Category Archives for "health"

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


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.



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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.


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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.


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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Margaret Bakalian
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


Lose weight and feel great on two meals per day with Brad Kerns

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Brad Kerns is the co-author with Mark Sisson of the book, Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging, and Break Free from Diet Frustration Forever.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:48.630] – Allan
Hey Raz! How are things going?

[00:00:50.850] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:00:52.980] – Allan
I'm doing OK. You know, it's been some busy times. The 12-week program is going on, and I'm just loving that. I just I draw so much energy from those guys. I can't tell you enough how much fun it is to just be working with people and then, the gym open. And it's been a slow growth. But, I was sitting there on Sunday and just thinking about the month (we record a couple of weeks in advance) and accounting stuff. This was not a bad month.

[00:01:34.050] – Rachel
Oh, good.

[00:01:35.370] – Allan
In February we reopened on the first. This was not a bad month. Tt's not a great month because we don't have the tourists, so the drop-ins were about one-seventh of what we would normally see for drop-in revenue. But the the membership was strong. And we've got a lot of new members and faces that we didn't have last year before we closed. So I feel pretty good about where the gym's going and how that's growing. And I was thinking it kind of a blessing for this slow growth because it happened and it was still generally a good month. And it wasn't overwhelming at the gym. I think that was kind of the cool thing.

[00:02:18.450] – Allan
But, like everything else, we've got to be careful with Covid as we start getting bigger. I had one night I was working a shift and we had seven people and they were all in the free weight section. And so it was just a little crowded back there. And I was like, okay I can't let anybody else on this side of the building. If someone wants to go and do some some of the cardio equipment or on the other side than they're more than welcome to go in there. If someone comes in and they want to lift weights, I'm going to make them sit on the bench and wait. Just to make sure we didn't get things too crowded in there.

[00:02:50.520] – Allan
We don't really have a capacity limit. But I kind of learned that we kind of do have a capacity, just everybody being two meters apart.

[00:02:58.560] – Rachel

[00:02:58.950] – Allan
We just have to be responsible about that. So, if you are going to the gym now, the gyms have reopened. Just be cognizant of the two meters. Wipe down your machines before and after you use them and just use good hygiene around this. And for the most part, you're probably going to be successful at not getting it.

[00:03:18.690] – Rachel
So for sure. Absolutely. That's great. Good to hear that.

[00:03:22.380] – Allan
How are things up north?

[00:03:24.120] – Rachel
Good. We actually had a break in the weather, which was nice. And over the weekend I had a little win myself. I actually surprised myself. I did a 10K, which is not a huge thing for me, but I was challenged in the month of February to set, in FKT, a Fastest Known Time within this community I participate with online. And so I chose my normal 10K route to do my time. My FKT and my prior time for this route has been about an hour, four minutes and hour, six minutes or so, and we've had snow. So that kind of is a difficult thing to get through. But we had this break in the weather and the sidewalks are clear.

[00:04:10.200] – Rachel
So I set out to do my 10k and I thought, okay, I don't know if I can do this, but I'm going to pretend it's a race day. And I set out and I ran smoothly and the downhills. I ran relaxed on the uphills. And when I got home and turned off my watch, I had a fifty-eight minute forty-seven second 10k. So I actually beatmy proposed time of a su-hour 10k. So it was a win.

[00:04:38.550] – Allan

[00:04:38.850] – Rachel
Thank you. I was really surprised. So it was a good day.

[00:04:44.010] – Allan
Awesome. That, that has to feel really, really good.

[00:04:47.100] – Rachel
It does. I've been really focused on training for my fifty miler that's coming up this summer and so that means a lot of slow miles. So I'm not used to running fast. So again, that's another reason why it was kind of a surprise for me.

[00:05:01.350] – Allan
And, you know, sometimes that's kind of the way these things work is you're not expecting it and you just have a really good run.

[00:05:08.790] – Rachel
It was.

[00:05:09.000] – Allan
But you've got to be out there running to have a really good run.

[00:05:12.000] – Rachel
That's right. You got to do it.

[00:05:14.040] – Allan
Good on you.

[00:05:14.370] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:05:15.450] – Allan
Not letting the Michigan weather keep you indoors.

[00:05:18.330] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:05:19.540] – Allan
So you're trained and that's. And then show. So good job.

[00:05:22.910] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:05:23.570] – Allan
All right, are you guys ready to talk to Brad?

[00:05:25.790] – Rachel
Yes, let's do this.


[00:06:21.080] – Allan
Brad, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:23.700] – Brad
Allan, I'm so happy to be here. And I have to say that was one of the best warm chats of any podcast. We are on fire right now. The listeners have no idea what's coming. So brace yourselves, everyone. If you're listening at 1.7 speed like me, turn it down to 1.0 because we're going to hit this stuff hard, man.

[00:06:43.010] – Allan
Yeah, we I guess Brad and I kind of have a lot in common with the kind of people that we like to talk to. And so with his podcast and my podcast where we're talking, it's maybe even talking to some of the same people. We just we just realize we're both going to be talking to the same guy. And it's a pretty fascinating book. So stay tuned to this podcast for a while. Go check out Brad's podcast, because we're going to be bringing on Dr. Pontzer. It's going to be an awesome conversation, but this is also going to be a tremendous conversation.

[00:07:12.380] – Allan
Brad, you and Mark wrote the book Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging and Break Free From Diet Frustration Forever. And I have to say, I had followed a OMAD, I've known about OMAD for a while and I've known about time-restricted eating. And so you guys are approaching this from a perspective of being told we have to have six meals a day to lose weight is fundamentally flawed.

[00:07:42.140] – Allan
We should give our body time to not eat, to not feed. And two meals a day is one of those sustainable ways. When I look at OMAD, I don't think I could do, OMAD because I don't think I could eat enough calories in one meal. But looking at two meals a day and thinking of it as an eating window, whether it's six hours or eight hours, I quite easily could have a moderate-sized meal and then a big meal, get all the nutrition I need and do that and allow my body 16 to 18 hours to kind of do all the other cool stuff that the human body can do for itself.

[00:08:22.460] – Brad
Yeah, well said. I think we've been programmed since we were kids to be dependent on dietary carbohydrates as our primary source of energy. And anyone can reference this. If you've ever felt terrible after skipping a single meal and then you have the afternoon blues and you're tired and cranky and you finally go and binge on way too much junk food when you get your hands on something and when you go to the supermarket and go shopping. So the idea here is that we want to continue to honor this evolutionary model of how humans are meant to operate.

[00:09:00.560] – Brad
And we're meant to have stored body fat as our primary source of energy. And that's why we store so much of it and are so good at storing it. And this is going back for millions of years where the human never had regular meals until recent times, recent generations. And so by sitting down to these regular meals like clockwork, we've transitioned away from being fat burners to being carbohydrate dependent.

[00:09:27.350] – Brad
And it's really easy to reprogram the genes. It doesn't take that long. Your body's ready and willing to become better and more competent at burning body fat and being able to skip meals. And I think most listeners who are into this health awareness know all this and can nod their heads. And they've heard that fasting is great and intermittent fasting is the latest buzzword. It just passed keto on the Google search terms as the the most popular diet search term. But here's the thing, we take the trouble to go in the book and say, look, you can't just jump into this and expect all these wonderful benefits if you don't engage in fasting properly.

[00:10:06.350] – Brad
And so if you try to go and skip breakfast because you read this book two meals a day and it says, hey, I'll only eat two meals a day, it's way better than eating three, you're going to have what we might call a stress hormone bath, because if you're dependent on carbs for your energy source. And then all of a sudden you restrict them because you heard about the keto diet or you want to skip meals and lose weight in this ill-advised manner, what's going to happen is you're going to get your glucose, your sugar, no matter what, because that's what you're used to burning.

[00:10:36.740] – Brad
And so you'll do it through this stress response that we call gluconogenesis, which is converting lean muscle mass into glucose to fuel that ravenous brain that needs to burn glucose primarily throughout the day. And so the approach here is to transition in a smooth and comfortable manner. So there's no more struggling or suffering or all these deprivation, mindset, and physical symptoms that we associate with dieting, because that is the failed approach that we can all agree is it doesn't work.

[00:11:10.820] – Brad
And so now we have an agreeable, doable, and sustainable strategy that's not painful. It's just about making good choices and understanding what the body's meant to burn as a preference.

[00:11:25.520] – Allan
Yeah. As humans, we love simple. Everybody loves a simple rule. If this then that. We like the ability to wrap your mind around things that are simple. What a lot of us don't understand is that the human body is extremely complex. And that our body developed strategies to accomplish things outside of norms. So there would be a normal way, things would be. Normally I would like to be able to walk around and there's a fruit tree. I grab some fruit and I eat it. Oh, and there's a little woodland creature. And I bash it in the head. Now I've got some meat or I go catch some fish and I eat some fish and that's my day. I'm moving about a good bit of maybe probably walking around a little bit of a fast action because that critter is not going to just stand there and the fish is definitely not going to just hang out and say, here, grab me.

[00:12:23.580] – Allan
So there's a lot of work involved in getting my food. We don't have that today. So, where we had these simple ways of things were working for us. We've developed other ways. And so what I'm kind of getting at is you bring up a concept in the book that I think it's really important for people to understand is that we have metabolic flexibility. Our bodies develop this capacity to look at fuel in different ways, depending on what our circumstances are and when we're feeding ourselves carbohydrates all the time. It's basically energy in and then what a little bit of energy we can put out is great, but the rest of it's becoming excess body fat. And we're maybe not even tapping into that body fat because we never really gave our body an opportunity to even consider that because we fed more carbohydrates before that ever happened. Can you talk a little bit about metabolic flexibility and how that closed-loop system actually helps us maintain a really good, just basic health?

[00:13:30.840] – Brad
Yeah, thanks. So what I described at the outset is really metabolic inflexibility, where you are dependent upon these regular doses of carbohydrate and other food as your energy source. So metabolic flexibility implies that you can really take or leave a meal at a certain time because body fat is always there and able to be burned for energy and keeping your focus and your mood and your appetite all stabilized throughout the day.

[00:14:01.440] – Brad
And people who are a little bit familiar with the ketogenic diet, the goal there is to restrict carbs to the extent that your body starts making this alternative internal fuel source called ketones, the liver makes ketones as a byproduct of fat metabolism when carbohydrate intake is really low and liver glycogen is really low. So you're prompted to make this wonderful fuel source that burns more cleanly than glucose and your brain preferentially burns ketones. So you're in this kind of heightened state of alertness and you feel great and you have less inflammation and you get all these benefits from the ketogenic diet.

[00:14:37.020] – Brad
It takes a lot of structure to do so because once you start consuming a little bit of carbs, you stop making ketones. But just as you teed this up, we have so many different ways that we can burn energy and sustain ourselves and even function at peak levels without having these super-duper, nutrient bomber drink juices that you need to drink in the morning to get your antioxidants. The body manufactures antioxidants internally, and the internal antioxidant response is possibly more powerful than anything you can consume in a bowl or in a smoothie.

[00:15:13.800] – Brad
So just by fasting, we get all these health benefits. We have a great anti-inflammatory response. The immune system works better. Our cellular repair processes work better when we're not eating because we can devote the energy to these other things. That's why animals fast when they're sick and humans should, too. So, this metabolic flexibility concept goes to not only getting good at burning body fat, but also if it's time for your child's 12th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese and you decide to throw down some breadsticks and a hot fudge sundae afterward, that your body can process that load of unhealthy junk food and you'll live to see another day and you'll wake up the next day and let's say engage in a fasting period to get back to your baseline of fat burning so that you can handle not only dietary imperfections, but also be skipping meals. So that's the flexibility part of the equation there.

[00:16:11.520] – Allan
We're not recommending Chuck E. Cheese, but by all means,

[00:16:14.670] – Brad
This show is not sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese.

[00:16:17.040] – Allan
Not at all. I understand you go there with your kid. It's there. It smells what it smells like.

[00:16:25.740] – Allan
One of the things you get into the book that I think is really important, and this is where I'll be having a conversation with the new client and they'll be like, okay, I want to lose some weight. And this is kind of my go-to (I haven't looked at it from this direction). I always just talk about eat whole food, just whole food, and that solves 99.9% of the problems. In fact, whether I'm talking to a vegan or a carnivore or anybody in between, the one thing they all agree with is eat whole food. You know, they may disagree on whether it needs to be all plant-based or needs to be all animal-based. But in the end, that's what they're after.

[00:17:06.480] – Allan
In the book you looked at from another perspective, you called them the three big toxic modern foods. Could you talk a little bit about those?

[00:17:13.500] – Brad
Yeah, you just remind me now that there is something we all agree on, because for years before the emergence of this carnivore movement, which I'm really fascinated by and have seen some amazing healing stories from people eliminating plant toxins. But previously we all agreed that the wonderful, colorful fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet, even if you're a vegan, even if you're a paleo person. And now even that's called into dispute. So it's like, oh, yeah, we still agree that whole foods are better than processed foods.

[00:17:42.990] – Brad
I guess unless you're pitching your energy bar or your powders and potions and things like that. But yeah, good point. So whole food would be a great starting point. And then I forgot your question now.

[00:17:57.120] – Allan
Oh, it was the three toxic modern foods.

[00:17:59.820] – Brad
Yeah, the three toxic modern foods. I think it is a great place to start because a lot of the research now is revealing that the magical, wondrous benefits of the various diets are mostly what the person is eliminating rather than the amazing transformational powers of going on a vegan plant-based diet.

[00:18:21.930] – Brad
In fact, we pretty much trying to be polite and not cross into the boundaries of the faction building and all that. It's a high-risk diet because you're eliminating a whole bunch of nutrient-dense foods. Same with carnivore. People have all kinds of criticism for that, saying that it's unbalanced and you're going to drop dead of colon cancer and a heart attack.

[00:18:46.050] – Brad
All those challenges aside for a moment, if you just get rid of junk food, you're probably going to experience an incredible health transformation. And that's where a lot of these leaders of whatever it is that they're touting can kind of attribute this amazing success stories. Is that any transition away from the standard American diet, which Dr. Loren Cordain cites research that 71% of the calories that we consume today in the traditional diet are completely absent from our evolutionary experience.

[00:19:22.260] – Brad
So they're processed modern foods that are nutrient deficient and calorie-dense things like grains, things like sugars, and refined industrial seed oils. So those are the big three right there. And I probably should put it up at number one, the refined industrial seed oils, because those are sometimes overlooked. People all know that sugar is overconsumed. And we got to cut back on our sugar. The paleo ancestral movement knows that we call refined grains sort of in the same category as sugar because they're quickly converted to glucose as soon as you ingest them. They don't have many nutritional benefits whatsoever. And so we have grains, sugars, and the industrial seed oils, which are the bottled manufactured oils like canola, corn, soybeans, sunflower, safflower, etc. and then the prevalence of these oils in processed foods of all kinds, frozen, packaged. You can look on the box of anything that's pretty much of a manufactured product and you'll see these oils included in there, even salad dressings, condiments, things that seem innocent. The oils are thrown in left and right.

[00:20:31.800] – Brad
And then, unfortunately, almost all restaurant food starting from junky, fast food, of course, where you're getting your fries in your burger and what have you or getting stopping at the gas station and getting some quick fare off the shelf. But even at medium to fine restaurants, they are most likely cooking these wonderful meals. You're paying a good money for the entree in the refined industrial seed oils. A lot of people call them vegetable oils.

[00:20:58.740] – Brad
That's a challenge because when you're out there, you can't go back in the kitchen and see. But you can ask and inquire, can you please cook my omelet and butter or something besides vegetable oil? And if you don't succeed there, you might want to find a different restaurant because this stuff is the most toxic thing that's in the food supply. As soon as we consume them, we experience an immediate disturbance in healthy cellular function, especially in the cardiovascular system.

[00:21:24.030] – Brad
So the big problem here, too, is that the ingestion or the inclusion of these oils in the diet renders your fat burning capabilities dysfunctional because the the agents are integrated into healthy fat cells. And so they become difficult to burn because you have this chemically altered component into your body.

[00:21:46.050] – Brad
If you have trouble burning stored body fat, guess what's going to happen when you try to cut back on dietary carbohydrates? It's going to be difficult, if not impossible, because you're going to be dragging ass in the afternoon and you're going to need some quick energy because you're not kicking into fat burning.

[00:22:03.450] – Brad
And that's, I think, where a lot of people have suffered and failed with devoted dietary restriction. I mean, we interact with these people for the past decade where you we'll be putting on a live event or retreat. And I see people coming up to Mark Sisson with tears in their eyes saying, Mark, I got your book three years ago. I've done everything you've said to the letter and I can't succeed. And I feel terrible. And a lot of it's because of the chemical ingestion that's throwing off your your metabolism.

[00:22:30.630] – Brad
And then you don't have this wonderous gateway to the fat-burning lifestyle where you can fast you can enjoy meals, you can get up from the table, you feel alert and energized and all these wonderful things. So the seed oils would be the number one thing to really scrutinize and get rid of immediately. And then with the grains and the sugars, we know that these agents have addictive properties. The great work of Gary Taubes, Dr William Davis, best selling book, Wheat Belly, talking about the addictive properties of the gliadin and protein in modern-day wheat and gluten.

[00:23:04.950] – Brad
And so this stuff is also nasty because when you try (and I'm making air quotes here on the video), when you try to cut back on sugar, you have a very difficult time. So what we advocate is, look, take a few weeks. Twenty-one days would be a great benchmark to have a complete restriction of grains, sugars, and industrial coils from your diet.

[00:23:26.520] – Brad
And that will help you up regulate. The fat burning gene, so that you can manufacture energy internally and feel okay without slamming down meals and snacks all day long, and so this kind of devoted, cold turkey approach seems to be the way to go because these foods are so addictive.

[00:23:49.280] – Brad
Now, is that going to be difficult? Yeah, it's going to be tough for many people. But a lot of times we hear people saying, stick it out, hang in there. Yeah. The keto or the low carb flu is really tough and you feel terrible. But don't worry. Three weeks from now, you'll feel okay. And I strongly reject that ideal, because if people are struggling and suffering with a dietary transformation, something is flawed with the approach. And so instead, if you agree to ditch these big three toxic modern foods, what you can then do is transition over to beautiful, delicious, lavish meals that sustain you and nourish you.

[00:24:29.340] – Brad
In my own personal example, 13 years ago, when I switched over to a primal ancestral style eating, I traded in this giant bowl of cereal that I'd had every single day of my life. I used to be an endurance athlete. I was burning many, many calories every day. So I'd have this giant horse trough bowl of cereal with five different kinds, of course, all the healthy kinds of cereals. But I'd have nonfat yogurt on there and sliced bananas and berries and a ton of calories.

[00:24:56.210] – Brad
So I traded that for a gigantic omelet that I made every morning. And I would use five or six eggs and saute the vegetables and have sliced avocado and salsa and cheese and bacon. And it was incredibly delicious and it sustained me for many hours, but it wasn't giving me that carbohydrate bomb. But that made my transition smooth and easy and enjoyable rather than, let's say, trading in that cereal bowl for a fasting period of four hours. I honestly couldn't have couldn't have done it.

[00:25:25.010] – Brad
And that was a healthy person without metabolic damage that a lot of people are bringing to the table. So if you can replace the processed food with nutrient-dense foods, it's in most cases you're going to feel great. There's not going to be any suffering involved and you'll be looking forward to your next nutritious meal and then build that momentum to where at a certain point in a natural and graceful manner, you'll probably be able to skip. Like I was finally able to skip that omelet every single morning because six months later I felt great and I wasn't super hungry as soon as I woke up.

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[00:27:37.590] – Allan
Yeah, I think the kind of the worst part of this is the food that's good for us doesn't have a marketing department, but the food that's bad for us does. And so you're going to see things on labels like heart-healthy, like you would with cereal. And then, of course, you're going to see this salad dressing you just bought… Not Mark's brand, Mark's brand is avocado oil. It's good stuff. But other brands, you'll see that they'll say they've got olive oil or they've got that.

[00:28:04.620] – Allan
You'll look at the actual label. And they do have that in there, but they've also got the seed oils in there. So it's in there. It's insidious. It's in everything. So the challenge becomes now I'm asking someone to go into their kitchen and throw all that stuff out. And for, I would say the vast majority of people in the United States, particularly, you're asking them to pretty much throw out their entire pantry, clean out their entire fridge, and in many cases go through their freezer and go through all of that stuff and that you start to realize how much… It's like 71% of our total calories is coming from this stuff.

[00:28:48.720] – Allan
So when the kitchen purge to me is one of the probably you know, as I talk to people, that's one of their most intimidating events. How does someone wrap their mind around I'm throwing away all this food?

[00:29:02.520] – Brad
Yeah, I like how you framed that.

[00:29:03.240] – Allan
And I can do the food in air quotes.

[00:29:07.080] – Brad
Yeah. Michael Pollan calls it, quote, edible food like substances rather than food. This processed 71% junk. But I like how you frame that question because maybe we should do it backwards. So, first we go shopping to the natural foods supermarket and we get the sustainably raised eggs and meat and seafood and then whatever fresh produce you like or things that are on the approved list. And so you have that like, let's say waiting in the wings in your in the back of your car, and then you go throw everything away into the garbage can in a five minute binge of of cleaning out that house.

[00:29:43.530] – Brad
But yeah, I can see that we're locked into routines and have difficulty with big change. But I think the restocking of the pantry with nutritious foods and maybe browsing the 40 recipes in the back of our book. And if you just flip through it and in a minute's time you'll see, wow, this stuff looks great. It's delicious. It's varied. And so there's so much you can do. And there's so many cookbooks now that are honoring the low carb or the ancestral approach.

[00:30:13.260] – Brad
And so there's no shortage of ideas. And for Gourmet's, that's great. They can go and look at the thirty-one ingredients and prepare a recipe that takes two hours. But for busy people or a lot of times, I encounter like my male peers aren't so gourmet in many cases. We wrote a couple of cookbooks called Keto Cooking for Cool Dudes and Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes, and we purposely made it not precise. You just throw in a little bit of this little bit of that, put some sardines in the skillet, crack a couple egg yolks, mix it up and you know, you can get these superfood meals without much time or energy or scrutiny.

[00:30:53.370] – Brad
And so that's the big one, is nourishing yourself with wonderful, delicious foods and doing it immediately so that there's not this lull where you don't know what to eat. You're fidgeting around and then you kind of reach for a really bad choice because your body's commanding you to consume calories. And that's no joke. I mean, a lot of people are starting out with a lot of discipline, motivation, willpower. And then it cracks because as we talked about offline, the human brain and the hypothalamus when it's hungry, there's nothing that can I mean, you're going to be pushing people out of the way to get something to sustain you.

[00:31:31.020] – Brad
So we have to do this in a strategic manner. And setting up those good meal habits is the big one, like I discussed with my omelet or whatever you want to put as the example.

[00:31:40.930] – Allan
And I think that's one of the keys. You know, when we talk about two meals a day or time-restricted eating, this is not like you immediately just jump in and say, okay, I had dinner tonight at seven o'clock and I'm not going to eat again until two o'clock tomorrow. That's typically not how this works. There's a transition period to doing time-restricted eating. And I like one of the things that you guys use used an acronym called WHEN which is When Hunger Ensues Naturally.

[00:32:12.090] – Allan
So it's kind of listening to your brain because invariably your brain's right. If it's telling you you're hungry, you're actually probably hungry. And if we try to not listen to it, then it's just too easy to fall back on old habits. And there's McDonald's. I'm driving by my windows down on a beautiful day. And I could smell it. If you're not answering yourself when you have control, now, you're in a situation where you probably don't.

[00:32:42.310] – Allan
And so how does someone go through? Because I know you guys have a plan in the book. You also have the recipes, which thanks for mentioning that, by the way, because I did want to make sure those are in there, too. How does someone go about approaching getting to two meals a day?

[00:32:58.510] – Brad
Yeah, good question. And I think when it's a really easy strategy to get your mind around and it's not intimidating or fearful. So when hunger ensues, naturally, we have to make sure that we really are talking about hunger.

[00:33:13.360] – Brad
And I think what we have today is boredom, prolonged periods of stillness with our lifestyles, especially working on the screen. And a lot of these things can mess up our metabolic function to the extent that we think we're hungry. But we might just benefit from going out and running two flights of stairs and returning to that default fat burning state that requires a little bit of movement throughout the day. There's research showing that if you sit still for as little as 20 minutes, you will experience a noticeable decrease in glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

[00:33:52.090] – Brad
So in other words, you stop burning fat really well and you start to lose a little bit of cognitive function. The oxygen delivery, the blood circulation, everything kind of goes down because the body does not like to sit still for long periods of time. And so when you feel that decline in energy, we associate that with hunger perhaps. And then we go get an energy bar out of the drawer and we get a little boost for however long and then another drop and we go on this roller coaster all day long.

[00:34:22.390] – Brad
I'm kind of jumping without answering the question fully, but we do have to include those lifestyle elements into this picture. It's not just about your food choices, because if you're sitting there all day long in a chair not trying out this wonderful stand-up desk craze or thinking that you're too busy to take a one or two-minute break every 20 or 30 minutes, you're going to have real trouble adhering to a dietary transformation, especially getting rid of those carbohydrate foods that provide quick energy.

[00:34:56.590] – Brad
So back to trying to answer that question and integrating this concept of when hunger ensues, naturally, this implies that whatever fasting periods you're going to engage in, you're going to feel comfortable. You're going to have stable cognitive and even physical function in the absence of that meal. And that includes perhaps a workout some days where you can wake up in the morning, go through, even if it's a light workout, like a cardiovascular session at fat-burning heart rates, you want to feel good and strong .And that you're not needing, desperately needing calories to complete a 20 or 30-minute workout, maybe an hour workout or maybe a 20-minute high intensity workout where, of course, you have the energy stored in your body to complete it. But we have to kind of play it out in a natural and comfortable way.

[00:35:49.900] – Brad
Once you clean up the diet and get rid of those three toxic modern foods, we don't want to talk about anything. You can drop off this podcast right now or you can close the book at page seventy-one or whatever if you're unwilling or you haven't accomplished that goal. Because that's the gateway to a fat burning lifestyle. So once those foods are out of the picture, you're making good choices and you're having these nutrient-dense meals, then you can kind of tiptoe in this direction to say, okay how about if I wake up and wait around until hunger ensues naturally?

[00:36:26.920] – Brad
And that will be kind of a checkpoint as you do this exercise and see how long you can comfortably last before your meal, which is the exact opposite of the cavalier approach that you just mentioned, to say, okay tomorrow I'm going to suck it up and I'm going to wait till 2:00 p.m. and that's going to be a 16 hour or an 18 hour.

[00:36:47.230] – Brad
We want everything. We want you to kind of back into everything. So if you are keeping a food journal and you like that accountability, you write down when you eat after the fact because that's when you were hungry and you decided to eat, as opposed to saying, I have to make it till a certain time, otherwise I'm going to drop off the A-list on my plan here. So simple, sustainable, like we say, and doing it at the right time when you really feel you're ready.

[00:37:15.940] – Brad
And so let's say you wake up and at eight thirty in the morning your stomach is growling. And the reason your stomach is growling is because the prominent hunger hormone ghrelin is making it growling. So growling is an actual it's not just fun and games, it's an actual biological response, triggering hunger. And a lot of times the circadian rhythm is a strong influencer of this. So if you start skipping breakfast as part of this lifestyle transformation, you may experience these spikes in hunger in the morning because your body's used to eating at a certain time of day.

[00:37:52.120] – Brad
Maybe it's 2:00 in the afternoon when you always have your energy bar and soda break in the break room. And so you might experience hunger spikes, even though it's more circadian than that you're actually out of energy and you need food. So we have to learn to be more nuanced and more intuitive and see what our body is capable of. And you'll probably find that you're way more metabolically flexible than you even dreamed of, even right now. And then after three weeks of dietary restriction, getting rid of the junk. Oh, man. It's going to open up an amazing world of possibilities.

[00:38:25.370] – Brad
You and I know about these extreme enthusiasts where people will go on five-day fasts every quarter and twenty-four hour fasts once a week. And it seems like unimaginable to the average person. But when you get down to it, we're all pretty good at this stuff. We're all humans. If you have the ability to be patient and, you know, keep those junk foods out of the diet, you can really awaken some good fat-burning potential.

[00:38:56.420] – Allan
Yeah, there was this time and I've told this story on the podcast a couple of times, but I was I had some property and I went out there to do some work and just got up in the morning. I wasn't hungry. So I eat when I'm hungry. I don't even think about it unless I'm hungry. Then I'll eat for the most part. I might have a meal in the evening because only because I know if I don't, then I'm going to want to eat much later. And from a timing it doesn't make sense. But for everything else in my life, I'll just eat when I'm hungry. So I went through and I went out to my property and I finished the work. So I drive my tractor back onto the trailer and I'm going to leave the property and my truck got stuck. So I call AAA to come pull me out when he comes out there about an hour later, you know, which is what they've kind of promised. He was on time.

[00:39:41.290] – Allan
He went to pull me out and his truck broke. So, he had to call for a part. And so I just went ahead and grabbed. The reason I had this property was I had some fishing ponds. I'll just go do some fishing catch and release stuff. So I'm out there fishing. And it took him like four hours to get his truck fixed. He finally gets me out and then I'm driving back and I'm thinking to myself, it's six o'clock already. And I had a pretty tough morning work doing the work I was doing. It was not easy work. And I wasn't even thinking about food.

[00:40:15.020] – Allan
Before I got into what I'm doing with keto and fasting and just paying attention to the food I'm putting in my mouth versus eating what is there, I would have been chewing off my arm. But I had that flexibility we were talking about, I had the freedom that provides to basically say, I know when I'm actually hungry and I know what I'm not.

[00:40:41.900] – Allan
And it's it for a lot of people, it's kind of an interesting feeling because they think they're always hungry and then they actually feel full when they eat because they're eating, like you said, the highly-nutritious, high-quality foods. And they know what it feels like to actually be hungry because they let themselves actually get hungry before they eat again.

[00:41:04.910] – Brad
Right. And it's it is a wonderful feeling to experience hunger and then go satisfy that hunger with a great meal. And a lot of us are hugely disconnected from that because we just sit down because it's lunchtime and we're going to go have a business lunch. And then when we get home, of course, we're going to honor the the the dinner time and the family gathering. And all that stuff's great. And when we wake up in the morning, of course, we got to get some food before we rush off to our busy day.

[00:41:34.610] – Brad
But to rethink this and kind of open up the floodgates to a different alternative lifestyle and different choices like that. And then to realize that missing a meal is a positive checkmark in the direction of metabolic flexibility. So we can kind of relax, especially I know a lot of health-conscious people, they're trying to cover their nutritional bases every day and make sure that they eat enough protein and make sure that they get their superfood, antioxidant smoothies and all this stuff.

[00:42:04.730] – Brad
So to kind of recalibrate that a bit and realize that fasting is probably the biggest thing you can do for an immediate health boost, it beats any superfood ever known to mankind. And so skipping a meal is no big deal. It's a positive step in the direction of health. And then you can kind of turn eating into one of the great pleasures of life as it's intended to be, rather than another stop at the gas station, as if you were a race car and just need to refuel all day long, which is basically the story for most people that it's just fuel and calories, a lot of times empty calories, but you need them otherwise you're going to feel like crap at three p.m. at work and you're not going to get all your work done before five.

[00:42:54.050] – Allan
Yeah, we leave a second breakfast away. We don't need a second breakfast. You might not even need the first one.

[00:43:00.320] – Allan
There was another concept in the book that I thought was really important that I wanted to bring up because a lot of people, we're busy, we've got a lot going on in our lives and we're looking at the clock and we're thinking, you know, I wanted to get out of here and go get my workout in, but I just don't have that hour.

[00:43:16.940] – Allan
I need to stay in the office for another half hour to get some work done. And then, yeah, I got to go pick up the kids and we got to go do this. And my life is just this out of control kind of thing. But you have this concept. We talk about micro workouts. And I think so many people are stuck on the I have to work out for thirty minutes every day or an hour every day, or I might as well not do it. Can you kind of talk about micro workouts and how we can make those are part of a healthy lifestyle.

[00:43:46.160] – Brad
Yeah. Thanks, Allan. This is I got a big smile on my face because this is, I think, one of the greatest breakthroughs that we've seen in fitness in this century. I know the century's young. We got a lot ahead of us.

[00:44:00.710] – Brad
But really, the fitness industry as a whole has been stuck. It's been mired in this no pain, no gain, struggle and suffer mentality. And most of the programing is based on this idea that if we crush you hard enough, you can high-five your workout partner at the end. We can put you on the commercial and you'll order this expensive indoor bicycle or join the gym or continue with the package with your trainer who's urging you for more reps. And so for the people that are really into fitness, it works fine.

[00:44:33.510] – Brad
I used to be a professional triathlete, I trained all day long for a decade of my life and I loved it and I traveled around the world and I mixed with other athletes who also loved riding our bicycles one hundred miles through the mountains. And that was all fun and games and great stuff for us. But so many people have been marginalized by the traditional approach to fitness. And you walk in the gym, you know, 63% of people are intimidated when they look over to the free weight room. And another 27% are intimidated when they look in the window at the bootcamp class where the lady is screaming and urging you for more and more jumping up and down. And you're like, wow, I'm not even in shape enough to conceive of doing something like that to my body.

[00:45:13.880] – Brad
It's true. It's catering to the fitness extremist already. So for the average person who just as you described, is busy, might not be a fitness freak, maybe they didn't feel like an athlete when they were a kid and they're just on the outside looking in. This concept of micro workouts can appeal to everyone who wants to be healthier, not necessarily a fitness freak. Just have that baseline level of physical competency to get through life with more enjoyment and less risk of injury, especially as we get older. Falling is the number one cause of injury and death in Americans over age 65. Falling. Not, pick something else. I mean, come on falling? You're kidding me?

[00:46:05.680] – Brad
But that's what happens when we go into steady and prolonged demise. And so the micro workout conveys this idea that in a minute's time or two minutes' time, you can do a miniature little burst of explosive physical effort wherever you are. You don't need a lot of implements or contraptions you can do right now in your work cubicle drop for a set of 20 deep squats or however deep you can take them.

[00:46:32.590] – Brad
And even if you're a fit person, when you get to 17, 18, 19, your legs are going to feel it. So in one minute's time, you can get a nice miniature little workout and the benefits are tremendous. One of them is it breaks up these prolonged periods of stillness that are so harmful to our metabolic and cognitive function. So even a minute's bursts of running up a couple of flights of stairs, like I said before, or doing a set of deep squats.

[00:46:57.970] – Brad
I have a rule. I have a pull up bar over my closet door and it's like a supply closet. So every time I go in there to get a another Post-it pad or whatever it is, I do a set of pull-ups that might happen once a day. Big deal. It's not going to mess up my big workout that's planned for tomorrow. Maybe I'm recovering from something and I don't want to push myself too hard today, but a single set of pull-ups is nothing to write home about.

[00:47:25.750] – Brad
I don't have to write it in my fitness workout log or anything, but if you talk to me 365 days from now and I say, yeah, this is my daily pattern and oh by the way, when I throw the garbage out, I have to go through the side yard and sitting there in the side yard is a hexagonal deadlift bar with a moderate amount of weight on it. Nothing to write home about again to the muscle heads. But let's say there's two hundred pounds on that bar. And my rule is every time I throw the garbage away, I do at least one set of deadlifts and then I go about my busy day. Maybe sometimes I'll get into it. I have some free time and I might do three or four sets and make it something that's a little bit more significant.

[00:48:05.740] – Brad
But this very low bar to jump over, to enter the world of a fit, healthy, active person is what we need to progress within the overall approach to fitness. And I think the micro workouts are so fun. It can be something that you enjoy. If you have core competency, or technique, you do something as simple as possible, like doing a squat or running up your flight of stairs, walking back down, running up again.

[00:48:32.200] – Brad
And of course, we're so busy we can't devote any more than that. That's fine right now. But as it becomes part of a daily habit and you start sprinkling these things in over time, the amazing thing happens is that, I call it like flying under the radar, but building your fitness, but without that huge risk of breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury that occurs when you immerse yourself into the mainstream approach to fitness.

[00:49:00.550] – Brad
That's the person that signs up for the personal trainer package on January 1st. And by April Fool's Day, their shoulders aching and they're going to go get an MRI and they've finished their package and they're burnt out and they're fried and they don't like it anymore because it was too physically grueling. So this is a way to kind of tiptoe to even really fit. Just from sprinkling in these little sessions that don't bother you, so they're arguably safer and less downside risk than a devoted fitness regimen. And furthermore, the emerging science in exercise, physiology and general health study is that the obligation to just move more in daily life is ranking above adherence to a devoted fitness regimen for all manner of health and disease protection.

[00:49:52.140] – Brad
Because we're so still and sedentary that even the fitness freaks, there's this idea called the compensation theory of exercise. So it's a scientifically validated phenomenon where they've studied people that do adhere to a devoted fitness regimen. So let's say that's that neighbor of yours that rolls out of there before it gets light to go to their spin class every morning at six a.m. and they're really, really into it. But then they go on the subway, they commute, they sit at a desk all day, they come home and they binge on digital programming. So they're still in sedentary for hours and hours every day.

They showed that this population of devoted fitness enthusiasts who are otherwise sedentary had the same level of metabolic disease risk factors as people who didn't exercise. And you can think, look, even extreme fitness person who's training an hour every single day, that's seven hours a week. There's one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week. So if those other 100 plus hours, of course, we need to sleep.

So we got to take a third of that and be still. But if you're engaging in all these sedentary lifestyle patterns, the exercise is not going to help you. And instead we just have to move more. Mark Sisson coined this term JFW it stands for just effing walk and that would be the centerpiece of a more active lifestyle. And you can get more health and even fitness benefit from walking more versus going and punching your gym ticket even more and pushing yourself really hard once in a while or an hour a day.

[00:51:34.620] – Allan
What I like about those is that it's something you can fit around your normal workday. So you're sitting at your desk and you want to get up to go to the restroom or go get some water or something. And so you just sit there and say, I'm a pop out 5, 10 squats, bodyweight squats. And the other cool thing about him is because these are these are things that you're adding to your day. You can really put a little bit of forethought, forethought to them and say, I want these to be functional exercises, not just something like a spin class where I know I'm burning calories, but quite frankly, you're saying squats, fundamental movement. You talked about deadlifts with the hex bar, fundamental movement to build strength in your legs, strengthen your core. You know, all of these things that even pull ups, there's some function to being able to climb going upstairs.

[00:52:26.820] – Allan
All of those are functional movements that you're building into your day that might otherwise not include any workout at all. So I just like how that can be a part of every day. You can just have those triggers. You can be doing squats while you're brushing your teeth, so there's so many opportunities for you to to do these types of things in your day and not having to think that you have to dedicate an hour or it's wasted. I just like that concept.

[00:52:56.370] – Brad
Yeah, I was just talking to someone the other day about this and they're expressing a bit of interest. How do I throw this in? I spend a lot of time at night watching my TV shows, he said. I said, well, make a rule then. If you're going to binge watch, at least in between every episode drop for a set of twenty pushups or squats or whatever. Put some rules in place because I think, hey, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I fill my mind with these great ideas. Do I execute on every single one of them? No, I don't, because I'm just too busy or whatever my excuse is.

[00:53:27.690] – Brad
So in this case, what worked for me really well, Allan was I wanted to kind of raise the fitness platform from which I launched my formal workouts because I've been a long-time fan of sprinting. I'm obsessed with high jumping. Now I compete in the old man's Masters high jump track and field.

[00:53:46.800] – Allan
Now, 55 to 59 is not old man. I refuse to accept that.

[00:53:50.630] – Brad
I'm slotted in that division, whatever you want to call it, man. So I go out and do these awesome workouts, let's say once a week and they're pretty tough. And when I get to the track I'm all pumped up and I'm competitive and I feel great. But of course I learn over the next 36 to 48 hours and I kind of pushed it too hard there. And my calves are screaming and I'm in pain now and I'm really tired. And so what was happening was I wasn't approximating that big challenge very frequently because I couldn't I had to rest and recover and the go hit it once a week again.

[00:54:23.860] – Brad
And so what I designed was this morning, routine of flexibility, mobility, core strengthening, just a fun little thing that's predicated to help me with the muscle strength and mobility I need for sprinting and jumping, I'd say. But I threw this in and decided to do it every single morning. Again, not that strenuous, but it chips away at my fitness without interrupting my busy day. I'm on a streak now of over four years, where I have not missed a single day of this wonderful morning flexibility, mobility, strengthening routine. And it started out as something really modest because I wanted to have that low bar to jump over to tell myself I'm going to commit to doing this. I'm not going to miss a day. And again, it's not too much trouble. I'm not dripping in sweat at the end, but to have it as part of my lifestyle, where I don't even have to think about it now and I get through this, it used to be a 12-minute routine and now it's a minimum of thirty five minutes.

[00:55:25.390] – Brad
I know that's not doable for many people, but whatever you have to commit to. So if you can say, hey, I'm going to give the first five minutes of my day and I'm going to do the yoga sun salutation sequence, you can see that on YouTube. It's the foundation of a yoga class where you stretch and then you compress and then you sweep and you do these movements. But if you can say that you do that every single day, we'll count that in this micro workout category and then everything else flows from there because now you've built into place this rule that this is now part of your lifestyle. It's not negotiable. It's going to become a habit.

[00:55:59.500] – Brad
And then you'll set yourself up for more success doing these little these little tidbits that we described about, you know, lifting the deadlift bar when you go through the garbage can. So I want to make sure the listener can take away something that's so simple that they might even scoff at how easy it is to implement this new commitment of five minutes a day or let's say you put a sticky note on your computer or your office door and say 40 squats before you leave the office every day. And if it's 4:57 p.m. and you're clocking out at five, I don't know if it's a home office or you're leaving whatever and you haven't done it, then you've got to do 40 right there. No big deal.

[00:56:40.090] – Brad
But if you do 10, you know, on the on the 90 minute break, you set your little timer, then it's nothing. And so we have to put rules in place because it's easy to let these things slide. And if the goal is really modest, boy, that's when I think we can build that momentum. And that's what's happened in my life with my morning routine.

[00:57:02.080] – Allan
Brad, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:57:09.850] – Brad
Whoo! Number one is to implement that morning routine and make it five minutes. Don't even go beyond that until you get into a good groove. So that one I'm really strong. It's been a life-changing thing for me, especially because I'm not a template, regimented guy. I answer to myself, I work for myself, I work from home. And so I can do whatever I want every day. But this thing is really anchored my day. And the fact that I can do that and tell the public about it, I believe it helps me become a more focused and disciplined person in every other way for the rest of my day and all the distractions that I face. So the morning routine, number one.

[00:57:54.970] – Brad
Number two is ditch those big three toxic modern foods, do it for twenty-one days. And what you'll discover is you'll habituate away from this nibbling on sugar and grain-based, high-calorie snacks. Your body will actually feel better, even though you're giving up what you think are these precious things that you can't do without and that you deserve so much. After working that hard day, of course you deserve a pint of processed ice cream with chemicals in there. Even hippie trippy Ben and Jerry's products have vegetable industrial seed oils and some of the flavors. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the side of the box. So ditch the big three.

[00:58:36.460] – Brad
And then you asked for three, right?

[00:58:38.080] – Allan

[00:58:39.130] – Brad
Number three is don't take on too much, so just do the first two.

[00:58:43.890] – Allan
Oh, I like that. All right, Brad if someone wanted to learn more about you and Mark Sisson and your book, Two Meals a Day, where would you like for me to send them?

Oh, thanks. We have this cool landing page called TwoMealsaDayBook.com, and you can get, it's called preorder bonus items. But even as the book has been released just before the show came out, you can still get our cool preorder bonuses. There's an audio summary, a recipe PDF, and a discount coupon to go shopping for healthy condiments at Primal Kitchen. And then if you go over and visit BradKerns.com, you will be regaled by wild and crazy videos like my morning routine, you can learn what I do and watch me break the world record and speed golf, don't worry if you only have a minute and thirty-eight seconds, that's all it took for me to play the fastest hole of golf ever played.

[00:59:33.240] – Brad
And I'm trying to promote all these healthy lifestyle practices that we live and breathe every day. But I also think it's important to put in a vote for having fun and having a lighthearted approach. So you'll see me kind of being silly. Same without my BRad podcast. I like to inject that sense of humor and not taking ourselves too seriously as we try to improve our lives and optimize in so many different ways.

[00:59:58.050] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/477 and I'll be sure to have all the links there. Brad, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:00:08.010] – Brad
Thank you, Allan. Great show. Keep up the good work.

[01:00:10.710] – Allan
Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[01:00:16.090] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[01:00:17.830] – Rachel
Oh, Allan, what a neat conversation, Brad seems like a really energetic guy.

[01:00:22.990] – Allan
He is a very energetic guy. And for those of you that don't know what speed golf is, that I went right over your head. But basically, speed golf is a sport where you hit the golf ball off the tee and then you run to the ball and they basically add your strokes to your time of the run. And so the secret is to run it really, really quickly, to quickly hit the ball again, but be generally accurate because you don't want to be running all over the golf course and then get the ball in the hole. And he managed on a par five basically to get a par four, a birdie. And he did it in just over a minute and a half. I don't know that I could even just run from the tee to the hole in that amount of time. But I just know when I played golf the walking, because I'd be on one side and then I'd be on the other side, then I'd overshoot the hole and then I'd be over here and then I'd be over there. By the time I got through the hole of golf, I'd already walked the whole golf course.

[01:01:23.800] – Allan
And so so that probably not the sport for me. I'm not a sprinter. I'll be the slow go. But yeah, basically that's that's one of the sports he participates in now. And he's a hoot. It's fun to watch people do crazy stuff like that. But just yo actually meet someone who's got the world record at it. It's kind of awesome.

[01:01:48.490] – Rachel
That is a riot. What a funny sport. I just love it.

[01:01:53.350] – Allan
We got into a couple of important things. I mean, obviously with the two meals a day concept is something that I feel a little bit more confident I could do rather than the one meal a day. And it's only because I don't know that I could eat enough calories at one sitting comfortably and to make sure that I'm still getting all the nutrition. The second meal would… I'm going to have to do that so effectively when I eat, I intuitively end up eating two, sometimes I have three meals in my eight hour, six hour window, but easily two meals would work out very well for me.

[01:02:29.920] – Rachel
Sure. Yeah. It seems a lot more doable and easy to plan out too. I like that concept.

[01:02:36.370] – Allan
And then we got into the toxic food stuff. And yes, we've talked about sugar on this podcast. Actually, I think maybe even my second episode, episode number two was about sugar. We know what sugar is doing to us. We know for the most part what bread is usually doing to almost all of us. And then the seed oils is an area where I probably don't talk about enough. And in the worst part of it is, the labeling on foods, all the seed oils are going to have heart-healthy on their label, because they're not saturated fat and unfortunately they're still horrible, horrible food for you to be putting in your body.

[01:03:24.950] – Allan
But they managed to get to a point where they're marketing, the healthy thing, it just breaks my heart. Eat healthy canola oil. And I'm like, no.

[01:03:38.840] – Rachel
It is really confusing. And that was hard for me too when I started keto, because you think of an oil that's derived from a plant or a seed, I mean, that sounds perfectly healthy. What could possibly be wrong? And then when you add the label on to it that says that it's heart-healthy, what could be wrong? The government said that it's healthy. So how do you weed that out? It's taken a long time to unlearn some of these habits.

[01:04:06.160] – Allan
Yeah. It does it just that that kind of stuff just drives me nuts. If you want to eat heart healthy, you're going to eat a lot of grains. You're going to eat a lot of those seed oils. And then the worst part of it is if you're going to try to go low fat otherwise and what are they going to do? They're going to put sugar in the food to make it palatable. So you're getting the trifecta of the bad toxic foods, just trying to follow the guidelines that our government is so kind to put out there for us.

[01:04:38.540] – Rachel
It's so crazy. Now, what kind of oils do you like to use when you're cooking? We've we found good success with coconut oil. It's easy and it cooks well. And it's got a good flavor.

[01:04:50.090] – Allan
I use I use avocado oil. Some I like to use I like to use coconut oil, particularly like if I'm going to make something that's more of an Asian style restaurant. So like, let's say I'm going to stir fry some chicken and some vegetables and then I want maybe I'm going to try to make it into more of an Oriental flavor or I'm going to put some coconut and curry. I'll use the coconut oil in that. If I'm going to make something that's going to be more of like a meat sauce or something like that, I'll use I'll just use the hamburger and I don't drain it.

[01:05:22.940] – Rachel

[01:05:23.600] – Allan
Those recipes are like drain the oil.

[01:05:25.584] – Rachel

[01:05:27.680] – Allan
Throw away half your food.

[01:05:30.110] – Rachel
Yeah. Don't don't replace that with more oil. That's good stuff.

[01:05:33.350] – Allan
We're going to throw away half the egg because we don't want to eat the yolk. We're going to throw away the fat because we don't want fat. And I'm like, no, put that in there. It's delicious. It's what makes hamburger taste good. When you take all that oil out, it tastes like dirt. So I'll do that. And then, like, if I'm going to use like an olive oil, I'll use it as a dressing. Or I will sometimes, like if I've cooked a sauce once I'm done cooking the sauce and now it's just kind of warm, heat it ready to go. I'll slather in some olive oil at that point to give us a little bit more umph.

[01:06:09.780] – Allan
And then I, I love cooking with butter. I love cooking with butter. I'll get the Kerry Gold or good quality butter. We've got two or three brands down here that are grass fed cows from Panama and I assume they speak Spanish. They make butter and that's it's a good butter. I'll cook eggs with that.

[01:06:34.250] – Allan
Sometimes when we're going to have bacon and I cook the bacon in the pan, I might use the grease, some of the grease and bacon and just cook it with that. I'm not afraid of saturated fat because what I have found is saturated fat makes my HDL go up. And the ratio of total cholesterol, the HDL improves when I'm eating saturated fat. If I take out the saturated fat, my HDL plummets, my LDL goes down maybe a little bit, but not enough to matter as far as the doctors are concerned. And my HDL is still relatively high. So my ratio of high total to HDL is terrible. So, I want to have the best markers I can have. I'm not worried about the total because I could eliminate all of my HDL and still be over the number. And even when I did statins, my cholesterol was still over 250.

[01:07:42.320] – Allan
And I can't get any lower. So, it is what it is. I just accept that so. I'll use I'll use saturated fat, you know, I eat fish regularly, so I'm getting some omega three oils from the fish.

[01:08:02.270] – Rachel

Sometimes I will take krill oil. If I'm not getting enough fish, I'll go ahead and take some krill. Well, and get some more in there. Most of what I'm eating are grass-fed beef. So there's some good fats as far as I'm concerned. Good fats in there because it's grass-fed, grass-finished. So that saturated fat is actually not bad for me. Eggs and pastured eggs. That fat I don't think is bad for me. And then cooking wise avocado oil, olive oil once it's already cooked because I'm not going to cook with olive oil and then just plain old butter.

[01:08:36.560] – Rachel
That sounds great. That's about what we use in the at our house as well. The coconut oil, avocado, occasionally olive, but not often. And of course we also have butter. And I also have a little can of ghee, which I use that on occasion as well. So that was that sounds good. Yeah. The other thing Brad mentioned, which I have to say I kind of geeked out about, was micro workouts. I really liked his idea of well, he mentioned doing a minute here, a minute there, push ups or squats and and lifts and whatnot.

[01:09:09.110] – Rachel
I tell all my friends that if you're struggling with motivation, you're not feeling it. Do half a workout or go out for one mile. You don't have to spend two hours at the gym. If you just take five or ten minutes and get a little fresh air, do something that gets your heart rate up. I mean, that's enough to move for that day.

[01:09:28.010] – Allan
Yeah, there used to be this kind of mantra that you needed to have your heart rate up in the cardio zone for at least twenty-four minutes. And apparently there was a study, but the doctors, now they've done the science and they're kind of like now you're going to get the same benefit doing five 5-minute workouts, as you would, doing a 24 or 25 minute workout. So just anything that's going to get your heart rate up for just even five minutes is going to be beneficial.

[01:10:02.440] – Allan
And actually, one of the other things I really like about microworkouts is that there's something that you can spread movement throughout the day. If you go to work and you think I'm going to sit at the desk for a solid four hours, then I'm going to have lunch and then I'll sit at the desk for another five hours and not move during that period of time other than an occasional toilet break or get some coffee. You're sitting still and, you know, whereas if you when you got up to get that coffee, just did some jumping jacks or, you know, some bodyweight squats or a couple of push-ups and then move around, your energy level is going to go up and you might find you don't actually need that coffee,

[01:10:50.410] – Rachel
Right? Yeah. Just get your blood pumping, get a little fresh air. And that might be enough to energize you for the rest of the afternoon.

[01:10:58.300] – Allan
And there's another part of the micro workout theme that I like. So sometimes we wake up in the morning and we're lik I really don't feel like running. I don't feel like it. Then we put we force ourselves to do it. But I got to do it. I got to have my streak intact. That got to do it. And we get out there. And this very unfortunate thing happens is that our bodies were actually fatigued.

[01:11:21.710] – Allan
We had not recovered properly from our workouts and because maybe because we weren't feeling right, maybe because we weren't sleeping right, maybe because just doing too much, too soon. We're not recovered. And because we didn't listen to our body, we're doing more harm than good. So, looking at it from a micro workout, you get there and say, I really don't want to do this, but then you say, I'll do it for five minutes.

[01:11:47.780] – Rachel

[01:11:48.650] – Allan
And if after that five minutes you're not feeling it, stop. Please stop. Your body was talking to you and you were ignoring it or trying to override it with reason. Please do this when the body really did need recovery time so that if you get out there for five minutes, you've got the benefit of that five minutes and you're not overtraining. And then a lot of people, you just start it like I started my route and I ran out two minutes and I agree that I'm going to turn my back two minutes or sometimes you just realize I want to keep running. I don't actually want to stop now and you get your full workout in because that's what you needed to do.

[01:12:32.630] – Allan
So microworkouts kind of have two functions. One is that you're breaking up the work into smaller portions, which sometimes makes it easier to fit into a busy day.

[01:12:41.060] – Rachel

[01:12:41.600] – Allan
And then the other thing is micro workouts can kind of be that strategy to get you started. I'm at least going to do five minutes and then if I'm done, I'm done. And you can listen to your body, as you put it, through the paces. And I just know when I ran a lot, I hated the first two or three minutes of running. I hate it. You start going and it's like man, this sucks. Then something clicks on when your body warms up and then it feels good.

[01:13:15.140] – Rachel
That's true. Some of us like to say the first mile is a liar and that you feel that this isn't right. I got to shake out the cobwebs. I'm not feeling it today. But then once you get that first mile under your belt, sometimes the to the second and third or however long you're out there, they just fly right by. So, yeah, for sometimes the first miles is a liar. Sometimes it's the first five minutes of a workout that's a liar.

[01:13:38.960] – Rachel
But yeah, if you could just do something it's better than nothing. And like Brad mentioned if you're sitting there watching TV at night, do some pushups during the commercials and then do some sit-ups during the next commercial. I mean, just these little movements throughout the day, it's always better than nothing at all.

[01:13:57.350] – Allan
Absolutely. And with the commercials the way they are today, I mean, the 30-minute program has eight minutes of commercials.

[01:14:05.810] – Rachel
Just about, yes. Pretty much.

[01:14:08.840] – Allan
You don't have to watch too much TV and you've got an hour of workouts done yet. Half an hour anyway, watching a couple hours of TV. You got half an hour right there, just watching two hours of TV. So if it's a popular program, because when they first start out, they don't. And I see this because I watch stuff on Netflix and I'll see a show the first year it came out. And, they have basically five to six minutes of commercials.

[01:14:38.390] – Allan
And then by the time they get to their fifth or sixth season, that's it's up to over eight minutes of commercials now because I'm flipping through these this shows, I'm like, how could I just watch five shows on Netflix and an hour and all those damn commercials that I'm not having to watch.

[01:14:55.130] – Rachel
Right? For sure.

[01:14:56.750] – Allan
Netflix is a little different as far as if you're going to be doing them because they don't have the advertisements, the commercials. But, okay, you know, you watch half the show or watch the show and then do the work before you start that next episode.

[01:15:13.760] – Rachel
That's right.

[01:15:17.810] – Allan
Alright, Rachel, anything else you want to go over before we cut out?

[01:15:20.390] – Rachel
No, that was great. Great conversation.

[01:15:22.700] – Allan
All right. Well, let's we'll talk next week.

[01:15:24.800] – Rachel
You bet. 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 1, 2021

SIBO made simple with Phoebe Lapine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

After documenting her year in The Wellness Project, Phoebe Lapine was still struggling with her health. He found she had small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Her efforts to understand and address this illness brings us SIBO Made Simple.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:48.220] – Allan
Raz, how are you doing this week?

[00:00:49.780] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:51.550] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. Outdoors, sitting on the patio at Lula's, my wife's bed and breakfast. And I've been kind of sweating because it's been some warm couple of days up here.

[00:01:03.370] – Rachel

[00:01:04.510] – Allan
Yeah. Not so much in Michigan.

[00:01:06.790] – Rachel
No, no. We've got frigid cold temperatures again and we just got another five or seven inches of snow last night. So we'll be digging ourselves out today, that's for sure.

[00:01:16.870] – Allan
Yeah. And that this particular one obviously is taking a big dip south because I'm having grown up in the southeast. Most of my friends that I grew up with, they're dealing with snow and ice there and they're not equipped for it. What would be a normal Tuesday in Michigan is kind of devastating in Mississippi.

[00:01:37.780] – Rachel
It is.

[00:01:38.530] – Allan
Yeah. So there's there's some struggles there. And I just say, if the weather outside is that bad, if you can stay home, stay home, because it's you don't need to be on the roads and particularly if you're just not comfortable or you don't have the equipment necessary to be on those roads because the most of the tires that you're going to have in the southeast are not they're not built for snow. They're built for rain and they're built for warm weather. And so you get them on the snow and they're ice skates.

[00:02:07.780] – Rachel
Yeah, it's a dangerous. It's a dangerous situation. Even up here in Michigan where we do have the equipment and the trucks and everybody's prepared, we all know usually how to drive in the winter. These frigid temperatures we're having makes such that the the salt does not work effectively. So even this morning, the trucks were able to clear all the snow off the highways, but they couldn't lay down the salt because it wouldn't have done anything. So we need to wait for the blue skies and the sun to come out, maybe get a little bit of melt before they can put the salt down. It's still a really tricky situation up here. So, yeah, the best advice is to stay home, if you can.

[00:02:45.640] – Allan
The problem with the Southeast is that it it's not that cold. So you get you get right in that kind of that scary middle space where you've got snow and then you've got sleet and then you've got ice and then you've got snow and…

[00:03:00.370] – Rachel
It's a disaster. It is just a disaster.

[00:03:04.060] – Allan
And the general reminder, bridges do ice before roads do so…

[00:03:09.040] – Rachel
Yes, that is true.

All right. So, yeah, I've been in charge of Lula's this week. My wife is in David doing some shopping for the bathroom fixtures and sinks and stuff like that that she's going to need to redo the six bathrooms up here. And then we're going to do an owner suite and a bathroom downstairs. And so there's just there's a lot of construction that's going to be going on for the next several weeks. She's in David trying to get that stuff together. And she put me in charge. And I'm not doing all that well.

[00:03:40.210] – Allan
I forgot to feed the workers today.

[00:03:42.700] – Rachel
Oh, no!

[00:03:44.310] – Allan
That's one of the things you're in keto and intermittent fasting. You don't even think about food. I woke up. I wasn't thinking about food. I'm doing my thing and and I'm like, okay, well, I got to go get the microphone because I left that at the gym and I wanted to be back here. And then I was walking back, I bought some groceries for dinner. And I said I probably forgot lunchtime. I don't even know what time it is. And then of course, here I am for a recording. I was a few minutes late because, I had no clue what time it was and I wasn't hungry. I'm not hungry. So, yeah, unfortunately I didn't feed the workers today. And when my wife hears this, she's not gonna be happy with me, but I am going to feed them tomorrow. I promise.

[00:04:22.180] – Rachel
Oh good. Good thing.

[00:04:26.140] – Allan
All right. So are you ready to go have a conversation with Phoebe?

[00:04:29.320] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do this.


[00:04:55.570] – Allan
Phoebe, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:58.370] – Phoebe
Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:05:00.460] – Allan
I should say welcome back to 40+ Fitness because I had you on earlier back in 2017 when you had the book, The Wellness Project.

[00:05:11.290] – Phoebe

[00:05:11.650] – Allan
And I have to admit, I stole a little bit from you. I like the word wellness. I liked it a lot. I liked your approach. And then so when I wrote my book that I actually published at the end of 2017, no 2018, I called it The Wellness Roadmap.

[00:05:32.440] – Phoebe

[00:05:32.980] – Allan
It was kind of a lot. What you did was, okay, how did I get here, how did I do these things to make myself well. Now you did that in your book The Wellness Project, and I think you stole a project from Gretchen Rubin.

[00:05:48.200] – Phoebe
Yeah. We're all stealing from each other.

[00:05:48.800] – Allan
Yes, there we go. But we're all learning each other. And I think that's the other thing is I was able to bring some things that you had learned on your journey and I had learned on my journey and say, okay, let's let's put those together, because that's going to help people. And that's why you do the podcast. That's why I have you on again so we can talk about your book, SIBO Made Simple.

[00:06:09.380] – Allan
Now, let me be honest with you. I started reading and maybe… I'm lucky. I'll just readily admit I'm really, really lucky in that I don't have bowel issues almost ever. Almost never, ever. I live in Panama. My wife has already gotten a parasite here and had to take medicine. Touch wood, knock wood, whatever you do, nothing like that's happened to me. So as I go into these topics, it's not something that I have personal experience with. So to me, SIBO and SIFO and Candida and all these things are a little bit like a Rubik's Cube.

[00:06:48.560] – Phoebe
Hmm. Yes, definitely.

[00:06:50.660] – Allan
Because it's not a one symptom, one cure. It's multiple symptoms and maybe multiple issues all happening at the same time. As you start adding the layers and I didn't realize until just recently they have a four sided Rubik's Cube. I just bought one. It arrived today.

[00:07:10.280] – Phoebe
Four sided?

[00:07:15.770] – Allan
They're all sided. But it's the one we had back in the day was a three by three. And then I found out they have the two by twos and have four by four. So I bought them just so I could play around with them. And as I got into your book, you basically wrote the algorithm to help us solve SIBO.

[00:07:36.620] – Phoebe
It's a really good analogy. I'm going to have to steal that right back from you because, yeah, as you said, I tried to create a roadmap as much as possible. But it's not a linear journey. It's more like a really expansive map with lots of twists and turns and forks in the road. And I think it's important for you to be able to see the entire landscape because sometimes you have to go back to Go and start over again.

[00:08:05.000] – Allan
You were in it. I mean, I think that was the thing of the book and the thing about your other book, The Wellness Project, is that you experienced this and you were down in the trenches. So this is not you just saying, hey, this is something that also affects people. You were in it. Can you tell us a little bit about your story?

[00:08:28.250] – Phoebe
Yeah, I always seem to write the book that I wish existed when I was going through something. So, yeah, as you mentioned, like I started to experience symptoms right after I had supposedly learned everything there was to know about gut health by doing research for my last book. And it was so funny because I really was confused. I was doing all the things that the microbiome specialists had told me to do.

[00:08:51.980] – Phoebe
And I interviewed some incredible people. And pretty much everyone's advice was the same. Eat a lot of fermented foods and insulin-rich vegetables and fiber, fiber and more fiber. So I was crushing legumes and drinking a lot of Bucca and kafia and whatnot. And I started to realize I was feeling miserable after every meal. So I went harder on all of those things and then felt more miserable.

[00:09:15.470] – Phoebe
And eventually that got me back in the door of my doctor. And the diagnosis I received was SIBO, which is something I had heard of in passing but didn't truly understand. And honestly and this isn't just like making a silver lining out of a bad situation, but learning about SIBO was like such an aha moment, such an essential part two to my wellness project, my wellness story.

[00:09:41.510] – Phoebe
And some of the other diets that I kind of heard of along the way, like the low FODMAP diet began to make sense. So I'll just tell those of you who don't know the actual definition of SIBO, it stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. And it's thought that at least 60 percent of all IBS cases are actually being caused by SIBO. But it's not necessarily like a disease in and of itself, kind of similar to IBS.

[00:10:06.920] – Phoebe
It's a sign that something has gone wrong in the body, that the mechanics of our digestive system has gone off the rails. And I find that part really fascinating because also in my research and kind of just in the wellness world, I feel like, quote unquote, gut health, like the word gut just gets thrown around a lot and we kind of forget that it's the entire digestive system. So when people are talking about good gut bacteria, I didn't really realize that. It's not like, well, there's, of course, different types of bacteria in the entire digestive system, but the majority of it is supposed to be in the large intestine, not the gut as a whole. And the small intestine is really not supposed to have much bacteria at all because that's where you absorb your nutrients. So if they're bacteria present who have the same taste as you do, in large part, they're going to start competing for your nutrients. And when they eat your food, in particular, different types of carbohydrates, they release gas.

[00:11:05.540] – Phoebe
And when that gas is super far up your digestive tract, it's not as close to an exit ramp. And so it's going to try and get out any way possible. Burping was a really strange symptom that I had that I kind of didn't even realize would have been associated with anything. But once I got diagnosed with SIBO and like read the list of symptoms, I was like, oh, my God, the burping. Because, again, that gas is just trying to get out. But for those who have IBS symptoms, the SIBOy IBS is really high up. Like you feel that bloating like underneath your ribs. It's not like for the ladies out there what you would feel like if you just were getting your period. And it's also something that happens very frequently.

[00:11:48.780] – Phoebe
So pretty much so long as there are some sort of carb on your plate and that includes vegetables, fruit and vegetables as well, you're going to feel probably some sort of symptom because the symptoms are directly related to the food.

[00:12:03.650] – Phoebe
So it's a tricky nut to crack because you're trying to eradicate bacteria from one area without doing too much damage to the large intestine. And that's kind of the tricky. The tricky walk you need to do with SIBO. And it's something that I know gives people a lot of confusion. But at the end of the day, I think it comes down to the fact that these bacteria are wreaking such havoc. They're causing so much inflammation because they're in the area of the gut that doesn't have a whole lot of protective… It doesn't have a whole lot of protection. You have a really thick mucus lining and the large intestine, which separates your immune system from the bacteria and in the small intestine since it's not designed for bacteria, you don't have that.

[00:12:47.540] – Phoebe
So your immune system gets involved. Once that happens in the fog of war, you can damage the tight junctions of your intestines that leads to leaky gut and then that leads to food sensitivities. And there's a huge overlap with autoimmunity and SIBO for that reason. It's like kind of a chicken or the egg. And yeah, I think it's like one of the reasons well, the gut is kind of at the at the heart of so many different conditions, but in particular with SIBO, there's just a very long list of things that could be at play.

[00:13:18.630] – Allan
Yeah, I think, one of the kind of aha moments of this is actually understanding that the digestive track, each segment of it. I guess the best way I can say it, your mouth, your stomach, your small intestine, large intestine, each one of those has a particular purpose. And the large intestine is is there to break down fiber and do its thing. But if you end up with the bacteria too far up, meaning it's into the small intestine, the small intestine isn't designed for that.

[00:13:47.640] – Allan
And as a result, it kind of made sense because it was like, leaky gut, you end up with these these gaps. I'm kind of thinking how how would that actually work? How it's kind of actually, you think of it as a mesh, but that's fine. You think of there's a mucus layer and that's fine. But then when you actually said, okay, you're getting gas and the gas is expanding, something that wasn't designed to expand, it was just existing, designed to pass this stuff through, pull out the nutrients that can because it's churning.

[00:14:18.960] – Allan
So it's pulling out the nutrients as it goes over. It was 17 feet. So it goes across this distance. And during that time, it's pulling out all the nutrients and there's a very specialized process. But if it's swelling up because there's excess gas in there, then I can now I can kind of understand how it would force things out, and of course, the gas is trying to escape, but at the same time…

[00:14:47.100] – Phoebe
Yeah, often it just gets trapped.

[00:14:49.680] – Allan
All the stuff in there is also getting forced to go somewhere to some extent because it's in that same space. It's trying to occupy that same space, which is getting more and more compressed. And you you feel like you're eating well. You feel like you're doing everything you're supposed to do, but you're getting sicker and sicker.

[00:15:07.180] – Phoebe
Yeah. and I think that's another really difficult thing and why I think learning about SIBO and having some sort of awareness is so important because, we're all like grabbing for straws and there are definitely going to be certain experts or influencer or whatever you want to call that people follow and they will reach towards whatever the piece of advice is. But we're all so different and anything that can help can also hurt. And SIBO is a prime example of that.

[00:15:33.040] – Phoebe
So the low FODMAP diet, which is something I had heard about kind of while I was doing research for my first book, is basically the opposite of what the gut sensis were telling me to do. And at the time I didn't understand. I'm like, why would this help people with IBS and the low FODMAP diet is very data-backed for reducing IBS symptoms. And I kind of knew deep down that I had to be because their guts were so damaged in the first place that they couldn't even handle some of those, quote unquote, good gut foods. Or perhaps they're missing bacterial species that helped to break them down. Could be all of the above and or SIBO.

[00:16:09.570] – Phoebe
But SIBO really appealed to my common sense because it makes perfect sense that bacteria, good or bad, if they're eating their favorite foods but they're in the wrong place, are going to cause you a lot of symptoms.

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[00:18:03.100] – Allan
Now, one of the things, like I said, where you kind of added an extra row to my Rubik's Cube was that a lot of people will go through. And IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it's somewhat of a nebulous thing. That just means you you have diarrhea or you have constipation or you have gas or just any kind of digestive problem.

[00:18:27.730] – Allan
Then you throw in some other things that often accompany this same issue and diagnosing it and then beyond diagnosing it, actually knowing how to treat it. Because, like you said, we we want to be able to remove what we need to remove without doing complete damage to the entire rest of our system. So you talked about topics like SIFO, which is more of a fungal thing like candida. You talked about estrogen dominance and kind of some things about the thyroid that often come hand in hand, almost like you said, amigos. But I would say Co-villians.

[00:19:11.280] – Phoebe

[00:19:15.550] – Allan
They're basically the criminal mastermind group that gets together to go against the Superfriends. Can you kind of talk about a few of those that, for lack of a better word, are related issues that you'll find with SIBO?

[00:19:28.330] – Phoebe
Yeah. So SIFO, that one is easy. So that's just the same acronym. But instead of bacteria you've got fungus overgrowing, which Candida falls into that category. And it's because the mechanics again, when the mechanics go off the rails, you have a chance for anything to overgrow. So I can give you a little bit of an overview of of what the main reasons why someone who gets SIBO might have as contributing factors.

[00:19:55.120] – Phoebe
So kind of the first category is any sort of structural impediments. A lot of people have had any sort of abdominal surgery, even if it's laparoscopic, you kind of have this internal scar tissue that you may not know about that kind of restricts or changes the movement.

[00:20:13.060] – Allan
And that even includes a hysterectomy, right?

[00:20:14.770] – Phoebe
Yeah, yeah. And like not to scare you, but if you have some sort of tumor like that, it's going to change the structure of the abdomen and endometriosis is a big one for women. It causes the endometrial lining to occur outside of the uterus, and that can mean a lot of growth that are bearing down on the intestines. It also can mean a lot of laparoscopic surgeries. So, check check both boxes there.

[00:20:38.890] – Phoebe
The second big category has to do with something called the migrating motor complex. Again, something that I never heard of when I just did my basic gut research prior. But this is the street sweeper wave that moves food through your small intestine. So it's not like the same as peristalsis. It's kind of described as cleaning up the dishes after a meal. So it just helps literally to kind of like conveyor belt food through. And so when that breaks down and it can for so many different reasons, then that's, of course, going to equate to an overgrowth very easily.

[00:21:16.330] – Phoebe
The third category, I would say, is just various ways that bacteria aren't killed. So someone with an immune deficiency, someone with low stomach acid, someone with out a gallbladder, anyone who's not producing enough enzymes or bile, that's of course, all those ingredients were designed by your body to neutralize unwanted bacteria because bacteria is coming into our body through our nose and mouth every single day. It's just part of the way of life. So, again, like included in those ingredients could be yeast or fungus. And our body is naturally going to have a certain level of bacteria and fungus, but not in the small intestines per say, because we're meant to have a lot of bile and acid in there and we're meant to have this street sweeper wave moving things through

[00:22:11.320] – Phoebe
The second category, I think of the overlapping conditions that you mentioned would kind of fall under hormones. Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, which is what I wrote about in my last book, The Wellness Project, I didn't even realize, really goes hand in hand with SIBO. And it's because you need a healthy gut in order to have your inactive thyroid hormone T4 converted into T3, which is the active thyroid hormone. But on the flipside, you need the T3 hormone in order to have a healthy gut so it can become this real vicious cycle, as many things with SIBO can.

[00:22:51.520] – Phoebe
So that's one. And then estrogen dominance you mentioned again comes down to hormones. So our liver is such an important player in the digestive process if your liver is not functioning up to snuff, you're going to not be carrying out your estrogen in the way you should, and then that could create estrogen dominance. And you also could have estrogen dominance because of all the hormones in dairy products and the animals we eat and the personal care products we put on our body. There are just so many ways that that can happen.

[00:23:23.390] – Phoebe
And then guess what? Estrogen dominance can also prevent you from converting your thyroid hormones properly. So all of these things, again, do feed into one another. And another funny one with the Hashimoto's and estrogen dominance connection is that if you're not pooping and stuff which can happen is a very common symptom of Hashimoto's, because if you're not if you don't have enough T3 in circulation, the migrating motor complex doesn't work as well. So again, you're going to have a motility issue. You tend to not be able to absorb your B12 as much, which also leads to brain fog. So, yeah, again, you're not pooping enough, then you're going to have estrogen dominant because you're not getting rid of your excess hormones.

[00:24:16.910] – Phoebe
Oh, gosh, that's a lot to keep track of.

[00:24:19.880] – Allan
It is. And that's why I think this book is valuable, because if you're going through this, you have this is a reference. Now, one of the things you got into in the book that I thought was really important because, prior to this, again, I knew there was IBS. We've talked about the low FODMAP diet on the podcast before. But if you can segment this and start to understand exactly what's going on in your body, then you're going to have the right treatment protocol to get things done well, rather than just have to do a full on. Let's just cut everything out, do this huge elimination diet and all of that. You can basically refine how you're approaching things and deal with them the right way, is the testing. And so if you go through and say, okay, I'm going to do the testing, you can get some information about what might be going on. But even that is a little bit of a complexity.

[00:25:13.340] – Phoebe

[00:25:13.850] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about the testing?

[00:25:16.190] – Phoebe
Sure. So, I get people who write me and are saying I got a stool test and it says I have SIBO. And I just have to politely say, there is no stool test that can tell you if you have SIBO that's really just covering the large intestine. So the main testing for determining SIBO is a breath test and it makes you feel a little bit like a mad scientist when you do it. Essentially the trick is you have to kind of prep your system similar to an endoscopies, a colonoscopy, not as intense, not as crazy, but by modifying your diet for 24 hours before only doing white rice and lean meats, you're trying to make sure that there's nothing left in the canal that could cross react, then fasting for 24 hours, then the morning of you drink a sugar solution. And there are a few different types that they use in these tests.

[00:26:08.720] – Phoebe
But essentially you drink this sugar solution and then you breathe into a tube every 15 to 20 minutes, different tests of different intervals, and they measure the levels of gases in your breath. And if they find hydrogen or methane and they're essentially tracking it in those intervals to see how far the sugar solution has made it down your intestinal track. Because once you reach the third hour and it in theory has reached the large intestine, you should see a spike in those gases.

[00:26:37.880] – Phoebe
The only reason why you would be seeing these gases in your breath is because of bacteria eating your food. There's no other reason. So if you see within the first hour or two some sort of spike with hydrogen or methane, that could mean an overgrowth. And it is a little bit of the Wild West, different labs and different countries, all and different doctors all have different criteria for what levels constitute a SIBO diagnosis. But at the very least, like a lot of studies have compiled, all the data can see that a positive breath test does correlate to having someone experience some relief after treatment.

[00:27:16.670] – Phoebe
So whether you want to call it SIBO or not, there's something wrong that in your digestive system. The treatments for SIBO seem to work. And one of the reasons why that is, is there are different treatments for different types of bugs that are overgrowing. So it's important to kind of see if you're hydrogen dominant or methane dominant or a third type, which now they just introduced a test to test all three at once, which is hydrogen sulfide, dominant.

[00:27:42.410] – Phoebe
So it's it's a very complicated and imprecise science, but that's the best we got right now.

[00:27:50.030] – Allan
Well, and that is what we have. And you've put a lot of that in the book. So, again, as a reference, I think anyone that's suffering from IBS or SIBO would want to kind of go through this. Now, we don't really have time on a podcast. Like this to go through all the treatment, things that you should consider and all that, but you you hit like really quickly in the book The 10 Treatment Rules of Thumb. Could you kind of just walk us through those real quick? Because I think this is this will give someone an idea of what's involved in actually going through a treatment protocol.

[00:28:21.790] – Phoebe
Yeah, I wish I could remember them. I should, like, open the book and have my cheat sheet in front of me. But essentially, there are three buckets. There are different types of antimicrobials. One is a conventional antibiotic and there are a few different types. And the kind of main one for hydrogen SIBO is not as harmful to the large intestines as some conventional ones. It's really designed specifically for SIBO and does a great job and just eradicating the Zebo and not affecting the balance in large intestines. Then there is some herbal options. So just natural combinations, compound formulas of herbal antimicrobials and some antifungals in there as well.

[00:29:04.510] – Phoebe
And some doctors prefer to just use like singular herbs when targeting. Unfortunately, those have a little bit more of a wide, broad range, broad spectrum reach. So people who think, oh, I want to go the natural route, it's not necessarily better or worse. I personally want the natural route because I'm one of those people. I'm like, I want to do the natural thing. But they're not innocuous. A really powerful plant medicine. So something to keep in mind.

[00:29:30.280] – Phoebe
And then there is this one category called the Elemental Diet, which is not a diet at all. It is, in fact, a medical solution. That is, all of your nutrients boil down to their most elemental form so that they absorb immediately upon reaching the small intestine so they don't make it through far enough for your bacteria to ever feast on them and the treatment plan is to do it for two weeks, which is a long time to just be drinking your food. But it appeals to some people.

[00:30:01.720] – Phoebe
With the the varied options in your toolkit, you can really look at what are your lifestyle priorities? Do you want to do you want to get this thing done quickly? Do you want something that's the least expensive? Because budget is your main concern. Do you not want do you want to have a social life and not have to drink your nutrients every single day and actually go out to dinner with your friends? These are all things to keep to keep in mind.

[00:30:24.820] – Phoebe
But I think the most important part of treatment, and I'm sure this was in my commandments, which I wrote a long time ago, so I can't remember off the cuff. It really comes down to you can get rid of the bacteria, you can do all these kill protocols. But that's only the first leg of the labyrinth because, again, it's SIBO is just a sign that there's something that's not right. So if it's your migrating motor complex, if it's that you have low stomach acid, if it's that you have some sort of structural issue, you kind of need to uncover those root causes if you don't want SIBO to recur, because that's why it's a chronic condition, is when people don't take the time to uncover those root causes and some of them you cannot fix. But if you know about them, if you're able to keep them in mind, there are lifestyle ways to try and protect yourself as much as possible.

[00:31:17.530] – Allan
Sometimes minimizing the damage is the best way to do. Now, you mentioned something, and I think it's really important because most of us actually do want to have a life, and when things get back to normal, we're going to want to go on dates with our spouse, meet a friend for lunch or something like that. We're going to get back to doing that one of these days. If I've got this stomach issue, now I've got a fear, a deep seated fear that I really can't be out in public eating like that or I really don't know how to approach it because I don't know what to eat at a restaurant. You talked about in the book. Can you talk a little bit about how do I plan for and actually go out and eat.

[00:32:05.480] – Phoebe
Yeah. So first of all, I'll put the the whole concept of diet in the context of treatment and where it fits in. And it is kind of one of the questions I get asked the most because people are quite confused about it because again, low FODMAP map really, really data back for reducing IBS symptoms does necessarily cure SIBO or help kill the bacteria. Most doctors say on its own, no.

[00:32:27.710] – Phoebe
So there are plenty of people who will go through a SIBO treatment and won't make a single change to their diet and they end up fine. That's not most people because again, there's usually a big overlap of other issues, especially autoimmune issues that happen with SIBO.

[00:32:43.310] – Phoebe
So the low FODMAP diet is kind of twofold. A, you're trying to get rid of some of the things that are making your body most reactive, making the bacteria most reactive so that you can quiet your immune system and start to heal your gut. Then there's kind of the second camp of thinking, OK, well, I'm starving the bacteria by taking away their favorite foods. I think that's probably less true. And again, why it's not like a treatment in and of itself.

[00:33:12.020] – Phoebe
So a lot of people will recommend you do the kill protocol, the quote unquote kill protocol first and then layer on a low FODMAP diet to just help with symptoms. Some people say you can just do it and have it be imperfect. So making sure you're kind of like feeding the bacteria every now and then so that the antibiotics and antimicrobials actually work properly. There's different thinking on it, period. But I will say a lot of people do end up layering in the diet because it makes them feel better. And it's the one thing that you have to control to feel better immediately, because that doesn't always happen with the medication. They're hard core medications, even the herbs. And you may sometimes feel worse when you first go on that because there's a lot of killing involved and that comes with its own toxins and side effects.

[00:34:00.830] – Phoebe
So a lot of people end up on these SIBO diets and they end up not having much of a social life because they can't eat out, because one of the biggest categories of ingredients to remove on a low fat diet or a SIBO diet is garlic and onion, which is in 99% everything.

[00:34:17.390] – Allan
The delicious things.

[00:34:20.222] – Phoebe
Yeah. It's actually really easy, as you'll see in the book, to create gorgeous, delicious food at home without those things. But restaurants have not gotten that memo. There's usually some of it in everything.

[00:34:32.450] – Phoebe
But, yeah, I think it comes down to just mindset. And I know a lot of people with Sebo who just have such food fear because, food is associated with symptoms. My biggest piece of advice is if you stray from this diet, if you have symptoms, it's not going to necessarily make SIBO come back. It's not going to set you back beyond the cycle of your digestive system. So you may feel crappy for a day or two, but after that, you're going to be fine. It's not causing any permanent damage. So there is some leeway there for you to go out and have fun. And, if there's a little bit of garlic in your food, it might make you feel bloated and miserable, but you have to just kind of let that go and accept that as a consequence and as a proper tradeoff for having time with your friends and family.

[00:35:21.710] – Phoebe
It's harder for vegetarians, I would say, to eat out. But there is usually a scenario at most restaurants, especially like French and Italian, which do have a lot of garlic and onion. But you can usually call ahead. And there's usually a way to have like a piece of protein that's grilled or or seared plain and a side of salad or wilted spinach. I think having done this for a while, if you explain your medical predicament in the off hours before you arrive, then there's usually something that can be done for you that doesn't have to be a spectacle at the table.

[00:35:55.010] – Allan
Yeah, having worked in the restaurant business, I can tell you, if you're calling it six o'clock for seven o'clock dinner, they're busy. And so the little girl's going to answer the phone on the at the front of the house and she's going to go back there and say, you really want me to tell the chef this? And it's not going to make it to the chef.

[00:36:12.800] – Phoebe

[00:36:13.310] – Allan
Whereas if you call at two o'clock in the afternoon when she's basically cutting lemons and wrapping silverware. She'll be able to go back there and the chef is at that point starting the prep and everything, and maybe you talk to the sous chef, maybe talk to the chef. But, yeah, just saying, I've got I've got an issue with garlic and onions. Could I have prepared without them or what would you recommend off your menu? In many cases, they might even have something on their menu that they can just recommend straight away.

[00:36:41.390] – Allan
Or you can ask them to modify a few things, get your protein, get the vegetables and that are appropriate for you and charge on. And this is with any way of eating.

[00:36:51.150] – Phoebe

[00:36:52.100] – Allan
You're the customer that you're the patron coming into that restaurant. So take ownership, make the phone call, get the menu out and have the conversation with them and you should be able to figure it out.

[00:37:08.010] – Phoebe
Yeah, I have a friend who has lupus and really can't have any salt. Otherwise, she'll potentially have kidney failure. And that's, again, very hard to do at a restaurant because a lot of the meats are preseasoned and marinated, a lot of even vegetables that are blanched in a pot of salted water in advance, like it can be a real minefield. And she has a very cute laminated card with a note from her mother. That's like it's just like, please don't kill me. And she just asked the waitstaff to take it back into the kitchen. She has places by her house where she knows the staff and the chef and they know what to do with her. She can call in advance. But in last minute scenarios, she has to go back with the card. And people always find something for her. It's maybe sad. It's not ideal, but like they always find a way. So, yes, if you can appeal to someone's conscience or sense of wanting to feed you, that's great.

[00:38:09.060] – Allan
Well, that's why they get into that business. That's what they want. So, yeah, you're just asking them to do it in a more responsible way for you. And that's good.

[00:38:19.070] – Allan
Phoebe, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:38:27.800] – Phoebe
Oh man. So many. So forgive me if I said some of these the last time around because I'm so grateful that I did my wellness project before the CIBO experience, because it really did teach me a lot. And I already had a pretty robust toolkit in terms of the lifestyle stuff that helped me on my way with SIBO. But I would say, number one, set yourself up for success at home so you can find more freedom out in the world, assuming we'll all be more out in the world at some point.

[00:38:58.790] – Phoebe
But maybe this past year has been a blessing in disguise for a lot of people setting themselves up in that way at home. So I think kind of one time swaps for me, just like switching everything over to natural's in terms of cleaners, personal care products, et cetera, was huge. And I never have to think about it again.

[00:39:15.680] – Phoebe
And the three meals a day that I eat where I have to think about putting a filter on my tap, never have to think about getting chemicals out of my water again. I just know that those things are lowering my toxic burden every single day without me having to lend any sort of mindspace to it.

[00:39:36.800] – Phoebe
Then I would say number two is more specific to SIBO is that how you eat is much more important than what you eat. I know the information circulating out there is always around what you're eating, but again, thinking about kind of the mechanics of your digestive system, how you eat it truly is much more important.

[00:39:57.800] – Phoebe
So that migrating motor complex, it only kicks into gear during a fasting state of 90 minutes or more. So that means it doesn't matter what you're eating, but if you're snacking all the time, if you're grabbing for a couple almonds and even if it's not prepackaged, like but certainly prepacked is the so that it doesn't matter, like your you're stopping that function from kicking into gear and that's going to prevent food from moving through your system in the way it was meant to.

[00:40:25.250] – Phoebe
And then number three, I would just say, like, do not forget about the the mind gut connection and the power of mindset in general. I do think if we stress too much about what we're eating, it doesn't matter how much kale or what have you is on your plate. You're not going to be healthy and you could be creating symptoms without even knowing it. I know that happens to a lot of SIBO people on the other side of treatment.

[00:40:50.540] – Phoebe
And when they're starting to reintroduce, there's just so much fear around it that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So for that reason, I'd say like if you have IBS, if you have a lot of gut issues, don't just look into all these protocols, but maybe also look into a modality that's not talked about as much like hypnotherapy for IBS, just as effective as the low FODMAP diet for reducing symptoms. And I would say probably has more of a holistic impact on your overall condition.

[00:41:20.640] – Allan
Thank you, Phoebe. If someone wanted to learn more about you or about the book, SIBO Made Simple, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:28.530] – Phoebe
You can send them to SIBOmadesimple.com for everything about the book and to get some of the bonuses, which will still be available after launch. And for recipes, you can go to feedmephoebe.com and really just to keep up with my my usual happenings, the best place to go is Instagram, which is just my name at Phoebe Lapine.

[00:41:51.540] – Allan
Cool. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/475 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Phoebe, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:42:01.980] – Phoebe
Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:08.070] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:42:09.690] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow! I don't know that SIBO is very simple. It sounds like a very complicated situation.

[00:42:16.410] – Allan
It is. I compared it to a Rubik's Cube. And that's kind of one of those puzzles that I've never really ever wrap my mind completely around. There is an algorithm to it that they tell you, get this side worked and then you can just start doing these things. And over time, you're going to end up with with a solved puzzle. I'm not going to say that this is that simple, but Phoebe did do a pretty good job of putting together an algorithm for you, for lack of a better word, approach, a program to kind of help you deal with this, because it isn't simple.

[00:42:51.700] – Allan
It's just not a simple thing. And it's never necessarily even one thing. Sometimes you've got two or three things all coming in together. And that complexity means that most of the time you go to your doctor and you're going to hear, oh, you have IBS.

[00:43:07.050] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:43:07.710] – Allan
Are they going to know what's causing the IBS. Not necessarily. So you have this syndrome that they really haven't defined what's wrong with you. And they can try they'll try different things. But in many cases, it's just going to make things worse. So Phoebe did do a really good job of making it as simple as it can be. So if you're dealing with this, I mean, just something I've never really had to deal with. I've got a steel tank for a stomach that can pretty much I'm going to be fine.

[00:43:36.630] – Rachel
Lucky you!

[00:43:38.300] – Allan
The only thing I've ever eaten that I that I probably had to stress with was was durian fruit in Malaysia. And the problem I had was. One, it smells horrible, too. It doesn't taste that good. They like it and the Japanese like it. But and then three, it made me extremely gassy. And I had it the day before I got on an airplane for the States. So yeah, 15 hours on an airplane after eating durian fruit. I was not a very popular person.

[00:44:08.910] – Rachel
That's so aweful.

[00:44:11.700] – Allan
Otherwise I can pretty much eat anything. And I do well. I don't have a lot of stomach distress, but I recognize the impact it has on people's lives. If you're having to wait for a movement in the morning before you feel comfortable and confident to leave the house, that's that's not a good scene. That's not how you want to live. And so making sure that you're doing the right lifestyle things to to manage your health and manage your gut microbiome, because there are no real short, simple answers.

[00:44:45.930] – Rachel
Yeah. It's a good thing she wrote this book because SIBO is such an unusual situation. And the thing with IBS is that it has a broad range of of symptoms and it's hard to sometimes put your finger on. And like you mentioned, it's hard to get diagnosed properly. So to have this kind of handbook to highlight some of the key points, to watch for or to or even the treatments to try seems like a really beneficial thing for such a unique disease or problem.

[00:45:15.750] – Allan
And to your to your point there, I mean, yeah, when constipation and diarrhea are both symptoms of the same thing.

[00:45:22.110] – Rachel
Oh my gosh. It happens all the time and it could be just something you ate or it could be the signs of a bigger looming problem. It's hard to figure out.

[00:45:33.390] – Allan
Yeah, but if it's something you're dealing with on a day to day basis, you've got to actually put the time in and get that fixed because that's that's pulling away from the quality of your life. And, I say this at the end of every show, you know what? What are the things that you would do to be healthy and fit and happy? Those are all in my wellness formula. You have to have all three. And if you're dealing with stomach distress and other symptoms of SIBO, it's worth taking the time to work through some of these protocols and try to get that under control.

[00:46:05.730] – Allan
And one of the cool things about the human body and particularly our digestive track is it heals itself. So if you take the time to do those things, you might not ever have to deal with this again. Once you've solved the problem, unlike a lot of other chronic illnesses, you have to keep treating it. You have to keep dealing with it. But SIBO is one of those things that once you kind of get that bacteria out of your small intestine, once you get the maybe even the fungi, because, again, the SIFO, once you get that stuff done and out of your system, if you're eating right and you're doing the right lifestyle things, it's probably not going to come back. And that's that's a very positive message to kind of take out of this is, if irritable bowel syndrome syndrome is something that you deal with on a regular basis, there is a solution. And Phoebe has done a really good job of mapping that out, taking care of herself. This is something she personally went through. And then she's done the research a lot of really good research with that to put forward solutions for you.

[00:47:10.950] – Rachel
That's really wonderful. It's nice to have that ray of sunshine knowing that it's treatable and you may not ever have to deal with it once you know how to treat it and maybe watch the foods to avoid are the the way of eating that you should avoid.

[00:47:27.820] – Allan
I finished up the pre launch of my 12 week program and man, I cannot tell you how proud I am of the 12 people that went through this program.

Yay, they worked… they're working so hard because they're still in it. It's 12 week program. Some of them started all the way back in early December, the last days of December, even before New Year's Eve. So they they didn't wait for New Year's resolutions. They jumped on it. And then I've got others that have just come in recently. So they're just kind of getting started. But it's like having a family now.

I mean, we're really, really cool to have people that are all going through a common mission, try to get healthy and fit to try to lose some weight. And they're doing it and they're doing it. And it's not always a straight line and then gathers struggles just like any other thing that's worth having. But they're putting the work in and it's just so rewarding to watch people succeed at something that they've struggled with. One of the clients in there, she said before we got on there, she says, is it can you even lose weight when you're over 50?

[00:48:30.740] – Rachel
Oh, wow.

[00:48:31.640] – Allan
She had this limiting belief that you couldn't lose weight after the age of 50, particularly if you're a woman, that she was just destined to stay overweight.

[00:48:42.260] – Rachel

[00:48:43.610] – Allan
She's learning so much about her body and learning so much about how she can get healthy and as a really cool side effect of being healthy, losing weight. It's just it's just really exciting to see that change in people. So I'm loving what I'm doing right now.

[00:48:58.760] – Rachel
That is so exciting. What are some of the commonalities you're seeing? Are you seeing people moving more or making some really neat swaps with their diet? What are you seeing with your change with your group?

[00:49:09.880] – Allan
It's a little bit of all of it, because as as as we look at making changes like this that are not just a diet, so you go in and say, Okay, here, I'm going to go on, I'm going to go on a diet and then I'm going to do that. So I lose the five pounds or the 15 pounds that we're trying to lose here. And then you say, okay, I'll just I'll go back to eating what I ate before because I lost the weight. And guess what happens? The weight comes back and it comes back with a vengeance. And people like I don't understand, I diet and then again, all back. Well, you didn't stay eating a way that was sustainable for your body. So what we're trying to do here is we're trying to look at. Moving more, you've got a trainer that's giving you workouts and holding you accountable, then you have the guidance and support and accountability that you need just to remain active. So that's there.

[00:49:57.350] – Allan
And then with the food and everything else is sort of like, Okay, what's sustainable for me. What's the right thing for me? And so I have have 12 people. All of them are eating their own way. They're all unique in what they're doing, the exercises they're doing because they're building a sustainable lifestyle that works for them.

So there are some commonalities. Yes. If you were used to eating a certain food and you're like, I really want pizza, just an aside, so pizza. Pizza's one of those dangerous foods in general because it's high carb and high fat, okay, and that's that's just like you're just telling your body that you don't like it. I just don't get me wrong. I love this too. But it's high fat and it's high carb. And so it's way too many calories for the nutritional value that you're getting from a pizza to be worth it. And so some people, it's just like, okay, they ordered pizza and I scraped the topping off and didn't eat the bread. Is that a good thing? I said yes, better. And then I shared a recipe for what they call the fat head pizza crust, which is just basically cheese and almond flour. And basically you make a crust with that and then you put your toppings on. So is it the healthiest thing or the best nutrition thing in the world? And the answer's no, but it's not high fat, high carb anymore. It's high fat. And what you'll find with the with the fat head type pizza is you just can't eat six slices of this stuff.

[00:51:37.704] – Rachel
Gosh no!

[00:51:40.740] – Allan
You're going to eat one or two slices and say, oh, my goodness, I am I am full. And you're six hours later, you're still going to be full. Ao that's one of the advantages of of things like that when you're when you're you're looking at the not just the calories in, calories out because it is a thing. But we're going to I'm going to talk about that in an upcoming podcast. But there's also the what you're eating and are you getting the nutrition you need. And there's the hormone piece. And so all of those are layers on something that's a very complex thing that everybody want a simple rule.

[00:52:15.200] – Allan
Tell me what to eat. Tell me what's naughty. And it's it's never really that simple, because if I told someone they could never have pizza again every single day of their lives, they're going to be craving pizza because I said they couldn't have it. So not saying you can't have it just under. And what it is, I have a plan and then manage to that.

[00:52:38.310] – Allan
If you slip up, it's like, okay, you went out with friends and you had a piece of pizza. You're not going to die.

[00:52:46.360] – Rachel

[00:52:47.590] – Allan
But now you put the carbs in your system, you put the high fat in your system, and you feel a little bloated, you feel a little bad the next day because you did it. And if you did it for the right reasons, then that's great. But if you didn't, then lesson learned. Let's move on.

[00:53:05.030] – Allan
There's not one common lesson. And I think that's why at times I've used cookie cutter stuff and it generally works for most people. But some of those things are just not sustainable because they're cookie cutter.

[00:53:19.000] – Rachel

[00:53:19.630] – Allan
They're not designed for you. And so everything I'm doing with this program is completely custom. And so I'm talking to each and every person, what do you like to eat? What do you do? I've got a vegetarian in there. Other people that were like, you mean I get to eat meat and I'm like, you get to eat meat, you should be eating meat if you like meat, it's got tons of great nutrition in it. You don't have to ignore or throw out an entire food group. And no, I don't consider carbs a food group. I consider vegetables a food group. I consider meat a food group. And so I'm not saying you can't have carbs, you can have some carbs, but you want to get it from sources that are actually food.

[00:54:02.180] – Rachel

[00:54:02.800] – Allan
And pizza dough is not actually food.

[00:54:07.290] – Rachel
No nutrients in that that's for sure.

[00:54:09.910] – Allan
Well, they might they might enrich the the flour with with some B vitamin, niacin. But at best that's that said it's enriched flour but it's flour and it's going to be blood sugar and it's going to be insulin and then it's going to be fat.

[00:54:25.900] – Rachel

[00:54:26.800] – Allan
Because you're eating the high fat on top of that, the calories are higher and boom, it's like, OK, we've got all this stuff, let's just start storing it because I got nothing. I got nothing to do with this. And so it just stores it as fat. And so, that's the unfortunate reality of things, is you don't have to say no, but you might have to substitute or if you're going to do it, at least understanding what it's going to mean in your overall approach to health and wellness.

[00:54:55.990] – Rachel
That sounds awesome. Well, I'm really excited for all your people who get these customized training programs and and tips and and all this support from you. I'm really excited to see that success. That's wonderful.

[00:55:08.120] – Allan
Yeah, they're having… I'm having a ball. They don't know exactly. But at the same time, I'm saying, well, what do you what are you missing? What's not there that you want there? And for the most part, they're not really missing much.

[00:55:25.600] – Rachel
No, but it's a big habit change, though when you're used to eating something or moving in a certain way, sometimes it's really hard to make those big changes. But once they try it, it leads to other things. When you are starting to eat well, you can move better. And when you're starting to move better, you want to eat better. So it's like a snowball. Once it gets rolling, it gets better. So that's exciting.

[00:55:53.110] – Allan
Anything else you want to go over, Rachel, before we call it a day?

[00:55:56.140] – Rachel
No, today was a good one, but thank you.


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