Category Archives for "health"

December 5, 2023

How to get healthier as you get older with Dr. Michael Greger

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On episode 619 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Dr. Michael Greger and discuss his book How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:34.070] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:03:36.860] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:38.100] – Allan

I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I posted on my Facebook the other day it was kind of a joke, but not really a joke. And it was a principle of nobody starts a diet in November.

[00:03:50.900] – Rachel

Right. This is a terrible time to start, Allan.

[00:03:54.690] – Allan

Yeah. Who's going to start in the middle of November and then six weeks later is a much better time to start?

[00:04:02.060] – Rachel

That's right. Yeah.

[00:04:05.070] – Allan

And I got some good feedback and some good from folks on that, because they recognize it's like we do these little logic things in our head that really if you just took a step back and says, is that how I would do it? No, it's like, well, the check engine light came onto my car, but I really just want to wait till January 1 to take a look at that, that's not how we would approach it. So it was just kind of one of those things. And I'm going to probably be posting a lot of those. So if we're not friends on Facebook, come check me out. You can go to the Facebook group at 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com group. But I also have friend people on my Facebook, so I post some things there. I post some things to the group. So if you're interested and want to have a little bit of fun, check both of those out. Cool.

[00:04:50.220] – Rachel

That sounds fun.

[00:04:51.500] – Allan

So what are you up to?

[00:04:53.390] – Rachel

Actually, funny you should say that. I'm kind of planning my New Year's goals. I got to wrap up this year. No, but actually, at the end of the year, I do like to have something to do between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It's the busiest time of year, and this is no different. I'm doing tons of things. I got lists for my list. But I always like to have some sort of an activity between Thanksgiving and New Year's. And this last year from 2022, I had a run streak. So we did a 1 mile minimum streak between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It was I can't remember, 38, 37 days, however many days it was. And I'm trying to figure out what I want to do this year. And the reason why I like to start at the end of the year, just like in your post, is that I need the distraction because holidays are stressful, they're busy, and sometimes we get so focused on all of the other things that we don't have time to take care of ourselves. So having some sort of a movement goal reminds us that we need to take time for self care.

[00:05:59.300] – Rachel

We need to take time to exercise and do the things that are good for us. So I don't know what I'm going to do yet for the end of this year or for my New Year goals for next year. But I've got something planned, figuring something out.

[00:06:10.740] – Allan

Yeah, well, I break it all down month by month. And so December is no different for me than any other month of the year. January, February, whatever. It's the month. And so what I do is before the month starts. So I've looked at what I want to do for the year, and as I get into the month, I'm like, okay, what do I need to do this month to move myself in that direction? It doesn't have to be a huge move. It's just what is it? And so I have all of those, and it goes across personal, professional, health, fitness, Lula's, my online business and stuff. And so I'll have all of these things that I want to accomplish. Some of them are relatively mundane. Like, I really do need to write a statement of policy or statement of position for Lula's on a lot of how things are done, basically. So basically how things work, and so someone else can do it if I'm not doing it. Because right now I'm the only one that knows how to do most of the back office stuff. And so it is what it is. I need to write that down.

[00:07:12.410] – Allan

I need to publish it in some way that someone could follow me if I don't want to do it anymore or I can't do it anymore. So some of that is that simple. It's like I just need to start writing these things. And then as I get into the month, it's like, okay, what do I want to write this month? Which policy? What's my movement goal? What are the other goals that I have in my life? And then each morning I wake up and I go through a thing, and there's a lot of affirmations and gratitude and all that, and then the goals, and they pop up. And because I know what my monthly goals are, I can then go into my to do list today and say, okay, what on this to do list actually does those things and what does not? And so a lot of times I'll have a list of all my to dos and they're dated and they're in order of importance or time of the day that I need to get them done, because there's some things I do each day that I need to do in the morning, and some things I can do later.

[00:08:08.800] – Allan

But I'll take a task and I'll say, you know, that's not really an important task right now. And I'll put it over under the parked list, and it just sits over there. And about once a month, I go through the parked list and delete a lot of those because again, it wasn't really built that goal, whatever. It wasn't really something that's going to move me. The to do was not going to move the needle for me. And it sounded cool. It was the shiny object of, hey, I should buy those new shoes. And then I get a month away and I look at back and I'm like, okay, well, why did I want those shoes? And are they really going to move me forward? And, oh, they're not going to last here in Panama. Stupid purchase. Yeah. And then they're gone. I might park them and say, no, I know I'm going to be doing a little bit more mileage next month or the month after, and so maybe I do want the shoes for that. But a lot of times, yeah, they just get written off because it really wasn't something that was going to move the needle.

[00:09:06.680] – Allan

So if you find yourself overwhelmed, break things down, figure out what your big rocks are, what the important things are, and that becomes my monthly thing. That's great. And I have an annual thing and then a monthly thing. And then literally every morning, I wake up and say, okay, what am I doing today that does one of these things? I love that, and sometimes they don't. I had an intention of writing an article to advertise, and with everything that's going on here, okay, what's the sense of telling people what the best beaches are in Bocas if we don't have the guests coming into the country the way that they would or could? So I'm not writing that article because I'm not going to put the time in to write something that isn't going to move the needle for the business or do what it needs to do. So it's not valid anymore. I'm moving it over into the parked items. I'll reevaluate it in December or January, and maybe I write it then, but I'm not writing it right now. Perfect.

[00:10:05.670] – Rachel

That sounds like a good plan.

[00:10:07.360] – Allan

So if you find yourself a little overwhelmed with the change that you want, the things that you want, just start with the big thing. Okay, I know I need to lose two inches off my waist. Well, you're not going to lose two inches off your waist today.

[00:10:23.290] – Rachel


[00:10:24.790] – Allan

Or maybe even this month. But what can you do consistently this month that's going to help you do that? And then each day you do that thing. Perfect. And so it's really a trickle down of breaking your bigger rocks into the bite sized pieces to keep it workable. And then, you know, you wake up in the morning, you look at what you got to do that day. Is it on my calendar? Yes. My movement is on my calendar? Yes. Getting this done is on my calendar. And then I go do it. And if I don't have the time in the day to do it, I have to prioritize and push some of it to tomorrow or park some of it, because, again, it just isn't going to do enough for it to be worth what everything else on my list is doing for sure.

[00:11:05.340] – Rachel

You can only do so much.

[00:11:07.430] – Allan

All right, well, you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Greger?

[00:11:10.640] – Rachel



[00:12:13.070] – Allan

Dr. Greger, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:12:16.470] – Dr. Greger

Thank you so much. Glad to be back.

[00:12:21.070] – Allan

I've watched your videos over the years and I'm just fascinated with how you can teach so much information in a three to five minute video. And then here you come out with this book and quite frankly called How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older. And I'm just going to call it right here. This is the most comprehensive health book I have ever read in my entire life, and I doubt anyone's ever even going to come close to matching the depth of what you put into a single book. Some would argue it might be a few books, but given the length of it. But this is really good stuff if you love understanding health and understanding how our body works. Dr. Gregor here, he's your friend. He's done the work, he's done the research, and he's put it together in depth. And it's all there from my perspective, again, because the end notes are there, but you have to go to a separate website to follow them through because otherwise the book would be twice the length that it is. Because I believe there were like over 8000 endnotes, and you probably referenced no less than maybe 300 or 400 videos along the way that could go deeper.

[00:13:38.090] – Allan

But this creates a lot of rabbit holes, particularly for those that love the science of health and fitness. So I'm going to say it was not a hard read, but it was a read.

[00:13:50.250] – Dr. Greger

Yeah. This is for all the longevity nerds out there. There's meat on them bones, and beyond.

[00:13:57.620] – Allan

The meat, there's actionable. Things you can do today to improve your health going forward. And so I love that because I'm all about action. And so let's dive in a little bit because again, there's so much again, I can read a book. A standard health and fitness book these days is about 250 pages, and I can read that in about 6 hours. And usually it's because I know most of what they're going to say because they're saying the same things that everybody else says. Your book is nearly three times that length, and you're not saying what everybody else is saying. You're going in and saying, well, this is what they looked at and this is how you can apply it. And so you do a lot of that. So I want to get as much of that in as I can in the limited amount of time we have, because I think I could actually probably talk to you for about three straight days without sleeping, and we could probably still not cover everything that was there. Like I said, you've won. The game is over. The competition is over. For what we know right now, based on the science that's been done today, this is the most comprehensive book you can buy.

[00:15:05.090] – Allan

Okay, so you talked in the beginning of the book, you brought up the I think there's eleven pathways of aging, and I want to dive into a few of them because I think sometimes there's a little bit of confusion when we start talking about certain things. So the first one that I want to get into is the AMPK. And where people may not have heard of that before, but they've probably heard of autophagy and how we can use fasting as a mechanism for reversing aging, improving our health. Can we talk a little bit about how that process works, just a little bit, and then how we can get into autophagy? Because I think there's multiple mechanisms you brought up in the book, but I think there's some misconnection of, oh, well, I can just do intermittent fasting and I'm into autophagy and I'm doing great. Okay, again, there's some misconceptions out there because it's old. If you do intermittent fasting, you're getting autophagy. If you're getting autophagy, you're slowing your aging. So can we just kind of dive into that a little bit? Sure.

[00:16:09.910] – Dr. Greger

Yeah. Autophagy is the kind of primary system for cleaning the body from the inside out, clearing out the cellular debris that may be contributing to aging. Some food components can suppress autophagy, like acrylamide, which is a compound concentrated in French fries and potato chips, whereas others, like spermidine and the antioxidants in coffee, can actually help your cells kind of take out the trash. So to boost this antiaging pathway, I encourage readers to consider, on a daily basis, 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity. Unfortunately, 20 minutes does not quite I mean, is wonderful for health, but not enough to boost autophagy similarly, fasting. See, the issue with fasting is fasting. Autophagy doesn't optimally ramp up to like 48 to 72 hours of fasting, which is really too long to go unsupervised. That's not just kind of legalistic mumbo jumbo. Our bodies go into kind of sodium conservation mode when we fast, but should that response break down and we continue to lose sodium, the symptoms we might experience are like fatigue, dizziness, something that could be dismissed until it's too late. So that's why prolonged fasts should really be only done under kind of medical supervision, but they actually kind of test your electrolytes and make sure your body's doing what it's supposed to be doing.

[00:17:42.480] – Dr. Greger

And so the studies suggesting that, oh, 12 hours of fasting can boost autophagy yeah, in mice, that's because mice's metabolism is so much higher. A few days of fasting can actually kill a mouse. They can lose, like, 40% of their body mass after a day or two of fasting. But unfortunately, yeah, in humans, it takes a little longer. But again, we don't have to walk around starving all the time. We can 60 minutes of aerobic exercise minimizing our intake of French fries and potato chips, trying to get about at least 20 milligrams of spermidine, and by incorporating spermidine rich foods in our diet. So that's tempeh, which is a fermented whole soy product, but any mushroom will do. Peas and wheat germ. So adding wheat germ to my diet was something new after this book because I wanted to get the spermatine to boost autophagy. And also, drinking three cups of coffee a day, either regular or decaf, can boost autophagy, thanks to glorinic acids.

[00:18:44.190] – Allan

Well, you've definitely got me to thinking, and I'm going to reestablish my big ass salad every day.

[00:18:51.850] – Dr. Greger


[00:18:52.320] – Allan

Yes, we're having some difficulties with delivery where I am right now, so it'll be a little while before I get the wheat germ, but that'll be something. I'll probably sprinkle a bit of that on my salad just to go along, but, yeah, big ass salads coming. Okay, the next one I want to get into, because there's a lot of talk about this, which there should be, because I think this is probably the biggest problem we have as people is inflammation. How does inflammation lead to aging?

[00:19:21.730] – Dr. Greger

Aging can actually be thought of as kind of part of an inflammatory disease. In part, a single measurement. Inflammatory markers like CD, CRP, ser, active protein, or Il six, interleukin six, can predict both physical and cognitive performance, as well as remaining lifespan in elderly individuals. Thankfully, excess inflammation can be kind of extinguished through changes in diet. There is something called dietary inflammatory index, which ranks each food in terms of how pro inflammatory or anti inflammatory it is. And those eating lower on that dietary inflammatory index, meaning less inflammatory diets are more likely to age successfully, which is defined as living independently with no major chronic disease, no depression, no pain, and with good overall self perceived social, physical, and mental health. So to help slow this aging pathway, I can encourage people to consider, on a daily basis, reducing both dietary and endogenous exposure to something called to these inflammatory advanced glycation end products. We can do that. That's a whole nother aging pathway. But basically we restrict ourselves to low glycemic lead foods so we don't have high blood sugars and make these AGS endogenously. And we reduce our intake of AGS which are found most concentrated in kind of high protein foods exposed to high dry heat.

[00:20:50.700] – Dr. Greger

So rather than grilling or barbecuing or frying or baking meat, we would like steaming, stewing, soups, that kind of thing would produce fewer of these inflammatory AGS. Also we reduce senescent cell inflammation. That's another whole antiaging pathway. These so called zombie cells spewing inflammation. As we get older, we can clear those out. I have a whole chapter on that. Boosting autophagy actually helps clearing out some of that inflammatory cellular debris. And you know what? One of the most interesting things in that chapter I ran into is applying an emollient skin lotion. So actually our skin layer, we actually have a breakdown in our skin barrier as we get older and that can increase systemic inflammation in our body. And they found that rubbing hairless mice with vaseline actually cut down inflammation. So they gave it a try with people and randomized people to try just every day applying a little full body molly and skin lotion and actually saw a decrease in inflammation which was so shocking, it's like, well, that's easy to do. So that's something I've incorporated into my diet and not in my diet, god into my daily routine.

[00:22:01.520] – Allan

Don't eat hand lotion.

[00:22:03.510] – Dr. Greger

Gregor said I should be eating and then avoiding the pro inflammatory foods. The pro inflammatory foods and increasing the intake of the anti inflammatory foods. So the pro inflammatory food components, saturated fat, endotoxins, which got new five GC sodium. So actually salt is pro inflammatory. People don't think about that. And then, so basically it's minimizing meat, dairy, tropical oils like coconut oil, the palm kernel oil, all these kind of junk food oils and as well as salt, I mean, one kind of lousy breakfast can double your creactive protein levels within 4 hours before it's even time for lunch. And then the anti inflammatory foods on the other side of the kind of balance sheet legumes, which are the beans, slippies, chickpeas, lentils, berries, greens, sodium free tomato juice or sodium free tomato paste. These processed tomato products without added salt, turmeric, ginger, flaxseeds, garlic, cinnamon, cocoa powder, dill beverages, chamomile tea, green tea, as well as kind of anything basically that contains fiber. So fiber rich foods, anthocyanin rich foods. Those are those brilliant kind of purple berry like pigments also found in, like, red cabbage or purple sweet potatoes, as well as salicylic acid rich foods, which is the kind of component, the antiinflammatory component of aspirin, not just found in willow tree bark actually found throughout the plant kingdom, most concentrated in, actually cumin, the spiced cumin, but found in a whole bunch of plant foods, and that also has an anti inflammatory effect.

[00:23:38.950] – Allan

And I think one of the cool things here is if you begin to eat less inflammatory foods, other good things are going to start happening for you. Like, your joints aren't going to hurt as bad. You're going to have more energy because your body is actually allowed to use that energy for you to do the things you want to do versus trying to heal, because that's what the inflammation is there for. And so just eating an anti inflammatory diet actually has these really quick turnarounds for you to feel better, look better, and move better. Now you hit on one, and as soon as I saw this written out, I was like, okay, now we're going to spar. We're going to spar a little bit, because I kind of like having a little bit extra muscle on my body. And so there's this concept called mTOR, and it's complex, I'm not going to lie. It's a very complex set of rules, but it's basically how we build muscle with mTOR. There's a little disconnect in my head I got to get through is having more muscle mass and being stronger, particularly as measured in grip strength, has been shown to help with your mortality.

[00:24:47.470] – Allan

However, having too much mTOR, which is part of the process for getting protein to turn into muscle, can also be problematic. Can you dive a little bit into mTOR and help me put that together? Yeah, no, absolutely.

[00:25:00.900] – Dr. Greger

So mTOR is an enzyme recognized as a major driver of aging, perhaps more so than any other single anti aging strategy. mTOR inhibition suppression disrupts a panoply of degenerative processes, explaining why the mTOR blocking drug Rapamycin is the most effective drug ever devised for targeted aging. No other drug has been able to show it works in every single species, even starting in middle age. But the problem is, the drug has some downsides. So then we turn to non pharmacological approaches. How are we going to slow this kind of pacemaker of aging enzyme? And we do that through the restriction of certain amino acids such as methionine and leucine. And how do we restrict those? Well, you can do full dietary restriction, and you're going to decrease your amino acid intake or eat the same number of calories, but just reduce overall protein intake, and that'll cut down. Or you can keep the protein intake the same, but just switch from animal sources to plant sources, most of which tend to be lower in methionine and the branch chain amino acids like leucine. And there's kind of a YinYang with AMPK. So anything that boosts AMPK can drop mTOR, like the barberries and vinegar and all the stuff I go through in the AMPK chapter.

[00:26:24.450] – Dr. Greger

And then it's really about reducing one's protein intake down to recommended levels, which is 0.8 grams for healthy kilogram body weight, which translates to about 45 grams a day for the average height woman, 55 grams for the average height man, and then choosing plant based sources whenever possible. Now, as you noted, mTOR plays a role in muscle protein synthesis. So the question is, well, wait a second. Do we have this kind of balancing act between aging and muscle mass? Thankfully, no. All we need is sufficient levels of mTOR activity to build muscle mass without excess levels. How do we do that? Again, recommended dietary protein intake over age 65. There's actually no benefit from adding protein in terms of muscle mass, muscle strength, or muscle performance. How are we going to maintain muscle mass into old age? One way and one way only? Well, there's actually a bunch of things that contribute, but the most important one is resistance training, right? Strength training. That is how we're going to keep our muscles. Particularly if you're doing something like caloric restriction or something critically important to maintain muscle mass. And we do that through exertion. Putting strain on our muscles and then adding extra protein in older age does not add that.

[00:27:46.180] – Dr. Greger

Add extra muscle mass. That's whether you're sarcopenic, you have excessive muscle mass, whether you're frail, et cetera. Excess protein does not help at those ages.

[00:27:55.950] – Allan

And one of the other ones I wanted to get into is oxidation. And the reason I want to talk about this is there are billionaires walking this planet right now that are selling antioxidants. That's true. And you're like, okay, well, if I take an antioxidant, then I'm going to be cool. Right. And I don't think that's quite the answer. Can we talk about oxidation and why some of these seemingly good things aren't necessarily doing what they're supposed to?

[00:28:26.050] – Dr. Greger

Yeah, this is one of the most interesting chapters to write in terms of that kind of nerdy part one section about the eleven aging pathways. So oxidation. So there's this mitochondrial theory of aging, which is kind of standard stood the test of time in terms of the dozens of aging theories out there. It explains basically the spread, why some animals live so much longer, in fact, 1000 times longer than others. The animals with the lowest rate of free radical production within their mitochondria, the little power plants within their cells live the longest, full stop. So we can slow the pace of aging by slowing the rate of this free radical production in our mitochondria. And there's really only two ways we can do that. Antioxidants don't work because it's actually the damage to our mitochondrial DNA happens so quickly, so close to the source of free radical production. Antioxidants just can't penetrate in time. But there's two things we can reduce. One is exercise. Again, nailing critical factor of exercise. And number two is methionine restriction. Cutting down on the amino acid methionine by eating healthier. Also in terms of so that's just for in terms of longevity.

[00:29:37.040] – Dr. Greger

However, oxidation does play a role in our health span as well. For that, we can cut down on prooxant foods, boost our antioxidant rich foods. Kind of similar to the inflammation story and actually kind of similar. Foods, right? The prooxin foods are the ones rich in cholesterol, salt, saturated fat and sugar, where the antioxidant foods are the ones berries, spices, as well as something called Nerf Two Activation, which is kind of our first line of antioxidant defense. On the second line is this kind of symphony of antioxidants we can kind of take from plant foods and kind of hijack them from our own needs. But our first level of defense is really our antioxidant enzymes that can detoxify free radicals and we can boost those through something called NRF Two Activation. And the two ways to do that one is green tea and one is cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and so to slow the saging pathway, exercise, restricting methionine, where you can do that through protein restriction activating NRF Two eating green and drinking green. So eating your kale, drinking green tea and then eating berries and other naturally vibrantly colored foods because the colors are actually the antioxidants herbs and spices like the cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, margarum packed with antioxidants and then cutting down and added salt, sugar, saturated fat and cholesterol.

[00:31:12.000] – Allan

Latent foods, well, and all those you talked about, they make the food exciting and fun and taste good. So win win. And the exercise, of course, you've got my vote there because it does just a lot more. You feel better, you're stronger, you're faster, you built up a body that's capable of doing the things that you want to do. Now I'm going to dive into a few foods that some people will avoid for various reasons that they don't necessarily have to, but they at times avoid them that are really actually I mean, we can talk about superfoods, but I actually only want to use that title because it's been so overused and falsely so in many, many cases. But some of these foods actually are, in a sense, exactly what our body needs, but a lot of people don't eat enough of them. So the first one I want to talk about is beans. What makes beans?

[00:32:06.150] – Dr. Greger

Ah, beans. That's the centerpiece of all Blue Zones diets. These areas around the world with exceptional longevity as their chief source of protein, have some source of legumes which are not just beans, but also split peas, chickpeas, lentils. And so if you're talking about what are the kind of healthiest foods to eat, according to the Globe Burner Disease Study, which is the largest study of risk factors in human history for death and disease, the greatest lifespan extension would be achieved by eating more legumes. That's what they calculated of all the different food groups, eating more beans. If there's one thing we can do to live longer in terms of our diet, be eating more beans. And so though that's on a kind of per serving basis, but actually on a gram for gram basis, the food most associated with longevity is actually nuts. And so I also recommend like a palm full of walnuts a day, one of my kind of antiaging eight foods, but, yeah, definitely legumes. There's a reason why they associated. Like, if there's one question you had to ask in populations around the world in terms of assessing dietary quality, how many legumes people eat is the number one dietary predictor of survival in populations around the globe.

[00:33:26.130] – Allan

Now, you talked about nuts, and I think this is another area that people are kind of afraid because they hear, okay, nuts have a lot of calories and an almond, 16 calories or whatever. And so they thought that there's a calorie load to nuts, and therefore they'd be maybe better off eating something else. But there's a lot to be said for the nutrition, particularly the fats that we can get from nuts.

[00:33:52.310] – Dr. Greger

Well, yeah, I mean, a gram for gram basis, compared to any other food on planet Earth, consumption of nuts is associated with the longest lifespan, and you can get the maximum benefit for just that palm full, half of ounce of nuts a day, half to a full ounce maximum benefit. You don't seem to get more benefit eating more. In fact, you don't want to overdo it over a cup of nuts a day. You can actually get too many oxalates. Peanut butter does not appear to have the same benefit. Technically, not even a nut. And of all the nuts, probably walnuts are the healthiest. So, yeah, kind of a palm full of walnuts every day is the way to go. Improving artery function probably the primary cause. For example, in the PREDIMED study, those randomized to boost their intake of nuts had about half the stroke rate. And so you can think of that the other way. Not eating nuts kind of doubles your risk of stroke. So the cardiovascular protection from nuts is probably what is resulting in most of the longevity benefit.

[00:34:51.250] – Allan

Now, another nut that you don't necessarily want to overeat but is okay to have regularly is Brazil nuts.

[00:34:58.650] – Dr. Greger

Oh, yeah, well, yeah, I mean, even one high selenium Brazil nut is actually too much one a day, a single nut a day in terms of inflammation. So, yeah, that's something you really want to moderate because you can actually get solenosis. You actually get kind of selenium toxicity. It's known as the selenium is known as the essential poison because it is actually essential trace mineral, but you can actually get too much of it. And most concentrated dietary sources, brazil nuts. So, yeah, I would really hold back, I mean, in how not to Die, I talk about the study showing that four Brazil nuts once a month actually dramatically lowers cholesterol levels. But unfortunately, people read that to be, oh, four Brazil nuts a day. No, you could actually get a selenium toxicity. Even though I emphasize this, this is once a month. Pick a day of the month, your favorite day of the month. And like, okay, on the 13th of every single month, I'm going to eat four Brazils. Period.

[00:35:50.840] – Allan

That's it.

[00:35:51.700] – Dr. Greger

Unfortunately, people did not listen. Actually ran into people who got problems, who started getting, like, peripheral neuropathy, started losing sensation, and got tingling in their feet because they're getting too much selenium because they're eating too many Brazil nuts. So, yeah.

[00:36:09.430] – Allan

The sad part is, Brazil nuts are my favorite nut. But that said, I buy them in the shell. Oh, I have to go through the trouble actually cracking that shell. It's not easy.

[00:36:23.050] – Dr. Greger

Those are some hardcore shells. Oh, my God. You want grip strength. Yeah, I got your grip strength right there.

[00:36:29.740] – Allan

Exactly. But if you buy them in a bag shelled, it's just so easy to do like you do with everything else.

[00:36:36.530] – Dr. Greger

So that's actually a good idea. No, that's a good idea. We shall be like sitting by the fire with the nutcracker and just digging out little pieces.

[00:36:46.610] – Allan

If you can't crack it, then go do some exercise and come back when you can.

[00:36:51.330] – Dr. Greger

Yeah. Oh, my God. Those are hardcore.

[00:36:53.320] – Allan

Yeah. All right. And then actually my favorite besides cruciferous vegetables, I eat cruciferous vegetables every day, but leafy greens are my next favorite. That's why I was saying the big ass salad. So let's talk a little bit about leafy greens and what they're doing for us. Yeah.

[00:37:10.350] – Dr. Greger

So dark green leafies earn their place in the antiaging aid as the vegetable most associated with longer lifespan. So cruciferous vegetables, which certainly can be green leafy, but not necessarily something like cauliflower, is also cruciferous. They boost the first line of our gut defenses as well as boosting detoxifying enzymes lining our airways to help reduce our risk from air pollution. It's actually a leading killer of humanity. So particularly if you're in a city, live by a highway or something, cruciferous vegetables will help you deal with that kind of diesel exhaust. The longevity benefit, though, actually may come from the nitrates, the metabolic slowing that comes from nitrate consumption. Particularly athletes think of like beet juice. For nitrates, we're actually the most concentrated source. Dark green leafy vegetables also beets bee greens. And those nitrates actually slow down your resting metabolic rate, something you typically only see with something like severe caloric restriction. But instead of walking around starving all the time, big ass salad to the rescue. They can also improve age related declines in muscle mass. Age related declines in artery function. So you give people like a cup of cooked spinach worth of nitrates, you get a significant improvement in maximum power from the quads.

[00:38:25.900] – Dr. Greger

I mean, you can bulk up on muscle mass just reading spinach. And we think it's because of the nitrates. Although it's interesting, the magic of nitrates require the presence of certain good bacteria on your tongue to actually activate the nitrates. Otherwise they don't work. And those bugs are killed by antiseptic mouthwash. So you don't want to use an antiseptic mouthwash or an alcohol containing mouthwash and you can actually foster the growth of those good bugs by tongue scraping and regularly eating those nitrate rich vegetables which act as a prebiotic and keep them going. So that antiaging strategy only works if you got the right bacteria on your.

[00:39:07.180] – Allan

Tongue and probably all the way through your system because we are actually just one big biosystem of a lot of.

[00:39:14.230] – Dr. Greger

Things, not just most of our cells are not human.

[00:39:18.290] – Allan

Exactly. Now, sometimes I get really mad about how, for lack of a better word, our government gets in the way of us living healthy lives. One of the ways that you kind of detailed in the book is this kind of weird thing, the way they do things. And so what it is, is you think about the volume of food that you eat. So it's this big volume of food that we eat during a day, if you think about it. And then we're going to focus on one or two pills that are going to change our life for us and not focus on all that food we ate. The medical system doesn't train it. It's not followed. It actually doesn't make them any money. So they don't care to know about it or teach about it or talk about it. You're just told eat better and move more and you're good. But we're not, we're not healthy right now as a society. And one of them that came up was supplements because if you hear something's good and it's like, well, I don't really like that food or I don't have access to that food readily, it's not easy because I got to cook it.

[00:40:29.850] – Allan

Go figure. Is that the dietary supplements that we want to take to help improve our health? And I actually had someone I was talking to who's in this field and he and I were talking back and forth. He says we should get together someday and talk about our medicine cabinet and what supplements we each take. And I said, Well, I take one. And I said it's some zinc and magnesium that I take before I go to bed just because it helps me sleep better. That's the supplement. That's the one. And I live in a sunny area so I get plenty of vitamin D. If you're not in a sunny area or certain times of the year, you might need to supplement on that. If you are eating predominantly vegan or vegetarian, you might need B two. But you can do blood tests to know that stuff. The problem is that we have this industry that might not even be putting that stuff in the pill that we're taking. And the law that actually made this happen, you told me about it in the book, was the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act that came out in 1994.

[00:41:36.430] – Allan

And again, I want to go punch someone in the chest. Yeah.

[00:41:44.930] – Dr. Greger

Supplement industry is very powerful industry and people think of like Big Pharma. But actually Big Pharma owns many of the biggest supplement industries. So it actually is big pharma. And they got a law passed thanks to kind of duping people, and it'd be like, government is coming for your vitamin C. So we got to pass this law. So people have this incorrect belief that supplements must be approved for safety by some government agency like the FDA or something, before they're sold to the public, or the very least must have like a warning if there's some kind of side effects or something. And some even believe that supplements actually have to be shown to be effective at some level. None of that is true thanks to that law. So what that law did is it removed the burden of proof for quality control, basic quality control, safety efficacy from the submit manufacturer. So all of a sudden, it was great for the submen industry. They went from a $4 billion industry to like a $40 billion industry. Used to only be a few thousand products on the market. Now there's tens of thousands of products on the market, just absolutely skyrocketing.

[00:42:54.970] – Dr. Greger

But we don't have those standards. So you get some over the counter medication, for example. You like, buy some Tylenol or something. It actually must meet standards for safety efficacy, quality control. Meaning if it says it has this many milligrams, it has to have this many milligram, right? But dietary supplements, all dietary supplements are exempt. So it doesn't have to contain what it says on the label. It doesn't have to contain any of it. It contains something contaminants that aren't listed on the label, like house plants.

[00:43:26.430] – Allan


[00:43:28.930] – Dr. Greger

Actually. And this is right, this is not some just like, see me shady internet thing. They went into GNC. Walmart. This was a New York Attorney General. I mean, just like mainstream supplement and they just tested well, what's actually in these things, right? That was one of the things that came out, was just like house plants, just powdered house plants, like the cheapest possible filler they could think of and had nothing of the so called active ingredient. But then I talk about how, look, we hope it's just house plants because there's some really toxic contaminants, particularly in kind of erectile dysfunction and weight loss supplements often contain kind of these illicit hormones. Things have been banned for good reason, but just keep popping up on the shelves just because things are so poorly kind of enforced. And so now we have about estimates about 50,000 Americans every year are harmed by dietary supplements, usually kidney and liver damage. Now, look, you could say, look, Big Pharma doesn't just harm but kills over 100,000 people. Side effects of drugs. Absolutely true. So we absolutely have to make sure the pros outweigh the cause. Unfortunately, we can't do that with dietary supplements.

[00:44:39.910] – Dr. Greger

And so, look, if there is some supplement that you really want to make sure is what it actually is. There is a certification pathway, something called USP certification. It'll have a little USP seal. Now, that doesn't say it's good for you or it isn't bad for you, but it just verifies. That what says on the label is actually what is in the capsule. So you're actually getting what you're paying for. One of the supplements that I've been using on the road for jet lag, because I travel a lot, is melatonin. The problem is there's all these contaminants found in typical melatonin supplements. So actually go through a Canadian pharmacy, which isn't exactly legal, but very easy to do.

[00:45:21.160] – Allan

We won't.

[00:45:23.030] – Dr. Greger

So in Canada and in Europe, melatonin is sold kind of like prescription only. So it actually has to rise to all those standards, actually has to have what it says it has and not have contaminants in it. And so you can get kind of a prescription only melatonin. Any doctor should write you a prescription, but you have to get it from one of those places. But then at least you can get some contaminant free. So there's kind of a ways around it, but it's just so sad that the snake oil is still being sold and sometimes doesn't even have any snake.

[00:45:54.620] – Allan

In it at all. Right. But there's real food and most of this, what a concept. All of it you can typically get from whole food.

[00:46:05.650] – Dr. Greger

You're a radical, I tell you, man.

[00:46:07.800] – Allan

Look at this guy.

[00:46:09.510] – Dr. Greger

Wait a second. You mean we as a species survived before? There are pill bottles sitting on the shelf.

[00:46:15.200] – Allan

Yeah. There's no witch doctor giving me a.

[00:46:17.690] – Dr. Greger

Prescription for years without all our supplements.

[00:46:22.830] – Allan

Yeah. So if you feel like you need something, I mean, there are times you're going to need some vitamin D. And.

[00:46:28.330] – Dr. Greger

If you live in pregnant women, need to get folic acid. If you're an alcoholic, there are certainly scenarios in which supplementation with nutrients is useful. But buyer beware, unfortunately.

[00:46:44.610] – Allan

All right, Dr. Gregor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay, you know, according to.

[00:46:57.200] – Dr. Greger

The Gold Burden Disease Study, again, largest study of disease risk factors in the world, funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, the number one cause of death in these United States is the American diet. Bumping tobacco smoking to number two. Cigarettes not only kill about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet kills many more. So the single most important decision we make three times a day is kind of what to put to the end of our fork. And so if there was just like the absolute simplest things, it'd be like if you could just add three foods to your diet and just remove three things from your diet. The three things I would add right off the bat beans, greens, berries. And the three things I would remove first, before anything else, are the trans fats these partially hydrogenated oils, processed meats like the bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, which cause colorectal cancer. And then number three, be liquid candy, the soda, sugar sweetened beverages. If we just get rid of those three, add the other three, you'd be a long way there. I mean, I really want to emphasize, yes, I get way into the weeds in this book, but it's simple, basic, common sense lifestyle factors can literally mean the difference of an extra decade to your life or not.

[00:48:06.960] – Dr. Greger

And what are we talking about? Regular exercise, not being obese, not smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables, like the basic, basic basics already right there. You got a decade, a whole extra healthy decade. Now, you want to tweak stuff? You want to push that a little farther, fine. I got a book, but it's important. And that's how I conclude the book is like, okay, let's take a step back. People. Don't get overwhelmed. Some really simple, important, basic stuff to nail first before worrying about all this other stuff.

[00:48:39.670] – Allan

And not only are you going to add a decade, it's going to be a better decade.

[00:48:43.180] – Dr. Greger


[00:48:44.470] – Allan

Doctor, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, How Not to Age, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:48:54.330] – Dr. Greger

Send them to Nutritionfacts.org, where all my work is free and you can go to local public library and get the new book, which is out now, or your favorite bookseller. I don't get a penny from any of my books. All proceeds from the sales of all my books are all donated directly to charity. I just want you and your loved ones to enjoy the longest, healthiest life.

[00:49:17.120] – Allan

Thank you, Doctor. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness. Keep up the good work.

Post Show/Recap

[00:49:30.120] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:49:32.380] – Rachel

Hey, Allan.  There's a lot to unpack there. But first, I've got the 60 minutes of exercise. I drink a ton of coffee, and I love nuts. It's my favorite snack. So I'm basically immortal. At least today. That's right.

[00:49:48.890] – Allan

Nobody wants to see that. But no, I think the point being is that science can be very misleading if it has a bias. And you can't look at anything and not have a bias. It's built into the way your brain works. If at some point someone told you that milk was bad, you're going to have a hard time reading studies where it says milk is the best thing for you. It's a struggle. There are individuals that have read something in the past and that's just drilled into them.

[00:50:24.060] – Rachel

It's stuck, and it's stuck.

[00:50:25.760] – Allan

And so this is a book where because what he does over at his website, Nutritionfacts.org, is he does these quick little videos and he pulls up a study or he pulls up a concept, and he says, okay, so is red wine healthy for us. And he goes out and looks at all the studies, and some of it he sees it's like, okay, well, this was a rat study. I'm not a rat. Although some things we learn from rats are applicable, but not all. And so he says, okay. And then what you realize is, okay, the amount of wine that you would have to drink to have the same dose as this rat is 100 glasses of wine each night. Oh, dear. Probably not going to happen.

[00:51:10.580] – Rachel

Not good for you at that point.

[00:51:13.190] – Allan

And so there's those little bits. And so now what's happening is you have a supplement company that's selling a supplement that they say, this is equivalent of drinking 100 glasses of wine without the alcohol or all the delirious effects of having that much alcohol, and it might not even have that in it. Okay? Now studies, if they're doing a study, they do a little bit of quality assurance to make sure, okay, if I'm giving someone turmeric or cumin or something like that, I want to know what's in there. And so they do some work there. But supplements you might buy on the market may not be the same thing that you're seeing in that study because it's not sourced the same way. And that's why he was know, he sources some supplements outside the United States because he trusts the compounder, putting it together. But most of us, that's outside the realm of what we're capable of. Know, contracting with someone outside the United States to prepare a supplement for you. For most of us, we're just not going to do that. But he has a lot in this book about things that will age you.

[00:52:20.990] – Allan

And so at the beginning of the book, he starts out with the eleven pathways of aging, and he goes through those. And we talked a good bit about each one. And then in the end, he sort of did go through and say, what are the eight things that are practical, applicable? And I think he was kind of excited that when we got into the book and got into this conversation, that's where I tried to take the whole thing. You have to do a little bit of the work to understand, okay, when he's talking about AMPK or autophagy or mTOR oxidation, because when you're talking about these other foods and other things, these are the pathways that they affect, and in some cases more than one, because there's overlaps. And understanding how that works will kind of help you put this all together. And the basis of pretty much the whole book is if you're eating processed food, you're aging faster than the rest of us.

[00:53:11.520] – Rachel

That's a good point.

[00:53:12.700] – Allan

Yes, it's right there and there's no if, ands, or buts. It can say healthy on the label. It's aging you faster. It just is.

[00:53:23.430] – Rachel

Well, we absorb our nutrients better from the actual food itself. And not all these fortified items in boxes.

[00:53:31.080] – Allan

But even if we didn't even if we didn't, it's just the fact that there's a way that nutrition works on the way that we were adapted as animals through evolution. And it's literally we were not sitting there just eating one food all year round. We were eating a large variety of different foods because it's hard to fill up on blueberries. You're still going to eat as many blueberries you want, but you're going to want other foods, and if they're available, you're going to eat them.

[00:54:01.420] – Rachel

Well, that's the thing. It's about eating a diverse all the colors of the foods, like they say, all the leafy greens you talked about, big ass salads, which I'm sure is more than just spinach. And lettuce throw it all in there and just eat something different and unique every day as best you can to make sure that you're getting all these different nutrients.

[00:54:23.660] – Allan

Yeah. And that's really what it comes down to, is feeding your body good food, good movement, good rest, good sleep, good stress management. When you're doing these things, your body has these ways of protecting you, of healing you. And those things all the things being healthy helps you live longer. Go figure. And some of the stuff, when you look at the science, it's like, oh, well, actually, this is worse for you than what I thought the worst thing was. That doesn't mean go do the second worst thing. It just means that pay attention. You can sit there and well, you know, so what? I eat McDonald's every day. It's like, well, someone smokes two packs of cigarettes every day. So what? You're like, oh, that's terrible.

[00:55:16.550] – Rachel

Well, yeah, I suppose.

[00:55:20.550] – Allan

Well, of course McDonald's wants me to live. No, they want you to eat more McDonald's. They don't really care. They want you to eat more McDonald's. And that's their sole job. How can I get you to eat more? And that's what they do. They're not trying to kill you, but they're not trying to keep you alive, either. Yeah, that's not their.

[00:55:41.690] – Rachel

I just like we talk about all the time eating a wide variety of different foods, getting a number of different types of movement of exercise throughout the week, and just doing all the things that are important to maintaining our good health and fitness.

[00:55:57.320] – Allan

Yeah. Again, treat your body well, and it'll treat you well.

[00:56:01.270] – Rachel


[00:56:03.570] – Allan

All right, well, I will talk to you next week. Great.

[00:56:06.600] – Rachel

Take care, Ellen.

[00:56:07.490] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:56:08.460] – Rachel

Thank you.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 28, 2023

Food freedom with Alana Van Der Sluys

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 618 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Alana Van Der Sluys and discuss her book Freedom with Food and Fitness.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:33.730] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing up there?

[00:02:35.960] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:38.050] – Allan

I'm doing all you know, I okay. I live in Panama and it's beautiful. And, yes, I live on a Caribbean island that doesn't get hurricanes. And, yeah, that means I can wear shorts and tank tops every single day of the year. This is my work uniform. This is my day uniform. This is just kind of how I'm dressed most of the time. That's great. But I'm not going to say this is just a total paradise. Everything's great every single day. They're having a strike or a protest in the country. And the way they like to do them here is they like to block off roads and make everybody else's life as miserable as possible so that the government has to respond because everybody else is not living their full life. So they've had the country shut down now for a couple of weeks. A few weeks, wow. Which means probably if you paid attention about a year and a half ago, I guess that we had the kind of the same thing where I was talking about not having eggs, not having bread. Well we don't have eggs on the island, we don't have fuel on the island.

[00:03:49.290] – Allan

There's some pluses and minuses to cars not having gasoline, so there are fewer cars on the road. But at the same time it means that we don't have the things that we would normally have. And when it's available, typically it gets bumped up in price. So where a gallon of gasoline would normally be about $4 a gallon here in normal times it's anywhere from eight dollars to thirteen dollars. People are reselling it. So you walk up there with a jug and they'll sell you some gasoline. And so right now we're in this mode where some of our supplies are starting to kind of dwindle down a little bit. We've still got food, we've still got water, we've still got the things that we need to make it. But at points it just gets a little frustrating that you can't go to the grocery store and buy a dozen eggs. I eat a lot of eggs. It means I have to change my behavior, I have to change my eating. Which is kind of something we're going to get into today. But how are things up there?

[00:04:57.550] – Rachel

Good. Over the weekend I did something very different. I've never done this before. A friend asked me to pace during a half marathon and the pace group that we were leading was the 1235 minutes mile group. So we were pacing an entire half marathon at that pace, 1235 minutes. And I'm surprised. I've never paced, I've never run consistent like that for an entire half marathon. But we did and we were just about a minute and a few seconds faster than we should have been. But we were pretty close. I feel like a minute is pretty darn good for pretty good miles. So it was an interesting new experience. So it was a lot of fun.

[00:05:42.180] – Allan

Well, good for anybody that gets into running. If you join a run club or something like that, that's one of the benefits is sometimes they'll put together a structure like that to make you run. And even if you don't, finding a buddy or a friend that is a better runner than you and saying, okay, this is what we're going to run. I remember I was in Washington DC years and years and years ago and there was a guy that was working with us, he's a little freaking rabbit, but not kidding, but he goes out and says, well I'm going to run the ten K, you want to run it with me? And I'm like, sure. Now I basically outweighed this guy by a good 45 50 pounds, and I wasn't huge, I was like, 195. But he's a little bitty guy. And so he goes out there and says, well, what do you want to do? I says, yeah, I'll run it, but I said, I'm probably going to do it at about eight minute miles. He says, okay, I'll do that with you. And I'm like, okay, but I know you run a lot faster.

[00:06:42.780] – Allan

He's like, no, that's fine. Eight minute miles, I can do that. I'm like, okay, cool. So we go to line up, and if you line up for a race, realize that you get used to these, you know, that the faster runners want to be at the front and the slower runners need to be at the back. So you get into the practice of knowing your pace and for the type of race and knowing, okay, I need to be two thirds back or all the way back. This guy's just wanting to inch forward, inch forward, inch forward. I'm like, Dude, no. I said, I'm not going to get in front of faster runners. Eight minute miles. So the guy keeps inching forward and I watch him, and then he finally, he just leaves. He gets up right up in the very front, like, right at the start, and like a rabbit, he's out the gate. Of course I finished my race. I think I was 801. I think my actual time splits were 801 on average.

[00:07:30.810] – Rachel


[00:07:32.610] – Allan

I got passed by a blind guy, but I wasn't going to mess up my slip. But I get through, and the guy's there at this point, he's pretty much already cooled off and he's ready to do another one. I go through and he says, how was your race? I said, yeah, I did 801. He's like, okay, good. And I said, so what were yours? He said, about a 603, of course. Why did you even say you were going to try to do an eight when you knew you couldn't physically allow yourself to run that slow? And so again, I thought we would go and we'd pace and we'd run together, and we weren't going to. So one of the advantages again, of getting involved with a run club or having a run buddy that's running the same pace as you is that then you can help each other stay accountable and involved and engage and keep your pace so you don't overdo it.

[00:08:27.490] – Rachel

You could practice those faster paces when you're chasing somebody. I like to have a rabbit, too.

[00:08:33.570] – Allan

I wasn't going to chase a 603 rabbit maybe when I was in the army for 2 miles. That would have been a fine rabbit to chase, but ten K I know. Wasn't going to do it, but anyway, awesome. Oh, good. So you enjoyed the pacing?

[00:08:53.390] – Rachel

It was it was a neat experience, yeah.

[00:08:56.410] – Allan

Cool. All right, well, are you ready to talk about food and freedom?

[00:09:01.350] – Rachel



[00:09:44.170] – Allan

Alana, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:47.770] – Alana

Hi, Allan. How are you?

[00:09:49.770] – Allan

I'm doing very well, thank you. Your book, it has three of my favorite words in it freedom, Food and Fitness. The name of the book is Freedom with Food and Fitness. And so really kind of a good conversation to have right now because I think particularly now, we just finished Thanksgiving. And so this is the season of eating. This is the season of, if you will, gluttony and also internal abuse because we eat things and then we get mad at ourselves or feel guilty or feel shame. We have these feelings about food and fitness that we just carry with us in a very uncomfortable way as we go through this whole season.

[00:10:36.490] – Alana

Absolutely. And it's also the season of unsustainable weight loss. It's the season of crash diets and beating ourselves up.

[00:10:44.480] – Allan

It's both because we think, okay, well, I did something bad, I have to fix it. And we kind of get drawn into this whole world, and I'm in the fitness and health space myself, so I see it every single day of just the mental gymnastics, if you will, that I see people go through to try to figure out why it isn't working for them. Like someone will actually say, I saw this post today was I'm not eating the food. I'm basically staying within my numbers. I'm doing this, I'm doing that, but my weight is not going down. What can I do? And then you have the calories in, calories out, for lack of a better word, Nazis that come out and basically say, oh, well, you're obviously overeating, or, oh, you're obviously not moving enough. You should just do more movement and you should just eat less. And they're telling you in the post, I am doing everything I possibly can and I'm failing, and all you're saying is just do it more. It's a really hard message to just sit back and say, this is happening every day. Thousands of conversations over and over and over, and we don't seem to be learning the lesson.

[00:12:11.050] – Alana

No, we don't. And that's because the diet and weight loss industry is a multibillion dollar industry that has made a huge profit on our insecurities. It's just we feel like we're the ones who have failed and that we fail over and over again. But the thing is, we're not getting the correct information about how to actually feed our bodies and how to actually move our bodies, for us to be at our peak. And by peak, I don't mean that we're all ready to go do a fitness or a bikini competition. I mean feeling good in our bodies and not having nutrition and fitness be something that feels so punishing and so difficult. It shouldn't be hard. It shouldn't be hard at all. And that's why I'm an intuitive eating coach. It's in the title. It's being intuitive, listening to your own body instead of all of these rules and these conflicting messages, and every diet to do something different. And then we have misinformation, like calories in, calories out. Yes, from a physiological standpoint, but that's also not the entire picture. That's not everything.

[00:13:20.270] – Allan

Yeah, so there was this I don't know if you know who. I guess his last name is Gillette, or maybe his first name, but he was the comedian. He and his partner would do this magic show, comedy show thing, and he had gotten kind of obese, and he's working Vegas, and he'd gotten kind of obese, and then he lost 100 pounds. And he lost 100 pounds just eating potatoes. He literally just ate potatoes, and he lost 100 pounds. And so now, basically, people are saying, well, if I just eat potatoes, I'll lose the weight like he did, and I'll keep it off. He's a pretty smart guy. What he understood with eating potatoes was that, okay, yeah, this is somewhat of a fad. But for him it was. If I force myself to just eat potatoes, I know I'm going to get tired of potatoes, and then I won't eat as much again. I don't prescribe to that. But it worked for him. And so there's this fad diet that comes out, and it says, hey, just eat potatoes, and you could lose 100 pounds. And then he gets interviewed on all the shows, and it's more publicity for people to say, okay, yeah, I'm going to look at this potato only diet.

[00:14:36.630] – Allan

Why is it that these fad diets, they blow up, they get really huge because, again, there's a success story there. Why do they fail? Because they worked for him. Why aren't they working for me?

[00:14:52.110] – Alana

It could be a variety of reasons. Number one, I find it hard to believe all he ate was potatoes because there's definitely a nutritional deficit, if that's what he's doing. There's no healthy fat for his brain function. There's no protein for muscle development. I don't recommend this at all, and I know you don't as well. I think these fad diets get airtime because they're so outlandish and novel, and people also want the quick fix. They want the sensationalized results. They want 100 pounds. No one wants to hear that someone lost ten pounds over the course of eight weeks doing things reasonably and sustainably. They want really quick, really flashy, really novel. And to your point, before I say why it didn't work, it might not work for somebody else. To your point about why it did work for him. There is an element of something that we talk about in intuitive eating called habituation. So it's when you have the same stimulus over and over and over again, eventually your response to that stimulus decreases. So the example would be he eats potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. Eventually he'sick of potatoes. He doesn't want potatoes anymore. So what we do in intuitive eating is if you have a fear food, let's say you're fearful of cheesecake.

[00:16:15.630] – Alana

It's high calorie and sugar and fat, and you think it's going to make you gain weight, so you always try to avoid it, but that ends up with you inevitably binging an entire cheesecake. You want it so much. So we go through the process of habituation, and I tell clients, have a little bit of cheesecake every single day for a month. And you will notice the pull for the cheesecake on day one is a lot more intense than the pull for the cheesecake on day 30 because you've been having it over and over and over again. And people, they're like, how can that be? I'll want cheesecake forever. I love cheesecake. It's my favorite. So I tell them, think about are you married, Alan?

[00:16:50.390] – Allan

I am.

[00:16:51.730] – Alana

Okay, so first time you said you loved your partner, there were probably butterflies, and everyone was so excited, and it was so novel and wonderful. And now that you've been together for however many years, it's like they say they love you and you're like, yeah, I love you too, and you probably mean it still, right? I've been with my husband for ten years, and I still mean it. I still love him. But it doesn't have that same butterfly inducing, exciting feeling, at least not in the same intensity as it did the first time versus ten years in that's habituation. Why? It's not going to work for somebody else. Variety of reasons. I mean, people eat emotionally. People want to eat different things when they're emotional. Your body's going to crave what it needs nutritionally. That's why intuitive eating is actually a healthful practice. Your body's going to tell you you're going to crave steak when you need iron, things like that. So for you to force yourself to eat one kind of food with one nutritional profile, your body's going to crave other things. And once you allow yourself to go off the potato diet, you're going to binge those things because you've been restricting them for so long.

[00:18:00.170] – Allan

I call it the purple elephant, and it's like, don't think of a purple elephant. And it's like, what's in your head right now? It's like the thing you weren't supposed to think about. And we do that to ourselves exactly every time we start thinking about, well, I'm on this thing and this diet, and therefore I can't have these things, that's all you think about. I remember when I tried paleo. Okay. And Paleo works great for me. My body responds very well to the Paleo style of eating, but there are foods on that list that I would typically want in volumes like bread and beer and stuff like that. I remember having a dream about bread when I went into that because my brain was just so wired on bread. That was a top of thought thing. And I was like, okay, I know I don't need bread. I know I don't really want bread. But what am I telling myself when I tell myself I can't have something? The rebel side of my brain is like, well, I'm going to make you think about this every single day of your life until you eat bread.

[00:19:14.670] – Allan

And so I think there's that aspect of this whole thing of when we do that. So with a lot of my clients, I'll actually tell them, I'll be like, well, I want a pop or soda or whatever you call it, wherever you are. And I'll be like, well, you're a grown ass woman. Have a soft drink. But at the same time recognize that you're making a choice as an adult. You're not a kid, you're an adult. You have a smart part of your brain that can look at it and say, why am I doing this? What's my emotional state? Why do I feel like I need this? Versus because we know we're not getting any nutritional value from that soft drink that our body actually needs. We may be craving it. So the question is back down and say, okay, is this an emotional thing? Am I trying to get through a stressor? Am I using this in a different way than I would use food? We're going to talk about that in a minute. But it's kind of that whole concept of, okay, is this really helping me? And I think that's where a lot of these fad diets kind of come in, is like, okay, is this going to give me what I need?

[00:20:19.430] – Allan

Is this diet really going to me and nourish me and make me feel whole, or am I going to be miserable until I'm done?

[00:20:28.970] – Alana

Right? I think that last sentence that you just said is something that I want listeners to take away is, do you want to be miserable the whole time? Because whatever diet you choose to be on or no diet at all, your food regimen, if you will, you have to be doing that for the rest of your life in order to maintain whatever results you're looking for. So if you're on Keto, congratulations. You have to be on Keto probably for the rest of your life in order to maintain the results that you have right now. Because if you go back to old eating habits, you're going to gain the weight back.

[00:21:02.020] – Allan

I think that's the key. I do think that's a key. I do want to state that, because I do think you can temporarily go on a sprint and you can temporarily do something, but it's the going all the way back to who you were and not recognizing that. Wait, when I eat whole food and I feed myself and I let myself get full and I'm mindful of what I'm eating, when I do these intuitive eating things, I'm suddenly satiated. I'm full, I'm comfortable. I like this. Don't go back to eating the way you ate before. When you get back to you think you got to a goal or you feel better about it, there's no real reason to go back if you feel really good eating the way you're eating. And I think that's the disconnect when we use the word diet. Diet actually the word, you know, this basically means the way you eat. It was never intended to be used as a specialized concept of temporary eating. And I think that's where a lot of people lose it. But you could sit there and say, I know beer does not really help me.

[00:22:06.120] – Allan

If I'm a little bit overweight or feeling uncomfortable with myself or my energy levels are low, I know that's not going to serve me as a grown man. I can make the decision, I'm going to have a couple of beers with my buddies and I'm going to be okay with that. But at the same time, I also know if I go periods of time without drinking beer, I feel better, my energy is level better, I sleep better, my stress levels are better, everything's better. And so I think that's the kind of the disconnect when we use that term diet, and particularly the fad diets because they tend to exclude a lot of things that we really need.

[00:22:40.130] – Alana

Absolutely. And I would say if somebody is going on a certain diet and then going back to their original way of eating, they've put a Band Aid on a bullet wound. They haven't addressed the mental and emotional issues that are causing them to have a broken relationship to food in the first place. And that's what I deal a lot with my clients about, is what are the thoughts that you're having that are creating these emotions that are causing you to binge eat in front of the pantry? We have to address that emotional pain or lack of stress management or emotional management or trauma or whatever it might be, because it's never just about the food ever. It's always about some sort of underlying issue that you're not addressing and using the food as a mask or using exercise or lack thereof as a mask. So you have to really get down to the nitty gritty and do the deeper work.

[00:23:39.590] – Allan

One of the things you got into here that I thought was, I think this is key, we're going to say the term intuitive eating, and immediately I think people are going to be like, well, wait a minute, I already overeat, I already binge. I already do these things. How can I trust myself. And diet culture tells us you can't. You have to eat a certain way, you have to do a certain thing, because you can't be trusted with cheesecake.

[00:24:12.690] – Alana

Right? It's all about relearning how to listen to your body's cues. So we're all born as intuitive eaters. When we were children, we ate when we were hungry, we stopped when we were full. I have a three year old son and I see him leaving half a cupcake on a plate, and any one of us who's been through diet culture would be like, oh, my God, I would have ate that thing in one bite. It's like my cheat day to have a cupcake. But for him, it's just like, I don't really care because he knows he can have it whenever he wants. And that's really the beauty, the magic. And the thing about intuitive eating that I don't think people fully understand until they've been going through the process is you actually crave those junk foods, quote, unquote, less, once you become an intuitive eater, because it becomes more about, what can I add in to my diet that's going to make me feel good? Instead of, what do I have to take away because I'm on this diet? But it's, what can I add in? Can I add in more water? Can I add in more veggies and fiber and protein?

[00:25:15.790] – Alana

And listen, I love pizza just as much as the next person, but one of the things I ask myself before I sit down to eat a meal is, how am I going to feel after I eat this? And if I eat one slice of pizza, I'll probably be fine. I would try to pair it with, like, a salad with grilled chicken or something to kind of round out that meal. But I know if I sit down and eat two, three slices of pizza, I am not going to feel good. I'm not going to feel good in my body. I'm going to feel bloated and sluggish. So it's asking that question, how am I going to feel? But the other thing that we need to do to start learning to listen to and trust our bodies is honing in on those body cues. Do you actually know the signs of hunger? Aside from a growling stomach, which is really late stage hunger? Can you pick up those nuanced cues? Do you actually know when you're full or do you, when you have a cheat day, just plow right through that fullness queue because you think it's your only day, you can have that food.

[00:26:18.970] – Alana

When we use external tools like calorie counters and the scale and what people say we can and cannot eat, we can't listen to what our bodies actually do need, and it's different for everybody. So learning to listen to those body cues, I think is super important, combined with this question of how do I want to feel in my body after I eat this thing that takes a.

[00:26:45.270] – Allan

Ton of self awareness and it takes a lot of patience. I'm a huge fan of Journaling. Not necessarily that you're going to sit down and write down everything you ate. You can write down all the calories and all the macros and do the math. And now you basically have this huge accounting system like General Motors. You're spending hours trying to figure out all this stuff and stay within ranges and numbers and all that. And I just think that's not the way human being was meant to eat. I don't think we were walking through the forest saying, OOH, blueberries. I think I'll walk past those because too many carbs. I don't think that was even a thought. It was like, oh, blueberries, I'm going to eat all the blueberries because I know they're not going to be here in three weeks, but we eat all the blueberries. And then now guess what? We're back to hunting and foraging, eating roots and other things that we would just eat. But I think you're onto something. You talked about something there that I think is really kind of a big part of this is we have to be aware of what our body's telling us.

[00:27:44.280] – Allan

And too often we're not even listening.

[00:27:49.830] – Alana

That's right. We're listening to what other people are saying we should be doing. We're listening to the quote unquote experts.

[00:27:57.590] – Allan

Yeah. And then sometimes we're not listening to anything. I don't know how many times I've had a conversation with a client and they would say, I had a nice meal, I felt good, and then my kids were done. And so I ate everything that was on their plates that they didn't eat, like your three year old. It's like they would throw down the half a cupcake because, well, it's there not even thinking how that feels, whether they were already full, why were they doing it. And usually it's just this is easier, this is quick. I'll feel good, I'll enjoy it. And they're just not having that conversation. So how does someone go about that? How do I go about saying, okay, look, I need to be in the moment, I need to be aware, I need to be mindful.

[00:28:42.790] – Alana

It's really just a practice. It's really just learning to stop in the moment when you're about to do an action and just think to yourself, is this going to serve me? And if it's not, maybe choosing something different. But I think you're right in terms of we go through our day a lot, almost like zombies are almost on this autopilot where we do things where we don't even question why we're still doing them. So I think that's part of it. And I also think we're trying to always numb out, especially in today's society, there's so much on social media and so much that we're consuming that we use it because we don't want to feel our actual feelings. We're using. TV and food and drinking and drugs and gambling and porn and all of these things to try to not feel our feelings. And I have a lot of clients that emotionally eat because they don't want to feel whatever it is. So part of my work with my clients is thought work is cognitive behavioral therapy. Again, as I said before, it's what are the thoughts that are going on in your head and what emotions are those causing and what outcomes or actions are you taking as a result of those emotions?

[00:30:00.490] – Alana

Like, are you grabbing that cup and eating it because you need the dopamine hit because something went bad at work today that you don't want to process in the form of journaling or with a therapist or whatever? Are you just stuffing it down with food? That's one of the principles of intuitive eating, is coping with emotions, with kindness. And that's something that we don't do very often because we weren't socialized to a lot of us were told when we were younger to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and don't cry and don't be a sissy. And the negative emotions mean that something has gone wrong. But there are ways to process emotions so that they complete the stress cycle and they do dissipate so that you don't need food to cope with those emotions.

[00:30:45.480] – Allan

Yeah, I was at dinner last night with some folks at a friend's house and someone had made a pumpkin soup and so this woman brought it up and she said, are there carrots in this? And the woman that she asked didn't hear, so she just went on and started eating the soup. And then she came back later and said, yes, there's carrots in this. And someone says, well, do you have a problem with carrots? She's like, I don't like carrots. And they said, well, you don't like carrots? She says, no, because I remember as a child sitting at the table for a long, long time with carrots in front of me, and my parents would not let me go to bed until I ate the carrots. And so this woman had a relationship with carrots that I was glad she was aware of it, but she had pretty much decided that she would never eat carrots willingly, although she did eat the soup because I guess it was delicious. So there was that. But there was a relationship there that she was aware of, and I was glad that she was aware of it. I wasn't in the conversation, I was just the fly on the wall listening.

[00:31:55.520] – Allan

But it was just that understanding that there's more to food than just the calories and the macros and everything else. We have memories, we have traumas, we have all these things that have gone on in our lives that tell us how to eat. They're not telling us what our body needs.

[00:32:16.010] – Alana

Absolutely. That story just reminded me of a client who she had anorexia for 20 years, and in the year that she worked with me, she actually finally was able to move over into the category of in recovery. She made so much progress with me, and I'm so proud of her. But she had this story in her head that she was safer when she was thinner. She was in a safer body. She felt safer. And I had to ask her one day, I said, have you ever thought about the validity of that story today for you? Because today for you, your anorexia has nearly killed you. Is this really safe for you anymore? And she was like, wow, I never really thought of it that way. I think sometimes we have these stories that we make up to make sense of what's happened in our lives, and we hold on to those stories and repeat those stories over and over again over the years. They begin to sound like facts, and we don't even challenge them after a while. But you might be holding on to a story about yourself or about food from 2030 years ago that doesn't really apply anymore.

[00:33:22.380] – Alana

And you really have to challenge those thoughts and ask yourself if you're willing to let go of some of the stories that you've been holding on to or challenge them the way a lawyer would challenge somebody else in court. Hold up the facts of that story.

[00:33:39.510] – Allan

Yeah. Now you brought up something in the book that it's a topic that I've known about and I've thought about because I don't want to push someone to think that they need to be perfect. I'm a big fan of just progress. Just do something a little better. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's orthorexia and this is basically kind of the other side of the coin of just not giving a damn about your health and your fitness. This is like maybe caring a little too much. Can you talk about that a little bit?

[00:34:16.130] – Alana

Yeah, that's where I was. And orthorexia as you said, it's an obsession with, quote unquote, clean eating and having a real anxiety and fear around foods that are deemed unhealthy or junk foods. And when I was in my twenty s, that was one of the things that I most certainly had. I was never diagnosed with it, and it's not in the DSM Five for diagnosable eating disorders as of yet. I know they're working on that. But I think sometimes when we want to reach a goal weight, when we want to be as healthy as possible, especially since our culture has become so obsessed with wellness, it could become an obsession. And for me, I've always been a perfectionist and in certain ways a maladaptive perfectionist. And I in my 20s, was seeking perfection through being a certain goal weight, and I wanted my body to look a certain way. But I think kind of going back to our conversation of calories and calories out. It's not that simple. I wanted six pack ABS, and that's very difficult for someone with my genetics. That's just not how our bodies are shaped. And we gain weight in our middles first in my family.

[00:35:32.190] – Alana

And I could have the six pack, I would have to get my body fat very low. I would have to eat very regimented whey. And for me to have a goal like that would mean to have a very real fear of anything that would not allow me to reach that goal. But it got to a point, obviously, when I developed an eating disorder, where I had to say, is this goal really worth it? Is eating this clean all the time really worth it? And the answer was no for me. And I actually just spoke with, I don't know if you know her, Marie Wald. She's the host of the Make Bank podcast. And she used to be a competitive bikini person. And she was saying that she had no social life when she was prepping. She felt, like, horrible all of the time in her body. And then when she was done prepping and done competing and she would eat, quote unquote, normally again in between shows, she would gain all this weight and feel so bad about her body. And I've heard similar stories like that before. I read a book called oh, gosh, madeline Moon's book, the Confessions of a Fitness Model, I think it was called.

[00:36:47.640] – Alana

Same Story. She would compete in these bikini competitions, and it was just this mental and physical struggle to reach peak perfection. But was it perfection? Is the question that's what I posed in the book as well is. I think the chapter is called The Dangers of the Perfect Body or The Myth of the Perfect Body.

[00:37:06.020] – Allan

Yeah. And I think that gets a little weird, if you will, or OD when we get over 40. And because a lot of us, I think, guys more maybe than women, we still think of ourselves like our 20 year old self. It's like, I want to go out and do the things I did when I was in my twenty s. I feel like I should be able to do those things. I think I should look like I did when I was in my 20s, when I had the six pack and had the things going on. And what I've come to realize is that my body right now won't hold on to that much muscle mass. And therefore, from a BMI perspective, or whatever you want to call it, I'm never going to be 29 again. I can be very fit. I can be very strong. I can do everything that I want to do, but I'm not going to get down to the 31 inch waist again. It's probably just not going to happen. But that's me being real with myself and understanding my physical limitations and also just understanding my lifestyle of, well, I still want to be able to go out with my friends and do stuff.

[00:38:10.860] – Allan

And if I'm going to have these detours, if you will, I'm going to go do these things. To me, I don't want the guilt. I don't want the shame of saying, well, okay, I don't have the 31 inch waist. I'll be happy with 34 and still going out and having fun with my friends.

[00:38:27.250] – Alana

Right. It's that balance of the perfect body. But what would you lose if you tried to gain that perfect body? Because it takes so much work and effort and mental and physical anguish that it's not worth it for me. And I think that's a question that the answer to, which is different for everybody, I suppose. But you can absolutely be healthy and not look the same way that you did when you were in your in high school and society glorifies the young. But we're all going to get older. Our bodies are all going to change. Women are going to go through menopause and the whole host of body changes that come along with that. And it's something to be appreciated and respected and embraced at the same time, that you could still be eating mostly nutrients, dense foods and moving your body most days and drinking your water and sleeping and managing your stress. You can be healthy without looking like the 20 something model. And that's something that I addressed in my TEDx Talk, is this fallacy and this very one dimensional view of what health is supposed to look like.

[00:39:37.690] – Allan

Yeah, and I've gone through that with my clients, too. It's like you don't have to look like a CrossFit athlete to be fit if your level of fitness is just I want to be an awesome grandfather, and when we go to the zoo, I want to be able to keep up with the grandkids. And if they want to go get in the park and roll around on the ground, I want to be able to do that, too. And so it's that kind of mentality of, okay, what do I need to be able to do? And I still see that. Like, there was a post on Facebook today. Again, a lot going on on Facebook today, I guess, but the guy was posting, what can you do? This is a 40 plus fitness level thing, as most of us were. All of us are in our older. He's like, what can you do? And so you've got people. Well, I can run a six minute mile. I'm 52 years old. And of the guys like, Well, I can. And I'm like, well, I can do everything I want to do. And he didn't like that answer, because I wasn't bragging about what I could do.

[00:40:36.880] – Allan

I was just saying if I want to be able to do it, I train around the things. I train my strength, my mobility, my stamina, my balance to be able to be the person I want to be. And beyond that, if I have a little bit more strength than I need, well, great. If I have a little bit more stamina than I need, great. But I know I can go anywhere I want to go. I can do anything I want to do. Can I do what I did when I was in the military in my twenty s? No, probably not. But I can still do a lot that I enjoy doing, and I can do everything that I need to do. And so to me, that's enough. And I think it's that line of saying, what's enough? Physically, health wise? All of it? Yeah.

[00:41:19.050] – Alana

What's enough for women especially, it's challenging not only what is health, because I ask my clients a series of questions toward the beginning of my program. Is healthy being physically afraid of a brownie? Or is healthy not having a piece of your son or daughter's birthday cake because you're too afraid of it? Is it really healthy to spend every single day at the gym without giving yourself a rest day? So not only questioning what health actually is, authentic health versus diet culture's version of health, but also what is your definition of beauty, what is your definition of worth? Because we tend to inflate all of those things together. Fitness equals health, equals worthiness equals beauty. And that is what society has served us up and that's what we've been socialized to believe. But as autonomous human beings, like you said to your client, you're a big girl. You can have the beer or the bread or whatever you want. We are allowed to subscribe to this version of health and beauty and worthiness if we want to, or we can choose to opt out. And if you opt out, yes, of course you have to contend with the fact you still live in a thin obsessed society, but you get to write those rules.

[00:42:36.900] – Alana

You get to write those rules in a way that allows you to do all the things you want to do, as you said, and also still feel good in your body.

[00:42:43.160] – Allan

Yeah. And you're not subjecting your children or grandchildren to this level of anxiety about a piece of cake or a brownie. They're seeing you live a happy, healthy life. And that's what we want. We're not going to break the diet culture paradigm. We could do it for ourselves, but we can also do it for people around us by being the example of the person who's not anxious about, oh, well, they've got this, I can't eat that, I won't eat that kind of thing.

[00:43:14.430] – Alana

Yeah. And that's definitely something. As a mom to all of your female clients over 40, we can say one thing to our children, but they always pay attention to how we act. And I have a lot of clients, I ask them about their family history and I say, well, did your parents ever put you on a diet when you were younger? And I would say a good half of them say, no, they didn't put me on a diet, but they were so hard. Like, my mom was so harsh on herself. Or my mom always used to go to Weight Watchers meetings, or she would eat something for dinner that was different than the rest of the family, or she would always pinch the fat on her arms or whatever. And when we see those things, it's generational. Eating disorders are generational. When we see those things when we're children, it's, well, I want to be like Mommy, and Mommy doesn't seem to like her body unless it looks this way, and that's what makes her feel like a good girl. So that must mean that that would make me a good girl if I was thin, too.

[00:44:17.480] – Alana

And that's how it starts.

[00:44:19.290] – Allan

Yeah. Now, this transition, if you will, to where you're starting to trust yourself, you're starting to do these things. It's not just something you pick up and you say, okay, well, Alana was right. I'm on the podcast. I'm going to start intuitive eating. It's not an easy thing. This is an intense internal piece of work. In the book, you included about, I think, 15 tips that will make the transition a little easier and a little bit more sustainable. Can you share a couple of your favorite? I have a favorite that I'll talk about in a minute, but what are some of your favorite tips that you have in the book for this transition?

[00:45:03.950] – Alana

I'm all about practicality, and you read the book, so, you know, these tips are just like, really things that you can implement the day that you read them. I'm not here to wax poetic to anybody because it sounds great, but then you're like, how do I actually implement this? So my favorite first step is always to just get rid of the scale and delete your calorie counting app, like MyFitness pal. Because if you're using external tools to determine how much or little you should be eating, you cannot actually honor any hunger and fullness cues that you're getting in your body. So that is, like, step number one. And I will say again, as somebody who would weigh herself every single day before anything else, before even a sip of water, I was so scared to not step on a scale one day and not know how much or little I could eat that day, because that's how I would determine it. But it's always scarier before you do it. The day I actually decided to not step on the scale, it was actually a relief. It was a breath of fresh air, and anxiety is fear of the future.

[00:46:08.970] – Alana

So once it was already happening, it wasn't that scary anymore. It just was. So I would definitely say that. The other tip I really enjoy, and I think it's actually a couple of different strategies in the book that fall under this umbrella, but this idea of meal planning, not in the rigid way that diet culture tells us. Like, whatever you meal prep, you have to have because it's in your macros or whatever, it's just taking an hour or two every Sunday or whatever day you have off and prepping a couple of options for breakfast and lunch or something. You don't even have to do dinner and do a couple of snacks, but just having some pre prepped, nutritiously, dense food readily available at the go. Because I think we get in the habit of eating on the go, going to the drive through, waiting till we're starving, that we don't have time to make the food. So we just gobble up whatever prepackaged garbage is available to us, instead of saying, oh, I made these yogurt parfaits for snacks. Like, they're right here. I can just grab one if I'm really hungry. So meal prepping as a flexible, gentle way to ensure that you have nutrient dense, balanced meals available to you, I think is super key.

[00:47:24.500] – Alana

And I have a ton of tricks in the book about how to meal prep so that it doesn't take 6 hours, it should take an hour to max. And I have some strategies for that.

[00:47:36.290] – Allan

My favorite was your tip number six, transition tip number six, which was freeze leftovers or fresh foods for later. And the way you put it together, there's two things that you went through. One was, okay, so someone gives you this big, huge brownie and, you know, okay, I like the brownies. I think you talked about it having brownie and fudge and chocolate chip and a whole lot of other stuff in there. And you love it, you want it, but, you know, okay, it's not in my best interest to eat all of it at one sitting, which I'd probably do if I just left it on the counter. And I keep looking at it every time I walk by it, but you cut it up into bites or pieces or whatever, and then you freeze the rest of it. And so it's like any night you want, you can go in there and say, I'd like a little bit of that, and you have a little bit of it. You feel the satiation of, oh, that was really good, but you're not eating the whole thing. And similar to what we talked about earlier, like with the potato thing, it's like because it's there, you now don't have this scarcity mindset.

[00:48:39.410] – Allan

It's like, oh, I always have something sweet, something savory, something I like, and it's put aside for when I need it, for when I want it. And so I don't have to feel like I have to eat it all because I know it's not going anywhere. It's my freezer, and it's going to be there. So it's there. So I think that ties in that the other side of it was I was thinking. I used to go out and I'd bring food home from the restaurant and it's like, okay, I'll eat that for lunch the next morning. And then I'd find myself at lunchtime and I'm like, well, I just had that last night, and that's just not fulfilling right now. It's not what I want. Yes, I could force myself to eat it. It's still good food, but it's like, yeah, if I just took it home, packaged it up, put it in the freezer, then I give myself the option to say yes or no to that particular thing, and I don't feel like I'm tied to it. Like, the clean your plate mindset that we were passed on when we were kids is like, if I want it, I'll have it, but I'll have it when I want it versus the other way around.

[00:49:47.930] – Alana

Exactly. And you put that so well. And I love the freezer hack, too, because as you kind of hinted at, it takes away that Last supper mentality, like, oh, I have to have it all now because for me, I don't waste food. I have a problem with wasting food, and for me, it would be partially, oh, I have to eat them all now because they're going to go stale and that's going to be a waste. But if you put it in the freezer, it doesn't happen, they don't get stale. So it's this way to take the pressure off and to not have that Last supper mentality.

[00:50:20.690] – Allan

Yeah. And so, like, tonight, my wife's going out with friends, they're going to have a slumber party. So I don't know if a 55 year old woman can actually go on a slumber party, but that's what they're doing. And so every time she leaves town, it's like, well, this is the time for me to cook what I want without worrying about what she wants. So it's almost always liver and onions for me because that's one of my I love liver and onions. No one else on the earth? Well, there's a couple of us, but most people don't. My wife doesn't. She says she loves smelling it, but she has no way she's going to eat it. So I'll cook it. And then what I found is sometimes I'll put it in the fridge, and then the next day, I don't really want it. And I hate again like you. I don't want to waste it, and I don't want it to go bad. But I have to admit, sometimes I just can't make myself eat it. But the idea of tonight, I cook it, I have it, and then the rest of it I put in the freezer, and then that's there for me.

[00:51:12.710] – Allan

Whenever I kind of want my fix, it's there. So I like that tip and I'm definitely going to follow it.

[00:51:20.650] – Alana

I love that. Thank you.

[00:51:22.650] – Allan

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

[00:51:34.110] – Alana

Always approach nutrition from a Place of abundance. So what can you add in to your diet that's going to leave you feeling good? Is it prioritizing more protein? Is it throwing in healthy fats, fiber, water? I say journal. Journaling, I'm with you. I think when we get down about our bodies, sometimes having a gratitude journal about what we are grateful for and happy about in our lives can help pull the focus away from our bodies as this esthetic thing that we have to make perfect. So coming from a Place of Abundance, journaling and I would say emotional management. Emotional management and thought management, learning how to really listen to the voices that you hear in your head, learning how to challenge the validity of them and purposefully choosing whether you want to release them or keep them. If there's something that's serving you, great.

[00:52:39.460] – Allan

Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book Freedom with Food and Fitness, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:52:49.270] – Alana

They can go to my website, freedomwithfoodandfitness.com. They can visit me on Instagram at freedomwithfoodandfitness. And the book came out just about two weeks ago now, so it's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or wherever you get your books.

[00:53:05.210] – Allan

Thank you. You can go to 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com 6118 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Alana, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:53:16.430] – Alana

Thank you, Allan. This is awesome.

Post Show/Recap

[00:53:20.030] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:53:21.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I love the concept of intuitive eating. I feel like I'm a pretty good intuitive eater myself now, but certainly that is not something that comes easy. I mean, we have so many rules in our life about when we should be eating. And we're know if you have kids like when I had kids, I kind of got stuck eating what they were eating. So I didn't really have the autonomy to choose because I certainly wasn't going to prepare multiple different meals. But it's not easy to be that intuitive.

[00:53:52.980] – Allan

Yeah, it's not. When you do it, then basically what you do is you turn on all these automatic switches and our bodies, our minds, everything around us was wired for that. We were wired to have regular, consistent, almost everything. And then we could focus intently on what was different because typically what was different was dangerous. So we wander out into a field and we're used to seeing this field look a certain way and act a certain way. And suddenly we get out there and things are not that way. We realize something's in the field that wasn't there yesterday and it's changed things. So certain animals are no longer there. It looks different, it feels different. Our bodies are wired to feel that, to sense that, to not like that. And so when we look at food, we kind of get into ruts. We kind of get into things we like that comfort. We like that thing. And so there's a lot of structure without the intention behind it.

[00:54:59.650] – Rachel


[00:55:00.460] – Allan

And so what we're saying here is, again, I think it's great when you can get to the intuitive part, because then you're just walking around the forest and into the field and doing the things that you do on a daily basis, and it feels good and it feels normal. But to get there, we've got to do some mental training. We've got to get ourselves to a point where we're eating the right way and we're feeling it. We're taking the time, and we're doing these things. And that typically, in my opinion, takes some rules. So you can't just jump into and say, well, I'm going to do this intuitive eating thing. At some level, you got to say, well, what does that mean for me? What am I going to eat that's going to make me feel good? Is that going to be consistent? Does that fit my lifestyle? And so many times people will say, well, this is what I'm going to do. I'm only going to eat this food. I'm only going to eat it this often. And that's where this whole concept, which kind of got into the whole keto thing, is like, once you start keto, you always have to do keto.

[00:56:04.330] – Allan

Well, that's not entirely true for a lot of people. It is, though. I mean, for a lot of people, they go onto keto, they lose weight, they go off of keto, they go right back to the way they ate before they went into keto, and now they're not. Now, I happen to do it in a very unusual way because I talked to a nutritionist that was very heavy into food, actual food, not all the bars and all this. So it was a paleo style that I started eating. Now, the foods I gravitated to meats and vegetables, well, they put me into ketosis because I don't know how much spinach you have to eat to get out of ketosis, but I don't want to know because I've eaten a lot of spinach and not gotten out of ketosis. And so I can't even imagine how much I would have to eat of a leafy green before I would go out of ketosis. So for me, I just happened to be eating a lot of leafy greens and a lot of protein, usually in the form of beef, chicken, or pork and eggs. And I went into ketosis, and it was great for me.

[00:57:18.170] – Allan

It worked very well for me. Now it does not work for me all the time, and there were times it did not work, and then I got out of it. And so what I would say is intuitive eating is understanding with the environment that you have, what's the best that you can do with what you've got. Then when you get into it, you realize that you don't need the three or. Four servings that they bring you when you're sitting down at dinner.

[00:57:41.640] – Rachel


[00:57:42.290] – Allan

And the concept, the rule you had, the rule you had was eat everything on your plate.

[00:57:47.260] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, that's how I grew up.

[00:57:48.870] – Allan

Okay, we did. But when you walk into a restaurant and they're basically handing you four meals right? Okay. No, that rule is no longer valid. So find rules that serve you, get rid of rules that don't, and then try to make the rules. Just become a natural way that you approach things. That's intuitive. It's intuitive. When I walk in, I look at a plate and I say, oh, my God, that's four servings of pasta. It's three servings of protein, and it's four servings of pasta. And I can look at it the plate, and know that's what I'm looking at. I mean, it took two waiters to carry it to my table. You just look at it? No, this is a lot more food than I need. So I eat it slow. I focus on the protein and the vegetables. I have a little bit of the pasta because it's good, and then when I'm full, I stop.

[00:58:48.390] – Rachel

Well, that's right there is one of those cues that's important to pay attention to, is that feeling of being hungry versus the feeling of being full and.

[00:58:59.130] – Allan

Not being afraid of either, right?

[00:59:01.500] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure.

[00:59:02.580] – Allan

Some people are terrified when they're hungry. It's like, oh my God, I'm out of food, I'm going to die. Like, no, you live in a world of abundance. When you recognize that you live in a world of abundance, you can eat just about anytime you want to.

[00:59:15.730] – Rachel

Well, that's an interesting point too, Alan, because back many years ago when I worked in an office, I had to hurry up and get the kids fed, get something in my mouth before I took my daily commute to get to the office. And then when I got to the office, like everybody else, I had a pretty flexible time frame when I could have lunch. But basically you have lunch around eleven or twelve or thereabouts, and then when you get home, you got to get the kids fed. So you're eating around dinner time, or your time for dinner is what, five or 06:00 or something like that. And so you get into this rut of you're eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you're not thinking about whether you're hungry enough to eat that. Well, now, at this stage of my life, I can wake up in the morning and decide, well, I'm not really hungry today, so I'm going to put off breakfast until I am hungry. I'll do some chores or do my run and come back and eat when I'm hungry. But we're stuck in these ruts of these times of the day when we are just conditioned to be eating a meal and then not really feeling hungry at any particular time.

[01:00:22.440] – Rachel

And then because you're eating the meal, because it's dinner and it's in front of you and it's on your plate, you're finishing it whether you're feeling full or not. Those moments of being intuitive and being mindful and feeling the feelings about what you're eating is important, but it's not easy to get to that point.

[01:00:40.030] – Allan

No, it's not. Which is, again, why I think certain rules can be valuable. You can plate your dinner in the kitchen, so you're not dipping the spoon in to grab another serving of mashed potatoes and gravy. And so you just sit there and say you say, okay, I'm going to plate my food. This is the size of a plate that typically satiates me. I'm going to put two thirds of my plate is going to be protein, and one third of my plate is going to be protein, and two thirds will be vegetables. Okay. And maybe you want to have a starch, maybe you don't. Maybe you say, okay, I'm going to have a glass of wine with this. So there are certain rules that you're going to have, and those rules can be very helpful to keep you on track. But then there's just the point where you walk in and you're like, okay, I know my plate. I know my plate size. I know I'm usually feeling I feel pretty good when I eat that amount of food. I feel gross when I eat two or three of them on Thanksgiving, which is coming up, but it's just that whole thing of realizing or I guess it's just over.

[01:01:50.050] – Allan

I'm looking at the date this is going live. Thanksgiving is over. You're probably just now feeling good after five days of Thanksgiving and all the leftovers, but we do that, and then we don't take that information and say, okay, well, I don't want to feel that gross again, I'd like to find that point of what does a plate look like and what does it feel like. I went through precision nutrition, and that's basically how they teach portion sizes, is when you can understand the size of a portion, they usually do it relative to a body part. So your fist or your hand or something like that. And so it's just that recognizing how much food typically makes you feel satiated.

[01:02:33.830] – Rachel

Yeah, that's another mindset.

[01:02:36.850] – Allan

Slowing down and feeling it and enjoying the food is another part of this. But to start out with, you just make a rule. Okay, here's my plate. Yes. Their plate is a ten inch plate. My plate is an eight inch plate.

[01:02:50.630] – Rachel

That's a good .1.

[01:02:52.170] – Allan

Third of my plate is going to be protein, and two thirds is going to be vegetables. They may have a starch or something like that, and I may have a little bit of it, just almost like it's a condiment. Just a little spoonful on the side there that I'll enjoy. If I really love it, maybe that's the last thing I eat. So I'll eat the rest of it, and then that's the last thing. So I get it or I go ahead and just get out of the way, eat that little bit, and then go on with my plate. Whatever the rule is, however it works for you. But after that, once you get that into your system, it's not like you have to see the rule printed in front of you every day. And you have to say, okay, this is the rule. Because unfortunately, again, things are going to come up and those rules might be invalidated for periods of time. And then where are you? And so you want to be intuitive so that you can pivot and manage yourself. When those things aren't available, those rules are difficult to follow or impossible to follow.

[01:03:49.370] – Allan

But even then, I tell my clients like, okay, you're going on this business trip. Look up a couple restaurants in the area, look at what your schedule is going to be, and look at what makes, you know, one of my clients like, well, there's a Whole Foods. So in the morning I'd get up and I'd walk to the Whole Foods and I'd get something for breakfast. I didn't have a refrigerator in my room, which meant that I couldn't go do a shopping for the day and know that that food was going to be okay that evening. And I didn't want to walk over there in the evening based on the time I got off. So I'm eating a lot of crap that I wouldn't have eaten because I got stuck. And so is the whole point of, well, okay, can we manage around that? How do we manage around that? And maybe there is some situations where, okay, I'm just going to have to eat a little bit of crap for a few days, but I'm going to eat a big ass breakfast because I got control of that, and then I'll eat less of that in the evening because I know I don't need it.

[01:04:49.450] – Allan

And so it's just rules and intuitive, I think, when they're put together and managed properly are the way you're going to get through this and find your way, because there isn't a way, there's your way. And that's one of the things about this freedom part, is that you're not trying to be somebody else. You're not trying to live someone else's life, you're not trying to follow someone else's example. You're finding a way of eating that fits you, serves you. You're eating the foods that fit you and serve you, and you're doing it in a way that just feels more natural to you. And that typically is going to have to start with some rules until you figure all that out, and then it can become much more automatic.

[01:05:29.510] – Rachel

Yeah, that's absolutely perfect. Alan I just want to highlight, too, that, like you said, we were also different. You and I both found keto is our kind of preferred way of eating, but we don't eat it that way 100% of the time either. But someone else might enjoy the whole vegan vegetarian aspect. I hate when people feel attacked when they choose a way of eating and somebody is making fun of them for choosing that. You just need to find what works for you and be happy that you found your favorite way of eating. Certain foods agree with us. Certain foods don't. And I think that people just should experiment and find what really works for them.

[01:06:09.990] – Allan

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

[01:06:13.910] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Ellen.

[01:06:15.470] – Allan

You too.

[01:06:16.320] – Rachel

Thank you.

[01:06:17.230] – Allan

Bye bye.

[01:06:18.270] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


September 26, 2023

Men’s health with Dr. Neil Baum

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Men have a lot more going on downstairs than it may seem. On episode 609 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we bring back Dr. Neil Baum to discuss issues around men's health including the prostate, osteoperosis, and telehealth from his new book, Men's Health Guide: Expert Answers to the Questions You Don't Always Ask.


Let's Say Hello

Note: Because Coach Allan is on vacation, there is no hello session for this episode.


[00:02:49.430] – Allan

Dr. Baum, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:52.950] – Dr. Baum

Allan, it's so good to be back and talk with you about something near and dear to me, and that is my baby for the past two years. It's very interesting. When you write a book, every person who's a good cook, someone says, you ought to open up a restaurant, or every doctor who's approached, oh, that's really a good idea. You need to write a book. Well, let me tell you that you don't open a restaurant or you don't write a book with the idea that it's going to take off and you're going to be on the New York Times bestseller list. It doesn't work that way. And also, it takes longer to write a book than to have a baby. So when I say, this is my baby, you know, I really mean it?

[00:03:44.730] – Allan

Yeah, I do. When I wrote my book, I got it done in a little over nine months. And that was fast. Everybody's like, how did you write a book? Well, I didn't do anything else. I mean, this was all I did was write a book. So when that's all you're doing, it can seem like it's pretty fast. But if you're actually trying to live a life and enjoy yourself and actually get some other things done, it is a lot of work. And the books that you've put out, it's like, okay, I know a lot has happened in science and technology and in the medical field in the last five years, but this was really good. I learned more about my body in this book than I think anything else I've read in a long, long time. And the interesting thing was, well, as a guy, we've got this really interesting organ in our body. It's called a prostate. And what seems like a fairly benign function that we like to use as often as we can, but it can go wonky when we get older and cause us a good bit of grief as we get older.

[00:04:54.280] – Allan

And as a man, and I deal with the same thing every other man does, is we don't want to go to the doctor. We don't want to complain about things. And so sometimes this prostate can get in our way and make our lives really uncomfortable and deadly. At some levels, it's the second largest cancer or most common cancer is prostate cancer. And while it doesn't kill as effectively as, say, lung cancer or pancreatic cancer, it is still a very dangerous thing and something we've got to be very careful about. And I just really like the way you put this book together and some of your other books that I've read in that you're giving us the guidance to ask the right questions because each of us has our own journey as we deal with these issues. We have to have information to make good decisions, and your book gives us great tools to do that. So I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about your books today.

[00:05:49.650] – Dr. Baum

Well, thank know that is really kind of one of the reasons why I wrote the book, because most men all over America have an attitude. If it ain't broke, you don't have to fix it. And that may apply to your car, but it doesn't apply to this wonderful body that we've been given that we have to take care of. And most men tend to shut down when they go into the doctor's office. They just zip it up. They don't ask the right questions. The majority of men over the age of 50 have heard the word prostate. They don't have a clue where it is and what it does. And so that's why I think a book like this is really important and why I'm so delighted to participate in this podcast because we have the opportunity to get the word out, to help educate men, to make them informed so they can make good decisions about their health.

[00:06:58.550] – Allan

Now, the first thing I want to talk about is I want to talk about the kind of almost aging natural thing that's going to happen, and that is that our prostate is likely to enlarge as we get older. The symptoms we most frequently recognize are I have to go to the bathroom a lot more often. And so it's kind of the old man of okay, or you're waking up a few different times during the night to go to the bathroom, and then you're up again to go again more often than you probably should be. So let's talk about why the prostate enlarges and what we can or should do about that.

[00:07:32.200] – Dr. Baum

All right, let me start by describing a little bit the anatomy of the prostate and its function. The prostate, normally up until the age of 50, is a walnut sized organ, and it surrounds the tube going from the bladder to the outside of the body. That tube going through the penis is called the urethra urethra. And that tube is surrounded by the prostate like a doughnut. And the tube goes inside the doughnut. As men get older, for reasons not entirely understood, that prostate gland enlarges. And as it enlarges, it presses down on that tube that goes through the penis. As a result, men, the bladder has difficulty squeezing and getting the urine out. And now the man starts to have the symptoms. They start to dribble. The stream is not as strong as it was when they were younger. So a young man in his 20 or 30s can stand a foot or two away from the toilet or the

[00:08:58.200] – Allan

Don't do that though. Your wife will hate you for it. So just stand close.

[00:09:02.830] – Dr. Baum

Yeah, or for sure, when you lift up the seat, put it down. Yes, both of them. I am constantly reminded that I got to put the seat down. So we have a decrease in the force of the stream and we have to stand closer. We dribble after we're done. And so a man who's wearing khaki pants, and he goes to the bathroom and he thinks he's done, and he walks away and he'll have a little circle on his pants reminding him that he wasn't quite done as he thought he was. So now we have the stream. And because the bladder is squeezing harder, it doesn't empty all of its contents. So imagine a gas tank. And the gas tank is always half full, so therefore you don't have to put much more fluid in before you have to go again. So you go frequently. But the issue that really impacts men with this benign condition, it's not malignant, it's benign. Growth of the prostate is getting up at night to urinate. If a man gets up once or twice a night, no big deal. When he starts getting up four or five times a night he doesn't sleep as well.

[00:10:33.160] – Dr. Baum

His sleep is interrupted when he wakes up in the morning, he doesn't feel like he's got a good night's sleep and it's the getting up at night that really impacts the man's quality of life. And often that's what sends him to the doctor for assistance. Most men over the age of 50 start to develop mild to moderate symptoms and it doesn't impact their quality of life. And as a result they tend to have if it ain't broke, don't fix it and they don't get help. However, the majority of men over the age of 60 and 70 have these symptoms and it does affect their quality of life. And as a result they do turn up to the doctor's office and they often seek treatment. The treatment usually in the beginning is medication. There are drugs that are available that can shrink the prostate. There are drugs that can also open up and relax the muscles. But these drugs have side effects. Side effects which include problems with ejaculation. So instead when a man ejaculates, the bladder muscle squeezes and the fluid from the prostate goes outside the body. When you give those medication that relaxes the muscle.

[00:12:19.990] – Dr. Baum

That relaxes the muscle. Now when the man ejaculates, the fluid goes back into his bladder, doesn't hurt anything and it comes out when he urinates. But most men like the fact that the fluid comes out when they ejaculate. It is important to them. Now when the medications don't work or the side effects are uncomfortable, there are now procedures that can be done usually in the doctor's office, that can use lasers, they can use pins to tap the prostate up and widen the opening and decrease the resistance of the flow of urine. And so almost all men who have this problem can be helped. And the majority of it's very common. And the majority of men over the age of 60, 70 and 80 are going to have these symptoms that can significantly impact their quality of life. And the important thing I'd like to get across to our listeners is that it is treatable. Now let's go to prostate cancer. You mentioned you were correct, it's the second most common cause, second most common cancer in men, particularly over the age of 50 second only to cancer of the lung. Both prostate cancer and lung cancer are lethal.

[00:14:04.610] – Dr. Baum

But prostate cancer is very slow growing. The incidence of prostate cancer is about a one in eleven and it usually is the point I want to make if there's anything I'd like to get across during this interview is that early prostate cancer has no symptoms. There are no symptoms. The urination problem is not indicative of prostate cancer. If the prostate cancer grows and it starts to have bleeding and it spreads to bones and other areas of the body, that's too late. And then it's difficult to be cured. And so I want to point out it's a disease of aging, not very common in men under the age of 40. Really very uncommon, a little more common in 50 and 60 by the time someone is 80. Almost all men over the age of 80, if they were to look at their prostate after when they die from heart disease, diabetes or another cancer, and they look at the prostate, they find cancer in the prostate. So my message is that you don't die necessarily from prostate cancer, but you die with it. Now, the good news is that there are screening tests, a blood test, it's called PSA, prostate specific antigen.

[00:15:53.310] – Dr. Baum

It's a very simple blood test. It can be done as an outpatient. And if it is elevated, then there are additional tests and oftentimes a biopsy is required. Now, the important thing to remember is that this is a screening test. It doesn't mean a man has prostate cancer. There are many situations that can increase the PSA. The PSA can even increase if a man has sexual intimacy and has an orgasm and ejaculates the day before the test because the prostate gland squeezes and that can elevate the PSA. Let me back up a second. I never did mention the role of the prostate. When a man is younger, the prostate creates the fluid that allows the sperm to go. And at the time of sexual intimacy, the sperm is in this nutrient fluid, the prostate fluid, and allows it to inseminate and to start the fertilization process and for the couple to have a child. So that's the purpose of the prostate. As we get older, we're not interested in reproducing anymore. The prostate really has no function. It really is bothersome, particularly from the benign enlargement. But the point that I would like to make is that a man should have a discussion with his doctor about screening.

[00:17:45.770] – Dr. Baum

Would the patient want to know that if he is at risk for prostate cancer and the risks are age, the older you are, the more likely you are to have it. African American men have a higher risk than Caucasian men. And the other risk factor is if you have a close relative, brother, uncle, even cousin, it's less with cousin, brother, uncle or father with prostate cancer. That places you at a higher risk. And you probably should start PSA testing earlier, late 40s or early 50s.

[00:18:31.140] – Allan

Now there's also, if I understand right, in the book you were talking about, there's a particular in our genes that's common for women to know that they're at higher risk for breast cancer. And that same mutation also puts us at higher risk for prostate cancer. Is that true?

[00:18:50.040] – Dr. Baum

Yes. The broca gene. Yeah. And it's particularly useful in women because if they have it, they're at increased risk and they need to get mammograms more frequently. If it is used as part of the screening for men. If they have it, then they are at higher risk for prostate cancer, and they too, need to be screened more frequently. When I say screened frequently, it's once a year.

[00:19:21.680] – Allan

Yeah, I had a doctor that wanted me to do the PSA pretty regular, and then I had an incident, actually was an infection not long ago. And the doctor, of course, that's kind of one of the standard things. They sent me in for the PSA. So I've known about the PSA for quite some time. But one thing I learned in your book was that there's more than just PSA. It's a deeper, deeper thing. There's Free PSA. There's Pro PSA. Can you talk a little bit about those? Because I think there's a lot more screening out there than just this one simple little blood test.

[00:19:53.150] – Dr. Baum

Well, it starts with the PSA test, and if that is elevated, they can measure two types of PSA. There's free and bound PSA or free and total PSA. And the free PSA is circulating with not being bound to protein in the bloodstream, and they can take that ratio. And there's a cut off at 25%. And if it is greater than 25%, therefore, that places you at a higher risk for prostate cancer, and you may need to go to the next level, which is a prostate ultrasound and possibly a biopsy. I also point out that part of the examination that a man should have on a regular basis, and I think we are going to talk about healthy lifestyles, and that is the annual exam, which includes what's called the digital rectal exam.

[00:21:04.390] – Allan

Now, heads up real quick. When they say digital, we're not talking electronic. No, that's a different digit. Yeah.

[00:21:14.890] – Dr. Baum

The digital rectal exam. It's uncomfortable? Yes. Painful? Not really, no. It would be equivalent to a woman having a pelvic exam. Women don't like to have a pelvic exam. But it is not painful. It is uncomfortable. And the same thing. Men just don't have things placed there, and it feels like a foreign object in there, and it's uncomfortable. And it lasts 3 seconds.

[00:21:47.330] – Allan

Yeah, at most.

[00:21:49.650] – Dr. Baum

Suck it up, guys. You can handle the digital frequency, so that's part of it. And I recommend that men over the age of 70 stop getting a PSA test. If you have prostate cancer at age 70 or 75, you don't need any treatment. Treatment is not necessary.

[00:22:14.490] – Allan

That's somewhere I wanted to go because you brought up something I think was really important in the book, was this isn't always. I mean, we think cancer and we think, oh my God, I got to do something. But sometimes just actively monitoring yourself is actually the best thing to do because of the downside risks that some of the surgeries could have on us. Can you talk a little bit about that? When would we know? Okay, this is something we definitely need to deal with now, versus we can comfortably sit back and know, yes, I've got the cancer, but it's not going to harm me in the next 5, 10, maybe even 15 years.

[00:22:50.710] – Dr. Baum

You're talking about the advice of active surveillance. So let's say a man has an elevated PSA and he gets a biopsy, and a biopsy has shades of gray. It's not just black and white. There's shades of gray and there are various scores that the pathologists will give. And so there's very almost normal cells that are cancer called well differentiated cells. And then there are highly malignant cells. And if you have well differentiated cells and PSA is mildly elevated between four and ten, mildly elevated active surveillance is definitely appropriate. But that means coming back to the doctor every four to six months and getting a PSA. And if it jumps up significantly and then you might have to have another biopsy. And if that shows more aggressive cancer, then you might have to proceed to definitive treatment. And we can talk about the side effects of treatment and the treatment. Usually if the disease is confined to the prostate, no spread outside the prostate. The two options, common options are surgical removal of the whole prostate gland or radiation therapy. Both of these have adverse events or side effects. And it's often these side effects that discourage men from having the surgery or the radiation.

[00:24:50.020] – Dr. Baum

With the surgery, it'll affect their erections. Their ability to achieve and maintain an erection is diminished. And they can have a problem of loss of urine, which is terrible situation that it can ruin a man's quality of life, and he has to wear a diaper or he has to have additional surgery because of the loss of urine. It's embarrassing. The man often becomes reclusive. They can become depressed. It's a terrible situation for a man, but he needs to know that if he's going to have the surgery. It doesn't occur with radiation, but they can also have a problem of impotence. So let's just say a man 60 years of age, he's sexually active, he has a very low malignancy PSAs between four and ten. Active surveillance, if he's committed to close follow up, is definitely appropriate. Now, take a man 70 years of age, and if he has comorbid conditions, he's let's say diabetic, heart disease, high blood pressure, and has got other medical problems. He has COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He has shortness of breath. He probably isn't going to live five years with all those core morbid conditions. In that situation, I wouldn't recommend that he have surgery because the quality of life that he will have afterwards could be severely affected.

[00:26:52.750] – Dr. Baum

He's already having problems. He's already short of breath. He's already taking five to seven pills a day. Okay? So that man would not be, in my opinion, would not be a candidate for definitive treatment. On the horizon, Allan, are new treatments called focal therapy. Instead of treating the whole gland with radiation or removing the whole gland. They can just go in and do an equivalent as what's called a lumpectomy in a woman with breast cancer. Instead of removing the whole breast, there are certain situations where you just remove the lump. Well, this is the equivalent called the nickname for it is a male lumpectomy that's on the horizon. And there are studies being conducted now and following these men and it looks very promising that if it's caught early enough, listen, if it occupies the whole gland, well, then you remove it. But if it occupies one little tiny area and they can localize that and they can focus on that particular area and destroy that cancer in the prostate, I think that's going to be the way to go. And that's going to be, I think, go mainstream in a very short period of time. Studies are being conducted now for focal therapy.

[00:28:35.950] – Allan

Well, it definitely makes sense because you're going to have fewer side effects and risks associated because you're not removing as much and you're not touching on some of the sensitive areas as much. So it sounds like a really good breakthrough when they get that out there. But what I wanted to come away with in just this whole conversation about the prostate is that when you go in to work with your doctor, you do need to educate yourself so that you can make the right decision with your doctor's guidance. The doctor is not there to make your health decisions for you, but you got to do your homework. You can do a little bit of work here. The good thing about the prostate is that the cancers aren't typically that aggressive. And you do have time, you have time to think, you have time to sit down. It's not a panic kind of situation. Whereas some of the others, when you catch them, you usually have symptoms. You catch those. Now you got to make some decisions, you got to make them pretty quick and your doctor is going to tell you got to make them pretty quick.

[00:29:30.070] – Allan

They're not trying to rush you because they want to do the surgery. They're rushing you because they know it's necessary before it spreads even further. But with prostate, you do have a little bit more time to think about it and make the right decision for you and your family. I want to pivot a little bit because there were a few things that you got into in the book that albeit rare, I think it's so rare. I mean, it's not as rare as we think it is, but it is rare. But it's something we wouldn't even think would ever happen. And I want to get into all of it because there's a lot of them. But one of the big ones was osteoporosis. Men know that women suffer from osteoporosis when they get older because they start out with less bone mass, bone density. They experience it usually earlier and worse. But men can very much suffer from osteoporosis. Can you talk a little bit about that and what's going on there? Because one of the statistics that you had in the book, which was fascinating and scary as heck, is that men are more likely to get hip fractures and have a bad health outcome as a result, much worse so than even women.

[00:30:34.570] – Dr. Baum

Osteoporosis is, in the past, is a disease that women have. Women have osteoporosis when they go through menopause. The lack of estrogen affects the bone mineral density and weakens the bone. The same thing happens in men. Not estrogen, but testosterone, the male hormone. And as a result, bone is always undergoing breakdown and rebuilding. Breakdown and rebuilding. It's in a constant balance. And as long as any bone cells are no longer useful and are replaced by good bone cells, a man's bones are in good shape. However, about one in eight men will have a situation where the breakdown of bone is greater than the remodeling or new bone, and the bone becomes less dense. And osteoporosis in men is a silent disease. The only time they start to have symptoms is when they get a fracture. And they get the common fracture in men is the hip bone and the vertebral bone, the back, the spine. Those vertebral bodies can become crushed, and that can affect the nerves that go in between the two vertebral bodies. And that causes severe, severe pain and discomfort. And there are various risk factors that men need to know about that can result in osteoporosis.

[00:32:26.130] – Dr. Baum

First of all, it's a disease of aging. The older you are, the less your body is going to make new bone. It also has to do with smoking. Smoking significantly increases the risk of osteoporosis family history. If you had a relative, a male relative that had osteoporosis, you're at an increased risk. And testosterone, as men get older, they lose testosterone about 1% to 2% a year, starting around they start losing it around age 30 or 40. So by the time they reach 60, they may have a 40% reduction in testosterone. And that affects the bone. And as a result, these men are at risk for a bone fracture, a hip fracture and the collapse of the vertebral body. Some of the signs of this are a man loses height. A man, let's say, is five foot ten at age 40. At age 60, he may be 5'9 5'8 and a half because those vertebral bodies get smaller and get shrink and the height of the man decreases. They're also the posture of the man, they're a little more bent over. And in bad cases, you can see it in their back. Their back sticks out. The appropriate diagnosis is made by a scan called the DEXA scan.

[00:34:20.280] – Dr. Baum

This is done in most radiology departments. And they can look at that hip and they can tell you, hey, you are really at increased risk and you need to start taking calcium and vitamin D because those are promoters of bone health. You take 1000 milligrams of calcium per day and 600 units of vitamin D. Also, you can get vitamin D for free by sunshine. You go outside and the skin makes vitamin D if you're exposed to sunlight. But if you're at risk for osteoporosis and your DEXA scan indicates that, I would still recommend that a man take vitamin D. And there's other drugs that are available, but those are the simple things. And it's also the recognition if you're at increased risk, you should get this DEXA scan. It's not uncomfortable. Insurance pays for it for the most part. And you can identify those men who are likely to get this and can start supplementing them with the vitamins, the calcium and various medications that can help control it.

[00:35:53.330] – Allan

There's another way to control it's also a lot cheaper resistance training. Within the realm of where you are. Obviously, if you have thin bones and you got issues, you're not going to start throwing a bunch of weight on your back because that's exactly how you get one of those fractures. But being active, doing some resistance training with what you can where you are, that additional resistance training is going to train the bone to be a little bit more dense.

[00:36:18.290] – Dr. Baum

We're talking about like using weights or bands.

[00:36:23.700] – Allan

Or bands.

[00:36:24.590] – Dr. Baum

Or bands, yeah, or walking. Getting outside and having a brisk walk or jog can help. And then also you can be very proactive and protective and avoid high impact exercises like jogging. Instead, convert to swimming. I just bought what's called a rebounder. It's a trampoline. It's about 3ft wide and it has a bar and you can run on this trampoline and watch TV or engage in exercise. And you're getting a kind of a good workout and it's joint protective

[00:37:10.810] – Allan

and it's moving lymph through your system. So you're helping keep your body properly detoxified. You don't need a detox, you just need to move your body because your muscles are going to do everything you really need them to do if you move around enough.

[00:37:23.330] – Dr. Baum

Well, we're going to talk a little bit, I think, about health and fitness and longevity. And I would like to throw this out there that we are able to make people live longer. We can increase the lifespan of people, but our real goal is to increase the health span of people. And I'd like people to think about focusing on movement, mobility and marbles. And those are the two things that I think add to good health and increase the health span as we get older. If you're able to ambulate without a walker, a cane or a wheelchair, that's a real plus. If you're able to engage in communication and have your memory is still intact, that's a plus. And I think so much of what we're going to talk about in terms of longevity has to do with mobility and the marbles. Our brain and to preserve the marbles leads to enhanced quality of life. Quality of life is terrible if you're confined to a chair, you're sedentary and you can't remember to take your medicines or what you had for breakfast or who your loved ones are. That's a sad state of affairs. It doesn't have to be that way.

[00:39:16.300] – Allan

I agree. Now, there's a lot of bad things that happened in the last few years since we last talked with COVID and everything there. But kind of one of the, I guess the silver linings that have come out of the whole COVID thing is that there's been a seismic shift. In my opinion, moving from the way things used to be with going to your doctor's office and sitting in a waiting room for however long going to a second waiting room where you wait for the doctor for however long you're going to be there. The guy comes in, reads your chart, says, okay, looks like you've lost a little bit. What about lost some weight? Gained some weight. You need to do this, you need to do that. What's your problem today? Oh, you got a sore throat or you got this or that? Well, here's a script. I'll see you. Goodbye. He might even shake your hand before he takes his gloves off.

[00:40:02.850] – Dr. Baum

But I hope he washes his hands first.

[00:40:06.820] – Allan

Yeah, either way, he's in there for such a short period of time and if you're not prepared, you're not asking the questions that you need to ask. But with the advent of telemedicine, I'm not driving the 45 minutes to get to my doctor's appointment, getting there early so I'm not late, but then still having to wait until it's late. And so I'm losing three or 4 hours of a busy work day to go see my doctor and then he's going to give me the prescription. So now I got to go by the pharmacy and pick that up. Now I'm getting home late. And so it's like, well, let's just stop by the fast food and have dinner because we run out of time to cook dinner. We're all busy and it's really hard to prioritize our health when that's what we know is in front of us with regards to most doctors visits. But we've moved and transitioned over to where telemedicine is approved and utilized a lot more. Can you talk about telemedicine and how we can lever that to make sure we're getting done what we need to be done with all the other busy stuff we've got going on in our lives?

[00:41:09.510] – Dr. Baum

You use the word seismic shift, is.

[00:41:12.170] – Allan

That I think so, yeah. I think it's significant.

[00:41:15.690] – Dr. Baum

I think it's a tsunami. It really has changed the course of medicine in the past, five years ago, before pandemic, the doctor says, I've got to see the patient, I've got to touch the patient, I've got to look at body language. Bunch of crap, really. Bunch of crap. A doctor. I can see you now I can talk to you now I can see you. I can take care of 50% of urologic problems over virtual using virtual medicine. If you have enlarged prostate, I can talk about your symptoms in your medication and I can make adjustments. If you have erectile dysfunction, I can talk about the risk factors and about getting your diabetes under control, and I can write you a prescription and I can follow you. If you have a urinary tract infection, I can send you to the lab to get a urine culture and then I can prescribe an antibiotic. And then a few days, seven to ten days later can contact you again on telemedicine and I can follow up. If you've had prostate surgery and you are having a normal course and you're off of your medications and you need advice about when you can go back to activities, I can give you that advice over using telemedicine and video conferencing.

[00:43:07.830] – Dr. Baum

If you have incontinence, I can manage that oftentimes using virtual medicine. Point I'm trying to make is that there are so many conditions that can be managed this way. And we have now come to the realization that the doctor can practice good medicine. Good medicine without having to touch the patient and without the patient having to go to bricks and mortar offices. The doctor has to recognize, just as you said, trip to the doctor could be four to 6 hours out of your day for just a routine follow up. Four to 6 hours until you leave your office, travel there, find the parking, get in there, fill out the paperwork, wait in the reception area, wait, and then go get the prescription and come home. It can be four to 6 hours, and that's time when you should be productive at work. And the doctor hasn't realized he sees them in ten minutes. Well, that's ten minutes for the doctor. That's 4 hours to the patient. I also want to point out that another boon to telemedicine is the doctor now gets paid for it as if it were an in office visit. So that has become a motivator.

[00:44:50.260] – Dr. Baum

But now I think doctors have learned that they can be good doctors. You're not blowing the patient off. You can have a longer, more comfortable visit. You can have the patient monitor their blood pressure and their weight at home. They can do home testing for glucose. There are so many things that now with fitness trackers and sleep monitors there are so many ways that you can care for the patient. And telemedicine is really a big plus for patients and for doctors. And also I have found that when you do telemedicine, the patient is on time and so is the doctor. In the past, the doctor was late and he was 45 minutes, an hour late. The doctor got away with it. Just say, oh, I was in the emergency room at a sick patient. Now, when you have a telemedicine, I said to you, I'll be available at 02:00. You knew I was going to be on time, and I knew you were going to be on time. And that's the way telemedicine works. And so it's much more efficient. Much, much more efficient. And it's good medicine. Yeah.

[00:46:20.090] – Allan

And a lot of times people won't follow up. And because of that same thing, it's like, okay, well, I don't feel anything bad right now because I got done what I wanted, I got the script, I feel better. And they want to go back to their lives, but the doctor says, okay, we'll set a follow up appointment for two weeks. And you don't do that follow up appointment if you're feeling okay, because the problem,

[00:46:40.910] – Dr. Baum

especially men, especially men, women are much better at follow up. Men are derelict.

[00:46:47.640] – Allan

And so this is a good opportunity with the doctor, particularly if you're going to look at going to a new doctor or specialist, have the conversation with them. Do you do telemedicine? Can I set up appointments and do this over video? It's going to save me a ton of time. It's going to save you a ton of time. And we're going to be able to communicate a lot better because I'll be prepared heard instead of being all flustered. And the other side of it is I can put a blood pressure monitor sitting in my own living room. My blood pressure is going to be a lot lower than having driven across town walking into a doctor's office. It's going to be more natural to how my normal afternoon would be if I don't have to go to that trouble.

[00:47:22.750] – Dr. Baum

My advice to people embarking on a new physician is to interview that new doctor. Ask pay for the interview. Usually they don't charge for it. You pay for the interview. You read my book

[00:47:38.610] – Allan

Yeah, there's questions. You've got a whole script in there. Here's what you say when you walk in the door. Here's what the doctor is probably going to ask you to sign this waiver, basically informed consent form. And so these are the things you're going to expect. And you laid it out in the book very clear. When you go in, ask these questions. If they don't feel comfortable with the answer, go back to your insurance company, find another doctor on the list that you can interview well.

[00:48:04.920] – Dr. Baum

And also, you are correct. You want to ask, would you agree to telemedicine for the first visit? I really don't think should be a telemedicine visit. I think you need to develop rapport with the doctor. It can be done. My art style was to visit the patient for the first time and examine and touch my hands on the patient and examine the patient. But then you are finding, does the doctor do telemedicine? Does the doctor do email? Does the doctor return email and phone calls within 24, 48 hours? You don't want to wait two weeks to get a report. And does the doctor have a portal? The portal is that this records the results of laboratory testing and imaging that becomes transparent between the doctor and the patient that it's put up on the portal. It's encrypted, which means nobody else can look at it. You have to have a username and password.

[00:49:19.590] – Allan

And I think most of us, we've used online banking, so we're very comfortable with logging into a website and seeing things that we don't want other people necessarily see. There's all your transactions laid out. This is similar. Your details are going to be there. So when your doctor tells you, well, okay, yeah, your cholesterol is a little high, your HDL is really good, your LDL is a little elevated, your triglycerides are down. Here's what I feel the course of action should be based on what I see in front of me. And you can see it too, and you can say, well, okay, that makes sense based on what I see and what the doctor says versus, yeah, you got to wait, get a piece of paper. When you walk in the office, you're scanning through it and trying to figure out what the doctor is going to ask you and talk to you out. And there's so much going on because they're weighing you and then they're taking you to a little room, and now you're stuck. Versus if there's a portal. You go in there, you look up your details, you kind of have some questions that you know are on the top of your mind.

[00:50:11.760] – Allan

If the doctor doesn't bring it up, you bring it up. So it's a much fuller and better prepared conversation on both sides.

[00:50:18.220] – Dr. Baum

I would like to mention that the health care for patients is so much better if they prepare for the visit. And that means writing out what questions do you I used to give out a card, a three x five card. It says, what three questions would you like to ask the doctor today? That avoided me thinking that I'm done managing the patient. Put my hand on the doorknob, ready to walk out and say, wait, I got one more question. And that's not a good way to ask the question. You write it out, you think about what you want to accomplish on your visit, and you share that with the doctor, and the doctor appreciates that. If you write it out, give the doctor the papers that I'd like to cover these three things today. These are three questions I would like to ask you. You're a better patient and you're going to have a better health outcome when you are proactive. Women start from a pediatrician, and then they start having reproductive in their 20s and 30s, and they start seeing the obstetrician, and they do get women are much better at breast self examination than men are with testicle self exam.

[00:51:48.370] – Dr. Baum

And the point that I'm making is that women have a relationship with their doctors from the time of their pediatrician till their middle age. A man at the age of 18, when he goes off to college, he's done with the doctor, and he doesn't see a doctor till he's 50.

[00:52:09.050] – Allan

If he's lucky.

[00:52:11.050] – Dr. Baum

If he's lucky, he'll get to see the doctor at age 50. But men really don't have the same health care experience that women have. And as a result, men are in the dark. They become silent. They don't know what to ask. And as a result, I think their health lingers on. Their problems linger on. They don't get diagnosed with hypertension. A guy could be never see a doctor, and hypertension is silent. You don't feel that your blood pressure is up. The men are silent, and they don't seek out health care till they're about 50 when things start to break down. And so, really, this kind of a book, answering these questions and preparing the patient for a visit to the doctor is very helpful. I never resented patients who come in with a briefcase full of articles from the Internet, and I just say, I don't think that's the place to go for your healthcare.

[00:53:30.540] – Dr. Baum

Oftentimes those aren't credible sites. Let me give you a list of credible sites that are available to you and let's go from there. But I never resent a patient wanting more information about their health. I think that's a good thing.

[00:53:49.270] – Allan

I do too. I do, too.

[00:53:51.930] – Dr. Baum

Not to discourage, but to promote.

[00:53:54.890] – Allan

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

[00:54:03.390] – Dr. Baum

Diet and exercise. I got it down to two. We are an unhealthy nation. Obesity is not a problem of willpower. It's a disease, and it needs to be treated, and it needs to be treated early on. And proper nutrition is so very important. And I think if you have a good diet, fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat, chicken, fish, avoiding trans fat and polyunsaturated oils, having high fiber in the diet is very important. Absence of artificial sweeteners and diet drinks should be avoided. Smoking cessation, moderate alcohol. Alcohol is good. The books say one drink a day. I think for a man, one to two glasses of wine a day is probably medicinal and healthy. And so I don't tell men, you have to be a tea toller. Limiting the caffeine consumption, especially late in the day, because it can affect your ability to sleep. And insomnia is a problem of middle aged and older men. And then exercise. We are a sedentary nation. We sit still far, far too long, and there are so many things that we can do, so many ways that we can exercise. Like that rebounder I talked about. I could have a rebounder right here, and I could be jumping on the rebounder and talking to you and not feel that I'm not giving you my undivided attention.

[00:56:14.150] – Dr. Baum

Walking the stairs. Walking up the stairs, not down. And having 10,000 steps a day, that's 5 miles. And you have to wear a tracker. Did you have a watch? Fitness watch?

[00:56:30.030] – Allan

I have a phone, and I carry the phone in my pocket that tracks my steps. When I'm out, I make sure I have my phone in my pocket.

[00:56:38.920] – Dr. Baum

Okay? So 10,000 steps a day and 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity, and that is some for brisk walking, jogging, tennis, swimming, 150 minutes a week. There are four conditions that are impacting this nation and the American health care budget. American health care budget over $4 trillion a year, 18% of GDP. More than we spend on military, we spend on health care. And yet, in America, we don't have the outcomes that compare to a nation like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, who spend about half that amount on health care per capita on their population. And we don't have the outcomes to support all that spending. And there are four diseases, four conditions that are bloating the healthcare budget, that is, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disease, alzheimer's disease. All of those are reasonably preventable and with proper diet and exercise and a few other things. Healthy lifestyle. Use the seatbelt every time. Go around the block. Put the seatbelt on. Smoking cessation. Don't engage in foolhardy activities. Don't go bungee jumping at age 60. That's probably not healthy to do. But practice good lifestyle habits. Get 7 hours of sleep a night. Good dental hygiene, which means brushing and flossing your teeth. I see.

[00:59:03.310] – Allan

You can't help it. You can't help it.

[00:59:06.530] – Dr. Baum

Okay. All right. Flossing your teeth. So much of health, poor health, can occur with a bad mouth. If you have periodontitis and you brush your teeth and it gets into your bloodstream, that can make you real sick and cause chronic inflammation. And then screening tests. Screening tests for colon and rectal cancer with a stool test, which we could go into, but you know what I'm talking about. Colonoscopy. Depending on your risk factors, the PSA test, cardiogram, chest X ray, these are preventive health that can take those four conditions and move them off the plate.

[00:59:58.930] – Allan

So, Dr. Someone wanted to learn more about you. Learn more about your books, including the Men's Complete Health Guide expert Answers to Questions You Don't Always Ask. Where would you like for me to send them?

[01:00:11.510] – Dr. Baum

Send them to Amazon.com.

[01:00:14.120] – Allan

Okay. Of the links in the Show notes, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/609. And I'll be sure to have links to the books there.

[01:00:24.060] – Dr. Baum

And one other book that I highly recommend is Outlive by Peter Atia, and I'd like that to be in the Show Notes as well, because this is written for laypeople about trying to make our health span equal to our lifespan. We've done a really good job with lifespan from 100 years ago, we've added 20 years to our lifespan, but now we need to talk about the health span, and this book goes through a lot of practical ideas that we have discussed today that I highly recommend this book as well as my own.

[01:01:14.920] – Allan

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

[01:01:19.370] – Dr. Baum

I look forward to getting together with you again, Allan. Last time it was five years. Let's not make it that long.

[01:01:25.870] – Allan

Let's not.

[01:01:27.000] – Dr. Baum

Okay. Thank you, Allan.

Post Show/Recap

[01:01:29.930] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[01:01:31.470] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. It was nice that you had Dr. Baum back. That's pretty cool to have a repeat author on your show. Must be very prolific with his books.

[01:01:39.590] – Allan

Yeah, I barely remembered the interview I'd had with him back then, other than it was an interesting title, like how's it Hanging? The title of his book. I would say this was a little bit more formalized, and he was doing another doctor. So the Men's Complete Health Guide obviously doesn't have as much swagger as how's it hanging? And five years. A lot's happened in the field of surgery and around prostate cancer and some of the issues there. So I was glad to have that conversation withhim. Dr. Baum's written a lot of books on this topic, and particularly he has one that's on prostate cancer, which is awesome as well. And then How's It Hanging is a very similar book, but maybe a little bit more casual than this one. It's really just to get men aware that we have these health issues, whether we want to admit it or not. And if we wait till we're broken if we wait till we're broken, sometimes that's too late to really fix the core problem. And so that's why I wanted to have him on, to have this conversation. And things like telemedicine is a game changer, because when you can sit down and just call your doctor, it's 15 minutes phone call, and then you're back to work.

[01:02:55.830] – Allan

You literally close your office door or you go somewhere where, like, a conference room, and you sit down and have a 15 minutes conversation with your doctor, and you're back in the work. You didn't have to drive across town. You didn't have to sit in a waiting room. You didn't have to do all that kind of stuff. And the doctor can basically help you meet your health outcome goals right there on the phone. I think that's huge. And, ladies, you can schedule the call and don't tell your husband. Just hand him the phone. He's like, this is for you. Who is this? Your doctor. Have a conversation and then gosh. You have a list of questions. Have a list of questions for him right there. Hand him the paper. Hand him the phone, and then just say, go. And again, it's high time that it happened. I'm glad that it's happening the way it had to happen. With COVID and everything is kind of sad. But the shiny silver lining of this whole thing is that telemedicine is now a commonplace. Before I had a doctor, my health doctor, we were telemedicine because I didn't live where he is, I would go in there about once a year and see him in person.

[01:04:00.540] – Allan

But other than that, no, I was anywhere else in the world. Malaysia, Africa. I even called him one time from Iran, like that's when my call was, and I was like, okay, so it's evening, I'm sitting in my hotel room in Iraq, and I have a phone call with my doctor. We were able to do know, but he was kind of cutting edge. He was doing things that other doctors weren't doing at that point in time, which was why he was my doctor. And I didn't have to be in the hometown with him because I didn't have to go see him every time I wanted to see him or talk to him. I had a doctor that I could call when I needed to call. So I'm really glad that telemedicine is out there. This is a really good book, though. This is just a good book for you to kind of just go through. And it's not even something where you'd have to read it from cover to cover like I did it's where you can sit down and say, okay, I'm curious about this, and you can flip to that section of the book.

[01:04:57.280] – Allan

There are parts that I say, read the whole thing because he has an anatomy lesson on the front. And you may think you know your junk, but there's a lot more down there than you think. And so this is just a good idea. Why is this happening? Why am I experiencing this? Is this normal? Is this bad? What does this mean? And so this is just a really good primer for you to understand the anatomy and understand what's going on there and then just recognize some of these things just don't come to mind. Like osteoporosis.

[01:05:27.090] – Rachel


[01:05:27.940] – Allan

And the fact that, yeah, if you fall and break your hip, you could be in big, big trouble. So making sure you're getting adequate nutrition, resistance, exercise, all those things we talk about every week, they're important, and they're important for women, and they're important for men. And so don't poo poo something you learn about women, because men, we might have some of the similar issues, because guess what? We got bones, too.

[01:05:48.800] – Rachel

Yes, for sure. Yeah, these are all good things. And it's good to have, like you said, this type of primer, because sometimes you don't realize what's happening until it's maybe a little bit too late or hard to bring that back with treatment or whatever. Especially like the PSA screeening, you know, I talk about cancer screenings all the time with you, Alan. And PSA is a simple one. You get your PSA score and you keep an eye on it until it needs further attention. It's a simple screening and could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

[01:06:21.720] – Allan

Right. And so this is something that's changed considerably since the last time I talked to Dr. Baum was before it was you got your PSA and then you got your digital check, which was not digital, very analog, and then you get that check, and then the doctor said, I think there's something we need to do here. Most of the time, the next solution was the biopsy. So now they're doing a biopsy. Now that's okay. But one of the problems with a biopsy is whenever you cut into a cancer, it has the potential to spread faster so it can metastasize because you cut it. And so the biopsy is not necessarily a thing you want to do. You don't have to. So a lot of doctors wanted to push for the MRI before the biopsy, which tells them a lot more about where the lump is, how it's lumped, so they know where also now they can do a better biopsy because they know more. But MRIs were very expensive, particularly five years ago, so most insurances didn't want to pay for that. They wanted the biopsy first, find that there's cancer, prove there's cancer, and then you can do your MRI so that you know what kind of surgery or what kind of interventions you want to do.

[01:07:33.380] – Allan

Things have changed a good bit now. Now there are other additional tests, the PSA plus and all other stuff, and there's some 4K tests and other things that can be done before. So your PSA might be high, but that doesn't mean there's a cancer. And so they can do these other tests that are non invasive before they start worrying about MRIs and biopsies and all that kind of stuff. And then they may find, well, no, your risk is very low. This is not an aggressive form. This is not a problem. We're just going to actively watch this. I don't think you called it actively watch back. Kind of my way of thinking about it was just not doing anything, which kind of sounds weird. Well, there's a cancer growing in me. How do I just not do that? But the reality is you don't want that biopsy if you don't need to, and then if it isn't spreading, you don't necessarily want to mess with the prostate because there's some downsides to the surgery. And putting it off for even a few years might mean that they come up with some technologies that make that surgery a lot safer.

[01:08:38.670] – Allan

So you may not have the side effects, but yes, jumping on it right now and saying, I got to get that out of my body, you're taking a risk, and you're taking a higher risk than you might by waiting and doing it later if you have to.

[01:08:52.200] – Rachel

Yeah, that's really great. It's awesome to see how technology and the study of different cancers like the prostate cancer has advanced over the years. It just makes things a lot easier. And, yeah, he called it active surveillance. There are cancers that could be present, but inert and are fine, just hanging out, not causing problems.

[01:09:12.900] – Allan

And some of us, whether we want to admit it or not, we're older and we're sicker, we got a lot of other things going on in our body that are going to kill us long before a prostate cancer would. And so that's the other side of it, is, do you want to take that risk and maybe mess up the quality of life that you have for the foreseeable future when that's not going to be what takes? You know?

[01:09:36.700] – Rachel

But I love this book by Dr. Baum. I hope that all the men, and maybe even the wives in our men's lives or loved ones share that with our husbands, who we know don't often choose to go to the doctor. It's a good thing just to have.

[01:09:53.220] – Allan

And I know it's a few months before Christmas, but, hey, if you're looking for a gift idea for a man in your life, this might be a pretty good one.

[01:10:02.510] – Rachel

Sounds great, Allan.

[01:10:03.960] – Allan

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

[01:10:05.970] – Rachel

Take care.

[01:10:06.850] – Allan

You, too. Bye.

[01:10:07.960] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


September 19, 2023

Meditation made simple with Ariel Garten

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If you've struggled with starting and maintaining a meditation practice, you'll enjoy this discussion with Ariel Garten of Muse.


Let's Say Hello

Due to Coach Allan's vacation, there is no Hello Section on this episode.


[00:03:12.350] – Allan

Ariel, welcome to 40 plus fitness.

[00:03:15.790] – Ariel

Thank you, Allan. It's a joy and pleasure to be here.

[00:03:20.210] – Allan

I've been really looking forward to this conversation for a lot of different reasons, but I would say the biggest one was I am a terrible meditator. I've tried and tried and tried, and it's something that I know benefits me when I do it consistently. But I've really struggled with this until I ran into you guys. And we're going to get to have a conversation about why we should meditate, the benefits of it, the different types, and then like me, why do I have such a hard time with this whole thing called meditation? And then we're going to talk about a tool that has really changed the whole game for me. That's why I'm really excited to have this conversation, because I get to pick the brain of a neuroscientist.

[00:04:14.050] – Ariel

That's awesome, by the way, a neuroscientist who also sucked at meditation when I started. So I hear you and I feel you.

[00:04:22.390] – Allan

Good, because this definitely helps. I know if we would just slow down a little bit and take the time to do this, that everybody's going to benefit from it. And so can we talk about what meditation does to us and what some of those benefits are?

[00:04:42.970] – Ariel

Sure. So meditation has more benefits than we could talk about in an hours long podcast. It's quite remarkable how this one little activity can have so much impact both in your mind and your body and your brain and your relationships and your work productivity and on and on and on. At its basic core, what meditation is teaching you to do is to change your relationship to your mind and your body. So we all spend time with thoughts that are floating around in our head and we assume we're supposed to be thinking those thoughts because that's just what's in our brain. We're thinking about the grocery list and the people who made us grumpy in the fight we had and, and with meditation, what you learn to do is shift that relationship so you're not thinking these thoughts over and over and over again. When the thought about the fight with your partner comes up, you can move your mind elsewhere onto something that's productive. When you desire to check facebook for the 39th time and you know that thought comes up, you have a tool to say, no, I can just move my attention elsewhere, let that go, forget about it and do something else.

[00:05:49.060] – Ariel

So fundamentally, meditation is a tool to help us calm our mind and body, shift our mind out of difficult thoughts that annoy us and that cause physiological distress, and to be able to shift our physiological sense, our anxieties, our stresses, and move those into a happier place. So when you do that, kind of the whole world becomes easier.

[00:06:11.750] – Allan

Particularly when I was working in corporate, I really saw meditation as a great thing. Like I said, I still wasn't very good at it and for a lot of different reasons. But I made a point every afternoon to at least try to meditate and I used different services that would talk me through it. Or I'd find a YouTube video and say, okay, well that's kind of interesting, I'll try that one today. And I could do 5, 10 minutes, but it just seemed like I wasn't getting anywhere, but I felt less stressed. I will say that just even that five minutes of just slowing down and saying, okay, I'm sitting here, I'm breathing I'm listening to the man or the woman guide me through this. But besides that lower stress and probably bringing my blood pressure down a little bit, what other benefits would someone get from meditation?

[00:07:11.530] – Ariel

So as I said, the benefits are too much to list. But if we want to get started, one of the main things that you'll realize is that the conversation in your head is all of a sudden less stressful. So instead of having all these thoughts in your head that are frustrating and annoying, you can gain control over the contents of your own mind and calm them down. And so that then rolls into all sorts of different aspects of our life. So in a workplace setting, you've got emails flying back and forth, you've got colleagues that may have triggered you, you have feelings that you may not be good enough. With a meditation practice, you learn to shift all of those things that would have caused you anxiety, all of those emails, all of those thoughts and feelings, you learn to shift them into a calm and neutral place. And so the workday becomes easier, your relationships with your colleagues improve. The same thing happens in the home front. So one of the things we commonly hear from people in their first few weeks of a meditation practice when you really sit down and do it, is that their relationship to their partner is getting better.

[00:08:16.880] – Ariel

That they're not. Yelling at their kid so much because in the past their kid would do something and the automatic reply would be to yell because you just feel stressed and ramped. And once you do a meditation practice for a few weeks, you've now practiced having thoughts and feelings and not reacting to them, having a thought and feeling and just saying like, okay, I can let that pass, that's okay. And when your kid does something really annoying that they maybe don't mean to or do mean to, the first sensation that comes up is usually one of the anger rising or the frustration rising. And in the past it would just come out of your mouth and you would be yelling at your kid. And with a meditation practice, you might notice that the anger begins and then you can take a moment and say, oh okay, that can fall away now I can stand back, look properly at what's happening, and then have the right response to it. Because we all know when we yell, then our kid just gets upset and yells and we start a whole cycle. And even if something's frustrating to us, if we can stand back and have a better response, oh my God, does life go better in all directions.

[00:09:23.130] – Ariel

So we have improved relationships, whether at work or at home, with your friends, with your partners. We also have improved physical function. So meditation has been shown to decrease anxiety, decrease stress, improve your general physical health, decrease the chances of heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease. The physiological benefits are huge. And then you also have benefits on things like sleep. So when you're not as anxious during the day, when you don't have as many racing thoughts, sleep becomes much easier. And then you have tremendous benefits, actually, in the physical function of your brain. The parts of your brain get bigger and stronger through an active meditation. Just like when you go to the gym, your muscles get bigger and stronger. We can dive more deeply into that one, too.

[00:10:13.730] – Allan

Yeah, let's do that. Because as I was doing research on meditation, for us to have this conversation, most of the benefits I was finding were kind of in that emotional area, so you have less anxiety, less stress, and then, obviously, there were physiological things that are benefits from that. So if you're not as stressed, your blood pressure is probably not as high, and you're not as stressed, you're probably sleeping better. But as we were getting into this conversation, you were mentioning to me before we got on the call, before we got on the recording, was that there's actual physical changes to your brain.

[00:10:51.730] – Ariel

Yes. It's quite astonishing. So, neuroscientists have been studying meditation and its impact not just on your behaviors and your general lifestyle, but actually on the organ of your brain. And what they've discovered is that meditation can actually increase the thickness and the function of parts of your brain. So, bad news, as you age, an area of your brain in the front called the prefrontal cortex begins to thin, just like as you age, all of your cells don't function quite as well as they did when you were younger. Well, it turns out, with the meditation practice, you're able to maintain the thickness of your prefrontal cortex even as you age. So our prefrontal cortex is responsible for our attention, our inhibition, our planning, our higher order processes. And as you really do a meditation practice regularly, you are working out your prefrontal cortex that part of your brain and strengthening your attention, improving your ability to inhibit your ability to not just yell at somebody, but hold yourself back and do the right thing. You're improving your ability to see a situation from multiple angles, and that actually has real impact on your brain itself, improving your brain health and longevity.

[00:12:09.050] – Ariel

Meditation has also been demonstrated to maintain the volume of your hippocampus. So the hippocampus is the part of your brain associated with learning and memory. And unfortunately, as we age, that part of our brain tends to shrink as well. Well, meditation has been demonstrated to maintain the volume of your hippocampus as you age. So it starts to stave off some of the effects of aging on your learning in memory, potentially. Meditation has been also shown to increase the density of your gray matter. So the gray matter is the number of neural connections you have. As an example, Einstein had more gray matter than the average individual. And in a study by Dr. Sarah Lazar at Harvard, she was able to demonstrate that just eight weeks of meditation, so, like not a lifetime, just a few weeks, was able to increase the density of participants' gray matter. So you're getting more neural connections, more information being packed and held in your brain. So meditation really strengthens your brain and helps to stave off the aging of the brain.

[00:13:13.310] – Allan

And then you mentioned earlier when we were talking that it also kind of helps us get rid of that lizard brain a little bit.

[00:13:21.170] – Ariel

Oh, yeah. So the quote unquote lizard brain is associated with the amygdala. So the amygdala is a part of our brain that's responsible for your fight or flight response. So when you're scanning the environment, your amygdala is always looking out for danger and going, oh no. So when we have anxiety, for example, you could have very heightened amygdala function. And the functioning of that amygdala then triggers the feelings in your body of fear, the rushing of your heart, the flush of glucose through your body, that sort of shakiness, that feeling of fear, and it also triggers thoughts about fear, oh no, this thing's going to be awful. Which then gives you the feeling in your body, which gives you more thoughts and the feeling, and it ramps, and it ramps, and then you're in an anxiety attack. Or if you're not somebody with anxiety attacks, you're just in a state of chronic stress. With meditation, you're actually able to calm the activity of the amygdala. And MRI studies show that short term meditators, people who haven't necessarily been doing it for years, but have had a little bit of a meditation practice, tend to have less reactive amygdalas, so you're not as stressed and reactive about things in the world.

[00:14:31.430] – Ariel

And long term meditators have even been shown to have a decreased size in their amygdala. So you're actually really just calming and not activating that part of your body repeatedly and regularly. And over time, not only are you feeling calmer in life, but actually your brain has changed in such a way that allows you to be calmer. It's quite extraordinary.

[00:14:54.510] – Allan

And even beyond all that, a lot of people that have difficulties with impulse control around food and things like that. I had another neuroscientist on not long ago, a neuroscientist who was also a comedian. And in his book he was talking about how his amygdala would almost be autopilot on his car to drive him over to Krispy Kreme. And while his logical brain was saying, no, there's no way we don't need this. There's no way we can eat just one, his control center wanted something, but his amygdala wanted something entirely different and he ended up in the parking lot of that Krispy Kreme. And so this is actually also going to help you if you struggle with certain impulse controls or certain things where you find yourself doing things that you told yourself you weren't going to do. Because I guess the adult in your brain is going to be having the conversation and you're going to be more in control of that and the amygdala that would talk you into doing all kinds of terrible things. It's going to be quieter and you're going to be more in control of that. So it's a win win where if you're trying to make changes in your life and you're trying to be productive and get things done for your health, for your fitness, for your career, for any of it, this can make your brain better at doing those things.

[00:16:17.690] – Ariel

Absolutely. And that's interesting. Meditation helps in two different ways. So meditation is very good for helping you deal with urges or cravings. Because in a meditation practice, what you do is you sit there for five minutes, ten minutes, whatever it is, and you just observe what's going on and you don't act on it. So as you sit there in your meditation practice, you might have the urge to go eat a cookie. And in normal life, you would just follow that urge without thinking about it. In meditation, while your timer says you're still only at three minutes, you have to sit there for two more minutes and you watch your body like, oh my God, I need that cookie. I need it now. And you're carved the time and space to sit there and say, hold on, there's just two more minutes. I can just sit here and watch. And so you're watching this urge, this urge that previously you would have followed, but you're not following it. You just sit there and observe. And what you feel is this urge rising and building and growing. And then at a certain point, if you don't follow that urge, it falls away.

[00:17:16.330] – Ariel

It rises and it falls, and then you can sit there and say, oh my God, I had an urge for a cookie. And instead of following that for the first time, I just sat there. And if I sit there long enough, it just leaves. And then all of a sudden, in that moment, the power of the urge goes away. You realize you don't need to follow your urges. You can just watch them rise and fall and you're still there, everything's fine, and you didn't have a cookie. And so you're experiencing it both sort of cognitively in the moment, you're watching your body and your brain is actually changing. Because in a meditation practice, just as you alluded to the prefrontal cortex, the parent part of your brain is strengthening. And studies show that there can actually be an increased projection between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala at the child. So the prefrontal cortex is actually getting better and better at being able to control the amygdala and say, calm down, it's okay, we don't need to follow that urge. We don't need that cookie. The thing's not that scary, we'll be fine in the meeting, whatever it is in that situation.

[00:18:19.630] – Ariel

And so we are shifting ourselves out of the amygdala urge space, the kitty space, into the prefrontal cortex, adult y space. And that's part of the reason why you see people with a meditation practice. And we say things like, oh, that's a wisdom practice. This person is getting wiser, more evolved. They're able to rise above their previous urges and learn how to gracefully move through them and manage them on a moment by moment basis and actually have their brain change so that it becomes easier to manage in the future. It's incredibly cool.

[00:18:53.770] – Allan

Now, there are a lot of different ways to meditate, and I've really only scratched the surface. I had an app that I had on my phone back when I was in corporate trying to take care of myself because I realized, okay, I've got to get my food right, I got to get my movement right. And I did those two things and like, okay, now sleep. And I got that pretty good. And then stress was kind of like my last domino. The thing I'm like, okay, if I can conquer this baby, I'm golden. But that was the hardest one. And I tried to use meditation for that. So I tried various different things. I tried different apps, I tried walking meditation, which was actually, for me, one of the most effective. But there's a lot of different types. Can you kind of talk about the different types and kind of maybe use cases for a few of them?

[00:19:43.130] – Ariel

Sure. So the most basic form of meditation that most people learn first is a focused attention meditation. And you can focus your attention on almost anything. The most common thing is to focus your attention on your breath. So that's called a breath focused meditation. And what you're doing there is you're focusing on your breath. You're feeling it wherever you feel like in your chest, in your nose, you're feeling your breath. And eventually your mind is going to wander off onto a thought. And then when your mind wanders to the thought, you then say, oh, my tension is off my breath. Okay, that's okay, bring my attention back to my breath. And then you put your tension back on your breath. A thought will eventually come. You'll wander away, you'll say, oh, come on back, and you bring it back to your breath. And so it's a very simple practice. But from there, the transformations that we've been discussing start to evolve. So if you don't want to focus on your breath, you can focus on other things. So in a mantra based meditation, you're focusing on a word or a phrase. In a more religious context, it might be phrase like omade padna om.

[00:20:47.690] – Ariel

In a totally secular context, it might be a phrase like I'm happy today, or just a color or just a word. One. One. And so you're focusing on that over and over. And as your mind wanders away from that, you let it go and you come on back. Now, part of why this is so effective is let's go back to the Krispy Kreme example. So if your mind wanders onto Krispy Kreme and you're thinking, donut, donut, donut. Well, in your meditation practice, what you're learning to do is to take your mind off that donut and bring it back onto your breath, which has nothing to do with donuts. And you'll just be focusing on your breath, focusing on your breath. Eventually your mind will go, oh, donuts. And then you'll say, thanks, donut, come on back to my breath. And so instead of following these urges or following these thoughts, you're learning to redirect your mind back to something neutral and productive to you. So we talked about breath focus. You've got mantra meditation. A walking meditation is very similar, but what you're doing is you're putting the attention in the part of your body that's moving, so it's usually your feet.

[00:21:51.550] – Ariel

And so instead of following your breath while you sit here, you'll be walking very slowly, very mindfully, and putting your attention into the sensations of the steps. So you're just feeling the step underneath you. Eventually your mind is going to wander away to the donuts or Facebook or the grocery list or whatever it is, and you're just going to bring your attention back to your step. So in each of these, we're really just bringing our attention back to something neutral in our body and being able to practice shifting our attention away from things that don't necessarily serve us. And so you can do whichever form works for you, whatever way you find to best meditate. And it's all serving the same end.

[00:22:33.410] – Allan

Yeah, most of the ones that I would do if there wasn't a walking meditation, I would do a guided meditation. They're telling you, okay, feel your feet, think about the sensations of your feet on the floor, the temperature, all that. Then you work your way up your legs to your torso, and then your hands and arms, and then up through to your head. And as you kind of go through that, your attention is like 100% on you. Another one that I did, if I recall, was a stress one. And they wanted you to imagine that hot lava was being poured in the top of your head and then starting to fill up your feet all the way up through your body. So you try to imagine that warmth as this ray of sunshine or whatever is basically doing this and filling you up. So there's been quite a few that I've tried, but I think my challenges were always the fact that if I took the time to slow down for even a minute, my brain filled up with those thoughts. And almost every one of those thoughts was a to do item. They were not just random thoughts of oh, I'm hungry, or this or that.

[00:23:45.590] – Allan

It was literally, oh, I forgot to make that phone call this morning. I really need to make sure I make that phone call this afternoon. And then I found myself hitting pause on the meditation if it was guided to literally have a piece of note paper and write down that to do item before I could let it go. Because it terrified me to let a to do item that was important go, particularly if I had already forgotten about it that morning. But there are a lot of challenges. Wandering mind for me was a big one. But there are other challenges that people do have with meditation. Can we talk about a few of those?

[00:24:21.890] – Ariel

Sure. So the greatest challenge that people have with meditation, I find, is that they think meditation is supposed to be about letting your mind go blank. And it's not. So nobody's going to sit there and just magically their mind goes blank and all of a sudden they're meditating and maybe they're levitating. I think actually levitation is about as easy as letting your mind go blank for a few minutes. It's impossible. And so in meditation, what you're really doing is you're having thoughts which are okay, it's normal, our brains have thoughts. And when you have the thought, you're moving your mind away from it and back onto something that's neutral. In your case, when you were paying attention to different parts of your body, like your feet, your legs, your knees, that's called a body scan. So when you had a thought, you would bring your attention back to the next part of your body and just pour all your attention into it. So first problem, people have a misconception that your mind is supposed to go blank. It's not, if your mind doesn't go blank, don't worry about it. If you have a ton of thoughts, totally fine.

[00:25:20.630] – Ariel

The question is what you do when you have those thoughts. Do you follow the thought and think about it? Or do you let the thought go either by just bringing your attention back or writing it down? If you feel like you really need to, if that's your way to let it go, that's okay. Especially at the beginning and then returning to your meditation practice. Another common problem people have is the misconception that you have to be sitting in a particular posture. So there's no magic to sitting on the floor with your knees crossed in an uncomfortable lotus. It doesn't really matter how you sit. The standard meditation posture is meant to be one that creates a sensation of uprightness. So you're sitting with a straight back, you're feeling upright, you're feeling strong and grounded. For most people, that is not sitting in a lotus position on the floor, so forget about that. You can sit in a chair, in a comfy chair, however, makes you feel good so long as you don't fall asleep. Which brings us to the next challenge. Some people fall asleep when they meditate. That's also okay, and that's incredibly normal.

[00:26:25.860] – Ariel

At the beginning, I would fall asleep meditating at the beginning. Now when I do a focused attention meditation, it makes me more alert, because meditation ultimately does make you far more alert and more engaged in the world. But at the beginning, it can make you feel sleepy, and that's okay. It's probably a sign that you're not sleeping well, and that when you've given your body a few minutes rest, it just wants to fall asleep, which is a great sign to actually prioritize getting more sleep at night. And if you find that you're falling asleep in a practice, that's okay. Choose a shorter practice. Choose something guided. Do a walking meditation, for example, so that you're standing and you're moving, or use something that's going to give you a little bit of stimulation during the practice. You stay awake, stand up while you're doing it, take deep breaths. And then another challenge that people have is feeling like, are they doing it right? And so that's possibly the biggest challenge. Exactly. That's possibly the biggest challenge in a meditation practice. And for that one, know that as you're letting your mind go from a thought and coming back to the breath know, that is the act of meditation.

[00:27:39.070] – Ariel

It may feel weird or strange, but just keep doing it. And as you do it, bit by bit, you're going to see improvement.

[00:27:45.980] – Allan

Yeah, I think that was one of the hardest things for me, was there was no real feedback. There was no one there to really tell me, okay, Allan, you did that one well. That wasn't until you guys sent me one of your muse devices. And that was a game changer. One, because you have complete control over the meditation that you do, how long you do it. I mean, literally, you get on the app, and you're like, okay, I want to do five minutes. I want to do ten minutes. And then you sit down and you start and I'm listening to the waves, and they're going and then the feedback that I'm getting okay, I hear the little birds, then I know I'm on track. I hear a little bit more of the tougher waves. I know, okay, I got to get myself really back. I've let myself, my brain wander whether I knew I was doing it or not. The feedback that you're getting from the device that wraps around your head, it's literally reading your brainwaves to say, okay, are you where you're supposed to be with this meditation? And so it catches you leaving before you've even really left, which is really cool because it kind of okay.

[00:28:59.160] – Allan

Yeah, I guess I was sort of zoning out. I wasn't paying attention to my breath. I wasn't paying attention to the sound of the waves. And now here I am, I'm back, and then I get rewarded with little bird sounds. And so it's a really cool device. The Muse device I have I think that it's the S. I think they sent me the S one. Yeah, the muse S and it's great. I mean, it's so user friendly, and the app is just you get on your phone, they sync, and then you start literally sitting down, going through a meditation. And I don't want to say it's gamification, but it kind of feels like, okay, I want to do well, and I want the feedback and the five minutes. I can tell you it goes really quickly when you're really in it. It's not like you feel like because before I know I'd go through a guided meditation, five minutes felt like an hour of real time versus sometimes I'm sitting with amuse and five minutes is poof, it's gone. I'm like, wow, I'm just sitting here, quiet, breathing, listening for the waves and the birds, and I'm in it.

[00:30:17.910] – Allan

I love that. And then you get done, and you get done and you've got a scorecard. It's going to literally tell you what your heart rate was doing, what your brainwaves were doing, and kind of say, okay, I know I'm getting better because I get that feedback.

[00:30:34.570] – Ariel

I'm so glad it's been helpful for you and it's been meaningful. When we started the journey of creating Muse, it was really to solve that problem of, am I doing it right? Because it was so hard to really figure it out. I, as a scientist, knew the impact of meditation on the brain. I would be teaching people to meditate, and I, too, was a sucky meditator. My brain would bounce all over the place, and I'd get frustrated and be like, oh, what am I doing here? Am I doing this right? And of course, as an A type, you want to do things as best as you can. And so it was really in the process of building Muse that I, too, was able to say, right, this is a meditation practice. I'm focused on my breath now. This is when it's working. Oh, my mind has wandered away, and I'd be signaled instantly, and then I'd bring my brain back. And then that's how I established my practice. And it was a game changer.

[00:31:26.560] – Allan

Yeah, I think so, too. It was just what do they say? I think I've read somewhere is if you don't have time to meditate for five minutes, you should meditate for an hour. I haven't made it to an hour yet, but it actually does just make it easier to meditate longer because you feel like you're accomplishing something each and every time you do it. Which, again, I'm kind of like that to a type A, I like to know that I've accomplished something and didn't just spend five minutes. And I'm guessing maybe I did, maybe I didn't. This is definitely a game changer.

[00:32:03.830] – Ariel

We should probably explain exactly what we're talking about. People are like, what is this what they're talking about here?

[00:32:09.930] – Allan

Okay, so what the Muse is, is it's basically like a headband that has little readers on it. It can read your brainwaves, so it knows if it's a delta alpha brainwave. When you're in meditation and you're in the right headspace, your brainwaves are going to be in a certain pattern. I think it's delta dominant. I may be getting that wrong because I'm not the neuroscientist, but

[00:32:39.090] – Ariel

you see an increase in alpha, you see an increase in theta, you see some coherence. There's a whole constellation of things that happen in your brain when you meditate. And so it's a sweet sauce that we've been able to identify.

[00:32:53.110] – Allan

And it's measuring heart rate too, right?

[00:32:55.290] – Ariel


[00:32:57.930] – Allan

Go ahead. Well, no, it's basically collecting data from your body, the physical reactions that are going on in your brain and with your heart, your parasympathetic system. And basically that feedback is going into the app real time.

[00:33:16.510] – Ariel

Yes. And then changing your experience so that you're getting feedback. It's neurofeedback. So basically, Muse is a clinical grade EEG. So they're the same sensors that you'd use in a hospital if you went in to get an EEG. And the Muse is able to track your brain activity and know when you're meditating and when your mind is wandering. And then they're guiding sounds that give you feedback about your meditation. So when you're focused, you heard Allan talk about the waves. When you're focused, the waves are quiet and then little birds start to chirp, saying, Yep, you're doing it right. And then as your mind wanders away onto a thought, you hear the sound of the waves pick up and that becomes your cue, like, oh, that's a thought. Let it go. Come on back to my breath. And then you hear the birds chirping. And so it becomes this very simple way to know if you're meditating, because it's tracking your brain and body while you do it and giving you feedback and telling you where you're at. And then after the fact, you get your data charts and graphs and scores, things that show you moment by moment what your brain was doing so that you can track your progress and improve your practice day after day.

[00:34:23.090] – Allan

And what I liked about it was there were different themes. I guess the best way for me to say it is there are different themes. Like, I happen to like the ocean, so the ocean waves were one that really appealed to me, but there's a lot of other themes in there as well. So you can really kind of ratchet into making this yours. This is the device that fits on your head, and it's the app, the service that you then can go in and find all the different ways that you could do sound sets and all the different skype, I think you call it soundscapes or something. I forget exactly what it was called, but basically you can customize your approach to this. And I sit down with it, and I just say, okay, I want to do five minutes, and I set it for five minutes. And then it gets going. I hear the waves, and I kind of concentrate on that sound on my breath, and I watch them calm. And then I hear the birds, and I'm like, okay, I'm in my space. And then all of a sudden, I'm out of my space for one reason or another.

[00:35:22.330] – Allan

The guy outside my office is yelling for the boat. Anyone wants to go to Amarante? He's yelling, Amarante. Amarante. And I might hear that voice, and that might pull me away, and I'm like, okay, I know why I got it pulled away, but this is where I belong, and I'm back in it, and I'm hearing the birds. The birds are nicer to listen to than the guy yelling, Amarante. You've got a loud voice. But it's really been a cool tool. With the device and the app, you basically have the coach, the meditation coach right there to walk you through this to keep you engaged. And then at the end, you've got the feedback to say, okay, how did this overall meditation session go? What was your resting heart rate throughout this? Because you're sitting there and you see what your heart rate was the entire five minutes. So you can see if this is destressing you, calming you down. You see that happen real time. So it's just a really cool thing.

[00:36:22.410] – Ariel

Thank you. Yeah, it's been amazing. And one of the most amazing things is seeing the way that it's been applied, both in meditators, so people who've never meditated before and people who have expert practices both get value from it and then also in healthcare. So the Mayo Clinic started doing studies with Muse back in 2014. They gave Muse to women awaiting breast cancer surgery, hoping that it would help them in the cancer care process. And they published a paper demonstrating that using Muse decreased the stress and fatigue during their cancer care process and improved their quality of life. So that was like, oh, my God, I can't believe we've had yeah.

[00:37:02.470] – Allan

That's awesome. That's incredible.

[00:37:04.870] – Ariel

Yeah. And Mayo thought so, too. So then the clinicians at the Mayo Clinic started five other studies with Muse using Muse for fibromyalgia for long COVID that study is about to be published. They then gave it to their own doctors who were feeling stressed and having burnout in the emergency room during the pandemic. So doctors in the E.R. Use Muse, and they were able to decrease their burnout by 54%, improve their sleep, and even improve their cognitive function by using Muse every day. And they were able to find a.

[00:37:35.200] – Allan

Good thing for a doctor that's a really good thing for an emergency room doctor. Improved cognitive function. Yeah. There you go.

[00:37:42.500] – Ariel

Very essential. More so than for you and I. Yeah.

[00:37:45.160] – Allan


[00:37:46.210] – Ariel

And so it's been unbelievable. Now they have a new study in menopause that's going to be kicking off. So it's been amazing to see how this is rolled out, both with people moms that bring it home for their kids, and then everybody starts meditating in the family. And our real goal, which is to make a real impact in people's health and happiness and seeing that happen within healthcare systems now, Hope Hospital, about 100 of their doctors have been using Muse, and it's just been expanding. It's unbelievable.

[00:38:15.590] – Allan

That's awesome. So now you can get your own Muse and one year of the service. You guys are so cool to offer a 20% discount for the device and one year of the service if you just go to choosemuse.com/40plus, or as we always do here, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/muse. And that'll take you to that page where you can get that discount code already in there, ready to go. I've loved the muse. I'm going to keep using it. I'm going to enjoy it. It's making me feel better. I get done, and I don't have any doubts that I had a good session. Or maybe I know why it wasn't because Mr. Amarante guy is out there yelling, but at least at that point, I know when I'm on and I know what it feels like, and that makes it that much easier to get there.

[00:39:10.590] – Ariel

Oh, amazing. It's always so incredible to hear people whose lives it's impacted, and it's just an honor and a pleasure to do so. And it's my greatest wish that everybody in the world is able to taste the relief of having meditation practice and get those spaces of just calm and ease throughout the day when the things that used to bother you just don't. If we could all just realize that the voices inside our heads that are shouting at us, the Amarantes in our own mind, that we have the power to turn them off, to turn our attention away from it, to move away, that we would all just live easier, happier lives. And that possibility is there for all of us. You can really learn to turn off those annoying voices in your own head and be able to just focus on what matters to you.

[00:40:02.120] – Allan

Okay, so again, you can go to choosemuse.com/40plus or 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/muse, and that'll take you to the page with the 20% discount and a free year service for it. So give it a shot, try it out. It's really helped me, and I believe it's going to help you, too.

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:26.790] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:40:28.390] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:40:30.630] – Allan

We're doing all right. Again. We're recording all of these, so there's not really a hello section in the episode as we go, uh so there's several of these are all being recorded together. But that said, yeah, I'm just as good as I was last time we talked.

[00:40:48.110] – Rachel

Well, that's good. Getting ready for your trip?

[00:40:51.690] – Allan

Yeah, it's all good. It's all good. This was really interesting because I really tried to work on meditation as a practice on a regular basis. And it was just one of those things where alarm goes off and I get distracted by something else or I'm working on something else and I'm like, okay. Because I was trying to do it in the afternoons because I knew that was my most stressful moments and it just wasn't there. And the problem was when I slowed down, like, just nothing in my head, then everything's in my head, it's like, oh, I forgot to call. Oh, I forgot to call such and such, and I need to send that email, and I got to get that little bit done. And so I end up having to stop in the middle. And so when I'd use the other apps, I'd push pause, and I'd go over there and say, okay, I just pushed pause so I could come over here and write my to do list. But when I was using this thing, it was like, no. All I'm really focused on are the sounds, the ocean sounds. I had the headphones in, so literally didn't hear a whole lot of outside sounds except for Amarante guy yelling because the boats, they're leaving right out from under me.

[00:42:07.270] – Allan

So the guy's out on the street trying to get just a couple more people on the boat for that trip. There were things that would pull me away from it, but it wasn't like my thoughts were doing it. It was just like, okay, I'm aware of something else going on around me. So there wasn't the wandering mind that I had before. And yes, there's an interruption, but then I immediately get the feedback that I'm out. I'm not paying attention or not present. And it tells you that literally, that's neat. The app tells you it's like, you're not here. Come on back. And then the waves calm down, and then the birds start chirping, and it's kind of an interesting little thing.

[00:42:51.100] – Rachel

That sounds really neat. I've never been one just to sit still. I'm kind of a fidgeter myself. But since I've started practicing yoga, which I would imagine is somewhat similar to Pilates, in that you need to focus on where your body is in space and holding moves or gliding into a new move. And when I've been practicing this, I listen to the person who's saying, okay, do this. Breathe three times. And so basically, as I'm doing yoga, I'm only practice or only thinking about breathing and moving. And 20 minutes goes by and I've not thought of, like, you were just saying all the things I need to accomplish on the rest of the day and my to do list, and I feel like Pilates or yoga or something is kind of probably a good transition to be able to sit still and focus on your meditation. And the other thing I just want to share, too, is that when I do things, whether I'm going to the gym or on a run or doing my yoga, I have decided that this 15 or 30 minutes of time, or whatever it is, this time period is mine. And I don't want to think about what else I need to accomplish.

[00:44:03.270] – Rachel

Like, in these 30 minutes, this is what I'm doing, and the rest of my day will wait, and it'll get done when it gets done. And I think having that time helps you process your thoughts a little bit better later on. Like she was talking about, you're not thinking of things repeatedly. You're not thinking the same thing twice. So when you're in a calm space and you can just think about one thing, then you're shifting your thoughts, and your anxiety levels kind of go down. I think all of this is a wonderful practice for people that might be suffering with a little bit of anxiety these days.

[00:44:39.260] – Allan

Yeah. If you're having difficulty sleeping, if your blood pressure is a little high, you know, it's all stress induced. You're trying to do the other things. Because when I started my journey, I started with nutrition and movement. I said, okay, these are two things I can control. I got to a point, and I'm like, okay, now if I'm looking at my health, what's missing? And I'm like, Well, I know I need more sleep, and I know I need to reduce stress. I reduced some of my stress by just getting out of toxic relationships. That was a big part of it. But I still had a very stressful job, and I still had some sleep issues. So I really focused on my sleep. And once I got my sleep down, which was really more of just go to bed at the same time and don't just think, I have to fall asleep right then. If I don't, that's okay. Just lay there. Just lay there and breathe. So in a sense, it was a form of meditation for me. Interestingly enough, that's exactly where I would go in my head. I'd be like, okay, I'm walking down the beach, and I feel the sun, and I'm just thinking about, if I were on the beach, what that would feel like and what that be like.

[00:45:56.080] – Allan

The sand under my feet, the sun, the waves, the smells, the birds, all of that. And so that's why I think I gravitated towards the ocean one on their app, they've got several. So it's not all ocean. There are different ones. But I think that's why I gravitated to it, because that was a way to really kind of bring myself down and fall asleep faster. And so I would go to sleep at the same time every night. That was kind of rule number one. Number two was I would lay there even if I wasn't going to go to sleep straight away. If I lay there for more than an hour I'd get up. But I think most people will find if you just lay in a dark room with your eyes closed for an hour, you're going to fall asleep. I'm sorry. You're tired. You are tired, probably.

[00:46:43.730] – Allan

And so that's what I would do. And then I wouldn't send alarm because the time I set to go to bed, there was, like, almost zero chance I would oversleep in the morning because that would require, like, 12 hours of sleep. I mean, literally, I didn't have to be at work until 09:00, which meant I had to leave by 08:00. So if I went to bed about 8:30, there's high likelihood I'm going to wake up sometime between five and seven. And when I do, because the sun's coming up and it's brighter in my bedroom because I didn't have the blackout, I didn't need the blackout shades there. Then I'd sleep, and then the sun would be coming up, the room would start lightning, and I knew if I woke up and the room was light, I needed to get up because I had slept enough. I got to work, so there was sleep. The stress part was where I was really trying to do the meditation and this and that, and I struggled with it because I got quiet. I'd think about the 100 things I need to get done before the day is over.

[00:47:43.190] – Allan

The only time I ever could just turn my brain off like that was lifting. When I'm focused on a lift, I don't even hear anything. So everybody's like, what's your favorite playlist? I'm like, I don't even try to listen to music anymore, or even books because I would start lifting and maybe four or five chapters later, and I'd like, what did I just listen to? Because I don't remember any of it. And so I was like, yeah, I don't listen to music. I don't listen to books. When I'm lifting, when I'm lifting, all I hear is the lift. All I hear is, okay, Allan, this is the form. I'm coaching myself through the lift. I'm feeling every bit of it, and I'm focused on that, and so I don't hear anything. And so that's a form of meditation for me is that. But with this, this is a very similar experience. When I'm sitting there with the muse on and it's going through it, it's telling me I'm present. It's helping me know that I'm present. And I'm listening to the waves, and that five minutes goes like, snap. Whereas before I try to meditate in five minutes, I'd stop three times, a hit pause to write something on a to do list because I didn't want to forget it.

[00:48:57.880] – Allan

I didn't want to let that thought go. Just let the thought, no, if I let the thought go, I'm not going to send the email. And then, yeah, tomorrow is going to suck. So, no, I've got to send that email. So I write down the email and then I go back in or try to do it again. And I never really get into a meditation that way. But this was different, this was definitely different.

[00:49:18.370] – Rachel

Well, it takes practice to be able to set those thoughts aside for later. It's hard, it's really hard. And that's really what we're trying to do is take that five minutes of the meditation and set all of those other thoughts that could be disruptive, set them aside for later and stay focused on what you're doing. But what was also fascinating to me is that this device is being studied at the Mayo Clinic and you had discussed for breast cancer patients where I would imagine and fibro both have high levels of pain. And so maybe doing this meditation has this really amazing physical adaptation that it changes your brain context, but also brings anxiety down. So maybe it has a lot to do with managing the pain and maybe focusing more on the healing process when people have this chronic type of pain. That's really interesting.

[00:50:12.550] – Allan

And as I went through and did some research before I had the conversation with Ariel because there was no book to read, this like usually I'll read a book and I'm like, okay, I don't want to go into this interview just asking a bunch of questions I don't know the answer to. They're still asked her things I didn't know the answer to, obviously. But as I got into doing my research, that was really a big part of it was if people think about meditation as a way to lower stress or to basically improve your focus, reduce blood pressure as related, sleep better, those types of things. But yes, meditation is a pain management therapy and it can be used that way. And given how many people are in some level of pain every day, taking opioids or other medications, INSEADs and stuff for pain which are not doing you the favors that you think they are, they're giving you a reprieve from the pain. But if you could sit down and meditate for five minutes and that pain dissipate for a few hours, that's a lot better than popping a pill if you can just do it through meditation.

[00:51:24.820] – Allan

So it's at least worth an exploration if you are in pain, to see if a little bit of meditation and it doesn't have to be sitting there closing your eyes, going ohm, and all that kind of stuff. Sure, it can be a walking meditation, just being present in nature and see if that helps because movement does help with pain sometimes. But this Muse device is fabulous and I'm really glad I have it about to take a vacation. And this is all going to be about stress reduction and just relaxation and it will be really nice to be able to get a practice and get consistent and really try to make that a habit of something that I do each day. And I think the Muse device is something that's going to keep me engaged. And I'll have the feedback and I'll have the reports, and I think all of that's just going to be something that's going to motivate me. Because part of my motivation, in addition to being someone who's driven and an Atlas, as I say, who wants a big challenge and meditating every day will be a big challenge. But the other side of it is, I also am somewhat of a tires person, so I need that consistency, I need that traction to feel like I'm making progress.

[00:52:43.310] – Allan

And so the Muse is something that's going to help me do that and help me see it.

[00:52:48.090] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. That sounds like a great thing to practice, for sure.

[00:52:52.070] – Allan

So if you're interested in this, they are given one year service for free and a 20% discount. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/muse or 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/muse, and that'll take you to their sales page that they've given that special discount to us.

[00:53:11.550] – Rachel

So cool.

[00:53:12.100] – Allan

Go check it out. See if it's something you think you'll enjoy. I'm going to be using it regularly, and it's going to be a part of my daily practice, particularly once I make it that habit that I need to work on, because behavior change is not any easier for coaches than it is for clients. It's just something we are always working on. So I'm going to try to do that, and I'm going to use the Muse as a tool to make it happen.

[00:53:36.520] – Rachel

That sounds great, Allan. All the best for that. That's great.

[00:53:39.670] – Allan

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

[00:53:41.660] – Rachel

Take care.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Eliza Lamb– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


September 12, 2023

11 Vital Medical and Lab Tests After 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 607 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss 11 medical and lab tests you should consider when you're over 40.


Let's Say Hello

Coach Allan is on vacation. We will return to our hello segments in mid-October.


Today we're going to discuss the eleven vital medical and lab tests that you should do after 40. Or at least have the conversation with your doctor about having, you know, these measurements I'm going to talk about today are really about your health.

This is more than weight. This is going to tell you a lot more. Now, I have to start this out with saying I'm not a doctor. I cannot diagnose or give medical advice. I'm just giving you some basic information to allow you to be ready to go have the conversation with your doctor. All of these are things that will help you identify chronic diseases. And if you know about them early, it's great. Obviously prevention is better, but early detection is very important for most of these issues.

Blood Pressure

Okay, so number one, blood pressure. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a huge health issue in this world. And in this country. There's over a billion people in the world that have high blood pressure. So that's like one in eight. So it's a big deal and it's something that's pretty easy to test. You can buy a monitor at a pharmacy or you can get it on Amazon. I'll put a link in the show notes for the one that I use. Your resting blood pressure should be around 120 over 80. You don't want that dropping too low and you don't want it too high. So knowing that and monitoring it can be very important for you.

Lifestyle is really the best way to manage your high blood pressure. There are medications they can give you and most doctors will prescribe the medication and tell you to do the lifestyle changes. If you've been on medication and you decide you want to make some lifestyle changes, it's worth having the conversation with your doctor and monitoring your blood pressure as you go just to make sure that you're not over medicated as you make these lifestyle changes and your blood pressure returns to more to normal. Typically this is one of those things where they stack medications to get you where you need to be until you get your body where it needs to be.

So blood pressure is a killer. You want to make sure that you're monitoring it. Easy test to do. You can buy the monitor and have it available. They're not that expensive. Again, go to the show notes, and I'll have a link to the one that I use.

Blood Glucose

Number two fasting glucose, or A1C. So fasting glucose is your blood sugar level when you haven't eaten anything for about 12 hours, usually you go in the morning, you get the test. They want you fasted, they're going to do a blood glucose test. This is a pretty standard thing. They'll often also do the A1C. The A1C is basically kind of a snapshot of what the last three months of your blood sugar was. So this gives them an idea if it's stayed elevated, and it's not just a one off, but this is something that's going on. If your blood sugar, your fasting blood sugar is above 100 or your A1C is above, say, six, you're pretty much diabetic at that point. The doctor is going to probably diagnose you as pre diabetic or diabetic at that point and want to start getting you on medications and recommending lifestyle changes. I would definitely go with the lifestyle changes. You want to get that blood sugar down. You want to keep it in a constant range. My blood sugar typically goes anywhere from 85 to 65. I like to keep it below 85. Occasionally, if I eat something that's high in sugar, it will pop up above that, but it doesn't stay there very long. My A1 C is typically below five. And that's, again, because I don't eat a lot of sugar, I don't eat a lot of processed foods. So my blood sugar remains fairly constant throughout the day, and I don't have a lot of problems.

Again, something you don't want to get too low, and it's something you don't want to get too high. And if you have some metabolic issues processing the sugar because you're insulin resistance or insulin resistant or something, it is something you just want to make sure that you're monitoring and taking care of. And this is not as easy as just saying, okay, well, I'm going to shoot myself up with insulin, or I'm going to drink some orange juice if I start feeling a little faint. You really do need to watch this. And if you start seeing it slide as you're younger, you're on a bad path, and you need to resolve that.

Calcium Score

Number three calcium score. There's a documentary called The Widowmaker. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/widowmaker. This documentary is on YouTube. It gives a lot of information about what The Widowmaker is, which is basically calcium deposited in the aorta, and it can cause an instant death by heart attack.

It's not one where you have a mild heart attack and they do a little bit of work and you're out and you're working on it. This one will knock you down, and you're done. And it's killed a lot of people, and it kills them without any warning at all. Otherwise, they think they're healthy people. When they get a calcium score, some people realize that they are not in as good a shape as they thought they were. You want a low number, as close to zero as you can get. If you're in the tens of thousands over around 12,000, they're probably going to send you to the emergency room because you're effectively dying on the table right there. So you want to make sure that you're getting this calcium score. Talk to your doctor about it. It's not expensive. I looked it up. It costs about $200. It doesn't take long. It's not invasive. It's just an X ray. It's a pretty intense X ray. So it's not something you do every year unless you know you have a problem. But it is something that you would want to talk to your doctor about and get your calcium score.

Blood Count

Number four is a complete blood count. So a complete blood count is going to talk to you, tell you some things about your red blood cells and white blood cells. Okay? If either of these are high, that could be a problem.

High red blood cells can create some clotting and other issues. High white blood cells typically mean something else is going on in your body, perhaps cancer. And they'll want to know why your white blood cell count is so elevated. This is your immune system. This is your life. It's there.

And these are two tests that you can have done to get a good idea of some things that might be going on in your body that you. Didn't otherwise know about. Okay?

C-Reactive Protein

Number five on the list is C-reactive protein. Now, this is an interesting one, but. This protein helps show how much inflammation you have in your body. So things like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, most of the time, this can be detected, that there's problems because they're stressed out and their immune system is going haywire.

So C-reactive protein is going to tell you if there's some inflammation in your body, you probably already know it because your joints are probably already hurting, and some other things that are going on in your life around inflammation is a problem. But if you stay inflamed all the time, chronic inflammation, you're headed down a bad path. So knowing your C-reactive protein, managing your lifestyle to help manage that down really, really important.


Number six thyroid. Okay, thyroid is basically how our body manages energy. It is our metabolism. And there's about 200 million people globally who have thyroid issues. Some people will have thyroid that's overactive. Some have thyroid that's underactive. And so if you feel fatigued. If you're not recovering very well, you're. Not sleeping very well, it might be worth having your thyroid test. Now, most of the time when they're going to test, they really only just test one of the elements, but there's multiple elements they can test, which is the thyroid stimulating hormone T3 and T4, and there's a few others. If you know you're having a thyroid issue, you might want to go a little deeper into this. But thyroid is something that you can easily manage with medication, and often lifestyle changes will help. But this is a tough one because if it's impacting your causing you fatigue and it's keeping your metabolism from working the way it's supposed to, it becomes very difficult to lose weight or gain weight, and it makes it very difficult to have the energy to do what's necessary to stay healthy. So if you're noticing some fatigue problems, it might be worth just taking a look at your thyroid.


Number seven is triglycerides. Now, I know a lot of people out there, and your doctor too, will probably say that you should focus on your cholesterol, and I'm not going to go against that. If you want to know your cholesterol numbers, that's important too. But I think triglycerides, in my opinion, again, not a doctor, but this is the one I care about the most. I want my triglycerides to be low, and in fact, if I can get my triglycerides close to what my HDL is, HDL is the good cholesterol, if you will, then you're doing good. Now, most doctors are going to say you should be trying to get your triglycerides should not be more than a ratio of maybe three or four times your HDL.

I like to get mine below two. And often I can have it at one. If I'm eating really clean, doing the right things, I can keep my triglycerides level with or around what my HDL is. And that ratio tells me that I'm doing the right things for my body, I'm eating the right food. So having your triglycerides checked, that's usually a function of the whole lipid panel when they do the cholesterol. But don't just stop with, oh, the HDL is low or the LDL is high, the total is high. Too many times, people get stuck focused there. Triglycerides let you pull back the layer a little bit more and see what's going on.

Kidney Function

Number eight is kidney function tests, and there's a few of them out there, but basically you want to make sure that your kidney functions well, because your kidneys are basically doing a lot of the filtering and the cleaning and removing toxins from your body. And if that isn't working right, you could end up with what they call end stage renal disease. Okay?

And that could mean you're now getting dialysis or you have to have a kidney transplant, both of which are not something you want to do. So there are a few different things they can look for, like crenitine and GFR. A lot of little technical stuff in there that they can look at to get an idea of how well your kidney is functioning. And if you're on certain medications that can impact your kidneys, it's worth occasionally getting that test just to make sure your kidneys are still functioning the way you need them to function.

Liver Function

Number nine on my list is liver function. Now, similar to the kidneys, the kidneys filter blood. Your liver also does a lot of things it filters, but it also manages a lot of different things in our body from how we absorb medications and alcohol and food. Fructose in particular. The liver can help store fat. It's really probably one of the most important organs behind the heart and lungs to keep you alive.

So you want to make sure that your liver is functioning well. Because of our diet and lifestyle, many folks are dealing with fatty liver disease, even when it doesn't relate to alcohol. And hepatitis, which you can get in a lot of different ways, can adversely affect the liver. And when the liver is not working, you're not living. You're not going to be alive long if your liver is not functioning. So it is worth taking a look at how well your liver is functioning, particularly if you've been on different medications. If at any point in your time you took steroids or something like that, you may have damaged your liver, or if you eat a lot of sugar, particularly fructose, or drink a lot of alcohol, you've probably damaged your liver a bit and it's not going to function as well. And these tests will help you see how well your liver is functioning.

Vitamin D and B12

Number ten on my list is vitamin D and B12. A lot of people, like about a billion people in the United States, have vitamin D deficiency, and millions have vitamin B12. Now, vitamin D is really important for nerve health, for bone health, your immune system, all of it. If you live in a northern climate. You don't get sun on your skin regularly, or you wear a lot of sunscreen when you do, your body might not be absorbing and creating vitamin D the way it needs to, and you might be deficient. So you may need to supplement if you're low, but you don't know you're low unless you test.

So I don't recommend just taking a supplement for the sake of taking a supplement. But it is one of those things where so many people are deficient in vitamin D, there's not a ton of downside.

Now, vitamin B12 is important because our body uses it for metabolism, for the formation of red blood cells, nerve function and DNA synthesis. That's where our bodies are able to repair our genetic material. That's kind of important. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you might not be getting enough B12. And so you want to make sure that if you are not eating a lot of animal products, you should probably have your B12 tested occasionally just to see where you stand with that and whether you need to supplement.

So again, vitamin D and vitamin B12 are two of the most important vitamins that you need to be eating regularly or getting regularly through sunshine for vitamin D. And if you're not, you should test yourself occasionally just to see if there might be a deficiency there.


Number eleven is a colonoscopy. Everybody's favorite. Colorectal cancer affects over 1.8 million people worldwide every single year. So you start thinking about that. It's not maybe the most common cancer. It's one that we can find pretty easily with a colonoscopy.

Now, this is not a pleasant experience. You've got to go through a process of cleansing yourself. Hey, you're going to weigh five pounds less after you get done with this because you cleared out your colon and your intestines. But you want to be able to detect colon cancer early, and this is a test that will help you do that.

Honorable Mentions – Mammograms and PSA Test

Now, I do have two honorable mentions on here, and that's if you're a woman, I strongly recommend that you get your mammograms done regularly. You can talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer. You can look at your genome if you went and got the test, the DNA test, to see if you have the types of SNPs and whatnot, that make you more susceptible to breast cancer. If you took birth control pills for a long period of time, again, that's a risk factor. And there's some others around age. And so if you know you're in a higher risk group, make sure you're talking to your doctor about getting mammograms on a regular basis when they believe that that's the best cycle for you to do.

And then for men on our side, we can get breast cancer too. So checking yourself is obviously a good idea, but it's worth getting a PSA test every once in a while just to make sure, because PSA is basically going to tell you if there's some issues with prostate. Just because it's an elevated test doesn't mean you have prostate cancer. But it's the first indicator that they usually look for when they suspect that someone might have prostate cancer. Elevated PSA test is going to be like the first thing that they're looking for.

And it's real easy. It's blood test. You just go and get a regular blood test, but ask it's going to be for a PSA, talk to your doctor about it. Similar to the way I just discussed with the mammograms, the frequency that you would do this test really depends on the conversation you have with your doctor based on your risk factors and things. If men in your life have had prostate cancer before, your risk is higher.

Certain race things like black men, African American men are more likely to have prostate cancer than Caucasian men. So just know your risk factors. Have a conversation with your doctor. There's not expensive tests. I think I got one not long ago. It cost like $75. But hey, that included the blood drawn, the whole bit. And that's all I went in for, was that PSA test.

I could have stacked it with some other tests, probably, and it would have even been cheaper. But these tests are readily available, easy to get, and some of them you can even do at home.


So I want to go over these one more time in summary, just these are things to just think about. So you can scratch this down on paper and you got to talk to your doctor or you're thinking about how you're going to manage your health better. These are much better measurements than weight. I can tell you right now, if you got these things in line, your weight is not going to be a problem.

So we've got blood pressure, fasting glucose, or A1C, calcium score, complete blood count, c reactive, protein, thyroid, triglycerides, kidney function, liver function, vitamin D and B12, colonoscopy, and then, of course the honorable mentions of mammograms or PSA tests as appropriate.

So what this is, is if you were to go through this and talk to your doctor about it, understanding your risks, these are the ones that I think will give you kind of really good overall big picture of where you stand from a health perspective as someone over the age of 40.

So think about these tests the next time you go in. Talk to your doctor about what's on the test, what he's looking for, why he's looking for that. This is a good opportunity for you to be very proactive, to be an advocate for yourself, to ask the right questions.

Post Show/Recap

[00:18:33.170] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:18:34.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan.

[00:18:36.040] – Rachel

This is the best. This is a really good list of lab tests to have done. And the reason why this makes me really happy to talk about this is that there's still a lot of people in my age bracket that don't go and get their annual physical every year. To me, this is just something that I do automatically. It's my time to even though it might not be the longest appointment of the year with my doctor, I get the few minutes to talk about what I'm feeling, my family history. We get to do all this blood work and compare them from years past. I mean, having trending data is so important, but still, people don't go, and this is why they should. These eleven tests are why you should go at least once a year to your doctor.

[00:19:22.440] – Allan

Yeah, your doctor probably won't initially want you to do all of these tests, and that can be okay. That can be okay. But I would say, yeah, if you're over 40, particularly if you're over 50.

[00:19:35.260] – Allan

These tests are going to tell you a lot about yourself and about what your status is. And so if you have family members that have diabetes or high blood sugar or hypertension or they've had cancers, or you just know that you're at higher risk because of who you are, then you should be probably testing this more often than once per year, at least some of them. When I was working with a health doctor, and that was quite literally it, he was not a healthcare doctor where I go in for sick care. He was a doctor that I went into for health. And so we were talking about how I could be as healthy as I can possibly be. We got these tests, all of these tests done every quarter.

[00:20:17.750] – Allan

That's really expensive. So I don't encourage everybody to run that out there, because I think if you got a full scan, if you got a full blood test, they can run you over $1,400. I think mine were running me around 1400 when I was doing them, but it was really cool because the phlebotomist would come to me, they would come to my office, or they'd come to my house and take the blood so I didn't have to worry about it. They just came in, they took the blood, put it in a little box, and shipped it off FedEx to whomever.

[00:20:46.150] – Allan

And I would get all these answers. Except for the calcium score, that one's separate because that's actually done somewhere else. But all these others that are blood tests, I literally got a comprehensive report back so I could see if my kidney numbers, my liver numbers were all in sync, where they're supposed to be, what my vitamins were.

[00:21:05.600] – Allan

And it went a lot deeper than just vitamin D and vitamin B12. But those are two of the most important ones, I think. Again, not a doctor. So beyond the calcium score and the colonoscopy, of course, the mammogram, those are tests you have to actually go in for physical. All the others are basically blood tests. Well, I guess blood pressure isn't, but you can easily test that at home or anywhere. These blood tests here, those are the ones that yeah, you're going to see them.

[00:21:33.230] – Allan

So if you're not feeling well, your doctor might not even think to test. Your thyroid initially, not even be on the list, because that could be a wasted test. But if you tell them you're just feeling out of sorts and fatigued, they might throw the thyroid test in there just to make sure that you're aware of what your status is. And the hard part with fatigue, I just want to put this out there, is fatigue is not something that just sort of happens one day. It's like one day you wake up and your body and you're fatigued. For the most part, it comes in really slow.

[00:22:06.970] – Rachel

It does.

[00:22:07.860] – Allan

And so if you're comparing today to how you feel yesterday or felt yesterday, there might not be a big difference. And you might not even feel it or see it. It's sort of the deal where you don't necessarily see yourself losing weight even though you are. It's just coming off slow and steady, but you're just not seeing it because, okay, I'm losing a pound a week. But there's no visual.

[00:22:29.880] – Allan

What does a pound of fat look like coming off of my body? Kind of thing. This is kind of the same thing. It can kind of come in and then there's just a point where you're just not capable of doing things. You get winded walking up the stairs. Well, that might not be because you're not cardiovascular fit. That could be a symptom of thyroid.

[00:22:51.180] – Rachel

Actually I'm on thyroid medicine now. I just went hypo earlier this year and as a runner, I'm fatigued a lot, Allan. And then there's times in your life where maybe you've got stresses with work or your kids are sick and you're up late at night, and there's a lot of reasons why you could be fatigued. But you're right, it is kind of one of those, again, insidious things that you just don't pick up right away. And doctors don't I don't know why, but they don't always do the thorough panel like you had suggested. They just do the basic thyroid, not necessarily to the T3 and T4, which is unfortunate because that's where the good data is usually.

[00:23:32.770] – Allan

Well, if they see a drop or they see an increase, then they know there's something going on, and then they'll probably ask for a second test to go in and look for those things.

[00:23:41.580] – Allan

But if you think you're feeling fatigued. Bring it up to your doctor before you go to get your panel done. And they may even say, okay, well, I'm going to throw B12 in there in thyroid just to see what your status is. And most of the time there's not going to be a problem. But thyroid does affect a lot of people, and if you don't eat animal products so you're like, your cholesterol is high, so you've cut out all animal products and you're like, okay, I'm losing weight, but my blood pressure is still kind of high and my cholesterol is coming down, but I feel like crap.

[00:24:19.710] – Allan

Yeah, well, maybe your B12 is getting low and you need a supplement. But don't just do something because you think, yes, this is not a great chemistry experiment for you to just say, I'm going to start throwing supplements at this and see what happens. You want to know? Because some vitamins, kind of the oil soluble ones, so this is going to be like A-E-D. They're going to stay in your body when you take them. They're not going to wash out like b and C vitamins do. And so you can actually overdose on those things.

[00:24:52.320] – Rachel

Yeah, definitely be tested first.

[00:24:54.860] – Allan

You don't want to just start taking a bunch of vitamin D. You might make it a cyclical thing where you say, okay, because I know it's getting cooler months and I'm not getting the sunshine. I was I might go ahead and just add a little bit of vitamin D. You might do that, but then cycle back off once the summer rolls around and you're outdoors a lot, doing yard work or fishing or hiking or whatever, getting sun on your skin, say, okay, I probably don't need the vitamin D right now. I live in a climate that's basically summer all year round.

[00:25:26.570] – Allan

So I get out and my skin gets exposed to sun almost every single day. And so I wouldn't even think that I had a vitamin D problem, but if I went and got a panel and it said I was deficient, that would surprise me. But I'd go take some because I got to get it in there. It's important for bone health and nerve health, and it's a pro hormone, so it literally helps with just about everything else in your body. Very important. So I put this list together. As you can imagine, it took a lot of research to put this list together, but this is what as I was thinking through, how would I know I was sick?

[00:26:09.350] – Allan

I want to put together the test and say, how would I know I was sick?

[00:26:13.750] – Allan

These are the tests that I would want. I'm not a doctor, but I would talk to my doctor and I'd say okay, I'm 57 year old man who's spent a good part of his adult life overweight. I can tell you right now, when you see my cholesterol numbers, you're going to freak out because according to some of my doctors, I was dead years ago. But I'm just someone who has very high cholesterol and I could stop eating everything. I could just start eating lettuce or I guess broccoli. How about broccoli?

[00:26:50.370] – Allan

I could just eat broccoli and my cholesterol would still be high. I've taken statins and my cholesterol wouldn't go down. My HDL went down. It went down, but my LDL didn't. It was still exceptionally high. And so I can't get my cholesterol down no matter what I do food or medications. But what I can tell you is my HDL when I'm eating the way my body feels good serving my body, my HDL is off the charts. They want yours around 50. Mine's usually floating somewhere around 90.

[00:27:26.940] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:27:27.690] – Allan

And I can get my triglycerides down to about 90. The number they want there is 150. You want you below 150. They want your HDL above 50 and your triglycerides below 150. So that's a three to one ratio. If you're doing that, you're at a three to one ratio. The doctors are going to say you're. Doing golden again as long as your HDL is not.

[00:27:48.330] – Allan

Above 200, your total cholesterol is not above total 200, never going to get there. If my HDL is 90, I'm not going to get my total down below 200. Just mathematically impossible.

[00:28:02.510] – Allan

Because LDL is a calculated number. It's not an actual count. They count the HDL and they count the total. They don't count the LDL. It's a calculated number. If my HDL is over 90, I can't get my LDL. I mean, I can't get my total below 200,

[00:28:19.470] – Rachel

but if it's not impacting you, otherwise, if you don't have any other risk factors, your calcium score and your blood

[00:28:26.200] – Allan

and that's all fine. Yeah, look at my blood pressure, look at my calcium score, things like that. And my ratio almost one to one. Versus the three to one being standard. So I got stuff in there cleaning me up.

[00:28:43.610] – Rachel

That's good.

[00:28:47.110] – Allan

I'm not saying that everybody's going to we're all different. And all these reference numbers that are out there, you may hit some of those reference numbers perfect. There are people out there just perfect. All the reference numbers, they're right in there. Other people are one or two of them is going to be just completely out of whack. And it doesn't mean you're broken.

[00:29:04.890] – Allan

It just means, guess what? You're a little different.

[00:29:08.750] – Rachel

But this is why you go every year to get your physical, at least, because then you have trending data. So when these numbers get all out of whack, they're not trending in the same direction or they're not staying the same, then there's an indication there that something could be maybe reevaluated. But it's good to have that data. And I don't want to end our discussion until I really highlight the cancer screenings. You mentioned colonoscopy. I believe the age for colonoscopy is 45 now. There might be some changes to that, but it's gone down in age because the incidence of colon rectal cancer has increased so greatly lately. And for the ladies, the mammograms, the guys, the prostate checks, super important. And the only test I wanted to mention, Allan, that is the annual visit to your dermatologist for a skin cancer screening. Melanoma rates are increasing, and it's not only because of exposure to the sun. Melanoma is also a genetic trait that people don't usually know that they have. So all of these cancer screenings, as soon as you are of age and or your doctor approves it, because I've been having mammograms since I was 29, it's important to have the screenings done because you don't feel cancer, you don't feel well.

[00:30:24.650] – Allan

By the time you feel cancer,

[00:30:26.610] – Rachel

it could be a problem.

[00:30:28.410] – Allan

it's too late. Most of them, they're not symptomatic until they start spreading. Exactly. Talking to Dr. Baum and I think that episode is going to come up in a week or so, a couple of weeks maybe.

[00:30:41.340] – Allan

But we're talking about prostate cancer and he'S like, you'll never know. You have prostate cancer. What you're going to know is that you have bone cancer, and it's because it'S already spread to the bones. And so by the time it spreads to the bones, now you got a problem. And that's the cancer that kills you. It's not the prostate cancer that kills you, but you started with prostate cancer. And it spread to your bones, and you didn't do anything because you didn't know it. You had no symptoms and then till it was in the bones.

[00:31:08.800] – Allan

And now you got symptoms, but it's way past what they can probably cure. And so that's just the concept of be proactive here. Work with your doctor. He's on your team. We're going to talk about that a good bit with Dr. Baum, how you do that, and some of the cool things that have happened in the last few years with the way medicine works, that it didn't necessarily work that way before. And so this is really good opportunities here for you to have conversations with doctors, get these tests when they're appropriate.

[00:31:41.720] – Allan

Have data, make the right decisions, and understand, okay, if this, then that the information is there, you have to go get it for yourself, because you don't know what your numbers are until you go get your numbers. And the doctor is going to want to know a lot about you to know if it makes sense for you to get a thyroid test or to go out and get some of these other screenings because they're not appropriate for everybody. But there are times when you just get your doctors and say, hey, I want to know this number. Most of them are not just going to flat out say no.

[00:32:18.280] – Allan

If you say you want to basically have your hormones checked, the doctor is not necessarily just going to say no. They may say there's reasons to not test and tell you those reasons, but you're the coach, you're the CEO, you make the final decision. If you get a doctor, it's like, well, we're not going to do anything. Even if your testosterone is low, you might want to talk to a different doctor.

[00:32:43.020] – Rachel

Yeah, time for a new doctor.

[00:32:44.830] – Allan

But again, that's the conversation. He's an advisor. You're paying him. Whether it's your insurance company making the payment or not.

[00:32:52.500] – Allan

You're the customer. You're the one making this happen. So talk to your doctor, find out about these tests and get the ones that make the most sense for you and get them regularly so you do have trending data to know, okay, this is good. And over here, I might need to do some work on lifestyle to fix this. I might need to be on medication for blood pressure for a short period of time until I can get my body weight down and then maybe I can get off of it. I may need to do that to get my blood sugar down, metformin or something like that. Until my diet stabilizes my blood sugar below these reference numbers. And so you got to have the data to know what you don't know.

[00:33:31.680] – Rachel

That's absolutely right. So, yeah, do that physical. Get that scheduled ASAP.

[00:33:36.320] – Allan


[00:33:37.910] – Allan

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

[00:33:39.900] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:33:40.990] – Allan

You too.

[00:33:41.960] – Rachel

Bye. Bye.

[00:33:42.810] – Allan


Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to fix your relationship with food, your body, and yourself with Deanna Schober

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 606 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Deanna Schober of Built Daily and the Fitness and Sushi Podcast and we discuss how to fix your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.


Let's Say Hello

With Coach Allan being off this month, there won't be a hello session for a few weeks. We'll see you after mid-October.


[00:01:47.090] – Allan

Deanna, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:01:50.210] – Deanna

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

[00:01:52.850] – Allan

Yeah, we found each other because you have a podcast, Fitness and Sushi. And so I reached out to be a potential guest I think you probably had listed on one of the sites where you're looking for guests, and that's kind of how I came across you. You and Tony, your husband is your co host on Fitness and Sushi. And then as I started kind of diving into, okay, who are these people and what are they doing out there? I really resonate with your message. I think that so many times people think, well, I just got to find the right diet.

[00:02:24.990] – Allan

I've tried them all, but I just haven't found the right one. And so they're always out there looking for the diet. They're looking for ways to burn more calories than they consume. And so they go into the gym and they find one elliptical. When they get on it, it says, okay, in an hour, they did 500 calories. And then the other elliptical, which is a little different, it says they burned 600. So they now have a favorite elliptical. It's just this whole idea of, okay, I have to do all this stuff.

[00:02:54.540] – Allan

Add all this stuff to my life to lose weight. And your message is quite different than that.

[00:03:01.710] – Deanna

Yeah, what you just described is like, I'm going to math myself to a better body or better health. I'm going to math myself. I always say that we are not math. Of course math is a consideration, but we're all about the whole person, which includes behavior, psychology, emotions and preferences. And also we have these brains that we have to deal with that work a certain way, they're hardwired a certain way, we have to understand them. Because if you're just mathing your way through health and fitness, your brain is not going to like that. It's not going to let you be consistent with that.

[00:03:41.740] – Allan

Yeah, and even beyond that, I mean, yeah, we are hardwired at some level. But our past, our traumas, our history. Everything creates these grooves that's valuable if you were a hunter gatherer and you know, okay, yeah, if I go that way, that's poison ivy and I'm going to be suffering for three days. If I go that way, there's a bear and I'm going to be dead going that way. And so your brain starts hardwiring and soft wiring to kind of remember and know.

[00:04:12.580] – Allan

And as a result, our behavior is not fixed, but it's pretty hard to change. And unfortunately, diet culture doesn't really help us do that.

[00:04:23.730] – Deanna

No, it goes directly against a lot of it. It puts us into famine mode, survival mode. It puts you into a state where you are literally now working against your brain's strongest desire, which is for you to survive. And if you are not eating enough, if you are putting yourself into a state of scarcity, then those are going against your brain's hardwiring desire to survive. And yes, you can overcome it. People do for bursts of time or long periods of time, but they do it and it's extremely uncomfortable. It's not pleasant, it's very difficult. It requires a lot of energy. And it's the hardest way to be consistent when you're working against your primitive. Survival skills or primitive survival mechanisms.

[00:05:16.950] – Allan

Yeah, of course. I'll go on various forums like MyFitness pal and Facebook and things like that. And I think what's so disheartening to me is that there'll be someone and they'll say, I'm eating at a calorie deficit and not losing weight. They're doing the math thing and they're on a diet and they're doing it and they're like, okay, I know everything I'm eating. I know all my movement. I put it all into the formula. I should be losing weight and I'm not losing weight. And they get just so disgusted with that whole thing that when I read it, I just know they're going to quit because no one is reaching out and telling them that they have to do some of this other work first and then the other parts kind of fall in place. So it's not a diet, it's just changing behaviors, changing thoughts.

[00:06:06.460] – Allan

Now, you call that healing. Can you kind of get into how that works and how you guys see that as the basic paradigm of how we can fix ourselves so that we get healthy without having to do all the diet stuff and being frustrated by it?

[00:06:26.360] – Deanna

Yeah, I think the idea is that with healing is actually not that you need to fix yourself. It's that you came into this world intuitively, like having a good relationship with food, having a good relationship with your body and society and all its ideals and the weird things that humans do. Comes in with diet culture and really has kind of destroyed those relationships. So healing is getting us back to that foundational place where we are waking up every day and we're taking care of ourselves. And food isn't like an obsessive thought throughout the day and controlling our bodies is not an obsessive thought throughout the day. And what that does is allow you to return to a state of thriving instead of surviving, which is what dieting puts you in.

[00:07:15.420] – Deanna

And when that is your state of mind, then you're much more consistent with any kind of changes that you make. And yes, there's work to do and habits to form through that process. But if you're dieting, you're forming those habits and also working against your brain. You're also working against the way that you are wired. And so healing is really just getting you back to that place of having a good relationship with food and reminding you that you can trust yourself with food. So many people don't trust themselves with food and because a calorie deficit has frustrated them and they've gotten to this place of binging and restricting and binging and restricting over and over again because of that whole math equation thing and following meal plans and feeling frustrated. And when you follow a lot of diets too, no diet ever tells you. Like, this is an us problem.

[00:08:14.190] – Deanna

They say, this is your problem. You're not trying hard enough. You shouldn't have any excuses. There's something wrong with you. And the reality of that is that if 97% of people can't follow a diet for more than two years, then something's going on there. It's working against human being psychology and human beings behavior to our survival instincts. So we want to try to get them back to that healed place where we take away the damage that diet culture has done to those relationships and then start them fresh from that place.

[00:08:52.430] – Allan

Yeah. One of the things I like that Tony had in his book, which I wrote down, is called The Ideal Body Formula. And you guys have talked about this a few times, I've heard Is where you talk about how weight loss is not the objective. I don't think you said side effect.

[00:09:11.540] – Allan

I don't think Tony said side effect. Was that because I've always said, if you're doing the things that your body needs to be healthy and feel safe, then you're going to lose weight if you need to lose weight. If your body needs to lose weight, it will do the natural thing once you start getting it healthy. And weight loss is just a side effect.

[00:09:34.230] – Deanna

Exactly. I think your example of going on to the reddit Forum or the MyFitness Health forum and someone's trying so hard to lose weight and they're getting so frustrated. And the reality is that what we have seen and what we know is that the harder you try to lose weight, the harder it is to lose weight. And the more you try to force this thing to happen, the more resistance you're coming up against, the more frustration you're coming up against, you're more likely to give up. Your behavior really changes. And so what we propose is that you stop trying to lose weight and you start trying to really just wake up every day and take care of yourself in the best way that you can without all the dieting stuff, all the dieting attitudes and mindset and take care of yourself and kind of relax into that. And what we have seen is that that has been the way that people who couldn't lose weight finally can because they're forgetting about it.

[00:10:32.650] – Deanna

They're just trying to let it go and trust their body, that their body will do the right thing and just make changes because they want to feel good, because they deserve it, because they're finding joy in their new routine. That's a big piece of what we do. And when you are finding joy in these things and you're enjoying what you're eating, you're enjoying your exercise, it does become a natural side effect. You're not trying to do anything. And because of that, it's very sustainable.

[00:11:00.780] – Allan

Yeah, it's funny because I will, I'll be out there and I'll be looking at this and that 1% or 3%, whatever it is, the people who successfully lost the weight, doing the calorie counts and things like that, you can look at them on MyFitness pal and it shows you how many days in a row they logged in. Not that they logged their food, but they logged in and they're usually hundreds or thousands of days. And so this is someone who doesn't trust themselves.

[00:11:29.360] – Allan

And so they are probably logging their food every single day and probably will for the rest of their lives. I'm accountant, so I don't mind doing number crunching data and all that kind of stuff, but that just seems so exhausting.

[00:11:45.010] – Deanna

That's not the life I want for myself. I say that to my clients all the time. I don't want to be like 80, 90 years old and still be having to log everything that I eat and weighing myself every day. My grandmother is 93 years old and every time I see her, she still tells me how much she weighs and that's a major thing on her mind still. And I just think, God, I don't want that for myself. And I mean it's the best thing I've ever done, is letting go of that obsession and just enjoying my fit lifestyle, but enjoying it.

[00:12:17.680] – Allan

Right. And it's one of the things I'll talk to my clients about this. They get weirded out by the fact they're like, okay, what's my meal plan? And I said, I don't know. What's your schedule next Thursday? And let me pull up my calendars. So you see, I couldn't write you a meal plan because I'm not living your life. I don't know the food you like. I don't know how they make you feel. And so I said, well, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go eat, and I want you to write down in your journal how you felt before you ate and then write down in your journal how you feel after. And then the next day and what that will be is over time. You're basically telling yourself you're teaching yourself. Okay, these are the foods that serve me, and these are the foods that don't. Okay, does that mean we're going to not eat the foods that don't serve us? Of course we are.

[00:13:08.910] – Allan

Aunt Martha has a birthday, and we're all going there because she's turning 90, and there's birthday cake. We're going to eat a little bit of cake. That's okay. So many people get so frustrated with. Oh, well, I broke the rule. Yeah, I ate some bread. Oh, my God.

[00:13:26.930] – Deanna

And the irony of that attitude is that it makes you eat more bread and more cake. That's the irony of that. The more you tell yourself, I can't have this and put something on this pedestal of this is bad, or this is forbidden, then every time you eat it, your willpower will break down and you eat it.

[00:13:48.490] – Deanna

But you're telling yourself, this is the last time this is bad, so I won't do this again. And so that intensifies when you eat it and you eat more of it. Yeah, and then that happens all the time.

[00:13:59.230] – Allan

Don't see a purple elephant. Don't think about a purple elephant.

[00:14:02.660] – Deanna

Yes, exactly. Or my favorite one is like, telling my kids going into their room and out and they see a toy that they haven't played with forever, and suddenly it's going away. They're like, that's my favorite toy.

[00:14:18.130] – Deanna

with food, when you threaten to take it away. It's going to suddenly look shiny and exciting, because now it's scarce.

[00:14:27.110] – Allan

You do see this. If you get into the forums where there's a particular way of eating, be it vegan or carnivore or keto or whatever, if there's a certain way of eating, there are purists out there that are going to tell you, they'll even ask. It's so funny. Someone will plug in, and they'll say, well, can I have some tomatoes with my hamburger meat or ketchup? And it's like, well, of course you can. You're a grown person. If you want a little bit of ketchup on your burger, have a little bit of ketchup. You know, the bun probably isn't serving you very well, but the burger, it's fine. If you tolerate meat, then it's fine. But it's just interesting to me that we do get into this thing and then we see the people who are so strict as leadership for almost like a cult and so we go, okay well the diet god just told me, I can't have ketchup on my hamburger meat.

[00:15:29.690] – Deanna

Well and that honestly is really tempting when you are so anxious about your weight and your body you don't want somebody to be like yeah, you can have cake sometimes and you could be.

[00:15:43.600] – Deanna

Lackadaisical about that's not what you want to hear. You want to hear what's going to work fast, what's really exciting, what's really going to fix this because it closes a loop in your brain. It's like I've got this problem and if I here is the answer and it's very extreme and because of that it's going to work and it's going to work fast. And I've got all these proof and before and after pictures without any regard to whether it's sustainable or anything. Sometimes it's a trauma response. I think dieting can be like a trauma response to the anxiety of I'm not good enough, my body's not good enough. I feel bad about myself. I feel this anxiety about who I am and what my body looks like. And so we're much more vulnerable in that position to the diet guru who's going to tell us, like, don't ever eat a hamburger bun again, or whatever extreme thing is that it does feel very exciting to somebody who is desperate. And so that's one of the major things that we work on is to help people to get rid of that body anxiety because the body anxiety will begat the food anxiety and you're more vulnerable to those strict rules and that strict lifestyle that doesn't work, that makes everything worse.

[00:17:00.670] – Allan

Fast is not sustainable and usually strict is not sustainable. You have to feed your body and you have to heal your body as you said.

[00:17:08.480] – Allan

Now another area where because again, as you said, there's anxiety and there's trauma. And there's things that are going on and so as a result our relationship with food is almost like an abusive marriage.

[00:17:23.070] – Deanna


[00:17:23.790] – Allan

And so something goes on in our life and now we have to eat it away because this is our companion. This is our friend until it's not because we're going to feel guilty as crap about doing it later. So there's this concept, it's aptly called emotional eating. How can someone recognize when they're emotionally eating?

[00:17:45.610] – Deanna

Well a lot of people first of all I think, think they're emotionally eating. When they're actually just deprived and restricted. So deprivation meaning they have a scarcity relationship with certain foods and restricted meaning they're not getting enough to eat at their meals. You have a lot of women, especially who are skipping meals because of career pressure, because kids or just they don't have time, they haven't prioritized it. And so they're showing up to the end of the day after a long day with their stress built up.

[00:18:21.820] – Deanna

And they're sitting down and they're eating nonstop and calling it emotional eating because they're stressed and emotional. But in reality, what we've seen is that when we help people to come out of those two states of deprivation and restriction and they're eating enough throughout the day and they're regulating themselves physically and mentally with making sure they're satisfied with their food and what they're eating, that emotional eating is reduced by quite a bit. So we work on that first. Before we ever even get to emotional eating, things need to be eliminated first and then you can start to take a look at emotional resiliency. That is such a big deal.

[00:19:04.910] – Deanna

I think that so many of us are so afraid to feel our feelings. I think that anyone who's 40 plus never had any sort of emotional as a kid or growing up, feelings were not talked about. Like, I was allowed to feel happy, but nothing else, like everything else was very uncomfortable for my boomer parents and very shoved under the rug and they just didn't know what to do with it. And so a lot of what we do is teach people how just teach women how to just feel their feelings, which is to not sit and ruminate in the thoughts that are coming along with the emotions, but to actually sit down, turn off the thoughts that are running, and stop the story and just feel the physical sensations. Because emotions are very physical and the sensory experience of it and tuning into that helps you to process it and get it out. And when you learn how to do that and you also learn adaptive coping skills for those emotions, which is you're feeling the feelings, and then maybe you still need to soothe yourself in some way. There's other things that you can try that are so freaking simple that nobody ever believes that it's going to work. It's just sitting and taking deep breaths, doing tapping, if you've ever heard of tapping, just going for a quick walk. Standing outside and looking at birds.

[00:20:26.330] – Deanna

These things sound so simple, but it really works. It helps you to soothe yourself and to release certain hormones and chemicals in your brain that will calm your nervous system down. And you also need to learn how.

[00:20:40.990] – Deanna

To complete the stress cycle. Because the stress cycle is you go into fight or flight, your body needs some kind of signal that you're safe. What we've been doing is coming home and using food to tell our body that it's safe. Which is like, there's no shame in emotional eating. That's number one. If you emotionally eat, that's nothing to be ashamed of. And it's not even always a problem. We always say it's only a problem if it's a problem.

[00:21:02.370] – Deanna

But completing the stress cycle can look like just shaking your like coming home and just shaking your body, shaking your arms and legs. It's a way that animals do this to shake the stress and move the energy out of their body. We can do the exact same thing. And it's very simple, but it works. It definitely works.

[00:21:20.970] – Allan

Yeah. That's kind of a concept that in my coaching training, they called it breaking the chain. So basically what you're doing is you realize, okay, I shouldn't be hungry, but I want something, and I just need to know if this is emotion or is this actual hunger. And I thought it was funny, you have an email list, and I'm on it. So I'm reading your emails,

[00:21:42.770] – Deanna

I know what you're about to say.

[00:21:43.940] – Allan

You wrote the other day about the statement. I guess the advice was, okay, would you eat broccoli? You kind of tore that one a hole. But even with that, there is a need to somewhat figure out the right way for you to break that chain.

[00:22:02.570] – Deanna


[00:22:03.380] – Allan

Can you talk a little bit why not broccoli versus something else?

[00:22:07.270] – Deanna

Well, first of all, I think that that's just misleading because never in my life when I have been super hungry have I ever craved broccoli. That's just not I don't crave broccoli. I eat broccoli because I know it's good for me, but I don't crave it. I've had clients told me before that they crave it, but I never have, the whole idea is, like, if you're not craving broccoli, then you're not hungry. And so that's not totally true. I've seen clients who, when you get so hungry that your blood sugar is low, you don't crave broccoli.

[00:22:39.480] – Deanna

You don't crave vegetables or anything with any kind of fiber in it because that takes too long to digest. You crave chips and sugar and high calorie foods because your body wants to get energy to your brain really fast. So just because you're having those cravings doesn't mean that you're emotionally eating. You might just be over hungry and let yourself get too hungry. We see that quite a bit.

[00:23:02.480] – Deanna

But also it doesn't solve the problem, which is like just telling yourself, well, I'm not hungry, I'm not hungry. I just want to eat, doesn't give you a solution to that problem. And the solution is to emotional eating tonight way past, or it'll be weeks in the future at this point, but when this comes out but I'm teaching an emotional eating Master class tonight because there's a lot to know about emotional eating. It's a multipronged approach. It's definitely not as simple as am I hungry or am I just bored? Am I hungry or am I emotional? You have to know what to do with the emotions. If you are just emotional, you've got to have proactive things put in place. Like daily I journal my feelings and just get it out onto paper. That helps me process it. So there's the proactive side, and then there's the reactive side. What do you do when you're having the emotions? You don't run from them. You feel them. And then you soothe yourself in a way that works and turns off the stress cycle. I'm sorry about that email. You have to be kind of opinionated. About these things sometimes.

[00:24:10.990] – Allan

No, it was great because it really made me think about, okay, I understand. We have to break the chain or at least have to understand why we're doing what we're doing.

[00:24:18.720] – Deanna


[00:24:19.400] – Allan

Slowing yourself down, whatever that can be. I love the idea of journaling. So sit down, or you eat and just sit down in your journal for about five minutes. And I'll tell my clients this. I'm like, you're a grown ass man or you're a grown ass woman.

[00:24:34.220] – Allan

If you want to go have a slice of pizza and drink some beer with your friends, you do it. You do it. And sometimes you do it not just because it's taking care of you, but sometimes you're taking care of them. A friend calls me up and says, Look, I'm going through something. Can we go have a couple of beers? My neighbor, I think tonight yeah, he's going to be building something across the street, and we watch over his property because he doesn't live on this island.

[00:24:58.640] – Allan

And he just said, hey, let's have a cookout together. It's my birthday. I want to celebrate my birthday. So what am I going to do? I'm going to go over there. I might have a couple of beers. I'm going to have some cooked food that wouldn't be food I'd necessarily eat. I know tomorrow I'll wake up and. I won't feel 100% because I found out what 100% feels like.

[00:25:17.110] – Deanna


[00:25:18.790] – Allan

Okay. And so when you find out what feeling good feels like, then you know when you're not feeling good. So far, we've probably spent most of our lives feeling terrible and thinking that's normal.

[00:25:29.790] – Deanna

Yeah. And I love everything you're saying. That's the whole picture of life. Right. It's like I could get to the end of my life and be like, man, I was perfect with my eating, and I was perfect with my exercise, but I missed out on beers with my friends or I missed out on wine night or margarita night. That's not balance to me. It sounds so cliche and so simple, but it really is all about balance and being able to live this lifestyle that allows you both, and that's going to look different for everyone. So. Yeah, I love that.

[00:26:01.840] – Allan

Right. And that's why I'm going to ask you this next question. But I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. And one of the reasons I asked that question that way is because I think when someone goes down the diet rabbit hole, they're rejecting happiest.

[00:26:21.050] – Deanna


[00:26:21.710] – Allan

When they think they have to burn off calories so they can eat what they want to eat, they're not paying attention to what fitness really is. It's not about how long or how fast you can go on that elliptical. It's about what your body's capable of doing. And sometimes it's not just being an endurance athlete on the elliptical machine. You got to be able to lift stuff, push stuff, move stuff, move your body so there's a lot more to fitness. So when someone's on that diet culture thing, they're often not paying attention to their fitness and they're not paying attention to their happiness. And nine times out of ten, because of the way they're approaching this with this restrictive approach and everything else is going on, they're not actually even taking care of their health

[00:27:03.640] – Allan

So the things that matter most in life, health, fitness and happiness are completely avoided as a topic in their lives. When they're on this diet. And so I'm going to ask you so folks can get off the diet roller coaster.

[00:27:20.690] – 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?

[00:27:30.270] – Deanna

Okay, first of all, we have something that we call the ideal body. And the ideal body is not your perfect body. It's not societal's ideal, but it's kind of like what you're saying. It's those kind of three things put together. It's your healthiest body that's in perfect harmony with your healthiest mind. It's your physical health, but not at the expense of your mental and emotional health.

[00:27:54.730] – Deanna

So that is kind of our definition of that. And those relationships are good food, body, exercise, and mind. So what was your question again?

[00:28:04.010] – Deanna

Three tactics?

[00:28:04.960] – Allan

Just three strategies or tactics that we can take away that could help us be healthier, more fit, and have more happiness and joy in our lives.

[00:28:14.750] – Deanna

Okay, well, I would say think in terms of addition, not subtraction when it comes to food. Abundance, not scarcity.

[00:28:23.530] – Deanna

Like I mentioned at the beginning, that we have to work with our brain and not put ourselves into that state of scarcity. Because your brain, when you're in scarcity and it can't have sugar, it can't have cake, can't have pizza, there's a process that happens in our brain automatically that starts scanning its environment for pizza and sugar. And that is just how it works. We cannot get away from that as human beings. So don't think about what you can't have. Even I tell this to my diabetic clients, to clients who really need to eat less sugar and really need to eat less cake. Don't look at what you can't have. Start looking and finding the things that you can and stay focused on addition, not subtraction. You're not trying to get rid of anything. You're just looking for nutrient dense foods and trying to get those in and enjoy those.

[00:29:13.090] – Deanna

So addition, not subtraction.

[00:29:15.270] – Deanna

This is going to be more towards happiness, and that's stop thinking of your body as this prize or an outcome. I think that when it comes to happiness, we think that happiness lies at the other end of that weight loss. And so that's why we're like, we'll do whatever it takes, we'll work really hard and then we'll be happy when we get that body. And I've been there, I did that.

[00:29:42.840] – Deanna

I dieted down to what I thought was going to be I had ABS, I had like a six pack. And the body I thought was my dream body, it did not make me happy. It was really shocking. And some people don't believe me when I tell them that. They're like, I'd like to try. But I was actually more insecure than ever. I felt like I was on display. I felt like everyone was watching everything I did.

[00:30:07.250] – Deanna

And it was like a temporary hit of happiness. And then I had to work harder to keep it.

[00:30:16.020] – Deanna

There was so much pressure on me. So get rid of that idea. Just get rid of the idea of achieving something with your body and start thinking in terms of today. How can I take care of my body? Just stop objectifying your body at all. It's not that you don't like it or like it. It's just that this is your body, period. It's your home, you live in it. It's not an object, it's you. And to just practice self care every single day and start thinking, being more present about that.

[00:30:47.970] – Deanna

Third, I think, let's see, all or nothing thinking, I think is probably one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get out of that all or nothing state of mind where I'm either all in and doing it perfectly or I don't try at all. And just find the messy middle where you're taking messy action. We call it half ass action sometimes, like, something just take action, get out of your head, stop overthinking everything and really just find something.

[00:31:17.480] – Deanna

Something that you can do is better than nothing at all. Like doing one workout a week is better than doing no workouts all year. And doing eating a few fruits and vegetables throughout the week is better than eating none at all.

[00:31:30.350] – Allan


[00:31:31.180] – Allan

So Deanna, if someone wanted to get in touch with you and Tony, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:31:36.750] – Deanna

Well, I since you're listening to a podcast, I'm assuming you like podcasts. So the Fitness Position podcast is where Tony and I, we banter, we talk about the healing process and we talk about how we've overcome it ourselves and how we've gone through these very things ourselves. We have a long history with this stuff, but the Ideal Body Formula book my husband Tony wrote and he went into depth. It's our strategy. It's how to heal your relationships. There's an assessment in the book that you can take and find even what your relationship with food, body, exercise and mind is like, and that is at idealbodyformula.com.

[00:32:16.250] – Allan

Okay, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/606 and I'll be sure to have links there. Deanna, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:27.150] – Deanna

Thank you so much for having me. I had a blast.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:30.130] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:32:31.240] – Rachel

Hey, Fitness and Sushi sounds like a really fun podcast.

[00:32:35.870] – Allan

Yeah, if you go back, I was on, I think, September. Her August 30 episode. So the episode that came out last Wednesday, I was on her podcast.

[00:32:46.410] – Rachel


[00:32:47.030] – Allan

She's on mine. So we kind of just swapped back and forth because we have similar messages. In the way that we look at food and movement and things like that, is that the things you do should serve your body, and it shouldn't be strategies and tactics or diets and exercise before you actually start working on the mindset stuff. That's where their whole ideal body concept comes in is this, okay, you're not on a diet. You're eating. You're feeding yourself. And you've got to work on your relationship with food. You got to work on the relationship you have with your body, and you got to work on the relationship that you have with yourself.

[00:33:25.250] – Rachel

Well, I love that she had said you need to find joy in both eating and exercise. And she had mentioned, too, you need to consider what foods serve you. Just like you mentioned. I mean, we're not just eating calories. We're eating foods that we want to enjoy tasting and that do good in our bodies. And it's not that always foods are good and bad. You guys talked about craving broccoli. I don't crave broccoli either on a regular basis.

[00:33:55.130] – Allan

Well, I crave Brussels sprouts, but that's only because I can't get them.

[00:33:59.630] – Allan

Yeah, but I think the thing is if you start understanding what food does for you, it's energy, which is the calories, and you need energy. No one sits there and says, I want less energy.

[00:34:12.610] – Allan

I want less energy. And then no one says that because. They want more energy. But energy comes from food. So if you're eating good quality food. And you're eating the right varieties of it, you're giving your body the nutrition it needs and the energy it needs. And your body turns on. And so there's just opportunity there. I mean, we're going to talk about vitamins next week, but vitamin B12, if you're not eating meat or animal products, you may not be getting enough B12. B12 is a key component to your body producing energy. And where is it going to come from? Mostly animal products.

[00:34:54.020] – Allan

Okay, so when people start looking at foods and label them as good or bad based on what they've read or what they've heard, it just creates this syndrome, this cycle that just self inflicts over and over and over. It's like, oh, I ate a bad thing. Well, I guess I'll start back on Monday. Yeah, well, dude, it's Tuesday. You're going to wait till Monday because you had a cookie today. You're going to destroy the cookies for the rest of the week and start back on Monday. That makes no sense whatsoever.

[00:35:24.230] – Allan

So you got to fix that relationship stuff, because if you don't do that, you end up in these cycles where, oh, I screwed up. I did something bad. I'm a terrible person. And you're just beating yourself up over that.

[00:35:37.930] – Rachel

Right. Well, it's important to find foods that agree with you. There are certain foods I eat that just don't agree with me, but also find foods that are palatable besides the ones that are manufactured to be palatable.

[00:35:51.720] – Allan

Yeah, well, I was at a party. And I should have eaten before I went. I didn't. There was vegetable platter, just the basic broccoli, carrots, and forget what the other one was, but little tomatoes, I guess, and it had the ranch dressing. And so I go over there with a plate, and it's like, okay, there's chicken nuggets. There's all kinds of sweet stuff. And I'm like, okay, well, I guess. I'll go grab some broccoli, and I put it on my plate. No one else was anywhere near this vegetable tray. And so I grabbed some of the broccoli, and I grabbed some of the ranch dressing, and I went over. I'm just eating this, and then I'm still kind of hungry. So I go back to the table, and no one else has touched the broccoli or the carrots. But the broccoli looked good, and I liked what I just ate, so I grabbed more of it.

[00:36:39.950] – Allan

By the end of the night, I had eaten all the broccoli, every last bit of it. No one else had any. There were still a lot of carrots there. I don't know that anyone else ate carrots. I don't know anyone ate people were eating some of the tomatoes. But just at that moment, that wasn't what my body wanted or what I wanted. I just ate broccoli, and I enjoyed it.

[00:36:57.930] – Allan

So it's not that you would crave a vegetable over it. The basic principle was this, if you're going to label broccoli as good and you're going to label a cookie as bad, and that's in your head, then you're going to label yourself based on what you just chose to eat

[00:37:18.720] – Rachel

success or failure.

[00:37:20.320] – Allan


[00:37:21.060] – Allan

And who are you? Who are you? Yeah, I wanted to lose weight, but I ate the cookie bad. okay.

[00:37:29.380] – Allan

And that's what they want to try to get away from, because that's what gets toxic, because someone says, hey, I just baked these cookies I brought into work today. You should have a cookie. Are you literally going to look them in the face and say, no, I'm not eating any of your cookies?

[00:37:48.690] – Allan

have some of the cookie. You don't have to eat the whole one. Just say okay, yeah, I'll try it. And you take a little pinch off and you eat it. And there should be no remorse to that. You're basically doing something kind. You're doing something nice. And if you think, well, I'm being bad, this is bad, then you can't come from a genuine place of love and caring and kindness because you've labeled this whole event as bad.

[00:38:14.020] – Rachel


[00:38:16.510] – Allan

And it shouldn't be.

[00:38:18.140] – Allan

A little bit of this or a little bit of that is not going to derail you. It's not going to kill you. And unfortunately for a lot of people, mentally it does. They let it derail them rather than sit there and say, oh, I don't know how many times when I was in ketosis, I would know. I'd almost know as soon as I got home.

[00:38:35.850] – Allan

I'm like, crap, something's not right. And then I'd check my ketones either then or in the morning, and I'd be out of ketosis and I'll be like, dang, something was in the food.

[00:38:50.170] – Allan

 I didn't know was in the food. And now I'm not in ketosis. Now I could have lost my stuff and said, well, since I'm out of ketosis, I may as well go eat everything in the kitchen that I wouldn't eat otherwise. And I didn't approach it that way. It was like, okay, well, that happened, right? I know next time I'm not getting that. I know it's on their menu. It was delicious.

[00:39:09.700] – Allan

But if I want to stay in ketosis, that's not going to serve that purpose. So I'm not going to have that. I'm choosing not to have that when I go back because I know it will take me out of ketosis.

[00:39:23.270] – Rachel


[00:39:24.160] – Rachel

Well, that's just the point, is that it's just this one meal, this one snack, this one thing. We're on a health journey, hopefully for decades, years. Just one day out of that snapshot of time. It's not that big a deal. And we need to learn how to give ourselves a little grace when these things happen. I mean, I always talk about the holidays when my mom breaks out the delicious Greek cooking, particularly the baklava. You can imagine there's a lot of sugar in the baklava. But it's a celebration. It's a time to enjoy the family traditions. And it's just a moment. I will probably pay for it later, personally, but it's worth it you know, and you just move on. The next day can be a better day.

[00:40:14.130] – Allan

Yeah. And that's really what Deanna and Tony are all about, is just this idea of let's work on our relationship. Let's think about why we feel the way we feel. Why do we put value on a dress size?

[00:40:27.910] – Allan

Why do we change clothes five times in the morning? Because we don't like the way this dress or this thing looks on us, so we're going to change into something else. Why do we do that?

[00:40:37.370] – Allan

Why do we put so much worth in size and weight? And that's kind of the whole point of where they're going with this, is let's just work on being healthy and actually being kind to ourselves. And if we'll do that, if we'll fix the relationship we have with ourselves, the relationship we have with our body, the relationship we have with food, the relationship we have with exercise, if we work on those relationships and we truly think of them as relationships, and every relationship takes investment. And so if you invest the time and effort to build that relationship up, to build yourself up, to understand that your body is what it is, but you can help make it better with some basic work, realize, okay, I'm not going to approach food like there's good food and bad food. I'm just going to ask myself, is this something that's going to serve me and give me the nutrition or not?

[00:41:32.980] – Allan

Is this something I want to build my brain out of? Is this something I want to build bones out of? And occasional cookie is not going to matter.

[00:41:43.750] – Allan

But if I'm eating cookies every day.

[00:41:45.890] – Rachel


[00:41:46.660] – Allan

then it does. So that's a different thing. Basically, I'm okay to put in a little of substandard stuff here and there, but I can't make that the staple. I can't make that the norm. And that's really where they're coming at.

[00:42:00.890] – Rachel

I love it. That was really fun. I imagine their podcast is a lot of fun.

[00:42:04.790] – Allan

Yeah. So I'm going to be a guest on there. If you go over to Fitness and Sushi podcast, well, wherever you listen to this podcast, it's there in the show notes for this episode. I'll probably have a link to their podcast. So you can just go on over to their website. But it's everywhere. You listen to podcasts. And so I'm on their August 30 episode, which was last Wednesday.

[00:42:26.330] – Rachel

Sweet. Can't wait to listen.

[00:42:28.460] – Allan

All right, well, I will talk to you next week.

[00:42:31.040] – Rachel

Thanks, Allan. Take care.

[00:42:32.820] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 29, 2023

9 things to drop from your life today

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

I'm usually a fan of adding good things into your life to crowd out the bad. But I thought I'd go through my top 9 things you should remove as you work on improving your health and fitness. 


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:19.270] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:01:21.390] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:23.420] – Allan

Well, just moving.

[00:01:26.170] – Rachel


[00:01:26.960] – Rachel

Yeah, well, moving. We're going to take a month off.

[00:01:29.420] – Allan

So trying to get a lot done. In fact, we're actually going to do our portion of three different episodes this week, and then we're going to do. Four episodes next week. And so I only have one of those four recorded right now, so it kind of gives you an idea of what it's like to try to get ahead. So we'll have what they call in the can, like seven or eight episodes.

[00:01:51.530] – Allan

Once I leave, I guess seven, and then I'm out. And so the whole month of September, this one is going live on the 29th, so, yeah, I guess it's going live next week. Okay. Yeah, that's how confusing it gets when. You try to get way ahead.

[00:02:08.320] – Allan

But we're still doing the bingo on Facebook. So if you go to the Facebook group, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, or you can just go directly to the bingo sign up page at 40plusfitness.com/bingo, then. You can go and sign up for the bingo. But you are going to need to be in the Facebook group to play bingo because that's where you're going to post your card. And so on your card each day you can do one square, and you want to do a line, an X and a blackout. So get as many of those done in a month as you can at the end of September. Then there's the cut-off, and you have until October 1 to post your card completed card.

[00:02:47.140] – Allan

What you did during September, it is on an honor system, but at the same time, this is an opportunity for you to maybe do some things for your health and fitness that you hadn't considered doing before. So there's some fun tasks and some.

[00:02:59.620] – Allan

That are going to be a little. Bit more challenging around nutrition and fitness but there's 24 squares you got to fill out there's one free in the middle, and so that's 30 days to get 24 squares filled out to get us a blackout. And there are prizes, so if you get a line, there's an opportunity for prizes. If you get an X, there's an opportunity for more prizes. You get a blackout, then you get the best prize pack of all. So there's a reason for you to keep with it and stay consistent. And hopefully this will help you stay a little bit more motivated during the month of September while I'm on vacation.

[00:03:31.890] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. Sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:03:34.240] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:03:35.780] – Rachel

Good. A while back, I mentioned I was tapering for an upcoming race, which was the other weekend, and we had such a fun time. We did a marathon relay. So I had a team of five. I was one of the five. I did my five mile leg, and it was just a super fun weekend. There was a ton of kids out there for cross country teams were doing the relay as well, so it was just a riot, and it was a super fun experience. So I totally recommend if nobody wants to run a full marathon, see if they have a relay, grab a couple of friends, and maybe do some miles together. But it was just a riot.

[00:04:13.810] – Allan

Well, 5 miles for you. That's like a sprint, right?

[00:04:16.160] – Rachel

It is, yeah. It's a good day for me.

[00:04:19.810] – Allan

You get through, and you're like, I should still be running.

[00:04:22.080] – Rachel

Yeah. And it was really for fun. We were not super competitive. Not super competitive about it. But I'm going to just say that my face hurt so much worse than my legs. I was laughing so hard the entire weekend. And although I did race well, I did hit a pretty good time for myself, and my legs were a little sore from racing. My face hurt far worse from laughing so hard. It was just a riot. Fully recommend it.

[00:04:47.310] – Allan

Glad you had a good time.

[00:04:48.410] – Rachel

Yeah. Gosh yeah. Good people. Good times.

[00:04:51.250] – Allan

All right, are you ready to get into today's episode?

[00:04:54.180] – Rachel



Today we're going to discuss nine things that you should drop from your life today. Now, I've never been a huge proponent of trying to eliminate certain things that you do. I'm always a bigger fan of adding things in. I found if you eat real good food and you feel good, you don't want the sugar, you don't want the processed stuff. And so it's kind of one of those things where I'm telling you that these are the things that you want to exclude from your life, but if you can replace them with something healthy.

It's a double win.

So the first one on my list.

And I don't think this should be.

Any surprise to anybody, is smoking and tobacco products. One of the reasons I listed this one first is it is probably the hardest thing for you to stop doing. But beyond that, I've seen firsthand what the cancers associated with smoking and tobacco products do to the human body. I watched my grandfather have bits of his throat and tongue cut out. And I watched my father in law basically drowned in his own blood because he had lung cancer. So this is no joke. Smoking has so many bad things that it does to you. It's something you need to get off of as soon as you possibly can. Try some of the stuff that's out there. The gums, the patches, the I don't know, hypnosis products, anything. Just do what you got to do to get off of that stuff.

The second one on my list is sugar.

And when I'm talking about sugar, I'm not necessarily talking about the sugars that come from natural foods like carrots have.

Some sugar in them. Fruit obviously has sugar in it.

That's typically not the problem. It's the added sugars and they get snuck into just about everything on the shelf. It's really kind of crazy if you start looking at the foods that we eat and you start logging this stuff.

To realize how much sugar is in.

Things just to make them more palatable. So the more you can cut sugar, you're probably going to lose some weight. And if you'll go to fortyplusfitness.com, scroll down a bit, you'll see where I have some challenges. One of those is a sugar challenge. It doesn't cost much, but it's a.

Really good 28 day challenge to help.

You cut down your sugar.

And that's going to have all kinds.

Of health benefits for you.

The next one is related.

It's processed foods.

Most processed foods are engineered to taste.

Good, to make you want more of them, to make you eat more. They're not processed in a way to make them more healthy.

Quite literally, it's the opposite. They want you eating more.

They don't really care about your health.

They may use terms like healthy or whole. All kinds of things, green labels, things like that to make you think that.

A food is healthy for you.

But if it's processed, it's not. And that's just a marketing gimmick. So cut out the processed foods and your health is going to improve considerably.

Sitting for long periods of time is another one.

And most of us are in jobs where we do have to sit for.

Most of the day, but we're still.

Sitting a lot more than we need to. So I'd strongly encourage you to have walk breaks. There's a process of work called the Pomodoro method where you work steady and focused for 25 minutes and then you take a five minute break. My recommendation would be for that five.

Minutes to actually be movement of some sort, get your body moving.

It's going to re energize your brain. It's going to make you more effective. It's going to make things a lot better. You're going to be more productive. But just sitting there for hours and hours and hours is not doing your body any favors. So if you can get up, if you can take a phone call while you're standing, get an adjustable desk. If you can just find ways to be moving a little bit more each day and sitting a little bit less.

The fifth one on my list is negative self taught. Now, I've talked about this topic a.

Good bit over the past five or six months for sure.

And what's happening here is our bodies.

Basically receive food, they receive water and.

Liquids, they receive movement.

What that does for the body and negative thoughts and our environment. And so if you've got negative self.

Talk, you're telling your body you're in.

Trouble, you're telling your body to be unhealthy. It may not seem that way, but negative self talk beats you down and keeps your body from recovering. It keeps your body from doing the things, raises your cortisol, which causes you.

To cut out muscle and to store fat.

And so the negative self talk is something that's very, very damaging to you.

So I'd strongly encourage you to get a journal.

I've said this so many times on the show. Get a journal.

And when you catch yourself doing negative self talk, write about it.

Write about what's going on in your life, why you wrote that statement.

And then as soon as you write.

That statement out, as soon as you think that statement, you write that statement out.

It's your job to refute that.

You're not a bad person. You don't always mess up. You find yourself using those words. You're probably using negative self talk and.

It'S not helping you on your health and fitness journey.

The 6th one is toxic relationships. And I get this is a little.

Touchy, but if you've got people in.

Your life that are making it harder for you to be healthy, they're making.

Your life harder, you don't need that.

That's not helping you. And so if you can end a toxic relationship, it's going to free up space for you to invite somebody else that's much more valuable to you, that's going to be better for you into your life. So try to cut out toxic relationships.

Which leads me to number seven, which is social media.

Social media is the current birthplace of almost all toxic relationships.

Now you get on one of these.

Social media platforms and you write something, someone's going to say something negative, they just are. And then that can escalate into a.

Whole myriad of other things.

So the less time you spend on social media, the better off you're going to be. And the social media that you do consume should be valuable to you. It shouldn't just be out there looking for problems, listening to what other people are having to say about you in your life. Yes, it's cool to share how you're doing, but share it with people that care, you can come to 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com.

Group and join the 40 plus fitness group. And that's a group of people that.

Are going to treat you right. That's a group of people that care about health and fitness. We're all over 40, so this is not kids running around yelling at each other and causing all kinds of grief. There are no anonymous accounts in the group. I approve each and every one that comes in and I will kick them out if they are abusing what we do there.

So avoid social media where you can.

And if you are going to do it, find good places where you can consume things that are valuable to you.


Number eight is alcohol. And I know we've all read it, oh, well, two drinks is actually probably healthy for you. No, that's a doctor doing a study that already has a predefined idea of what they want the outcome to be because they actually just want to go.

Have a drink and feel good about it.

Alcohol does not serve you. It dehydrates you. It does no value when they show you the studies about resveratrol and all.

That stuff, the amount you would have.

To drink to get the dose necessary to get those improvements, if they even happen for humans, because it's really rat studies, it's enormous. You would never be able to drink that much alcohol. And even taking the supplements probably isn't.

Getting you where you want to be. So again, if you're going to drink.

Obviously in moderation, but it's not helping you. And if you're interested in improving your.

Health and fitness, that is one of the things that you should drop. And then number nine is unnecessary medications. Now, if you listened to the show.

Last week, episode 60 Four with Dr. Levy, she wrote the book on that. She's a doctor of pharmacy, and basically she does audits of people who are on various different medications. And as we get older, how we react to different medications changes. So having an audit done or just a review done of what you're taking and trying to figure out if any of those might be unnecessary would be.

A good way for you to cut those back. Every medication has drawbacks. It has side effects. It just does. There's no safe, 100% safe drug out there. So if you're taking them, you're probably.

Then going to have to take other.

Drugs to deal with the side effects of the drugs that you're taking. So if that's the case, try to find another plan. Try to get off of some of them. If you're improving your health, a lot of the medications you're taking might become unnecessary. So if there are unnecessary medications, talk to your doctor, get a professional, get a doctor or a pharmacist to go through the list and see if there's any redundancies things that could probably cut out. There are some reasons for there to be redundancies at time. But for the most part, if you're taking one drug and it's not working for you, you should stop taking it and consider something else if that's what you need. But you got to talk to your doctor and you got to know what you're taking, and you got to have that conversation.

To recap, my list of nine things to drop from your life today,

  1. smoking or tobacco products.
  2. sugar.
  3. processed foods.
  4. sitting for long periods of time.
  5. negative self-talk.
  6. toxic relationships.
  7. social media.
  8. alcohol.
  9. unnecessary medications.

The more of these things you get out of your life, the better you're going to feel, the healthier you're going to be, and you're going to be much more likely to thrive without these things in your life. So if any of these are in your life today, it's worth putting in the work necessary to get them out so you can live a healthy and long.

Post Show/Recap

[00:14:18.850] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:14:19.900] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, you know, like you, I prefer to add things versus drop things. But as I'm listening to you talk about all these things that we should really eliminate from our life, I'm like, yeah, it's a good thing to cut out things like smoking, sugar, sitting. These are all pretty big things that we could maybe stand to reevaluate in our lives. See where we stand.

[00:14:41.040] – Allan

Yeah. And sometimes it is easier to add something, and that makes it that you're going to do less of these other things. Just something to think about. If these things are in your life, they're holding your health back. They just are.

[00:14:53.550] – Rachel

Well, I want to start with sugar right off the bat, and I just mentioned this because a couple years ago, when I was reevaluating my diet, I went towards the keto style of eating, and I was eliminating sugar, and my mind was blown, Alan. I was just shocked at where sugar is in all the foods. It's just hidden. When you think of sugar, at least when I was thinking of sugar, I'm thinking candy bars, pop. That's the easy ones. But there's a lot of sugar in the yogurt we might eat or the creamer I might put in my coffee, or it's even in ketchup. And some other weird things that you wouldn't think about. So taking the minute to look at the labels was super eye-opening.

[00:15:36.590] – Allan

Yeah, I'm preparing. We're going to do it when we get back in October. There's a chili cook-off. And so I'm preparing the chili for 0ur team this year. And so I've been experimenting with the different spices and how to put it together. And one of our teammates, being helpful, wanted to send me a recipe, sort of like, this is the one that'll win. So, yeah, I'm going to do someone else's recipe for my chili cook-off. No, but they all use the canned stuff. This recipe, it called for brown sugar.

[00:16:07.880] – Rachel

Of course.

[00:16:08.650] – Allan

Just throw half a cup of brown sugar in there and everybody's going to love it. And others are throwing in chocolate bars. It was a couple others that threw in sugar. And everything's coming out of a can. Everything that they're putting in there is coming out of a can. I'm like, soak your beans. Yeah, this is not Texas chili, by the way, but soak your beans and then just do mean it.

Yes, it takes a little bit longer to make your own tomato know, it just does. But when you do it, you know what's in it. I'll be able to tell you there's nothing in this. When I get done and I make this thing, there won't be anything out of a can in my chili.

Everything is going to be the raw spices. Everything's going to be the raw vegetables and the meat. And so there's not going to be a bunch of processed stuff or chemicals or sugar in my chili. It'll be something that even if you're keto, you can get past the beans. You can eat it. But it has to be made with hamburger or should be made with hamburger.

What their intent is to make it all fair, and they need beans to kind of bulk that up a little bit. Because just hamburger meat, chili is just okay, but just a little bit of beans to get some fiber and a little bit of bulk in there. But no, it's like you're right if it's in a box bag, jar or can, you need to read the label.

[00:17:29.570] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, yeah.

[00:17:39.970] – Allan

Probably avoid it anyway, but read the. Label first while you're still standing in the store. And then ask yourself, is this something that if I really cared about myself. That I would feed to someone that I care about?

[00:17:39.970] – Rachel

Or is there a better option?

[00:17:41.590] – Allan

Yeah, or is there a better option? There are a lot more of them now. You walk down the aisle and no sugar added peanut butter. Peanut butter should just be peanuts. It really should grind up some peanuts. That's all peanut butter is, is just ground up peanuts. When they start putting sugar and they start pulling out the actual oil from the peanut and putting vegetable oil in. There, you've got to ask the question why.

[00:18:05.240] – Allan

And that's to make it cheaper and to make it more palatable so you'll eat more of it and buy more of it. And again, there's no reason for there to be sugar in peanut butter. But they put it in there.

[00:18:16.270] – Rachel


[00:18:18.600] – Allan

There shouldn't be a no sugar peanut butter. There just shouldn't be sugar in your peanut butter. But we got to read the label. Sugar comes in a lot of different names. If it has an -ose ending, it's probably sugar. And so they'll put different ways to put it in there so they can put it further down the label.

[00:18:36.990] – Allan

High fructose corn syrup is one of the big ones that you'll see, but tt's glucose, it's cane sugar, it's agave nectar. It's all these different things. They're all sugar. And what you want to do then you see all these on the label. They're way down in there. But if there's more than one or two of them now you got to go up there and look at the numbers. Sorry if you don't like numbers, but look up at the numbers and see how many grams of sugar is in this thing. And if it's not fiber, it's mostly sugar.

[00:19:09.230] – Allan

Even if it doesn't say the sugar directly, that's added sugar, it could still be a simple carb that's going to act just like sugar in your body. So you take the total carbs and then you look at the fiber, and that different number is net carbs. And so if you're trying to manage your carbs and manage your sugar, that's where you're going to see it. And then you start looking through the ingredients list. Hint, if there's more than five, put it back. But if they're going to have two or three different types of sugar in it. That's exactly what they're trying to do, is to hide the sugar in this product.

[00:19:42.860] – Allan

So you just don't know how much is in there because they're obligated to put it in order of volume. So ketchup? Yeah, the top ingredient might be water. And then tomatoes and then sugar. And you're like, okay, so the third ingredient in this is sugar.

[00:20:06.000] – Allan

Again, some of the things I see online, I just have to turn it off. I literally just have to say, okay, I'm out. And so that's why I put social media on there, because

[00:20:14.930] – Rachel

That's a good point.

[00:20:14.530] – Allan

There was a woman adding sugar to her Pepsi.

[00:20:15.230] – Rachel


[00:20:15.840] – Allan

Yeah. Her question was, how many spoons or tablespoons of sugar do you put in your Pepsi? There's an individual adding sugar to sugar,water, to make, I guess, more sugary. And I was like, I can't. I just can't. But that's out there. And so people are doing these things. They're filming themselves do it and stop. Just please don't. I went past that post.

[00:20:52.450] – Rachel


[00:20:53.170] – Allan

And I shut my laptop. I was done because I couldn't. But I held my tongue, I held my snap back of how completely unsmart that was.

[00:21:05.960] – Rachel


[00:21:07.030] – Allan

Yeah, but it's out there. It's out there. People are so addicted to sugar. They will put sugar on sugar and it's just stop, please.

[00:21:18.300] – Rachel

That's got to be the worst I think that's probably the worst thing. That's why I wanted to chat about it for a second. I think all the different varieties of sugar and all the myriad of products that we eat every day, it's insidious and it adds up so fast and we just don't realize it until we begin to look. So, yeah, it's important to start paying attention to that.

[00:21:40.510] – Allan

I agree. Sure.

[00:21:41.790] – Rachel

And then the other thing you had mentioned was sitting can't sit for too long. I've heard people say sitting is the new smoking. We've heard that for a few years now, too. And in the running community, I don't think sometimes runners may not realize we go out for our three, four, five mile run in the morning, and then we spend the day at work. We come home and we're tired because we got up early to run, and we spend the evening on the couch watching TV. And like, well, you kind of are undoing all the great work that you just did that morning. And so if you pay attention to your lifestyle, if you spend too much time sitting, it might be time to, again, reevaluate what you're doing in the evenings.

[00:22:22.690] – Allan

And it's really about movement, because this is not you should stand up all day long either, because that has health ramifications. Too I remember because there were a lot of women standing in the pharmacy business. I was in the pharmacy business when I was in college, and they would gave problems with their varicose veins and other issues because they were standing in one place for a long period of time.

[00:22:44.930] – Allan

It's really about movement. So the opposite of sitting is not standing. The opposite of sitting is moving. Okay? Your glutes need to be engaged, which. They are not when you're sitting. And so the opposite is moving. So getting up and walking around, getting up and maybe doing a couple of jumping jacks or some body squats or just something, the opposite is not standing. So if you get one of those adjustable desks, adjust it.

[00:23:10.210] – Allan

I would basically set the timer on. My phone for 30 minutes, and every. 30 minutes, I would adjust my desk. Up or adjust my desk down. Sometimes I would sit on one of the balance balls if what I was working on didn't require me to be worried about this. And I had a wobble board and. All these other things, and people walk in my office, it's like, what in the heck are you doing in here? Looks more like a gym than it does an office. And that was by design.

[00:23:36.100] – Allan

I wanted to be able to move. I had a yoga mat. I have a yoga mat in my office.

[00:23:40.790] – Rachel

So if I feel like I need to move around, I've been sitting for a little while. I can get down on the floor on the yoga mat and do some bird dogs, do some crunches, do some hollow holds, just different things to basically get my body moving and engaged and not just sitting still.

[00:24:00.090] – Rachel

Oh, I think that's important, to find different ways to move throughout the day, and then especially in the evening when we're sitting there watching TV. We always talk about this, too, Allan. When the commercial comes on, get up and go do something for me. I'm doing laundry in the evenings, so when the show ends or something. I can go downstairs, maybe walk up, go back downstairs. I kind of do some chores in the evening just to get stuff done and kill two birds with 1 st, basically.

[00:24:27.750] – Allan

Or try like the Starrettes do: just sit on the floor.

[00:24:32.910] – Rachel

Oh, yeah.

[00:24:42.910] – Allan

You're going to squirm you're going to move around. If you try to sit on the floor and watch TV, you're going to squirm around a little bit. You're going to be moving the whole time because it's kind of uncomfortable to sit on the floor for a long period of time without moving around. When we sit in a chair, we're just in this comfortable, supported place that, there's not a lot of reason, especially on a couch, not a lot of reason for us to do much moving except to reach out and grab your beer, I guess.

[00:25:02.190] – Allan

But it's just getting down on the floor that's going to open up your hips. It's going to make you move around a bit, and then yeah.

Then pop up onto the couch for a little while and then get up. Yeah, walk into the bathroom or walk over to grab your laundry. And you can stand there and fold it while you're watching the television program. And then sit back down if you're still watching. But there's lots of things you can.

[00:25:24.790] – Allan

Do to watch your show wind down. And still get some general movement in it. We're not talking about getting on a treadmill and running for a half hour while you're watching TV. This is just casual, gentle movement, and your body's going to appreciate that.

[00:25:39.920] – Rachel

Oh, absolutely. These are all great things to consider or try and figure out how to eliminate them out of your day to day.

[00:25:47.150] – Allan

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

[00:25:49.680] – Rachel

Sounds great, Allan. Take care.

[00:25:51.280] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:25:52.350] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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