet will stop working. And so flexible versus rigid dietary control, that concept attempts to capture the difference between on one far end, handing somebody a specific menu with very specific foods and the timing of the foods and the exact grams and gosh, even whether the foods are organic or not, you hand them that script and you say, okay, just follow this. And on the very far end of flexible control would be telling somebody, Eat less of this stuff and maybe more of that stuff and you'll be fine. So somewhere along that continuum is the proper approach for the individual. This is the most non hookish hook ever. But flexible dieting is really the flexibility of the approach that you take to accomplishing the goals. Because honestly, some people do really well with rigid dietary restraint. You tell them, okay, this is what you need to eat. And then they're just most comfortable doing it. And they're comfortable and they actually have fun plugging numbers into a God forsaken app. You know what? That is that particular individuals psychographic, if you will, and that's perfectly fine for them.

[00:15:59.590] – Alan Aragon

Whereas if you take somebody who hates that idea and you tell them, okay, you're going to need 100 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbs, and 60 grams of fat a day. Here's your app, plug it in. Here are the allowable foods. And then just make sure you accomplish this every day. If they don't like to do that, they'll honestly, they'll last like two weeks doing that, and then they'll just throw their phone out the window and say, screw this, I'm going to try Keto or Paleo, see how that works. Flexible dieting. The approach as sort of an overarching principle is that everybody needs to establish their own personal approach to dieting. And the concept of rigid dietary control versus flexible dietary control is sort of a sub concept where rigid control involves dichotomous concepts like good and bad foods. And you have to either be precise or it's all or nothing. And flexible dietary control is the idea where it's not black and white, there's not absolute good and absolute bad foods, particularly when you think of how they fit into a diet. You can create a good or a bad diet, but the good diets can still contain a margin of in quotes, naughty foods, bad foods.

[00:17:34.630] – Alan Aragon

So, yeah, it can get a little bit intricate when I attempt to explain flexible dieting. But yeah, that's it one thing flexible dieting is not. And this is what everybody kind of gets wrong because of how the diet culture ten years ago propagated this idea. But flexible dieting, and if it fits your macros, those are not the same thing. People just kind of conflate those terms, which is false, because if it fits your macros, A IIFYM is not a diet to begin with, and B IIFYM is not what people have been led to believe it is, which it was propagated as a junk food diet or eat whatever you want as long as you hit your macronutrient target. So that's not flexible dieting. Counting macros is not necessarily flexible dieting, but everybody calls it that because a rumor got started and then it just spread across the Internet. And then that was the end of that. And I watched it happen. And I knew with the flexible dieting research and the literature what that attempted to get across. And it has nothing to do with counting macronutrients. It has everything to do with not seeing dietary approaches as an all or nothing thing with good or bad foods and flexible dieting as a protocol.

[00:19:11.170] – Alan Aragon

It really just says, look, if you're one of these people who likes to be more rigid with the type of restraint they apply to the diet, then good that's you if you're somebody who likes a more qualitative or habit based approach and you don't want to crunch numbers and you don't want to weigh stuff and measure stuff all day long, great. And that's the approach that you take. Keeping in mind, regardless of your approach, if you want to lose weight or body fat, the approach you take has to default you to eating less calories, or somebody will correct me fewer calories by the end of the week, month, year, et cetera, in order to lose weight.

[00:20:01.690] – Allan

One of the reasons why the IIFYM kind of concept really took off, I think, is one you're on a message board. So anything on the message board or Twitter, the fewer characters you use, the better. So it's quick and it answers a question like, well, here, but it doesn't answer it exactly. There's another concept that you've got into in the book that I really do. I think this will take a lot of people further down into understanding this concept of flexible dieting because I think at times we might sit there and say, I really kind of want to have a beer with my dinner or I'm going out with friends on Saturday and I know we're going to go to my favorite Italian place. And so you start looking at what your food plan is and how you're planning on going about your day. It's the concept of discretionary calorie allowance, and I like that because it keeps you aware of the goal line. It just doesn't tell you what every step you have to take is.

[00:21:09.070] – Alan Aragon

Yeah, that's true. And the concept of discretionary calories is basically it's organized moderation, I guess you call it. It's moderation with a plan. So how do we execute moderation? This is an observation. It's not, amazingly, there hasn't been any controlled research comparisons of one approach to moderation versus another approach to moderation, but it's been a long standing observation over the decades that up to about 20% of total calories can come from basically whatever you want. And as long as the other minimum 80% of the diet is from wholesome stuff, whole foods, minimally refined foods, the inquote good stuff, clean stuff, I guess you could call it. Then you will be perfectly fine, and you will get as good results as somebody who attempts to be 100% perfect with their diet all the time. And it may even be more sustainable to keep a diet going in the long term if you allow this 10-20% margin of Yolo foods or foods like desserts, alcoholic beverages, deep fried stuff, and things that would normally be taboo on a stereotypical clean diet. So as long as 80% to 90% of the diet is wholesome, then you're doing great.

[00:22:59.770] – Alan Aragon

And then that 10 to 20% discretionary calorie allotment will provide you a respite or a margin of sanity. If you want to let your hair down once in a while and eat some fun stuff or some naughty stuff, and then you can sustain the program a lot better than thinking you have to just kind of grit your teeth through the whole thing for weeks and months until you reach your goal. And it just doesn't work like that. I want to throw in a little wrinkle here for folks kind of confused about the idea that we need to add naughty foods into the diet. If you're the type of person who doesn't like those kinds of foods, if you're the type of person who just hates the idea of eating cakes, candy, cookies, ice cream, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, et cetera, then you don't have to. Eat 100% Spartan if that's what makes you happy. And that's what you want to ride into the sunset with. But we have to be aware that the vast majority of us are going to be able to sustain the diet for a lifetime more successfully if we allot discretionary calories.

[00:24:28.010] – Allan

Yeah. And the cool thing is you are paying attention to your nutrition, so you're getting the nutrition your body needs, and you're keeping your calories in line with what you need to hit your goal, whether that's to lose weight, gain weight, all of that's in line because you know what you're supposed to be doing and you're staying within kind of this flexible, okay, pivot here. I need to be a little bit more rigid. I can be more rigid because my wife's not here for the next two weeks. So I can be really rigid if I want to. Where she's going to come back and want to socialize and go out to dinner and do things. So there I know for the next two weeks I'm probably going to have a lot more of those discretionary calories hitting my palate. And as long as that doesn't trigger me and cause me to kind of say, okay, one beer becomes two and then two becomes four. As long as I'm not triggered by what's going on, then that can be a really good way to sustain this. Now I'm looking at my notes, and this is sad because this is more about me.

[00:25:28.720] – Allan

It says a lot about your book, but it just looks like a hodgepodge of things. I was having so much time reading the I'm like, I want to talk about everything. But the core of it is there were a couple of concepts that were in the book that I've never talked about here. We've talked about the importance of eating protein and getting enough protein, but I've never talked about the reason why we need enough protein. And that relates to protein turnover, muscle protein turnover, and the fact that being over 40, our ability to maintain and retain our muscle and maybe even gain muscle is that formula is changing for us as we age. And so the importance to me, the importance of protein goes up substantially over the age of 40. I think that's what was one of the thoughts that was in my head. And then in the book, you talk about the protein intake hierarchy of importance. Can you talk about those and again, one, why is protein what is this turnover thing that's happening? Why do we need protein? And then how do we get our protein? What's the hierarchy of intake? Okay, a lot of ideas.

[00:26:47.030] – Allan

I know, but it was like as I was reading, I was like, this is so good. And I kept doing it. So pardon the question not being a question, but I'm asking for an essay.

[00:26:59.390] – Alan Aragon

That's cool. It's funny, because when I answer these questions, it hits a point in my answer where I'm somewhat self aware that, oh, gosh, I've been rambling for about five minutes now for one question.

[00:27:11.210] – Allan

I'm totally cool with that. You guys need to take a potty break and come back in the middle. That's also good. It's here at the podcast. You can hit pause.

[00:27:19.910] – Alan Aragon

Great. Yes. Dear audience, you may take a break. Yeah. The concept of muscle protein turnover. You have two sides of this cycle. One side is muscle protein synthesis or the build up side, and then muscle protein breakdown, which is the catabolic side. So this cycle is a perpetual thing that goes on in the body on a 24 hours basis. And so when muscle protein synthesis is equal to muscle protein breakdown, then you're basically just maintaining your muscle, which is a good thing. And then you've got muscle protein synthesis exceeding muscle protein breakdown, and then you've got muscle growth. And then you have the loss of muscle when the breakdown side of the cycle exceeds the synthesis side. So that's kind of the idea of muscle protein, what we call turnover. And so for the older population, there is a phenomenon called sarcopenia, and there's even a related phenomenon called sarcopenic obesity, which is sort of a combination of pathology. So sarcopenia is an age related loss of lean body mass. And sarcopenia is underneath the umbrella of a larger phenomenon called frailty, which happens with advanced age, with just a general loss of function that's related to undue weight loss, specifically the loss of lean tissue mass throughout the body.

[00:29:11.450] – Alan Aragon

And under frailty, we've got the loss of muscle tissue, which is sarcopenia. And this is a major problem in the aging population. And a lot of people don't realize that getting enough protein is crucial to successful aging. And that's because as people age, there's not only a tendency to not move around as much, but there's also a tendency to not push and pull and squat as much. So non-exercise activity goes down. Exercise activity goes down as well. And this can be a gradual sort of insidious thing that sneaks up on people where they're just sitting a lot more, lying around a lot more and just not moving as much and certainly not making formal visits to the gym or the track or the field or the pickup basketball game. And what happens is a phenomenon called disuse of the muscle tissue. And there's an interesting thing that can happen where you can take young people and put them on bedrest, and their muscle structure and function will just start to resemble somebody who has aged muscle or almost sarcopenic muscle because you can create muscle that resembles muscle, that is of somebody of an advanced age if you just impose disuse on the muscle.

[00:30:57.990] – Alan Aragon

And so this can happen at the macro level where you're just looking at muscle mass. And it can also happen at the micro level where you impair the so called muscle protein synthetic response, the MPS response to feeding. So in bedridden muscle muscle protein synthesis in response to protein feeding is actually lowered after a relatively short period of disuse. And in older people, this just happens more gradually. And it happens over time because of a gradual progression of disuse. And there are other factors too involved with aging muscle and the deterioration of its structure and function. So protein's role is to make sure that you minimize these age related muscle losses. But just as importantly, protein intake synergizes with resistance training to create an environment that prevents a physiological environment that is not the interior decoration of your home office, but it creates this physiological environment, the combination of protein intake or enough protein intake and resistance training. That combination will prevent muscle loss and can even oftentimes cause muscle gain in folks who really need it. The good news about preventing sarcopenia is that it is possible and it is even possible to reverse the earmarks of Sarcopenia.

[00:32:55.730] – Alan Aragon

And anybody at any age can just start performing resistance training, as long as you do it safely and gradually enough. And then you can get muscle structure and function back. And protein plus resistance training is the recipe for that. And there are other factors, too. You can't just do it on no calories. You have to be eating enough calories, because the recipe for muscle growth really is enough protein, enough calories, and then make sure your resistance training. So that is the role of protein and the importance of it. When we're talking about muscle protein turnover and how it relates to aging and with the older population, their dietary habits are really kind of crappy in terms of achieving enough total daily protein. So it usually begins at the first meal of the day where a significant amount of protein or any real amount of protein at all is basically neglected. And then lunch has a moderate ish amount of protein, and then dinner will contain a substantial hit of protein. But by the end of the day, you're really looking at sort of like one and a half meals that have enough protein to total by the end of the day in order to make sure that this particular population is getting enough protein, let alone are they resistance training.

[00:34:32.770] – Alan Aragon

So let's imagine they are resistance training. There are still challenges to getting enough protein in the older population because the total amount that you need to consume is usually about 50% to 100% more than what's typically ingested. And it's not the easiest thing to tell somebody who's in his fiftys. Sixty s, seventy s. Hey, bro, you need to double your protein intake and you need to start weight training.

[00:35:03.090] – Allan

I have that conversation all the time. So yeah, okay. That's why we're having this conversation. Now, your publisher, because you brought it up. I'm familiar with your publisher because I've had lots of their authors on they tend to be in the Keto space. They tend to be in the low carb space, from my experience. And you did start talking about Keto. So I was actually when I got this book, I was like, oh, flexible dieting. And then this being a predominantly Keto publisher, maybe they're branching out and that's good. But I was almost expecting a Keto book, to be honest with you. So I was kind of surprised we didn't get into Keto. But then you did. And then I was not surprised why we didn't get into Keto, particularly if you start looking at what the goals are here, which is to gain muscle, to increase strength, to improve endurance. As you said in the subtitle, was it optimal physique performance and health? And you pretty much did in the book talk about how Keto works within all of those realms. Could you kind of go through that with us?

[00:36:13.920] – Alan Aragon

Yeah, sure. And before I go into that, I just realized I needed to quickly answer the hierarchy of importance with protein. So with respect to protein intake, there is a hierarchy of importance that's worth touching upon. And of most importance with protein intake is total daily amount. That's tier number one. And then the next tier down is the distribution or the pattern of protein doses throughout the day. That's of secondary importance to the total amount that you have by the end of day. And of least importance, there is the timing of protein relative to the training bound. And so, Interestingly, we could go into an hour on each one of those tiers.

[00:37:07.140] – Allan

Yeah. And you do. And that's the cool thing in the book is you literally do talk about the science behind, because I get the question, should I be doing a protein shake after my workout? Do I have that 1 hour window? All those questions are actually answered in your book with citations, lots of citations, lots of evidence, lots of science. Again, you've answered the question and you answered over and over, depending on what the goals of the person training are. So the hierarchy is important, but the core of it is get enough, get enough throughout the day, and then the rest of it will take care of itself, particularly for those of us over 40, if our training volume is not professional caliber, those other two tiers actually mean a little bit less than they would otherwise, in my opinion. But the sign says get enough. That's the first tier. Get that done. And for a lot of us, that's a struggle because it's in our food. But many of people are trying to do multiple things at once, trying to lose weight, trying to eat a certain way, trying to live our lives, and having ready protein when packaged snacks are a little bit easier.

[00:38:24.030] – Allan

Sometimes not so easy. But you do dive into this deep. That's why we're scratching the surface here and get into the book, because the science is there. The advice is there. The actual grams are there. It's all in there.

[00:38:40.720] – Alan Aragon

Yes. If anybody listening to this episode wanting to know, well, then how much protein do I take? I can give you a gram number, but do you know how to translate those grams into chunks of food? Well, some of you do. And for those who do the gram amount, that kind of encompasses what most people require to optimize their total daily protein intake is somewhere between .7 to 1.0 gram/lb in quotes, ideal body weight or target body weight. And I say that because if somebody is obese and they base their protein intake on their total body weight, they will be consuming an unnecessarily high amount of protein in a lot of instances. So protein targeting would be based on target body weight or goal body weight. So that's zero, .7 grams to 1.0 target body weight. So for those of you listening who are dying to know what's the sweet spot? Total daily protein. Well, that's it.

[00:39:52.660] – Allan

Yeah.

[00:39:54.410] – Alan Aragon

Okay. So on the keto.

[00:39:55.710] – Allan

Yeah. Let's jump into keto.

[00:39:57.200] – Alan Aragon

With keto. Keto is an interesting thing because it works very well for weight loss. And the caveat to that statement is it works very well for a temporary period for most people who try it. And that's because there appears to be a general inability to sustain strict keto, which by most definitions is 50 grams or less a day of carbs. Most people cannot sustain that for the long term. And the people who try to, their carb intake ends up roughly tripling over the course of a year of attempting keto. So it ends up tripling from the original assignment of eating less than 50 grams a day. And so that is the main issue with keto is that it works really well for fat loss and weight loss. And the way that it works for those things is that it removes a lot of options, a lot of food options. And the options it removes usually are foods that are hyperpalatable carbon fat combination foods that are very easy to over consume. And so when you remove those options, you simply are defaulted to eating less total calories by the end of the day, end of the weekend of the month.

[00:41:35.570] – Alan Aragon

And so there's a lot less variety in the diet. There's a lot less opportunity to overeat in the diet. There's a lot less motivation to sit there and overeat your fatty piece of meat. So that's how keto works. Of course, the problem is most of the majority and I can't put an exact number on what that exactly means. But more than half of the subjects who get on keto end up reaching the upper limits of keto by six months, certainly by twelve months. So for those of you who are on keto and have been on it for a few years and love it, and that's the way you do it. I don't care, man. That's great. You found what works for you. That's wonderful. But my issue with keto is when people go around saying that keto is the best keto superior, keto does special things, and it's actually a double edged sword to keto. When you look at long term health and when you look at the optimization or the protection of cardiovascular health, because with keto being a high fat diet, you're looking at 65% to 85% of the diet coming from fat, then you better be pretty Dang careful about the type of fat that you're eating because that's the predominant source of calories in your diet.

[00:43:04.050] – Alan Aragon

And if all you're eating is land animal fats all day mixed with there are other crappy kind of vegetable based fats as well, then you're setting yourself up for dyslipidemia and then the development of cardiovascular disease and then potentially cardiovascular events. So it can be a double edged sword but the thing about keto and the good thing about keto is while you're on it, you're probably going to be losing weight.

[00:43:36.170] – Allan

And I kind of put this in that continuum of dietary control as keto fits in the kind of the rigid range. And it is something that you do have to manage because from a nutritional perspective, if you're not eating certain vegetables, as you mentioned, if you're eating certain foods and excess to try to make that happen because keto didn't get the nickname of being the bacon diet for no reason, people were like, oh, sure, you can eat all the bacon you want. And that's not really the right way to do keto. And keto is a way of eating. I use it. I use it as a tool. It's a temporary tool. Like I said, for a period of time I can get over into the rigid mind frame and mindset, and it works fine for me. But when it comes to wanting to put on muscle to get stronger, keto might not be the best approach for us. And surprise, endurance athletes might not do well on keto either.

[00:44:32.690] – Alan Aragon

Yeah, that's definitely true. And that definitely is what the research evidence shows. So the collective literature on keto and performance is that it's a bad bet for that. But that's not too far fetched when you consider that athletic performance is really a carbohydrate based thing. It's based on the availability either from what you ingest around training or from what you store in your muscles. So glycogen being the stored form of carbohydrate, if you are under fueled from a carbohydrate perspective, that will always compromise the potential for maximally performing. Now there are alter endurance athletes who try to lowball their carbs, and that's fine. But they are more the exception than the rule in terms of the elite in that area and even the ultra endurance athletes who have done really well and claim to be low carbing when you look at their actual programs, they're consuming carbs throughout the race, so they just happen to be consuming less than what's normally recommended by the major organizations. So keto is something that if you have a lot at stake in terms of trophies or medals or endorsements and stuff, then you're not going to be a keto athlete who is compromising or jeopardizing his or her potential for maintaining that elite status.

[00:46:22.910] – Alan Aragon

It just doesn't happen. Now, if you're a weekend warrior or a regular guy just trying to look good at the pool or the beach or at the high school reunion, then under carving is not an issue. If you want to do good at the weekend soccer game, you might be compromised a little bit by being on keto, and you might not make the score the most amount of points out of the rest of your buddies. But it's not that big of an issue. Where keto becomes an issue with athletics is at the elite level and the professional level, you're not going to see many pro athletes at all even going near Keto because it's a liability.

[00:47:07.430] – Allan

Yeah, I think where you kind of hit the road, the rubber hit the road for me when we were talking about endurance was I think a lot of us look at endurance and think of it as a, oh, I'm going to start with this pace and I'm going to run that pace for the entire part of the race. But for most people that have done any competing at all, they know there are periods of time when you're going to try to go a little bit harder, a little bit faster. For a lot of us that are just recreational athletes, that's once you see the finish line and it's right there, you're going to try to sprint to the end. And the reality of it is you may not have the kind of gas you wanted to have during some of those sprints or faster bits of work because you don't have the muscle likage and necessary to make it happen.

[00:47:52.130] – Alan Aragon

Yes, that's correct. And it's those moments that separate the top finishers from those who don't place. It's the so called race winning moves being climbing uphills either running or cycling, passing that ending sprint towards the finish line is going to be a high intensity effort. And so those who are under carb simply do not have the biochemical reserves required to power those race winning moves. And, yeah, it can make the difference between winning and losing.

[00:48:32.870] – Allan

Now, there was one other thing that you had in the book that I could not leave without talking about because to me, this solved kind of a question I had because you're trying to work with a client or someone's trying to work with themselves. And they're like, well, I'm trying to chart my calories and my macros and my food. And like you said, they've got that app. And they're like every day, every day they're in the app. And then in the end you're like, okay, well, How'd you do today, How'd you do today, How'd you do today and one bad day, then kind of can become this bad cycle, particularly for individuals who've struggled in the past. So if you've gone through something and you struggle and fail, you work and fail, and now you're trying this again. But this quick single digit adherence rating system, I think this could be the key for a lot of people that have struggled with that start and fail cycle that they go through every time. So if you get nothing else from this flexible dieting book, I think this system is key. Could you tell us about this system?

[00:49:44.290] – Alan Aragon

Sure.

[00:49:44.700] – Allan

How it works?

[00:49:46.190] – Alan Aragon

Yeah. This is something that I put together and started implementing back in 2005, 2006. And it first appeared in the self published book I did in 2007. And I used to call it the calendar method, where you just write a number down from one to ten where you're basically rating your performance or your adherence or compliance to the program, with ten being perfect. And so when the calendar is up on your wall and you're seeing a bunch of eights and nines and tens, and inevitably you see progress at the end of the month. So you are marching towards your goals. Whereas if you see just a bunch of five, six, and seven s littering up the month, then you have a sense of self accountability and a sense of awareness of why your progress is not happening. And so this real quick self grading system on a scale of one to ten, how good did you do? The fact that it takes like 1 minute to think about and write down the number was kind of a big win because people, well, clients who hated taking detailed records, they loved this method as long as they could be honest with me and honest with themselves about their performance.

[00:51:12.120] – Alan Aragon

On a scale of one to ten, it just took them 1 minute or less. It took them 10 seconds to think about how they did and write down the number and send it over. And nobody's going to be sending over nines and tens and then at the end of the month wondering what the hell happened. It just doesn't work like that. When you can establish a certain level of trust with yourself or with your clients, then they really can't. Once they're familiar with the program, they know whether they're following it or not. A lot of times with people that they're very honest about why they're failing at programs, they're like, I know what to do, I just don't do it. And you know what? That's true. So let's see if we can establish some accountability here that you can either have with yourself or with your coach or your practitioner, your dietician, your trainer, and let's just do a self grading system. I call it the accountability rubric, where it's one to ten. And over the years towards the 2010, I developed a way to make that rubric, that one to ten scale a little bit more concrete.

[00:52:36.840] – Alan Aragon

So it's more of a checklist. It evolved into being a checklist where there's ten specific points or tasks that you need to have completed throughout the day in order to grant yourself that number. And if you hit all ten of those things, which could be drink enough water, get enough sleep, get enough protein, eat two to four fruits a day, two to four servings of vegetables a day down the line, ten things, ten healthy things, then give yourself the ten if you got all ten and so on and so forth. And so that made the accountability rubric a little bit more real and a little more concrete for people to kind of think about. But at the same time, it still took about 25 seconds to look down the list and see whether you hit all those checkpoints, and then you can take a look at the month. If it's littered with eight, nines, and ten s, you're going to be reaching your goal. I'm glad that you found that system helpful, and there's a bunch of different things like that in the book that I hope that the readers will resonate with at least one of them.

[00:53:51.510] – Alan Aragon

But yeah, this is something that I've used pretty extensively in my practice.

[00:53:58.810] – Allan

Cool. Even doing it for yourself. It's just to say if I want to start implementing a new habit, a new action, I want to get better sleep, more sleep. It's a one to ten. It's a simple thing. You wake up in the morning, how is my sleep? And guess what? They still sell paper calendars. You can still buy them. You can still have one of them, and you can still sit there and look and say, okay, if I'm not doing better than a six or seven, what's going on? You can catch yourself pretty early in the month. As you start seeing that slide, it's like, okay, what am I doing here? That's not helping me do this, because I know this action gives me the result that I want. Like I said, I really appreciate that tool. And there's like you said, a lot of that just good stuff in there. I told you before the call, I could spend two, three days talking to you about this.

[00:54:55.420] – Allan

Thank you

[00:54:57.490] – Allan

Now, Alan, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:55:08.330] – Alan Aragon

The first one, this might be really cliche Allan, but get enough sleep, get enough good quality sleep. And per the scientific literature, it is a low probability that you're going to be optimizing your health if you consistently dip far below 7 hours. And I know a lot of healthy people and people who are just very vigorous getting five, 6 hours a day. But that's them. And that's how they're wired. And that's how they're built. And per the scientific evidence, they're not in the majority. So statistically, at the population level, you would want to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night or at least try to. And if you're not one of these people who can and you feel amazing with that 6 hours a day, great, fine. But just know that statistically people sleep is optimized at seven and up. And so that would be the first. The second thing would be, for God's sake, lift stuff if you can. And it doesn't have to be Olympic lifting and powerlifting and bodybuilding and flexing in the mirror between sets like you and me, people can do activities that do involve resisted joint movements that aren't necessarily at the gym.

[00:56:42.770] – Alan Aragon

They're not necessarily in the weight room where you're fighting for spots with the gym Bros. A lot of people are intimidated by the word resistance training. They're just picturing barbells and dumbbells flying around. But any kind of movement that you can just involve your joints with resisted movement. There's a million resources and ways to do it. You can go outside and do it. You can go to a park and do various things. It doesn't have to be at the gym. Get resistance training in your life. Get enough sleep. Make sure you get resistance training as a foundation, as a non negotiable part of your training. Some people think that all you need to do is go for a bunch of walks throughout the week and you're good. Well, okay, as good as walking is, that's not going to save you from sarcopenia. That's not going to save you from the ravages of aging. That's not going to allow you to age, amazingly like Allan Misner. So what people need to realize they have to do a certain amount of pushing and pulling and maybe some squatting or some at least leg extension and hip extension and things to stimulate the lower body on a resist basis, whether it's more primal and organic type of movement outside or whether it's in the gym.

[00:58:08.330] – Alan Aragon

So I'll be number two. The third one, eat the foods that you personally like most. Forget about whatever diet book is telling you are the super foods that everybody needs to eat. That's just a load of baloney, really. If you take a survey of all the centenarians in the world and super centenarians, they all eat different foods. They all have a different list of favorite foods, and almost all of them list a bunch of crap they include in their diet every day too. But yes, stick with the foods that you enjoy personally, because there's psychological and physiological signature reasons why you gravitate towards those foods. And we as humans are not completely devoid of any instinct. We have a feel for what we like, and there's good reasons for that. So you will be able to stick to your diet long term if you stick to the foods that you like within a healthy eating pattern. Right? I'm talking about foods within the food groups and you should be getting the food groups. So those would be my three if I could boil it down to three. And I guess maybe if I may add a little sub thing under the eat the foods that you like.

[00:59:35.220] – Alan Aragon

Eat them in the pattern that fits your personal preference and schedule. There's a lot of color blue going around about when you should eat your foods. How much should time restrict the eating window? Can we only eat from 08:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. in order to maximize? That's all majoring in the minors. That's not going to make somebody freaking awesome at 70 compared to maintaining their exercise program and a decent overall food selection of the foods that they love. When you eat your foods in the day, that should be determined by how you prefer it. Do you like to eat dinner at 08:00 P.m. Instead of 06:00 P.m.? Cool. Eat it now. Do you like to have a pre bed snack? Great. Have that. Do you like to skip breakfast? Is that how you function best?

[01:00:31.400] – Alan Aragon

Cool. Skip the hell out of breakfast. It's not going to make or break you. There are very silly books going around saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you have to stop eating, x foods or stop eating carbs that you have to make sure you don't eat like 3 hours before bed. That's a load of crap, Allan. And I can't emphasize that enough how trivial that advice is in the big picture.

[01:00:59.390] – Allan

Thank you.

[01:01:00.100] – Alan Aragon

My advice is do what you can stick to within the context of an overall healthy selection of foods.

[01:01:09.800] – Allan

Great. Thank you for that. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book Flexible Dieting, where would you like for me to send them?

[01:01:18.410] – Alan Aragon

AlanAragon.com. And then we've got the various links to my stuff. So I have a research review as well, a monthly research review for the nerdy types who like to really dig into the details. And then I've got my book Flexible Dieting, that's going to come out on June 7, but it's available for preorder, as you and I are speaking.

[01:01:46.430] – Allan

But this episode is going to drop on June 7th. So, yeah, the book is available now wherever you want to get books. You can also go to his website alanaragon.com, if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/541 I'll be sure to have links there. So, Alan, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:02:05.030] – Alan Aragon

You got it, Allan. And you as well. Thank you so much.


Post Show/Recap

[01:02:15.930] – Allan

Hi, Rachel. How was that interview?

[01:02:18.070] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh, it was great. It was really interesting because right at the very beginning you drew me in with the title of the book Being Flexible Dieting. But the $64,000 question, how do you stick to a diet? Isn't that the question of the year?

[01:02:34.560] – Allan

Yeah. Well, he went to a publisher and sometimes publishers want to change the name of a book. You might think this is the name of the book. So there was discussion about flexible dieting in the book. In all fairness, it was a part of it part of the conversation, which is an important part of, like you said, sticking to a diet. But really, what this book is about is about nutrition for performance or physique.

[01:02:59.760] – Rachel

Okay.

[01:03:00.760] – Allan

And health. So it was science based, meaning he went to the science, the studies that were out there. He didn't pick a side of a conversation and say this is what it is based on his beliefs. He literally went through and said, okay, what is out there? Everything that's out there. And then based on what's there, can we draw a conclusion? And in some cases, he didn't really feel like we could. But for a lot of it, he literally would go through and say, okay, based on all these studies, this is what it says. And this is the bet if you want to perform well at strength training, this is what you eat, literally giving you the calories, giving you the macro breakdowns, all of it. The flexible dieting comes around and, okay, that's all good and fine if I know what I'm supposed to eat, but can I stick to it long enough to see that performance improvement? And that's where the flexible dieting comes in of saying, okay, if you're getting the nutrition you need and you've got a little bit of buffer calories in there that you have maybe 90, ten, you say, so 10% of my calories.

[01:04:13.530] – Allan

So I'm going to eat 2000 calories as I'm trying to cut weight of that. Or 200 calories can be, for lack of a better word, crap. It could be chips. It can be a candy bar or maybe half a candy bar, depending on how many calories are in it. But you see where you can go and say, okay, I don't have to eat perfect all the time to see these things. If I go in and I at least know that I'm getting the nutrition that I need, that's the first one. And then second, I'm not just overeating because of these lack of a better word, empty calories. And then the way I would say it is, enjoy the heck out of it. So don't make it just any old candy bar. Make it your favorite candy bar, or make it something higher class, higher end stuff. Don't just drink just any beer. Make it a beer that you're really going to enjoy. That kind of mindset makes it a lot more sustainable.

[01:05:15.120] – Rachel

Well, the other thing that really attracted me was that he said that your calorie deficit doesn't have to be a daily thing as long as you have a calorie deficit over the week or the month or the year that it takes for you to get to your goal weight, if that was the main goal. But yeah, you don't have to be really rigid with your eating rules day by day. So I like that approach.

[01:05:39.610] – Allan

Yeah. Even though there's a lot of things about the human body that are built into the rhythms of a day or a month or a year, the reality of it is there's nothing magic from the calories in a day. You can gain weight in a day. You can lose weight in a day, but you're not going to lose a whole lot, and you're not going to gain a whole lot. If you do notice the scale move any at all really much on a day to day basis, that's mostly just water shifting around. You went pee one more time than you did the day before, you weigh less simple. And so I think the key of what he's talking about there is just know that there's sort of a target of what you're burning doing the work that you're doing. And you don't have to create an accounting system like it's General Electric. You can go through and say, I know these foods. I know this is how my body reacts to it. I know what a serving size looks like. I know about how much. And for many of us, we do eat the same foods as staples on a fairly regular basis.

[01:06:53.050] – Allan

So if you know, okay, this is my dinner. I have it probably once a week. You don't have to look it up every time. You don't have to say, okay, what are my macros? What are my calories? You just know. I'm getting a third of my protein in this meal. I'm getting half of my carbs in this meal, and I'm getting 35% of my calories in this meal. And if you just know those kinds of things, it's just plug and play and enjoy your food and then occasionally flexible. If something happens and you need to be flexible, then just let it go. You're not destroying yourself in a day.

[01:07:27.830] – Rachel

Yeah, right.

[01:07:29.160] – Rachel

The other thing I really enjoyed was the part about protein and how usually people 40 and over or maybe even 50 and over or even 60 and over have a strange relationship with protein in their diet. It seems like they skip it for the morning and maybe have a tiny bit at lunch and then throw it all at dinner hour when it seems more appropriate to spread it throughout the day.

[01:07:51.510] – Allan

It's easier to get if you spread it. That's absolute truth and unfortunate. Food guidelines, foods that's available, they're highly dense in carbs and not the nutritionally dense carbs, but bread. So there's pizza, there's hamburgers, all those foods. And you say, okay, what's the protein? And they have some protein. But you look at the protein in the cheese and the pepperoni, assuming you even got that on there. How much protein is in a pizza? And I'd say, probably not a lot. I haven't looked it up, but I would say less than 20% of the total calories is coming from protein breakfast cereal. Maybe there's some in your milk if you're even drinking regular milk, because maybe you're doing the soy milk or maybe you're doing the oat milk and you start looking at the protein of that and the protein that was in the cereal. And you're kind of like, okay, 75% of my calories are coming from carbs, 20% from fat, and now 5% protein. So it's almost devoid of protein.

[01:09:06.690] – Rachel

Right.

[01:09:07.490] – Allan

And most of us should be eating more protein than we are. It's hard to shift over until you actually make a concerted effort to get protein into every meal.

[01:09:20.170] – Rachel

Well, yeah, exactly. I don't think we don't pay that close attention to how we eat, our habits of our eating. And if you're in a habit of having cereal for breakfast or a sandwich or something at lunch, you just don't notice that you're not getting the adequate amount of protein probably. The other thing he mentioned, too, was the ratio for how many grams of protein per body weight. He mentioned that it's not the body weight that you're at, it's at your goal body weight for the purpose of weight loss, which that is something I don't know that I paid attention to. I don't know that I've heard it like that before.

[01:09:59.850] – Allan

Well, yeah, because what they would typically base it on is they would say your lean mass. So what you're thinking in terms of this, let's say you're at 30% body fat and you want to get down closer to say 20 or 15. Okay. Then you're going to want to lose the body fat. And if you were to do that, you lose that amount of body fat to get down to, you're going to be closer to your lean body mass weight. So realizing now you're carrying less fat. So the way you are is closer to lean body mass weight, particularly if you're like a bodybuilder and you're trying to get down into the single digits, you're carrying very little fat and most of the mass that you have is your lean body. So that's where that number comes from is really just a function of saying rather than think about it from lean body mass. Because for a lot of us, that's hard. Unless you go get a DEXA scan and they tell you your body mass is this amount of fat, you don't know. So it's easier to just base it on where your goal weight would be and just use that.

[01:11:08.140] – Allan

Now that's going to overstate it a little bit from the numbers, but it's not significant. Again, if you're just thinking unless you're trying to go from 50% body fat to 40%, then if 40% is your target, you're going to probably be overeating some protein because that's not really a lean body mass. But you see, for most of us, it's like we want to get down to that 20 to 15 range. So that's where that number is coming in.

[01:11:35.080] – Rachel

Yeah, that was great. It was a great discussion. Really interesting.

[01:11:37.930] – Allan

Yeah. This goes down is so far my favorite book in 2022.

[01:11:43.270] – Rachel

Wow.

[01:11:44.020] – Allan

If anyone is really looking at improving their performance, I would strongly encourage them to read this book because it's going to give you a formula for how you can eat to optimize your performance. And whatever you're trying to do, get stronger, run further, faster and just look better.

[01:12:02.260] – Rachel

Awesome. Great discussion.

[01:12:04.400] – Allan

All right. Well, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:12:06.330] – Rachel

Great. Take care.

[01:12:07.510] – Allan

You too.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

May 24, 2022

What your mouth has to say about your health with Dr. Kami Hoss

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

You may have heard that your dental health reflects your whole health. It's true. On episode 539, we discuss Dr. Kami Hoss' book, If Your Mouth Could Talk: An In-Depth Guide to Oral Health and Its Impact on Your Entire Life.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:36.910] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things going?

[00:02:38.870] – Rachel

Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:02:41.010] – Allan

I'm a little frustrated. Just a little.

[00:02:43.300] – Rachel

oh dear. Oh, gosh. How come?

[00:02:45.880] – Allan

Okay. Now, you know, not long ago, I guess it's been a little while now. We went through that pick the music for this podcast, right?

[00:02:54.270] – Rachel

Oh, yeah.

[00:02:54.860] – Allan

And I went on a site where you were supposed to be able to get royalty free license, free music to play and use.

[00:03:05.170] – Allan

Okay. And what I did, to be fair, I didn't have to because this site offers these things for free is I went in and I donated on PayPal a little bit of money, not a lot to all three of them. I said, if I'm considering your song, then I'll pay all three of you because I downloaded your song. And now because I'm posting my podcast on YouTube, I'm getting Copyright infringement letters from a company that works for the guy I bought the songs from or got the songs from.

[00:03:40.340] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:03:41.000] – Allan

I've emailed him. I've tried to refute it. And the risk I have is if I keep trying to refute it, then YouTube will just take my channel now.

[00:03:52.570] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:03:53.260] – Allan

And so it's one of those things where they're giving him the benefit of the doubt. And my only opportunity to really fight it is to go in with the death deal. I'm either going to win or I'm going to die.

[00:04:08.200] – Rachel

Right.

[00:04:08.810] – Allan

And he's doing it, pinging every show now as it comes out. And they're going through and finding these obviously on YouTube, there's billions of videos. So they're scrolling through those videos. They're finding that song in my show. And I got a nasty email once a week now, and I can go and refute it, but they almost immediately are just sitting there ready to say false. And they're not looking at the evidence I'm sending them because I show them that it's on a particular site. I can show them the licensing from that site, and I can show them the YouTubers. I mean, I'm sorry, the PayPal receipt where I sent these guys money. This guy money. So I'm really frustrated. So here's what I want to ask. If anyone in the audience I usually don't try to talk in the plural, but I know there's a lot of you out there. If any of you are musically inclined, maybe in a band or something, and you want to come up with something that I can use for a new theme song for the show, please get in contact with me. Okay, allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, it needs to be uplifting.

[00:05:16.240] – Allan

It needs to be cool and vibey. You know me and you don't know where I'm at. You've listened to maybe some of the songs that I've used in the past and what got voted up this time, which I'd love to keep because it's what you wanted to listen to as an intro and an outro for the show. But I just don't want to keep putting up with this guy hitting him, because if at some point the podcast on YouTube could ever or would ever monetize, he's going to be the one monetizing it. So the whole other rest of the podcast gets nothing because he's claimed to this 30 seconds or so or even two minutes or so of music that I got legitimately off of a share site. He put it out there, I got his email, he got paid, and now he's trying to come after my revenue. Whether it's not if I were making revenue or ever do ever to monetize that site, he is going to be the one that gets all of that. So I'm like it's frustrating.

[00:06:15.950] – Rachel

That's crazy.

[00:06:17.310] – Allan

Well, it is the fact that the guy is not responding in a fair way. I have his email because I paid him on PayPal. I have his email, so I emailed him directly. He's not responding to me. So I'm going to send him a couple more emails. But if you are musically inclined to play the different instruments, maybe put something together for me, then I would love to feature a listener's music on the show, give you full credit for doing that for me. So if you can just get in touch with me, allan@40Plusfitnesspodcast.com and let's connect and let's make this a project. Let's have some fun with it.

[00:06:55.550] – Rachel

Yeah, that would be awesome. It'd be great to have our own listeners music. How cool is that?

[00:07:00.050] – Allan

Yeah. So hopefully we can work that out. I mean, there's a lot of you out there. The podcast gets about 5000-6000 downloads per episode. I know some of you are really in the music and good at music. So if you've got something for me, I want to hear from you.

[00:07:13.410] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:07:15.380] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:16.970] – Rachel

Great. Beautiful weather, beautiful time to be outside, enjoying the trail and getting ready to plant our garden. Just having a good time this spring.

[00:07:26.230] – Allan

So the ground is not frozen anymore.

[00:07:28.480] – Rachel

Not right now. No. It's actually pretty good. We're getting a lot of Sunshine. The weather is warming up. We're just getting the soil ready because it is still definitely too early to plant. But yeah, we're just planning out our garden and getting ready to get moving.

[00:07:45.010] – Allan

What does the Almanac say?

[00:07:47.170] – Rachel

Yeah, don't plant anything until the beginning of June.

[00:07:49.870] – Allan

Okay. All right.

[00:07:53.150] – Rachel

Better safe than sorry.

[00:07:54.580] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Hoss?

[00:07:57.680] – Rachel

Yes.

Interview

[00:08:29.770] – Allan

Dr. Hoss, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:32.570] – Dr. Hoss

Thanks for having me.

[00:08:34.210] – Allan

You know, in over six years of doing this podcast and this being episode 539 of the podcast, I've never had a dentist Orthodontist. We've never talked about oral health. And I'm like so to see your book, I was really excited to get an opportunity to have a conversation with you because we hear a lot about, well, if you have mouth disease or periodontal disease, then there's a higher probability you're going to have heart disease and there's a connection there. So today we're going to kind of get into some of that.

[00:09:05.030] – Dr. Hoss

Let's get into it.

[00:09:06.140] – Allan

Yeah. And then I'm really excited about it because again, I think it's just one aspect of our health. That's really important. And, of course, when was the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. When was the best time the second best time is right now. When was the best time for us to take care of our oral health was when we were babies. But when is the second best time is What We Can do right now?

[00:09:29.280] – Dr. Hoss

You got it.

[00:09:30.030] – Allan

That's where I want to go. The book is really good, though, if you've got grandchildren or children and you want to make sure you're giving them the best opportunity for a healthy mouth, a healthy life. The book is really good about giving you that guidance and giving you the things you need. So I really appreciate this opportunity to have this conversation with you.

[00:09:49.220] – Dr. Hoss

Likewise. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:09:51.910] – Allan

Now, the name of your book is If Your Mouth Could Talk, an In-Depth Guide to Oral Health and the Impact on Your Entire Life. And as I mentioned earlier, this is about what our mouth is doing for us or to us. And some of those things are there's going to be a little bit of water into the road onto the bridge? We're going to have to deal with that. But we are in a place where we can start taking control of our oral health. And this book gives you a lot of that. So thank you. You went through a lot of this in the book, and there were studies about all these chronic diseases that we're dealing with, heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancers, on and on, diabetes, on and on. There's a link to our mouth and not just what we're eating, because I think that might be part of it, too. But there's a link to our mouth health and these other chronic diseases. Can you kind of go through a little bit of that and that connection and why that might be so?

[00:10:49.110] – Dr. Hoss

Yes, of course. Again, thanks so much for having me. I'm so excited to be talking about this. So like you said, you've been doing this for so many years, and I'm the first dentist really talking about oral health connection to the physical health and chronic diseases and longevity. And that's not surprising because unfortunately, because how our teaching institutions were established 200 years ago, that dental schools and medical schools have always been separate over the last two centuries, we used to know it. The early Egyptians and the Greeks, they were aware of the connection between oral health and physical health. In fact, they wanted to check someone if they were healthy, they would ask them to open their mouth. They would look at the mouth. They kind of had a good feeling for what was going on beyond the mouth. But over the last two centuries, unfortunately, we've forgotten this because of the education process and then insurances. They don't cover dentistry. And then we've been taught as a dentist, I'm a dentist. I'm an orthodontist and then to facial orthopedics. As you know, my wife is a pediatric dentist. We have a very large group practice with oral surgeons and with general dentists and with hygienists and with all sorts of other specialties.

[00:11:55.930] – Dr. Hoss

And so I've had the pleasure, but also the experience of working with all these different specialties, seeing kids and adults and young and elderly go through oral health issues. And I think it was time that I put this together. So a few years ago, I actually first wanted to write this book about the oral connection to the physical health of the chronic diseases that you're mentioning, because I thought the biggest disconnection that people have. Right. They really don't connect it together. As you mentioned, more and more studies are coming out. If you ask me what chronic disease is connected to our health.

[00:12:29.240] – Dr. Hoss

Let me just tell you the one that I don't know yet.

[00:12:31.490] – Dr. Hoss

Because almost everything else is right. It's easier just to more and more are found. Over the last 20,30 years, we've had just a flood of information and clinical studies correlating oral health to almost everything. Like you mentioned, many types of cancers and heart disease and pregnancy complications and diabetes and Alzheimer's and dementia and all sorts of things. So there are two really main connection. There was a long answer to your question, but there are two primary connections. I want your listeners to think about this. Your mouth is the opening to your body. Think about this. If you had an infection on your arm, a big infection the size of your mouth or on your leg.

[00:13:10.210] – Dr. Hoss

That connection would be very easy to know that, oh, my God.

[00:13:12.660] – Dr. Hoss

If I don't take care of this infection on my arm or leg, I may lose my arm or leg or I may have chronic problems, right? I may have organ failures, I may die. That connection is very easy. But when you have an infection in the mouth, I. E. Dental infection, cavities or gum infection, periodontal disease, people don't connect those two things, which is really incredible. And again, my profession is to blame really as much for that because we don't go around and educating people because we don't get that education in schools. We all get to learn how to fill cavities and straighten crooked teeth. So there are two ways primarily that your oral health impacts chronic disease. These two ways are your mouth is filled with microbes. In fact, we have more microbes in our bodies than we have human cells. We have about 30 trillion human cells and somewhere around 100 trillion microbes. And our mouth is filled with billions of microbes, somewhere between 5 billion to 100 billion. So if you have an infection in the mouth, those bacteria or the toxins can enter the bloodstream. And where does the blood go?

[00:14:15.420] – Dr. Hoss

Everywhere. So it can go to the heart and cause a local infection or cause systemic inflammation, go to the brain, the joints, anywhere in the brain, and then cause problems or the inflammation in the mouth in response to the bacteria can cause chronic inflammation that can cause also systemic health issues.

[00:14:36.250] – Allan

Now in the mouth, one of the things that kind of came out of my reading your book was kind of an understanding that we all kind of knew well, we all know there's a gut microbiome. It's getting more and more pressed that's the hot kid on the block right now, take care of your gut, take care of your health. But our mouth actually has its own microbiome.

[00:14:55.840] – Dr. Hoss

In fact. What do you think the gut microbiome comes from? The mouth. Right. This is such a wonderful question, by the way. So when a baby is born, when the baby is in the womb, there's no microbes involved, right. The baby gets the first dose of its microbiome traveling through the birth canal. And that's why when babies have had the moms have had natural vaginal birth, they just have a better mix of microbiome to begin with. Right. And then they get more additional microbes through breastfeeding and obviously passing between the parents and the siblings and all the caregivers and all that. The first place that these microbes get seated is in the mouth. And every time we swallow all those microbes, we're swallowing millions of microbes. Every time we're swallowing to our gut. And that's where the gut microbes come in. So you're 100% right. People have at least started talking about the gut microbiome and how important that is to our overall health. But I think the disconnection, again, is where the gut microbes come from. It's the oral microbiome, which is the collection of all the buildings of microbes in your mouth. And so if you don't have a healthy oral microbiome, that whole ecosystem is out of balance.

[00:16:06.260] – Dr. Hoss

And then you get unhealthy gut microbiome and all of these, everything the body is connected to everything else. But unfortunately, because dentists and physicians, we have different worlds and we have our own specialties we all forget this connection. And so you're 100% right. The microbiome, our microbes has evolved alongside us for millions of years, and it's key to our survival and it's key to our health, to our immunity, to our digestive system, all sorts of things.

[00:16:35.390] – Allan

Now, for most of us, when we think about oral health, Besides coming to visit someone like you on a regular basis, we're thinking about brushing our teeth, flossing, mouthwash, that type of thing.

[00:16:48.010] – Dr. Hoss

Exactly.

[00:16:49.070] – Allan

But in many cases, what we're doing is actually causing more harm than good.

[00:16:54.220] – Dr. Hoss

In many cases, in fact, you would think in the last 30 years, with all the advancements in science, technology and medicine, our mouths would be healthiest ever. Right. But actually, they're the unhealthiest ever. More than 50% of adults over age 30, by the way, these are CDC numbers. And more than 70% of people age 65 have gum disease. I think if we didn't do anything, we would be in a better position than using anything oral health that we currently use. So I actually started my book with the first sentence of this is not a book about brushing and flossing because I really wanted to make sure that people because I think that's all we are educated about. When we go to the dentist, just brush your teeth for your teeth and you should be good to go. Right? But I just told you that's just not the case. We're very unhealthy as a society. As you know, unfortunately, as Americans, we do many things right. But our health is not one of them. That's why I love being on podcasts like yours, because I feel like this is our passion, yours and mine to get this message out to everybody, we want to make sure that we look at your oral health more than brushing and flossing.

[00:18:01.550] – Dr. Hoss

And like you said, let's take the mouthwash, which was an example that you said. Let me just give you this very simple, the most common mouthwashes that people use, first of all, they use it because they want to mask their bad breath. And where is this bad breath coming from? Is because you have terrible, poor oral health, gum disease, right? Again, if you had that infection on your arm that was starting to produce this terrible odor, you wouldn't just pour like something that smells good over it, right? You would go take care of the infection. But what we do with our mouth, we use these very strong, potent antibacterial antiseptic mouthwashes that literally on the bottle sells, kills 99.9% of germs twice a day. So let me ask you a question, if I told you, hey, I found the best cure for all the diseases, take this antibiotics twice a day indefinitely to prevent disease.

[00:18:53.780] – Dr. Hoss

This is going to kill 99.99% of the germs in your body. You would tell me, call me, you're crazy. I just told you, gut microbiome is so critical to our but we do that in our mouth and we don't even think about it. I literally met a person three weeks ago. That when I asked him, what do you use for oral health? Because he has this terrible oral health and he said, I use this mouthwash that kills 99.99% of germs. I won't say the name. And then on the other hand, he uses probiotics. So he tried to put billions of microbes back in his mouth. When I told him one of them is just killing all the microbes and the other one is just full of microbes. You never really thought it through just because he just saw the ad for one and then the other. And just like, hey, I'm going to try to do everything I can. So our oral health is at worst it's ever been. And it's partially due to diet. It's partially because our diet has just changed so much since the agricultural revolution and then the Industrial Revolution.

[00:19:47.820] – Dr. Hoss

Everything is processed foods and nothing close to what it was intended to do, but partially is because of the oral care products that we're using. It's just a terrible marketplace right now.

[00:19:56.950] – Allan

Yeah. And they do a really good job of marketing. I had read a story one time about why our toothpaste foams and it foams because that showed people it was working.

[00:20:09.610] – Dr. Hoss

Exactly.

[00:20:10.320] – Allan

And so it wasn't that it was valuable. It was just that became the famous tagline for that product.

[00:20:17.210] – Dr. Hoss

In fact, the two things that companies do manufacture So-called oral care products, companies with toothpaste and mouthwash to make you think it's doing something. There are two things. One, they make a foam, like you said, because more foam, you feel like you must be cleaning doing something. Right. In fact, too much foam is terrible because you can't even see what you're doing anymore. A very little bit of foam using a very natural foaming, like Tiago or something not like SLS or something that's really damaging or soft tissue that could be toxic when you swallow all those things, which most manufacturers use. But that's on the phone because they just trying to tell you that they're working, which is actually doing the exact opposite. The other trick they use is they put a very strong Mint flavor, like something like peppermint oil. Essential oil, which is terrible. Essential oil is another thing that they may have other properties, but they don't belong in your mouth. And so a very common one is peppermint oil, which is really very dangerous for children, in addition to being terrible to the microbiome because it's a very important antibiotic bacterial essential oil.

[00:21:19.430] – Dr. Hoss

But what it does is you feel like you have the foam and now your mouth smells like this minty for at least 30 minutes. So it makes you feel like it's doing something. So those are the two things that I think you should just put aside when you're thinking about what oral care products you want to use for yourself and your children.

[00:21:37.130] – Allan

Now one place where I think it kind of surprised me, I guess, for a lack of better word was seeing how much the mouth can interrupt our sleep. So sleep disordered breathing. And I think many of us would know that because if we're over 40, I would say a large percentage of us probably snore. Some people even have sleep apnea or something you actually introduced me to now is upper airway resistance syndrome. Can we talk about those? Because for a lot of folks, they're going to go to the doctor and they may have a sleep issue, they may get diagnosed, go to a sleep clinic, and the doctor is going to say lose weight. But some of this is already kind of a little bit dawn because our mouth is already where it's going to be. Can you talk about how the mouth, the teeth, and then how that all relaxed our sleep.

[00:22:30.500] – Dr. Hoss

Yeah, great question. In fact, if you notice, the longest chapter in my book is about the breathing and the sleeping chapter, because I think you're right. People don't like why is a dentist talking about sleep? I don't understand. So here's what it is. So when I talk about oral health, I'm talking about two different areas. One is the microbial health. And my goal is to educate the public. Let's move from killing the microbes and disinfecting our mouths and sterilizing our mouths to cleaning, protecting and supplementing our mouth. Right. That's really what I want to be. From the microbial perspective, we want to protect and nurture our microbial community. That's in your mouth called the oral microbiome, which leads to our gut microbiome, all of that. So we can talk about that at some point later again. But the other side of it is the growth and development of the mouth. Now, contrary to what most people think, your mouth is not just this little area where you have your teeth, right? Your upper jaw, called the maxilla, goes all the way under your eyes. The bones under your eyes is still part of the maxilla, part of your cheekbones.

[00:23:38.770] – Dr. Hoss

It forms the bones of the nasal cavity. And then the lower jaw, of course, houses the tongue. And it's the rest of your face. So other than your forehead, your eyes, everything else in your face is your mouth. And so your mouth impacts your airway. Of course, it's the upper jaw with the nose and the lower jaw with the tongue. And so it has a dramatic impact on your breathing. Right. And during the day, of course, breathing, I don't have to tell you, oxygen is critical for everything, right? It's the number one nutrient that we need. It's even more critical in a child, especially the first five years, because their brain is exploding goes from 2020 5%, the maximum size at birth to 90% of its size by age five. So during those five years, the growth of the mouth is critical for their airway, breathing, oxygen intake and sleep. What happens during sleep is if you don't have good Airways, if you're not breathing incorrectly, that gets even worse at night because your muscles relax. So the tongue goes and blocks the airway. And as you mentioned, half of the people snore, which means really, we're all affected because either snore yourself or your partner snores, which keeps you up at night and many other problems.

[00:24:50.080] – Dr. Hoss

And snoring, even though we always joke about it when I meet my friends, that's the number one thing that they joke about with their partner. They always blame the other partner. Of course, it's never done that. They snore. But snoring is the first step of this downhill thing. First of all, it could be a sign that you already have something, like you said, UARS or sleep apnea, which they're all at the range between when you say sleep disorder breathing, which is really all the breathing issues that cause you not to have a good night's sleep. It really starts with snoring, which basically is a vibration of your soft tissues with your nose and your mouth because you're supposed to breathe with your nose. Now, why am I talking about the nose even though I'm a dentist, is because your palate, which is the roof of your mouth, is also the floor of your nose. It's the same bone. So when your mouth is small, your airway is small, you can't breathe your nose right. When your mouth is small, your tongue doesn't sit against the palate. So it goes and blocks your airway and you can't breathe at night.

[00:25:44.920] – Dr. Hoss

So really we should be the dentist community should be the leading the charge against sleep apnea and sleep disorders. And we should work hand in hand with sleep physicians. Right. They can make the diagnosis. We can make the dental appliances that help with breathing. And as you very well said, it the best time to do this is when you have a child and they have airway breathing issues. And that's why you should see a pediatric dentist when your baby is born immediately, because it literally starts from even health of pregnancy impacts these things. But really the latest you should see a pediatric dentist is right at birth before the baby is coming in because let's just say your baby has a tongue tie. Now, the tongue doesn't move around. That means it doesn't sit against the palate, which means the baby can't swallow, they can't breastfeed. Then they're going to start breathing through their mouth, cause mouth breathing. When you start breathing through your mouth, the nasal airway doesn't get stimulated. So the mouth and the nose don't grow correctly. And so as you can see, these little things start becoming really big problems over time during childhood because your mouth, the bones have not formed and they're still growing and the sutures have not used as orthodontists as pediatric dentists, we can actually fix problems, right?

[00:27:00.990] – Dr. Hoss

We can actually permanently fix it. We expand the upper jaw, we bring the lower jaw forward and we permanently fix airway issues. In adults like me and you, we can still fix it, but it usually involves wearing something up to bed, right? Yes, you can do some surgical treatments, but I'm not a big fan of it for majority cases. But some of the common things is obviously we can lose weight or become more healthier in general. But if those things are not working, then you need to wear an oral device that kind of keeps your jaw and your mouth open during night time so you can sleep better or you can wear a CPAP, those devices and some of those things, of course, it's different for everybody. They're like 100 devices that are out there that could work differently for different people. And so really, people need to visit their dentist and or sleep position and find something because it doesn't matter what you do. You need to breathe. I need to breathe. As we said, you can't really joke around with oxygen and take every single cell in your body will suffocate if you're not breathing correctly, which again, it gets exaggerated when we're sleeping.

[00:28:02.280] – Allan

Yes. And the reason I brought this up is sleep is so fundamental to our overall well-being and health. If you're not sleeping well, you can eat well, you can exercise, you can do pretty much everything else you want. Still not going to be optimized now. So if you are struggling with snoring or sleep apnea, go see your dentist and your sleep specialist and have some conversations because I think that's something we'll all want to look at because like I said, like you said, it's happening. There's so many of us exploring very common.

[00:28:34.730] – Dr. Hoss

And because of the obesity epidemic, this has gotten worse and worse right in the last 20 years. By the way, I just did want to say that not every dentist, unfortunately, and every physician is airway focused or sleep trained. It's just a small fraction of them, unfortunately, are it is not a requirement. But in 2017, the American Dental Association recommended that every dentist does a sleep screening or airway screening during every dental exam. But we just don't because there's one thing for them to recommend. It's one thing for the dentist to go back to school and actually get trained and educated about this. So when you do go to your dentist, make sure that they're trained and they know bad sleep and airway.

[00:29:14.150] – Allan

Now, I'll admit I'm like everybody else and so I'm out there and I'm like I want to do better for my health. I'm going into this health food store and they've got all this different stuff, toothpaste, mouthwash.

[00:29:32.460] – Dr. Hoss

I know about it.

[00:29:34.610] – Allan

But this is a health store. So they have this clay. It's basically dirt is what it was. And they flavored it cinnamon, which I don't know if that was good or bad. But in your book, you go through and talk about some of the ingredients that we're going to see in our dental care products, like you called one of them the mouth Rageous ingredients. And then the mouthstanding ingredients kind of plays on building words. So some of these are really bad for us and we probably shouldn't have them in our health care or oral care. And some are probably really good for us. Can you kind of go through and talk about some of the good ones and some of the bad ones?

[00:30:14.910] – Dr. Hoss

I'm happy to do it. Like you said, I know when I go to the grocery store and I see that toothpaste aisle, I'm like, how does a person supposed to make that decision? We as dentists, I'm on the board of UCLA Dental School, and we get little to no education, almost none in dental school about oral care products. You would think your dentist knows what's in a toothpaste. Our education and knowledge of it is just as much as you'd be surprised. We just know, like, okay, maybe Fluoride. I've asked 20 dentists, what's in a toothpick fluoride. What else is there? I don't know. How does the fluoride work? I don't know. If you don't want to use Fluoride, what else do you use? I don't know. Like you go to a natural health store and you're like, I don't know, maybe this is just good and that people will make it. They have no idea because they're not oral health experts. And so, of course, people don't know what to use. Dentists don't know what to use. So the manufacturers just kind of do their own thing, and then people end up buying something that has the boldest claim or has the nicest packaging or for the kids has the best flavoring.

[00:31:17.070] – Dr. Hoss

Nothing based on science and fact and clinical research and something that's safe and effective. Those two things are critical. For kids, playfulness is even important because we want to make sure they build positive associations. But safe and effective and effective. These are the two things that are always like anything we put in our bodies. We want to make sure it's safe and effective food. Like you said, I think many of us are educated about reading what's in our food or educating about what's healthy food, what's organic, what's natural, what's whole food, what's fermented, all of those things. But when it comes to oral care products, because nobody has this information, I thought I got to put this in the book. So people have a reference. So what's mouth sounding good? What's mouth rage is terrible and you should never put it. By the way, what other food do you put in your mouth twice a day, every single day, other than your toothpaste and mouthwash? Nothing. Right. So this is such an important thing. Right. Let me just tell you, with the toothpaste and the mouthwash, all our products that you put in your mouth, they get absorbed through your mouth, through the mucosa, through the mucosa membranes.

[00:32:19.550] – Dr. Hoss

And then, of course, it goes through the blood, goes everywhere in your brain. Of course, we swallow some of it. There's no way that you're not going to swallow. So that's why these ingredients in your oral care products are so important, not just for the health of your mouth, but for the health of your body. So let's go over a couple of the very important ones. One is Fluoride, can we just start with the most controversial toothpaste ingredient or mouthwash ingredient on Fluoride? Okay. So Fluoride is a drug is a medication. It's FDA regulated one. It's currently in the United States, the only compound that is approved for anti-cavity. By the way, in other countries there's another ingredient, which is my favorite, and I'll tell you about it in just a second. So fluoride. Fluoride, how does it work? You're enamel your teeth are made out of this, by the way, your teeth are alive. And that's another thing that I want everybody to remember because I think we treat the mouth like we have to just have these 20 or 30 dead objects in our mouth and we need to sterilize them and Polish them from the outside twice a day and get it to the dentist so they can really Polish it good twice a year.

[00:33:18.480] – Dr. Hoss

But our mouth is alive. Our teeth are alive. They have internal cells and nervous system and all of that. And so we want to give it nutrients and everything. So fluoride is a drug. In fact, anything that comes with fluoride, any toothpaste or mouthwash FDA has a warning sign on it. You are mandated by putting that that says warning, keep it away from children under age six, something like this. By the way, if you swallow it over what we need to use it for, toothpaste, you need to call the nearest poison control center. This is an FDA regulation. So of course that means that if you fluoride at high levels is toxic to your body, right? It's not me saying it. Now, fluoride does work the way you get cavities. When you eat something acidic or sugary, your PH of the mouth, which is the acidity of the mouth, which is really something important everybody should learn about. It's usually a neutral round seven, but then it drops when you eat something. When it reaches around 5.5, those enamel crystals called hydroxyapatite, 97% of your enamel is made of this mineral phosphate mineral called hydroxyapatite.

[00:34:29.300] – Dr. Hoss

It a little bit of a dissolved away in that acidic environment into the saliva. When then the saliva Bates the teeth after 30 minutes or so, then these minerals get deposited back into the teeth called demineralization of the teeth. So when there's a balance between this demineralization and rhymeralization, you don't get a cavity. But if you eat too much bad food or feed it too frequently, there is too much demineralization, not enough rhymeralization to get a cavity. Okay. And so what fluoride does? Fluoride mixes with hydroxyapatite forms this new mineral called fluorapatite. And that fluorapatite is stronger to acidic attacks because it doesn't get dissolved until the acid reaches 4.5. And then 4.5 to 5.5 difference is a big difference. And that's why fluoride works. So there's definitely fluoride works, but because it has all these potential toxicities, I don't recommend it for majority patients, especially with younger children, because dental fluorosis, which is one of the side effects of too much fluoride, usually happens in kids and because it's such a common thing in our society now. So if you have young children and they're not prone to getting cavities and they're not a high risk child, which means they don't have genetic problems, again, genetic things are just 10% of the situation so for majority of the kids, you can replace that fluoride.

[00:35:46.980] – Dr. Hoss

Don't just remove the fluoride and don't put anything. But you can replace it with something else called hydroxyapatite, which is the synthetic version of what's already naturally in your teeth. And that is around since 1970s. It's been tested and tested and tested and tested. It's completely safe. And it reminisces. It just as good or better than fluoride. In fact, it's been already approved in Canada since 2015 for Anticavity. In Japan, they've been using it for about 30 years. And so in US, I'm hoping FDA is going to catch up with some of these other countries. We're going to hopefully approve it. But right now, it's already available in some products. And so don't just remove fluoride. Replace it with this. Now, if you're a high risk person, which means you get cavities, you have a dry mouth, your PH is low. Whatever. I go through this more in detail in my book. You should use some fluoride. And so you can also even mix it with hydroxyapatite, because also for older people, you don't swallow as much. You're swallowing reflexes that develop. So, again, for the average of fluoride, for maybe 20% of the population, older people and higher risk people, and for younger people and lower risk people, I would use hydroxyapatite, specifically Nano hydroxyapatite, which mimics the natural enamel which naturally wipes the teeth.

[00:37:02.550] – Dr. Hoss

It reminds the teeth, it reduces sensitivity. It even buffers the teeth against cavities and acidic attacks. That's one another ingredient you asked me for. Like, but as you can.

[00:37:13.280] – Allan

That's good. No, it is. It's great. There was another one that was kind of surprising to me was when you got into some of the sugar alcohols that we're trying to obviously brush your teeth with sugar. But we like that we like that bubblegum flavor, right?

[00:37:29.560] – Dr. Hoss

Yeah.

[00:37:30.190] – Allan

So we want something a little sweeter, something a little bit more of a taste. And so it's going to be sweetened. Yes. But not all of the sugar alcohols are the same.

[00:37:38.140] – Dr. Hoss

Exactly. Not all sugars are the same. Right. By the way, I hate this name. Sugar alcohol. I wish somebody would. It because, by the way, it has no sugar and no alcohol. That's just what I repeat this. No sugar and no alcohol in this sugar alcohol. So I don't know, whoever came up with his name is like just terrible, terrible naming. So just like everything else, if I ask you, hey, is food good or bad? You say, well, tell me what food. There are foods that are fantastic or foods that are terrible. Is mouthwash good or bad? There are mouthwashes that are fantastic. They're alkalizing mouthwashes. They use really great ingredients. But most the ones that you see, there are these fluorescent colors or neon colors, and you can't keep them terrible. It's the same thing with sugar alcohols. They're like cheaper ones, like sorbitol, which is very common. And the only reason they are used because they're very cheap. They're not as good because the bacteria causes cavity. They can still ferment and use that as food and then they can excrete acid and cause cavity. So my two favorite sugar alcohols, again, I hate that name.

[00:38:38.830] – Dr. Hoss

That are naturally present in fruits are xylitol and erythritol. And those both have been really especially xylitol. Xylitol has been extensively studied. There was a study that just came out that looked at over 200 studies on xylitol and concluded that it acts like a prebiotics. And just quickly, the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and probiotics is bacteria. Prebiotics is food for the microbes. So prebiotics are compounds that naturally produce, like, for example, in breast milk, the third most common ingredients is prebiotics already. So nature already does this, right? And so we want to mimic nature. And so prebiotics inulin is another great probiotics that it doesn't kill the Microbes your mouth, it feeds the good bacteria and stores the bad ones, but also xylitol and erythritol, like you mentioned, they have great taste because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that we encourage people to use it. And that way it gives them a great flavor. At the same time, it provides the food for the good microbes. It also raises the PH because it stimulates salivary glands to produce saliva. So it works in different ways to make sure that we keep our mouths healthy.

[00:39:54.660] – Allan

Right. And there's a lot in the book on how to go about doing this. You have a product don't use a product line with super mouth or yeah.

[00:40:03.390] – Dr. Hoss

So we're launching this company called Super mouth. And this is why, again, like you said, we go to the grocery store and we have no idea where to buy, what to buy for ourselves, what to buy for our kids. We go to the dentist. The dentist doesn't know what to do. So how do we do this? What's the solution? The solution is this. You would go on this website, Supermouth.com in July 31st and you would just say, hey, my name is this is my age and these are some of my risk factors. We ask just five or six questions per house family member and then we become your Proactive oral care advisors. So every three months, every six months, every family member will get a box customize oral care products for that individual. That's based on super acronym, Super. Everything will be super. They're completely safe for us. They're unified. They work together as a system. So you don't get like this person that I met three weeks ago that uses antibiotics and then uses probiotics at the same time, right. The P is playful. Again, we want to build positive associations with your aura character.

[00:41:00.350] – Dr. Hoss

They're based on superheroes and villains in movies and augmented reality and storytelling. They're effective e super, because at the end of the day, if they're not working right, I just talked to a good friend of mine, were having breakfast this morning and his wife, when she was pregnant, she got seven cavities after pregnancy because she avoided, quote unquote, conventional aura care products. But they weren't effective. So it was terrible. If we're going to remove something like fluoride, let's just do a pregnancy. What are you going to replace it with? So our oil care products are completely safe and effective during pregnancy and early childhood and beyond. And at the end of the R stands for Reputable because we want you to come to us dental experts, oral health experts, for your information, not Google or social media and random people that you have zero to a little knowledge about oral health. Yeah.

[00:41:51.920] – Allan

Or the tagline kills 99.9%.

[00:41:55.000] – Dr. Hoss

Exactly.

[00:41:57.050] – Allan

Dr. Hoss, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:42:05.400] – Dr. Hoss

I love it. I love it. I would just say I think the three things is because people know about eating healthy. Like if I asked average person, I'm sure you would agree. How do you stay healthy? I think the average person would say, well, eat healthy and exercise. Those are the two messages that we've always heard. But my job and my passion and my goal is to add a third one to that. And the third one is to take care of your mouth, take care of your mouth from the microbial perspective, and take care of your mouth from the protein development perspective, from airway perspective. So that would be my passion. Eat healthy, exercise daily and take care of your mouth.

[00:42:39.050] – Allan

Awesome. Well, they say the smile is a gateway to the soul. So I agree with you there. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book. If Your Mouth Could Talk, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:51.560] – Dr. Hoss

So you can buy my book from your favorite bookstore in barnes & Noble, Amazon. But you can also go to our specific website about the book themouthbook.com. My dental practice is also thesuperdentists.com, so those are a few places that you can get information about me, my practice and the book.

[00:43:09.210] – Allan

Cool. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/539 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Hoss, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:20.000] – Dr. Hoss

Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure.


Post Show/Recap

[00:43:29.250] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:43:30.750] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Well, wait a minute. I just got to say what an interesting conversation this was. When you first said you were going to have a dentist on, I was like, what we're going to learn about that? But we learned a lot. And I actually learned that the bacteria in our mouth is very important and I'm killing it with my mouthwash. I had no idea.

[00:43:50.920] – Allan

Yeah. Well, most of the products that we use consumer products, they have a really good marketing company that's going to tell you what you need to know. And what you need to know is that you need a sterile mouth. And it sounds reasonable. When someone tells you that you have a microbiome on your skin, that there's billions, trillions maybe of bacteria crawling all over your skin, it gives you the heebejeebes.

[00:44:21.030] – Rachel

It really does.

[00:44:22.250] – Allan

You're sitting there looking at your arm. It's like, where are those critters? Yeah, I don't want to touch anybody because they got the heebejeebes. The point being is that, yes, we have these microbiomes, a lot of this stuff. We're still figuring out how do these interact with each other, how do they survive together? And what are we doing that's harming them? Because antibiotics, don't get me wrong, they are one of the best medical inventions ever. But they are like a nuclear bomb.

[00:44:54.160] – Rachel

Exactly.

[00:44:55.470] – Allan

Taking out everything. And we're making better nukes, better and better antibiotics as we get more bodies get resistant to the easy ones, and then those bugs are now resistant. We have to go harder and we have to go heavier. And it's a bigger bomb and a bigger bomb. And then your ability to regrow, that is extremely limited because these bugs, in many cases, don't even exist anymore. Everybody has killed them and there's none. So it's not like you get in the soil. We don't do that. Don't let your kid get their hands dirty. Oh, my God. Don't put your hand in your mouth. We were eating mud pies.

[00:45:38.790] – Rachel

Yes. And drinking out of the garden hose.

[00:45:41.940] – Allan

Yeah, sure. But no, it made us healthier. Who knew? And so, yeah, there are microbiomes throughout the body, and they're there as a part of our immune system. They're there to help us stay healthy. And mouthwash, it's a good marketing term. It sounds like you're doing the right thing. I want good, fresh, clean mouth. And you're over cleaning it is effectively the answer.

[00:46:10.680] – Rachel

That was a big surprise. Although I'm not surprised about fluoride. I think a lot of people know that a lot of times our city water is fluorinated. Then you've got the fluorine and the toothpaste. And if you're over time taking in too much fluoride, that can become a problem. So it was interesting that he had an alternative for that.

[00:46:29.860] – Allan

Yes, there are some alternatives and some things. Xylitol is one. It's a sugar alcohol. Again, you don't have to swallow it. You just need it on your teeth. And the other was this I had not heard of before, but Nano hydroxyapatite, and they call it Nano HAP for short. You can look it up. It's available. It's going to be in his product. So realize he's going to be selling dental products, too. So probably toothpaste and things like that, because these toxins, like fluoride and whatnot, they're a cumulative thing. And so if you're having your kid brush their teeth twice a day and they're swallowing too much fluoride, and getting it in their water, there's this build up at a potential. So it's his opinion that children should not be using fluoride in their water, in their toothpaste. But that said, if they are prone to cavities, then they need something to protect enamel. So the two things you look for are how do we reduce the acidity and how do we help the teeth build back stronger the way fluoride would? And so there are these alternatives, and it's worth looking into to help your child not have that much fluoride.

[00:47:52.720] – Allan

There's probably too much maybe drinking having your kid drink filtered water, because I think some of these filters can remove the fluoride from the water and then you can look at the toothpaste and maybe take some there. But if you're going to do that and they need something to help with the hardening of the teeth, then you're going to look at it. And the other thing that we didn't talk about is we're an adult show, not an adult, but we're talking about it and being healthy over 40. But with children, grandchildren, things like that, if they're not taking care of their baby teeth, they're going to have problems with their adult teeth. And I know I always thought, well, they're going to lose it, so who cares? It does matter. The mouth affects your health, but the mouth, as you're growing up, affects what your mouth is going to be when you get older.

[00:48:43.710] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:48:44.970] – Allan

There's zero reason for anyone to have to have teeth extraction, except for the fact that it was a kid. We didn't take care of little problems that later became big problems. So your mouth is not big enough to handle your wisdom teeth. I'm not much of a talker other than being on a podcast, but I have my wisdom teeth because I have a big enough mouth that it was never a problem. Yeah, but it's part of that is genetic. But the other part of it is just taking care of your teeth when you're young. Sure. I never did anything silly other than smash my face and kill one of my teeth. So I have my issues, but not to the point where I didn't have enough mouth for the teeth that were going to come in.

[00:49:35.100] – Rachel

Well, healthy habits need to start at a young age. And if we can teach our children and grandchildren how to care for their teeth and they'll have healthier habits as adolescents and as young adults.

[00:49:46.360] – Allan

But then on our side, yes, the best time for us to have taken care of our teeth for children, the best time you can take care of your teeth right now. That's what we've got. So if you're having some issues with periodontist. Right. But if you're having some issues, it's worth getting it looked into because there is a correlation there there is a heart disease and some of these other lifestyle diseases, there's a correlation. The reason I wanted to have this on was predominantly for the heart disease, So some of this was also eye opening to me Because I was thinking, wow, they've tied this to diabetes, to cancers, To Alzheimer's disease, all these different lifestyle. We're now starting to realize our lifestyle diseases. So while the cause might not be the dental issues, there's an association. And so if we're not taking care of our mouth, we're probably not taking care of our health. So it's a red flag, at the very least, for you to say, okay, why am I having these dental problems? What can I do about it? And is this a lifestyle thing that's causing this versus there's people that brush their teeth Twice a day, Three times a day, they still have issues with this.

[00:51:04.430] – Allan

And so there is a care regimen, there is a hygiene. And that's in his book. He's really good about walking you Through The proper dental hygiene thing, and it includes getting the acidity of your mouth down, which can be the choice of foods. It can be a mouth spray or something like that, but it's getting that acidity down. And then the second aspect of it Is just making sure that you have strong, healthy enamel in your teeth. Your teeth are living things, and they need to be cared for. You can think of them like plants. You have to take care of them or they're going to go away. So that's really why I wanted to have someone on like him, Because it's really the first what I'd say good book or book out, though, I was like we could talk about health in relation to dental health and overall health and what that relationship is. But this is a care manual. I mean, literally, this will teach you how to take care of your teeth, your children's teeth, if they listen to you and your grandchildren's teeth. It's a really good manual for you to go through, get an understanding of the relationships and the things that are good for you.

[00:52:10.440] – Allan

Build a good hygiene and you'll have a better mouth.

[00:52:14.000] – Rachel

That sounds great. I think I need to take a look at that hygiene Because my mind is blown about the whole 99% of killing all the bacteria in your mouth as being a problem. So, yeah, I'd like to see what he's got for us to take better care of our mouths and therefore better care of our health. That sounds really interesting.

[00:52:32.700] – Allan

Well, the name of the book Is Dr. Kami Hoss, and the name of the book is if your mouth could talk.

[00:52:38.830] – Rachel

Perfect.

[00:52:40.750] – Allan

All right Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:43.180] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care, Allan.

[00:52:44.960] – Allan

Bye

[00:52:45.630] – Rachel

bye bye.

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How to use joy to improve your health and fitness with Dr. Michelle Segar

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Many of us think of weight loss and exercise as being joyless, in fact taking away the things and foods we love. In her book, The Joy Choice, Dr. Michelle Segar shows us there is a better way to get healthy and fit. By choosing the joy choice.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:35.410] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:36.530] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:38.070] – Allan

I'm doing okay. How are things up there?

[00:02:40.600] – Rachel

Really good. Really proud to announce my son just graduated from College. He's got a job lined up with General Motors, which we're very proud and excited for him. And so this month we're working on finding him an apartment to live in and he'll be about fledged in another month or so. We're pretty excited to be one step closer to that empty nesters part of our lives.

[00:03:03.900] – Allan

Congratulations for him and you because I know as a parent these days you're engaged.

[00:03:10.280] – Rachel

Yes, I am.

[00:03:11.510] – Allan

When they're going through the College years.

[00:03:14.530] – Rachel

Yeah. I'm pretty happy to be done with that Bill. I'll tell you that right now. And he is, too. Yeah. He's very excited to be done with College and starting this next chapter of his life, and we're very proud.

[00:03:25.990] – Allan

That's cool.

[00:03:27.020] – Rachel

So how are things with you?

[00:03:28.520] – Allan

Well, we had a new house guest come in. A holler monkey.

[00:03:35.650] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness.

[00:03:37.400] – Allan

And so this holler monkey, we're about 2 miles away from where any of the holler monkeys would hang out. I've never heard or seen a holler monkey this far into town. Heard stories. Now, of course, once it happens, like, oh, well, this happened a few years ago kind of thing. But, no, this dude was literally coming across the wires, and, of course, Buster has to fend the habitat. So he's barking like crazy trying to get to this monkey. I'm trying to keep him away from the monkey and just try to figure out, okay, how do I get the monkey to shoo or go away? But I don't want to also don't want them to get hurt. I don't want to get hit by a car and so many things going through my head, and then all of a sudden, the monkey zap, touched a wire they weren't supposed to touch and just fell. This is from the second story, probably, I would say a good 25ft drop and just lands on pavement. I hear speck when he hit the ground. I ran over there. He's stunned. I take a picture, and I go online. I message Tag, the guy that does our local humane society kind of stuff, Papa Gato.

[00:04:53.050] – Allan

And so he brings a woman over. But before he gets over there and really before I get my post all the way down and go back out, this monkey's woke up, goes across the street and climbs up an almond tree. And so he's up in the tree. So Papa Gato goes and gets his trap. We put a couple of bananas in there, and we set the trap up. Well, the monkey stayed in that tree for almost two whole days.

[00:05:20.310] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:05:21.690] – Allan

Stayed overnight. And then it was late the next afternoon that he finally, I guess, get climbed down and just took off because I didn't see him slip out. I would go out there every couple of hours and check on him just to see if he was in the tree. He would move from side to side. So I knew he was generally okay. Somehow, another he came down. He just ignored the bananas we had out there for him, and they just took off. And so hopefully he's going to be okay. He'll find his way back to where he needs to be. I hear these male monkeys will get kicked out of their troop, and then they just have to go find a place to be that's not where their troops at because they're not welcome there anymore. So I think he just strayed and got himself on the wrong side of town.

[00:06:06.490] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. What an adventure.

[00:06:09.980] – Allan

Then he got shocked and it was so interesting because we had a guest up there on the balcony when this is all happening, he's just looking around like, oh, my God, what's going on here? And then all of a sudden the monkey gets electrocuted and he's messaging his wife and his daughter said, don't come back yet. Don't come back yet. You don't want to see this. I thought the monkey was done when he hit that concrete and electrocuted, I thought, oh, that poor monkey. But he was able to climb up the tree and spend a day up there, I guess heal a little and then decided it was time for him to move on because there was no water on that land where he was. So he was going to need to go somewhere just to get water. But interesting weekend.

[00:06:54.680] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure. Holy cow.

[00:06:57.650] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to talk to Dr. Segar?

[00:07:02.300] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:07:52.090] – Allan

Dr. Segar, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:55.150] – Dr. Segar

It's great to be here.

[00:07:57.170] – Allan

Now I'm going to say joy is one of my favorite words. And I have a question that's going to come up later about wellness, and it includes happiness. But after I wrote the book and after I've asked this question hundreds of times, I kind of wish I'd use the word joy instead of happiness because I think that's really the word I was after. So your book is called, The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise. And, you know, I think anybody that's tried to change one or both of those knows it might be the most challenging thing they've ever done. I know for me it was. And while I didn't call it the Joy Choice at the time, most of what you're talking about here, it just resonates with me very well because it was effectively what took me over eight years of trial and error to figure out. And they can get this book and get a lot of the details of how to do it in a much shorter time.

[00:08:59.750] – Dr. Segar

The reason why so many people haven't figured it out yet and that it might have taken you eight years is because we've been taught an opposite approach that really gets in our way. It clouds and contaminates our thinkings and our emotions about eating and exercise and really derails what we're hoping to achieve. So that's why it's so hard. And I think the biggest thing is for people to really understand it's not their fault. It's because the whole formula that we've been taught, not the whole the majority of what we've been taught over the last three to four decades has been based on science, but it hasn't necessarily been based on how we can best sustain a behavior within our complicated lives.

[00:09:52.790] – Allan

Yeah. And you got into some of the science on that, which was fascinating. And we've seen it in other areas I have in Health and Fitness, where they'll take one study and they'll say, okay, this is the study, and then we're going to drive everything else off of this one study. And the one I'm talking about in particular that was in your book was you were talking about how long it takes to build a habit. And granted, we can say based on that study, 66 days potentially, but the standard deviations, for someone it was two weeks, and for someone else, it was almost a whole year on average. Okay, 66 days. And we drive a lot of the way we approach this on a study like that. So it's no wonder that you're not one of the people that happens to be on the right end of the 66 days. It might take you longer. It might take you a different approach, which is what you get into with the Joy choice.

[00:10:57.290] – Dr. Segar

I'm not sure that's even the most strategic question that we could be asking to focus on how long is it going to take me to form an automatic habit? As you know, in the book, there's a lot of concerns I have about telling people that they should be forming habits for healthy eating, exercise, and I'm sure we're going to get into that in a little bit. But the idea is that focusing on the process instead of the outcome, what do I need to do consistently to actually be able to stick with this long term? That's focusing on the process. That's the goal. That's what's going to get us where we want to go. So that's really the best of the question we should be asking is what do I need to do? What is most likely to get in my way, and what can I do to overcome or prevent those things?

[00:11:49.940] – Allan

Yeah. And we definitely will get into that. There was a concept you had in the book that I thought was brilliant, and it's called the motivation bubble. And the reason I think that it's great is because I think when someone actually understands this concept, it's like that happens to me every single day. It's not just every single time I try to lose weight or every time I try to start an exercise program, I build this motivation bubble. That bubble pops as soon as something gets around it. And we've got these. Can you talk about the motivation bubble because we go in with the best of intentions and we're excited.

[00:12:35.810] – Dr. Segar

Right? Well, we usually decide we're going to change our eating or start exercising more for a very specific reason. Either we're excited for a trip we're going to take or that magazine cover or our doctor gave us really scary news and we start and we're in this and we're full of motivation because we've decided we're going to do it. But the motivation is like a bubble. And as we know, bubbles are very fragile and we might blow a really big bubble, but it doesn't take much for that to bump up into anything else. Anything that bumps into it is going to burst it. This is how we've been taught to initiate behavior change in this fragile bubble of motivation without a lot of strategy, without understanding the types of things that are really going to get in our way. And bubbles burst. And that's why I use it. And that analogy came organically out of an interview, and I've just been using it ever since.

[00:13:40.670] – Allan

Yeah. Now there are some of us, like your husband, who is able to create habits, and you can call him a habitor, is what you call them in the book. And then there's people that are not habitors, and we call them you call them unhabitors. Can you talk about those two people? And why is it difficult for certain individuals to be able to form habits? And other individuals might just say, okay, naturally, here's my habit, and I start doing it three weeks later. I'm just doing it every day. What's the difference?

[00:14:12.890] – Dr. Segar

Well, before I answer the question, I think we need to create the context. And what people care about is they have some North Star they want to achieve. They want to be healthier, they want to have a better sense of well being. And in order to achieve those north stars, we need sustainable behavior change, because if you make a change and don't stick with it, you're not going to be able to achieve those goals. So sustainability is this fundamental thing we need. But sustainability is really the symptom of something else, and that is consistent decisions day in and day out. Now, I don't mean identical decisions. I just mean a sense of consistency in our choices that favor doing the behavior. There's a couple of ways to create consistent decisions. One is through our unconscious automatic thinking, which would be via habit formation, and the other is through our conscious thinking. So let's pause on our conscious thinking and focus now on habit formation, which is offloading our choices to exercise or eat in certain ways to our unconscious and automatic decision making. And let me just say, habits are great. I'm thankful for my flossing habit.

[00:15:33.690] – Dr. Segar

I'm thankful that I have a habit to feed my dog in the morning because it will starve otherwise. So I'm thankful I don't have to think about those things, but those are very simple things, and there are personality differences that I'll get into in a minute. But if we think about different behaviors like exercise, flossing happens in the bathroom. There's not a lot that's going to get in the way or disrupt it. But when it comes to physical activity, we've got places to get to. We've got transportation, we've got potentially changes. We've got other people whose logistics were in charge of there are so many different things that can get in the way and make it very complicated. Habit formation happens via what's called the habit loop, which is a queue for behavior like I brush my teeth and the cue is brushing, and I automatically think reach for the floss. I floss, and then there's some type of reward, and that fuels a process in our brain that automates it as soon as we get that queue. And again, for flossing, it's pretty simple in the bathroom. But step outside of the bathroom into the chaotic, crazy life of hubbub that many of us live, and that cue is going to get disrupted.

[00:16:50.760] – Dr. Segar

Now, getting back to your question about habitors versus unhabitors. Habitors are people like my husband, and God bless him, he lets me use him as an example. There's nothing wrong. Habitors are awesome, and I love them dearly. But what's most important is that we understand which we tend to be. And a habitor tends to be someone who is very disciplined, who has a very organized schedule that doesn't lend itself to a lot of disruption, and that makes it easier to form habits even for complex behaviors like exercise. But unhabitors and I happen to be one of those, one of the lucky many millions. I think more people are unhabitors because unhabitants tend to be less organized. We tend to have more hubbub and unexpected in our lives. We may manage many people's lives and pets, whether at home or at work. And so there's a lot of room for the unanticipated to just fly in and disrupt any habit loop that we might be trying to create. So that's the big difference. Does that make sense?

[00:18:05.740] – Allan

Yeah. The way I like to talk to people about it, a lot of it's going to depend on how you do your self awareness, and as you sit down with your self awareness understanding. Okay, am I the kind of person who can get into a Porsche and get this done? And I've got no disruptions. I got nothing in the road in front of me. It's a straight road, and I can just haul versus someone who's now got kids and other things. So now I'm driving in a minivan and I can't go as fast, and the road is curved, and maybe there's a whole lot of road construction in school zones and everything else going on in our lives. It's going to keep us from getting as far as fast and understanding that then allows you to take the approach one with patience, understanding that your life is not completely 100% of your control, which is what the joy choice really, when it comes down to it, is where the real value comes in is I don't have to Super manage my life. I don't have to worry about that I'm in a sports car. I can be in my minivan and be very happy with the progress that I'm making.

[00:19:06.890] – Allan

That's kind of the way I put where I'm at. The way I like to approach this with what you're talking about is once we know who we are, it's a lot easier to make some decisions. And then once we know how to approach it, we make better decisions.

[00:19:21.470] – Dr. Segar

You know what it's about fit and match. And let's step outside of exercise and healthy eating just for a minute, and let's think about what other areas in our lives we know that where we learn that we're fit is so important. We might, when we're younger, want to date and pick the raciest coolest person. But when it comes down to who we want to spend the rest of our life with, that person might have very different characteristics to fit us. Or if we think about schools, the fit with who we are and what kind of learning context teaching we need will determine whether we have a successful and a positive experience. So it's the same when it comes to changing our behavior. Are the strategies we're trying to use a fit with who we are in personality and our life context, or are they not? But we haven't been taught to ask that question.

[00:20:24.470] – Allan

Yeah. Now in the book, you talk about the decision disruptors and you use the acronym Trap. I love acronyms, too, because they help us remember some things. And these are really important because if you can recognize these traps, then you're in a much better place because so many times these traps get us. And by the time we recognize that, we've gone off the trail, our motivation bubble has popped and that day is effectively, in our minds, ruined before we ruin our day. If we catch ourselves in that moment, which is we'll get into the pop in a minute. But we start with understanding where the traps are. Can you talk about what Trap stands for and what these potential disruptors are?

[00:21:10.920] – Dr. Segar

Yes, and I call them decision disruptors, because what this book is about is what we really haven't been taught for the most part and what to do when our healthy eating or exercise plan bumps up with an unexpected conflict because the societal dogma has been all or nothing thinking, which really, if your plan is disrupted, the only alternative in that paradigm or that binary is nothing. And so people do nothing. And so the goal of the book is to help people at those challenges, those choice points, those momentary decisions about what to do and so things that disrupt those decisions, that tend to be internal in our heads that we might not be aware of are temptation, rebellion, accommodation, and perfection. And while these traps are active and often they're often unconscious. So one of my favorite quotes of all time it has to do with this is from Dan Siegel, and he says, name it to tame it. So if we can name the trap that is staring us in the face, we can really remove a great deal of its power to control our decisions, which is what we're focused on in the book.

[00:22:30.330] – Dr. Segar

So the first one is temptation. And temptation is just this visceral feeling. We have to we want that chocolate cake. It is in front staring us down. It's seducing us or, wow, the couch and that beer is calling us to watch more something on Netflix. Right now we're watching The Good Place, which is really funny. So temptation, when we hear that word, we know what it means. But what we might not know is what new theories based on how our brain works proposed. And that is that it's our past experiences with the chocolate cake and the couch and the beer that is really exerting pullovers. It's not what's in front of us. It's our history of past memories of participating these activities and what it felt like and what it sounded like and the emotions we had and the people we were with. And when we understand that, then we can name it. Oh, that isn't just that chocolate frosting listening in the light. It's how I felt when my mom made it for my birthday every year. And when we can notice that. I mean, I already know you started off this conversation with self awareness.

[00:23:54.370] – Dr. Segar

Self awareness is what people need to be able to notice those things. And so when we understand how the brain works when it comes to these temptation choice points, then we are much more empowered to take charge and not succumb to something that we might not want to succumb to. So do you want me to go to the second one?

[00:24:17.440] – Allan

Yes, please.

[00:24:18.090] – Dr. Segar

Okay. So the second very common disruptor that I've seen in my coaching clients is rebellion. And in my last interview, the podcaster asked me, why would people rebel against something that they themselves have planned to do? Well, there's a really great reason why. And the reason is because we have been socialized to initiate an eating plan or to start a new exercise regimen out of shoulds because we think we should do it because our doctor told us to, because our company told us to, because we think we're overweight, whatever the reason. And when we initiate a behavior change out of that mentality, which is the most common way actually to initiate a change in this area, it makes us feel like we're not free to choose the things we want to choose. And it's human nature. And theory support us that human beings are motivated to reclaim their freedom when they feel like it's been taken away. So if you think you can't have pizza because it's not on your eating plan, well, guess what we're motivated to do? We're motivated to say screw you plan. I'm going to have it anyway. So that's rebellion.

[00:25:38.780] – Dr. Segar

I bet you've seen that a lot in your work.

[00:25:40.780] – Allan

Is that I do. My very first client was doing great, seeing results. Everything was wonderful. I was excited. She was telling me these wonderful stories or interactions with her granddaughter. And I was thinking, okay, she's on a really great track. So she's experiencing the benefits of what's going on and things she had told me before. She hates exercise and everything. And I'm like, well, you know, we're going to do some and we're going to do. And so we were going along. And I think similar to what you'd said in the book, it's like when she started rebelling and then disappeared, it was my fault. It really wasn't her fault. I should have recognized early on that she was starting to struggle with the shoulds, even though she was seeing the benefits. I was focused on the benefits and thinking this has to motivate her when the reality was she was having an internal conflict with the shoulds and eventually just realized I was the bad guy, if you will, of the should. And every time she thought of me or thought about being on the phone with me, there was a should that kept coming out and that was too much pressure on her.

[00:26:56.700] – Allan

And so she just decided to rebel and disappear, ghost me. And because we weren't, again, not a family member or friend or somebody I was close to, when she decided to ghost me, she's gone. I think the one that you talked about was more on the perfection side, but I think as a coach, I should have recognized the warning signs. And now, having read your book, seeing this trap, listening to what my clients are telling me and understanding, hey, you don't have to do this. There's no shoulds here. Let's talk about it. And let's see how we can get past this trap because I missed it.

[00:27:37.550] – Dr. Segar

Until we recognize it, we all miss it because we haven't been taught to name it and categorize it. And I want to say something that people that coaches and personal trainers are doing is having their clients take the trap quiz on my website and then going over it with them to see, oh, is rebellion one of your traps? Yes or no? Is it temptation? And it can be a diagnostic for a coach to use with their clients. I personally found it really helpful. But let's move on to the next trap, which is accommodation. And this one is a little counterintuitive. People don't think about this as intuitively as they would think about rebellion or temptation. And it basically refers to whenever we come up against the needs of someone else or work needs, we just instinctively unconsciously drop what we had planned to do for our physical activity or our healthy eating because we say to ourselves, and again, most of this stuff has to do with self talk or unconscious processes that we're not aware of. We just said, oh, I have to join the celebration. I'm going to forget about my plan. I don't even want to eat that cupcake.

[00:28:53.820] – Dr. Segar

But if I don't eat it, it's going to hurt their feelings. And so that's accommodation for eating, where you just kind of decide what I've been doing doesn't matter. I just need to be in the celebration with everyone. Now the reality is there's a ton of ways you can participate in the celebration if you don't have all or nothing thinking. But if you do, then the only option is eat the cupcake. And from an exercise perspective, we see this a lot. And I'm sure you see this all the time. When people have some kind of planned exercise and our work needs, our email inbox, those urgent things are non urgent, but mounting things never go away. And so if we always feel that what our work is more important than our own walk or selfcare, then we're letting accommodation get in the way. And I want to say, people assume that people like you and me, who might be proponents of active lifestyles and self care, that we don't struggle at all with these issues. But I know I do all the time. And this has been a hugely busy time with the book launch.

[00:30:12.430] – Dr. Segar

And I have had to consciously make joy choices day in and day out about my walking because I have a lot more to do right now. And so I'm sure you experienced that too.

[00:30:25.690] – Allan

Yes, that was kind of the interesting thing. As we went through the traps, I was like, okay, well, yeah, that happened. So temptation got me. And then accommodation perfection. I had a hard time finding examples of rebellion for myself. I just kind of looked through, I said, okay, I haven't taken your quiz. So I'm interested. As soon as we get off this call, I'm probably logging in and taking a quiz. But the accommodation was a big one, because what I found was I wanted to work out every afternoon during my lunch hour. And so I would just have it in my mind that as soon as I took my lunch, that was when I was going to go to the gym. Invariably, a meeting would get scheduled. My boss would call, something would be going on, a report. I have to get out today, something I've got to get done. And so I would say, okay, well, I'll just do this instead. And then that day I get my workout. And what I finally found was, okay, what I have to do if I want this to happen is I literally have to block out my calendar as if that's the most important meeting of my day.

[00:31:25.640] – Allan

It's with my boss, myself, but it's with my boss, my real boss, me. And it's not something I can cancel. And so when I made that non negotiable meeting on my calendar, no one else could book a meeting coming up about a half an hour before that meeting, I actually turned my email off, so I wasn't hearing the Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding leading up to that hour. And then when my hours was up, I put my clothes on and I go and maybe my work boss would call. And so I'd say, okay, what do you need? Come on up to my office. I was walking up to his office in my workout closed. He's like, what's going on? He's like, well, I was on my way to the gym. Here I am. What do you need? He said, well, I need this. I'm like, okay, well, I need an hour to get my workout done, and then I'll have it over to you. Cool. And now, would I have done that before? No, because I didn't have the awareness, self awareness that I was letting that accommodation trap happen until I realized, okay, I keep missing workouts because I'm accommodating these other things.

[00:32:26.480] – Allan

And again, I didn't have a label for it exactly. But I just understood that if I didn't take that time back, I would always lose it.

[00:32:35.450] – Dr. Segar

What the book would address in that scenario is, let's say you walked upstairs to talk to your work boss, and what he needed you to do was going to take 25 minutes, and you had another meeting on the hour that you had to take. So the alternative is that instead of saying, oh, I didn't get that hour, what else can I do? In the 35 minutes that I have left, I can't go to the gym like I plan to because I'm not going to get all sweaty. So that's what we're trying to help people learn is how do you navigate in flexible ways? That unexpected thing that did cut into your hour, despite your great strategies of blocking off that time in your calendar, right?

[00:33:24.010] – Allan

Yeah. Now, the last one you had was perfection. And I actually think I know for myself this one's, the one. If I could have solved this one, it probably wouldn't have taken me eight years to figure this all out, because a lot of us suffer from this. And in many cases, it's the perfection trap that then really almost sets off everything else. I mean, all the other traps happen because we're already caught in the perfection trap.

[00:33:52.020] – Dr. Segar

Yeah, I'm smiling really big right now because you couldn't have said it more perfectly. Perfection is the most common one. It's what our society has taught us, socialized indoctrinated, us to do, and it does set the stage, because if perfection is the bar, then of course you're going to rebel and eat the whole piece of cake because there's no in between. You're going to succumb to temptation because you can't have it. You can't have it, and then you're going to rebel against that darn diet anyway. So perfection, you are right. I call it it's so big, I call it a Dragon. It's the all or nothing Dragon. And we have literally been so it's not our fault we have all or nothing thinking or perfectionistic approaches because our society has evolved in a way to teach us. But that is the old behavior change story. It's outdated and misguided many of us. And the great news is the new science offers us a whole new story of behavior change. And it will have a happy ending because it's based on what a body of science shows work. And I don't want to leap into the solution because you're guiding me along.

[00:35:12.140] – Dr. Segar

But perfection is the old story of behavior change and it is outdated.

[00:35:19.550] – Allan

Now with perfection and I think this is really where the breakdown of all this comes together is everybody believes that the reason they're failing is because they lack self control. And regardless, it's almost as if, okay, well, if I had more self control, I wouldn't fall for these traps. But that's not really the case because we don't have a lack of self control. It's not a failure, as you mentioned earlier, it's like we're not broken. We're wired the way we're wired. And it's not that we need more self control, we just need to go into what you call the choice points with our head up and being aware.

[00:36:04.970] – Dr. Segar

That's exactly right. We need to understand that the choice points right now and right now is the place of power because they accumulate over time. And that's why the perfect, imperfect choice or option is the solution, because right now we might make a choice that's imperfect, but it keeps us on the path. And the next now we might hit the Bull's eye, but the next five, we might make another perfectly imperfect choice, but we're still staying consistent. And that reinforces himself and keeps us getting the benefits over time. That continuously reinforced why we're doing it in the first place.

[00:36:51.770] – Allan

So the approach that you take to do the joy choice is called Pop. Again, another acronym. Again, they'll remember this, okay, trap is Temptation, Rebellion, Accommodation, Perfection. And then Pop is the approach that you take to get out of these traps. You recognize the trap. To do that, we've got to do a few things. And that's what the Pop is about. The story you told in the book about one of your clients using this technique I think was really good and I'd like to use that here. And that was the woman who decided, okay, I'm going to do a pool workout five days a week. It's going to be my bridge between my work day and my evening. And in theory, when you say that to a personal trainer, it's like, that sounds brilliant. That should work great until Alex got involved. Yeah, go ahead.

[00:37:51.210] – Dr. Segar

She comes home from work, her in laws are visiting, and she's thrilled to enact this perfect plan. And she hears screaming up in the window and looks up and sees her young son crying because she is in his happy place without him. And he's distraught. And she's like, oh, no, I've been gone all day. But I really want this, my time, this movement, listening to my music in the pool and helping me transition from brain heavy day to heart full evening with my family. And her old way of thinking would have been either I have to choose between meeting Alex's needs, which is not being in the pool and going and getting him or going out of the pool to comfort him, or fully meeting his needs and dropping my pool workout. But we had had a session, and she remembered that instead of letting this is what I say. Instead of letting the circumstances or life burst your bubble, you can pop your plan. And when we say we're going to pop our plan, we are taking ownership of our thinking and the situation. And again, we are not aiming for perfection here. So what did she do?

[00:39:16.660] – Dr. Segar

She popped her plan and pop stands for pause. This is where she said, oh, my gosh, accommodation is staring me in the face. Alex needs me. I'm yearning to go to him, but I know that I can name it and I can say, oh, this is what's happening. I have some control over it. Now, let me get my attention back on the pop process. Then she opened up her options and played with the options. Well, what could she do? She could take a walk after work with her family. She came up with another option that I can't think of off the top of my head. Or she could bring Alex into the pool and play around, walk with him, and basically do a modified pool workout with him. Still getting her physical activity and meeting Alex's needs. And of course, that was like the Ding, Ding, Ding. And she P, she picked the joy choice, which was staying in the pool, worked out to give her the transition she wanted. But instead of doing it alone, Mommy time with music, she decided she would do it and be active with Alex so that she could fulfill these two different what had been conflicting but had a mutuality that she could choose.

[00:40:38.180] – Dr. Segar

So she picked the joy choice, which is what we do at the end of the pop process.

[00:40:43.410] – Allan

Right. And the advantage was this. And this is the kind of added benefit that really wasn't built into her original model. But it worked was she had the in laws get Alex ready for the pool, which gave her, like, five to ten minutes to do the kind of the unwinding thing that she intended to do while she was in the pool. She got her head straight, got herself that transition from work to heart. And then Alex is in the pool with her. It wasn't the workout she intended, but she still got movement in, as you said, the perfect imperfect. And she got it done. And as a result, she was in control. But she had to get that pause. She had to recognize the trap, and then she had to make the decision that was the right decision in the moment for her. The joy choice.

[00:41:31.490] – Dr. Segar

That's right. That's the beauty of it is the joy choice lets us meet the many roles and responsibilities that give our life meaning and still take care of ourselves. And there's a new definition of success. And that's another reason why it's the joy choice, because we are successful when we do something instead of nothing. And she was so proud of herself, and that was the beginning. Once we do it one or two times, it really does become intuitive. And the beauty of it is that once we start doing it with exercise and eating, we actually can do it. I do it in all areas of my life because it's a way for me to regroup and be flexible and pick the most optimal choice for that particular challenge.

[00:42:23.980] – Allan

Yeah. Now, the way this would apply for, like, one with temptation. You talked about in the book, how if you walk by the cafe and you see that croissant, chocolate filled croissant, and it's glistening and it's calling your name and it's a loud voice and you're really struggling to walk away from this cafe and you find yourself in line magically. And then you realize, okay, again, pause. Why am I in this line? And you realize, it's not the chocolate croissant. It's the last time you were at that cafe with your friend, you guys had a wonderful conversation. You had that chocolate croissant. And the blend of the moment is now in your memory. So one of your executive functions has tied into this and said, this croissant is kind of a reminder of kind of a reliving of a great moment in your life. You talk about the chocolate cake your mother made. This is kind of another one of those things. Now, you can recognize that this is temptation.

[00:43:25.810] – Dr. Segar

Absolutely. And when we recognize that it puts it in perspective, it takes away. It's not the dark force that's drawing us in. I mean, if we think about eating the cake as the dark force, then we've already succumbed to it right before we ate it. So once we recognize, oh, Geez, this is what's going on. This is what's going on in my brain. It's not that when we remove the tension that it's this evil thing that we shouldn't have that's off the plan or that we feel that we should do and want to rebel against. We really put ourselves in control. Again, it's a decision. And it doesn't mean that people will decide not to have the croissant, but they're going to do it understanding the meaning it has for them without tension. But they're going to make a conscious choice instead of an unconscious reaction. Or they might say, you know what? I really want that chocolate croissant for all the reasons above, but I don't need to eat the whole thing. I actually would be really satisfied and proud of myself to eat half of it, wrap the other half up, and maybe I'll have it for dessert, or split it with my family after dinner, or I'll save it for the next day.

[00:44:41.410] – Dr. Segar

Learning how to be flexible is the key to sustainability. I mean, the research clearly shows this.

[00:44:48.170] – Allan

Yeah. Especially if you find that you're an unhabitor and you can't sit down and just say, I'm going to do this and stick with it. If you've struggled in the past with that, it's very likely you are an unhabitor. It's likely that you fall into these traps. And if you really go back and think about it, you'll start to see the patterns, and you just have to stop and recognize that pause and recognize when you're repeating that pattern and make another choice.

[00:45:17.530] – Dr. Segar

Absolutely. And it is, again, it's really important for people to recognize am I more like Michelle's husband Job, who's a habitor in all areas of his life, or am I more like Michelle and a little disorganized and a little comfortable keeping dishes in the sink and sometimes feel like, oh my gosh, how am I going to do all these things? So self awareness and fit is really the structure we need to set us up for success long term.

[00:45:49.930] – Allan

And so in the book, you give us a lot of tools as we start going through this process, because we can say it pop and go through it and we can talk about examples. But the reality is that you get good at this or get better at this by practice.

[00:46:08.290] – Dr. Segar

Like anything, like anything. Like any new things, we need to give ourselves Grace when we don't do it, quote, unquote as well as we hoped we would or thought we should anytime we learn something new, it's a learning process. And giving ourselves Grace is like we should give other people Grace when they're learning how to do something. That's a really important part of this, too. And that's part of why it's the joy choice, because it's all about being forgiven forgiving. It's about being imperfect like we are honoring that and making sure that our strategies for physical activity and healthy eating match with the imperfect lives that many of us live.

[00:46:59.470] – Allan

Dr. Siegar, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:47:08.770] – Dr. Segar

I think understanding that we need self-awareness is the fundamental element. Without self awareness, we can't know what we need, we can't know what we want. So first and foremost, we have to have the intention of becoming more self aware. Then when we decide that we want to do something toward our happiness or wellness, we want to make sure that what we're choosing to embark on is the right thing at the right time. So, for example, if someone now, this is different for different people. And this is why self awareness is really key to understand this. So for example, if someone just has a baby, they have a brand new newborn baby and they're like, I've got to get fit right now. They have a newborn that's a week old, that doesn't sleep through the night, and that person decides they're going to start working out every day or whatever. I would say that is probably the wrong thing at the wrong time. And the workout has to be perfect. Now, exercise is a great way to facilitate your sleep. But if you add something to grandiose onto an already overwhelming situation. So that's where fit of what we're doing when is really important.

[00:48:26.610] – Dr. Segar

So I just want to take a step back and say physical activity is great for new moms. It's the overarching plan that they create that would be important. And of course, walking with your newborn is a great way to be active. But that's just an example. You said, how do you do it? You want to make sure that what you're doing is the right thing for the right time. And then the third thing is, I think considering whatever you're doing as a process of learning, where one day you're going to have a couple of steps forward, you're going to hit the bullseye, and the other days you might have to make joy choices. And that the goal isn't perfection, it's staying on the path through doing something instead of nothing.

[00:49:10.510] – Allan

Great. Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Joy Choice, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:19.150] – Dr. Segar

Well, the book should be everywhere. So they can go to their local bookstore. They can get it online through booksellers online. If they want to take the quiz and learn more about the book, they can go to my website, which is michellesegar.com

[00:49:35.590] – Allan

awesome. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/538 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Segar, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:49:45.910] – Dr. Segar

Thanks for having me. It was really fun to talk with you.

[00:49:48.950] – Allan

Me, too. Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:49:57.470] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:49:59.090] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. With an interesting conversation you had. There's a couple of things I'd like to talk about. But first, I'd like to talk about setting or creating habits. It sounds like it's still a good thing to do, but not everybody is able to create habits quite as easily as everyone else.

[00:50:14.010] – Allan

Yeah, there are people that they decide they want to do something, they're going to start taking a multivitamin or they're going to change something the way they do something. And then pretty easily after that, they're just doing it. They're not even thinking about it anymore. For most people, for a lot of people, works fairly well. If you do it long enough, it's different for everybody. You may have heard numbers out there, like 21 days or 66 days or whatever. And the reality is that the science that's out there, while there was an average of 66 days to make an action automatic or feel automatic where you weren't thinking about doing it, you just did it. 66 was the average. But the spread on that was really wide. Some people less than two weeks, other people almost a year. And so you can't just say 66 days. But for a lot of people, if you get to doing a simple thing over and over, eventually it just becomes a habit. You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, you put the coffee on, you walk the dog. There's simple things that become like a ritual when you do them.

[00:51:31.890] – Allan

But big caveat, it really only works for simple things. When you want to do something like food prep or something like that, that's a whole series of actions. Then you have to go deeper than a habit because habits not going to get you there like that. There are habitors, like she said, like her husband, that once they start doing something, it does. So if you're doing Sunday meal prep, Saturday grocery shop, maybe Sunday morning grocery shop, and then Sunday meal prep, yes, that can become like a normal thing on your schedule that you get to doing and feel like a habit. But most of us are not going to feel comfortable that that's an automatic thing. And then anything that gets in the way pop, we're out of it. And we may not even go back the next Sunday and do it because we stopped doing it this Sunday before.

[00:52:27.630] – Rachel

That's a good point. Which brings me to the other thing that I think is more useful is that Traps acronym that she had for the decision disruptors. And the reason why that was such a light bulb moment, I love the phrase decision disruptors because we are all trying to make good decisions. We're trying to eat healthy and be active and stuff. But just things tend to get in the way. And her acronym of Traps kind of outline some of those things, some of those reasons why it's hard for us to stick or make these better choices.

[00:52:59.730] – Allan

Yeah. The temptation one is fairly common. And you'll see, so you go to work and a vendor brings Donuts.

[00:53:08.500] – Rachel

Right.

[00:53:09.410] – Allan

And you had no intention of eating the Donuts. You're even doing intermittent fasting. So you haven't eaten since dinner and you weren't going to eat until lunch. And you walk in the break room and there's those doughnuts, and you find yourself grabbing one of the doughnuts without really even thinking about it. And there you are. The rebellion is one that I don't see as often, but I see it from time to time. Accommodation is probably one of the most important ones because it's something that particularly women who are caregivers to their children, they take priority. Taking them to soccer practice, picking them up from dance, and just shuttling your kids around Burns up so much of your time that it's really hard to take time for yourself. And then Unfortunately, I think a lot of women will feel guilty taking that time away. I want to go for a run, but that's 45 minutes that I'm not here with my child.

[00:54:15.870] – Rachel

My guilt is strong, and it's definitely a driver in a lot of our decisions. But what I tell people is I tell people you can't fill from an empty cup. You need to take the time for yourself and take care of yourself before you can care for others adequately. But yes, I can definitely see that one. And the last one she had being perfection. That's a big one, too.

[00:54:40.090] – Allan

Yeah. She's absolutely right there, because so many of us are all or none.

[00:54:47.680] – Rachel

Yes.

[00:54:48.930] – Allan

And I'll admit when I learn about myself, when I think about myself and I've done that self awareness thing that I had to do, I recognize, though, that I do pretty much have to be all on or I'm off. I need to push towards that. But it also creates those other problems. And I've worked with people like this. I have a client right now that's going through some of this, and he wants to eat keto, but this is going on. This child graduated from this that one's going here and there's this party that he has to go to. And so he finds himself off keto, and it just creates this cycle of and unfortunately, guilt, which he shouldn't feel. We villainize food, and so we feel like we've let ourselves down if we are not perfect. And the reality is if we know that perfect isn't possible.

[00:55:55.390] – Rachel

Right.

[00:55:57.610] – Allan

Particularly for us, it's like something's going to come up. I can't think of a year that I've gone through that there wasn't a holiday or birthday, right?

[00:56:05.520] – Rachel

Yeah, there's always something, isn't there?

[00:56:09.370] – Allan

So at some point you're going to go to a party or go to dinner. At some point, somebody's going to bring Donuts to the break room and you're going to end up eating one. That's fine. The point that she was getting at was don't let that be what beats you, right. The joy choice in her book. It's about finding your path where you feel good about your decisions. And so if you can get rid of that concept that these are bad foods and good foods and bad food, then you kind of get to where this is all at and we're going to have another guest on in a few weeks. And his name is Alan Aragon and he's got an excellent book as well. And it goes really deep into some of these same concepts of ways that you can look at just doing better than you're doing now. And then he talks about this concept of discretionary calories. The way he puts it together is if you're eating your calorie level, Then it's okay if up to 20% of your total calories is coming from stuff that you would put in a bad food list.

[00:57:35.850] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:57:36.360] – Allan

So if you decide, okay, I want to have a Coca Cola And you're like, okay, that's sugar. I don't need that sugar. But I can fit that in my calories for the day. And because I know I'm getting good nutrition otherwise, that 80%. Then I know, okay, I can have the Coke and still stay under my calories, then that's fine. And so it's just trying to get away from the perfect is really important. So looking for tools, looking for things that are going to help you just kind of go through this and then it's hard, don't get me wrong, it's probably the hardest thing to do Because it's the mindset of change. So different things we talked about in this interview. There's even more in the book those tools and things that you can do. So I encourage anyone that's struggling with mindset, struggling with this willpower motivation, habits stuff. This is a good book Because it's just down to Earth stuff. It's science based. So she did go back into the science, looked it up. But at the same time, it kind of gives you a way to get through this without feeling like you've failed every single time you're not on plan.

[00:58:54.980] – Rachel

That's wonderful. That sounds like a really useful book and I love that it offers tools to help people get through these really tough traps like she had mentioned and these other tough situations. I think that's fantastic.

[00:59:07.490] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:59:10.100] – Rachel

Great. Take care.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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How to improve your health and fitness through self-reliance with Clint Emerson

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Clint Emerson is a retired Navy Seal. In his book, The Rugged Life: The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance, he shows us how to be more self-reliant and improve our health and fitness as a result.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:34.450] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:02:36.260] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:38.260] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Tammy got on an airplane about 15 minutes before we started recording this to fly out for a vacation trip that she's taking with her friend. It was one of those pre-covid trips that got canceled. And so now it's like she's now on the list and got to go. So she's going to be enjoying herself for two weeks, and then I'm going to be responsible for Lula's, which will be interesting. No, I've done it before for her to go back to the States for things. It's just going to stick for two weeks and it's a slower period right now, but just some additional moving parts in my life, but otherwise everything's going well.

[00:03:18.560] – Rachel

Good. Glad to hear it.

[00:03:20.650] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to talk to Clint Emerson?

[00:03:23.960] – Rachel

Sure. Sounds great.

Interview

[00:03:51.790] – Allan

Clint, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:54.460] – Clint

Hi. How are you doing, buddy? Nice to be here.

[00:03:56.700] – Allan

So your book is called The Rugged Life: the Modern Guide to Self Reliance. And I think a lot of folks will sit there and probably wonder, well, why on Earth would Allan have somebody talking about self-reliance and homesteading and all of those types of things on a health and fitness podcast? But in my mind, self-reliance and health and fitness are like intertwined. They're like hand in glove. You can't really have one without the other in a grand sense of things. I guess you can be healthy and fit without having some of these things. But I think some of the things that you get and we'll get into that in a few minutes from living a little bit more of a rugged life actually enhances your health and fitness.

[00:04:43.750] – Clint

Yeah, exactly. You just nailed it. Like I always say, on the crisis side or with 100 Deadly Skill book series, first and foremost, your human performance is everything. To be able to get yourself out of trouble, to get your family out of trouble, you've got to have at least the heart, the lungs and the strength to get yourself away from whatever that threat is. And it could be natural disasters, man made events, you name it. It's out there. And rugged life really is stretching out. It's what you do as a lifestyle, the things you do everyday that can one give you far more fulfillment. And you get a Huger sense of satisfaction when you're doing it yourself. And most of the things that whether it's hunting, building, fishing or farming or whatever it is, those are physical activities. You're going to probably get in better shape than just visiting the gym for an hour to each day. So I think you hit it dead on is that living a more rugged life will exponentially increase your health, both mentally, physically and emotionally.

[00:06:02.830] – Allan

Now, in our world where, yeah, I've got a gem half a mile away from my home, we can call Uber Eats and they'll deliver just about anything you want. Netflix is on, Hulu or whatever your streaming service, or maybe you got more than one of them. We have everything pretty much at our fingertips. We don't have to lift a finger to do anything. And I think it probably might have been even about 20 years ago when the Internet was really just getting started someone wanted to do the experiment to see if they could stay in their house for an entire year and never leave. And way back then, back in the late 90s or so, this guy was able to do it early 2000s, late 90s, was able to literally stay at home for an entire year and not get out. Now, for many of us, we are in a situation with COVID where we weren't permitted if we lived in the city, particularly to get out. Now, I kind of kicked myself when we came down here at Panama, I didn't choose the rugged life. We chose something a little bit easier, an apartment in town, which meant we were pretty much trapped in our apartment in town with the lockdowns they did here, which were a lot more stringent than the United States.

[00:07:15.610] – Allan

Our friends who lived out and about on different Islands, generating their own electricity, catching their own water, living a little bit more of a rugged life than we were. They had a lot more autonomy, a lot more freedom. So that's kind of one of the reasons why I think the rugged life now appeals to me a little bit more than it might have before is seeing it firsthand. My friends were actually able to get out in the sun for more than 2 hours twice a week and walk around and do things. But for the normal person, what is this rugged life that we're talking about? And why would it be something that someone would want to do when there are so many easy ways to live our lives today?

[00:07:55.750] – Clint

Yeah, man, you had a bunch of great stuff. I think. First I'll start by answering the question with the pandemic certainly taught us all that being a little more self reliant can be very valuable. It can be important. It can just allow a certain level of independence and freedom that you can't get if you are reliant on all these other things that you mentioned. So I would say first and foremost, you don't have to dive 100% into the rugged life. I've built the book so that you can just dip your toe if you want. You living in an apartment in an urban environment can do a lot, even with limited space, to increase your self reliance and actually fend for yourself, whether it's these vertical gardens now, I mean, you can grow just about anything inside your apartment in the corner with very little maintenance. It's just time, right? Just wait for things to grow and then, you know, you've got it. Or if you decide you dip your toe a couple of times and you like all these different little projects that you're doing and you're realizing, Holy, Holy crap. This is actually not just is it giving me something in return, but the hard work that goes into it just feels so much better than using an app, right?

[00:09:14.610] – Clint

I mean, you don't get any satisfaction except the fat pill that shows up to your doorstep by using all the different Uber eats and whatever else is out there, having your groceries delivered to your door. Yeah, that's pretty cool. But what if you could just grow some of those things yourself and that's just a piece of it, right. If you're not into the farming aspect, then maybe it's the hunting. If you're not in the hunting, and maybe it's just being your own handyman, being your own power grid, be your own homemaker. I mean, I was surprised at how many household products, especially in the hygiene and the hygiene and grooming side of the house, that if you just got beeswax and some coconut oil, you can make shampoos, pomades and conditioners. Right. So the other piece to this whole thing with the rugged life is it's more like a family experiment if you get the whole family involved. I feel like it brings everybody together because we are so stuck on technology these days. You have an entire family sitting in a living room. It's on Netflix, like you mentioned, but everybody is still on their own personal devices and there's no solid family time.

[00:10:29.480] – Clint

So rugged life, at whatever level you want to kind of live it. You will find out that whether it's one project or a dozen projects, when the whole family is involved, you're just going to all be so much more healthier. You're going to get that camaraderie going again. And you're not just a bunch of individuals living in the house together.

[00:10:54.430] – Allan

Yeah. It's interesting being down here. I run into a lot of people that they do this thing. They say, okay, look, this is so cool. There's this island, I'm going to go out there. It's just land. It's just raw land. It's jungle. We're going to clear a little bit of it. We're going to build a house. We're going to use solar, we're going to use water catchment. We're going to do these different things like composting, and we're going to have a garden. And this just goes on and on. And what happens, though, invariably, is that they move down here, they make that happen. They build their dream house. And then as a couple, one or both of them kind of decide after a period of time that this was not what they signed up for. They miss some of the creature comforts that they had because they kind of went a little too far into the woods. The jungle, if you will, before really going through and analyzing. Okay. Is this really me? Is this really me long term? Is this a project that I'm going to do and then get bored with? In your book, you had what you call the top ten are you sure about this thing? Could you go through some of those to help someone kind of see because it sounds so cool off the grid, doing this thing, growing my own food, chickens, you know, the whole bit. It's a lot of work.

[00:12:25.270] – Clint

You are correct. It is, yeah. Some of the top ten is basic questions like, do you like vacations? Because guess what? As soon as you bring in animals, you're not leaving because you got to take care of them 24/7. Right. You are going to live to take care of animals that in rich parent are going to take care of you. So going on a vacation becomes very difficult. You really have to like the people that you and your family. Right. You all love each other, of course, but you have to like each other because you're going to be working as a team like you never have before. And you're really going to see people's strengths and weaknesses, and everyone's going to have to adapt. But ultimately, you just hit it again. It's very romantic to think that, hey, yeah, we're going to go buy a chunk of land in the mountains, and we're going to build a cabin. We're going to have this awesome fireplace every night. And I'm going to be butchering these big steaks. And it sounds all great. It really does. And everybody should aspire to do it. But there is nothing easy about it. And that's why it's the rugged life. It can be very hard work at times, but the return on that hard work is far better than what you get from going to the grocery store, though. That is convenient. And so there's a balance. If convenience is at one end of the spectrum and then the rugged life is at the other. Right. Anything rugged isn't going to be convenient. Anything convenient isn't really going to be all that rugged. So you just got to find that happy medium for you and your family.

[00:14:10.500] – Clint

And that's why I do not suggest just jumping in 100% because you might find out that you hate it. I definitely push the hey, take some of the projects in the book and see if it's something that appeals to you. And the other biggest piece to all of it is that you're going to fail and you're going to fail over and over again. You may spend a lot of time getting the perfect soil, mix it with the compost going, then everything to make the perfect vegetables. And then those things never grow or they die or a predator comes along and eats them for you before you even get a chance.

[00:14:50.470] – Clint

Right. So there's a lot of frustration, a lot of fail. So you have to be prepared for that and be the kind of person that's going to go you know what? I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep going. I want to keep going until I get this right. And so if you're that kind of person and you enjoy learning, then you should give it a shot for sure.

[00:15:10.550] – Allan

Now, the cool thing about this and that's what I like is while you talk about that continuum of convenience to the rugged life is you can pick and choose your battles. You don't have to be in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Like you said, it can be something as simple as saying I'm going to do a few of these things for myself. And I like that concept of saying, okay, I can pick and choose now, one that I like to pick where I would pick. If you're really thinking about your health and fitness so that, you know the food you're putting in your mouth is there's nothing better than you being responsible for growing that food, particularly with vegetables. Vegetables. It can be simple as a vertical garden. It can be herb garden, it can be tomatoes. And I like your idea of upside down tomato growing right there. Can you go through some of the considerations of why we would want to grow our own food? And then if we're going to grow our own food, what do we want to think about as far as the approach and what we do?

[00:16:12.030] – Allan

Because it sounds simple. Put a seed in the ground. And having been in a family where we did a garden, we had three acres for basically, I think it was six of us, it was a lot of work. What are some considerations and things to think about if you're going to start growing your own food and where are some lines, like if I'm going to try to grow food for my whole family versus just have some additional good quality food for me on my plate each night?

[00:16:38.720] – Clint

Yeah. I think a good starting point is always what climate zone do you live in? Right. So if you have this dream of avocados. Right. And you're going to grow them and you're going to have as many avocados per day because it's a superfood and it's awesome and you can heat it 24/7, which I can you really have to start with climate zone. Right. And this is old school Farmers Almanac type stuff. Where you go, all right, where do I live and what am I going to have the highest success rate of growing that actually benefits my health. And so that's going to narrow the list really quick. So that's where I would start is the research and also talking to local farmers, going to some of your farmer markets and talking to everybody, selling any of the vegetables and fruits they have going there. And getting educated is like the biggest number one step so that you increase your success. Next, once you figure out what that is, it's a good idea to start indoors. Right. You can set up a basic lighting bank and get the seeds, the kick start they need with a little bit of soil.

[00:17:57.090] – Clint

And once they actually start to grow, you actually see them break the surface of the little pods that you put them in. Then you can basically put them outside using just common language. You're taking something that started growing and you're going to transplant it to outdoors. And it's a very fragile moment, but it'll be fine making sure the soil outside matches the soil that they're in. And then now they're outside in sunlight and on their own. And you're going to have to obviously give some care and maintenance. You're going to have to do research on pest control, any of the other predators that might want to nibble on whatever it is you're growing and basically put up whatever fortifications you need, which a lot of times just chicken wire over your garden will keep out the birds and any of those little ground animals like rabbits that want to come in and get a free meal. But I think the biggest piece is really doing the research in terms of what's going to give you that highest level of success in the area in which you live. And you really got to pinpoint it, especially like where I'm at Texas.

[00:19:07.730] – Clint

North Texas is far different than South Texas. And what you can grow in one, you can't grow in the other, even though you're in the same state.

[00:19:16.430] – Allan

Yeah. You have a really cool map in the book that kind of breaks it down into zones. Obviously, I'm a lot further south than any of your zones, and we can do avocados here. One of the interesting things is when you plant that, you have to set your expectations. You won't have avocados for ten years and then you won't have avocados at all if your dog digs up the plant.

[00:19:39.590] – Clint

Exactly. And that's a great point, because people do on that same point. They think about like Apple tree or an Orange tree or a peach tree. But you're still talking several years before you really get to the good fruit that tree produces. And like here in Texas, the pecan industry is huge. Right. And monetizing acreage, let's say you've got a couple of acres and you can put 50 to 100 trees, but a pecan tree is going to start producing pecans for ten years. Right. Like I said, it's still that you have to do that amount of research and put it in and then also regulate expectation. Right. Expectation management is a big part of all this, like you just pointed out.

[00:20:29.690] – Allan

But the advantages are this. You know what's in your food, if you use pesticides, you know it, if you use something in it, you know it, you know the seeds, whether they're heirloom or there's some of something else. But you know the food because you were in hand. And I can tell you when you grow your own food, it actually tastes better because you have a pride of ownership while you're eating that food that you just don't get when you walk into a restaurant or have Uber Eats deliver it to you.

[00:21:01.190] – Clint

Yeah, no doubt.

[00:21:03.470] – Allan

Okay, again, you can do all of this if you live in the right climate. You can do all your food. It can be plant based and it can be awesome if you can grow enough and you need to, again, make sure you are growing enough if that's what you're going to do. But for a lot of folks, we are meat eaters, so on the board. So we're going to want a little bit of meat in there too. And that's where things like raising your own animals, you talked about some considerations there as far as vacations and other things you got to do hunting and fishing, which there are also some general considerations about that. Why would we want to raise our own animals, do hunting and fishing? Why would we want to go through the effort of doing that? And then what are some things we need to think about to go through that process? What that's all about?

[00:21:54.170] – Clint

Yeah, harvesting anything like you pointed out, is going to be healthier in the long run. But it's also important to note it might not be cheaper. I think a lot of folks think that, hey, I might save money by having chickens. Well, not at first. And it's going to take a while to get an egg for as cheap as you would buy an egg at a grocery store. It takes a while to get there because you have to invest. But something like chickens are somewhat easy. And it's important to note you have egg chickens and you've got meat chickens. The egg chickens obviously good at laying eggs almost all year round. You might have to put some lighting because they lay eggs based on the sun. And then you've got your meat chickens, which don't really produce very good eggs, but man, they're good to eat. There's even one breeded chicken that you literally have to Butcher it at about eight to twelve weeks because it gets so fat its own legs will snap. So there's a lot the thing about rugged life is each chapter is novels on their own of information that could be written, no doubt about it.

[00:23:07.580] – Clint

But growing your own meat, yes, it locks you at home, but you know where it's been, what it's eaten and what it's doing 24/7. So the safety and eating it, the health benefits in eating it are all just automatically there when you've been doing it. And what I've also pointed out in the book is if the farming aspect of harvesting your own meat isn't your thing, then hunting certainly is the other option, because then it doesn't require you to be stuck at home raising these animals, whether it's chickens, goats, pigs, you name it. So then you can go Hunt. And with hunting it's popular. Bow hunting has become more popular these days, so a lot of variance to going and hunting, but that has its own skill and set of patience and work that goes with it. There is some investment, but I would say buying a rifle and ammunition is cheaper than raising or keeping pigs, for example. If you don't do it right, they can destroy everything. And the same with goats. People see these goats when they go to yoga, climbing on them and like, oh, I want one. But what they don't know is those things will eat the tires off your car if you leave them there long enough with your vehicle.

[00:24:38.030] – Clint

But overall, once again, knowing where your meat is, looking out for it 24/7, butchering it and serving it to yourself. I mean, that goes back to where our country was 200 some years ago, where every man, woman and child were self reliant. And they had all of these skills in the book and then some because it was just a way of life. And by drawing from a couple of these things here and there, you might find out that you like it as well.

[00:25:15.360] – Allan

Yeah. A couple of things that you can consider. In my opinion, if you don't want to go, like, full on with all of this stuff, is it's very common for folks to go in with a farmer. They know everybody goes in with the money, they buy calves, and they know where that's being raised. And there's kind of like a co op, if you will. So it's one way to kind of get around of you having to buy the land and you having to run the animals is that someone who's more skilled at that. But there's a great opportunity for you to learn those skills. Also, with the hunting and fishing is often you can get into groups. I know we would go hunting back in the day. They'd run dogs. So you'd have the guys running their beagles. And we'd all set up in different spots. And then you get done and it's like, okay, the dog that did the chase, he's going to get his first pick. And then the guy who shot the deer is going to get his pick. And then, yeah, the rest of us, if we didn't happen to hit that day, we're getting a little bit of something there.

[00:26:15.210] – Allan

So it's an opportunity to kind of get those things. I can say the hunting and fishing is hit or miss if you're going by yourself, but there are opportunities for you to get involved and try some of these things. And maybe to me, the biggest challenge of a lot of this, if you haven't done it before and you have a lot of great advice in the book, is the butchering of the animal, which is something that many people haven't experienced. But once you start getting into it, it's like, okay, now I understand where my cuts of meat come from. I know what this animal's life was like. And you're right, it's kind of intense, but it's a good intense to know the quality of your food and to know where it's coming from and to know that you had a hand in either making it or killing or catching it.

[00:27:05.210] – Clint

Yeah, you are dead on. And for people that want to try, kinda like the easy route, but it's also somewhat difficult. Homesteading World rabbits have been very popular. And because you can in a very short period of time. And I point out in there rabbits, they do hump like rabbits within a short period of time. With six rabbits, you can turn that into 46 kits or so. And then before you know it, you've got enough meat to eat five days a week for a family of four. And it's just exponential with rabbits. And they're smaller and easier meat to manage, especially if you don't have the land. But yeah, there's a lot of options. You make some great points doing things as a group. And the co op options, both with eggs, milk and meat, are all out there and available these days.

[00:28:05.390] – Allan

Yes, I'm going to tell this story probably shouldn't, because it's just kind of embarrassing. But I'm going to say I'm going to tell you anyway. I had a friend and they raised rabbits. That was their thing. They raised rabbits and they had the kids, the cages for themselves set up. And you try to check the rabbit to know if it's a boy or girl, and it's really hard to tell. And so they thought they had these two boy and a girl, and they put them in the cage and they were fighting. So they assume now, okay, they must both be boys and they're fighting. So the father wanted us to kill one of the rabbits. He picked one of them. He said, go kill the rabbit. And so we go out there, we grab the rabbit, and he hands it to me and I go to grab the rabbit. I'm holding it against my chest, and the rabbit just kind of rests its chin right there on my neck.

[00:28:54.090] – Clint

And you're like, I can't do it.

[00:28:55.540] – Allan

Yeah. And so a little tear starts coming down my eye. I'm 15 years old. My friend turns around, he looks at me and he looks at me for just a second. Then he gets a tear in his eye. And his father drives up about this time in his truck and he looks at the two of us. He says, damn it, build another cage.

[00:29:15.930] – Clint

Yeah, that sounds about right. That's what I said. It's easy, but also could be difficult because killing a rabbit. Yeah. They're so soft and cuddly. It's the last thing you want to kill. And they know that, too, about themselves,I think.

[00:29:32.960] – Allan

Okay, this one did because that chin on the chest, on my shoulder, that was enough to say, okay, this one gets a second chance.

[00:29:42.030] – Clint

That's awesome.

[00:29:43.010] – Allan

But I think that's the other thing that I wanted to kind of get to with this is that you start having a newfound respect for the food that you're eating. So the concept of waste, the concept of just going out and doing something for the sake of doing it. You really get a sense of what the cost of this is, not just from a financial perspective of what we're dealing with, but just knowing that what you're doing is about survival, about you doing the right things for yourself. Again, I think you approach this with a very different mindset. Maybe you do eat less meat because the emotional cost of raising the meat for you is a little bit higher. And as a result, you're eating less red meat and maybe a little bit more vegetables, a little bit more plant based. And in the end, that turns out to be a more helpful choice for you.

[00:30:37.590] – Clint

Yeah, I think you're right. You're investing more than just money. When you go down this path, there's time and effort, then there's on the receiving end, whatever it is you're deciding to grow or harvest what it's given back to you. And so there's this relationship that forms with a lot of what you're doing, and every aspect of it becomes valuable, and you don't want any of it to go to waste. I think with people just do one little thing here and there, holistically they will kind of start to grow up in a different way than what we're used to, because these modern conveniences and technology, I think we all know it and we see it all the time that these things are necessary evil. And I mean, look at us now. It does give us these great capabilities. I'm communicating from Texas to Panama like live feed right now. And that aspect is just incredible. Right. But at the same size really makes us lazy and complacent. Like I said, 200 years ago, everybody knew this stuff, and now it's very rare, and it took a pandemic for people to wake up and go, oh, yeah, it might be a good idea that I know how to make something as simple as hand sanitizer.

[00:32:01.900] – Clint

Right. We all learned it really quick when the shelves got empty, along with toilet paper, which is really odd. But now that we're somewhat through it, this is an opportunity to really embrace it and start trying new and different things. And hopefully that's the kind of impact the book has on everyone. Yeah.

[00:32:24.340] – Allan

And I think other folks are going to look at it and say, okay, there's also the aspects of inflation and where my food is coming from. You look at some of these industrial plants where they're bringing in meat or eggs or whatever, and it's just horrific to see some of the stuff that they do to these animals. And to know that you can do this in a different, more sustainable way, I think is really a big step. Plus, again, not initially, but over time, just depending on what goes on in the world, being self reliant, having the sustainable source of something, whether it's vegetables, food, whatever, meat or whatever and being able to Hunt for yourself, being able to fish for yourself, those things is going to give you a way of having control. When inflation is out of your control and you just have to pay what the market costs. When you want to have a steak or have some fish or have some eggs, you just pay what the market is versus if you are doing your own thing and get to a point of sustainability, it's now just about you taking care of the animals and them taking care of you, as you said earlier.

[00:33:39.090] – Clint

Yup, you've nailed it. I mean, it's a crazy world and I'm not a fear monger by any means, but reality is reality. You come out of a pandemic, you've got Russia invading countries, you have interest rates already going through the roof. The economy is screwed because of supply chain issues. Supply chain issues aren't getting fixed because other countries are still dealing with the pandemic which slows things down. And recovery is just going to take a while. The economy is always kind of like this accordion and the impact of today, we may not recover for a couple of years down the road. And so being more self sufficient and self reliant.

[00:34:23.250] – Allan

Alright, well, Clint, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:34:33.990] – Clint

it's a good question. Number one, having a routine that looks after you first, right? I always have to tell myself, look out for myself first each day. And that's only because if I let the day get a hold of me, then I may not actually do anything for myself. And when I say that, I mean you get up and you work out, right? And get that workout under your belt. It's also the same as, hey, I get my coffee, the MCT oil and collagen in my system right off the bat as well because I'm looking out for myself first and then, okay, sit down and organize your mind, right? So I'm a big list guy. So get those lists and keep your mind healthy and get the clutter out and down on paper. And then start tackling those tasks in the order of priorities in which whatever it is you're dealing with for the day. And then of course, you have to power yourself. So make sure you're taking in the things that fuel the body and fuel the mind. I like the intermittent fast. I feel like it's done. Everyone is different about that kind of stuff.

[00:35:49.190] – Clint

But for me, waiting till around lunch time to really start taking in calories seems to work. And then I pretty much eat somewhat healthy from lunchtime till about six or seven. And then that's it. I think regulating and getting into a routine and then implementing what can I do that's healthy for the mind, healthy for the body, healthy for the spirit and then just integrate that into my day. Then boom, it becomes automatic after some time, and then before you know it, you realize, wow, I feel a hell of a lot better than I did a year ago. And that's how it should be, right? Every year you get older, you should be able to go, I feel better than I did last year. Hey, you know what? I feel better than I did last year, even though I'm getting older and it seems to be working. But I don't know. I'm no expert.

[00:36:43.930] – Allan

It's working. Clint, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, The Rugged Life, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:36:53.350] – Clint

Yeah, my entire ecosystem is @clintemerson.com super simple. You can pre-order or order the books right now, right there. And I really do appreciate your time and any of your listeners that go check clintemerson.com out or my Instagram page. I thank you ahead of time.

[00:37:12.140] – Allan

All right. Well, thank you so much, Clint, for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:37:16.870] – Clint

No, thanks for having me, buddy. You got a great thing going.

[00:37:19.520] – Allan

All right. Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:37:27.590] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:37:29.270] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Wow. I'm telling you, you're speaking my love language here. We talk a lot about home studying at our house up here.

[00:37:36.650] – Allan

Yeah, I see a lot of videos. I know that your husband is a Hunter and a fisherman and just kind of the whole idea of the whole concept of going out in a hut on a Lake and cutting a hole in the ice and sitting there, not my thing. I'll take my kayak out here in the water and cast out or fish from a beach. But I think the thing that I wanted people to take away from here is understanding the source of your food and taking that on as a personal challenge, to be more involved in the food. It's good for you. And it's great for the younger generations who in some cases have no concept whatsoever of what this stuff is and potentially how bad some of it can be. I would never encourage anyone to really go spend a whole lot of time diving into this, because it's not pretty how animals can be mistreated and terribly raised. So the more you're able to get involved, the more you're able to create sustainable opportunities for yourself. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, a small herb garden, a small this or that, going in with a few friends and finding a co op.

[00:38:58.810] – Allan

And you mentioned a few cool things.

[00:39:01.100] – Rachel

Yes, we do a lot of gardening at our house, and I say we very generally I do not have a green thumb. It's all my daughter and husband, they're way more skilled at this type of thing than I am. But we choose our vegetable gardens based on how we eat, and we tend to eat a lot of peppers and tomatoes. We do a lot of herbs. So we choose some pretty easy things to grow. And we put some in the ground, some in pots, like herbs can decorate your kitchen. It would look lovely and smell lovely to have some good herbs in your kitchen. And then on top of that, if gardening isn't your thing, our local community has an area in town where you could for a low price of just $20 in the entire summer. They'll give you maybe a ten by 20 or so square foot area where you could grow whatever vegetables you are so inclined to grow. So if there's no room on your property, there's a place to go. And also my brother and sister in law, they have been doing a co op where for a weekly fee, they get handed a bag of vegetables, which is really fun from their local farm because you never know what you're going to get.

[00:40:10.720] – Rachel

So you can get really creative in the kitchen if you're getting some vegetables that you may not normally Cook with. So there's a lot of affordable options if growing isn't your thing. So that's what to look into.

[00:40:23.490] – Allan

And the reality of it is there's some work involved. I grew up and we had three acres, and so that was a chore. And then after you get the food, you have to think in terms of you don't want it to go to waste. Like, we had plum trees and there was like three or four plum trees and they would all come ripening at the same time. I can personally tell you from experience, don't eat a lot of plums at one time. Plums are prunes, okay? They're just moisture prunes, and they will do the same thing. So what you end up doing is saying, what are the preservation techniques that I can employ to keep this food and have it for later? So you talk about tomatoes and you can tomatoes. You learn how to use the Mason jars and hot water and creating pressure and put the caps on and letting it sit and hear that pop. And you're like, OK, we're good. Same thing with the preserves that we did for, like I said, the plums, we would do that also with blackberries. The BlackBerry preserves went very, very fast, though.

[00:41:35.190] – Rachel

That would be delicious.

[00:41:36.650] – Allan

They were. But that's the whole point. We knew where our food was coming from, the chickens and Ducks and turkeys that we raised. We knew what they were eating, we knew where they were. And so that gave us some ownership there and changed behaviors because it wasn't the simple thing of throwing things out and not utilizing them because you knew the cost and you knew what was involved with the fishing and the hunting. It was like, okay, we know where our meat is coming from. And we know sometimes we're going to be lucky and have a good harvest, if you will. And then other times we're not. And we have to look at what's going on. Why aren't there as many deer? And maybe it's a good thing we're not getting a big harvest this year Because if there's not enough deer for us to see the deer, Then maybe we don't need to be hunting the deer as much. So it allows you to get more creative with understanding the environment you're in and hunting and fishing and growing your own, raising your own. I think those are just huge opportunities for us to become more self sufficient.

[00:42:41.610] – Allan

And Clint book, again, it is about being resilient, it's about being self sufficient. And it goes a lot deeper. He teaches things about welding, solar panels, water. So all the things that you would say if I was really going to homestead and figure stuff out for myself. And is it a complete manual for how to do this? No, but it is an excellent source. If you're saying I really want to start figuring out I want to buy that cabin in the woods and move there. I want to buy that house, that property down there here about Bocas del toro, where I can own my own island for less than $200,000 And I can build a sustainable house with solar water catchment and all that. This will give you some general ideas about what's involved in doing that and kind of coming to the conclusion. And I really cut out to do that Because so many people move down here and say, yeah, this sounds great until we go three weeks without rain. Or we go three weeks with rain.

[00:43:46.830] – Rachel

Yes, like you just did. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Well, it's good to try some of these little things and absolutely buy the book because it's good to read about and do your research before you invest a whole ton of time. Because you're right. Failure happens. We evicted two groundhogs last year that ate a good chunk of our garden before we could. And it's just these type of things happen. So it's good to try these experiments every now and then and see what happens.

[00:44:15.450] – Allan

Okay. Well, Ras, that's all I really had for this week. What about you?

[00:44:19.750] – Rachel

Sure. No, that's great. Take care.

[00:44:22.440] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:44:23.400] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye bye.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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May 3, 2022

How to turn back the clock on your true age with Dr. Morgan Levine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

We all have friends, family, or classmates that just seem to be aging much slower than we are. In her book, True Age, Dr. Morgan Levine explores what we can do to slow our body's aging process to look and feel younger than our chronological age.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:07:58.530] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:07:59.650] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:08:01.520] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are things with you?

[00:08:03.960] – Rachel

Good. Well, we have spring again for now. And you might hear my voice. It's a little raspy. My allergies are the bane of me. As much as I love spring, it does not love me back. So I'm a little bit struggling right now. The beautiful flowers.

[00:08:19.660] – Allan

Well, yeah, you can't have the flowers without the pollen. And depending on where you are in the country, pollen, it can be a bit of a bear.

[00:08:28.800] – Rachel

It is a little bit, but I'll make it through. I'm just happy to have spring today.

[00:08:33.110] – Allan

Good. Yeah. We kind of have spring every day. Lucky.

[00:08:36.150] – Rachel

Lucky you.

[00:08:37.890] – Allan

Choices.

[00:08:39.570] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:08:44.590] – Allan

We are just now finishing up our busy season on the island. So I think we were full all the way through Easter weekend, which is when high season is supposed to end. And so as we're recording this, we just finished up our Easter weekend. We now have people checking out and then not people checking in. So it will be kind of interesting as we kind of end up with just one or two rooms booked versus having four to six rooms booked kind of what that new pace of life is going to be like.

[00:09:22.300] – Allan

so I've been trying to take on some additional challenges here. I'm actually sitting for right now, another certification, the precision nutrition. So this one is a pretty big one. This one is going to take a lot of effort, but I'm in it. I'd say right now probably about a third of the way through, maybe a quarter through, but it's just getting started on it. So it's pretty intense.

[00:09:48.210] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds exciting.

[00:09:50.250] – Allan

Yes. Well, I always like to have a challenge, so I'm ready for the tough Mudder, and I might have a little bit of extra time as we go into these next few months. And then Tammy's planning a trip with one of her friends to travel. I'm like, okay, so that's two weeks that she's not going to be here, so I need to have a hobby.

[00:10:12.530] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness.

[00:10:14.040] – Allan

I'll get another certification.

[00:10:16.070] – Rachel

That's awesome. How exciting.

[00:10:18.050] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Well, are we ready to talk about aging?

[00:10:22.810] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:11:05.850] – Allan

Dr. Levine, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:09.510] – Dr. Levine

Thank you for having me.

[00:11:11.220] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, True Age: Cutting-Edge Research to Help Turn Back the Clock. And I think from the perspective of a lot of the books that I've read on aging, obviously, yours being the most recent, there's a lot of good science coming out lately, and you Chronicle a lot of it, and you go way back. We're not just talking about we've started talking about these things. Now you take the research back and you say, what did we know 50 years ago? And how does that reflect what we're doing today? In some cases, there are gaps. We learned a little something like the blood flow between young rat and older rat. And then people just stopped. And now they're kind of saying, well, wait a minute, it wasn't there sort of something there that maybe we want to dig a little bit further. And I think the way you said it is some people are not going the Dracula vampire route. They're going more, okay, let's figure out why this is happening. So maybe we can do something about it. That's cool. And there's a lot of that in the book.

[00:12:15.660] – Allan

But I also like the fact that you took the time to give us some practical things that those of us in our 40s, 50s and 60s can start doing today to reverse our bio age.

[00:12:28.530] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. I think it's critical to not just talk about all the exciting science that really, even though some of it might have been started a century ago or even more, is actually because of where technology is today, we're actually able to understand what is driving this and how to actually implement it, but to give people actual practical things they can do in their everyday life rather than just waiting for new breakthroughs and discoveries, because I know even personally, I don't want to sit around and just hope that something comes out in the next ten or 20 years. I want to know what I can do today. And actually, most of our control that we have over our aging process are just behavioral things that we can actually do. And we don't have to wait for science to catch up there.

[00:13:15.850] – Allan

Right. And that's the good thing, because if you have a base that's a little lower when that stuff does come out, more than likely you're going to see better benefits from it in the long run anyway. No one wants to get to 80 and frail and then say, oh, yeah, now I'm going to reduce five years off of my lifespan, whereas if they felt like they were in their 60s, going back to 55 would feel pretty cool.

[00:13:41.190] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, it's probably easier to prevent than reverse would be my guess.

[00:13:46.410] – Allan

I completely agree. As a personal trainer, I don't think you'd expect anything different from me.

[00:13:51.580] – Dr. Levine

Yes.

[00:13:52.150] – Allan

Now, one concept you got into the book, and I agree with you at some front that we talk about aging as a disease. And I agree, if we want to get researchers and people looking at it, then it's really good to get it classified as disease because then there's a backing to it. Okay, well, we can solve the problem, then there's money and there's. Ok, now there's medical people are not just going to treat something because that's what you want. I'd love to have a third arm, but I'm not going to find a doctor that's willing to do the research to figure out how to make that happen. But I also think of aging as sort of, if you will, just something that's natural and happens to everybody. So for me to think of aging as a disease, I'd have to think, well, is puberty as a disease? No. Can you talk a little bit about why aging can be considered a disease and what we want to take away from that?

[00:14:56.370] – Dr. Levine

So technically, there are a lot of people in the field who want to classify aging as a disease. I'm actually not one of them. As you kind of mentioned, there are benefits for doing this because the FDA, if they're going to approve anything to go after aging, they need some kind of primary outcome, they call it. So people want to say, oh, aging is a disease, because then they can say, oh, we can treat and tackle it. But I actually agree with you that aging in and of itself is not a disease, because usually when we define a disease, it's a state. So a transition to some state. We know diseases are part of our continuous process, but we usually have to have some criteria for where we say this is a disease state versus non disease state. And like you said, there is no clear way to do that with aging. You can't just say 65 is when you entered some disease state or you can't take the number and classify that as disease. And if you want to treat it, what does it mean to treat aging? So how much do you have to reverse it or prevent it to say you've actually treated or prevented some disease?

[00:16:09.930] – Dr. Levine

And very much like you said, aging doesn't start later in life. It starts, some people believe, before we're even born. So are we already transitioning this disease state? So I like to think of aging not as a disease, but as the kind of basis for most of the diseases that people suffer from today.

[00:16:30.870] – Allan

And I think this is where we can come up to this general split in thought. Okay, we all have a birthday. We all know our birthday. We tend to celebrate it a lot when we're really young. We tend to want to skip some of them once we hit what is it for women age 29 or sometimes it's 39, but there's a full gap stop there. And then they want to reverse it and say, well, maybe I'm going to be 38 next year, but that's our chronological age. Now, there's a concept called biological age, but I think we all know that. We went to high school with all of our friends. My friends posted on Facebook. We're about to start planning our 40 year class reunion.

[00:17:13.410] – Dr. Levine

Oh, wow.

[00:17:14.280] – Allan

Yeah. Everybody's posting like, oh, my God, don't tell me it's 40 now. I feel old, but we've watched classmates pass. We're in our mid 50s at this point. We've watched classmates pass. We see some of our classmates that look just like they did in high school, practically. And so there's this huge divide over how old we maybe really are inside. And there's an emotional component to it. If you act young, you feel young, and maybe you look young, but there's something else going on there. Can you talk about that?

[00:17:55.650] – Dr. Levine

Yes. So as you brought up, once you reach a certain age, your birthday is not something that people tend to celebrate. I mean, you still go through the motions, but you're not necessarily excited about advancing that kind of year. And the reason for that is because your increase in age is actually accompanied by biological changes, most of which you can't see, but eventually they manifest and you see them in terms of wrinkles or loss of mobility or loss of stamina or even these diseases of aging that we're talking about. But it's not the chronological time itself that's the problem. It's this kind of biological change of the whole organ system that ends up being the problem. And the interesting thing that you brought up that scientists have been studying is that the rate at which these changes occur or accumulate are not the same for everyone. So even though people might have been alive for, let's say, 50 years, chronologically some people will have gone through more of these changes and others less. And so that's kind of how my lab and others have actually tried to quantify biological aging. So do you have kind of the degree of change that's representative of someone who is the same chronological age as you are or hopefully someone who is younger than you rather than older than you?

[00:19:23.820] – Allan

Yeah, I think we've all seen those pictures of the 85 year old woman sitting in the wheelchair, just stuck, probably unable to even stand on her own. And then you see the 85 year old bodybuilder or the 100 yard dash winter who's breaking world records at that age. And it's drastic. It's really drastic. And so what you guys are trying to do with your studies and trying to come up with a biological age, a true age is, okay, how old is your essence, your body? How old are you really? And what are you capable of doing? Now, you talked in the book about kind of three models. I called them three models. I have to put things in my head a certain way because there's a lot of information. And you had a quiz, which is kind of that low length, easy one. Just sit down and do the quiz. And that's going to give you some baseline data, at least an idea, and you can look at what those questions were and ask yourself, okay, why am I answering a one or a half or three quarters on this one? The score I get.

[00:20:30.590] – Allan

You also have kind of a blood measures test, a phenotypic age that you can measure, and then you go in the book really deep into DNA methylation, which is really kind of how all this happens. Can you talk about each one of those? I guess I'm going to call a testing methodology, if you will, just to simplify it. But you can go a little deeper into what these are and what they're telling us.

[00:20:54.630] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Even Besides the ones I cover in the book, there are tons of ways in which scientists are trying to quantify this kind of biological aging process. And the idea is that the changes are starting at kind of what we would call the lowest level biological organization. So this molecular level. So we and others have developed ones that capture those changes. So this is kind of the DNA methylation or epigenetic measures that you mentioned. And basically what that is, is we can look across your genome. Usually we do this from cells in your blood or saliva, and we look at hundreds of thousands to millions of sites and just say, what are the proportion of cells that have this chemical tag there, which is DNA methylation? And just based on the pattern of those chemical Tags, we can approximate something like a biological age using kind of the AI and machine learning. So it basically just says yourselves have this pattern of change that's representative of someone of a given age. And the reason that epigenetics is so exciting is it doesn't change your DNA sequence like the ACG and T. But I like to think of it as like the operating system of the cell.

[00:22:13.210] – Dr. Levine

It gives your cells their state. So it differentiates different cell types that all have the exact same DNA. But what makes a neuron different from a skin cell is the epigenome. But it also differentiates old cells from young cells. So this is kind of how we can do it. So once the molecular changes reach a certain point, you can start seeing this at a higher level in terms of changes in your physiology. So that's where you get the steenotypic age measure, which you can basically calculate from a standard panel you would get at your annual physical. So CDC blood cell counts, and also kind of a metabolic panel that looks like kidney, liver, all these different organ system functioning. But then the most basic one, once your aging is reached almost like the highest level is you see this functionally, this is what we perceive as aging both in ourselves and in others. You can see it physically. You can feel it in your body. So there are other ways, just very simple, almost doing a self assessment to kind of say, has my level of aging reached this point, given this quiz? And then you kind of look across the whole quiz where you kind of stand.

[00:23:33.040] – Allan

Yeah. And I think the advantage of all this, I've always said to my clients, yes, you can go get a blood panel and talk to your doctor. Yeah, you can do. And now you've made it easier that we can do a saliva test or a blood test if you want to go that far and find out. Okay, how's your methylation going as far as really getting down to the detail where we're talking about maybe down to a 10th of a year kind of concept versus this quiz is saying, yeah, you're a little younger than you are chronologically. The quiz will give you some basics to get started in the book, which I like. So if you just answer a few of those questions, you've got some low hanging fruit, if you will, to get started. And these actions, though, I think what's really important is many people look for something to say. Well, is what I'm doing working. And I know in your field, science, that's everything measurement is everything. Now, a lot of us love to do the easy measurements. So there's some easy ones, some really easy quizzes, one so you can get the Cosmo magazine and answer our quiz.

[00:24:38.700] – Allan

And it'll tell you whatever you are. They're on Facebook, too. The quizzes are fun quizzes will tell you a lot. But if you get a little deep, more detailed with the way that you're doing this, then you're going to have better data and make better decisions. Now, one of the data points that a lot of people love to use for measuring their health is weight. And in a minute, we're going to get into talking about nutrition and exercise. And a lot of people, the only reason they think about nutrition and exercise is because of what the scale says. But now you're telling them there's this much more important scale that you have potentially easily in front of you that is a better measure of health. Weight is important. I'm not going to poo poo it at all. It is important. There are some risk factors associated with. But why is this type of measurement something that someone should consider over just saying I'm going to step on the scale every day.

[00:25:45.670] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I'd also talked about this a little bit in my book, actually, when we measure our weight or calculate our BMI, which is based on kind of a weight height ratio, this is actually not a great predictor of health. Yes, we know obesity tends to be associated with increased risk of disease, but BMI itself can be due to a number of different things. Muscle mass is also heavy, so people can have the same BMI and have very different body composition. And actually in older ages, we find that a higher BMI is slightly protective than a lower BMI. So it's a very complicated relationship. But the whole point is that the reason we usually associate higher weight with risk of disease is because it tends to basically drive a lot of these changes that are actually age related changes. So it accelerates them. So rather than just assuming, oh, my BMI is probably too high, it's probably driving these it's better to actually just try to directly measure the consequences of this, which is on the pathway to disease versus just inferring something about your weight. And I also think this will get people less kind of weight obsessed because you see heavier people are actually quite healthy and thinner people who are actually unhealthy.

[00:27:06.770] – Dr. Levine

So it's better just to get a direct measure of what's going on. As much as you can approximate it.

[00:27:12.810] – Allan

One of the metaphors you had in the book, which I really enjoyed, was you talked about the Hill. And so as we're younger, we have this, for lack of a better word, inertia keeping us younger. As we go up the Hill, there's this inertia that keeps us in a condition so we're more resilient, we're stronger, we're faster, we're prettier, we're everything. And the older we get, the more we were. But then we top that Hill at some point, we can call it midlife or we can call it 35 when sarcopenia and ostopenia start to become a thing. And then we're going down a Hill. And now that inertia is not helping us. In fact, it's pushing us. And particularly if we're over 40 or over 50, we're going down that Hill pretty quick unless we do a few things to stop it or at least slow it down, maybe we can't stop it. We'd love to stop it for at least a little while. Enjoy this year more. One of the key ones I don't think you could have this conversation without it is to talking about nutrition. What we eat has a profound effect on our health and the scale in many cases.

[00:28:32.830] – Allan

So if we're looking at measuring this from either a health perspective or weight perspective, we have to talk about nutrition. And you went very deep in the book and talking about some of the nutritional strategies that we can have to have the best bio age possible. Can you talk about a few of those?

[00:28:51.230] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So nutrition has actually been studied quite a bit in the aging field. Most of the original work was just looking at kind of calories or amount of consumption. So dating back actually, I think it's more than a century now. Scientists discovered that actually what would be called calorie restriction or dietary restriction can extend the lifespan of in this case, it was a rat. And actually since then, there's been calorie restriction studies and a number of different species mostly showing the same thing that it seems to be associated with improvements in kind of disease prevention. So elongation of what we call health span. So longer time disease free, as well as possibly longer lifespan as well. And calorie restriction isn't a severe malnutrition, so it's basically reduced calories without malnutrition. So in some of the human trials that are going on, it's about a 12% reduction in total calories. Since then, people have actually become more interested in basically fasting because the idea that someone's going to maintain a caloric restriction diet for their entire lifespan is probably unlikely. And so are there ways that are actually easier that we can do easier that mimic the same benefits?

[00:30:18.390] – Dr. Levine

So people have been really interested in different types of fasting, like time restricted eating, where you try and compress the number of hours each day that you're eating. So maybe you only eat between an eight or six hour window. There's also times where you can kind of some people skip a whole day of eating but then eat fairly normally the rest of the time. Or you can do these kind of short bursts of five day. They're not full fast, but very low calorie fast and do them maybe a few times a year. And we don't have what I would say definitive proof that this is slowing aging. But at least I'm looking at some of these biological age measures that you mentioned. There seems to be some indication that they might be. And then, of course, it's not just how much you eat, but what you eat as well. So a lot of research going into kind of plant based diet and whether plant based or things like Mediterranean diet are actually beneficial. And this seems to be supported looking at individuals who live in these very, what are called blue zones where you have very long lived individuals, but also looking at observational data, just people in, for instance, the US population.

[00:31:35.910] – Allan

Yeah. And I think it should go without saying that we know because we see it in practice. The person that looks and feels younger, at 65, they don't eat a lot of crap and they're not overeating. That's the other side of it. And so some calorie restriction. And as you said to kind of put that in context, if you're eating a 2000 calorie diet, that 12.5%. We're talking about 50 calories. We're not talking about really starving yourself. Now you may feel a little hungrier. And guess what? Hunger doesn't kill you. It might actually keep you alive longer and healthier, because we did talk about we are talking about health span, which I think is another aspect I didn't get into a lot. But we could all live long and not be healthy or we can live short and pop just be done. All those are part of our health span and how that aligns with what we're doing. And so I think we all know this if we're eating good whole foods, cause I don't think they had a reason to study this 100 years ago because corn pops and Twinkies and Hohos and Haagendazs didn't exist back then.

[00:32:56.610] – Allan

And now 95% of our grocery store is that stuff. And so I think most people know if they're eating a whole food diet and they're eating a predominantly plant based diet, Mediterranean style diet, you almost naturally eat less, really hard to overeat spinach and quinoa and those types of things. It just is. So you end up then losing some weight, maybe your calories are a little lower, because again, you're not taking in some calorie dense foods that you would otherwise. Now you got into just a little bit. You talk a little bit about ketosis, and the ketosis that you're talking about really comes about from these fasting protocols. So whether you're going to do true calorie restriction, you're going to do your five too fast, you're going to do some time restricted eating, or you're going to go into a full fast mimicking type diet like the prolonged diet with Baku Vanga. In a lot of cases, folks are at least for parts of time getting into ketosis and producing ketones. Can you talk a little bit about why ketones would be beneficial for us?

[00:34:13.930] – Dr. Levine

Sorry. My throat. Yeah. So I think I'll do the pause. Okay. So I don't think we actually know specifically why we think ketosis might be beneficial for us. And this is actually not something I study. But there are definitely colleagues at Yale who study ketosis. But we're actually starting to have kind of some clinical trials in humans potentially looking at ketosis. And there's some indication that this is why fasting might be beneficial, because as you mentioned, it puts your body in these kind of short cycles of ketosis. And there is some evidence that actually you don't want long term ketosis. And actually it is a cyclical kind of going in and out of it because your body actually can adjust and over compensate in the other way. And again, this is all very preliminary. We don't know specifically what I would say to is it's going to probably to some degree depend on what you're eating if you're on a ketogenic diet, because you can actually have a fairly unhealthy ketogenic diet as well, even though you're not getting a ton of carbohydrates and sugar, if you're eating a lot of very kind of animal heavy food sources, very high in certain types of fat, this also might not be beneficial.

[00:35:54.230] – Dr. Levine

And I think it's probably pretty hard for people to stay on a plant based ketogenic diet. So we'll see, I guess, as the science kind of progresses.

[00:36:05.030] – Allan

Yeah, I've talked to people all the way up from Carnivore all the way down to vegan keto. It's doable.

[00:36:12.790] – Allan

But like most things, the more strict and stringent something is like calorie restriction at 25% or saying, okay, I'm not going to eat a certain food group for a long, long period of time. The more restrictions you put typically, the harder it is because those things are just there. Like you're not going to walk around and not have food like our ancestors, where you got to go Hunt and find it or dig it up or climb up a tree or whatever you got to do to do. We don't have to do that now. My refrigerator, quite frankly, is like maybe 10ft away from me right now. So if I wanted something to eat within a minute that things open and I'm eating it. So, yes, these things can be very difficult to maintain. So finding the right way. And again, that comes from measurements. So if you've measured and you have a baseline and then you do a protocol, and then after appropriate period of time, you test again, that's going to give you some of that personalized evidence, some of that information that you could use then to know if a protocol is right for you or not.

[00:37:24.530] – Dr. Levine

Yes. Because again, it comes back to what you're actually going to be able to implement in your life and what you think is worth implementing. There are definitely people who can be on very health what seems like a very healthy but very restrictive diet. But that's not going to work probably for 95% of the population. They just won't be able to maintain it. So I think the important thing is to do what you can but acknowledge to have kind of the accountability for what you're doing. And if you can't go maybe and keep the most ideal diet, but you can do it 90% of the time or you can work in some of these other things and take these small steps. I think that's how people are going to get the most benefit.

[00:38:06.980] – Allan

Yeah. I think the cyclical approach is a very sound way to try something for a while, get some data, and then if it's working like you mentioned, just even with some of the fasting is doing the fast like three times a year or five times a year or every other month or something like that where you have a protocol and say, okay, I'm on a five day fast. I'm still going to have some nutrition that my body needs, but I'm going to do it in a very controlled way. So I know that I'm getting the nutrition my body needs. And then after I come off my fast, I finish that protocol. I can remeasure if I want or I can continue this. And then I now have some data that says, okay, yeah, this way of eating works. One, it has to be sustainable. But then beyond that, yes, I'm actually seeing measurable results in my bio age. And then the other side, you go back to the quiz, look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you stiff? Are you hurting? Are you aching? Is your arthritis acting up?

[00:39:12.010] – Allan

What are the things going on that your body is telling you, hey, we're not 100% here. Then you know that what you're doing is either working or not.

[00:39:23.450] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And the other important thing that I don't think I touched on is that different things are going to work to different degrees for each of us. So there isn't one optimal diet that can be optimal for everyone, even in terms of the health benefits. So not just in terms of what we can each kind of maintain. And it's really hard to know what that diet is. So some people probably will do a little bit better on purely plant based where some people might need some kind of animal protein in their diet. And I think it's hard to use kind of genetics to predict what the optimal diet is for a person. And there are companies and scientists trying to do that. But it is just easier if we can actually have valid and reliable measures that give us feedback on how the things we do in our everyday life are affecting us.

[00:40:15.480] – Allan

Yeah, that N equals one experiment where you're the single subject. And I can tell you if you're doing an N equals one experiment, that's a very important sample size to have because you are getting real information of what's working for you at that point in time. Now, there's another area that's really important for aging, and you go into a few several in the book. And yes, we can wait for science to do a few things that's going to probably help us in the long run. They'll come up with some pillar shot or something that's going to be better for us and help us in our health, but it's exercise. And it's interesting to me. I've always said to people, it's like if you can take one more breath, you can do something to improve your health and fitness. But the way you said it in the book I really enjoyed here is this, no matter your age, disease status, or athletic proclivity, nearly everyone can benefit from staying active. And I appreciate you saying that. I really do. Why is exercise so beneficial for us in actually slowing down or improving our true age?

[00:41:27.890] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So I think we don't truly know on a mechanistic level how exercise is improving health. But from decades and decades of research into exercise, we know that it is. And it seems to be not conditional on who you are. As you mentioned, even when they do these kind of interventions in very frail individuals who are kind of in nursing homes, physical activities seems to have a benefit for them. Of course, there's going to be a limit, right. You have to do it within a safe environment to not push past your abilities. But all of us benefit from exercise, and it's probably because our bodies are these complex dynamic systems. So something that's going to kind of prime that and, you know, make it more resilient is something that's going to be dynamic. And it doesn't necessarily act through one pathway or one kind of mechanism. It's probably honing in on our entire system and really kind of improving our resilience and robustness and our system's ability to function because it's needing to be adaptive to this very mild stressor, which in the long run will actually make it stronger.

[00:42:47.210] – Allan

Yeah. I just imagine our ancestors running sprints and doing push ups just for the sake of doing them. And they weren't they were climbing because they needed to get to the top of that tree either to get away from something or to get to something. They were walking or running long distances because that's how they could hurt and catch the animals that could run out faster than them but eventually would run out of the aerobic capacity and we would catch up to them, and then we would eat meat that night and then again digging for roots. When you don't have a backhoe, it takes some work. So work and exercise were a big part of our upbringing. Now, one of the things you said in the book, and I think this is where a lot of people can kind of put this together is exercise is a stress on the body. And we're kind of led to believe that stress is a bad thing, that there's good stresses and there's bad stresses. And even some of the foods we eat are hermetic, in effect, meaning they stress our body, but we produce good things as a result.

[00:44:02.150] – Allan

But the states that you went through was the homeostasis, which our bodies love balance. So stay balanced. And then we put a stressor in front of it, and then we have allostasis, which is the improvement, and then we have a return to Homeostasis. Can you talk about that process? So if I decide, yes, I'm going to start running, I'm going to put some stress on my body that it won't necessarily like me for doing initially, but it's the right thing to do. Can you talk about that process that way? How that's working?

[00:44:38.870] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So exercise, as you pointed out, is a perfect example of this concept of homeostasis. So this very mild stressor, which is actually going to kind of prime your system and actually make it more robust in the end. And when we're in a steady state, our bodies are trying to maintain homeostasis, which is a given temperature and all these kind of biochemical ranges that your body tries to maintain. As we encounter stressors in our life, we go through allostasis, which is kind of your body's response to that stressor. So it needs to move out of homeostasis to respond to the stressor. And then the idea is that it should move back. And actually if you do this, you kind of dynamically can have these mild stressors, and then you move back to homeostasis. Our bodies get better at doing that and better at adapting to stressors that might come up in our lives. You can imagine, though, if you have a huge stress or your body might not actually be able to move back very well or you might end up in a slightly different kind of state. So the idea is to have these mild ones that our body can adapt to, and then there's potential that actually they can get a little more stressful over time, but you're better at adapting to them.

[00:46:03.530] – Dr. Levine

The important thing is something we see in exercise, too, is also the recovery. So you have enough time for your body to move back to this homeostatic kind of steady state space. And this is where we see things like chronic stress being a problem because your body never has time to move back to this adaptive states. So we know there's a lot of chronic stress in terms of psychosocial stress that people undergo that just never lets up. And I think this is kind of maladaptive stress. But actually these acute small stressors can actually be very beneficial to our overall functioning.

[00:46:38.640] – Allan

Yeah. And the way I like to look at it is one is these are the gentle nudges. So you're doing a little bit more work than you did before because you can't compress 30 years of not working out into a few workouts. Trust me, that won't work. But then, yeah, your body adapts, it gets stronger and the fact it can keep getting stronger. I think one of the data points you had in there was that they were taking what we basically call frail older people and putting them through a resistance training program. They increased their strength by over I think it was 112%. That's phenomenal. When you start thinking of doubling in probably was a matter of five, six, eight weeks. Most of these programs don't go more than twelve just for a cost perspective, that they were able to double their strength in that little amount of time, doing it in a safe environment. We're not putting them in the gym and saying, okay, we want you doing Olympic lifts here. They put them in a safe environment, they train them. And being trained, they become effectively better people, better athletes. And probably had you measured their bio age, which you weren't part of that experiment, but they probably would have come back a little bit better.

[00:47:57.930] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I think for a lot of these conditions that we see that arise with aging. So I think you mentioned before Sarcopenia, which is this muscle wasting, and it's also accompanied by loss of strength, also things like osteoporosis. Some of the best interventions we have are exercise. And I know people who are developing these might feel, well, I'm getting too weak to undergo a stressor like exercise. But actually that's what their body needs to kind of push it back into a stronger state. It needs that kind of you want like the push to come both ways. Right. If nothing's kind of pushing back on it, just continue to deteriorate.

[00:48:38.950] – Allan

Yeah. I like to think of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress all of those are information. So our body, as you will, is literally just a computer, if you will, and it's collecting information about your environment. And if you're able to just sit on your butt every day and do nothing, in its mind, you're doing nothing but using your brain. You're not moving. You're eating foods that are not beneficial. You're giving your body information. That okay, it's time to shut down. It's time to just sort of just collect some fat. That's great. And then we're shutting down versus the opposite when you start giving it the information, hey, I'm going to need you to start actually lifting a little bit more weight. I'm going to need you to be able to travel a little bit further on your feet or in a wheelchair even. But you're moving more. You communicate to your body that it needs to be better and it reacts appropriately.

[00:49:41.970] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Our bodies are amazing dynamical systems that will react to our environment and behaviors and all these inputs that we have the ability to kind of use to kind of Hone in on a better kind of overall system.

[00:49:59.730] – Allan

The good news of your book, True Age, is that this is not something we have to wait for somebody else to solve for. This is not even though we can say or they want to classify aging as a disease. It's not a disease that we can't reverse or at least control. It's something that's in our control and our lifestyle choices are a big part of how we age.

[00:50:24.570] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, I think I say this in the book. If someone had a pill that had the same benefits that we get with exercise, this would be one of the biggest breakthroughs, I think, in modern medicine. And the thing is that it already exists. We just have to kind of take the time out and actually do this. And yes, there might be really exciting discoveries down the road we're working on and colleagues, and we're very excited about those. But in the meantime, people don't have to sit around and wait for them. There's very impactful things that they can do right now.

[00:51:00.270] – Allan

And as you said in the book, there's a Goldilocks zone of this exercise. So we're not saying you need to be able to do an ultramarathon to consider yourself doing exercise. It's starting where you are doing a little bit more and then just finding that spot where you're optimizing how you feel and potentially how you look and how your body actually is responding to that stress and now potentially getting stronger and younger and all of that.

[00:51:35.070] – Dr. Levine

Yes, this comes back to this kind of acute stress versus chronic stress. You don't want to go out and just do so much, and then your body can't even really kind of recalibrate from that. But yeah, you do these little acute stressors enough to feel it like it shouldn't be easy per se, but enough to kind of break a swipe, get your heart rate up to a decent high level for a short amount of time, and then we can slowly build from there. But yeah, you don't need to be able to run a marathon. You can go for a 30 minutes walk or whatever kind of works for your lifestyle.

[00:52:08.130] – Allan

Dr. Levine, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:52:19.110] – Dr. Levine

For me, I would have to say one is figure out what works for you. So, you know, if you can't stick to a diet, then that diet is not going to help you. We all kind of overestimate, I think what we will stick to in the future. So I would say find something that actually works for your lifestyle where everyone's busy, but just make sure you're trying to get that little bit of exercise or eat plant based or whole foods most of the time. I'm not saying you can't have cake on your birthday, but figure out what you can actually manage in your life. The other thing I think related to that is just to know your numbers, to actually have some information about how you're doing so that you can make those choices on whether something is worthwhile implementing in your life versus not. And this makes you accountable for your decisions you make. But also, I think, can give positive feedback that what you're doing is actually benefiting you. And then probably the last step. And I guess this may be relates a little bit to number one is you don't have to go from zero to 100.

[00:53:40.090] – Dr. Levine

You can take small steps and then get there. You don't need the perfect diet on January 1st. But you can start by implementing one thing at a time and over time kind of get to a healthier lifestyle. And in doing that, cut yourself a little bit of slack. Right. You need to be accountable and not cut yourself too much slack. But everyone messes up. I eat unhealthfully occasionally and we have to don't be so critical and set on being perfect and let that kind of ruin your progress overall.

[00:54:17.250] – Allan

Great. Dr Levine, if someone wanted to learn more about you or more about your book, True Age, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:28.930] – Dr. Levine

My book is coming out, I think, today May 3, so you can buy it on Amazon or other outlets. To learn more about me, my lab has a website. I think it's morganlevinelab.com. I also people feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I like to post a lot about aging research where we are the new science coming out and also talk a little bit about what I do in my everyday life. So those are probably the main outlets for people who want to learn more.

[00:55:03.440] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/536 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Levine, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:55:15.070] – Dr. Levine

Thank you so much for having me.


Post Show/Recap

[00:55:26.690] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:28.170] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What an interesting interview about aging. There's a lot to talk about here.

[00:55:33.640] – Allan

Yeah. I think in less than three or four months we've had three different guests now talking about aging and from different perspectives. One guy's in the technology aspect of it as kind of we were this time, companies providing services like how do you get your true age and what are the things we can do to deal with it? But the reality of it is we're not learning anything new. And I hate to say it that way, but you probably have heard common themes. What do I have to do for weight loss? And it's like manage your nutrition manager, movement manager, sleep, manage your stress. What I do is if I want to age slower, same four things.

[00:56:22.290] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:56:23.750] – Allan

So these foundations of health that we go over week in and week out, there's a right way for you. There's the right size for you. And the sooner you get on it, the better, because we talked about that Hill and how the inertia or the momentum of aging kind of works in your favor for the first half of that Hill where the ball is trying to roll back against you and you've got much more resilience and much more strength and much more everything. And then you hit a point, a tipping point, and then now aging is running away from you. And if you're not doing the right things, it could end really badly and out of your control. Loss of independence, loss of health, loss of fitness. It can go bad, fast. And for some people, we're in our 40s and 50s. I don't know about you, but you get on Facebook and every other day there's this diagnosis, that diagnosis. And you're like, okay, sometimes that's just enough to get them to start fighting that inertia that aging inertia. Sometimes they're already past the top. And now it's just, okay, this is where I'm going.

[00:57:35.770] – Allan

And so we have a lot that we can do in four fundamental areas to manage our health and wellness. And it plays out over and over in all the different themes about how to have better strength, how to have better bone mass, how to feel better, how to have more energy, how to all four basic pillars that if we're working on those on a consistent basis, we're improving our health, we're improving our existence. And as a result, our true age is younger than potentially our chronological age.

[00:58:15.830] – Rachel

That's an interesting concept right there. To think that if you could manage your health in such a way that you might feel younger than other people at your age, we have an interesting, I don't know, concept of what aging feels like. When I was a kid, I thought 50 would be crazy old and I'd be slowing down and not doing the things that I'm doing right now. And here at 50, I'm still running marathons and doing some fun stuff, and I have no intention of stopping. This is how I like to spend my time, and it's giving me a higher quality of life. I mean, it's social, it's entertaining, and I'm doing what I can to maintain my age. And I just really wish people would also find something that they love to do at this age to keep them active.

[00:59:06.090] – Allan

Yeah. And it doesn't have to be running. It doesn't have to be weight lifting. It doesn't have to be super strenuous. I mean, it can be something as simple as pickleball or just something that's slightly active. Get out in the state park and go for a hike, find a group that's doing something that some movement involved and make it a thing. They're out there. And I think that's the point. There's running clubs, there's hiking clubs, there's pickleball, there's all this different stuff that's out there. Or it might be just something as simple as the Zumba class at your community and you don't have to be able to dance. Just go out there and have some fun and move at your pace at your thing and just enjoy yourself because you only get one shot.

[01:00:05.590] – Rachel

Right. I just think that's the best part, though, like Zumba class would be just a hoot. And I've got an aunt and uncle. They do Taichi a beautiful, graceful movement for them and they enjoy it. They have friends at the gym, and it's just such a fun, social atmosphere for them. And they're having a high quality of life. They get out of the house, they do these fun things, and they're healthier for it. You don't have to let aging just happen. You don't have to just get old and sit around and do nothing. How boring would that be?

[01:00:39.690] – Allan

Well, we see it. I mean, that's kind of what's interesting, as you were saying. It's like, okay, there was the great grandma who was right at the end and forgetting things and always sitting in her rocker. And then there was the grandma and yeah, she'd Cook a meal and then she'd sit down, and then there was mom, and then there was us and we're running around like wild animals, and everybody else is sitting and not and they're not playing and they're not doing these things. It wasn't done. It wasn't a regular thing. In fact, at one point, women couldn't even run a marathon. They weren't allowed like, well, okay. And that's probably why, again, if you're not going to let somebody do something, then they're going to want to do it that much more.

[01:01:33.680] – Rachel

That's right.

[01:01:34.490] – Allan

So, yeah, you can't do this exercise thing. Don't listen to us. You can't do yeah, Yes. But it's like it's not a button. It's not easy.

[01:01:47.630] – Allan

But you have tools. You have the capacity, if you take a breath to do something, and if we're just going to sit around and wait for them to come up with the easy pill, that one pill thing that you're going to take, that's going to be your exercise for you. You're going to pass before that happens. Science is great, but it's not going to be that great. In fact, what science is more likely to do is to keep you alive in a bad health state. So your health started declining in your 50s and you lived until your Eighties. It was 30 years plus maybe of poor health that you had to endure. And it's within your control to eat better, move better, sleep better, and manage stress better. Every little bit of that that you're able to do is going to help improve your lifespan and your health span.

[01:02:46.770] – Rachel

And the quality. The quality of life. Yes. You don't have to take aging sitting down, get up and get active.

[01:02:53.930] – Allan

Get out there. Yeah. And realize that if you are on the other side of the Hill, you can slow the descent. It's not this fixed aging curve where you have to live the way that you saw your parents live or that you see older siblings or relatives live. You can slow that curve with the right interventions, which are not medical. They're physical. They're what you put in your mouth or what you put in your brain. They're what you physically move around and do. It's all information. And if you're informing your body that you need to be active and manage an active lifestyle with good food and all that your body responds is like, oh, well, we still have to do stuff versus if you're just sitting around and you're not getting the exercise, you're not eating well, you're communicating to your body that it's okay for it to go ahead and start shutting down. That's a bad message.

[01:03:48.060] – Rachel

It is a bad message. Not very fun. Not fun at all.

[01:03:52.140] – Allan

No. So again, I'll probably still keep having guests on and we'll keep talking about aging because it's an important topic. But just recognize that all of my shows are the same show. They are. We're talking about the same four things but your four things are different than my four things and so you just have to find your four things and how you move, how you eat, how you sleep, how you manage stress and doing the best that you can with what you have, where you are. And if you're doing that then you're aging at a slower pace than you would have otherwise and you're going to have a longer, better life.

[01:04:33.750] – Rachel

Yes, that's perfect.

[01:04:36.490] – Allan

All right, well, rach, we'll talk next week.

[01:04:39.050] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:40.670] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[01:04:41.770] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye.

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