Category Archives for "guest/interview"

June 14, 2021

Hormone intelligence with Dr. Aviva Romm

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On this episode, Dr. Aviva Romm and I discuss her new book, Hormone Intelligence.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:04.370] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are you doing?

[00:01:06.080] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:08.300] – Allan
Good. I get a chuckle out of that voice when we go on Zoom here to do these recordings. Now, when you record on Zoom before you just hit record in your recording. But now there's this female voice that wants to tell everybody on the call that they're being recorded and and then when we get off the recording it does the same things. Call is no longer being recorded. It's just funny because it's in the headphones. It's really, really loud.

[00:01:33.470] – Allan
So it's like we're having a nice conversation, good conversational tone, and all of a sudden this woman's yelling at me. Recording this call.

[00:01:41.300] – Rachel
Yeah. I've been warned.

[00:01:43.130] – Allan
And I have been recording this call because this is our welcome for this podcast. And how are you doing, Rachel?

[00:01:50.480] – Rachel
Good, good. Things are great up here. We've had some beautiful summer days. It's nice to get out, spend some time outside. Our vegetable gardens are growing really well. So, yeah, it's a perfect time of year up here.

[00:02:03.410] – Allan
Yeah. You have your little animal kingdom with your pond.

[00:02:06.350] – Rachel
We do.

[00:02:07.610] – Allan
Posting the other day with a snake and a frog. Or snake versus frog. Is that what it was?

[00:02:11.990] – Rachel
Yeah. And he was back. My husband Mike just saw him the snake again today and he had a bulge in his belly. So I know he ate another one of my frogs. Need to make..

[00:02:23.090] – Allan
maybe he's also eating rats.

[00:02:25.580] – Rachel
I would like to think that.

[00:02:28.250] – Allan
It was a rat. We're gonna call it a rat. Lacking any other evidence to the contrary. It was a rat.

[00:02:34.610] – Rachel
Makes me feel better. That would make me feel a lot better. How are you doing?

[00:02:39.890] – Allan
I'm good. Yeah, we actually have a new houseguest. It's a crab. It crawled into the kitchen late last night, so I was there shutting everything down and I'd like you know, we leave things open because we don't do the air conditioning for most the house. It's just our bedroom. It's air conditioned. When I was walking in and right there by the refrigerator here's this crab and it's not a huge crab.

[00:03:01.970] – Allan
You know, it's probably about the size of my fist. And I'm like looking at the crab. I'm like, I'm not going to get you to walk out of here right now. And he just looked at me with his pinchers up and I was like, OK, so I went, got a pan thinking OK, I'll just try to go scoop him in a pan and then toss them out the back. And then he ran back behind the refrigerator.

[00:03:17.630] – Allan
And I'm like, I'm not moving the refrigerator.

[00:03:20.000] – Rachel
Oh my gosh.

[00:03:21.470] – Allan
Clean up after yourself and we're cool. And so I went back to bed. Apparently he's still out and about. And so my wife saw this morning, so, yeah, we have a pet crab now. I haven't named it.

[00:03:32.630] – Rachel
I'd say. It's so funny.

[00:03:36.200] – Rachel
Well, I hope he doesn't stay too long.

[00:03:38.600] – Allan
Yeah, well, Buster is pretty excited to have a houseguest. And so if I think of Buster, Buster has an opportune meeting with him. Yeah. Not going to go well for the crab or I don't know, maybe the crab, the upper claw and Buster will not want to deal with crab.

[00:03:56.870] – Rachel
Well, oh boy.

[00:03:59.360] – Allan
So I have wild kingdom in our house too. Just like a different set. I think the mammal's going to win this one.

[00:04:05.520] – Rachel
Oh my gosh. Well, good luck.

[00:04:07.670] – Allan
Yeah. All right. So let's talk to Dr. Aviva.

[00:04:11.240] – Rachel


[00:04:48.500] – Allan
Dr. Aviva, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:51.840] – Dr. Aviva
Thank you for having me here. It's a delight.

[00:04:54.540] – Allan
Now your book, Hormone Intelligence: The Complete Guide to Calming Hormone Chaos and Restoring the Body's Natural Blueprint for Well-Being. I've read a few books on this topic, and obviously I don't have to deal with women's health issues myself, but I am a husband and I'm a father. So it is something that I try to stay at least somewhere of. And being the host of this podcast, I've had several authors on to talk about menopause, hormones, and women's health.

[00:05:22.710] – Allan
This book is maybe the most comprehensive complete guide I've ever read. You didn't leave anything out and you really kind of I don't know that there's a question I've ever would have had with my wife and all the things that we've dealt with over the years and my daughters that wasn't answered in this book somewhere.

[00:05:43.350] – Dr. Aviva
That makes me so happy to hear I was truly driving my publisher crazy because they would like, Aviva, this is too long. We have to shorten it. Like, yeah, but if a woman comes in, she's going to ask this question and they said, well, that's the problem. And the beauty is that because you're a physician and you're actually working with women, not just, you know, how a celebrity writing a book, you already anticipate the next question.

[00:06:05.770] – Dr. Aviva
So I'm glad that came through in a positive way.

[00:06:09.110] – Allan
It did. It did. It's you know, so it's an in it all. It all fit together in a way where, you know, as you're reading through it, it's both informative and then it's this reference guide. You just you put it on yourself and you know, when you start feeling something's going on, a hot flash or, you know, your periods are too painful and you're trying to understand what's going on, pull out this book. And there's a section in the book specifically with protocols for how to deal with that particular issue.

[00:06:37.230] – Allan
So it's like I said, really the most complete book I've seen on this topic. So thank you.

[00:06:43.650] – Dr. Aviva
Thank you. I'm hoping it'll be part self-help, how to and part one of those books that you do have on your shelf year after year and you kind of, you know, this may come up or that may come up and you go to it or you're just going through normal transitions in your life and you just want to hear, OK, well, what can I expect? What can I do? And I kind of have this dream that it's that book that mom's always wanted to actually have something to pass onto their daughters that's meaningful as well. Say, OK, you know, this really helped me.

[00:07:11.370] – Dr. Aviva
And now here it is to really help you.

[00:07:14.140] – Allan
Yeah. I mean, like I said, with my daughter's taking her to the gynecologist, going with my wife, to her appointments and these things, there were things that came up that I want to talk about during the podcast that I was just like, I really wish I knew this going in because I would have asked smarter questions. And that kind of leads me to the first thing is you start the book and you're talking about these tips for dealing with Medicare.

[00:07:37.590] – Allan
And it's so interesting because we don't want to be advocates for ourselves sometimes. And from reading your book and kind of just general knowledge, women especially are kind of put into this. Oh, well, that's just normal girl stuff. You know, go deal with it. But when we go to our doctor, we have to do a few things. Can you talk about those six tips for better medical care?

[00:08:00.140] – Dr. Aviva
Yeah, absolutely. I don't have the six in my book, kind of in my mind in order, but I can give you the tips and why it's so important, you know, on an individual basis. I've really honestly, in all my decades of working in women's health and being a physician and studying with, you know, numerous mentors and through my medical training, I've never met a physician that wasn't well-meaning and well-intentioned and didn't care about their patients.

[00:08:25.190] – Dr. Aviva
But the system of medicine is based on a lot of inherent biases that most physicians never learn about or think about. And a lot of those biases, unfortunately, play out in women's health. One of the biases and it's misinformation is that, you know, as women, it's just normal to have miserable periods to blow through boxes of tampons, you know, because you're having heavy bleeding or to be bent over with period pain or to have to take ibuprofen for a day, a month or three days a month or, for PMS to just make you miserable.

[00:09:01.070] – Dr. Aviva
And then things like chronic pelvic pain, weight gain, depression over things that can have to do with polycystic ovary syndrome, or there are a lot of these biases that end up causing women to go to the doctor and being told by their doctor, oh, that's just normal. And what we're taught in medical school is, OK, it's normal, but let's just give the pill or let's just tell her to take more ibuprofen or let's give her an antidepressant.

[00:09:30.470] – Dr. Aviva
And while those things may be helpful at times, one, they have side effects that are just, you know, unfortunate kind of byproducts of taking pharmaceuticals on a regular basis or even on a short term basis, but they also don't get to the root of the problems, things like chronic inflammation, stress, things that we can change in our diet that we never learned about in medical school. So there's that one set of biases that this is just normal. Just take a pharmaceutical.

[00:09:59.100] – Dr. Aviva
So when you go to your doctor and you ask for something different, hey, I heard about this herbal hey, can I try this diet or I read about that a lot of women get dismissed or an eye roll. And I've had many patients who have been told something like, well, where did you get your medical degree, doctor google? There's this very dismissive attitude. Also, physicians have kind of learned as part of the institutionalization of medicine that we only have seven to 15 minutes to spend with any given patient.

[00:10:31.430] – Dr. Aviva
And so we tend to get right to the symptoms, not really hear what's going on in a woman's life, not really ask the questions. And when a patient starts asking questions, it can really cut into the time that we think we have to get all this information from them. And so patients who start to push back or ask questions or look for alternatives are sometimes labeled as difficult patients. So when you go to the doctor's office and you've got concerns and a lot of women don't even go to the doctor's office for these concerns because they've been treated with dismissal before, or they just think these symptoms are normal.

[00:11:07.430] – Dr. Aviva
But when we do go in, we really need to be prepared and preemptive in order to get the answers that we need. So one of the things that can happen to any of us when we go to the physician's office, but especially to women, is that there can be a huge power differential. Right? You're going in. You're vulnerable because something's going on in your body that you're concerned about. You're worried about. You're already thinking it's the worst thing it could possibly be.

[00:11:34.730] – Dr. Aviva
And now you go in and you go into the waiting room. You know, you're in the waiting room waiting for however long. Then you finally get to your doctor's office and the nurse comes in and says, here, put this on. And it's a little Johnny with the back flapping open and nobody feels empowered. They're wearing one of those, but on top of it, then your doctor comes in and is dressed up in their in their office professional clothes with their white coat and their stethoscope.

[00:11:58.790] – Dr. Aviva
And all of a sudden this power differential becomes really intimidating. So one of the things that I tell people go into the doctor is keep your clothes on until the part where you get the exam, because the first part is usually the talking to. Right, the conversation. Keep your clothes on, have the conversation first, and then when it's time for the exam, you can have your physician step out and get into your Johnny and then get that part done.

[00:12:25.460] – Dr. Aviva
So that really helps you be heard. That's really important. Another thing is before you even go to your medical appointment, write down all of your concerns. Really great like a script card for you up yourself. It can be just bullet points. But when you get into that moment and you're in that power differential, even if you've kept your clothes on and your doctor is clearly in a rush, and we know that on average, medical doctors interrupt their patients after 60 seconds of their patient talking.

[00:12:55.580] – Dr. Aviva
So you've got 60 seconds and then your concerns aren't hurt anymore. So when you're in that pressured environment is very hard to remember to say, oh, well, I wanted to talk to you about this pain I'm having every month, let alone I want to talk to you about this vaginal itching that's really driving me crazy. Right. That's even harder to say. So have your script card there and say to your doctor, I really want I know this is weird, but I really want to use these notes I brought to make sure that I cover all the things that are really important to me.

[00:13:25.590] – Dr. Aviva
Also trying to get all of that squeezed in when you're going in for your annual exam can be really tough because, again, a doctor only has a certain amount of time. They have things they're supposed to check off their list to ask you for their own, you know, medical licensure and all of that to stay safe that they want to ask you, are you depressed? Is this going on? Is that going on? Maybe hard to get to your actual concerns.

[00:13:49.530] – Dr. Aviva
So if you're having a concern that is intimidating, you may forget to ask it. Having that little cue card there with you really helps to make sure you're getting through that. But having an appointment set up separately just for those concerns can really make a difference. Another really important point is to bring an advocate with you. And it sounds like, Allan, you've gone to the doctor with your wife and you're with your daughter to the gynecologist.

[00:14:15.600] – Dr. Aviva
And that's so important for someone to know there's someone out in the waiting room for you. But obviously, it's going to be a little more awkward for a dad to go into their daughter's gynecology appointment with them. But it's really important for women to have someone there, especially if they get intimidated in that setting who can kind of elbow them and nudge them and say, remember, you wanted to ask your doctor about that. It just gives you a lot of confidence and support and it makes sure that you're getting your concerns heard and your doctor's more likely to be on their best human behavior if there's someone else in the room as well paying attention.

[00:14:52.740] – Allan
There was one thing, though, that you put in there that I think was really important for the men to consider here is that there is this power structure you were talking about, and we need to be an interference to that and making sure that our wife or girlfriend is being heard versus being in there and saying, but the doctor said, suck it up. And, you know, that's not the approach we want to have. But sometimes you end up on the wrong side of the fence defending the wrong issue.

[00:15:22.120] – Allan
So go in there with your eyes open, know what your wife or significant other know what they're dealing with so that when they're asking the questions, all you really want to know, the doctor is hearing her. And then is giving a response, and she's thinking the response is reasonable based on her experiences, because you're not experiencing that. So that's really, really important to not..

[00:15:45.920] – Dr. Aviva
Yes, in the book. I talk about being careful about bringing in a male partner, especially if it's a male doctor, because it's so easy for the bro thing to happen.

[00:15:54.650] – Dr. Aviva
And the male doctor is like, you know, giving you the look like, yeah, right. She's got this PMS thing going on. I bet it's driving you crazy too like all the like the inside joke stuff. And I've seen it happen. So your point is so important and I talk about that in the book, which is like don't let the bro thing happen. Your job is to be there for her or your partner and to validate her and make sure she is heard and not to, like, partner up and take sides with the doc.

[00:16:21.040] – Allan
Now, there are a few things that you said in the book, and I was like, you know, just they just hum to resonation, as you were saying. And the first thing you said that I thought was just really important for people to hear is that hormones are messengers. If they're not there just in a certain amount at a certain time for just no reason at all, they're there to do something very specific and sometimes not having enough of them or having too much of them is a signal to our body that something else is wrong, not that we need more of something added just to balance it out or there's something going on in our system that's causing that imbalance.

[00:17:02.530] – Allan
And that's what we want to get to the root of.

[00:17:04.840] – Dr. Aviva
Exactly. So hormones literally, as we define them in medicine, are chemical messengers. And I jokingly I think they say someone, don't shoot the messenger. But as women and as men, we're always like, oh, she's hormonal. I'm hormonal. Like, we blame it on the hormones and the hormone imbalances. Or in the worst case scenario, as women, we blame ourselves like there must be something wrong with me or I must be doing something wrong because I feel like crap for my period every month or I feel, you know, doubled over in pain because of my endometriosis.

[00:17:37.900] – Dr. Aviva
And so instead of blaming our hormones and shooting the messenger, what is it that these imbalances, these symptoms are trying to say to us as a reflection of that there is an imbalance going on, like what is the message happening with PMS? What is the message happening? Why are you having these painful periods? And that kind of starts to get under the hood of what some of the answers are to then starting to solve some of those problems?

[00:18:09.190] – Allan
Yeah, I don't think we can get to the answer unless we're actually looking at the problem. And the problem is not the symptom. The problem is, is the underlying issue. And then the other thing you had in there that I think is just really important to take home is that, you know, more and more, yes, doctors will just say, you know, take this pill, get on antidepressants, do this thing, or let's get this hysterectomy, because it's so common that the issues that we're talking about are so common with women.

[00:18:35.410] – Allan
But common doesn't equal normal.

[00:18:38.520] – Dr. Aviva
Exactly, you know, when there's a saying that if all you have is a hammer, you see everything as a nail. And I can tell you from having spent seven years in medical training that we are basically never taught to do anything but give pharmaceuticals and do surgeries when it comes to pretty much everything in women's health, whether it's fertility, something going on in pregnancy or birth, whether it's a mental health problem, another gynecologic problem or menopause.

[00:19:11.790] – Dr. Aviva
And I'm not, you know, as I say, so open mind that my brains are falling out. I think there's an absolute time and place for a pharmaceutical and a medicine and a surgery. And, you know, I think it's also important to meet women where they are. If a patient comes to me and she's like, I really just want to take the pill from my PCOS acne, I'm not going to judge her or withhold that. I'm going to say, look, I just want to make sure you understand the ramifications of taking this.

[00:19:38.730] – Dr. Aviva
And would you be open to possibly trying these things first or instead? To me, it's you know, it's like if you had to kill a mosquito, you wouldn't get out a cannon, you would use your hands or get a swatter or something like that. Hopefully I'm not offending any Buddhists or someone who doesn't kill mosquitoes. But point being, we tend to go after symptoms in medicine with the biggest guns rather than looking at what can we do to maybe reduce stress or shift the diet or add in a particular supplement.

[00:20:16.080] – Dr. Aviva
And there's so much judgment in medicine, all those things don't work. But that's not actually true. Not everything that's touted out there in the natural medicine world works. But there are actually some substantial interventions that are natural, that have been shown to be phenomenally effective. And so most it's like, well, try that first and then if we need to progress to this, that or the other, we always can do that.

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[00:22:49.550] – Allan
My wife was really having some heavy periods and in a lot of pain and, you know, a lot of women will think, OK, that's just normal stuff because it's just so common. But hers was not normal.

[00:23:02.480] – Allan
And we you know, we went into the doctor and, you know, the doctors kind of like, well, you can be on the pill. That would help. And then we finally opted for the ablation. And so she went in for the ablation surgery. And I got called into the room because the doctor was surprised by a fibroid that she ran into while she was in there. And it startled her a little bit and being startled, she startled my wife then my wife is under, you know, a little bit of sedation.

[00:23:28.100] – Allan
So she's not completely there. So they brought me into the room to discuss this. You know, that there's a fibroid, that there's nothing wrong that's normal. It's there. We knew about it, you know, just. It was there. Again, had I known about fibroids and what they're indicative of, I would have started asking a lot more questions. But I didn't. I didn't have this book back then. And so I want to kind of talk about fibroids a little bit because we just went through now having to have that fibroid removed with a hysterectomy because it had gotten so big.

[00:24:04.610] – Allan
It was scary big. When I actually saw the picture was, wow. We even named it Elmer because it was so big. Can you talk a little bit about fibroids and what as an outward symbol of fibroid would indicate is going on with us or with the woman? I'm sorry.

[00:24:26.210] – Allan
Yeah. So, you know, there's sort of like these meta levels of things, right? So fibroids are a result medically of high levels of estrogen. Women post menopause. Once our estrogen levels go really down, fibroids tend to shrink on their own. And we don't have fibroids before puberty because there's no estrogen feeding them. So fibroids are a result of high levels of estrogen and then usually a result also of something called insulin growth factor and other growth factors, which can happen as a result of a little bit of insulin resistance.

[00:24:59.810] – Dr. Aviva
It can happen as a result of just other hormonal imbalances. And so that's the meta level of there's too much estrogen, usually too much insulin like growth factor and maybe some insulin resistance. And then cortisol may play a role in triggering stress hormones that actually feed the fibroids as well. So catecholamines may feed the fibroids and that those are breakdown products of adrenaline and stress. And so that's sort of like the immediate medical. We know that from an upstream perspective physiologically or pathophysiological.

[00:25:34.370] – Dr. Aviva
We know that. And then there's sort of like the next level question is, what's causing those things? Why did your wife have high levels of estrogen? Why might she have had elevated levels of insulin like growth factor? And then we started to get to even a level above that, you know, as upstream as we can go, if you will, which is we know that environmental chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, for example, or plastics that leach out of our Tupperware's that we all ate out of growing up or may still out eat out of.

[00:26:01.100] – Dr. Aviva
Now, the plastic water bottles that were so popular in the 80s and 90s that we were all drinking out of. Our cosmetics and these things where you may just be getting nanoparticles like the most tiny little particles of these different environmental chemicals, but they act as estrogen disruptors. So they actually are contributing or adding to our estrogen load. And when you think of tiny little nanoparticles, well, you only have nanoparticles of estrogen anyway. It doesn't actually we don't have that much.

[00:26:31.810] – Dr. Aviva
It's is very potent. And when it finds to our receptors so environmental triggers can cause these high levels of estrogen, chronic stress can cause those high levels of stress hormones. And it's not that your wife is necessarily some stressed out person either. It's just the chronic normal stressors that we're all facing 24/7. And then there are a lot of dietary factors. One, the packaging that our food does come in which leaches plastics into it. But also most of us aren't getting the amount of fiber we need.

[00:27:04.340] – Dr. Aviva
You know, paleo diet was really popular and it still is. And it's not something I subscribe to necessarily. But we do know that our paleo ancestors got about 100 grams of fiber every single day. We know from the American Cancer Society that we should be getting thirty grams of fiber a day just to prevent colon cancer, like just basic good health for colon cancer prevention. The average American is getting fifteen grams of fiber a day, but fiber is critical for maintaining estrogen balance.

[00:27:33.020] – Dr. Aviva
So there are a lot of factors that go into why so many women are experiencing fibroids. Then from a medical level, there have been some really significant studies looking at how women with fibroids and other gynecologic concerns, heavy periods, et cetera, even women in their late 20s and 30s, let alone in our 40s and 50s, go in for treatment. And particularly fibroids is one big area. This happens and end up with a hysterectomy without their doctor ever providing them with the list of alternatives that they can and should be able to do long before surgery.

[00:28:14.570] – Dr. Aviva
And when I'm talking about alternatives, I'm not talking about herbal medicine or detox or something like that. I'm talking about pharmaceuticals. So one study, for example, done in the state of Michigan, and it was a multicenter study, meaning they looked at patients, they gathered data from patients at five different major medical centers. And aggregated that data and found that only a small percentage of women who were going in for a fibroid or another reason for a hysterectomy that was non cancer, cancer would be an appropriate reason, but only a small percentage were ever told that there were other medical things that they could do, including medical things they could do to shrink the fibroid, so that if they did ultimately still need to go into surgery, they can have the fibroid removed and not their whole uterus removed.

[00:29:03.070] – Dr. Aviva
So there's a lot of lack of knowledge among physicians that there are alternatives. And not to be callous, but I am a doctor, so I'm speaking for my own profession. There's a huge amount of financial incentive to choose to do a surgery over recommending a pharmaceutical. It just it's night and day when it comes to what ends up in your pocket at the end of the day. And it's not just your pocket, but it may be the hospital you work at gets much more money from you having more patients get surgery so that there's a lot of incentivization that's built into the system that we don't really

[00:29:42.980] – Dr. Aviva
Think about or know about as individual patients, and it sounds almost conspiratorial when I talk about it, but it's actually very real. So, you know, it comes back to what we were talking about before, which is how do you manage your own medical care? How do you be the CEO of your own health? And I think it's really tough. You know, I think as women, as human beings, we shouldn't have to be. We should be able to go in.

[00:30:08.120] – Dr. Aviva
You know, when you go to your car mechanic, you don't have to know everything about your car to make sure your car gets cared for properly. You don't have to research about your carburetor. You hope that your mechanic knows what they're supposed to do and does it. But when it comes to heavy bleeding and whether you should get that hysterectomy or not, first of all, it's terrifying because sometimes the word cancer is tossed in there even when there's no cancer.

[00:30:33.200] – Dr. Aviva
But like, well, if you do it now, then you have to worry about cancer later. Well, OK, I'll take that. I'll take door number three, you know, and if you're not told that you can use Generation inhibitors or other pharmaceuticals to shrink a fibroid, how are you supposed to read that? You know or learn about that one? Half the words aren't even that pronounceable. And there's so much noise on the Internet.

[00:30:57.410] – Dr. Aviva
Where do you even go and trust? So I think it gets really the burden ends up falling on the person who's got the problem to sort it out. And then you go to your doctor and you're like, well, can I try this medication first? And they're saying, well, where do you get your degree, doctor google? You end up just shutting up and going in for the surgery. And I'm not saying that the surgery is wrong.

[00:31:16.220] – Dr. Aviva
I've sent patients with fibroids and for hysterectomy too at times, you know, they're just they're anemic. They're exhausted, they're bleeding. They're peeing all the time because the fibroid is so big, it's sitting on their bladder or sitting on their bowels and they're constipated. Sex hurts. They have pelvic pressure all the time. So there's a time and a place for sure. It's just that we're jumping to that as step number one when it should be step number five.

[00:31:39.710] – Allan
Yeah, and that's one of the cool things about this book, is it does give us some tools to understand the problem. Better to ask the right questions and know that there are alternatives because you discuss them very clearly in the book. The other one I wanted to get into because, you know, women were in their 40s and their 50s. They go through this period of time. It can be three years. It can be eight, almost 10 percent, I guess.

[00:32:01.910] – Allan
But it's this perimenopause period of time, and it's when things are changing. And you said you said something that was just actually kind of kind of funny and little brilliant when you said we should celebrate that the same way we celebrate puberty. It's another phase of life. It's an interesting phase for a lot of women. And as you kind of put it, it's that point where, you know, I don't want to use language, but just we don't have you can kind of let go a little bit.

[00:32:32.300] – Allan
You're wiser, stronger, more powerful person. And you can own this. You can own this process. Can you talk a little bit about perimenopause, some of the basics of how someone should approach this and what they should be looking for as far as if things are going well or not going well?

[00:32:52.160] – Dr. Aviva
Yeah, so you know, as young girls, right, were 11, were 12, I mean, it may be a little intimidating to go through puberty.

[00:33:01.400] – Dr. Aviva
And it can feel like a roller coaster, of course, but we're excited because we're becoming women. It's something we look forward to. It gives us new privileges in our life, new things that we're allowed to do. And then so that's one big life transition. Then when we become mothers, that's hopefully celebrated. You know, you're welcomed into the Mom Club when you hit perimenopause. You know, the way it's described in our culture. You know, just because our estrogen is declining doesn't mean we're going downhill.

[00:33:33.290] – Dr. Aviva
But it is like it's been described as over the hill. Well, the only thing over the hill is downhill. Right? Our grandmother's house, I guess. But it's downhill. And we're historically considered not sexy anymore. Not fertile anymore. Kind of washed up. Now, I think that so many women are changing that paradigm. You know, when you think about it, like Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts, I'm just thinking of a few women like women who would sort of.

[00:34:04.580] – Dr. Aviva
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek, I'm just saying, you think of the women who we would undoubtably you'd have to be blind to not think they were hot, sexy women who are still considered hot, sexy women who are now in their 50s. And I think about thinking about it that way. The paradigm is changing and half of women in the US are now 50 or over. But internally, psychologically, and have just gone into menopause myself a year ago.

[00:34:31.040] – Dr. Aviva
So I'm solidly on the other side of it. I'm turning 55 this year. You know, if I could curse, I would say it was a mind, something that starts with an F to go through menopause. In our culture, we don't necessarily have that. Oh, now I'm a woman or we don't necessarily have that. Now I'm a mom to look forward to. It's like now I'm what fifty five are now I'm older and I'm middle aged or, you know, all that stuff.

[00:34:57.560] – Dr. Aviva
And now nobody's looking at me. They're looking at my daughter when we walk up the street together. So you really have to be willing to embrace a new way of thinking about your body, a new way of thinking about yourself. And it's also a time in women's lives where their life definition may be changing. Right. It's a time when often our children are finally going off to college or depending on how old you are getting married or having their own children.

[00:35:25.320] – Dr. Aviva
So now you're not just you, you're grandma. And that can really start to affect your self concept if we think about a certain age in a very old fashioned way. But if we think about going through this transition, as Helen Mirren has a quote, which I said in my book, which is basically, you know, if there's and she's in her 70s, you know, if there's anything I would tell my younger self is to not give enough a lot more often.

[00:35:52.130] – Dr. Aviva
And I think there is something liberating about walking into this phase of our life, feeling really empowered and looking at what we've accomplished and looking at all the met, you know, the sort of like massive skills we've accumulated at this point. And often, you know, that maybe you were a stay at home mom and now your kids are grown and you have major, you know, social management skills and time management skills and you've raised adult human beings.

[00:36:18.260] – Dr. Aviva
Or it may be that you're at a certain point in your career, which may be quite accomplished at this point. And I think that we're also at a stage where because we're not sexualized in the same way, it does give us room to redefine what sexy means to ourselves. And what does that mean to be sexy for myself? What does that mean in a bigger context of life? It's not just about reproduction, it's about actually full ownership of ourselves.

[00:36:44.150] – Dr. Aviva
So I think if we can embrace this new experience, it can feel really empowering. And so then if you are going through some physical symptoms, they're easier to appreciate. But interestingly, some studies from the sociology and anthropology world have shown that when we enter menopause with more embracing attitudes about it, we actually have fewer physical symptoms. And we also know medically, when you have more stress, which can happen from being really stressed out about your stage in life, we have more hot flashes.

[00:37:17.060] – Dr. Aviva
So it's a win win to to reframe this time of life. How do you know things are going well? Well, when we enter perimenopause, we can start to have really irregular cycles. And as you shared from the book, you know, perimenopause can happen for up to eight years before we're going into menopause. So from a medical perspective, you shouldn't enter menopause before age forty two. If you do, that's considered premature or early menopause and that can have some medical consequences.

[00:37:45.590] – Dr. Aviva
You might need hormone therapy to support your bones in your heart, etc. But any time in your 40s that you start experiencing some changes in your menstrual cycle, which can be you skip some periods once in a while, your periods get further apart, your periods get lighter, they may be heavier on occasion. That's actually all normal. You may experience some more mood changes that may hearken back to when you were a little bit, you know, in puberty, your hormones are going up and down.

[00:38:18.170] – Dr. Aviva
You may just experience some different shifts. You may have PMS when you never had it before. As estrogen drops, you may even experience migraines if you've never had them before. Any symptoms that you're having then are mild, not really interrupting your life. And you're kind of going, huh, that's a little different is usually a normal symptom of menopause, which shouldn't be happening is miserable hot flashes day in and day out or hot flashes waking you up all night or several times a night.

[00:38:47.360] – Dr. Aviva
Anything that's making you not sleep all the time and exhausted, you should not be having, heavy like, you know, just gusher menstrual cycles. You shouldn't be having really, really heavy periods. You shouldn't be skipping periods for more than a few months in a row. Until you actually get into the year where you're going to stop, so menopause is actually defined as one year of not having a period. So let's say you don't have a period for eight months and then you have a little vaginal bleeding.

[00:39:16.490] – Dr. Aviva
You're not in menopause. It starts over again another year. But once you've not had a period for a year after that, you shouldn't have vaginal bleeding. So if you have vaginal bleeding after that, it's important to go to your gynecologist or your family doctor and nurse practitioner and get a workup to make sure everything's OK. You know, if you're experiencing extreme depression or depression, that's just getting in your way of your life really significant sleep problems. It's normal to gain five pounds in perimenopause, menopause, our estrogen, the kind of estrogen we're producing most of our lives, shifts to one that has less metabolic activity.

[00:39:55.490] – Dr. Aviva
So we might put on a few pounds, but the symptoms, they may be they may get your attention, but they shouldn't make you miserable. If they're making you miserable, then there are things that you can do about that, whether those are natural therapies or whether they're pharmaceuticals to help you get through that time. And I think, you know, another thing is some women experience a little bit more vaginal dryness and so that can interfere with sexual pleasure or wanting to have sex.

[00:40:23.620] – Dr. Aviva
So if a person is in a partnership, it's really important to be having those conversations and it's really important for partners to be incredibly understanding. You know, I really had to talk with my husband. We've been together for thirty seven years now and I really had to explain to him, look, my self perception is and I didn't have like really significant physical symptoms, but my self perception is really changing. And I need you to understand that this is hard.

[00:40:53.540] – Dr. Aviva
There's some part of me that is mourning and grieving, being young, the way culture defines being young and my kids are grown. I've got grandkids, you know, it's just different. And I need that deeper level of support and understanding. You know, in our culture. I mean, you can age as a man, you can be bald as a man. You can be short and squat as a man. And you can still be you know, I always remember what was Dudley Moore with Bo Derek.

[00:41:25.040] – Dr. Aviva
I'm old enough to remember Dudley Moore was Bo Derek, and he's this five foot tall, you know, average looking guy who's with this, you know, ten, right? That's what she was ten. I think it was Dudley Moore. You know, we see that. But in our culture, women were just treated differently. The standards are different. So as we go through physical changes our skin, changes our hair changes, our facial structure changes, our bodies change, it can be really tough.

[00:41:50.640] – Dr. Aviva
And so having a lot of self compassion and having your partner be really supportive is so critically important for this time. And yes, have celebrations, you know, I mean, do it on Zoom. Do it with your girlfriends, you know, buy yourself that thing that you wanted as you enter menopause, you know, the way you would celebrate your daughter getting her first period or your daughter having her first baby do some special things for yourself.

[00:42:14.680] – Dr. Aviva
It's I think it's really a beautiful thing to do.

[00:42:17.760] – Allan
Dr. Aviva , could you take just a moment and walk us through your six week hormone intelligence plan? Because I really like some of the lifestyle things that you have in there as far as a way to support women's health as you go through and actually many of those things are things that men should be doing, too, but..

[00:42:34.620] – Dr. Aviva
Peopla ask all the time can men do your books. And I'm like, absolutely, you have gonads. We have ovaries.

[00:42:40.350] – Dr. Aviva
And a lot of the environmental factors, the dietary factors, the stress factors, they're affecting all of us and people who have a uterus, who don't identify as who, you know, who are men. So we're in a time with gender fluidity so anyone can really use the book. And I've had men who, with my last book, Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, did the book with their partner, which is great because it's supportive for the woman doing it.

[00:43:04.620] – Dr. Aviva
But men get phenomenal benefits. So, yes, you can. And so the six weeks are based on six, if you will, root causes or things that we can do and look at supportive areas. So the first thing is it starts with what we eat because what we eat is such low hanging fruit and our diet can be one of the most phenomenal things that we do to support our hormones and our overall health. So the diet is really very simple.

[00:43:31.890] – Dr. Aviva
It's based on a Mediterranean style diet, which all evidence shows is the best thing we can do for ourselves in terms of eating. And it's not restrictive. It's based on eating plenty of plant based foods, but also fish very low on red meat. I'm not opposed to eating red meat, but we know that red meat can contribute to inflammation that can contribute to period pain and Demitrius as chronic pelvic pain, et cetera. So it's good quality protein, mostly plant based, but also fish and poultry, lots and lots of vegetables, nuts and seeds, good quality fats, very simple.

[00:44:08.400] – Dr. Aviva
And like five weeks of meal plans that come with the books of the recipes are done for you. And they're really, really wonderful. I mean, I created all of them except for two that I asked permission to use, but they're all from my own kitchen. I love to cook and they're just formulated to be really great for our hormone health. The second part, the second and the third week, are based on our stress response and sleep and circadian rhythm, which are interrelated.

[00:44:35.580] – Dr. Aviva
So we know that stress has a huge impact on our hormone health. It also makes our lives not as fun and wonderful. So there are some really actionable, straightforward tips. And, you know, I know we're all busy human beings. We don't have time for a crazy, complicated plans. So it's really simple things that you can add into your everyday, like spending a little less time on Instagram before you go to bed or checking your email before you go to bed or just adding in five minutes of breathing exercises.

[00:45:03.870] – Dr. Aviva
When you wake up in the morning, it's getting out in nature once in a while. It sounds very simplistic, but it's really simple shifts that I know women can incorporate because I work with women all the time that do actually make a difference. And then with sleep, it's about how we get better sleep and why we need better sleep. There's a chapter on gut health. The relationship between our hormones and our microbiome is phenomenal and fascinating. And it's how you can use your diet, your stress release, your sleep, but also very specific things that we can do for our gut to get our gut working for our hormones.

[00:45:40.470] – Dr. Aviva
And also, 90 percent of women have some gut symptoms, whether it's IBS, constipation, gas and bloating, premenstrual bloating. So it's specific tips to get all those things in line as well. Then there's a chapter on detoxification, not like a juice cleanse or detox, but actual how do we use our diet and supportive supplements and botanicals to make sure that our liver detoxification pathways are working optimally? Because that's where our hormones, after we've used them and the ones that we pick up from the environment that I talked about earlier get broken down and packaged for elimination.

[00:46:19.440] – Dr. Aviva
So we're literally enhancing our bodies are supporting our body's ability to do that. And in each of these chapters, I talk about, well, why are these things not working optimally? What is it about our world that's affecting each of these? And then the last of the six weeks is really novel specifically to my book, which is how to support our ovarian health and our ovarian function. So we're supporting how the ovaries literally work through mitochondrial health and how that can help us have an easier, healthier menopause, easier, better fertility, but also more normal and regular cycles throughout our reproductive years because ovulation happens there.

[00:47:00.720] – Dr. Aviva
And then the book then has a whole separate section, which is advanced specific protocols. So you do the core plan, but then let's say you do have endometriosis or uterine fibroids or you do get urinary tract infections all the time or you do have PMS. There are also very targeted plans that you can add in to the core plan to help you with those specific conditions and symptoms.

[00:47:25.810] – Allan
So, Dr. Aviva, if I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be, what are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:47:37.540] – Dr. Aviva
Well, I think, one, as women, I think we can start to think that we're not healthy people. If we have fibroids, if we have PMS, there's something wrong with us. So the first thing I think to get healthy and fit is to actually recognize that you are not defined by your symptoms, that you are healthy, your body is doing the best it can. And so really reminding ourselves every day that my health is not defined by this, that I can be a healthy person with my attitudes, with choosing things that make me happy.

[00:48:09.550] – Dr. Aviva
And then I think the next thing is something that a psychologist that came in and taught us when I was in medical school said to me, I've been a psychologist for like 50 years, and it was such simple wisdom. He said, figure out what you love and do more of that, figure out what you don't love and do less of that. And I mean, obviously, we all have to pay our taxes and, you know, we go in for our pap smears every five years.

[00:48:32.500] – Dr. Aviva
None of us loves that. Those are the things that we have to do. But what are the things in our life that are just making us miserable that we can actually take off of our To-Do list? And what are those things that you know, that make you happy that you're always putting on the back burner that you can just do more of? And it can be picking one thing from each category. You know, I really, really don't love X, Y, Z.

[00:48:54.910] – Dr. Aviva
I don't love getting together with those people every week. So I'm just not going to force myself to do that anymore. But what I really love is dancing to loud music, and I hardly ever do that. So I'm going to put it in my calendar that every day for ten minutes I dance to loud music. So, you know, whatever those things are for you. And then the third thing I would say, and it's kind of almost like a take your pick, either add in a little bit more exercise, a little bit more time in nature, making sure that you're getting better sleep.

[00:49:23.950] – Dr. Aviva
You know, there's sort of this smorgasbord of things that are really important for daily basic wellness and just start with one, but then aim to do a few. So if you're not getting seven hours of sleep at night, aim to get those seven hours, if you're not exercising or moving your body, figure out how you love doing that and do it. And it can be a walk. I just bought myself a hula hoop. I bought myself a two pound weighted hula hoop.

[00:49:49.750] – Dr. Aviva
I can I tell you, I'm laughing my way through my exercise. And apparently thirty minutes of hula hooping, which goes by in a minute, if you put on great music, is equivalent to like thirty minutes of salsa dancing or other aerobic, gentle aerobic types of exercise but solid gentle aerobic types of exercise. So I think those are three things. Yeah. Love yourself, do more of what you love, less of what you don't love, and add in some healthy habit that you really make a commitment to good sleep, good exercise, good eating, any of those.

[00:50:24.670] – Allan
And all that. Get this book.

[00:50:29.110] – Dr. Aviva
Yes, that would make me happy and healthy.

[00:50:30.880] – Allan
It will definitely make them happier and healthier because there's a lot in here. Dr. Aviva, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Hormone Intelligence, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:50:42.220] – Dr. Aviva
So to learn more about me, go to avivaromm.com. Tons of free resources for you. I mean, you can spend hours in there learning things, enjoying things, finding great recipes of delicious foods to make and learn about me. If you want to learn more about the book, go to avivaromm.com forward slash book. That's the easiest way to find out about it. And that's right on my website. So you can still link over to all the good stuff and then also my Instagram, just avivarommmd. I'm on there a lot and put up, you know, I try to always like add a lot of value to my Instagram.

[00:51:14.710] – Dr. Aviva
So it's fun stuff, informative stuff, moving stuff, empowering stuff. Those are the main places to come hang out with me.

[00:51:21.750] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/490 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Aviva, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:51:31.210] – Dr. Aviva
Thank you so much for having me, Allan. This is a pleasure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:51:40.260] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:51:41.640] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, wow, I don't even know where I want to start with your interview with Dr. Aviva, but I do want to highlight and amplify her six tips for dealing with medical care, because as she read off every one of those six items, I was just nodding my head, shaking my head. I think I've experienced every single one of those situations, which is an unfortunate situation.

[00:52:06.450] – Allan
It is. I mean, you know, we grew up kind of in that I would say we're in that gap, the nexgen gap, you and I are. And so for us, we're a trust but verify kind of people. And so we're not as maybe as likely to believe the white coat means the world than maybe the generation before us was. And why not? So, yeah, when a doctor walks in and says, you have to do this, you know, I think particularly when I was younger, I know the answer was absolutely doctor.

[00:52:38.250] – Allan
But then as I got going, I started realizing, OK, he's the guy who I went to medical school and yeah, he's preg ty smart. But I actually have to answer some of these questions myself. You know, I remember going in and I mean, I had no money whatsoever as a kid, young guy going into the doctor. And I had these moles and I went in and I said, OK, you know, these moles on my back.

[00:53:03.060] – Allan
And I said, they keep coming off when I'm playing football and I'm bleeding all over the place. He's like, yeah, I guess I could burn them off, but they might come back when it was five dollars each to burn them off. And I mean, I had hundreds of these. So there's been a whole lot of money. And then he's like. So I said, you really can't tell me what's causing it or what I could do to make it go away.

[00:53:21.660] – Allan
And he said, no, I'm like, OK. And then I walk out and give the nurse fifty seven dollars and I'm like, you know, and I'm fifty seven dollars now doesn't sound like a whole lot. But then that was, that was a week's worth of pay. I mean that was a lot of money when you're making 3.25 an hour giving someone 57 dollars to just tell you I can't help you.

[00:53:42.480] – Rachel

[00:53:44.250] – Rachel
It's disappointing.

[00:53:45.810] – Allan
It is. So but that was actually probably a really valuable lesson to say, OK, you know, I'm going to have to make decisions for myself. I can't rely on the doctor to know everything. And I can't rely on the doctor to tell me what to do. I can ask the doctor questions and then I have to make the right decision for myself. And the right decision was to just let football keep taking them off, which it did.

[00:54:15.390] – Allan
so it's a pain as each one got ripped off my back as I was playing football. But it, they came off and they didn't come back. So that was the good thing. And I didn't have to pay five dollars apiece. I got to play football to do it. But you know, but it was fine. He just he said, you're not in danger. You're not you know, it's sometimes it seemed like it with a white jersey, like I was going to bleed out.

[00:54:38.280] – Allan
But in a general sense, it was just, you know, a little bit here, a little bit there. And it was not that much pain, but it was pain and it was what it was. But it was over, you know, and so they were gone. And so I think, you know, even though that's not relative directly to women's health, it's just one of those things to say the doctor can give you information.

[00:55:00.380] – Allan
and then you have to process that information, and if what the doctors told you doesn't answer all your questions, you have to ask those questions. That's going to be a normal thing for all of us.

[00:55:12.110] – Rachel
That is true. I also like Dr. Aviva's analogy where she mentions when you take your car to the mechanic, you're not a mechanic. You're trusting your mechanic to tell you all the things that might be wrong with your car. And then you make the decisions and what you need to do. And similarly, you know, I didn't go to medical school. My doctor went to medical school and she's got years of experience with patients. And the interesting thing about women's health is that we literally have generational levels of data regarding menopause and perimenopause.

[00:55:45.980] – Rachel
This has happened to every single woman for a really long time. So you would think that there would be a whole ton of data in that you would think that it would be a lot easier to figure out what's going on when it's going on. But it still seems to be a mystery.

[00:56:02.090] – Allan
Well, for one very, very important reason. And this is the key. This is the magic bit. We're talking about hormones.

[00:56:12.020] – Rachel

[00:56:13.280] – Allan
OK, and your hormone profile is different from every other woman that's ever gone through perimenopause. It just is. OK, you're a long distance runner, you eat a certain way, you sleep a certain way, you have stress, you're in a certain part of the country, a certain part of the world. You're exposed to different toxins than other people might be less than some more than others. So your hormonal profile is slightly different than everybody else.

[00:56:46.470] – Allan
And as a result, your experience of all of this will be different than other people. Now, within a range of opportunity. So perimenopause, as it goes, tends to have some similarities. And that's where you kind of start looking at it. And that's why some of the things we got into, you know, like fibroids and those types of things is like, what are the things that if this were happening that a woman should

Consider or be concerned about and so it's not so much comparing yourself against another woman. I don't understand, she went through perimenopause like it didn't even happen. She popped into menopause. Bouncing around. And, you know, she's my running partner and she didn't have any of these problems that I'm having. So what's going on? Well, you're different. Have a conversation if she's available, have the conversation with your mother, because genetically, she's probably the closest individual that you have.

[00:57:45.720] – Allan
If you have older sisters, they're a good source of information for you to have conversations about what their experiences were because, again, they're genetically similar to you. So there's likely to be some overlap in how you are affected. But beyond that, where you really want to spend your time and this is what was in Dr. Aviva's book is comparing yourself to you.

[00:58:09.720] – Rachel

[00:58:10.800] – Allan
You know, if things are changing. So if your flow is a little heavier now or you're experiencing a lot more PMAs or things like that, well, those changes are indications that something inside is changing. Something in your hormone structure is changing. And there are some some remedies and things that you can do that are natural and there are some that you definitely need to be speaking to a doctor about and those that's going to be the information that you process.

[00:58:43.760] – Allan
So you go into a doctor's visit with the right questions.

[00:58:48.860] – Rachel
I think it's been about two years I've been dealing with changes. I'll be turning 50 in July. So that's right around the corner. So for the last couple of years, I've noticed a whole lot of changes. I was on birth control that wasn't working, changed it. It's not working. I've been seeing my doctor different hormonal changes and fluctuations. I also had the ablation procedure pretty recently. So, yeah, it's been helpful to keep a journal of what happens to me every month.

[00:59:24.830] – Rachel
And I write everything down. I write down the days that I'm moody or craving chocolate, all the classic symptoms. I have bad cramping days where I just can't seem to get anything done and which is all strange. And this is why I want to mention this, is that this has been a notable change in my life, which means something's different. And so when I go to a doctor and I say this is not right for me, something is going on right now, then they can help me pinpoint, you know, what blood tests do I need to do?

[01:00:01.400] – Rachel
What hormone tests can we get done? And the more information I can give my doctor, the better she can prescribe a remedy. And that's how it's been going for the last two years. And perimenopause is one of those things. It's not an overnight situation. It's not like you got the kind of colds. You take some antibiotics and you'll be done in a week. This is a very long process, a very long hormonal change.

[01:00:25.370] – Allan
Yeah. I mean, because it can go on eight, ten years. Someone can go through a little quicker, but it can be up to eight to ten years is where I think most of that kind of falls, that your body's just changing its hormone profile. You're getting past your reproductive years and you're moving into the next phase of womanhood. And much like, you know, I've had several women on. But it's somewhat you know, it's just a moment for you to celebrate that you are who you are and, you know, you've had children.

[01:00:57.410] – Allan
And so it's like now, you know, you're you're moving on to a phase where, you know, they've got some college to do. But then I'm assuming that there's probably some grandbabies like the third, mike the third coming out.

[01:01:10.610] – Rachel
Fingers crossed.

[01:01:13.190] – Allan
You know. And so that's just kind of this is a transition in life. But that said, you deserve adequate medical care. And the way you get that is by educating yourself and then not so much depending on Doctor Google, but with the information that you're able to kind of understand.

[01:01:32.830] – Allan
Having an empowered conversation with your doctor.

[01:01:35.740] – Rachel
Yes, yes, that's perfect. I think do your Google research, ask your mom, ask your aunts, go online, see if any of it makes sense to you, and then ask the professional, ask the doctor for added insight. And if you're not happy with your doctor, it's time to change. If you're not getting good answers, it's time to change. There's got to be somebody out there that can help you.

[01:02:02.650] – Allan
Yeah, and I've had doctors that I'd meet with and we'd have some conversations and then I'd be like, oh no, he doesn't get it right, you know, or I don't get him. And therefore, if I don't feel like he understands my situation well enough or is taking it to the right level of seriousness, then I'm like, OK, I have to move on. Yeah. Because I, you know, for most of you know, the last I'd say 10 years or so, 15 years maybe I've been more concerned about well care than sick care.

[01:02:34.420] – Rachel
Well, yeah.

[01:02:35.050] – Allan
When you try to make an appointment with a doctor and they're like, OK, what's the problem. And I'm like, I don't have one. I just want to I want to get these labs. I want to get labs done. I want to sit down, talk to you about them. And they're like, well, OK. But I don't you know, it's like they know they don't have time to sit down and talk to you about your labs.

[01:02:56.860] – Allan
so what they're really going to do is they're going to sit there and say, OK, what's high, what's low? OK, you need to be on a statin. And your blood pressure was a little high this morning. And, you know, so maybe we need to watch that. OK, and how much are you going to bill me for that? and it's more than fifty seven dollars

[01:03:18.280] – Rachel
in this day and age. It is, that's for sure. But the other thing I want to mention too, is, like you just mentioned, cholesterol and and statins is that there is a bell curve like most people have certain levels of iron in their blood or certain cholesterol levels. I mean, we all know what cholesterol means. But just because your numbers are high or low or in or out of that bell curve doesn't mean that they're not normal. I mean, my iron is always low, which means I'm usually fatigued.

[01:03:50.620] – Rachel
It's in the healthy range of iron, but it's always on the low side of the healthy range. So I still will take an iron supplement to fix that because that's what I need. And going back to where all individual, that's just another one of those examples.

[01:04:06.640] – Allan
Yeah. And that's one say you just you know you and then that's kind of your job. Number one, as you're looking out for your own health, is to say, OK, what do I know about myself? What are my tendencies? What are the things that I've seen in the past? And then as those things change, that awareness, I love the fact that you're doing a journal that's that's brilliant because that's going to give you that data to flip back and say, well, you know, I was really stressed out this time last year, you know, because of stuff going on in the world.

[01:04:39.910] – Allan
How does that relate to how I'm doing now? and you start seeing some similarities. You're like, oh, OK. You know, I might my son just went got his first intern job and we moved him there. And it was a tough weekend. And then I'm feeling this way. My energy is low. What was going on a year ago when I felt the same way and it's kind of I call stress and I realized my Iron's low well have I've been taking my iron lately or getting enough for red meat.

[01:05:09.250] – Allan
It's like, no, I haven't. So there we go. OK, maybe that'll help. And so it kind of gives you that that information of who you are and how your body works, because most of the time it's going to follow particular patterns. Menopause is one of those weird things where your body is now changing over. So there is an opportunity for it to be quite different.

[01:05:33.130] – Rachel

[01:05:34.240] – Allan
And this is also important. You know, we talked about this and probably aren't very many men still listening to this show at this point. But this is just as important for you to understand as it is for her, because in the end, if she's going through something, you're going to be in a better position to recognize the change and you're going to be in a better position to remember objectively what she did last time.

[01:05:59.940] – Rachel
Yup, it's helpful to have another set of eyes.

[01:06:02.460] – Allan
If there's not a journal involved, it is really hard particularly when we're dealing with hormonal issues to be objective.

[01:06:12.030] – Rachel
That is so true.

[01:06:13.380] – Allan
I'm not gonna say it's impossible, but I'm just saying, if you're struggling with some things, with PMS, with heavy bleeding, with some other things that are going on as a woman, women can never wrap our minds around that. And I'm not ever going to try. But all I can say is I know that's not a time for my wife to be rational. All I can say is, hey, how about you try this iron supplement and I'm taking us out to Último Refugio tonight to have steak, how's that?

[01:06:43.010] – Rachel
That a good idea.

[01:06:48.360] – Allan
You know, and just knowing, OK, what did I just do. I got to start upping her iron. And you know, at least at that point, I'm not being, kind of stepping in and say, well, you know, the last time I mean, that's not I'm not Dr. Allan and I'm not trying to be that person. I'm just trying to be supportive and say, OK, I see a pattern and I know what helped last time.

[01:07:13.380] – Allan
And so I'm going to try to make sure that is at least in play here to see if that does some good.

[01:07:19.890] – Rachel
it's helpful for sure. You know, these are frustrating times. I mean, even for myself, this has been a frustrating couple of years because I know I don't feel good on these certain days. I know that some days I could run for days and some days I just can't barely get out the door. But and it's frustrating. And so that's frustrating for me then it becomes difficult to manage the rest of what I do on a day to day basis and help my family.

[01:07:46.260] – Rachel
So, you know, we could always use a little bit of empathy when we're having those types of bad days.

[01:07:52.680] – Allan
Yeah, that's a good word, empathy.

[01:07:54.990] – Rachel
Empathy. Yeah, that sounds like a great book. I might have to read it myself.

[01:08:02.370] – Allan
You know, that's one of the things I try to make. I make a point of about once a year trying to have a book on women's health in this area. I'm in a particularly menopause, perimenopause. And so this was one of the better ones that I've read on the topic. And she's, you know, she's really walking you through it from the medical perspective. Of course, you know, I've had other authors on that have talked about it from an emotional perspective.

[01:08:27.180] – Allan
This is this is a really good one to get into because she really is an advocate for health care for women and that you're not getting necessarily the health care you deserve all the time. And you and your spouse, partner or anyone, you're going to go to the doctor and talk to the guy who's got to go in with the united front. Yeah. Get you the best health care you can get.

[01:08:49.500] – Rachel
That was a great, great tip for sure.

[01:08:52.060] – Allan
Yeah, right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:08:54.750] – Rachel
Great. Thanks. Take care.

[01:08:56.670] – Allan
You too.


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Another episode you may enjoy


June 7, 2021

The resistance training revolution with Sal Di Stefano

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In the battle to lose weight, you might be better off doing resistance training. Sal Di Stefano from Mind Pump Podcast tells us why.


Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion


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– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


The comfort crisis with Michael Easter

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With modern technology, we are becoming more and more comfortable and not experiencing enough discomfort. Michael Easter and Allan Misner discuss how being too comfortable is a problem for our health and fitness.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

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Let's Say Hello

[00:03:33.160] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are things going?

[00:03:35.380] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:03:37.480] – Allan
I'm doing okay.

[00:03:38.440] – Allan
It's, it's been a really weird week here.

[00:03:41.200] – Allan
We, I was supposed to interview Dr. Bubbs again. I've had him on the show before and he has a really interesting book out. So, I'm supposed to interview him. And then, you know, our power company announces to turn the power off on Wednesday, the whole day.

[00:03:56.710] – Rachel
Oh, no.

[00:03:57.700] – Allan
I was like, Okay, so I have to cancel with him. I'd cancel a couple different appointments because if I don't have power, I don't have Internet, if I don't have Internet, anything. So I cancel all this stuff. And then we had this really bad rainstorm. And the rainstorm the night the day before knocked out my my phone, so I was trying to have a call with the client and then I lost phone signal in a place that I always have phone signal.

[00:04:21.130] – Allan
It's pouring down rain. I'm standing out in the rain and walking around trying to find a signal, you know, can you hear me now? The whole thing. And then, so then, yeah, the next day I'm thinking they're going to turn off all the power. But because it was raining, they didn't turn off the power. And then there was a strike on the mainland by the banana workers. You know, the workers work on the banana farms because they don't like how management's doing things.

[00:04:43.870] – Allan
They decided to cut off the ferry to the island and therefore they couldn't bring diesel to the island for the power plant. And therefore, they were going to have to cut power.

[00:04:54.690] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness, that's so crazy.

[00:04:56.190] – Allan
This time, this time it was like we were going to have to cut it and they said, we're going to cut it at six o'clock. And of course, the merchants on the island were like six o'clock on a Saturday night. You're going to cut power to a whole island.

[00:05:07.890] – Allan
And they're like, yeah, we're going to do that. Like, No, no, can't you wait till six o'clock in the morning and then cut it then. Yeah, you'll be lower in fuel, but then you cut it and we cut it till we get fuel. So they agreed to do that. And then it turned out about midnight, they negotiated a deal and they let the ferry come over. So they never had to cut the power.

[00:05:26.730] – Allan
But it was just kind of one of those. Power is going to go out because they're going to do some maintenance and the power is going to go out because there's a strike. And it's just been a very interesting third-world living on an island.

[00:05:39.750] – Rachel
That is quite an adventure. My goodness, how crazy.

[00:05:44.070] – Allan
So slightly uncomfortable.

[00:05:46.410] – Rachel
I would say so.

[00:05:48.780] – Allan
So how have you been up there in Michigan?

[00:05:51.570] – Rachel
Oh, good, good.

[00:05:52.920] – Rachel
It's been beautiful up here. We actually did a whole lot of yard work over the weekend, expanding some garden space and put down some new mulch and making it nice for the time we spend outdoors. So it's it's been really nice.

[00:06:08.370] – Allan
Heated, heated running trail.

[00:06:10.240] – Rachel
Not yet, but it's on my list. It's on my list.

[00:06:14.790] – Allan
Don't forget, winter is going to come back around. Don't forget. You know, now now that the ground's thawed

[00:06:21.060] – Rachel
Actually, we're supposed to get snow tomorrow, actually.

[00:06:25.470] – Allan
Oh okay. But that's nothing. That's nothing. Just the normal, normal load of snow shower in April. Late April.

[00:06:30.870] – Rachel
That's right. Spring springs, snow showers hopefully won't be that bad.

[00:06:36.660] – Allan
Yeah, but I saw a picture on your Facebook. You and Mike got to spend some time with family that you haven't had the opportunity to spend some time with.

[00:06:46.410] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:06:47.250] – Rachel
Yeah. Mike and I are both fully vaccinated and passed the two-week timeline post vax. That's the second vaccination for him. And my parents have been vaccinated for some time now. So we were able to meet them and have lunch. And I even got a hug. And it's important because I haven't hugged my parents since over a year ago before the lockdown. So, you know, I've been nervous to give them covid or to make them sick in some way.

[00:07:16.660] – Rachel
So we've been very careful this whole time. And and now that we're vaccinated, it's just a little bit, it's a little bit more comfortable, you know, getting in close proximity again. So it was really wonderful to be able to hug my parents again.

[00:07:30.630] – Allan
That's really cool. That's really cool. So let's go ahead and talk to Michael Easter.

[00:07:36.330] – Rachel


[00:08:01.010] – Allan
Michael, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:03.950] – Michael
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:08:05.990] – Allan
You know, your book is called The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self. And the stories that you, you tell in this book could have left you well, obviously wild, probably unhealthy and unhappy had had things happened in a different way. Fortunately, yes. It's a happy ending. And Michael's still here to tell us the stories, but you've had some pretty interesting adventures.

[00:08:35.040] – Michael
I have. Yes. And I luckily, yeah, I am here to talk about them. So in reporting the book, the main arc of the book is this,

[00:08:43.460] – Michael
Thirty-three days that I spent in the Arctic backcountry, it's one of the most remote places in the world, one of arguably the most uncomfortable places in the world. So we faced a lot of crazy temperature swings and blizzards and encounters with wild animals. And it was a way to really put myself into these, I guess I'd call them evolutionary discomforts that we as humans used to face every single day of our lives. And because of this, we developed these drives always want to be comfortable, because when the world is uncomfortable, if I'm always seeking comfort, well, that helps me survive things like I don't want to put physical effort into my days because that wastes energy.

[00:09:26.930] – Michael
Right. So that's why we don't like to exercise all these all these different things.

[00:09:30.860] – Michael
And we now live in this really comfortable world. I mean, everything our daily lives have become so comfortable, everything from, you know, temperature control to our food system to the fact that we've engineered effort out of our days. Everything is easy. And so now we have these these evolutionary mechanisms that no longer serve us, because when I'm trying to always be comfortable in a world that's comfortable, you know, it can backfire on people.

[00:10:01.250] – Allan
Yeah. You know, my wife and I, we moved to Panama and some people would say that that would definitely make them uncomfortable to just sell everything they own and move to a foreign country, particularly one where they didn't actually speak the language. And, you know, my wife had only seen it for like four days when we made the decision to just sell our house and move here. So we've done some things to make ourselves uncomfortable, but not anything like what you've experienced.

[00:10:27.620] – Allan
So you've done some pretty cool things around this topic. And I'm really glad to have this conversation to to talk to you. Now, you kind of got into the fact that because we kind of have this desire to seek comfort, being comfortable is not always a really good thing for us. Can you can you talk about the price of comfort?

[00:10:50.340] – Michael
Yes. Well, I think what's interesting to think about is just how long humans lived in this uncomfortable environment.

[00:10:58.880] – Michael
When you do the math, we've spent ninety nine point nine, six percent of our time in these uncomfortable environments, over two point five million years. The comforts that now most affect my daily life, your daily life, they're all just a hundred years old. And by pushing ourselves into comfort all the time, we've lost a lot with our health, our happiness and just the feeling of being alive. So, for example, with our health, I used to be that food,

[00:11:30.590] – Michael
We didn't really have comfort food. It wasn't ultra processed. Food was also harder to come by. We actually had to put effort into getting food. Now we live in this sea of ultra processed food, but we still have these internal drives to eat sugar, salt, fat and eat too much of it. They used to keep us alive because it would help us on board fat. And then when we had lean times, we would have something to draw from to stay alive.

[00:11:53.870] – Michael
But now these drives are sort of causing obesity. They tell us to not move as much as we would as we should to burn it away. In terms of happiness, we humans tend to do well when we're challenged because it gives us a sense of accomplishment. And so as we evolved, we face challenges all the time. These could be from something like a hunt, having to having to migrate something like this. Nowadays, our challenges are often something like I have to give a PowerPoint presentation or whatever it is, right.

[00:12:31.760] – Michael
And there's just not as much reward in the challenges we face. And this is associated with decreasing levels of happiness, increases in anxiety, because if you think about the most dangerous, treacherous thing you face is that your boss might give you a bad look because you messed up on a PowerPoint. Well, you know, you're going to be anxious about a lot of things. And in terms of just the feeling of being alive, I mean, we evolved in nature for example.

[00:13:00.970] – Michael
And like I said, we would do these challenging things in nature all the time, and that's really woven into our to our DNA look at the work of someone like Joseph Campbell with the hero's journey. It's every culture from around the world has these stories about people doing interesting, sort of epic things in nature and that being a real turning point for them internally. Well, we've lost a lot of that nowadays that we've made everything as safe and comfortable as possible.

[00:13:28.990] – Michael
And I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to go up to Alaska at all. But what I am suggesting is that adding a little bit of discomfort back into your everyday life in a variety of forms can really move the dial on your health and happiness. And it's and it's about meeting people where they're at. So something that is comfortable or uncomfortable for one person, maybe totally comfortable for another, it's just slowly pushing your comfort zone. And by doing that, I think you can you can find a lot out about yourself and also move the dial on your health and happiness.

[00:14:02.170] – Allan
Donnie and Tom don't have enough space on their airplane to take us all up there.

[00:14:07.270] – Michael

[00:14:08.980] – Allan
But, you know, there is some value to being uncomfortable. You know, one that kind of comes to mind for me was if we were always comfortable with we came up with inventions, we came up with fire, we came up with riding a horse. We came up with a lot of different things that we do. And there's just we call it progress. So in many cases, adding comfort has been progress. And so there is a value to to comfort or seeking comfort. But there's a point, like you say, because we passed that line.

[00:14:46.110] – Michael
Yeah, absolutely, and I think it's it's really about balance, so if you look at all the data on how the world is doing, I mean, I think the world right now is better than it's ever been. People live longer. Child mortality rates are down. Hunger and starvation is down across the world. I mean, just every marker, we're doing better off, but we don't we never offset that with the discomforts we need to be healthy and happy.

[00:15:14.700] – Michael
So if you ask, you know, if you ask the average person they've done polls, do you think the world is getting better? Only six percent say that they think the world is getting better, which to me suggests we're missing something that makes us happy, right? And I think it is that challenge, those elemental discomforts that we sort of evolved to face.

[00:15:35.920] – Allan
Well, I think we can all kind of agree that the best stories are the ones where there's a chance of failure. The chance of really screwing up. You know, that that hold my beer moment. Those are the best stories because there's that element of discomfort. There's that element of, in some cases, even danger. Can you kind of talk about the value of making yourself uncomfortable, but then, of course, not dying in the process?

[00:16:03.480] – Michael
Well, I think I think the nice thing, too, about the the modern comfortable world is it's a lot harder to die nowadays, right? And so I think that I think we have a lot of fears that we built as we evolved because those used to keep us safe. But nowadays, there's a lot of safety nets in life and we we even have technologies that can keep us safer. So, for example, when I was in Alaska, I had this little GPS thing that kind of had this orange button you press that things go south and hopefully, you know, it alerts someone to come pick you up.

[00:16:35.610] – Michael
Now, apparently, it takes a handful of days for them to arrive, but it's still what you know, it's know, I wouldn't have had that even 20 years ago. Twenty five years ago, like I was mentioning the work of Joseph Campbell, we know that when we challenge ourselves and put ourselves in a position where there's a high degree of failure, that when we come out on the other side of that, we are better for it.

[00:16:57.840] – Michael
It can help with a lot of fears fading away. So, for example, we get up to the Arctic. We're in Kotzebue, Alaska. It's the town that we we left out of. And I'm standing on this runway, the wind is gusting, and the guy that I was up in the Arctic with, Donny, he leans over to me. We're looking at these planes that we're going to take up there. And these planes are about the size of a pack of gum.

[00:17:22.290] – Michael
I mean, to people fair to them.

[00:17:24.570] – Michael
And I hate flying, especially when it's in a plane like that. And Donny leans over to me and goes, hey, you know. I got the best pilots that I could. I'm not saying we're not going to crash and die, that is a high probability. But but I got the best pilot I could. I'm like, thanks a lot. So, I mean, I'm terrified of getting in this plane, right? So I get in and we fly.

[00:17:47.800] – Michael
And the whole time I'm just like, oh, man, this is this is terrible. And then they drop us off in the Arctic and and in the Arctic over thirty-three days. I face all these challenges that I've just never faced in my life. Having to cover this rough terrain with no safety net, you know, seeing wild, wild animals being exposed to hurricane force winds and blizzards and just all these things that are are real challenges that have a high degree of risk.

[00:18:16.150] – Michael
When that plane came back and picked me up thirty-three days later, I wasn't afraid to get into it, you know, because now I can put in perspective that, oh wow, this is actually not that, you know, there's a pilot here who's 50 years old. He's been doing this for for 30 years. But when when your challenges in your daily life and the things that you have to encounter really are very safe, I think it can throw off your perspective on on what makes you afraid.

[00:18:43.480] – Michael
And so by putting yourself in positions of failure, you're going to learn something about fear and how a lot of our modern day fears are sort of unfounded and how those can hold us back from the things we really want to do in our lives.

[00:18:57.460] – Allan
You talked a lot in the story about, you know, that one gets a one time you were they of course, they had to shuttle you guys out there. So they just sort of left you out there at one spot where they said, well, we will be back and pick you up. You know, it's like, how well do I know these guys? You know how much I already paid them the deposit. So, you know, I'm going to make it.

[00:19:22.030] – Allan
And so you had those kind of things where you're kind of afraid to be alone. But I think the deeper thing for me was that you noticed at points in time during the hunt and, you know, having hunted when I was a kid, you're just sitting there looking at me as a pine forest in south Mississippi. But ninety nine percent of the time that you're on a hunt, there's absolutely nothing happening. And so you get really, really bored unless you've conditioned yourself to kind of go with it.

[00:19:53.650] – Allan
And I think, you know, one of the core things you brought up in the book that it was just kind of critical is we don't even know the value of actually being bored. We we want something to entertain us all the time. It's like we get in the car, we turn on the radio or a podcast, maybe this one, but we don't turn this stuff off and actually just sit there and stop and just so tired of hearing our heartbeat, because we're that bored, that we're like counting heartbeats and, you know, watching watching a blade of grass and saying, you know, I think I saw it twitch, you know.

[00:20:31.330] – Allan
Yeah. That kind of thing. Can you talk about the kind of being bored and why being bored is not actually a bad thing and why maybe we should actually lean into it?

[00:20:41.480] – Michael
Yeah, so to your point about being in the woods in Mississippi and you just kind of waiting, hunting is a lot of waiting sometimes, and that's something that I was not used to. So we in the Arctic, we would sit on these hills and we were hunting caribou.

[00:20:56.750] – Michael
So we would have to wait for these caribou to they're migrating. So you're trying to catch them as they're moving into their to their wintering grounds.

[00:21:05.450] – Michael
So you'd sit on this hill and my cell phone does not work up there.

[00:21:09.830] – Michael
There is not a lick of service within one hundred miles. So the thing is essentially useless. I didn't bring a book. I didn't bring magazines. I sure I surely didn't have a TV. So what I'm left with is I would start to read labels on my energy bars. I would start to read the labels on the clothes I was wearing. And then when that gets boring, I start thinking of ideas and I start thinking of all these other things.

[00:21:33.680] – Michael
And it was really interesting because nowadays, any time we feel bored, we have this constant ability to kill our boredom, the discomfort of boredom. Any time you feel a twinge of that, I mean, think if you ever look at a supermarket line, what is everyone doing there on their cell phones? Even 20 years ago, you would have to sort of stand there and be with yourself and with your thoughts. The brain essentially has two different ways of two different modes.

[00:22:02.270] – Michael
And in the book, I simplify it and I call them focus mode and unfocused mode. Focus mode is any time that you are focusing on anything in the outside world. So your cell phone, as you're listening to this podcast, you're having to process information from the outside world. And this is like an active it's almost like a workout for your brain. The other mode is unfocused mode. Now, this is internal mind wandering. So this is the mode that I was in when I'm sitting on the Arctic tundra trying to think of ideas and just having thoughts come into my brain.

[00:22:31.820] – Michael
And this is essentially a rest state. It rests and restores your brain. Now, we've totally tipped the balance. Modern life has tipped the balance. So we're always in this focused mode and it's just like constantly trying to work and work and work our brains. We never experience boredom this time where we have to go inward and be with that little bit of discomfort and then send our minds down different ways of mind wandering, which restores our thinking and creativity.

[00:22:59.150] – Michael
So the benefits of boredom, you know, research shows that it revives your brain not being bored enough is actually associated with high rates of anxiety because it's you know, you're just really taxing your outward system. It's associated with more creativity. And I think part of that is because nowadays, when we're bored, if we just pull out Instagram and Twitter or whatever it is, we're focusing on the exact same type of media that everyone else is. And we're not having time to come up with ideas in our own mind that are our own ideas.

[00:23:31.520] – Michael
Experience boredom is associated with more focus and productivity. But I think one thing that that is key is you hear so much today, you need to be, you know, get on your phone. Get on your phone less. If you look at the data, people actually spend a lot more time engaging with all different kinds of media, like people watch twice as much TV as they do have screen time on their phones. We've inserted essentially eleven hours, I think is the average, 11 hours and six minutes to be exact, digital media in our day.

[00:24:02.570] – Michael
That's how much time we're spending engaging with digital media. So I tend to think about it instead of less phone. I tend to think about it more as more boredom. How can I just find these spaces where I can just have no outside stimulation and allow my mind to go inward and sort of revive and reset? And if we can do that, even though it's uncomfortable, I mean, it's much easier to just go on Instagram. I think we're going to move the dial a lot on our mental health.

[00:24:26.660] – Michael
And you'll find often with with a lot of these discomforts that I'm talking about, there's an initial period where you're like, man, this really sucks. I don't like this. This is uncomfortable. But after a certain time, once you sort of get through that rough patch, you're like, oh, I see what I'm doing this for.

[00:24:45.980] – Michael
And you start to really see those rewards. I mean, nothing in life, whether it be something very simple, like not being not defaulting to TV or your computer or your phone or whether it be like a massive, massive workout or challenge is ever going to be easy. So just accepting that there is going to be that hard part and going through it anyways, you'll see that benefit.

[00:25:09.950] – Allan
Yeah, I was, I took it. I took what you put to heart and I was going for my my normal little walk around here on the island. I like walking out by the beach and I was on my way out there. Normally what I would do is I put on the podcast or an audio book and then I'd have my runkeeper that would tell me my my my split's every five minutes, you know, that's chiming in and telling me what my splits are. I just got to thinking myself, Okay, I'm still going to keep my runkeeper on, but I'm going to I'm going to turn the volume all the way down so I don't hear my splits.

[00:25:40.750] – Allan
But the pocket I put the phone in my pocket and I'm not going to pay any attention until I get to a certain point, and then I'll just want to check my time to make sure that I can get back in time for what I've got to get done for the day. And yeah, it's like where first you're going and you're kind of like just you start becoming hyper sensitive to everything around, you start paying a lot more attention and so on this walk beyond just having a good walk and enjoying some warm weather, you know, heat shock proteins, I, I noticed a lot more.

[00:26:15.930] – Allan
You know, I just I noticed, like a line of leafcutter ants walking down the side of the road with me. You know, I was about to step on them and I said, oh, leafcutters. And I'm just walking along and I'm seeing leaves and I'm like, Okay, you know, just it was a long, long trail, like maybe about quarter of a mile. These guys were traveling. And so it's just kind of one of those things where I thought, yeah, I'm opening up.

[00:26:36.420] – Allan
I'm noticing more about the world around me. I'm noticing more about myself, like how how my legs feel, how my feet feel, you know, just just the whole bit of it. And it just gives you a lot more time to actually get it. Get in your head and think versus at times we try to turn that inner voice off. And I think a lot of times it's we just don't like that guy.

[00:27:02.190] – Allan
Yeah. And then you're like, well, no, I'm going to get to know that person.

[00:27:07.260] – Allan
And only way I can do that is to be alone with them.

[00:27:11.370] – Michael
Yeah, I love that story that's so great, because the thing about those leafcutter ants, you're going to remember them for next year, five years, 10 years, I was here and I saw that rove leafcutter ants doing their thing, moving through the world. That's going to create an impression in your mind and isn't I mean, this is the stuff that we're really going to remember.

[00:27:29.850] – Michael
I mean, I think that the media is obviously amazing. It's incredible.

[00:27:35.190] – Allan

[00:27:35.640] – Michael
It's so fun to see what people are doing on Instagram and getting cool ideas and listening to podcasts like yours. I mean, there's a ton of value in the stuff there really is. But I think it's figuring out the balance. If our we are programed to default to always being stimulated, never wanting to be bored, and we just have the easiest out for that.

[00:27:55.540] – Michael
So I think we need to reinsert boredom into our lives because when we are evolving, we had long periods of boredom and these helped these helped us be productive and, you know, effective humans. And we've sort of removed them. And there's been some serious downsides. But but I love what you say about that. And and I think that you're smart because you're you're doing it in a way where you can still use the technology. You're just figuring out, well, how do I use the smarter so I can sort of balance it.

[00:28:22.470] – Michael
I can get benefits of boredom, but also this super cool technology that we have access to. You know, the answer isn't like we don't want to live like Luddites. That's yeah, that sounds terrible to me. But it's it's the balance.

[00:28:36.020] – Allan
Yeah, and the worst part of it was I was sitting there saying I should pull my phone out and take a picture of these ants and I'm like, no, know, that whole purpose was to to not interact with my phone this whole two hours and

[00:28:47.240] – Michael
Yeah, those ants are yours.

[00:28:50.150] – Allan
I could post it on Facebook. That's so cool. I get those likes and and retweeted all that stuff and I was like, no, no. That that breaks the whole purpose of why I'm here. I'm not here to to do a documentary on leafcutter ants. I'm here to enjoy some time with myself.


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[00:30:52.500] – Allan
I think another thing that you got into that was really important, and it was it was thrust upon you because 33 days and I think people would say, Okay, sure, there's there's not a McDonald's up there or even a Tim Hortons or anything for you to just say, Okay, you know, let's pop in and have some breakfast and then we'll go hunting or after the breakfast, you know, we'll go by the room, take a shower, get ourselves cleaned up and have a really nice dinner tonight.

[00:31:20.060] – Allan
I mean, I hope they had that wine we had last time. That's not life. You had to carry all your food with you short of what you actually were going to then be able to get on that hunt.

[00:31:31.350] – Allan
So you started doing the math and realizing, Okay, I'm not going to be able to carry enough calories.

[00:31:39.210] – Michael

[00:31:39.810] – Allan
For the whole trip. And that meant at some point along the way and I don't think it was that far into the trip, you started experiencing hunger. And it's not the hunger of, you know, gee, I wish I had some Doritos. It was like real real in a hunger. Could you could you talk about being hungry and why that is important?

[00:32:01.320] – Michael
Sure. So when we did when you in the numbers, you know, we're carrying these heavy 80, 90 pound backpacks all over the place. The landscape is, you know, hilly and treacherous and we're probably burning somewhere between 4000, 6000 calories a day.

[00:32:18.240] – Michael
But if we were to bring enough food to fuel that, I mean, our packs would be it would not fit in the pack. All we would have is just a bunch of food. So we had to pare down and figure out, Okay, how much is enough reasonably to stay alive? More or less. And that was we could figure that would be about two thousand calories. So that's what we pack. So every day we're digging ourself into this hole and there's just never enough food.

[00:32:41.190] – Michael
And what happens over time, it's fascinating is you start to feel hungry and your mind starts to really focus on food. And these are these evolutionary mechanisms that we've developed to force us to find food that really compels you to find food. But feeling that hunger was fascinating because. No, my average day I eat for reasons that often have nothing to do with hunger. It could be that I woke up and it's breakfast, I got to eat breakfast.

[00:33:10.570] – Michael
So essentially the clock is telling me that I should eat, right. Or maybe I get stressed and I'm like, oh, man, I hate that email. I just received and hand goes into the m&m's and I shove them into my face.

[00:33:21.150] – Michael
You know, a lot of the data shows that as much as 80 percent of the times we eat aren't driven by actual physiological hunger. It's just because, like I said, it's a clock or stress or whatever. So re-engaging with with actual core deep hunger was fascinating because I'm like, man, I have never felt this before.

[00:33:43.860] – Michael
And I learned a lot of interesting things about hunger. And one of them, too, is that. You know, over time, it's not it's not going to kill you, you know, out there, it's like I lost 10 pounds over the thirty three months or whatever it was.

[00:34:01.050] – Michael
But I realized re-engaging with hunger is actually a good thing, because if you can figure out when this is true hunger versus this is just me wanting food, that can really move the dial. Because, I mean, right now it's I think in the US it's seventy two percent of Americans are overweight or obese. I mean, we're clearly suffering from a crisis where we're just eating too much. And that suggests to me that probably, you know, re-engaging with hunger and learning about what do I actually need food versus when do I want food can be really important in moving the dial on our health through weight loss.

[00:34:37.830] – Michael
So I would say that it just when I came back from the Arctic, I realized that a lot of times, like I said, it's just I just want food or it's a clock that tells me I want food and feeling that hunger can lead a lot of internal physical change. So I think, you know, embracing hunger is important. And, you know, I know people get really.

[00:34:59.880] – Michael
I guess I would say ideological, I don't know if that's the right word about certain diets and all that. My own opinion is that if you look at all the research, that weight loss is primarily driven by calorie balance. And so just figuring out a way that you can you can eat that will control your hunger, but you're not eating too much is important. And so in the book, I talk about ways of certain foods that research suggests tend to help us fight hunger, but also control our calories.

[00:35:28.810] – Michael
So these tend to be foods that we've often heard are not good for us, like potatoes or different forms of carbs that are unprocessed, that actually are good because they can help us control hunger and keep our calories low. It's this concept called calorie density, which is kind of a science way of saying they fill you up without having as many calories as other foods.

[00:35:50.870] – Allan
Yeah, and I think one of the things that kind of came out of it is that just as soon as you killed the Cariboo, you ate like a king. And it was one of the best meals you'd had in a long time and you even started liking the the instant meals, you know, just the reconstituted meals. You're like, it's fine. I love it. It's it's still delicious because I'm that hungry that you were truly tasting your food.

[00:36:17.530] – Michael

[00:36:17.870] – Allan
And and the. Go ahead.

[00:36:19.760] – Michael
I was going to say hunger is the best sauce.

[00:36:23.540] – Allan

[00:36:24.050] – Michael
You know that if you are a person who thinks that vegetables are disgusting, that's probably because you're only eating things like Doritos that are engineered to be just like so amazing. And if you take yourself away from that for a little while, you realize that vegetables have a lot of amazing nuances that are that are great, you know.

[00:36:43.100] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's what we miss is that, you know, like you said, we're eating all the time. We're eating things that are designed to make us eat more. We're not giving our body an opportunity to actually understand the hunger signals. And then when food is available, which here it's always available, it's everywhere.

[00:37:05.750] – Allan
We tend to overeat. And, you know, the dietitians though warn you, don't let yourself get hungry and then the food companies will take advantage of it and someone will be upset, not feeling good because they're hungry and they're going to tell them, oh, you need a Snickers. And so that's the solution to your your hunger problem. And it's not even true hunger because you haven't gone without food long enough or you've had enough food to not need that food.

[00:37:33.050] – Allan
But we haven't turned on those hunger signals. And obviously, you being out there for thirty three days, you turned on some hunger signals.

[00:37:41.310] – Michael
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I think in a lot of ways food has become a widget for a way to solve for other problems.

[00:37:48.590] – Michael
I'm stressed, I'm going to eat, I'm bored, I'll eat. And I just said boredom is good so don't just eat f you're bored. Find other ways to go.

[00:37:58.430] – Michael
But yeah, you know, we developed these evolutionary mechanisms that favor us to eat foods that are as calorie dense as possible. Now in nature as we evolved, you really don't find that many foods that are really calorie dense. I would think honey is the most calorie dense of the food you find.

[00:38:16.100] – Michael
But now we have foods that are engineered to be these, you know, globs of sugar, salt and fat that are amazing. And I'm not saying don't ever eat those, but it's they need to be balanced. You know, we need to to engage with hunger a little bit, learn that hunger and hunger is actually a good thing. Like you said, we've we've been told that, oh, don't ever feel hungry. You know, you're hungry or whatever it is. Oh, it's a good thing.

[00:38:40.640] – Allan
Yeah. And I think if you had to take several bee stings to get that high calorie dense food instead of buying it and like you said, a cute little jar that's shaped like a little bear, we probably wouldn't do it as much, but yeah.

[00:38:57.890] – Allan
So it's okay to be hungry, you know, like you said, I mean, we use the term starving, but that's not the right word. And even in your situation here, you knew you'd brought enough food to probably not starve. Yeah, but it also heightened your desire to do something. So it kept you motivated and driving rather than just saying, I'm going to go cuddle in the teepee for the next twenty days and hope I don't burn more calories.

[00:39:24.170] – Michael

[00:39:24.830] – Allan
it got you moving. I got you guys doing more so that you could get that back, could get some food and that's that's actually a good thing. If you can find the waste are going to drive you to a better behavior, you've got to be hungry for it. And that's whether that's eating the right foods or getting your food. You've got to think of it in those terms.

[00:39:44.450] – Michael
Yeah. Yep, exactly.

[00:39:47.000] – Allan
Michael, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:39:56.630] – Michael
Well, we just talked about one of them, I think re-engaging with hunger can be important. I mean, I think that our food, how we eat today is one of the number one drivers of our health problems because people just eat too much and and they don't move enough. And I think figuring out ways to lose weight if you're currently overweight is going to be the number one thing you can do from your health, assuming you're not smoking or something like that.

[00:40:23.990] – Michael
I mean, look at the data and it's pretty overwhelming. And, you know, yes, there are people who are overweight, who are metabolically healthy, and that's that's great. But I do think if you look at most people, most of the time, some some ground can be gained by losing a little weight. And I think that food is one of the best ways to do that.

[00:40:42.710] – Michael
Number two, I would say. Is that I would love it if people would start thinking about how can I do epic things in my life? So for me it was this thirty three days in the Alaskan backcountry. I go out there, I experience all these different forms of discomfort. I'm in nature. For a long time, I experienced some hunger I have to put physical effort in. And I think that doing that can really move the dial on our health and happiness, but more importantly, it can change us internally.

[00:41:16.840] – Michael
So, as I mentioned before, it's like when I was on that runway first about to head up there. I mean, I'm just like overstressed guy. I'm afraid to get on this plane. I'm like, you got to be kidding me. We're going in that little thing. And at the end of that sort of going on this journey of having to face all these discomforts, I learned a lot about myself and it really transformed me and I would say moved the dial on a lot of things in my life, just stress levels.

[00:41:42.760] – Michael
You know, when I got back, I could see, oh, like waiting in a line is not a big deal, you know, because I had all these true dangers and things happen to me. And so I think for four people, it's, you know, what is something that you can do, get outside, exercise some way to challenge yourself that will help put all these things in perspective and also get you out and moving. So maybe that, oh, there's this mountain near my house that I've never climbed and I've never climbed a mountain before.

[00:42:12.580] – Michael
You know, it could be like a five, ten mile hike. But if you've never done that before, I think picking something that has sort of a chance of failure, chance you may not make it where you put yourself in a position where you have to dig deep physically and psychologically and emotionally. When you complete that, it's like a massive, massive confidence boost and just move your life in the right direction. And let's see, number three, let me think on this.

[00:42:39.130] – Michael
Oh, I would say to think about your death each day, which I realize that seems somewhat morbid when people hear it. But, you know, as we evolve, we really engage with the life cycle.

[00:42:51.070] – Michael
So I know for me, I went up to Alaska, we're hunting and we look for these caribou for like fifteen days and we finally get a chance where we, you know, I'm going to potentially be able to kill one. And I have the gun and I am super reticent about hunting this whole time because I'm coming from this world where our meat is presented to us. Totally, perfectly manicured death is death and the life cycle is totally removed from our lives, everything from our funeral system to how we react when someone dies and we're told to keep our mind off it.

[00:43:27.880] – Michael
So we're, you know, crawling out there and I get in this position where the animal is close enough within shooting distance. And I'm kind of hesitating, you know, because I'm like, oh, man, this is a beautiful creature. Don't ever engage with this kind of stuff. And began with Donny says, look, if you don't want to shoot, you don't got to shoot. But if you're going to shoot, you got to do it now.

[00:43:49.450] – Michael
And I pulled the trigger and the animal goes down. And my initial reaction is, oh my God, what have I done? It was this just sinking feeling. We go out and see the animal. It's down. And I just feel terrible. It's like, what what has happened here?

[00:44:05.680] – Michael
What have I done? And then we began to break the animal down to field, dress it to bring it back to camp. And my mind started to shift because you start to see that this living creature is going to provide life for me, for my family to give us food. And that death is ultimately part of the life cycle. Like it is a it is a clear realization for me that happened that, oh, you know, death is part of the life cycle.

[00:44:35.290] – Michael
And I started to research this when I when I got back from Alaska and I ended up going to doing some traveling around this and a lot of research. And when you look at the research people who think about death, which is something, you know, we're not we're told, oh, don't do that because that's morbid and that'll make you sad. When you look at the research, it actually makes people happier because it cuts out a lot, cuts a lot of the fat out of your life.

[00:44:55.930] – Michael
Right. If you just think once a day, oh, I'm going to die at one point, you're not going to get hung up on these stupid little things that we tend to get so anxious and hung up on every day, right. You start to see people start to focus on the things that are really going to make them truly happier. So I think the three things that I just named are kind of like this holistic system that can help with your mind, body and spirit more or less.

[00:45:20.200] – Allan
And I agree with all of those. Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Comfort Crisis, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:45:29.020] – Michael
You can go to Easter Michael dot com, if you want to learn more about me, I'm active on Instagram as well: Michael_Easter. I try not to be too active on it because that boredom thing. But yeah, those are probably the two best ways to find it in the books available anywhere you get books. So

[00:45:44.470] – Allan
Okay. You can go to 40 plus fitness podcast dot com forward slash four eight five, and I'll be sure to have links there.

[00:45:51.370] – Allan
Michael, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

[00:45:54.610] – Michael
Hey, thank you for having me.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:01.090] – Allan
Raz, welcome back.

[00:46:03.160] – Rachel
Hey, Alan, what a wonderful story from Michael and his adventure in the Arctic. My gosh, talk about discomfort. He had a lot of it.

[00:46:13.640] – Allan
He did. You know. Well, one first, we probably didn't dive into it enough in the conversation, but he was terrified to get on that little plane.

[00:46:21.850] – Allan
He was a little bit just a little bitty planes where he kind of felt like he was straddling the the pilot while he was sitting in that airplane with his equipment. And the plane he was on couldn't go and land where they needed to. So they dropped the two of them off in the middle of freakin nowhere, Alaska, and then take off to nowhere Alaska to basically shuttle these guys. And then they leave him out there. And I'm like, no, no, I would have been the second person on the plane.

[00:46:50.440] – Allan
So I'm not sitting out in the middle of nowhere by myself alone. That would have kind of got me. I mean, and I I've had some moments in my life where I was outside my comfort zone, did some things like, you know, look back on and say, well, some people would call that foolish, but, you know, damn, it makes a good story.

[00:47:12.040] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:47:12.940] – Allan
You know, like walking down into the basement with four Koreans, two of them in front of me, two of them behind me. And I'm there to catch them committing fraud, thinking I might not actually come out of this basement again. So you have those stories. And that's one of the cool things about this book, is not just that Michael sharing the stories, but he's sharing lessons about how being outside your comfort zone makes for a better life across the world, whether you're looking at your career, your relationships, your health, your fitness, everything great happens outside the comfort zone.

[00:47:49.210] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh, it's so true.

[00:47:51.070] – Rachel
He even drew a line. Right, towards adding discomfort to your life can give you health and happiness, happiness through discomfort. It's kind of a mind blowing concept right there.

[00:48:03.880] – Allan
Well, you've experienced it, so.

[00:48:05.920] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:48:06.310] – Allan
Let's talk about your first marathon.

[00:48:08.350] – Allan
How painful was that run? I mean, you know, at the end, you're that you know, you're you're at that that twenty two mile mark.

[00:48:17.520] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:48:18.400] – Allan
And you're watching other runners around. You quit. You're saying medical attention being given to people on the side of the road. And you're seeing also seeing people cheering you on.

[00:48:29.830] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:48:30.550] – Allan
But it's uncomfortable and there is be no shame in quitting.

[00:48:35.710] – Rachel
Right. Well, I'll even take it a step back and and say my first five K was out of my comfort zone, so as my first 10K, my first half marathon was in a Florida hurricane situation and my first marathon was just as difficult, although it was at the happiest place on Earth with this, which is Disney.

[00:48:58.860] – Rachel
My first full marathon was Disney. But but yeah, every single step of the way in my running career has been taking that one step outside what I know I could do, what I'm comfortable doing and seeing what can I accomplish, what can I do and and how crazy is that? And and then every time I accomplish something, I'm I'm stronger for it and more confident and and more confident when I want to try something new, like my first 50 miles, I'll be doing the summer.

[00:49:34.470] – Rachel
So that's one of the reasons why I embraced running and just share it with the world so much because it can give you so much back. It's hard and it's scary, but it gives you so much back.

[00:49:46.830] – Allan
Yeah. And we've become too comfortable to the point of, you know, we, we go for the convenience and so beyond just comfort, there's convenience and you'll hear the word comfort foods and comfort foods. Yeah. Typically are high in fat, high in salt and high in sugar, high in everything and all put together. And they make you feel good, they give you the feel good, comfortable feeling, you know, chicken and dumplings is one just comes to mind for me is they call that a comfort food and you know it's like okay, cool.

[00:50:23.070] – Allan
Occasionally having a little bit of comfort, not a problem, having it every single day, having the convenience of driving up and ordering a donut and a coffee on your way to work and then getting something from the vending machine because you're starving two hours later. And for the record, you're not actually starving.

[00:50:43.170] – Allan
You're just having a little bit of a sugar rush and a sugar crash. And that's what you're having. And it's not you're not starving. And so I think the recognition that if once we start seeing the comfort that's in our lives and we start challenging that and saying, is that comfort serving me? Or is that comfort holding me back?

[00:51:06.430] – Rachel
Hmm, good question.

[00:51:07.270] – Allan
We're almost blind to it because we're in it and it's just so easy and this is just the way it is.

[00:51:12.670] – Allan
And so, you know, the more you sit there and say, is this the right comfort for me to be in? So, you know, granted, I want my room cool at night so I can sleep better. So we have an air conditioner in our bedroom. We don't have an air conditioner in the living space of the bed and breakfast and so on. A hot day like today is probably somewhere in the 90s and it's really, really humid.

[00:51:37.090] – Allan
And so sitting in the living room with the fans going is right on that edge of comfortable. You know, I'm sitting in my living room sweating. Most people don't want to be sweating when they're sitting in their living room. You know, they're going to have the AC on. There can be very comfortable. They're not going to want to walk outside. I'll check the mail on my way to work tomorrow. You know, that kind of comfort.

[00:52:00.130] – Allan
And it's like, get out, you know, move around. Don't be afraid of it. So you sweat a little to shower before bed,

[00:52:07.570] – Rachel

[00:52:08.260] – Allan
So look at the comfort that's in your life and just say, is this this is serving me? Is just making me a better person? And there are times when comfort will there, you know, I sleep better when the room temperature is cooler. If we didn't have an air conditioner, then I wouldn't sleep as well.

[00:52:27.350] – Allan
We have a we have an air fryer. And the air fryer can do, you know, the toasting, the grilling in the baking, the the air frying, the broiling. And so it's very convenient, comfortable device to have sitting on our counter.

[00:52:42.720] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:52:43.310] – Allan
I don't use it to make Pop Tarts.

[00:52:47.510] – Allan
I use it to bake chicken or broil steak or do those types of things. So I don't get don't think that all comfort is bad. It's not it's just a function of saying, am I using comfort where where it matters.

[00:53:05.810] – Rachel

[00:53:06.380] – Allan
You know, a good massage is comfortable. Having a comfortable bed is comfortable. Those are important things for your wellness. But, you know, having complete access to all this food, calling Uber eats every night because you can never, never getting hot, never getting cold.

[00:53:29.060] – Allan
You know, that's not how we were intended to to be. We were intended to be a little uncomfortable most of the time and really uncomfortable some of the time.

[00:53:40.070] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:53:41.060] – Rachel
I think we've lost a little of that satisfaction of doing certain things for ourselves. Like you mentioned, cooking a proper meal from scratch versus ordering uber eats or something. You know, if you can gather fresh ingredients and make this wonderful meal for your family all on your own, just think of the pride that you'll have, not even to mention the taste will be so much better than running out to a restaurant and getting some fat laden food. But you've got pride in your food.

[00:54:10.760] – Rachel
You've got a tasty meal. Plus it contributes to your health instead of taking away from your health. So it's just these little things like if you can allow yourself the extra time to take the time to get the good food to to prepare a nice meal, to take a walk to the store instead of a drive to the store, if you can just take a minute to reassess and maybe give you that little extra time to do these things by hand from scratch, just think of the satisfaction you'll have having accomplished all that.

[00:54:40.010] – Allan
Yeah. And I would even take it a step further and say, Okay, so so imagine you do this. You set up a plant bed in your backyard or a patio garden and you plant some plants if you have the space and in your city allows it, you raise some chickens.

[00:54:58.940] – Rachel
Oh, man, you know, that would be fun.

[00:55:01.850] – Allan
And maybe you go ahead in a co-op and you know, you can share in a buying a cow. You know, sometimes they'll do that like a local farm and you all go in together and say, Okay, so I'm buying half a cow and they're buying. So we all contribute our money and we buy the calves and we've paid for the food. And we have a responsibility to go out there on our days and feed the cow.

[00:55:25.430] – Rachel

[00:55:25.760] – Allan
Take care of it. It's a co-op. We're all involved. We're all working together or we're doing it at home, raising the chickens, getting the eggs, growing the vegetables. So you're growing spinach and you've got the eggs.

[00:55:38.690] – Allan
And so, you know, you make yourself an omelet with the spinach in the eggs that you grew, that, you know, you took the little chick and you took the little seedling and you made yourself that meal from not just scratch, but from actual dirt, you know.

[00:55:59.220] – Rachel
How how amazing and how satisfying that is. That would be wonderful.

[00:56:03.810] – Allan
And it's not even just you. I mean, this was a part of your family. This is like how we spend a Saturday. You know, we spend the Saturday at my brother. They raise chickens. And so his little girls, they know how to care for the chickens. And they named all their so they have no intention of eating the chickens, but they eat eggs.

[00:56:22.330] – Rachel
That's awesome.

[00:56:23.550] – Allan
Yeah. Except for the the Fox incident. But we don't want to talk.

[00:56:27.430] – Rachel
Oh no, no.

[00:56:31.440] – Allan
But, you know, it's just kind of one of those things of this is a learning experience for them to be able to see where their food is coming from and recognize, Okay, this is you know, this is where all this stuff comes from. And it's not you don't just go to the grocery store to buy stuff.

[00:56:46.350] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:56:47.480] – Allan
You can you can do it yourself. And it's uncomfortable. It's extra work. It means, you know, a weekend where you're building something, you're putting, you know, dealing with soil and all the other stuff.

[00:56:58.950] – Allan
You're learning new things, teaching kids new things, but spending that quality time together.

[00:57:04.230] – Allan
And that's again, the value of discomfort can be the value of learning. It's a value of relationship. It's the value of better quality of pretty much everything in your life. And so that's what this book was really about. He's a fabulous writer. It's a really interesting story if you're anti-hunting while there is hunting in the book. But I want you to recognize the the concepts of it. He does talk about that because he had never hunted before.

[00:57:32.130] – Allan
So he's not pro hunting even now. But he wanted the experience. And he went out and did it while he doesn't know if he'll do it again.

[00:57:43.490] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:57:44.150] – Allan
But it was just an experience that he wanted to have. All of the meat from that animal was consumed by him and his family. So he did bring that meat home. So it was not just an unethical trophy kill that you see the pictures and you know that this was those were legitimate hunts for food when controlled by the wild life stuff.

[00:58:07.850] – Allan
But just recognize that he made himself very, very uncomfortable for thirty-three days, experienced a lot of things, has a lot of stories to tell. And he's a really good storyteller. So it's a really good book from that perspective too.

[00:58:20.750] – Rachel
Wonderful. It sounds wonderful. What an adventure he had for sure.

[00:58:24.620] – Allan
All right, Rachel. Well, I will talk to you next week.

[00:58:27.230] – Rachel
All right. Take care.

[00:58:28.230] – Allan
You too.

[00:58:29.540] – Rachel


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Another episode you may enjoy


Intuitive fasting with Dr. Will Cole

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 484 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we welcome back Dr. Will Cole and discuss his new book, Intuitive Fasting.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

Back in 2014, a former college athlete didn't understand why protein powders and other supplements had so many unnatural ingredients. If they're supposed to be health supplements, why can't you understand the ingredient list? Naked nutrition was started with five single-ingredient supplements, including the best selling Naked Whey, which has only one ingredient whey protein from grass-fed California cows and the bestselling Naked Pea, a vegan protein made from one ingredient raw yellow peas grown in the U.S. and Canada.

The company has grown to offer over 40 products, but the vision of sourcing the best ingredients using a few of them is possible and being transparent so you know exactly what's going into your body is the same today as when the company was founded.

Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:29.260] – Allan
Raz, how are things?

[00:03:30.490] – Rachel
Good. And how are you today?

[00:03:32.530] – Allan
Well, good and bad.

I was pretty excited spending the time with my family. That's been really cool. And I also wanted to kind of make a short little announcement. I'm launching a challenge and I actually am planning this went ahead because I actually had a challenge and I didn't get a chance to announce it on the podcast because I just decided to do it sort of like on the spot jump on things and just really didn't have time to give preannouncement. But I've got another one in the works.

[00:03:58.570] – Allan
I'm going to be launching a 7-day mindset challenge.

[00:04:01.880] – Rachel
Oh, that's a good one.

[00:04:05.770] – Allan
Over seven days there will be a topic for each day and a little recorded video for each day that you get an email and all that. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcasts.com/challenge, you can sign up for the free 7-day mindset challenge.

[00:04:21.190] – Rachel
Awesome. That sounds fun.

[00:04:23.230] – Allan
So again it's 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/challenge and we've got it there. Now if you missed the functional fitness challenge which was the one I did kind of on the spur of the moment, the reason you didn't hear about it is you're probably not a part of our Facebook group. And that's where a lot of this stuff gets announced, like at the last minute, those types of things. So I would go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and request to join the 40+ Fitness Group.

[00:04:49.240] – Allan
And that's where it's easier for me to communicate these kind of little one off things that are going on really quickly. So you'll keep up with us. Rachel's on there. I'm on there. We'll answer your questions. We have fun. We have weekly challenges. If I were across something cool, like a 90-year old woman doing deadlifts, I'm going to publish that stuff and we're going to we can talk about it. So it's a really cool place to be.

[00:05:11.110] – Allan
And, you know, my favorite group for sure. But yeah, you can go there, you'll learn about things. 40plusfitnesspodcasts/group if you want to join the group. And then if you want to check out that Mindset Challenge go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/challenge. So that's the good news.

[00:05:28.450] – Allan
The bad news is one of my staff actually has contracted covid and she's the one who works most of the shifts. So, she pulls every shift that she can possibly work and so she pretty much mans the gym. 80%, 90% of the time and my other employees over Panama City, so he's not available. And so what it means is the week that I'm visiting with my family is also a week that I'm pulling complete full day doubles at the gym.

[00:05:57.320] – Rachel
Oh no!

[00:05:57.940] – Allan
Not so much fun, but it is what it is. That is what it is. I'm just right now just hoping that my employee gets through this without any complications. She's young and healthy. So I had the strongest thoughts that she is going to get through this so easily. But it's just kind of one of those things that it's that close. It's right here.

[00:06:20.100] – Allan
Someone that was working in the gym on Saturday is now at home with covid, and she can't come back for a couple of weeks. So she's going to be tough a couple of weeks for me. I'm going to try to go ahead and see if I can't hire someone to come in and work some shifts. We'll see.

[00:06:36.390] – Allan
By the time I get them and get them trained by two weeks will be over.

[00:06:40.380] – Rachel

[00:06:41.050] – Allan
Yeah. But anyway, it is what it is.

[00:06:43.380] – Allan
But so, yeah. A little bit of sad news on this side, but I am going still going to try to make the most spending time with my daughters while they're here and it is what it is. So, you know, I can't change what I can't change. I will keep charging on.

[00:06:59.160] – Rachel
That's right. Well, I hope your employee feels better soon, and I hope you get to squeeze in some time with your family. It sounds sounds like a tricky balance, but I'm sure you'll figure it out.

[00:07:09.090] – Allan
How are things for you?

[00:07:10.460] – Rachel
Good, good. Just crushing some miles up here. Weather's been great. I did a couple of long runs last weekend testing my fueling and and hydration and feeling pretty good. So things are good. All right.

[00:07:23.970] – Rachel
So you want to go ahead and have that conversation with Dr. Cole?

[00:07:27.030] – Allan
Yes. Let's do this.


[00:08:04.680] – Allan
Dr. Cole, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:07.440] – Dr. Cole
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:08:09.150] – Allan
This is number three. Lucky number three.

[00:08:12.120] – Dr. Cole
Yeah! My goal is to be the top guest. The most visited guest.

[00:08:21.870] – Allan
I will say I did a thing with Jimmy Moore where I interviewed him one time. He had three books that I wanted to talk about when I was early, early on. It was one interview, but it was broken into three shows. So I think you're ahead of him by now or tied with him for a number of interviews. But he's going to have you beat for shows for a while. So sorry about that.

[00:08:43.980] – Dr. Cole
I'm just kidding. I'm not that competitive.

[00:08:46.350] – Allan
I know. Anyway, your book is called Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health. And the thing I liked about this was there's so much information out there about fasting now, it's sort of the hot topic, if you will, and as people are looking at ways to get healthy and lose weight, and so they say, okay, have you tried fasting?

[00:09:11.630] – Allan
Have you tried intermittent fasting? Have you tried water fasting? And one guy was promoting air fasting, where you don't even drink water for 24 hours. How, I don't even understand.

[00:09:21.620] – Allan
But fasting is becoming kind of this thing that is out there. And it's a good thing. It's an important thing. It's something that's been a part of our culture forever. But with all the information that is out there, it's really difficult for someone to discern what is a healthy fast and what is just a fad/scary thing like the cleanses and the fast and things like that.

[00:09:48.710] – Allan
You're talking about intuitive fasting. Can you give us just a little bit of what that's about?

[00:09:55.310] – Dr. Cole
The book is as anything that I write the last two books before this. They're just outpourings of my clinical practice. So even right now, I'm in between consulting patients. Ten plus hour days. I started one of the first telehealth functional medicine centers in the world over a decade ago. So that's my main focus. Like, that's the context of where I'm coming from, is I get to see labs and tons of different types of people all around the world get healthy with different tools within the functional medicine toolbox.

[00:10:23.420] – Dr. Cole
So this concept of intuitive fasting is something that I've been really working on with patients for a long time. And it's paradoxical on purpose, right? That's why I called it intuitive fasting, because to the modern Western metabolism, fasting will be anything but intuitive. And it's really a conversation about two things metabolic flexibility, which is physical, physiological infrastructure, if you will, or a foundation for authentic, mindful eating because you're building satiety signaling and blood sugar balance and lowered inflammation levels and proper gut brain axis signaling.

[00:11:00.650] – Dr. Cole
But it's also from a mental, emotional, or even spiritual perspective, what's our relationship with these things? And can we bring a more mindful approach to fasting? Because you have these two worlds, you have this intuitive eating world or mindful eating world on one end, and then you have fasting, which is typically the biohacking in the alpha. The more is better and these extreme sports of wellness, if you will, that I think the fasting community really focuses.

[00:11:33.290] – Dr. Cole
But I think that the context of this is somewhere in the middle, just like what I try to do with Ketotarian, a plant-based keto. How can you make something that works for the average person? How can you really make something sustainable that leverages the amazing benefits of fasting, but in a way that's accessible for people and sustainable for people and it's a healthy approach for people. So those are the conversations that I'm having with intuitive fasting.

[00:11:57.650] – Dr. Cole
It's a mindful approach to intermittent fasting, but it's also building metabolic flexibility so you can have authentic, intuitive fasting and authentic mindful eating, meaning that fasting and eating will be more intuitive as you gain metabolic flexibility. Not because it's some restrictive, obsessive thing. You can just go longer without eating because your blood sugar is more stable, because you have more agency over your health and you can eat food because you enjoy it. Food doesn't control you. Your cravings don't control you. Your insatiable hangriness doesn't control you.

[00:12:33.260] – Dr. Cole
And that's that what but the other aspect of intuitive fasting has, what it's about.

[00:12:38.570] – Allan
Okay, let's dive a little bit deeper into metabolic flexibility. Exactly what does that mean and why is that going to make intuitive fasting easier for us?

[00:12:49.220] – Dr. Cole
So most people in the West are metabolically inflexible or metabolically rigid, so they're stuck in this sugar burning mode, right? And we're all born when we are born. We're all born metabolically flexible. It's our birthright. Babies are producing ketones for proper neurological development and they're burning sugar as well, obviously. And over time, we lose that birthright.

[00:13:13.160] – Dr. Cole
We lose that ability to burn both sugar and fat. And that flexibility is lost. And we are stuck in metabolic rigidity or metabolic inflexibility. Many people have different various degrees of this, but it's some form of insatiable cravings and hungriness and fatigue and weight loss resistance and different inflammatory problems. So that's a hallmark of the modern Western living. Right.

[00:13:40.580] – Dr. Cole
And that's what researchers are really looking at, this epigenetic-genetic mismatch that our genetics haven't changed in ten thousand years. But, yeah, our world has changed very dramatically in a very short period of time. So we're looking at this evolutionary mismatch at the heart of what's driving a lot of these chronic health problems, different inflammatory problems, autoimmune issues.

[00:14:02.900] – Dr. Cole
So those are the people that I talk with 11, 12 hours a day where we can when we start to gain metabolic flexibility again, we start to reclaim our birthright and start to get more in alignment with our genetics and decrease that chasm between genetics and epigenetics. That's when you start feeling great again.

[00:14:22.100] – Dr. Cole
That's when you start regaining energy, when you start feeling like there's a congruency between how you feel on the inside and the body that you live in. And that's what metabolic flexibility is. It's being fat adapted. It's been keto adapted. But as its name implies, metabolic flexibility. It doesn't mean being in ketosis all the time. It's ability to tip, to dip into sugar burning mode when you want to or when you need to.

[00:14:52.850] – Dr. Cole
And that's really another layer of the conversation that I'm having with intuitive fasting. It's the name of the game as far as I'm concerned for most people isn't to be in ketosis all day, every day? But it is to use it as a tool to have the flexibility to burn both. And I think that is part of the context of the conversation that I tried to have with Ketotarian that I just wanted to have in a deeper way with this book beyond just Ketotarian way of eating, but just how to use all these amazing tools and intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet really two sides of the same coin because they're both supporting beta-hydroxybutyrate. There's two different ways to produce this amazing signaling molecule to lower inflammation and improve brain function and become a fat burner if we need to.

[00:15:37.580] – Dr. Cole
But it's something that I get so excited about clinically that I wanted to share with everybody else.

[00:15:43.100] – Allan
I know for me, I do something I call seasonal ketosis. So I have a season where I go into ketosis and I have a season that I come out of ketosis. And that used to have a lot to do with college football season and then Christmas, Thanksgiving and my birthday. So I just OK, from August, the end of August until the middle of February, I get to get past the Super Bowl. I'll not worry about ketosis.

[00:16:06.530] – Allan
I still generally eat the same foods. So I just want to throw a beer in there, here and there. Someone's offering me something pretty cool at a tailgate. I'm not I'm a chow down on it. And I had that metabolic flexibility. So I know that's one benefit that you get from being flexible. But as far as intuitive fasting goes, what are some of the benefits that we could expect to get by incorporating something like this into our lives?

[00:16:31.790] – Dr. Cole
So both a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, as I mentioned, they both support beta-hydroxybutyrate, which for people that aren't maybe fully aware, it's known as the fourth macronutrient in the research area of protein, fats, carbs and ketone bodies. So they both support this fourth macronutrient. And that's why when you look at the research of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, you'll see a lot of the similar pathways because they're both supporting ketogenic diet as fasting, mimicking in many ways, it's mimicking the state of fasting and then fasting, obviously fasting.

[00:17:07.370] – Dr. Cole
So I'm pairing both of those with an intuitive fasting I'm pairing as a therapeutic tool, Ketotarian, which is a clean, sort of Mediterranean ketogenic way of eating, pairing that with it flexible intermittent fasting. So when talking about intuitive fasting, I put together a four week protocol in the book that is used as a way to gain metabolic flexibility.

[00:17:33.720] – Dr. Cole
So some people may scoff at that, like he's talking about intuitive fasting and he's giving us a protocol. But the goal of it is actually to train your body, to become more flexible and to learn about your body, too. The analogy that I use in the book is this proverbial yoga class for your metabolism, if someone's inflexible, meaning their hamstrings are tight, their musculoskeletal systems inflexible, they go to yoga class and they are going to think yoga is completely unnatural. Yoga is not for them. There's something wrong with this. It's not yoga's fault. It's the person's inflexibility. Most people's metabolisms aren't flexible. So by using this flexible fasting plan in the book or gaining metabolic flexibility just like yoga classes improves musculoskeletal flexibility.

[00:18:25.920] – Dr. Cole
And we're vacillating. It's ebbing and flowing. It's not doing the same thing. Each week is a different intermittent fasting window to start to train the metabolism, train the mitochondria, train the body itself to become more flexible.

[00:18:43.620] – Dr. Cole
What I also wanted to integrate into the book is the fact that fasting can be a medicine right therapeutic tool to support this fourth macronutrients become more metabolically flexible. But we're also using fasting as a meditation, too. So how can we learn more about our body?

[00:19:05.610] – Dr. Cole
How can we learn more introspectively on our relationship with our bodies, our relationship with food and how we use food in our life and growing that mindfulness muscle when it comes to food and fasting?

[00:19:18.690] – Dr. Cole
Because in my clinical experience, when you gain physiological metabolic flexibility, but you pair that with the mental, emotional, spiritual mindfulness of using food and fasting as a mindfulness tool. Those are all the ingredients of what you need for what I call in the book food peace, the sort of inner stillness on what serves you and what doesn't serve you.

[00:19:43.020] – Dr. Cole
And you have this agency over your body and agency over food and not in a controlling way, not in a restrictive, obsessive way, but in a very resolute knowing way. This food makes me feel great. I want to have that. I can go longer without eating because it makes me feel great and I'm more metabolically flexible. And I know what foods don't make me feel good. I know what things don't make me feel good to have the discernment to see that, too.

[00:20:08.190] – Dr. Cole
And food, you're not bound by that next craving and insatiable hungriness. And I think that's really the goal of this, is having that food peace, having that inner stillness that I think most people want because most people feel out of control. Their bodies feel out of control when it comes their relationship with food. There's so much inflammation and things going on in people's bodies that they physiologically are out of control, actually.

[00:20:31.800] – Dr. Cole
And all of that stuff is proverbial noise on a physiological level. That way, when we start calming that noise, you can have that that inner discernment on what your body needs and having that intuition when it comes to food.

[00:20:48.120] – Allan
Yeah, the way I kind of experienced it was that one one. It gives you just an intense freedom. You're working eleven hour days and if something comes up and you can't eat your lunch when you thought you were going to be eating your lunch because you're metabolically flexible, you just say, fine, I'll eat during my next break, which is two hours away. And that won't upset you, though, emotionally affect you. You'll be able to do that.

[00:21:13.290] – Allan
And then the other thing that I gain out of fasting when I do it is that it actually kind of, like you said, clears up the noise. So I actually can go back and remember what actually being hungry feels like. And I can actually be in that moment and say, okay, yeah, this is this is not me wanting a Snickers bar. This is me legitimately needing nutrition for my body. And then I can honor that and have a good meal and then I can actually because there's no noise, listen to what my body is telling me about that meal. And and actually response. So I was like, yeah, instead of running on get the Snickers bar and know I'm going to feel like crap. Two hours later when I go on the sugar crash. Now I'm going to go have something more wholesome, something better for me. And then two hours later, I'm not actually even necessarily thinking about that meal anymore because I feel great.

[00:22:07.710] – Allan
And but you've kind of cleared up that noise and you have the freedom to decide, okay I'm not going to go for what's convenient and eat that Snicker bar. I'm going to go ahead wait the two hours. And I'll be fine.

[00:22:22.350] – Dr. Cole
Yeah, well said, and I think that when you start feeling so great and you start having that agency over your body and over your health in a healthy way, it's really cool to see that when you create a firm foundation and a center and you centered yourself physiologically and mentally, emotionally as well, you can pivot from that space, but you have that awareness of what your center is. And it's really cool to see.

[00:22:47.070] – Dr. Cole
Whereas maybe you maybe people, you know, have something that they know something won't make them feel great, but they will even then most for most people and they have that center, they'll be able to go there and know I can I won't have as much of this room because I love feeling great more than I think I missed something that didn't make me feel good and that can go back there.

[00:23:08.700] – Dr. Cole
Or most of the time they actually won't go towards those other things, not because it's restrictive and that they can't have it. They know they can have whatever they want, but they just love feeling great more than they miss something or they thought they missed something that didn't. That's a complete paradigm shift. So it's not about this list of do's and don'ts. It's complete free will, but it's a bad tradeoff to go towards something that makes you feel really lousy.

[00:23:32.520] – Allan
I agree.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

Back in 2014, a former college athlete didn't understand why protein powders and other supplements had so many unnatural ingredients. If they're supposed to be health supplements, why can't you understand the ingredient list? Naked nutrition was started with five single-ingredient supplements, including the best selling Naked Whey, which has only one ingredient whey protein from grass-fed California cows and the bestselling Naked Pea, a vegan protein made from one ingredient raw yellow peas grown in the U.S. and Canada.

The company has grown to offer over 40 products, but the vision of sourcing the best ingredients using a few of them is possible and being transparent so you know exactly what's going into your body is the same today as when the company was founded.

Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

[00:25:19.010] – Allan
Now, one of the things I think that will turn some people off about fasting is they're like, well, I'm on this exercise program or I'm training for this this 5K and I need I need that Guu. I need that that stuff. Can you talk a little bit about exercising during intuitive fasting?

[00:25:39.510] – Dr. Cole
Sure. So I talk about this at length in the book because that's a common question. So we all come in at this point of trying a tool like this at different points of our health journey. We all have different levels of metabolic inflexibility or metabolic rigidity. And it's one of the reasons why I started the book out with a quiz. And the quiz is adapted from questions that I asked patients. And I wanted people to kind of get a subjective metric for them to see more or less like how is their metabolic flexibility.

[00:26:11.090] – Dr. Cole
So if someone is severely or significantly metabolically inflexible they may want to take it easier at the start, right? And not work out as much whenever they're learning their bodies, learning to burn fat for fuel and their bodies being trained to be more become more flexible. Now, keep in mind, the specific subset of intermittent fasting that I'm exploring with. And intuitive fasting is not caloric restriction. It's time compressed feeding or time restricted feeding. You're getting all the calories that you need just in specific windows.

[00:26:48.490] – Dr. Cole
So from most of these lighter to moderate, flexible, intermittent fasting windows, it's actually not that difficult to work out. Week three in the protocol could be probably be the one that people have to make a personal decision on, that some people still will be fine. It's an almost OMAD week in week three. But it's nonconsecutive, so meaning you're doing it every other day, not every day. And OMAD is an acronym that stands for One Meal A Day. But it's almost-OMAD because I reference some studies in there, but basically making it a little bit more flexible to give you more windows to eat and not trying to get all your calories in in a one hour window, which is the more traditional OMAD, 23 to 1 fasting/eating window.

[00:27:31.870] – Dr. Cole
So an almost-OMAD approach is a little bit more flexible. So you could work out within that two to four hour window if you wanted to not be doing a Farstad workout. But regardless, that's the deepest fast that's there. So I'm not doing any multiple day long fast, which is a bit of a different thing.

[00:27:47.920] – Dr. Cole
I think one of the reasons why this type of intermittent fasting that I'm exploring in the book is so accessible is because people can live their lives. They don't have to make an overhaul of everything in their life or feel like they can't live and engage with activities like exercise. They can still do it. It may take some planning and it may take some leaning in at the beginning. I go into detail in the book, but my basic advice is if you have a certain level of activity level that you're used to still do it, you don't have to stop doing that. But I wouldn't start cross fit and intermittent fasting at the same time either.

[00:28:26.194] – Allan
New Year's resolution happening right here.

[00:28:32.020] – Dr. Cole
So many people, right? With the best of intentions. But it's not that you can't do that either, but like become a little bit more, not a master at it. But just at least you are used to doing this and then lean into it. Because we want these to be sustainable changes. This should not be a fad crash thing. I love that people get excited for this stuff. I don't want to rain on the parade, but we want this to be sustainable and ultimately to what's the paradigm shift here, right? It's about how could I love my body enough to do things that make me feel great.

[00:29:07.060] – Dr. Cole
And sometimes it's not excitement that's fueling someone to do all the things at once. And more is better. It's actually shame and obsession that they think, I just feel so low about myself that I manage to do everything. And I would rather someone start one thing than lean into it so it can be sustainable because as I talked about so much throughout the book and with my patients is you can't heal a body you hate. You can't obsess your way into health. So start the cross fit maybe a little bit later and just start the intermittent fasting and the food for now.

[00:29:40.450] – Allan
One of the cool things about your program that I really like is, as you say, you might be into week two and you're looking at week three and saying I don't know that I'm ready. I'm not feeling the energy. I'm not where I'm supposed to be. You just repeat week two. Kind of get yourself based. And once you feel like, Okay, I've mastered this level, if you will, then then I can go in attack week three and now you leave this program with kind of a tool chest to say I felt the best during week three and so I'm just going to do that or I felt the best during week four.

[00:30:13.150] – Allan
And so I'm just going to keep doing that. Or I just know that I have this tool chest of a four week program that I can dust the book off in three months and run through it again. And see where I am. I like that it's flexible. I like that it's something that's accessible and you really do a good job, in my opinion, of walking them week by week to get them to a point where they've learned those tools, learn those skills and as you said, kind of reconnected with who they are.

[00:30:43.310] – Dr. Cole
Thank you for recognizing that. I agree. It's like you're learning about your body because you've sampled all these different ways of fasting. So you will know. And that's bio-individuality. That's what I'm talking about with authentic, intuitive fasting, is you'll be able to evolve the protocol to suit you because we are all different. But on the other note, like, it doesn't have to be four weeks. I mentioned in the book, like if you want to repeat week two for two weeks, make it a five week protocol. That's OK. And these are all therapies and tools.

[00:31:12.320] – Dr. Cole
And sometimes people need to rest in a certain phase a little bit longer. It should be partially self-paced as long as you're progressing, even if it's incremental progression for any wellness tool. This is a good principle is that as long as you're progressing, even if it's incremental, sometimes it's okay to rest in one area and not feel like you need to lean into it too fast, too soon. Because that can make you feel like, oh, this is a fit, you're a failure at it and it's not. You just rushede through something or your body wasn't ready for it yet.

[00:31:43.260] – Allan
Dr. Cole, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:31:52.460] – Dr. Cole
Number one, it's I think that kind of in my earlier statement, I think that I know it's a little bit more abstract and ethereal, but I really think it's important with this conversation about wellness when you're talking about food as nutrition and fasting as a tool for to heal the body, is that we have to realize why we're doing these things. It's not a way to punish yourself. It's a way to shame yourself into wellness.

[00:32:18.170] – Dr. Cole
It's a way to I love feeling great so much, I value and respect my health so much in my body, so much that I want to be good steward to that and do things that make me feel good to have that paradigm shift, because avoiding foods that make you feel like crap isn't restriction. It's self respect. I think that that's a core like genesis of sustainable wellness.

[00:32:43.800] – Dr. Cole
Number two, I would say experiment with intermittent fasting. One of the blurbs of the book is. It's from Alejandro Younger, who is a cardiologist, brilliant friend and mentor of mine. I'll paraphrase what he said, but I thought it was an eloquent way of summarizing my thoughts on this is that, like, our world is in desperate need of a pause.

[00:33:05.100] – Dr. Cole
And I think that we're always like more, more and more like do this even healthy things like more is always better and take more supplements, do more of this, do more of that. And it's all the consumerism, too, and all that stuff. And I think that on many levels and a macro and micro level, I think that the world needs a little bit of stillness and introspection and simplicity and paring down.

[00:33:31.830] – Dr. Cole
We were talking about this before we started recording, just even like on a like moving to something simpler and living a simpler life. I think that that fasting is that on a physiological level, too. How do we create just some stillness and simplicity in our life to allow our body to actually do things that will naturally do if we give it the chance to do so? So I think that that's another way to support wellness.

[00:33:54.810] – Dr. Cole
And three, I think foods that will be nourishing and are really nutrient dense, and that's what I tried to really advocate for, an intuitive fasting is not try to fast your way out of a poor diet. This should not be this disordered eating disguised as a wellness practice. I really want people to use food as medicine and use fasting as a medicine tool, a therapeutic tool, and they should go together. There are two sides of the same coin.

[00:34:22.790] – Dr. Cole
And then I would say this, too, like I'm more than three, but that many people have really impaired GI issues and they have underlying gut problems on the spectrum, this larger spectrum of these problems. And I would say focus on soups and stews, cooked foods. In the book I call them Break the Fast Meals, where they're just gentle on the gut, good transition meals out of the fast. But honestly, those break the fast meal sections I think could be way more. They could be used way more than just as a transition out of a deeper fast. They can just be used as just nourishing, gentle on the gut foods that I think would benefit most of society today, because I see it rampant as these underlying GI issues that are that's driving inflammation levels systemically, these these gut centric components to inflammation.

[00:35:14.870] – Allan
Thank you for that. I want to take one step back and I want to paraphrase what you said, because it's brilliant. I'm going to go back and listen to it again and probably write it down. And it was the moving away from foods that are not good for you is not restriction it's self self-respect. I love that. Thank you.

[00:35:33.380] – Dr. Cole
It is a paradigm shift because people are like, oh my gosh, I can't have that. No, you can have whatever you want. But do you love feeling better or do you like that food that doesn't. Like that's the freewill that I want people to have. I always say and I don't want to pick on Starbucks, right? Because I go to Starbucks. I have no problem with it. But you go in Starbucks and I had a patient tell me years ago they were like, how do you look at all the pastries and stuff in the glass thing and and not go for that stuff. And to me, I had to be like I knew that there were desserts in that, but I honestly couldn't even tell you what's in there. There's not even a thing that I even look at because it's why would I want to go for something that's not going to make me feel great?

[00:36:17.840] – Dr. Cole
And that's what I want people to get to that place of consciousness and awareness for themselves. It's not like you can't have it. It's just like that's really not going to make me feel good. Why would I want to go to something that's not in alignment with how I want to feel?

[00:36:30.620] – Allan
Yeah, it's like when you're walking through the grocery store and you walk down the aisle and you see cans and bags and they would have food in them and they're colorful labels and they say healthy. And they say all the words that our food says grass-fed beef all the things that we would want in our food. But we don't see it as food because we know it's not food. And that's kind of how I look at when I go into Starbucks and I'm looking at the pastries, I'm like, okay, that's not that's not food, in my head because I don't even equate it as food anymore. So I think that's where I'm coming from.

[00:36:59.750] – Allan
Dr. Cole, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book Intuitive Fasting, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:37:06.890] – Dr. Cole
They would go to drwillcole.com. On Instagram at Dr. Will Cole, all the places that people go on social media. But yeah, there's the links to the books, the tele-health clinic there. Everything's at drwillcole.com.

[00:37:23.060] – Allan
Cool. You can also go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/484 and I'll be sure to have the link there. Dr. Cole, thank you so much again for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:37:33.680] – Dr. Cole
Thank you, my friend.

Post Show/Recap

[00:37:39.380] – Allan
Raz, welcome back.

[00:37:40.880] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, that was a really interesting interview, I am interested in the fasting that he was talking about and and how that helps. Fasting is a really hot topic these days, too, and sometimes it's hard to sort out the fact and fiction around fasting. So that was a really interesting interview.

[00:38:03.410] – Allan
I think the core of it with fasting is we've got to get past this this belief system that we have to eat every waking moment. We are not cows out in the field. We were we were not meant to graze. We were meant to hunt and and gather and feast and then stop eating. That was our natural course of things. And now that there's convenience stores and fast food restaurants and a freezer full of food, a refrigerator full of food and a cabinet full of food, some of which is not actually really food is available. That nutrition, calories are just so readily available to quite literally I bet you can. You're right now probably within, I'd say, 18 steps of all the foods your body would need for a month.

[00:38:56.030] – Allan
And that's never existed in the history of man. And so having these intentional fasts. And teaching your body what it actually feels like to be hungry. Mm hmm. And what it feels like when you're doing okay. You know, that's you just you need to get used to that. That's something. Being hungry is a normal state, you know, and we just don't. We don't. And so that's one of the cool things about kind of going through something like this intuitive fasting program.

[00:39:26.810] – Allan
It's a four week intermittent fasting is that he pushes those buttons and he gets you to try a new thing. And some of it will work very well for you. Some of it might not. But you can find where you belong on that spectrum of eating all the time versus not eating often at all. Whether it's you go all the way to OMAD or you're having two meals a day. We talked with Brad Kernes not long ago about two meals a day or just some other eating strategy.

[00:39:58.610] – Allan
These are these are strategies that you can try that will improve your health, potentially help you lose weight. And there's just a lot of other health benefits to doing this just and just getting in touch with your body, being a lot more mindful about the food that you do put in your body. So you just don't say I'm starving. So I'm going to go ahead and pull into the McDonald's while I'm starving. They tell you not to go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Don't go to McDonald's when you're hungry either.

[00:40:28.790] – Rachel
Good point! Yeah. I'm Keto, like I've mentioned before on your podcast. And so when I get up in the morning, I'm rarely hungry. I don't feel hunger. And so I work out fasted and when I get home from a run, I might feel a twinge of hunger, but usually I'm more thirsty than hungry. So I usually will wait until about noon, maybe even one before I eat anything.

[00:41:00.020] – Rachel
And that's just kind of been my M.O. But sometimes I have the old habits come back where I'm like, I've got to go run an errand at ten or eleven. I better eat something before I leave, you know, it's like it's that old habit. I really should have breakfast, I really should have lunch. It's that time of day maybe. You know, I don't know what it is always. But sometimes I get that that old habit will come back like I need to eat something before I go run my errands. It's kind of a weird thing.

[00:41:31.230] – Allan
It may not entirely be habit, and it's just something listening. Like I said, once you get comfortable listening to your body, it can be one of those things of saying, well, what you don't want to be is you don't want to be in a hunger state making decisions. And so if you're out and about doing your errands and you're really hungry, what food choices are you going to have available to you?

[00:41:54.380] – Allan
And if you know that, you're just not going to or let's say, your work schedule and you really only get at a lunch hour and you really don't get breaks beyond that, despite what the regulations require. But let's just say you just get your lunch break. You need to eat during your lunch. If you know that you're not going to be able to make it to dinner, skipping that lunch, you need to go ahead and eat your lunch.

[00:42:16.040] – Allan
You may not be entirely hungry, but if you don't have another option in your schedule bound, then then eat. There's nothing wrong with that. That's one of the the cool things about getting comfortable with fasting is you can figure out where your hunger is. You can figure out what your limits are. I'm not a huge fan of the extended fast that run more than twenty-four hours. And predominantly, if you're going to do something like that, you need to be working with a health care professional that understands fasting because it's a very different animal.

[00:42:50.870] – Allan
But when you start getting to those extended fasts and some people will get into them and fast for days and weeks and I know I know I couldn't do that entirely. I probably. I could physically do it. I've got enough, you know, got enough energy mass around my my body that I would not run out of energy, but it would just be one of those things are saying, at some point my body's probably going to tell me, okay, now you're being stupid.

[00:43:19.850] – Allan
So I am metabolically flexible in a sense, you know, in that I can kind of go back and forth. And if I'm really working hard, I can eat a lot of carbs if I want to. But at the same time, I choose not to most of the time because, I don't always want to be go, go, go, go, go to burn off those extra carbs. But you can. If you're an endurance athlete, you probably could come back off that run and handle carbs, not just the leafy green carbs, but the carbs, because you you've burned through glycogen in your muscles ad your liver and what insulin is going to do when it does spike, because it still will spike when you eat that, you know, that high carb food, it's going to put it where it needs to be first and it needs to be in your liver and it needs to be in your muscle.

[00:44:14.220] – Allan
Now, if you're not active or you eat more than your activity level earns you, then, yeah, the next place for it is fat. We filled up the muscles, filled up the liver. Not here we go, it's fat. And so if you do that consistently over time, you will put on some body fat. But putting on a little fat during a day. This is not a tremendous problem for most of us. In fact, we want we want that capacity to to be able to store low fat when we need to and to pull a little fat off. So it's just really about finding the balance. And that's why I'm not someone who's going to eat keto all the time.

[00:44:53.760] – Allan
I feel fine when I'm in keto, but I also feel fine eating carbs. As long as I don't go completely berserk and do go completely berserk for months. That's that's just me. And everybody's going to be a little different.

[00:45:11.520] – Rachel
Yeah, it is. Dr. Cole mentioned bio-individuality. And we are so very different with the types of food and quantities of food that we can consume. I mean, we are very different, metabolically speaking.

[00:45:28.790] – Allan
Oh, yeah. There was a there was a study in Israel, what they did was they basically put those glucose monitors, those those constant ones, you know, the ones that constantly and they're just on them. We want you to log everything you put in your mouth, including the time that you do it.

[00:45:48.690] – Rachel

[00:45:49.140] – Allan
So people would eat a banana. They pull the data and they say everybody that logged that they ate a banana, what was their glucose response? They were looking at the foods and one of the ways that we like to talk about foods is we'll talk about glycemic index and we'll talk about glycemic load. And so they were looking at those relationships to glycemic index and glycemic load and they were looking at people's response.

[00:46:17.540] – Allan
And what they found was all over the charts. People who were eating the banana. Some of them, their blood sugar shot up way up, and some of them, the blood sugar barely peaked at all. They they just they came to realize that we all have an individual response to food. You see it in a lot of other places where someone sensitive to gluten, they may not be a celiac, but they are still sensitive to gluten. And there's other people who are sensitive to milk because they have a lactose intolerance. So we all have these little unique caveats. And as I mentioned before, as we go through this, you need to be doing an experiment of one, you try a food and that's why I am a big fan of things like this, like fasting.

[00:47:07.480] – Allan
But I'm also a big fan of doing these elimination diets. And so one of Dr. Cole's other books is Eliminate, I think it's called eliminate (Inflammation Spectrum). But basically it's an elimination-style diet. And he has eight foods that you eliminate for eight weeks. And it's just basically an opportunity for you to learn how your body reacts to food when you reintroduce it. So you take it away and see if you feel better, which most people do when you're just eating meat and vegetables.

[00:47:42.400] – Allan
So real food, that's what it does. Elimination diets just they take you back to the essence of what we're supposed to eat, real food, meat and vegetables. Get back to meat and vegetables. Nobody got fat eating meat and vegetables. If you're overweight, you didn't get there eating meat and vegetables.

[00:48:00.520] – Rachel
Yeah, good point.

[00:48:01.520] – Allan
So you get down to that point, you start losing weight, the inflammation starts going down, you start feeling a lot better. And then maybe you can add back in the legumes, maybe you can add back in the dairy and see how that how that affects you. And so those elimination diets. And then he has Intuitive Fasting. I wouldn't try to do both at the same time, but doing an experiment like that is going to teach you a lot about how your body responds to food.

[00:48:28.480] – Allan
Everybody I've ever interviewed, whether they are vegan or carnivore or raw paleo or whatever, it all comes down to the quality of your food and it being real food. Those two those two factors, they'll say ours is better because people are eating more vegetables. Can't someone who's keto eat more vegetables. Yeah, they could.

[00:48:50.370] – Allan
It's like that's not what they do. They eat bacon. They eat all this other stuff. I'm like, not all of us. Not all of us make bacon a staple of every meal as a part of going keto. Some of us actually just have real food as a part of going keto and you know, so to break it all down, if you're eating real food, intuitive fasting can be a really good way for you to manage your food, to manage your health.

[00:49:17.140] – Rachel
Yeah, that sounds really interesting. Sounds like a really great book.

[00:49:21.850] – Allan
It was and it was kind of interesting because, you know, I just interviewed Dr. Cole not not really even I think a year ago. And it was like already have another book out. And it's like, well, it's one of the advantages of covid.

[00:49:34.120] – Allan
He's like, I wasn't seeing anybody on the weekends that we weren't doing anything. And he's like, so on the weekends I sat down and wrote a book and I'm like, I got it. Yeah. If I hadthat that kind of spare time and I actually thought to use it that way, I could have probably written a book, too. I didn't but he did.

[00:49:53.410] – Allan
And I say this very good book, Dr. Cole is really, really smart. He you know, he practices what he preaches and so he uses this with his patients. These are things that strategies that are not just founded in science because they are it's also stuff that he's doing with his patients and seeing great results. So, yeah, that's that's the other side of this is this is not pie in the sky. I looked up a couple studies that confirm what I think, and that's what I'm writing about. This is someone who actually practices medicine with people, getting them healthy, using food as a primary source of that. And yeah, his books are really good.

[00:50:35.050] – Rachel
Awesome. Well, it's nice to see this put into practice and real results coming out of it. That's pretty awesome.

[00:50:40.960] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I guess we'll go ahead and give it a go and I'll talk to you next week.

[00:50:45.590] – Rachel
All right. Take care.

[00:50:46.900] – Allan
OK, bye.


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Another episode you may enjoy


April 26, 2021

Finding your thrive state with Dr. Kien Vuu

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Most of us go through life just surviving. Dr. Kien Vuu shows us how to find our Thrive State.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:56.470] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are you doing?

[00:01:58.510] – Rachel
Good, how are you today, Allan?

[00:02:01.390] – Allan
I'm doing good. My daughters flew down to Bocas to see us. They both decided they wanted to try to make the trip together. So they're both here now. They're about the same age or really quite literally less than a year apart. And so the two of them just really get along well. And like spending time together as much, if not more, than spending time with us. So they just saw it as an opportunity to come down here and have an adventure together.

[00:02:25.780] – Allan
And my wife being kind of a diligent, wonderful wife and mother, that she is reached out to them and said, what do you want to do when you're in Bocas? And because our son had seen a sloth when he was down here, that was one of their requests. And sloths are wild, which means, it's kind of hard to schedule

[00:02:48.580] – Rachel
Good points.

[00:02:50.350] – Allan
But that said, she reached out and this is such a wonderful community that everybody's here to kind of help each other out and help everything out. So it just happens that there's a guy here who has adopted basically two rescue sloths. One of them is two years old and the other one now is six months old. And so he's he's taking care of those. And we arranged to go visit him during the feeding time for the young one. And so the girls and Tammy we were able to feed them and hold the slok and sort of hold it. It's on this little teddy bear. So it's cuddled up to the teddy bear. So you're holding the teddy bear and then you go to feed the sloth and it reaches over its little paw and wraps it around your finger while it's while it's feeding. And so, yes, that was two-toed sloth, which was not very popular in on the islands that wer habitate here.

[00:03:49.090] – Allan
Then interesting, we went to dinner later at a place called The View at Oasis and they happened to have a three-toed sloth right there in on their property.So we're able to go get a picture with the three-toed slaw, which was not in as good a mood as the two-toed sloths were.

[00:04:08.200] – Rachel
Oh boy!

[00:04:09.340] – Allan
It was a day full of sloth, which is exactly what our daughters wanted. So, yeah, it's pretty good. Pretty special time.

[00:04:15.910] – Rachel
That sounds so fun. What a lucky opportunity that they got to see that then.

[00:04:20.470] – Allan
Yeah. I guess there's three species. There's the three-toed and the two-toed and then there's a pygmy sloth. Never seems a pygmy sloth, but I'm told it's just a smaller version. But you can actually now that have had a little bit of time to look at them. I know now I can actually visually tell you rather one's a two-toed or three-toed just by looking at its face.

[00:04:43.540] – Rachel
Oh neat.

[00:04:44.200] – Allan
Yeah. So yeah I learned a lot and got to hang out with some sloths.

[00:04:48.220] – Rachel
How awesome. What a fun time. That sounds really neat.

[00:04:52.270] – Allan
How about yourself?

[00:04:53.680] – Rachel
Good. It's spring for today anyway. Or recently in Michigan. Anything can happen. We actually are expecting maybe some snow later. But spring is sprung and up here the daffodils are blooming and my lilies are coming up and all of our frogs are returning to our pond. And I even saw some turtles out. I did a couple of long runs this weekend, so I saw the turtles out. So it was fun to see all the wildlife and all the flowers popping up. It's beautiful here.

[00:05:24.370] – Allan
Tis the season for outdoor long runs, right?

[00:05:27.470] – Rachel
It really is. The weather is so ideal. It's just perfect for 50s, even 60s. It's just perfect for many, many miles.

[00:05:37.270] – Allan
Awesome. All right. Are you ready to talk to Dr. V?

[00:05:41.140] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do this.


[00:06:39.100] – Allan
Dr. V, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:42.010] – Dr. Vuu
It is a pleasure to be on the show and thanks for having me.

[00:06:45.010] – Allan
Your book is called Thrive State: Your Blueprint for Optimal Health, Longevity and Peak Performance. And I think as you kind of look at this, you think about the word thrive I. I love that word, I mean, it's what you want. It's what you wake up in the morning and everything that you pretty much do in your whole life. Everything you've ever done in your life was really about thriving.

[00:07:08.680] – Dr. Vuu
Indeed, that's what we all desire. And I look at my nephew, I look at my nieces, I look at the children. And I'm a new dad. As kids, we have that innate feeling within us to just be the very, very best versions of ourselves. And I think throughout life we might pick up some habits. We forget who we really are. And in that forgetting, we probably build up some bad habits to lead to poor health. But for us to get back to thriving, it's really a process of remembering. And I'm sure we'll get more into that a little bit later.

[00:07:40.730] – Allan
Yeah, and one of the things you got into in the book that I think is really important is where we are in life is kind of like a continuum. The thrive state is on one side and then on the other side is this stressed state or the surviva state. And in my case before I got started in all this and it was a story not dissimilar from yours, I'm sitting on the beach saying, OK, I got this great career. I've done all these things that I'm supposed to do, and I'm supposed to be this person who's worked my way up. And I'm C suite and I'm doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm freaking miserable and I'm unhealthy and I'm unhappy and I'm in toxic relationships in my whole life sucks. I thought I'd be happy. I thought I made the C suite, I'm supposed to be excited being a vice president and sitting in board meetings and.

[00:08:34.800] – Dr. Vuu

[00:08:36.060] – Allan

[00:08:38.390] – Dr. Vuu
I hear ya. There is a quote that was attributed to the Dalai Lama. And he said basically what he found most interesting about humanity was man because he would sacrifice his health in order to make money and then sacrifice his money to recuperate his health. And I find so many of my clients, myself personally and many, many people out there in the world kind of almost suffer the same fate. It's when we start to listen to all the things that are supposed to make us happy, supposed to bring us success. We forget that as children just coming into the world, we are completely enough. And we have a state of joy and we learn things throughout life that says that you might not be enough being who you are. You need to attain this sort of job or or work in this type of area. Your bank account needs to look like this. Your house needs to look like this. And these are the things that are supposed to make you happy.

[00:09:43.530] – Dr. Vuu
Don't listen to your intuition because it's these things. And eventually, just like you and me, I've been in my story, I became this position that was really at the top of my game, doing a lot of minimally invasive surgeries, bought a fancy house, bought a fancy car, got all the things that I thought would make me happy. But at that point in my life, I was not only overweight, I was diabetic, I was hypertensive, I had prescription medications and I was really living the lifestyle that was not in thrive. Put me in what what I called the survive state.

[00:10:18.390] – Dr. Vuu
And that actually turns to biological processes in your body to make you have this chronic diseases. Now, fortunately, when you wake up from that and when you can start to build a life where you are realigned with who you're meant to be as a human being, all those things start to align and your physical health aligns. And I was able to actually reverse all those conditions in six months.

[00:10:40.320] – Allan
Yeah, I like that quote, but I also like the one I saw it was in a Cracker Barrel in Mississippi and it said, I want to be the person my dog thinks I am. All your dog and all your dog really wants you to be able to do is that is to walk down the beach and throw the ball, throw the stick. Or in my case, though, the coconut. Just kind of be that person that's out there willing to play and have a good time. But but you've you've got to have some juice in the tank. You've got to have something more than what you have, like in a boardroom or even in a medical profession.

[00:11:13.590] – Allan
There's got to be some joy in your life to do that. There's got to be some physicality in your life to be able to do that. And so as we kind of look at the stress state and we kind of look at the survival state and that continuum that we talked about, what are some signs that we might be in trouble. Because we're all somewhere on that continuum. But we need signs to tell us where we really stand.

[00:11:38.250] – Dr. Vuu
That's a great question. Before I answer that question, I just want to bring up the whole concept of this stress and survive state, right? Basically human beings are made up of the individual unit of cells. The cells make up tissues, make up organs. Those organs together work together in systems to create who we are as human beings. So it all comes down to the individual cells. Now, these individual cells, what directs their behavior? So when these cells are at their very best, we actually get healing. We get great immunity. We get peak mental, physical, emotional performance. We get along longevity because these cells will last a long time. So when we're talking about optimal health, longevity and performance, it's really the state of optimal cellular function.

[00:12:24.720] – Dr. Vuu
Now flip it back the other way when the cells are not optimally functioning. Imagine your lung cell is not able to extract oxygen. It only extracts, I don't know, 70 percent of the oxygen it normally does. Every other cell in the body is relying on that lung cell to be its very best. And if you're only extracting 70 percent, then the other cells only get 70 percent of the nutrient needs. And guess what? Those other cells perform a really good function that the rest of the body needs as well. So what happens if the cell is in a suboptimal state? Over time, you're going to start to break down systems. And when systems break down, that's when you get those signs and symptoms that you and I are talking about. That's when you get chronic disease and that's when people with covid-19 don't do so well because they are in distress.

[00:13:11.310] – Dr. Vuu
So what are some of those signs? Basically these signs are really the effect of our cells not optimally functioning. And they could be fatigue, they could be brain fog. They could be having patches and excema around your body. It could be joint pains or pain. It could be forgetful memory. It could be chest pains. It could be a loss of sexual function. So those are all typical signs. I call them signs of just feeling like crap. So you start to feel crap and you're not feeling like you've got the energy. You've got aches and pains. And you're not functioning very well. Those are signs.

[00:13:50.460] – Dr. Vuu
The good news is this going from a stress state to thrive state is actually what happens is, there's something I refer to in my book called The Bio-Energetic Model of Health. That just means our cells in our DNA are constantly listening to the energy that surrounding. It's energetic and epigenetic environment around the DNA that actually dictates how our cells behave. It is this energetic environment that dictates whether our cells go into a thrip state or goes into a stress state. And fortunately, what controls that bio-energetic state is largely controlled by our lifestyle, our choices and what we give ourselves on a moment to moment basis.

[00:14:32.820] – Allan
Yeah, I think that's one of the cool things that's really kind of coming out of the whole genetic/epigenetic conversation. Is that we're a system and basically what we do and how we live our lives and the things we even what we think are basically inputs to this system. They're basically information. So food is information, movement is information. And those are just two of the bio energetic elements. Could you talk through each seven, each of the seven?

[00:15:03.080] – Allan
Because there's five, what I would call internal kind of internally focused. And then there's two that you said were kind of externally focused and I think all seven of them are important. Obviously, we can't talk about all seven. But if you could just briefly go through the seven so we know what we're talking about here.

[00:15:19.790] – Dr. Vuu
Yes, great question, Allan. So the bio-energetic state is the following. We said that there are all these different inputs now. In fact, there are probably every single energetic input gets transmuted into some kind of energy right? We're all energetic beings. Energy is always interacting with each other. But to remember a million inputs will not make our lives any easier. So myself as well as epigenetitsis Steven Cole from UCLA. One of my colleagues have come up with seven of you.

[00:15:50.120] – Dr. Vuu
Focus on these seven and you focus on these things really well. Your risk of getting chronic disease is very, very low. And also your propensity to live in longevity and having the peak performance is super high. And the seven are this. They are sleep, nutrition, movement, stress and emotional mastery, thoughts and mindset, relationships, and finally purpose, all these are energies that actually have biochemical messengers that talk to our DNA that actually puts us in a state or a stress state.

[00:16:26.800] – Allan
I noticed you didn't say career success.

[00:16:30.580] – Dr. Vuu
Not in there.

[00:16:31.930] – Dr. Vuu
Not in there.

[00:16:33.790] – Allan
I thought it was really interesting what you are calling the BEEs. You use the term the BEEs.

[00:16:37.670] – Dr. Vuu
They're actually Bio-Energetic Elements.

[00:16:40.470] – Allan
I kind of like the BEEs. There's 7 BEEs.

[00:16:43.000] – Allan
It was interesting that the first one you put in there was sleep, because I think a lot of us think, well, no, well, maybe we want to talk about nutrition or no, I'm a I'm a personal trainer, so I should obviously talk about physical exercise. And then, we get into the whole concept with the the blue zones. And they didn't mention sleep. They mentioned that they walk a lot, that they move a lot, that they have great relationships and they eat certain foods. Very seldom does someone put sleep at the front of that list. But you did. Can you kind of explain why and why sleep is so important?

[00:17:18.820] – Dr. Vuu
Sleep is I put it there first, because when your sleep is off, your whole biochemistry in your body is off. So you could try to each way out of it or exercise your way out of it. But it just doesn't work because our bodies follow a rhythm. This thing called this circadian rhythm and our circadian rhythms dictate how our hormones flow throughout the day. And if you're not regular, particularly in your sleep, your circadian rhythms are off. So then your hormones are off. And when your hormones are off, it's going to throw all the good things that you're trying to do it, throw it out the window.

[00:17:56.590] – Dr. Vuu
I've had people who try to lose weight and done everything right, but just didn't sleep very well. Once they change the sleep, the weight came off. There's actually a lot of chronic diseases associated with people sleeping less than seven hours a day. There are cardiovascular disease, dementia, certain cancers. So sleep is really, really important only because it drives our circadian rhythm and our hormone levels. So we need to focus on that.

[00:18:25.150] – Dr. Vuu
So how then what's the best hack for that? A lot of people that ask me, well, we can go into a lot of different techniques and tools, but if you can go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, go to sleep when it's dark and wake up when there's light and do that the same time, every single day, you train your body into a regular circadian rhythm.

[00:18:45.970] – Dr. Vuu
I just find that with busy entrepreneurs, people living at home, a lot of crappy blue light and weekend warriors. You're working during the week and you're sleeping well during the week. But weekends are partying and your sleep is off. That's what throws people off when you can go back to a regular sleep cycle again, go to sleep and wake up the same time every day. That's going to do wonders for your health.

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[00:20:42.310] – Allan
One of the things I did, which for me was huge, and I maybe I don't talk about enough or maybe I didn't really think about it as much until I was reading your book, Thrive State. I realized that one of the things that I naturally went to with my sleep was trying to go to bed early enough that I could just naturally wake up early enough and not have to worry about it. And as a result, I got into the practice of not setting an alarm.

[00:21:11.170] – Allan
And so for the past five years, unless I absolutely have to be up for a flight. So, I've got a four o'clock in the morning flight. Then I'll go ahead and set an alarm to be up at four o'clock so I can make that flight, but otherwise go to bed. And everybody will think this is crazy. But at 8:30pm, go to bed at 8:30pm, get your stuff done, have your little relax time and then go to bed at 8:30pm and then go to sleep and I'll sleep four or five good sleep cycles and that's going to work out to somewhere around seven and a half to maybe eight hours, maybe eight and a half, depending on this and that.

[00:21:49.150] – Allan
But I wake up and yes, for me it tends to be about 4-4:30 in the morning with no alarm. I just wake up and I say, OK, have I had enough sleep cycles? And if I don't feel like I have, I go get another one. And so sometimes at six o'clock before I roll out of bed, a late morning and but I feel great. I feel like I'm rested. I feel like that night was a great investment of time.

[00:22:12.070] – Allan
So losing two hours of Netflix at that night before actually was an okay investment to make to actually feel great when I wake up in the morning, can you talk about some of the things that we should do to kind of improve our sleep and why? Because I think a lot of folks don't actually understand the full sleep cycle and why it's so important to make it through the whole sleep cycle. And then what are just a few little quick tips of things that people can do to make sure that they're getting that kind of quality sleep?

[00:22:43.600] – Dr. Vuu
Great question, Allan. I find right now, because of the advanced technology and people's schedule, they're not intuitively listening to your body, just like you've trained yourself to do to go through the sleep cycle. So a lot of times people have their alarm set. And when they're and if you happen to be in the middle of your sleep cycle, not fully awake, you're going to wake up feeling very groggy, very, very drowsy. So just to let your listeners know, a typical sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes or so.

[00:23:10.240] – Dr. Vuu
It's really important. Naps are great during the day if you need to get naps. But I wouldn't get a nap longer than 20 minutes because again, when you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, you're going to feel very, very groggy. But what are some techniques? Well, people have some crazy schedules, but people are also on their phones. They're on the laptops and watching TV. And there's some really bad blue light that comes out which lowers your melatonin levels.

[00:23:33.100] – Dr. Vuu
And, you know, even if you're able to fall asleep at a regular time, you don't get really deep sleep because melatonin is necessary for that. So I give myself a technology curfew at 7:00 pm. I don't check my phones and turn off the TVs and whatnot. So that's something that's really great. Another thing is a lot of people kind of have junk light at home as well, and they've got their alarm clocks on. They've got a lot of electronics around the room and possibly light was coming in.

[00:24:01.900] – Dr. Vuu
That's going to affect your sleep as well. So if you are living in a city, one great thing is to have blackout curtains. Another great thing to have is maybe a device that has white noise that's going to cancel out a lot of the noise that that's out there. And then it's really good to have good sleep routine, right? So the hour before I go to bed, I'm making sure I'm not checking any email. I'm not doing anything to get my brain wired.

[00:24:32.230] – Dr. Vuu
I'm telling my body, OK, it's time to wind down now. It's time to be grateful for the day and to set myself up for the next day. And part of my sleep routine includes a little bit of journally, a little bit of stretching, a little meditation. And I'm good to go when I need to sleep. And then a good sleep routine at night also means you have a great routine in the morning. And I like to get early morning sunshine.

[00:24:57.430] – Dr. Vuu
When you first wake up, if you go get some sunshine right there, right when you do that in the morning, it's resets your circadian rhythm. So it's great for sleep, including a little bit of exercise every single day is going to allow you to sleep better at night as well. So those are some great tools. There's a lot of supplements that are out there. Be wary of some, but I find some really natural, very safe type of things that people would take as magnesium or glycine that will help you sleep as well.

[00:25:24.070] – Allan
Just be careful when you go into the magnesium, start slow. It does another thing besides help you sleep.

[00:25:31.960] – Dr. Vuu
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. If you take a little too much. You're going to be visiting the restroom.

[00:25:36.100] – Allan
Yeah. I think when you talk about naps, I love this. One of the reason I picked this topic, because sleep's actually one of my favorite things in the world, and I love it every once in an afternoon nap and when I take the nap, but I'm a little different there. And you even said in the book, if you want to go longer, get a full sleep cycle in. So it's kind of the whole deal. Just like I would go to bed, I try to get the room dark and cool. I get the white noise going. I have an app on my phone that plays this fan sound and it's like a signal to me that it's my brain clicks and hears that sound. And unfortunately, small boats here kind of make a similar sound. So if we go on a long boat ride, I get a little drowsy. But what I got to take my nap, it's like I lay down and I say, okay, I'm going to sleep a sleep cycle. And it's a full 90 minute nap, but I make sure that I've got the time available to do that.

[00:26:26.500] – Allan
And I agree, because I've had my, you know, something happen in the middle of the night. Everybody knows this, if something wakes you up in the middle of the night, you're disoriented and you don't feel good. And then, yeah, you're aggravated and maybe a little irritable and maybe a little grouchy. You might say something to your spouse you didn't intend to say, but you can get solved and you go back to sleep.

[00:26:47.260] – Allan
But yeah, going through a full sleep cycle, very important because it gives our body that opportunity to get all the the hormones going the direction they need to be going. That's when all the good stuff happens while we're asleep. Yeah. And not the good stuff that we want to miss. This is good stuff we need and for sleeping. Well, we're getting that good stuff.

[00:27:07.230] – Dr. Vuu
One hundred percent.

[00:27:08.860] – Allan
Now the other way we we communicate with our body is obviously through what we eat. Most of the conversations are going to be about making sure that we're we're eating the right way. And that kind of drives people to diets.

[00:27:23.110] – Dr. Vuu

[00:27:23.830] – Allan
Eat this diet, eat that diet. And in the book, you talk about how it's it's not really about the diet, but more about finding an eating style that's appropriate and nourishing your body and putting the right information in so you can actually be in a thrive state.

[00:27:40.750] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about eating styles? And then just generally, because you put in the book The Thrive State Food Blueprint, which I think is brilliant. By the way, if you put that out there, that's good stuff there.

[00:27:52.390] – Allan
But no, it really can you can you kind of talk a little bit about that that blueprint, because quite literally, you go through it. It's really easy. It's charts, it's images. It's like you go through it. And if someone put that on the refrigerator and the shopped to that and live to that, I mean, their nutrition would be spot on every single meal. And I think that's just great. Can you kind of talk a little bit about that?

[00:28:14.770] – Dr. Vuu
Yeah, sure. Well, when it comes to eating, I find that the topic could get very, very heated because you've got different type of diets, quote unquote, out there, keto, vegetarian, vegan, carnivore and I've been in the crossfire of people just getting very belligerent over defending their diets. And that's pretty amazing.

[00:28:41.680] – Dr. Vuu
I think you mentioned something that is really important, which is being very intuitive. I mean, we look back and we just see how humans have evolved and and what humans have been eating all along. And we know if we can stick as close to that as possible, we will thrive. But I have to say this. There is no one eating style that's going to be the same for everybody. Your nutrient requirements are going to be different depending on your age, depending on your genetics, depending on your lifestyle and how you're living. So you have to listen to your body. But I think a very intuitive and great way to start is in my book, where I talk about the Thrive State Blueprint.

[00:29:21.820] – Dr. Vuu
That just means being very, very smart. It's really a primarily plant-based. I say, you know, 50 to 75% of your plate should be clean vegetables. Try to go organic if you can, because there's a lot of pesticides, herbicides and things and GMOs that are out there. They're not good for your health. But try to eat as many vegetables as you can. Non-starchy because look, diabetes is a very, very prevalent and people eating a lot of starchy ones. What are the starchy ones? We're talking about rice. We're talking about potatoes and things like that. But eat some non-starchy vegetables.

[00:29:57.370] – Dr. Vuu
Eat the color of the rainbow because every color suggests that it has some vital nutrients, that it's going to be great for your health. So that's really the majority of the plate.

[00:30:09.070] – Dr. Vuu
Then have a good protein source. Now, again, the better fuel for your body is going to cost a little bit more. But the investment now is much, much better than the investment you're going to make with higher insurance premiums or medications and things like that down the road. So what a good protein sources. Well, grass-fed, grass finished meats, pasture raised meats, sustainably raised fish. I go with that and then make sure your diet also has a good amount of healthy fats. And where do they come from? They come from nuts. They come from avocados, coconut oil. Those are great, great sources of good healthy fats, olive oil is a great, healthy fat as well.

[00:30:47.470] – Dr. Vuu
So if you incorporate just the clean eating and you just listen to your body, that's great. Now, I don't mind if you choose one of these other eating styles that I discussed out there, but recognize that each of those eating styles has its limitations. You have to listen to your body. For example, if you're a vegan, you're going to be low in omega 3s, vitamin D and B12, and just make sure you're you're going to be working with somebody who understands that because you need those nutrients.

[00:31:14.380] – Dr. Vuu
I was vegan for about six months and initially I felt great because I went from the standard American diet of fast food as a doctor to eating not that junk, but my body started to feel a little bit of fatigue. I started to notice a little bit more hair loss, and I went back and started to include clean meats in my diet. And I feel so much better doing that.

[00:31:37.510] – Allan
I think one of the struggles that is out there and I've interviewed over three hundred people on all sides of the spectrum, even paleo carnivore vegan all the way across. And the one core thing that's in the middle of the reason their diet is the best is because it's clean, because it's whole food. And you're kind of like, well, they know they eat bacon. Okay, well, yeah, some of them actually do eat bacon, but so is the standard American diet. So it doesn't make it's good or bad. It just means they're not eating the quality of foods. Or the right quantities of the certain types of foods, but excluding an entire food group has its consequences and you just have to understand what that is.

[00:32:16.900] – Allan
So, when you're making that investment in the food that you put in, because, again, food is information just like all of the other BEEs, they're information coming into your body. And so the when you give your body high quality, nutrient dense food. That's a good communication that you want to thrive, that you want to be healthy.

[00:32:38.330] – Allan
And I like one of the things that we didn't get into with all the BEEs is that it's not just like these silos of how to be healthy. They all actually interact with each other. So if you're getting good sleep and you're eating well, then you want to move a little bit more and maybe you feel a little bit nicer. And you can actually, instead of yelling at your wife in the morning, you can kind of have a nice conversation with her and you have a better day. And then that improves other parts of your relationships in your life. And and so I just I really like the concepts that you have in the book there.

[00:33:12.560] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:33:21.340] – Dr. Vuu
Well, great question. I'll go off on a tangent and talk about some of the Bio-Energetic Elements that aren't just in every health coaches textbook. Everybody knows the physical stuff, right? Sleep, nutrition and movement. All right. That's covered. So if you do that, that was the initial three things that I did and I was able to reverse my disease. But if you really, really want to thrive, there are some things that are outside the physical realm, more the emotional, mindset and then also spiritual realm that actually puts us in the thrive state.

[00:33:54.680] – Dr. Vuu
So let's let's tackle some of those. What one? Our emotions are actually information, energetic information for ourselves, so one of the things I love to be able to tell people to do is just be very mindful of how you feel. And there's a great technique. If you're feeling negative or bad, I'll teach people a little technique here. But we've got emotions like anger, hate, resentment, fear. All those emotions are low vibrational, negative emotions that bring up stress and stress hormones in our body.

[00:34:26.770] – Dr. Vuu
So those emotions eventually lead us to increase inflammatory molecules like a IO One, IO Six, TNF Alpha. All that raises inflammation will lower our immune system, puts you at risk of getting chronic disease. And this is the exact same thing, people who end up getting covid who do very badly, they've got a low, Bio-Energetic State, very, very similarly. So those fearful emotions will drive those processes. On the other hand, emotions like love, like connection, like joy and and the strongest emotion out there, gratitude. Are actually antiaging medicines. All those things that I just discussed in terms of increase inflammation and decrease immunity, those positive emotions do the exact opposite. So if you could tap into those emotional states more often, you're telling your body we are safe, it is time to grow. It is time to heal. So it's important to be mindful of our emotions and have some techniques to to save us from stress. So we could talk about stress relief techniques in a second.

[00:35:34.910] – Dr. Vuu
But I'll teach people a short little half that I do. It's called Create Space and ACT, for Awareness, Choice, and Take action. So if you're feeling a negative emotional charge, come up in your body, you can just take 10 slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth as if you're blowing through a straw. What that would do is you might be experiencing negative emotion, but as you take those 10 deep breaths, you're tapping into your parasympathetic state.

[00:36:04.760] – Dr. Vuu
You're going to calm down all your bodies. Those emotions are going to die down a little bit. And then you do the ACT: Awareness – Okay, I'm really angry at this person zooming in front of me on the freeway. That's a crazy thought. Why am I so angry today? Is this is there other things going on in my life because I can start to choose and focus my thoughts? Oh, yes. How then would I like to feel?

[00:36:32.060] – Dr. Vuu
So the next part, C – choice, having a new intention of how you want to feel and how you want to show the world. You can choose that in that space where you're in the parasympathetic mode. And finally, once you choose an intention saying, you know what, I want to not be angry now because I know those emotions are harmful to my health, I want to show it with joy. I want to show up with gratitude.

[00:36:56.630] – Dr. Vuu
So what's the next action I could take? And then when you come out of those 10 deep breaths and you choose your next action, you can be this new version of yourself. So that's a really cool technique, just to create some space, not react to that stimulus, but respond in a way that you choose with your new intentions. So that's a really cool way to do that.

[00:37:16.250] – Dr. Vuu
That was just one technique you ask me for three. I don't know how much time we have, but you can dive in.

[00:37:21.710] – Allan
Let's let's get it done. Yeah, man, these are great. This is great. Keep going.

[00:37:25.320] – Dr. Vuu
OK, perfect. Now, the next thing is having a sense of purpose is actually antiaging. So if you take a look at statistics, purpose is actually something that makes the average American live seven years longer. Having a deep sense of purpose also extends these things called telomeres. And for your audience, if they don't know what they are, they're kind of like these things that protect your DNA from from from getting degraded.

[00:37:52.550] – Dr. Vuu
And it actually keeps your cells from aging and dying early. So it's a great longevity tool. People with a deep sense of purpose preserve their telomeres. If you have a deep sense of purpose, you also lower your risk of the number one killer in America cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke, and if you happen to be hospitalized, a deep sense of purpose also makes you have fewer days in the hospital. So it's really important.

[00:38:16.540] – Dr. Vuu
Now, some people will say, well, I don't know what my purpose is. And they get little stressed out getting your purpose when your purpose is actually something that is not. So it's not something you need to find or discovered. It's something you really remember because your purpose is really just you. Your purpose is just you being you like a dog's purpose is for it to just be a dog and be happy.

[00:38:42.010] – Dr. Vuu
So if you could tap into the people, the things that bring you joy, that bring out those positive emotional states, that's who you are as an authentic person. And then you could share yourself with others in the world, then really that's your purpose. Pablo Picasso says the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away. So really, share yourself with the world, share your joy with the world. That is another great tool for health and vitality.

[00:39:14.050] – Dr. Vuu
And I would probably conclude with the very last thing. And really my mantra is you are your best medicine. With my Bio-Energetic Model of health, your thoughts and your mind control the bio-energetic environment of your cells and your cells are constantly listening moment to moment to moment. So you can always choose what actions you're taking, the thoughts that you're focusing on. You can't always control the thoughts you're thinking, but you can control what you start to focus on.

[00:39:46.050] – Dr. Vuu
You can control what you make. The meaning of something is so make life be empowering to you and know that it is your choices, your actions, your habit. It is you that is your best medicine.

[00:39:59.830] – Allan
Awesome. Well, Dr. V, my purpose in life is to help hundreds of thousands of people get healthy and fit and live with joy in their lives. And you've helped me nail that today. So thank you for that. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Thrive State, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:40:18.060] – Dr. Vuu
Well, Thrive State is going to be out April 6th, so it'll be out already. You could find that at thrivestatebook.com. If you want to find out a little bit more about me and the content I'm putting out there, I'm on Instagram. LinkedIn, take top at Kien Vuu M.D. And my website is keinvuumd.com.

[00:40:39.150] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/483 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. V, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:49.360] – Dr. Vuu
It's a pleasure being on the show. Thanks for having me, Allan.

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:56.230] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:40:57.640] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Oh, what an interesting interview and personally, I love that word thrive. That's such a good word to get the most out of anything you're doing. Get the most out of life. I love it.

[00:41:11.080] – Allan
Yeah. When he when he did, the comparison of stress/survive state versus the thrive state. You know, it was kind of one of those things where you have to recognize it's a continuum and sometimes you're so in it, you don't recognize that you're not on the end of the continuum you want to be on. But we're having this conversation, so obviously anyone that might be listening to us at this point in time obviously cares about moving up that continuum to the thrive state.

[00:41:45.190] – Allan
In the book Thrive State, Dr. V gives us those seven Bio-Energetic Elements of this way you can do with some kind of a self audit, if you will, of where are the things where I'm really focused and doing well and where are the things where I can improve. And then, of course, he gives you some guidance on on how to do that.

[00:42:04.150] – Rachel
Yeah. Of those seven inputs, you know, you've talked a lot about sleep and nutrition and movement and your podcast over these many years, but the ones that hit me are stress mastery. I like how he put that term stress mastery because we all have stresses in our life. You know, things happen at the home. Things happen with family stress. We often have stress at our job. So it exists whether you like it or not. And so we need to figure out how to master that, how to respond instead of react. And I thought that was a good thing to think about.

[00:42:40.750] – Allan
Yeah. One, yes, dealing with stress. And obviously I decided that I wasn't going to work corporate anymore. That I was going to go ahead and say, okay, I'm going to jettison that and try to find a place with a little less stress. So I would say hanging out on a Sunday with sloths is probably about as stress free a day as you can have.

[00:43:07.690] – Allan
I encourage people to consider that self care and way. It's all of it. It's managing your attrition. It's managing your movement. It's trying to sleep better. It's having better relationships. It's all of it. And you can't have health without joy and you can't have joy without health.

[00:43:28.810] – Rachel

[00:43:29.050] – Allan
And so those those things are tied together in a way that we're beginning to understand. But it's it's so powerful. You read the blue zones. You know, we had Dr. Day on and he talked about some of this and we've had a lot of longevity people. And it's all about purpose. It's all about connection. It's all about those those intangibles in our lives that we often take for granted because we're too busy building our career or doing our long runs. And we realize that's that's part of it. We can become very one sided. So it's worth looking at all seven of them and kind of almost using that as a self audit to just say, OK, if I had to rate myself, how do I feel like I'm doing on this one element? And if there's some elements that are lagging, they need your attention.

[00:44:19.780] – Rachel

[00:44:21.070] – Allan
It's probably not worth doubling down on the ones you're doing. I'm going to move more or I'm going to I'm going to eat better. It might be worth you actually spending your time to say I'm going to spend a Sunday hanging out with family rather than doing your movement and maybe not worrying so much about your nutrition on that day if it's hard, because that's just gonna put stress on you. So just kind of figuring out that balance of are my actions conducive to balance across all seven of those?

[00:44:52.000] – Rachel
For sure. And balance is another word I like a lot because we can be pulled out of balance. Work sometimes requires extra attention or a stage in our kids lives might require extra attention. And when these things come up, then we're kind of forced off kilter. We're forced out of balance. And it's it is often a struggle to maintain that balance. But if you do like I tell my friends and clients, you do the best you can with what you have and that moment and realize that it's these are just chapters in life. And you'll get back into that balance. You'll be able to trade one thing for another and get back to it. I like that word, too.

[00:45:38.680] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, how about we go ahead and call it a day?

[00:45:42.610] – Rachel
You bet. Enjoy time with your family.

[00:45:46.600] – Allan
I will. Thank you. And you have a great week. We'll talk next week, okay?

[00:45:50.830] – Rachel
Thank you. Bye bye.


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

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 12, 2021

How to run with your dog – Bryan Barrera

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Have you considered taking your dog out with you on your run? In The Ultimate Guide to Running With Your Dog, Bryan Barrera tells you how. Bryan joined us on 40+ Fitness to discuss some of the finer points of running with your dog.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:26.870] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are things going?

[00:01:28.970] – Rachel
Good. Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:31.190] – Allan
I'm doing okay. It's been a busy week, but not nearly as busy as your week. You've got some pretty exciting news.

[00:01:38.340] – Rachel
Yeah. I just got my RRCA running coach certification. So now I am officially a running coach and I'm pretty excited about it.

[00:01:48.320] – Allan

[00:01:49.400] – Rachel
Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:01:51.080] – Allan
That's pretty cool.

[00:01:52.170] – Rachel
It is. It was a great class. I learned a lot and of course I knew a lot because I've been running for 20 years. But it was really a good class and very informative. And so now I feel very ready to be able to coach somebody.

[00:02:06.710] – Allan
Perfect. All right. Well, let's get into our conversation today, which is also about your favorite topic running.

[00:02:13.790] – Rachel
Yay, okay!


[00:02:38.210] – Allan
Bryan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:40.880] – Bryan
Thank you. How are you, Allan?

[00:02:42.410] – Allan
I'm doing great. I just finished reading your book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog: Tips and Techniques for Understanding Your Canine's Fitness and Running Temperament. And I got this book. I sought this book. When I saw it, I was like, okay, there we go. One is I know that I need to start building up my own cardiovascular fitness. I love going into the gym and lifting heavy weights.

[00:03:07.760] – Allan
My dog can't do that with me. He can hang out and watch. But I love lifting weights. I need to do some more cardio and I have this new dog I'm going to talk about. We're going to talk about him a little bit. But he has all this energy. He's he's just about a year old. And so I'm like, I need to go do something with him. I need to keep him busy because he's a chewer and he's a little destructive. And so there's some behavior, things I want to deal with.

[00:03:36.230] – Allan
But just also the energy. He's obviously a fit dog but needs to be active. And so I would give him that opportunity, but rather than me, go out and do my runs and then come back and do something active with him. I just thought it would make sense if we could do it together. So when I saw your book on running with your dog, I was like, yeah, this is this is something I want to get into

[00:03:56.570] – Bryan
Awesome man! I think you found the right spot then. I think that's a that's an interesting thing. We've run dogs for people who are marathons and it is a different kind of running so that you've already sort of made that observation that it is going to be a little bit different because there is a preference to kind of go want to run on your own and for whatever reason, people like to run, whether it's to check out, to listen to a podcast or listen to music and get ampped. Whatever that is, it is different because it is about the relationship between you and the dog on top of being healthy and physically fit.

[00:04:26.020] – Allan
Yeah. I kind of brushed on the topic of reasons that you want to run with your dog. Could you dove into that a little bit more? I mean, dogs need structure and they need something and running can be a part of that. Can you give us kind of the lay of the land? What what benefits is our dog going to get from a running regime with us?

[00:04:48.100] – Bryan
Of course. There are a number of reasons that people kind of contact us or contact us to run their dogs. And they usually fall into two categories. It's the physical side. They're overweight. Maybe they just had an injury. They're recovering from something like that or sort of the mental side. And that's why you see it manifest as anxiety, destructive tendencies, hyperactivity. Those are the two basic camps that it kind of falls between.

[00:05:14.920] – Bryan
But, I think going out and going for a run is a solution for a lot of dogs, but I'm very clear to say that it is not the solution for everyone. So there is a bit of understanding who you are as a runner, what your goals are as a runner, and if that links up and fits with what your dog's capacity for that is and really checking your ego. I know you talked about lifting a lot of weight. There are days when, you know, you can push it just like runners and dogs are just like humans. There are days you have good days running, you have bad days running. And being able to be self-aware, identify those things is going to put you in the best position to do that successfully long term.

[00:05:53.620] – Allan
OK, so when we I mean, I kind of get, because it's it's kind of a mantra in the fitness environment. By burning some energy, you're burning some calories and, you know, for managing the calories we're giving our dog and we're running our dog a little bit. You know, they're staying healthy. They're they're maintaining the appropriate weight. And we can talk to our veterinarian about what our actual foods should be and how often and how much they should eat.

[00:06:19.650] – Allan
But on the behavioral side, can we dove a little deeper there? Because in the book I was like, you know, this this solves a lot of problems. People will get a puppy and it's cute and then it's destructive. And then it's doing other things that we don't necessarily want it to do. And you can train the dog. Obviously, with enough work and effort, you can train a dog. But running is going to do some things that make that whole effort much better.

[00:06:46.050] – Bryan
Yeah, I think it helps to step back a little bit and think about sort of what was the purpose for dogs when they originally kind of became companions for people. Right. Originally they were useful on farms or doing work. They had jobs and that was sort of the they earned their keep. Right? And it wasn't just like what it's become over the last sort of like 50 years where we just kind of take care of them and love them. And it's our job to provide the things for them.

[00:07:12.180] – Bryan
Like people didn't have maybe the funds there were, I think in the book somewhere I wrote as well about. And if I didn't, I meant to. Dogs like leisure dogs that were for sort of the the upper class people and people that had dogs that were sort of middle class. They needed them to do work. You couldn't just afford to feed a dog. They needed to go out there and help you round up cattle. And they needed to help running out with the what the firefighters or they had jobs and slowly over time, that's kind of gone away.

[00:07:45.330] – Bryan
But that instinct and that desire to work, it's still within them. So what we've noticed is when they do go for a structured run and might say that unleashed with you intentionally for 30 or 60 Minutes, and you can go further than that. But that's sort of for the purposes of the conversation, within the context of what our company does 30 to 60 Minutes, we can see a change in them sort of on the run and you can see the anxiety or whatever is manifesting that that they are not getting they're not getting enough exercise, they're not getting whatever it is you can see it on the run switch in them from, okay, we're out here having fun.

[00:08:25.140] – Bryan
I'm zooming across left and right, trying to sniff every tree, trying to bark at everything. And they get so laser focused on the run because that is their work to them. And I think it's calling to that like internal like bygone era of what they used to do. So it's really phenomenal to see when you can get into a groove with your dog and then just like how effortless they can really bang out those miles once they have sort of gotten trained up.

[00:08:49.590] – Allan
Yeah. It's funny, in the book, you talked about how dalmatians were used to basically run in front of the firemen so people knew they were coming in and clear out of the way. You know, every picture I've ever seen of a dalmatian, they're sitting in a fire truck. So, yeah, they kind of lost their job somewhere along the way. And now we need to give them some structure, some function, and then that kind of just becomes their their job. And they begin to identify as though this is this is my duty. This is my thing. I do. And that gives them that purpose. And therefore they can burn off the energy. Feeling productive.

[00:09:27.100] – Bryan

[00:09:29.310] – Allan
Now there are some breeds that you don't want to run. And there are also some times when you might not want to run a dog or any dog or even or maybe just some breeds. Can you kind of get into a bit of which dogs should not run? And then again, if there's times and weather and things like that that where we don't want them to run, that we understand that as well.

[00:09:52.830] – Bryan
Yes. And there are three general groups that have sort of broken it down to and they're all with their own qualifiers. I think to set the tone off the top, I would say all dogs can run. It's just a matter of how us finding out how we can do that safely and for how long and how fast. Right?

[00:10:10.380] – Bryan
So the first group that is sort of a full stop under twelve months. Which is actually very sort of a tricky conversation to have, because that puppy energy is real, man, and they got the dogs want to get after they start they're super cute in the beginning and then they get a little destructive and then they just need to amp up to go. And the idea is like, well, I'll just take the dog out. We'll get them tired. Like running seems to be able to do that. But the letting them out to go and run around a dog park and taking them out and throwing the ball is a very different activity and running style than going out on a sustained run for 30 minutes, where you're pounding the pavement. It's that repetitive activity. And that's because for the pups especially, their growth plates is still growing, their muscle is still being packed on, their ligaments are being stretched out in their joints are actually really susceptible to being misshapen if you do that kind of impactful running.

[00:11:04.340] – Bryan
So if you take your dog out on a run one time for a couple miles, not going to do any harm. But if you're going to do that, if it's a part of your lifestyle, that's when things become problematic. So, Bryan, the person says, yeah, you can take your dog out and take them on a short little trot around the block and just introduce it. I think that's more than fine and healthy. But to do the kind of running that Bryan, the business owner does, that's a bad fit and we will not do that.

[00:11:27.860] – Bryan
The second group are dogs that are called braciaphalic. The best way to picture that is smoshed noses. Most of those dogs are like pugs and bulldogs and things like that. And those people sort of like self select out. They're not really looking to run their own dogs. They just kind of tell, like this dog doesn't want to run. And any time I do, it looks like he's just like had it because of that snorting and chortling and all that sounds.

[00:11:52.370] – Bryan
But the one we have conversations about are boxers. And I know we talked about this a little bit. Boxers are incredible athletes, physical specimens. They are super athletic, but they also have the smushed noses. And I think, again, this is where I answer sort of in two ways back to the original point where it does determining how fast and how far boxers have a need to have such specific attention paid to them while you're running that it's not good for us as a company to run them.

[00:12:24.350] – Bryan
So our decision has been it's not the best fit for us. And it's not that they're not a good fit for us is that we're not a good fit for them. Actually, we can't get them. Give them the individualized attention, because everything that we do is on leash here in Washington, DC. Those are just the laws. And we do pack-style running just as a function of business. So going out for a run with your boxer is more than fine.

[00:12:50.330] – Bryan
I think what you need to look at are the extremities are going to be sort of a little tighter. So you're not going to get above, you know, sort of that eighty, eighty five degrees. Like you want to make sure that the temperature is like sort of perfect. You want to be in that like 40 degree to like 70-75 degree range. And then you're also going to be making sure that you are paying attention to the non-verbal cues, because everything that we're doing with these guys is nonverbal.

[00:13:13.940] – Bryan
You want to make sure that you're watching their tongue. The tongue is the first indicator. If they are in control of that thing, you're fine. Keep going. When there even if it's out of the mouth and it's darting back and forth, the moment you see it sort of lagging and out to the side and you can tell they're just trying to move that tongue out of the way so that they can bring air in. That's when you have to slow down, start the walk and maybe call it a run.

[00:13:35.420] – Bryan
And that can come a lot sooner because that's the function, the mechanism by which they don't call themselves. So what we can do, what we can't do on the on the business side of things, we can't sacrifice the run for the other dogs. And because it's not fair to them to cut their run short because one of the others can't keep up. And it's not that physically boxers can't keep up, it's that we just can't take them out solo. So I think Buster a fantastic run and I think that's one that I get questions for a lot.

[00:14:04.370] – Bryan
And then the last one or the geriatric dogs. And that one is actually really interesting to see because there are some dogs that have come to us in the eight and nine year old range that a lot of families are like I think is kind of had a shot. He's got a gimp, he's got a limp or whatever, and there's some that have been active their entire lives and have started running with us when they were six or something. And they're still running with us until they're twelve, thirteen years old and obviously slowed down a little bit. Or maybe you don't go quite as often, but they can still do it. And it's sort of like how we are as humans. If you spent a lifetime taking care of yourself, eating well, resting, building your body so that it is strong as you age, you're only going to be able to continue doing those things in some capacity, right?

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[00:16:26.490] – Allan
Basically, if I have a dog and I have two, and so the first one I'll talk about is, is Angel. OK, so Angel is a German shepherd. She's about nine years old. We got her as a rescue. And when we first got her, she already had some problems with her knees. So we went through knee surgeries with her. She also has a spinal problem in the bottom of her spine. So some nerve damage there. So she's got some issues. And I wouldn't see her running for some of those reasons, plus like I said, she's nine years old. So not something that I feel like… Obviously I could walk her more spend more time on the beach with her. She won't chase the ball to save her life. She just looks at you like why you throw that, know what you're doing. But another dog gets a ball and suddenly she wants to take the ball from the other dog so she can play. She can have some fun.

[00:17:18.030] – Allan
And we just recently got a another rescue. Didn't really intend to have another dog, but he needed a home and so he has a home and he's about a year old. Best we can tell. He's probably a mix of a maybe a boxer and a pit bull. So it's not a complete smashed nose of a boxer, but it's kind of in the middle of that build of a good, strong, muscular dog right at about a year old. And he just has more energy than the sun. And I know I've got to do something with him. He will chew things up. I've already lost a pair of water shoes and my wife has lost some things. So we need to give him some deal. So he's short hair, but we live in Panama. So, you know, warning runs would probably put us in that 70 degree weather.

[00:18:11.700] – Bryan

[00:18:12.170] – Allan
But obviously, I couldn't stay out too long with him because that would start to warm up. And I just have to be very careful and watch him. So I appreciate that. So all that kind of makes sense to me now as we went through this.

[00:18:22.400] – Allan
Now, the other thing I liked in the book was, one you give you, give a lot of practical advice. So, you know, you're going to want to kit up, you're going to have the right leash. You're going to want to have some supplies and things brought with you, water for you or for the dog, different things. And then just the skill of running with the dog, which is a whole new thing for me to learn, which I love. But the core thing I got in the book and I was like, OK, so now I want to do this run. You even include guidelines. Over the next six weeks, let's let's get your dog ready to go from, as you said, doggy couch to 5K. And in looking at the program, it kind of fits almost exactly how I would train someone, albeit I think the dog will accelerate through this a little bit faster than than we might. Could you talk about your your prep that it's like a six-week program to kind of get your dog into running shape?

[00:19:18.620] – Bryan
Of course. And I think you nailed it. You nailed it on the head there. It is sort of based on what we have done as runners and getting to 5K for us to definitely what I modeled it after. And I've found that a lot of the things work into and you are also right that dogs pick this up so much quicker and they can bounce back a lot quicker than you. So I think it's so deliberate. I thought it was better to write it sort of in this way where it's maybe a little long for most sort of as to not discourage those that weren't seeing the results of like a four-week program.

[00:19:52.400] – Bryan
Right? So I thought people can look at their dog and modify it and sort of scale it up if they needed to, because they're going to have those sort of next steps. If they're saying, like, actually, my dog is sort of chewing up this two-minute walk four-minute run in week three, like Tic Tacs, I think we can sort of maybe bump it up a little bit quicker. So that's kind of why I modeled it after, like a six-week thing, which is like, OK, that's a reasonable amount of time that you're going to commit to doing this. But if you need to, you can always bump it up a little bit quicker because you're going to have that written there. Whereas if I had written it over like a four-week, you know, maybe somebody said, well, what do I do in between here? This is a big jump. My dog is not ready, but it seems like perfectly capable of doing what's here. So I think that's why I ended up doing it sort of that extended out.

[00:20:36.950] – Bryan
Was there anything specific about sort of the plan? I'd be happy to flush that out for you?

[00:20:41.750] – Allan
Well, what I thought was really good about it was you committed a given amount of time to each workout, so spent 30 minutes. You go out with your dog. It's a walk, run, walk kind of program, which is very common in the couch to 5K. It's what Jeff Galloway did his one of his major programs for running. And so as I was because I was kind of looking through it, I was like, OK, this is a little bit more ambitious than I think a person would want.

[00:21:11.120] – Allan
But that's actually part of maybe the coolness of all this is knowing that your dog has that resilience, you could do your own 5K for a human. And do the half-hour and then that becomes your structured half-hour now, once you get your fitness up to a point with your dogs, the dogs can be able to keep up with you. The dog is going to be able to recover as fast, if not faster than we do, especially those of us over 40.

[00:21:36.320] – Allan
So I just thought it was a really good program in the book to be able to go through and say, OK, here's some structure. If I'm just not quite sure. But then you did touch on something. I think that's also equally important. Pay attention. Your dog's going to be giving you some nonverbal cues that we're going too fast. Or it might be telling you, hey, ratcheted up, dude, we've got miles to cover.

[00:22:00.560] – Bryan
Yeah. Something you brought up there. Why I did it in time increments as opposed to mileage. I know there's a few others out there and there's no shortage of basic information about sort of things like this as well. Why I did it for a duration as opposed to a mileage is when like us, if we can institute routines and sort of make things follow up, plan for them, they're only going to benefit from that because they know, hey, we're going to be out here for this amount of time every other day or three times a week or whatever it is that you decide is the best start for you guys. Right?

[00:22:35.780] – Bryan
And I think instituting that commitment to the routine is also going to help them mentally prepare for what they're about to go do. So I think it twofold. If you go out and we're just going to do it for a mile and the dog is not going to actually make it a mile, well, that's bad news and you're going to feel like fighter. So it's almost like hacking your systems inside of you internally that can help you stay committed to the plan.

[00:23:00.380] – Allan
Yeah, well, because if I told Buster, hey, we're going to run for a mile and we're going to walk for a mile, the buster is not going to have any idea what I'm talking about. But if I go out there with Buster and I'm walking for, you know, for my two minutes and Buster's cool with that, then I'm like, OK, Buster, let's go. And then we run for two minutes. Then he knows that's what we've done and we make that cycle. So for that whole week, that's my three runs. He gets comfortable.

[00:23:24.450] – Bryan

[00:23:24.950] – Allan
And then it's like, OK, we walk for two minutes now, we're going to run for three. He figures out, OK, we went for three. Now if I had a big fast dog, maybe and I'm a big fast runner. If I was, maybe I'm covering, you know, a mile or more, you know, in that in that time that I'm running, maybe I'm not maybe I have a smaller dog or slower dog or the dog that needs a little bit more patience and pace. And so we're not quite putting in the miles the way you would think. But a good 30-minute workout three times a week is going to be beneficial to you and obviously now beneficial to your dog.

[00:24:03.470] – Bryan

[00:24:05.500] – Allan
Bryan, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:24:13.480] – Bryan
Well, one's self-awareness, listening to your body. Finding out what like a long-term ache and pain is. Sometimes we're not always feeling our best when we get out there. And I get that. And listening to something barking at you continuously, go get it looked at. There's no sense in sort of beating yourself down and making it a longer-term problem.

[00:24:32.680] – Bryan
Second is getting rest. I think that's one of those ones that everybody kind of says, it's sort of like when people talk about eating and gains are made in that in the gym. Right? For your stomach or in the kitchen for your stomach. Right Everybody wants those abs.

[00:24:45.790] – Bryan
And then especially given what we do, drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated for both you and the pup, honestly.

[00:24:52.090] – Bryan
So drinking water, getting rest, having the self-awareness to just listen to your body, I think are the best thing you can do for your health.

[00:24:58.330] – Allan
All right. Well, Bryan, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with your Dog or DC Dog Runner, your dog running company, where would you like for me to send them

[00:25:12.430] – Bryan
They can find the book. It's on Amazon. It's at Target, it's Barnes Noble. I think it'll be in a number of pet stores as well. And then dcdogrunner.com is a great resource. I'm always happy to just have conversations with people about dog running. If you like pictures of very cute dogs on runs, DC Dog Runner, I guess it's DC_dog_ runner on Instagram, actually. So any of those places are great and just connecting with people is something that I enjoy doing. So any questions? I've answered many questions in the comment sections or indirect messages. I'm always happy to sort of give my opinion. I talk about being a generalist and I haven't run with your dog necessarily. But I can definitely give you all the tips and techniques for understanding your canine fitness and running temperament.

[00:25:59.920] – Allan
The book is definitely a really good resource. It's something that I'm going to pay attention to as I start trying to put together a program for Buster and myself. So thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:26:12.820] – Bryan
Of course. Thank you for having me on.

Post Show/Recap

[00:26:19.240] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:26:20.440] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fun conversation you had, and that sounds like a really good book.

[00:26:25.780] – Allan
It is a good book. He talks about some of the tools and things that you would have and he talks about just how to get your dog, get to know your dog so you can run with your dog. And just some of the things that we discussed before and after the conversation there, he I still don't feel confident that I can run with my dog.

[00:26:48.040] – Rachel
Oh, no.

[00:26:48.940] – Allan
It's not the book's fault is is this the dog's fault? He has no understanding of most anything. And while I know he's trainable. It's just. I know he's going to cut in front of me. I know he's going to see a cat or a bird and want to take off. And so I would just say if you're and you've got some experience with this, but if you're going to start running with your dog, it's a slow process. And I know he puts a kind of a couch to 5K for doggies version in there. That's if you're already a pretty strong runner.

[00:27:26.120] – Allan
You've got good balance, everything's optimal and you have a good place to train your dog. Around here, I really wouldn't have anything that I would feel confident other than running up and down the beach would be about the only place I would feel safe. And then it would be a trial and error of trying different leashes and just doing different things to a point where I would feel comfortable that he wasn't going to take me for a spill.

[00:27:52.310] – Rachel
Right. And that actually probably would be a good place to start training him. And I do have a little bit of experience. When I first got my dog, Stella, she was about a year old. She was a rescue and she was picked up as a stray, which means she had no manners, no commands, no behaviors, and certainly no experience on a leash. So when I hooked her up to at leash for the first couple of times, she pulled like a fish on a line. It was awful, a lot like fishing. She would be in front of me a couple of feet and zigzagging all over the road, smelling it things, looking at things. And then she would come to an abrupt stop. And I did a couple of Supermans over her with getting a little bit of road rash. She tripped me a few times and that's when I started to do some research.

We put her on a gentle leader collar, which I really recommend for new time, dogs that need to get used to walking and running on a leash because that puts all of the control on you. Their neck muscles are really weak and a gentle leader goes around their nose and above the upper part of their head, like behind their ears and their neck muscles are really weak. So if you want to start change direction, stop any commands, they'll feel it. They'll feel it really quickly. You'll have a lot of command that way. And we use that with Stella. We went on a lot of walks and it took a lot of practice and a lot of commands and they're learning how to walk on a leash and the command for walking and Stella knows the command for run. So she knows a different way to behave when we have her on a leash.

[00:29:36.140] – Allan
Yeah, that that took considerable patience. This was not a I'm going to go out and start running with my dog tomorrow. This is we're going to go out and we're going to we're going to do a little bit of running here and I'm going to teach that and a good tip on that leash because I've I've got one of those retractable, which is something you definitely recommends you don't have if you're trying to run with a dog.

[00:29:57.110] – Allan
He will see something and forget that he has this leash on and just take off and a dead run. And unfortunately, when he gets two to three steps in, he's already full speed and I'm not going to let go of the leash. So he does a 360 and then looks back at me like what just happened? And I'm like, still on the leash, dude.

[00:30:21.980] – Rachel
Yeah. And that takes total practice. And I and I retractable leashes can be really dangerous for you and the dog because it's easy to lose grip of that plastic handle. So now with Stella, I have her walking on my left. That way I'm facing traffic and I'm on the road and she's on my left side. So she would be and the inside of the shoulder that way she can't dart in front of a car or into traffic, which she wouldn't. But because I've trained her. But I'm on the side facing the traffic. And so I have her directly on my left. I want her head where my knee is. That way she won't dart in front of me and trip me like she has in the past. And that way I have a tighter rein. On her leash is a shorter leash and I have a little bit more control over it as well. So they can't dart out in front of you. And like you said, the leash goes the full length and then they get a rude awakening and you have your arm ripped out of your shoulder.

[00:31:23.960] – Rachel
So if you have a shorter leash on your left, that would be one thing to try. Although I know a lot of dogs out there who can run ahead of a runner and they'll stay ahead of a runner without stopping and without pulling. But it just depends on the personality of the dog and their relationship with the owner.

Yeah, no, Buster, I'm going to say we're not into the best of terms right now. He's not been the best dog. Likes to tear up Tammy's plants and she gets angry and unhappy wife, unhappy life. So. Yeah I definitely know, I need to get him out there and get some exercise. It might just be and this is another thing that Bryan talked about, which sometimes just running your dog is quite literally what everybody else does, and it's just playing fetch and let the dog get out and just free run and play fetch with it, because that's the temperament of the dog and how that dog's going to get healthy, stay healthy and be active.

[00:32:27.700] – Allan
And what I found with dogs is if you start running down the beach on your own, the dog's going to run along with you. So, if you can and make sure you're obeying any kind of leash laws and things like that. But basically giving that dog the freedom to kind of play with you, if you will, might be a better choice for me than trying to be a road racer with him right now, because he's just too rambunctious. And I wouldn't feel comfortable looking out for taxis, looking out for him and all of that. So, yeah.

[00:33:01.240] – Allan
It's a good book if you're interested in learning how to run with your dog or learning if your dog is the right kind of dog to be run because not all dogs are. It's a really good book for basically knowing your dog well enough to know if he or she could be a runner. And if they are, it gives you kind of some guidelines on equipment and things like that. So you can do it safely. But as always, anything you're going to do running wise or otherwise outdoors is know your environment, be safe, bring water for the dog. You got to carry your water and maybe the dog needs to carry some water and figure that out.

[00:33:44.500] – Allan
Just as you're going to do this like any new thing, go slow, have patience and now patience for two, because it's not just you, but you also have to have patience that the dog is going to get where you need them to be so that you can have safe and productive runs.

[00:33:59.920] – Rachel
Yeah, that sounds great. Sounds like a great book. Very helpful tips in there.

[00:34:04.150] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[00:34:07.210] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.


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

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 29, 2021

How to solve the energy paradox with Dr. Steven Gundry

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Energy is health in action. In The Energy Paradox, Dr. Steven Gundry shows us how to optimize our energy so we can live healthy vibrant lives.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:05.170] – Allan
Hello and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. This has been quite the interesting week. According to my cable company, we had solar flares which put the Internet as being rather spotty over the course of Monday and Tuesday. And as a result, Rachel and I were not able to record the intro or the discussion for this episode, which is a shame. However, next week you will have both Rachel and I on the podcast as we talk about running again.

[00:02:36.580] – Allan
So I hope you will join us again next week on episode 480. But we do have an interview with Dr. Gundry, and I know you're going to enjoy this episode. And unfortunately, again, no discussion afterwards. But if you have any questions, why don't you join us on the Facebook group? You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. Rachel and I are both there, and we would love to interact with you more about this episode.


[00:03:57.730] – Allan
Dr. Gundry, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:00.550] – Dr. Gundry
Allan, thanks so much for having me on.

[00:04:02.650] – Allan
So your book, The Energy Paradox and a lot of your books have the term paradox. I like that word, too. What to do when you get up and go has got up and gone. And when I first read that, I couldn't help but think back to a cartoon when I was a kid and they had that little cowboy dude, but there was a cheese commercial. So we're not talking about cheese today.

[00:04:27.850] – Dr. Gundry
We can if you want to.

[00:04:29.690] – Allan
No, we're talking a lot deeper than that. We're talking about what's going on with our nutrition and our energy and things that we can do to improve our well-being and our health. And a lot of that's going to start with managing our gut, managing how we actually get energy into our body and how we keep energy production in our body. So it is really fascinating. And I really wish that you had written the summary on the Krebs cycle for my personal training certification and the fitness nutrition one that I did because I read yours and I was like, okay, why couldn't they just say this?

[00:05:08.590] – Allan
It was just so well done that I was like, OK, this is for anyone that wants to understand how nutrition works in the body, how energy production works in the body. Get this book. Because this is an education. And it's very well-written and very easy to understand. I get into this stuff, I geek out. But this was not a geeky book. This was a practical. This is how it works. This is why it works this way. And this is what you can do to fix it. So I really appreciate that.

[00:05:38.680] – Dr. Gundry
Well, thanks. There is a lot of geeky stuff in it, but supposedly I'm pretty good at taking geeky things and making it useful and practical.

[00:05:47.690] – Allan
Well, even the Krebs cycle, like I said. Now I want to start this out because like everything in our lives, it seems more and more we're finding that our gut is the center of the universe. We like to think we live in our brain. But I think more and more we're finding that's not actually where our center of mass is. And it's definitely not where the center of a lot of things that are going on in our body starts.

[00:06:12.850] – Allan
So when we talk about the gut, I think a lot of people know kids forget health. I look at the prebiotics and probiotics. And then you brought up a new term postbiotics. Can you actually just talk about all three so we can kind of have an understanding of how those all interact and what they mean to our overall health?

[00:06:31.630] – Dr. Gundry
Sure. I think by now most people understand or at least have heard the term probiotics. An easy way to explain them are they are the friendly bacteria that we need in our gut. And I call them gut buddies. But and many people associate probiotics with, say, eating yogurt. Let's just use that as an example. Then there are prebiotics and these essentially are fibers. They are nondigestible fibers. We can't eat them or break them down that our probiotics, our gut buddies want to eat. And one of the things I've told all my patients you have that you could take all the probiotics in the world, but if you don't give them prebiotics, their food, they're not going to grow.

[00:07:24.190] – Dr. Gundry
And I have an office in Palm Springs and I use the example. I suppose I sold you grass seed here in Palm Springs when you came back a month later and said you sold me bad grass seed. It didn't grow. And I said, well, what do you do next? So I took it, throw it, threw it out in the yard with sand in my yard. And I said, Well, did you water it? No. Did you fertilize it? No. Well, of course it didn't grow. And it's the same way with probiotics. You've got to give them the things they like to eat.

[00:07:55.270] – Dr. Gundry
Now, the reason you want to do that is twofold. Number one, the more you give them the eat, the more they basically keep for themselves and grow little gut buddies.

[00:08:07.540] – Dr. Gundry
But more importantly, the science now of postbiotics is probably one of the most exciting fields in medicine and health. So postbiotics are what I basically call are the bugs farts. They eat the prebiotics and then they make compounds, most of which are gases and some small short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that are a communication system between our gut microbiome, between our good guys and our brain cells, our mitochondria in all of our cells. And there is actually a what's called trans-kingdome language that's spoken between probably our most important organ there is our gut microbiome and all of our energy producing organelles, the mitochondria.

[00:09:05.620] – Dr. Gundry
And it's so important that many people think that this discovery and it's ongoing is is as important as breaking the Enigma code in World War Two. And for those of history buffs, the Germans' code was nearly impossible to break and we couldn't figure out what was going on. The Germans could go anywhere and no one would know what how they were doing it. So breaking that code, breaking that language, changed the war and breaking this code, finding that there is a language that the microbiome talks to our cells is startling.

[00:09:43.880] – Allan
Yeah, I mean, it would make sense that there's some way that our body is relating to that microbiome because when it's ill. We're ill. And so if it's doing well, it needs a way to tell us that. And so by creating those short chain fatty acids and creating certain compounds, we know, or our body knows that intrinsically that it's eating well, that we're feeding at the fiber that it needs, that there's enough of the good stuff there and not it not much of the bad bugs that are in there.

[00:10:18.310] – Allan
And obviously, the bad bugs are putting off different compounds and chemicals and causing all kinds of disrepair. And our body doesn't like disrepair. It likes to get inflamed and deal with that problem. And so by making sure that we're feeding our probiotics prebiotics, they're going to communicate the right messaging through our system. And so our mitochondria knows, okay, we can fire on all cylinders, we can make more of us, and we're going to be in good shape because everything's good, we're eating well and we're doing the things we're supposed to do to keep that system healthy.

[00:10:56.110] – Dr. Gundry
Yeah, that's exactly right. Hippocrates said it 2500 years ago, all disease begins in the gut and it's like, holy cow. He didn't have all these fancy blood tests that I have to look at leaky gut. How do you know all this? But he did. And he was right.

[00:11:15.280] – Allan
Yeah, well, and I think we all intrinsically know it too, because we go through about, we did this in college and it's like you're studying for your finals and you're eating nothing but pizza for a week and you felt like crap and you thought maybe, okay, it's just because I'm not sleeping and I'm not sleeping and all that. But much kind of you kind of knew intrinsically that that that bingeing on pizza for a week was not really what your body needed.

[00:11:43.900] – Dr. Gundry
Not a good idea.

It keep you alive. It was cheap and they delivered. And at that time that was about all they delivered. So that's what you did. And now we know that with good nutrition, we don't have brain fog. We have plenty of energy. And a lot of the other problems that we see, the chronic diseases, they go away. I've always found, people will come and I know this due to their come to your office, say, what can I do for this problem? And a lot of times what I've found is it's what can you stop doing versus what can you do.

[00:12:18.820] – Dr. Gundry
Oh, that's exactly right.

[00:12:20.110] – Allan
And so in the book you discuss seven energy disruptors. And I just thought that people could put that on the refrigerator and get rid of those seven things, their life would be a thousandfold better. Could you go through those seven energy disruptors?

[00:12:37.840] – Dr. Gundry
Yeah. The number one energy disruptor is the widespread use of antibiotics, either by ourselves or the antibiotics that we give to most of the animals that we raise to eat and broad spectrum antibiotics. Actually, we're we're a wonder drug. In the 1970s, I remember when they came out, I was in medical school and they were a lifesaver because we didn't have to figure out what bacteria we were trying to kill. We could just shotgun these broad spectrum antibiotics and kill everything. And wow, that's great!

[00:13:17.620] – Dr. Gundry
Unfortunately, we didn't know that these things were killing the entire gut microbiome as well. It was like dropping napalm on a tropical rainforest and that goes on. Still, antibiotics are just so widespread, doctors give them out like candy. When anyone has a sore throat or a runny nose, which is a virus in most cases, which antibiotics won't work on.

[00:13:43.390] – Dr. Gundry
And about 50 years ago, it was discovered that low-dose antibiotics given to animals like pigs and chickens and cows would make them grow fatter and faster. And, wow, great! Now, no one bothered to think that those antibiotics would remain in the flesh of those animals. And so when we eat any factory-raised or chicken or pig, for instance, or even farmed fish, we are getting a dose of antibiotics that again kills off our microbiome. And once we decimate our microbiome, watch out, everything falls apart, quite frankly.

[00:14:24.280] – Dr. Gundry
The second thing is glyphosate. The active ingredient in Roundup and several other of the new herbicides. Glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic, which ought to give us pause. It was not patented as a weed killer and it will kill bacteria. And we have been told that, don't worry, glyphosate works with what's called the shikimate pathway and humans don't have a shikimate pathway. And so you're safe, but our bacteria have the shikimate pathway, and so glyphosate disrupts our microbiome.

[00:15:04.440] – Dr. Gundry
Number two, it's now been shown that glyphosate will actively cause leaky gut, regardless of whether it destroys the microbiome. Third, glyphosate interferes with receptors for thyroid hormones and interferes with vitamin D production, and it also interferes with adrenal gland function.

[00:15:25.260] – Dr. Gundry
So glyphosate used to be used on GMO crops. That's how it was devised. But in the past 10 years, it's now mainly used as a desiccant on conventional crops to make them easier to harvest. Desiccant just means kill them and dry it out. So it's used on all of our corn, all of our wheat, all of our oats, all of our soybeans, all of our canola. A lot of our flax seeds now have it. And so people are looking for non-GMO, but that's actually deceptive because it's now used on mostly non-GMO food.

[00:16:04.770] – Dr. Gundry
So it's fed to our animals. They then bring glyphosate to us. It's fed us in almost all of our products. It's in all of our wheat products. It's even in a lot of California wines. It's everywhere. So it is really an antibiotic against the Earth, in my opinion.

[00:16:25.140] – Dr. Gundry
Third environment, the same subject, environmental chemicals and the chemicals that we use primarily in plastics. BPA, the most famous of these endocrine disruptors, is supposedly banned, but it's replacement's like BSA looks to be the same problem.

[00:16:46.170] – Dr. Gundry
There are phthalates in most of our plastic wraps, and I've written about this before, but it's getting even scarier. We now know that exposure to phthalates, like in our carpet, like in our clothing, actually disrupts our sexual hormones so much that we now see our sperm counts, for instance, are down 50 percent over what they were 10 years ago in men and women who consume a lot of chicken during pregnancy actually give birth to boys who have shorter penises than women who don't eat a lot of chicken. That chicken is full of phthalates. So scary stuff indeed.

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[00:19:07.500] – Dr. Gundry
Overused pharmaceuticals is number four, and this runs the gamut from NSAIDs like Advil, Aleve or ibuprofen. These are like swallowing hand grenades. They actually cause giant gaping holes in the lining of our gut. And pharmaceutical companies knew this when they were first made in the 1970s. That's why they were prescription only. And you could only get a prescription for these things for two weeks because it was known how dangerous they were. Now, of course, they're the largest over-the-counter medication there is.

[00:19:43.950] – Dr. Gundry
The second really troublemaker are the antacid drugs, which are what are called proton pump inhibitors, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix. These are the second widely prescribed drugs. And now over the counter, these were miraculous when they first came out. And I remember when they did prevented ulcers. And I used to operate on ulcers as a surgeon, but they work by inhibiting proton pumps.

[00:20:16.320] – Dr. Gundry
And here's the amazing finding. They not only work to stop gastric acid production, but our mitochondria work, generate energy by pumping protons. That's what happens. And so if you're swallowing a proton pump inhibitor, a blocker of proton pumps, your mitochondria in your heart don't work, your mitochondria and your brain won't work. And that's why now there's very strong evidence that use of these drugs actually really set you up for congestive heart failure and dementia. And there's a warning on the label saying, please do not use these for more than two weeks. And that's why the warnings there. But nobody listens.

[00:21:02.400] – Dr. Gundry
Also, these things allow bacterial overgrowth of bad bugs in your gut because acid in your stomach is actually one of the ways that we regulate what bugs get into us.

[00:21:15.150] – Dr. Gundry
Number five, probably my most controversial saying is fructose. And the book goes into how fructose, which is half of table sugar, it's high fructose corn syrup. It's in fruit. Fructose actually is one of the best ways to stop mitochondrial function, to prevent energy from being made. And in my first book, years and years ago, I said give fruit the boot, in general. Have fruit in moderation only in season and use low fructose fruit. And that's particularly the berries and kiwi or and passion fruit and pomegranates. Those are the low fructose fruits. The highest fructose fruits are apples, mangoes and grapes. And I know you're in Panama, so stay away from those mangoes.

[00:22:12.960] – Allan
I actually do.

[00:22:15.600] – Dr. Gundry
Now, number six is junk white or blue light special. And we're not all going to Kmart. We are bombarded with blue light throughout our day and night. They're in our lighting there, in our computer screens there in our smartphones. And blue light is actually designed to activate our hunger hormones and activate staying awake. And it was actually to make us go eat when sunlight was long in the summer. Now we're bombarded with this. It sets us up to look for sugary junk food and it sets us up to not sleep.

[00:22:59.610] – Dr. Gundry
And one of the key foundations of the energy paradox is sleep is actually when we do our repair work on our mitochondria, it's like the reason we do repair work on roads in the middle of the night is because there's not much traffic in the middle of the night. And it's the same way we have to have downtime for our mitochondria. And that happens during sleep. And we're one of the most sleep-deprived nations in the world now, a lot of it because of blue light.

[00:23:31.470] – Dr. Gundry
So I really recommend people make sure that all of their screens have a blue switch when nighttime that lowers the light. Werar blue-blocking glasses once you go indoors and now we even use them for working on computers. There are several good companies that I recommend that I have no relationship to.

[00:23:54.840] – Dr. Gundry
Finally, EMFs, electromagnetic frequencies. These are everywhere now. I never used to think that this was a major issue until I started finding patients who clearly were sensitive to even low levels of these radio frequency waves and these were intelligent people, let's just put it that way. They weren't crazy in talking to space aliens. And interestingly enough, when they had people who specialize in this, look at when… For instance, one woman was having migraines almost constantly when they found when she was having migraines, it was actually when a naval vessel off the coast of Santa Barbara was transmitting signals and she actually had to move from Santa Barbara to get away from this.

[00:24:47.950] – Dr. Gundry
We had another woman. Here's the wildest story in this. Her husband was given a automatic defibrillator to shock his heart if he had an abnormal rhythm and the defibrillator was always sending off signals, communicating to a particular hospital, what was going on with him the minute he got his defibrillator, she found she couldn't sleep. And everybody said, it's all in your head, don't be ridiculous. So I said, well, look, you know, we have ways of turning off this transmission on the defibrillator and we do it all the time in surgery. And I said, well, just go back to your cardiologist, have them turn it off and report back. The minute that thing was turned off. She started sleeping again. So we have canary's who are very sensitive to this.

[00:25:42.730] – Dr. Gundry
So those are the seven deadly energy disruptors.

[00:25:47.380] – Allan
Yeah. And some of those are a little easier for us to avoid. Some are not. But where you have control, take control. This is really important. And it's easier to get rid of something than it typically is to add something.

[00:26:02.380] – Allan
But your program, the Energy Paradox Program, it's like a six-week kind of staged program. And I'm always going to say the foods are where we want to start with this. So in the book, you make it really easy because you have five dos and four don'ts as it goes to food. As a part of the Energy Paradox program. Could you take us through that real quick?

[00:26:24.320] – Dr. Gundry
Sure. The first thing you do is add prebiotic fiber to your diet, and this is actually pretty doggone easy to do. You can add tubers, say yams and sweet potatoes, rutabagas, radishes. Asparagus is a great source of prebiotic fiber. The chicory family, radicchio, Belgian endive, chicory itself. You can even buy inulin powder, which is basically flavorless. It has a little bit of sweetness and you can grind up flax seed, a great source of prebiotic fiber as well as psyllium husk. Another great source. So that's number one.

[00:27:01.570] – Dr. Gundry
You want to have foods that actually enable your gut buddies to make post biotics and some of the best post biotic generating foods are the allium family. So onions and garlic and shallots, leeks. Cruciferous vegetables, actually, which are sulfur containing foods, are really important for making one of the most important postbiotics, which is hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg smell. And rather than being a poisonous gas that we once thought, it's actually essential for mitochondrial energy production.

[00:27:39.850] – Dr. Gundry
The next thing is you want to have resistant starches. And by that name, these are starches. These are chains of sugar molecules that are resistant to our digesting them. And so more of these starches arrive lower into the intestines where our gut bodies are waiting for them to eat, a trick that I think is just so useful for everyone. So you could take, for instance, like a sweet potato and you can make it more resistant than it already is to digestion by baking it or cooking it and then cooling it and then reheating it. In the process of cooling is when these starches actually are made more resistant. In fact, the most resistant starch has been found is the purple sweet potato. The purple sweet potato, if you cook it and cool it, it'll have about 50% of its entire sugar load would be resistant starch when you're done with it. So it's the thing that kept the Okinawans alive and thriving. One of the blue zones

[00:28:49.630] – Dr. Gundry
Eat fruit in very little moderation and eat low fructose fruit. And in general, you don't give fruit the boot whenever you can.

[00:28:59.320] – Dr. Gundry
And then get melatonin and phospholipid-containing foods. It turns out the melatonin is not just a sleep hormone. It is actually the most important antioxidant for your mitochondria there. Is it so important the mitochondria will even manufacture melatonin for themselves? But there's a lot of cool high melatonin foods that most people aren't aware of. Pistachios are number one, they have more melatonin than any other food, mushrooms are right behind that. Even coffee has melatonin. One of the surprising research that I discovered was that red wine and olive oil, which everybody knows has some great polyphenol properties, also are great sources of melatonin. And it may be that the French paradox and the Mediterranean diet is actually because of the melatonin in these foods and wine rather than resveratrol, for instance, or olive oil.

[00:30:02.090] – Dr. Gundry
So those are the big five.

[00:30:05.090] – Dr. Gundry
The big four of don'ts is, first of all, leave the lectins. I guess I got famous by telling people to avoid lectin-containing foods. Briefly lectins are plant proteins that are one of the best ways to cause leaky gut ever devised. And they're present in whole grains. They're present in non-pressure, cooked beans and legumes. Their present, peanuts and cashews, they're present in the nightshade family like tomatoes and regular potatoes and bell peppers, for instance. So leave the lecterns.

[00:30:43.090] – Dr. Gundry
Number 7, stop the sugar already. I mean, we are just overloaded with sugar and it's incredibly well hidden. As I show in the book, whenever you're looking at a label on a package, do not look where it says sugar because that's a lie. The labeling laws were changed to hide the sugar. Read total carbohydrates minus the fiber, and then that will actually tell you the amount of sugar in that product. And when you start doing that, it will scare you to death. And just a fun fact. There's four grams of carbohydrates in a teaspoon of sugar. So take that total carbohydrates, divide it by four and you'll see how many teaspoons of sugar you're actually eating. And it's actually shocking.

[00:31:36.900] – Dr. Gundry
So I like to use protein early in people's diets because protein is very energy sucking in terms of you lose about 30 percent of all the calories and protein in the process of digestion. But these ultra high protein diets and I'm talking about the Carnivore diet, which is just Adkins reinvented. I mean, come on. These actually starve your gut buddies for the fiber that they need. And so many of the popular keto diets are doing exactly the same thing. All this high fat and no fiber is a disaster waiting to happen because you literally starve the guys that are really going to keep you in great health.

[00:32:25.550] – Dr. Gundry
And finally, don't eat Frankenfoods with Frankenfats. Even though trans fats are legally banned in the United States, there was a loophole. They don't have to be declared in institutional food stuffs. So if you're running a restaurant, if you're having a school lunch program, you don't have to list trans fats on the label. They're legal. Plus, the second legal loophole is if you have less than a half a gram of trans fat per serving, you don't have to put it on the label.

[00:33:04.280] – Dr. Gundry
And this is how trans fats are still sneaking into us. And finally, frankenfood, about 70% of a typical American diet is now ultra-processed food. And we've broken down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into quickly absorbed molecules that hit our mitochondria simultaneously, like rush hour in L.A. and our mitochondria grind to a stop in terms of making energy. And it's one of the big reasons everybody's so tired right now.

[00:33:39.890] – Allan
Yeah, and I love how you how you put that in the book. The the Lucy and Ethel at at the food conveyor belt worth the watch on YouTube. It's hilarious. But yeah, if our body is used to producing energy a certain way and then we're not feeding it that way, we're setting it up to fail, just like Lucy and Ethel.

[00:34:03.250] – Dr. Gundry
Watch there the Lucy show, the famous candy wrapping scene.

[00:34:08.600] – Allan
Yeah, it's hilarious. I remember that well, because I was a kid and it was hilarious. And it's even funny today. But, like I said in the book, you made all of this really simple. And there's just so much. And I think just what we covered here so far in the podcast, I think it's pretty easy for folks to see. Wow, I got to go back and listen to this again, because it's just so much information for us to improve our health and energy.

[00:34:36.340] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:34:45.520] – Dr. Gundry
So one of the things that I really talk about in the program is, first of all, it's what I tell you not to eat. That's far more important than what I tell you to eat. And like you mentioned before, getting rid of a lot of the foods that we take for granted is healthy is one of the most important things you can do.

[00:35:07.090] – Dr. Gundry
The second thing is the more I can convince you to limit your eating window from the time you started eating in the morning to the time you stop eating in the evening, the more I can compress that to about six hours. In the book, we have a six-week program to get you down to six or seven hours. We don't have to jump in with both feet. We're going to go one hour at a time.

[00:35:36.370] – Dr. Gundry
But the evidence is so strikingly overwhelming in animal studies, in rhesus monkey studies, in human studies that the more we can compress our eating window, the more energy we're actually going to have. And the longer our health-span, the longer we are healthy and the longer our lifespan is. And it's really exciting that we have that much power over our fate just by changing the eating window, what I call cronoconsumption in the book.

[00:36:13.990] – Dr. Gundry
The third thing is people are obsessed with the fact that they got to walk about 10000 steps every day or they have to have an hour of exercise every day. First of all, the 10000 step idea was actually made up. It was fabricated by a Japanese pedometer company that wanted to sell pedometers. There's actually no basis in in fact. In the book I propose energy snacking, and particularly in covid, everybody, I realize you have a gym, but most of us can't get to the gym anymore, at least now.

So we need to have periods of short little time, frames of one minute walking up and down the stairs can actually improve your energy and cut your appetite compared to like 10 minutes of taking a walk. You can do a plank while watching television for a minute. And if you can't hold a plank, put your knees down and start there. There's so many ways jumping jacks. One of the things that anybody can do, and I really urge this while you're brushing your teeth, do deep knee bends, do squats and you got two minutes a day, you're not doing anything else. Just up and down. And it's these are little snacks of exercise that you can do. So those are three easily obtained things.

[00:37:47.460] – Allan
I love those. I love those a lot.

[00:37:50.430] – Allan
So, Dr. Gundry, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book, The Energy Paradox and the things you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:37:59.250] – Dr. Gundry
Well, so you can come to. We've got several websites: drgundry.com, gundrymd.com is my supplements and food site, you can find my podcast at the Dr. Gundry Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. I've got two YouTube channels. You can find me on Instagram. And boy, if I don't show up on your computer, I'm doing something wrong.

[00:38:25.260] – Allan
All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/479 and I'll be sure to have all those links there.

[00:38:32.010] – Allan
Dr. Gundry, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:38:35.460] – Dr. Gundry
Allan, thanks so much. And keep doing the good work that you're doing.

[00:38:39.360] – Allan
You too.


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