Category Archives for "health"

March 14, 2023

Improve your vein health now with Dr. Mason Mandy

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 581 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Dr. Mason Mandy and I discuss vein health and what you can do to improve it for better overall health.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:33.080] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:36.260] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:38.100] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Good weather, busy season at Lula's. Daughters getting married soon. So we're starting to book that trip. Tammy and I are talking about it because we want to see family. When you have family that's in their upper 70s and 80s and you start saying, Okay, I got to get got to make the point because you can't just say, I'll do it next year. So we're going to stay a little bit longer in May than we thought we would just to get all that in. But we've been talking through how to do that. And I'm a weirdo, but you already knew that. I just prefer to arrive in one location and get a rental car and just hook it on in the car. You can throw your bags in there once and you just go. And it just makes things so much easier, in my opinion. Now, yeah, you do spend more time because you got to drive. But if you think about flying to a location, getting a rental car for a day or two, and then going back to an airport and flying again, actually got to turn in that car and fly again, pick up another car, yeah, it's faster, but there's so many moving parts.

[00:03:55.470] – Allan

So a late plane and I missed this. And now you're not getting into your hotel when you planned on it. And then you got to try to get that done. So there are still a lot of moving parts because I have to get my CPR. The last one I got was online because COVID. I need to get it done in person this time. That would be nice. They might let me get away with another year of online, but I don't live in the state, so I don't have them here. I have to get them when I'm in the state. So this year, going into the states, mine is going to… I think it actually is going to be close to expiring about the time I get there. So I want people to dillydally or get in there and get it done. And so I'm trying to slide that in there. Oh, and there's the wedding.

[00:04:43.700] – Rachel

Yes, the whole reason you're coming up here.

[00:04:45.380] – Allan

I was like, Hey, I could do this on Saturday. What time is that wedding? I was like, You are not. No.

[00:04:53.700] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. What a trip.

[00:04:56.440] – Allan

Yeah. So yeah, we're probably going to be flying into Miami, spend some time with family there, drive up to North Carolina, spend some time with family there, go to the wedding, and then drive on over, I think, to Kentucky, spend some time with family there, and then head back out. Awesome. Yeah, but it'll be a lot of driving, not as much driving as we usually do, and not for nearly as long as we usually would, and not normally when we would. But all those things all considered, we'll make the best of the trip we can and get it all done. But how are things up there?

[00:05:27.980] – Rachel

Good. Today's a good day. We have blue skies today. We're in the thought.

[00:05:33.560] – Allan

The numbers I was seeing about power outages and stuff like that.

[00:05:38.300] – Rachel

Yeah, it was brutal. In fact, there's still a lot of people out of power. We lost it briefly just for a few hours. Thank goodness. But one of my cousins was out for four and a half days. Yeah, it was just brutal. And there's still people that are out and we are expecting another pretty serious weather event happening to be determined whether it's going to be more ice or more snow, but yeah, we're still recouping from that last storm.

[00:06:05.440] – Allan

Do you guys have a generator?

[00:06:07.020] – Rachel

We do. This house has a generator that will run our furnace and we have a well, so it'll run water for us. So it does, it works just fine. It's really funny. We lived in Florida for seven years, Allan, and the first thing we did when we moved there was we bought a generator because it's hurricanes down there. Never once needed to use it in Florida. And up here, we've used the generator, I think, in every house that we've been in since we moved back and several times per year. So yeah, I'm glad we have it.

[00:06:40.560] – Allan

Lula's had a generator, but it's this old little beater, and I don't even know if it worked. I haven't tried to start it. And then I brought one down. I had a Honda that I used for tailgating, but we put it away. I haven't pulled it out. And so the power goes out regularly. Oh, no. At least once a month, we have an unplanned power outage. And then probably about once a month, we have a planned power outage. But I haven't pulled them out. And it's just one of those things you have a whole list of things you really should do. And then you just don't do them because there's other things you'd rather do like watch Netflix or go for a walk or anything else.

[00:07:22.780] – Allan

So yeah, I should really get that generator out and get it serviced.

[00:07:26.390] – Rachel

It could be handy. But if you've never needed it, though.

[00:07:29.380] – Allan

But you do. No, because when the power goes out, we don't have water. We have a pump that pumps the water through our house and without that pressure, there's no water. So we tell people, if we know the power is going to go out, it's like you got one flush and done, so make it matter. But if we don't know the power is going out, that's when it can get a little bit dicey.

[00:07:50.440] – Rachel

Yeah, that could be helpful to have. Yeah, it's good to have one here because same thing in the middle of winter, it's not fun to lose power for an extended period of time. In the summer, we can manage, but it's a little harder in the winter.

[00:08:04.950] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Are you ready to talk about vein health?

[00:08:08.500] – Rachel



[00:08:56.920] – Allan

Dr. Mandy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:00.690] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you. Thank you for having me on.

[00:09:04.160] – Allan

When I was working corporate, I traveled a lot and I spent a lot of time on airplanes. In fact, I did one time did the Newark to Singapore flight, which was over 18 hours. So I spent a lot of time. And so at that point, you're reading a lot about get up and move around, wear these compression socks, do these things because you really don't want this deep vein trombosis. And so I would do the basic stuff when I was on a plane that long, moving around, doing what I needed to. But I guess I never really wrapped my mind around the fact that all of this from the spider veins and Varicose veins that I remember ladies at the lunch line had with all their compression socks to this is really just a continuum, if you will, of the same issue of vein disease.

[00:10:01.440] – Dr. Mandy

That's exactly right. That's the perfect way to put it. It's all a continuum of the same disease. And flying is such a big risk because it's a microcosm of all the risk factors for blood clots, like you mentioned, DVT, as well as vein disease in general. So anytime you're sitting in one place or standing in one place and your blood is not really pumping and moving like it should, it just sits there in the veins and isn't really circulating the way it should be. And so that can lead to blood clots in the deep veins. And it can also lead to a lot of pressure on the veins underneath the skin. And that pressure causes those veins to overstretch and allows blood to actually flow backwards. Normally, blood should only be flowing up in the veins in your legs. But due to a variety of things, being in one position for a long time, having genetic predisposition, having multiple pregnancies, variety of things like that, those veins can be overstretched and that causes blood to flow backwards, which can lead to all the things you discussed earlier, the bulging vericose veins, the pain and symptoms and swelling, and in some cases, severe cases, blood clots as well.

[00:11:14.240] – Allan

Okay, so let's walk through a few of these just so folks know what we're talking about here. So spider veins are what exactly?

[00:11:23.700] – Dr. Mandy

So spider veins are the small… They can be a purple color, light pink color. They're those little tiny, wispy veins right on the surface of your skin. They're usually very small and they usually don't bulge out. So meaning they're just flat underneath the skin, so you can't feel them. And that's the most minor form of vein disease or most minor sign of vein disease.

[00:11:45.040] – Allan

Okay. So those are just a discoloration that you see because the blood is not flowing through those little veins the way it needs to.

[00:11:51.840] – Dr. Mandy

Exactly right. Normally, those veins are so tiny, you'd never be able to see them with the naked eye. But because they've been under a lot of pressure, they're several times bigger than they should be. Even though when we look at them, they appear very small, they actually should be much, much smaller than they are. And so it's all, again, like you said, it's all part of the same process. So those veins overstretch and becoming bigger than they should be.

[00:12:13.040] – Allan

Now, Varicose veins, they actually are a little bit worse because they're bigger and a lot of people suffer from pain from these. Can you talk a little bit about what Varicose veins are? Exactly.

[00:12:23.570] – Dr. Mandy

So Varicose veins, typically are those big bulging veins that you see some people have. Maybe you mentioned your grandparents. So you could see them bulging out. They could be very large like that. They don't necessarily have to be that dramatic, though. Any vein that bulges out from the surface of the skin is a Varicose vein. So sometimes they're actually quite small, and they're those giant ropey looking veins. But if they bulge out and you can feel the vein when you rub your hands over the surface of the skin, that's a Varicose vein. And those can be more dangerous because those can lead to bleeding. Sometimes the bleeding spontaneously, or in worst case scenario, they'll actually clot and those can lead to TBTs and other problems associated with that.

[00:13:09.050] – Allan

Okay. Now, chronic venous insufficiency is the next stage along this continuum. Can you get a little bit into what that is? Right.

[00:13:17.290] – Dr. Mandy

So chronic venous insufficiency is where the big, we call the trunkle veins underneath the skin, have become too large and the little valves that pump the blood up the leg against gravity have become broken. And so instead of keeping the blood moving up, a lot of it is going backwards. And that ultimately is what causes Varicose veins in many of the spider veins you see. The root is really those bigger veins deeper inside the skin that you can't see that are allowing blood to back up into those Varicose veins and spider veins. So one way to think of an analogy I tell a lot of the patients that we see is the big veins that are deeper are like the trunk of the tree. We literally call them trunk of veins because they're like the trunk of the tree. And then those bulging varicose veins are like big branches on the tree. And then the little spider veins are like little leaves on the tree. And so the trunk is where the problem is. So when the trunk goes bad, blood just backs up into the branches and the leaves. And that's what causes all the visible veins and those big varicose veins that you can see.

[00:14:20.120] – Allan

Okay. And then, like I said, when I was on an airplane, you can get into this pretty quickly versus over a series of years, but you could still get there. Deep vein thrombosis is actually now we're starting to get into some really dangerous stuff here. Exactly right.

[00:14:36.320] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So like you said, that can happen for a variety of reasons. It can be, in your case, your example of being on an airplane, that's where you can get a little dehydrated on a plane, the blood just sits in those veins. And anytime the blood sits and doesn't move, it can clot. What keeps the blood from just clotting throughout your body? Part of it is the motion of the blood constantly moving. And so if it's sitting in one place, there's a much bigger risk of it clotting. So an 18 hour flight from Newark to Singapore, where you're not doing a lot of moving, you're just sitting in one place, that blood is not really moving effectively. And that's why people can get clots on airplanes.

[00:15:14.040] – Allan

And it's not really… I mean, it is the clot in the leg, but it's the clot that moves that's the dangerous one. And that causes a thing called pulmonary embolism. Can you talk about what's going on there?

[00:15:25.780] – Dr. Mandy

That's exactly right. So blood clots in the legs themselves can be painful and can cause swelling and all those things. But the really feared complication of that is an emboli, which is where part of that blood clot or embolism, which is where part of that blood clot breaks off from the leg and travels up the veins in your body to your heart and ultimately your lungs. That can cause anything from shortness of breath. Sometimes people don't even notice them. Worst case scenario, they can be life threatening and be a true surgical emergency. So those are extreme cases. That doesn't happen with most people, but it can. And it can and does happen occasionally.

[00:16:02.200] – Allan

Now, we talked a little bit about being on an airplane in the period of time that you're sitting still, and you talked a little bit about dehydration, but what are some things that we might be doing to ourselves that are causing a higher risk of these complications happening to us?

[00:16:18.680] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So any sedentary lifestyle, especially over a period of years. So any prolonged sitting, especially obesity, certainly smoking, those are all major risk factors for BVT. And the reason is they all injure the lining of the veins, and that can lead to clot formation and things like that. So being active, getting up and walking, moving, and being able to prevents clots. Obviously, maintaining a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and being physical and not being overweight, all that helps prevent blood clots as well. And certainly avoiding smoking. So there are some things that are just genetic and can't be really prevented, but those are some major risk factors that can be prevented.

[00:17:05.760] – Allan

So for a lot of us, if we start seeing more of that little outward signs like the spider veins or the Varicose veins, that could very much be an indicator that we want to go get checked out and make sure this isn't something worse.

[00:17:20.150] – Dr. Mandy

Absolutely. Yeah. Especially Varicose veins, but spider veins as well can be a sign of wors vein disease, especially if they're around the feet. If you see a sudden increase in the number of small veins around the feet and the ankle, that can be a sign of pretty significant vein disease.

[00:17:37.010] – Allan

Okay. So if we notice some of that, we're going to come in to one of your clinics, the Metro Vein centers. What's going to happen and what are some of the treatments that would potentially be available to us, given where we are in this continuum?

[00:17:50.500] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So the first thing we do is I talk to everybody who comes in, we go through their symptoms and the problems that they're having, and we do a thorough look at what could be causing these. And then the objective test that we do is an ultrasound of the legs. So an ultrasound is very similar to when pregnant women have an ultrasound of their abdomen to look at the fetus and the growing baby. We do the same thing just on the legs. And what we look for when we look at the veins is the size of the veins as well as the direction of the blood flow. So the veins should be fairly small, only one, two, maybe three millimeters at the largest, and the blood should only be flowing up. But in the disease veins, the veins can be many times bigger than that, and the direction of the flow is actually backwards. And when those two things are there, the veins being too large and the blood flowing backwards, we know there's a disease and that needs to be treated.

[00:18:44.480] – Allan

What are some of the treatments that we could go through to make sure that just to fix it? Obviously, I'm always going to be a proponent of lifestyle, but sometimes our lifestyle can't reverse this. So what are some of the treatment options that would be available?

[00:18:55.760] – Dr. Mandy

Well, thankfully. The treatment is usually very easy. So it used to be in the past, there was a major surgery to treat these veins called vein stripping and some similar type procedures. And those oftentimes while staying in the hospital, major cuts on the leg can be very painful, high blood loss. And now we treat them in the office, usually takes 10 minutes or less to treat one vein. There's no cutting, no stitches, no surgery. People usually walk in and out on their own, go back to work a lot of times. And there are different types of treatments we can do based on where the vein is, how big it is, what the patient's goals are. And one of those is injecting a medicine into the vein, which causes the vein to shrink. Another one is called radio frequency ablation, where we use radio frequency, not radiation, but radio frequency to shrink the vein. And another one is where we inject a medicine that seals the vein called VenaSeal. And the goal of that is to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. But they're all very quick, easy procedures that insurance pays for.

[00:20:01.440] – Allan

And you want to basically, as soon as you start noticing some of the outward signs of this, you want to get in as quickly as you can, right?

[00:20:08.180] – Dr. Mandy

Exactly right. Unfortunately, veins only get worse over time. So once they go bad, there's nothing you can really do in terms of lifestyle or behavioral changes or medication that's going to reverse that. So all you can do is treat the veins to prevent that backflow of blood. And that's what we do in our office. So it's good to maintain a healthy lifestyle and do all those things. But once the veins go bad, they only get worse over time.

[00:20:33.270] – Allan

Still going to encourage you to quit smoking if you're doing that. And I'm going to encourage you to move around because that's still good for you to do. But then yeah, get in and see a specialist on this. Now, your clinics are located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Michigan. Last time I checked, you're still in those places, right?

[00:20:52.900] – Dr. Mandy

We're still in those places and we're continuing to look for new locations as well. So hopefully in the future, we'll be expanding beyond that.

[00:21:00.980] – Allan

Yeah, we're down here in Panama if you're looking for a satellite office.

[00:21:05.390] – Dr. Mandy

Sounds good to me. Yeah. Looking out my window in 25 degree weather, Panama sounds really nice.

[00:21:11.690] – Allan

It was 25 today Celsius.

[00:21:18.170] – Allan

Dr. Mandy, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the Metro vein centers and all that you do there, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:21:27.100] – Dr. Mandy

Well, they can visit our website at metroveincenters.com, and we have a wealth of information on there. It gives the locations of our offices how to contact us, but also just a lot of good information on vein disease. We try to make it as user friendly as possible. And I think people would get a lot of valuable information from that. You can also follow us on social media or on Instagram and TikTok and all those things. So we try to provide information on things on that as well.

[00:21:55.120] – Allan

I learned quite a bit reading your blog, so I do appreciate the information and the time you took to put that out there because it is very clear and easy to follow and understand what these are and how they relate to our health and fitness. And again, it can seem like it's just an unsightly thing, but when it gives you an idea that it's a bigger thing than that, you've got to take a moment and figure it out. And I'm glad you guys are out there helping provide this information and the treatments.

[00:22:25.360] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you. Yeah, it affects a lot of people. Some people estimate 20 to 30% of people in the United States. And it's one of those things, even when I went to medical school, a lot of my professors would say, it's just people get older, they get veins. And like glue it off is not a really important problem. But it is an important problem and it can cause significant lifestyle disabilities in terms of being able to exercise and enjoy normal walks in the park, even because of the heaviness and discomfort. And so thankfully, we can help treat that now very easily. And so that's not something you just have to live with. Just because you see some big veins, we can take care of all those things.

[00:23:04.620] – Allan

Well, Dr. Mandy, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:23:08.840] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you very much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Post Show/Recap

[00:23:21.420] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:23:22.660] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. It's been a really long time since I even gave any thought to vein health, Varicose veins, or any of those things. I remember my grandparents used to have problems. I said, I think it was the Varicose veins that were very painful for them, and so they would go to the doctor and have them treated. But yeah, it's just something that hadn't been on my radar for a long time. But it's pretty important.

[00:23:48.140] – Allan

Yeah. And growing up, there's the different types of jobs I had. I worked in a library, so a lot of the librarians would have them. And I worked in a pharmacy. And so the pharmacists and clerks that work that were on their feet all day, every day, they would have them. And then, of course, then I got into travel and I'm on an airplane for up to 18 hours or more. And you just know you've got to do some things to take care of yourself. So I have the compression socks. I made a point of getting them. I was trying to stay hydrated, all those different things. But if you start to notice that you have problems, this is the one thing I didn't know before I got into this, this is progressive. If you start noticing a problem, it could be indicative of something worse happening later. So it's worth going in and getting it looked at just to make sure there's no long term problems. You can get it treated. You can start making some lifestyle changes, and that's definitely going to help.

[00:24:48.740] – Rachel

Yeah, my goodness. I didn't realize the extent of how dangerous it could be to have the veins and to pay attention when they do show up, those little tiny ones before they get into the bigger vericose or the deep vein thrombosis. That's pretty serious stuff.

[00:25:06.110] – Allan

Yeah. It doesn't happen that often. So it's not like people are just all over the place. But just something to be aware of, if you have Varicose veins or you have the spider veins and you're going to go on a long trip, do the self care. If you can talk to a doctor first just to make sure I've got these condition, how am I going to do with this trip? Because we don't take international travel on just a whim. You usually have some time and that you know it's going to happen. So it's worth it. You can go in and see a doctor, see if you can get it treated or at least know what preventative care. I still own my compression socks. I don't know that I'll ever need them to go because I think the longest flight we even take out of here is four hours. So I don't know that I'll need them again like I did when I was traveling all the time. But I had them. And so it's like, just take precautions if you think you're going to put yourself at risk because it can be pretty serious.

[00:26:05.570] – Rachel

Yeah. Interesting. It was really interesting to hear that and to be reminded. Good interview.

[00:26:10.970] – Allan

It is something I haven't talked about. And I just thought, I know this was a health problem that I knew older people got. And Tammy's mother has some leg vein problems. So it is something that you just… It's out there. It's just not super common. But enough so that if you start noticing you have a problem, go get it fixed.

[00:26:34.160] – Rachel

Yeah, that sounds good.

[00:26:36.320] – Allan

All right, talk to you next week.

[00:26:37.780] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:26:39.040] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:26:40.050] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 28, 2023

How to work smarter not harder with Dave Asprey

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Dave Asprey is the father of biohacking. He's made a career out of finding the easiest way to get healthy and fit. On episode 579 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book, Smarter Not Harder.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:45.300] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:48.610] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:50.780] – Allan

Well, we're right into the prime season for Bocas. Our season's kicking up, and so we got a lot of people coming in for that. And then we're going into a part of the year called Carnival. Many people in the United States will think of it as Mardi Gras. So you'll hear Mardi Gras on the fat Tuesday. It's a big, big, big holiday here in Panama. So it's massive. And I think this year is going to be another big one because we slowed it down with COVID. They basically canceled everything here for two years for COVID, and last year they had it. And this year, I think it's blown up a little bit because they're just pent up thing. So we're going to have carnival is rolling up in the middle of February. So this episode will probably already be live by the time that happens. But we're in a really busy season and being on a hospitality industry with Lula's is kicking. We're full most nights and training out and different guests. And so we've had some really good times, really good guests. And then, of course, I'm planning the retreat. So I'm going through that process of getting that all organized and be hosted at Lula's.

[00:03:59.600] – Allan

So if you're interested, go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And if there are any slots left, then you can go check it out. Got six slots for the VIP and the VIPs get to stay at Lula's. And then I have 24 slots open for the general attendees. And it's a real good opportunity. It's a fitness retreat. So the purpose of this is for you to do a little bit of movement and enjoy some of what is available here in Bocas. But beyond that is basically for you to build a plan that's specific for you, where you want to go with your fitness, what does it look like? And we're going to do all of that thought exercise. And then literally, you'll leave here with a program. You say, this is what my gym looks like. This is what I have available to me. This is what I'm willing to do. And so when you leave here, you basically have the next six months of your plan completely mapped out to take your fitness to the next level. And that's what the objective is for this is if you're tired of where you are right now and you're struggling with your fitness, this is going to be your opportunity to figure it out and have a plan and literally leave here and know that by the end of 2023, you're going to be as fit as you can possibly be.

[00:05:17.190] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:05:19.020] – Allan

So how are things up there?

[00:05:20.630] – Rachel

Good, really good. I just went for my annual physical this week. Donated some blood today to have the insides checked out. So my doctor says I'm doing well and healthy. So now we'll see what the blood work says when it comes back. Good.

[00:05:34.610] – Allan

I'm about to go through that myself. I've got a little bit done. It's a funny thing. You're trying to set an appointment. And February and March, of course, with February just having 28 days, it creates this dynamic of looking at dates and getting them wrong. We had a guest that actually did that. We were looking to check him in yesterday, and we messaged him. He finally gets on the email and finds it and says, Oh, this was supposed to be in March. Oops, I made a mistake. And so you're like, oh. But my physician did the same. Their office did the same thing. I set up the appointment. And I had originally said I want it the first week of March. They came back and said, We can do the 13th. I'm like, okay, cool. And I said, Just let me know what time. And then they sent me the message and had a lot of words and it's all in Spanish. And so I read it, but I didn't read it. Read it. And so I just saw, okay, 13th, Monday, 1 PM. I'm like, Cool. And I got to get up now. I'm more focused on I got to get some blood test done before I go because they want the results before I meet with the doctor.

[00:06:36.840] – Allan

And so they gave me some numbers. I'm looking for ways I can get that done. And then again, for us yesterday, the 13th, they send me the message and say, Okay, your appointment is this afternoon. I'm like, no. Then I go back and look at it and realize I didn't read their message clearly enough. And obviously they didn't read my message clearly enough when I said I needed it in March. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, we're going to try to get that all sorted out. They were like, Okay, no problem. Reset your appointment and we'll go forward. They didn't want to send it early. I don't know. It's weird. But they said, Wait, make sure it's more than five days. But sometime… So I'm just wait a week or two and book my appointment for March.

[00:07:18.890] – Rachel

Well, good. I'm glad you're going. Annual physicals are so important. And it's good to get this annual blood work, watch that baseline. And I'm glad you're going.

[00:07:27.260] – Allan

And the screening is important. I think that's one thing is if you're waiting for the symptoms, then you're waiting for illness. And so by doing the screenings, getting yourself out there, you're going to learn earlier, know better, and be in a better place. Appreciate that you went and get your checkup. I'm going to get some of mine done. In fact, I got to get out here in a minute and look for the type of doctor that does the poop shoot.

[00:07:53.090] – Rachel


[00:07:55.800] – Allan

Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and get that done. Only because, again, I'm traveling to David and I want to make the trip worth it because it's a boat and a bus and then hotel and all that. So it's like, okay, if I'm going to go there on the third, hopefully, I guess the 13th. And it's like, okay, then the next day go in and get this other one done.

[00:08:15.980] – Rachel

Perfect. Yeah.

[00:08:16.310] – Allan

So it's the whole, was my insurance covered? Although I've got this high level high deductible program here, I was like, does it cover it or not? And then, okay, what does that mean? Because I'm not going to hit the deductible with these tests. But yeah. So I'm going to be paying for it. I'm going to be paying for it. But at the same time, it's like go against the deductible. So if something happens and it's there. But at any rate, yeah, I'm in that mode too.

[00:08:42.370] – Rachel

Good. Glad to hear it.

[00:08:45.260] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to have this conversation with Dave Asprey?

[00:08:49.150] – Rachel



[00:09:46.930] – Allan

Dave, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:49.580] – Dave

I am so happy to be here for you, Allan.

[00:09:52.700] – Allan

Now, your book is called Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker's Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want. And I got two things to say. First off is you under promise and over delivered because I think a lot of the things that are in this book are, yes, they're going to improve your body. And there are a lot of things in this book that are going to improve your mind. But there is so much in this book that if you take it serious and you pay attention, it's going to change your life.

[00:10:22.260] – Dave

It's not worth the time and it takes to write a book if it doesn't have that level of value. It's thousands of hours of work to put together a book like this and lots of late nights. And it's not a profitable thing to do to write a book like this. I'm CEO of multiple companies. I built a hundred million dollar company. And so I read these books and I'm like, man, if I write this, my crystallized knowledge from this is going to be so good for me. And when someone reads it, they're going to get at least 100 hours of time back. Then it's worth it. Otherwise, I have other stuff to do and I'm lazy. I don't want to do more work than is necessary.

[00:10:59.800] – Allan

And we all are. And we'll get into that in a minute. I think the other thing is, and I've said this before on this podcast, I've been doing this for seven years is I've had a little bit of a problem with the term biohacker. And it's only going back from the beginning of when I was trying to figure this stuff out, and people are just throwing these things out there, seeing if they stick. And so it was like, okay, consistency matters and understanding your body and how it responds to stimulus matters and recovery matters and sleep matters. And so there are things you can do, little things that can make that better. And so I've always understood, yes, we're going to have the tricks and tips that work for us, and then some that we just have to discard because they're not right for us. In the beginning, when I first started trying to figure this stuff out, though, there seemed to be more hacks in the biohacker space than there were the people who actually took the time to read the science, fundamentally understand it, and then apply it in a reasonable, measured way to make sure that the results were what they were.

[00:12:09.440] – Allan

And that's one of the things I can say that I appreciate about you is that you didn't just throw things against the wall and see if they stick. You figured out why something was working or not working for yourself, I think, at one point. And then this is probably so old, you're like, oh, that's not even a big number anymore. But you'd spent 300… I remember you saying on your podcast, I've spent over $300,000 figuring out what works for me.

[00:12:34.760] – Dave

That was just the very beginning when I started. That's what it took me to get back to baseline. Since then, it's probably around two million dollars I've spent on upgrading my biology and all the different ways I do it.

[00:12:44.640] – Allan

And that's what I'm saying.

[00:12:46.140] – Dave

I don't regret that.

[00:12:47.520] – Allan

You make these investments, but you don't just sit there and say, Well, I'm going to try this stem cell thing, or I'm going to try this CRISPR thing. And you literally do the research and say, Okay, what's the likelihood? What's this going to do? How's this going to work? And I think, again, that just changes. It changed me. It changed the way I think about biohacking. And I would say, from the perspective of reading this, particularly this book, I wouldn't even call this so much biohacking. It's a new thing, and it's scientific application of a principle. And so I think the backing of all this is that as I read this book, I'm like, These are more than biohacks in many cases. These are just really sensible, real things that you can do to improve your life. And some of them are not mainstream right now, but they will be.

[00:13:38.970] – Dave

They will be.

[00:13:40.080] – Allan

And things that weren't mainstream 15 years ago are. And there's not many people out there that haven't at least heard the term bulletproof coffee and the whole thing of putting fat in your coffee and how Keto can help power your brain better.

[00:13:55.310] – Allan

So the things that were they were cutting edge then, they're now mainstream. Things that are in this book. Some of them are on that edge, but they're going to be mainstream because you've done your homework. And that's one of the things I appreciate about this book.

[00:14:09.480] – Dave

Beautiful. Thank you. I do have a track record of in my books writing about stuff that when you know how stuff works with a good model, you can predict how things ought to work. And then you can say, I'm going to try what ought to work. And if it does work, then you can propose the theory, you can show the hack and say this ought to work for you, but there's no guarantee. Give it a try because the risk is low and the reward is high. And that's how I structure my books. And I say, well, let's assume this is real. What's an example you could do at home? What's an example that you could do that you'll spend a little bit of money on? And what's an example that a crazy billionaires is doing right now that takes advantage of this new idea in the world? And there were two new big ideas that made smarter, not harder, worth writing about, or I guess maybe it's even three. But one of the most important is what I call slope of the curve biology, which is not a sexy name. As a marketing guy, I probably could have done better.

[00:15:05.950] – Dave

I was going to call it the spike, but they didn't like that.

[00:15:10.260] – Dave

So what it is is the idea that your body is an automated part. I call it the meat operating system in the book. The thing that's running your body when you're not looking, all the little stuff you wouldn't pay attention to anyway. Well, it doesn't respond to the volume of work you do. It responds to the rate that you increase the work and very importantly, the rate that you return back to baseline. So if you wanted to make your body change quickly, you would do something that takes it right to the edge almost instantly and then meditate right away and have a sudden spike. And when that happens, the body gets a signal that's something like this. A tiger almost caught me, but now I'm safe. Since I have enough nutrients, I have enough energy, and I'm not stressed right now, let me just upgrade my capabilities in case that happens again. But because we believe without any evidence that doing a bigger volume of work is going to make us somehow stronger, we do the sprint and then we run at half of our capacity for 30 minutes. And the stupid body goes, Oh, man, the tiger almost caught me. got us, but it's still hunting us because we keep running.

[00:16:18.470] – Dave

Therefore, why would I ever adapt? I need to put all my resources into making sure that I run some more. And we think, What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. The reality is that sending a brief signal into your body and then allowing the body to respond by adapting makes you stronger. And it's a lot less work than the what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger vibe.

[00:16:41.060] – Allan

Yeah. And that's, I think, one of the cores that runs this book, the curve, yes. And I was a physics major at one point, so definitely understand the curve being the way we think about most things in science.

[00:16:53.250] – Dave

It's the derivative, not the integral of the math people of us.

[00:16:57.050] – Allan

Yeah. But you have this thing in the book and it's called the laziness principle. And I think when I started reading it, I'm like, Okay, well, yeah, but this is not a mental laziness where you're just saying, I really just don't want to work out. The reality is your body doesn't want to work out. Your body doesn't want to expend energy. Your body just basically wants you to do everything to get by just enough because that makes it very easy for it to hold, Homostasious and survive. And it's kept us alive all the times that we've been humans and even before is this principle of maintaining a lazy attitude towards everything.

[00:17:40.160] – Dave

In fact, if you look at that, a famine could come at any time, so why burn one more calorie than necessary? And that's why the body makes the couch look sexy and the gym look horrible. And everyone who says, Oh, I thought about being lazy. No, you didn't. Your body felt lazy and you made up a thought to match the feeling. You actually aren't lazy. Your meat is lazy. Your cognitive part of you, the conscious rational part of you, the human part of you, wants to work it out. In fact, it wants to want to work out. And then you feel guilt and shame because you don't automatically want to work out. How could I have this feeling that I don't want to work out? It's because your body is smart and it doesn't want you to start to death and it's trying to keep you alive. So you can use willpower to overcome the body's natural impulse, or you could use another trick, and that's what's behind the laziness principle. It's actually a motivational trick. And what it is is to understand what marketing companies have known for years. It's that your body cares more about saving than spending.

[00:18:39.180] – Dave

And that's why if you've ever had someone come back from a shopping trip and say, I saved $100 on a pair of shoes, honey. And they say, Yeah, but how much were they? Well, they were $200. Okay, so you spent $200. No, I saved $100. Why did the $100 feel more important than the $200? We know it wasn't, but we feel it is. That's why coupons work so effectively on people because savings feels bigger than spending. So what I teach you to do throughout Smart or Not Harders, hey, pick one of the five big goals people have in their health and then use one of the techniques based on slope of the curve biology that are in the book. And when you do that, here's how much time you're going to save. Instead of motivating yourself, I'm going to do five minutes of cardio, you go, I'm going to save 40 minutes of cardio. I will go out of my way to save 40 minutes of sweating with someone and spend excelling at me. But I won't go out of my way to spend five minutes doing cardio. Even though it's a lot less work, it's still work.

[00:19:35.790] – Dave

And I'm just not attracted to work. I'm just attracted to results with no cost. And so are you. And that's okay. In fact, that is the sacred part of being human. Do you think we ever would have invented airplanes if we weren't lazy? It was a lot of work to walk there. So first we figured out, let's ride a horse and let's make a train. Let's make a car. It's still not fast enough and we're still too lazy. Let's build airplanes. And pretty soon we'll probably teleport because we're lazy. That's how we work.

[00:20:02.390] – Allan

Yeah. One of the ways I like to think of it is you can wrap your mind around fear of missing out and just how that… What am I going to miss? And so you're more focused on that than the thing that's in front of you of what you could have. And so we'll drift back to that laziness to save the energy. But when it comes to missing something, we're going to turn on a little bit. And like you said, take the time off. This is why when we hear that hit training is valuable and it sounds cool, but we still have to do a little bit of work. We got to get up, like you said, we got to get up to that line. And it's a high line, so there's a lot of effort, but it's a short period of time. And so I think that's where the juxtaposition is, is to understand how this is going to be energy saving so that your body and you are in job. Because like you said, the cerebral part of my brain tells me, I okay, I should probably be working out longer than seven minutes.

[00:21:04.980] – Dave

It's funny because if you're doing standard high intensity interval training, I was a very early voice in that movement about 10 years ago. And it's just better than doing long cardio. But it still sucks. You got to get on the travel and go to the park and kick your ass for a whole minute. And then you're really hurting and then you slow down and then you do it again and it works better. But it takes 15, 20 minutes and you're cooked when you're done. It's not that pleasant. So imagine my surprise when the idea of Re Hit came out. And this is one of the things that says, oh, there's unique signals you can send it into your operating system in your body that cause it to adapt rapidly. They're literally what a computer hacker like me by training would do. Oh, look, there's an opening in the system. We can exploit that vulnerability. And what it turns out for the body is that even better performing in high intensity interval training is a five minute protocol that takes 20 seconds of hard work. And it works better than a 10 minute protocol with 40 seconds.

[00:22:11.040] – Dave

You actually get worse results if you do it longer. What the heck? And that's because it's getting exactly the right signal in and then having the peace and freedom and energy to make the change versus it's selling beyond the clothes. You ever have someone do that? Okay, I'll buy it. And they keep telling you how good it is until you finally just walk away because you're just had enough and you don't even buy it. Well, when we do high intensive interval training or even worse, we just hop on a cardio bike and do valleys, what we're doing is the body is like, I got the signal and you're like, you will listen again. And you just do it over and over and over. And finally the body is like, I'm too tired to change. Screw off, and then it won't do it. But I'm a good person. I sweat it all over myself. I can wring my shirt out. I worked hard. I should be rewarded for working hard. No, you get rewarded for getting a signal in and then making the body change. That's the smarter side. The harder side is just what you think works better.

[00:23:05.090] – Dave

The harder side is masochism, and it's guilt and shame taught by a culture of people shaming each other for naturally being lazy. Screw that noise. I am lazier than you, and that is why I have ideally five New York Times bestsellers and a giant podcast and all these companies because I didn't want to do any work. Each of these companies solves a problem for me and many other people. And the problems are all derived from I don't want to do that. It's too hard. Let's make it easier. It does not build soft humans. It builds very powerful humans when you solve problems. It also can build soft humans because if everything is easy and you never have to work hard on anything, you don't adapt and improve. My understanding of reality is that when humans have all their electricity working, they will choose to do hard things or painful things because it's worth it. And it's totally true. You can have a soft world. The invention and the things that I'm creating and that many people create, they make life easier so you can grow and evolve. It's also false to have an easy life so you never do anything. Those are different things.

[00:24:10.520] – Allan

Yeah. So our body wants us to be lazy, and that's about conserving energy. So again, we can survive during the famines and this and that. Now, you in the book share, like, this is this overriding line of how the whole book is structured, is the six steps of energy success. Could you walk through that a little bit to help us understand these stages? Because I looked at them as stages of do this first, because if you don't do this, you skip forward, your results aren't going to be quite as good as they would otherwise be. But can you walk us through some of those? Because I think that's really important.

[00:24:47.520] – Dave

You're going to have to give me a second. I don't have the book.

[00:24:52.160] – Allan

That's cool. I'll walk you through that. Okay. The first one is…

[00:24:54.440] – Dave

If you walk me through them, it's funny because there's a structure of the book that I have memorized, and that's a tool for educating about one of them, but that's not something I typically run through. So walk me through them and I'll explain each one for you. That's really helpful.

[00:25:05.440] – Allan

So the first one is about removing friction.

[00:25:08.160] – Dave

I thought that was going to be it. Yeah. All right. If you believe that suffering and struggling makes you stronger, you should drive around with the brakes and the accelerator on all the time because it's harder. And we're actually doing that all the time. So the easiest way to do things smarter, not harder is to say, What are the things I'm doing that are creating friction in my life and stop doing those? It's just a lot easier to do that than it is to give your car more horsepower to overcome the fact your brakes are on. And we don't think of it this way. Most people, especially performance oriented in a type A people like I've been, well, I'm just going to work out more. I'm going to do the hard thing. But that's not smart. But what's smart is look at for where you're causing slowness. And it could be you didn't put the right raw materials in there, or it could be that there are areas where you're leaking energy or using it in ways that don't make sense. And that's when you stop those. And magically, you can double your performance just from doing that.

[00:26:10.210] – Allan

Yeah. The second one was about loading up on raw materials. And I want to dive into this one because I think in my mind, this is where we get a lot of bad advice. But can you talk a little bit about raw materials?

[00:26:22.440] – Dave

I've written a best selling diet book that's helped people lose two million pounds. And I've written an antiaging book with some food in it. I've written a fasting book. So I feel like I always write something different about food, but I've written enough about food. So this isn't about food per se. It's about making sure that you have a couple of nutrients that are missing from the world of biohacking and that are affecting everyone. So what I'm looking for is what is the smallest thing you could do that affects the most systems in the body? And there's only two supplements that are the focus for this part of the book. They're foundational and they're not even sexy. One of them is minerals. Right now, the food we eat doesn't have minerals in it because we've been destroying our soil with glyphosate and with industrial agriculture. So the minerals just aren't there or they're not available for plants. And then you eat the plants, the plants themselves lock up their minerals. So even though the minerals are in the plant, you can't get the minerals. And that's actually one of the sources of friction in the book.

[00:27:22.240] – Dave

So if you can believe that you're eating foods that pull minerals out of your body and you're not getting minerals from the food, if you restore minerals in the body, you can make electricity better, you can fold proteins better, and every bio hack, every exercise, every thought works better when you have the raw materials there. So you need your macrominerals, a mineral supplement, and then you need trace minerals. And that's why my newest coffee brand, which is called Danger Coffee and dangercoffee.com, it's actually full of trace minerals that we add back in. So when you drink the coffee, you get trace minerals and electrolytes to bring minerals back into your cells. On top of that, most people by now who've listened to my content or yours or many others have heard that vitamin D3 is good for you. And it is. In fact, during the last three years of government insanity where they never once talked about the fact that it reduces your chances of getting respiratory infections from any source by 20%.

[00:28:17.930] – Dave

I guess they overlooked the 100 plus papers that said that, but they were pretty scared and doing other things. So anyway, we know it's good for us. But a lot of people don't know that it's good for us because it helps to drive calcium into cells. It does many other things as well. But it's partners, vitamin K2, which keeps the calcium in the cells so that you don't get calcified arteries, and vitamin A that escorts other minerals into the cells, and vitamin E that also even affects iodine levels. If you were you take your vitamin DAKE, which is what I call it in the book, DAKE, and your trace minerals in danger coffee, and your macrominerals from many of the available mineral supplements, that combination, it's not sexy, it's not a new tropic, it's not a sex enhancement formula, it's not a sleep formula, but it makes everything else you do work better. So this is the lowest common denominator missing from everybody two recommendations in the book. And I talk you through why that matters. And it matters because if your body isn't getting the raw materials it needs, it will feel anxious.

[00:29:21.500] – Dave

And when your meat operating system feels anxious, you feel anxious. So you have this sense of dread and impending doom. You're just like, Something's not right. I don't know what it is. It's probably my wife. No, it's not your wife. It's the fact that you have a hardware problem right now and it's trying to send a signal to you and it doesn't even know what it is because your body is incredibly stupid. It's just really fast. You are very smart. You're just very slow compared to your body.

[00:29:47.380] – Allan

Now, another area you went into here was to pick your target areas. We talked a little bit about that at the beginning and to track it. How does someone know what would be the low hanging fruit, maybe the first target areas they should should be considering someone over 40 who is overweight, maybe starting to really get interested in taking better care of themselves, how would they know the target area that would matter most for them?

[00:30:12.000] – Dave

Well, there are five big target areas. And the reason I know about the target areas is because I opened an upgrade labs, which is the first biohacking center on the planet. I created this idea that what if you came somewhere where all the tools that the crazy billionaires are using were available for you to use it? It's not a gym. But if you go there, you might not need to go to the gym and does a bunch of other stuff you can't do anywhere else. So after eight years of running this, it's now a franchise. You can go to ownandupgradelabs.com and you can open one in your city. So there's more than a dozen in the process of opening right now and more people are buying them every day all over North America. So I want this to be accessible. But in the meantime, if you go to daveasprey.com, I'm putting a quiz up. By the time the book launches, it'll be up there that will help you do this, or you read smarter, not harder, and I'll tell you how to intuit this, but it's better to use a quiz.

[00:31:03.600] – Dave

And what's going to happen is you're going to choose your number one and number two. And here's the list. You might want more muscle mass. This is really important. You lose muscle mass, you'll lose metabolism, and you're more likely to die. And in general, you need muscle mass. So that might be your top goal. Your next one might be cardiovascular function. You know what? I get winded going up the stairs. I don't like that. I can't play with my kids. That might be more important than putting on muscle. That means you can do both. You got to pick the order and pick the priority. And those two actually don't go well together. You're not going to run in a marathon and get swallowed at the same time. It's not how biology works. The third thing is you might say, I want my brain to work again. For me, that was my most important thing. I just want my brain to work. I'm so tired. I'm in my 20s. I weigh 300 pounds. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, my career is taking off and I feel as dumb as a post. And there were reasons for it.

[00:31:52.370] – Dave

So maybe your brain is a big thing. You don't normally go to the gym for your brain, but that might be your biggest goal. And if you go to upgrade labs, we'll do neurofeedback, we'll fix your brain if it's something that can be done that way. The next thing is you might say, I want my energy back, so I'm tired all the time, which is exactly the same as saying, I want to lose weight. It's actually the same techniques. If you're putting your electricity into storing fat, then you're not putting it into having energy. And then after that, some people are now saying, I want the ability to manage my stress better than I do. In fact, for the first time ever in history, in surveys, people are asking for the ability to manage anxiety more than to lose weight. For 35 years, the number one goal has been I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight. And now they're saying, I want to not feel all this stress. I want to not feel all this stress. And we know whose fault that is, Pfizer's. But there's all sorts of things that go into stress, lack of human connection, all that.

[00:32:49.570] – Dave

People don't know what it is, but they want resilience. And each of those five things, did you want your brain to work better or did you want to manage stress better? Which matters more? And people say, oh, well, I think it may be stress management matters better. Okay, how does that compare to muscle mass? Well, it turns out that a lot of people don't necessarily know what would be better, muscle mass versus stress resilience versus something else. So we use a statistical model with the quiz and then Upgrade Labs to help you figure out what's really at the top. And once you know you're number one and number two, you can choose the techniques that give you the most of what you want for both of those categories. And you'll get side benefits in all the other ones anyway. Anytime you improve one thing, you improve everything. But it's really amazing when you say, Wow, I'm going to consciously choose a biohacking technique that meets my number one and number two goal the most. And then when you do a five or a 10 minute thing that might be mildly difficult and it pays dividends in two different areas you care the most about, you'll just sit down and go, That was worth it.

[00:33:54.580] – Dave

And your operating system, your meat will not resist things that are worth it. It'll just resist things that aren't worth it. And right now, the spin class is not worth it. You go because you trick yourself with habit. You go because there's loud music and then there's someone shaming you into peddling faster and probably because you have some friends there. So you're getting a little bit of community but generally your body doesn't want to do that. And eventually you can get yourself hooked on endorphins from doing it. It's just not a way to get super healthy, but it might be really fun. If it's fun, you should keep doing it. If you're like me, and then it's your idea of suffering without a lot of results, I'll show you how to get six times better results in five minutes, three times a week than you're going to get from going every day to a cardio class. So let's stop doing cardio classes. Let's take all the time we were going to spend there and use it to meditate. Oh, except meditation is a waste of time because there's five ways, and it's harder to get the results of meditation in less time.

[00:34:51.120] – Dave

So you might as well, when you're doing that hour of meditation, instead of doing a meditation that's mildly effective, do a meditation that's strongly effective for your brain and combine it with breath work, which in studies works better. Who would have thought? I'm just saying your life and your time and your energy, they're so precious that because we've been programmed by society to believe that struggling and suffering is good, we do stuff that barely works and is really hard, and then we reward ourselves for that, and then we feel shame for doing stuff that works better but isn't hard. I'm done with that. I'm not ashamed to be lazy. I am lazy, and it's made me profoundly powerful, and it's let me change the world. And I don't want to spend one more ounce of energy on anything than it takes. And every time I waste energy on something I don't want to do, it's a crime against myself. That's how much I embrace laziness.

[00:35:46.200] – Allan

And what you just said there really wrapped around, really, the last few of these was you're sending signals to your body, whether you know it or not. And so that extra work you're doing is it's telling your body something's just not right versus doing it the way that your body would respond to and understand and then know. And if you're pushing yourself that hard, you're probably not recovering the way that your body needs you to. So you're not recovering like a boss because you just keep beating yourself up thinking that's how I'm going to get that nail in there. And so I'm the hammer. Everything is a nail. And then the final bit of this was to evaluate, personalize, and repeat. And I think if you go through this book and you do some of these things, particularly in the areas that matter most to you, you're going to move the needle. And as soon as you start moving that needle and you see it, it should encourage you to double down on that to figure out what's working, what's not, and really get to the value of your time and your energy and make the most of it.

[00:36:51.460] – Dave

You said it, and what I've learned from my own path in biohacking where I started out just by fixing my brain and fixing my body and then upgrading them is that when you do one thing successfully, it generates another slice of free energy. And if you invest that free energy back into yourself, any personal development, you can very quickly develop super powers. What a lot of us get stuck on, including me, when I went to the gym for 702 hours, 90 minutes a day, six days a week for 18 months, that was wasted time. And I did not lose any weight during that time. I got strong, but I still had a 46 inch waist. And if I'd have known what was in this book in that 702 hours, I could not only have lost the weight, got my energy back, fixed my brain, I probably could have learned massive amounts of meditation and trauma resolution and probably been a lot less of a jerk in my 20s. I could have done a lot. Instead, I struggled and I suffered and I lifted the heavy stuff and I sweated. But it wasn't the best path.

[00:38:00.740] – Dave

It was just the path that I found. And a lot of us are on a path that doesn't give us extra energy. That extra energy goes back into being you, and it goes back into improving you. When you do it, especially all of my works I read, and if I'd have just known this when I was 20, do you know what a monster you would be when you're 30 if you got into this when you were 20? And you just took the same amount of time you're spending now, but you applied it in a targeted way towards what you cared about. By the time you're 30, I have whatever career I want, I have whatever degrees I want because I have so much energy, I could pay attention all day long. I have the friendships I want because I had energy all the time. So much energy that I could actually notice when I was acting like a jerk and change my behavior. I have the relationships I want. All these things could happen. Or you could just do the hard stuff and barely make any progress. But that's okay. Have beer at the end of the day.

[00:38:51.380] – Dave

You get to pick. If I'd have just known, oh, my God, the time I wasted. I want it back.

[00:38:57.220] – Allan

Well, we can't actually get it back. But what we can do is make the most of what's in front of us. And that's what here. Now, there is one thing that is something that was behind us that I really think is coming to light for me a lot more. I think before I pooh poohed this as, okay, yeah, we all have hard times, we all have struggles. And someone bopped us in the head at some point in our life when we were younger. And it's been in the last few years, and it's probably got a lot to do with COVID and some of the things that happened there that I'm getting a better understanding of what trauma is doing to us and what we need to do for ourselves if we're really going to be… I think one of your books was actually called Superhuman. But if we're going to improve ourselves, this is something that we have to explore. Can you talk a little bit about trauma and how that can derail all of us?

[00:39:58.400] – Dave

Yeah. If you accept the part of the book that there's a third of a second gap between when something happens in reality and when our brain gets the first electrical signal that something's happening. It means someone else is in charge for a third of a second. What trauma does is it programs your operating system to be responsive and reactive to feelings or to things in the environment, even if they're not something that's a threat. What that means is when someone who looks like Little Johnny who beat you up in fifth grade, when they walk into the boardroom, you're going to feel a wave of unease and maybe even a fight or flight response that makes no rational sense unless you realize that your operating system is doing this to you because it thinks there's a threat before you could see the threat. You don't even see it for a third of a second, it's already identified a pattern and it's already put you in distress mode. That's the equivalent on your phone of having an alert pop up. Imagine if you didn't turn off all those annoying alerts and you pick up your phone and literally 500 alerts are going off where you're just trying to compose an email, you can get anything done.

[00:41:05.540] – Dave

Your operating system is full of useless, meaningless alerts set up by old traumas. Every time you process the trauma and release it fully, the alert stops and you're no longer triggered by that. And then that frees up a huge amount of additional energy. I had to do a lot of work on this, and that's the core process that I teach in the final chapter or second to last chapter in smarter, not harder, where I talk about spiritual hacking. And there is a structured process called the reset mode that is a part of my neuroscience facility. This is a facility where you go in to spend five days, really intense, hard days just to be super transparent. And that replaces at least 20 years of daily meditation practice. Your brain can do things that only very advanced meditators can do because we're using computers to show it to you. And what you're doing for part of that process is this reset mode that goes in, lets you selectively turn off reactive patterns that don't serve you because every reactive pattern sucks energy, actual electricity away, and it pulls you out of being present and focused in the way you want to focus on, and it makes you react to something.

[00:42:17.580] – Dave

Marketers are good at pushing these buttons and governments are exceptionally good at pushing these buttons. My desire, what I'm working on with all of the companies that I'm either owning or running or advising or investing in is that I'm working to make humans very dangerous because the most dangerous human is unprogrammable. They actually have the power. They have so much energy and so much awareness. They are going to do the right thing, and who knows what they might do? But they're free to do it. I believe from my studies of biology and psychology, we're actually wired to be nice to each other. A person who is at full power and aware of themselves will help the little old lady across the street and will stand up to injustice and will not be programmed by mass psychosis to force other people to do things they don't want to do because it's unkind to force people to do things. Whatever it is, if they don't want to do it, they don't have to do it. That's how the world works. Because if you can force someone else to do something, then they have the right to force you to do something, and none of us wants to live in that world.

[00:43:20.580] – Dave

So we all got programmed, at least most of us over the last couple of years, using these manipulative tactics. If we all had the amount of energy that we are capable of having, we all would have laughed and continued on with life. And I don't want that to happen again. I don't want to go through all the suffering that I went through because I was programmed by companies who told me that if I just worked out enough and ate a low fat, low calorie diet. Dude, I spent 702 hours struggling and suffering. I did not get the results. It took me that long to realize that I was chasing a fool's errand. I want people to be free. And the kind of peace that we can have on the planet, it's when everyone could do whatever they want. And everyone is dangerous because who knows what you might do. But that danger, when you choose to be peaceful, that's awesome. The peace that happens because you're so depleted of minerals, you're so tired, you're so programmed, you're so distracted, you just can't get up off the couch because you got nothing left. That's peace, but it's also hell.

[00:44:19.550] – Dave

So there are forces for whatever economic reasons or other reasons. They're trying to make that world where we all eat fake foods and really have no choice. I just don't think that world is going to happen. I'm not going to let it happen. And there's lots of people who are doing energetic practices to make our biology so powerful that you can't trick us. And you can't feed us garbage and tell us we feel good because we noticed when we don't feel good because we've actually felt good for once in our lives. I didn't have any of this before I was 30. It wasn't natural for me. So I'm working out as many people as possible, wake up and just say, you know what? You can believe that whatever thing works or whatever thing doesn't work. I don't care. I just want you to be in charge of you. And to do that, you have to have the power and the electricity. As soon as you're in charge of yourself, you're dangerous and I want to be your friend, whatever you believe.

[00:45:08.940] – Allan

And again, you finished out the book with this phrase or with this topic, you do you. And that's why I said when you under promised and over delivered with the title of this book, because, again, this is about you taking control of your life, you making decisions for yourself, making them in your own self best interest. But in your own words, could you go through a little bit about how you define you do you and what that means for you?

[00:45:38.900] – Dave

It's a lot of what I just talked about there. The reality is that we don't all have the same goals. If your goal is to be the fastest human on the planet, you're going to do something very different than someone whose goal is, you know what? I want to be an amazing provider for my family, and I want to come home with the end of every day, and I want to just be full of energy and calmness to play with my kids. By the way, that is a huge heroic act. It's really hard to do that. I'm a dad of two teenagers. The number of times that kids ask the same stupid question over and over, Chew with your mouth closed, Chew with your mouth closed, don't write your name on the wall. How many times can you say it before you just go crazy? Every parent has had that thought. I can tell just by the way you laughed, you've had kids, right? Okay, that's actually being in charge. That's you doing you. Because a lot of times you come home, you're just too tired and you're going to yell your kids. You're not glad you did it.

[00:46:31.420] – Dave

You didn't want to. You didn't choose to. But your operating system did because you didn't have the energy left. You do you means you get to pick your goals and you get to pick what's worth it for you. And the reality is that your decisions are about where am I in life right now, biologically and emotionally and spiritually and all that, and what's my goal? And you got to respect the fact that someone else might not be where you are and their goal may be somewhere over here. You do you, which means they can do them. And if you try to force someone else to do you, I hope that person is a really dangerous person and they stop you.

[00:47:05.700] – Allan

Well, I hope you're a really dangerous person and you don't even go there because you are focused on what's best for you. And you're listening to this podcast, so I'm pretty sure that you're more like that. And so this is your opportunity to go through, find some things that work, apply them in your life. Again, he's going to give you the tools to know where that is. And then just learn how your body is working and how the laziness principle and conserving energy and using energy where it's most valuable and not wasting it is really going to help you move the needle on this. So, Dave, I really appreciate this. I'm going to end this with one question I ask all my guests, and I actually got this from you because you were doing this with your podcast way back when. I don't know if you still do.

[00:47:56.470] – Allan

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

[00:48:07.980] – Dave

Three tactics or strategies to get and stay well. Number one, define what well means. You gave your definition. Use what's in smarter, not harder to figure out those five buckets. How much of each bucket is your recipe for wellness? If you don't know that, it's very hard to do the other part. After that, find a way to objectively measure wellness. And it can be something as simple as how good of a day was today? If you write that down every day and you plot it against what you eat, you might just thought, every day when I eat a fakeburger, it's actually not as good of a day. I wonder if they're correlated. Yeah, they are. But maybe you get heart rate variability on your sleep monitor. You can do all these different things, but pick something that you can track over time that doesn't take a lot of work to do. Maybe you get a continuous glucose monitor, and for a month you track what every meal does to spike or not spike your blood sugar. So then you realize, huh, I never knew that Oatmeal was actually junk food for peasants. Who would have thought?

[00:49:07.510] – Dave

And then you find that out and you stop eating it. Or before you eat it, you have a bunch of eggs. Fine. Those are things that matter, but you got to have the objective measure, understand your meat operating system, your body, it will lie to you. It will change your perception of reality to make it in charge. It will not let you see these things. But when you have measurement, it pokes a hole in that veil, and then you can see what's going on. And the third thing, if we're looking for wellness, I'm looking for a foundational behavior that's going to affect everything else. So I'm going to split that into two directions. One of them is take your trace minerals and your vitamin day because it affects everything. The other one would be learn how to sleep like a boss. And on that one, if you go to sleepwithdave.com, that is my free sleep training. It's also the best URL of my life. It's a free… I just teach you everything I know.

[00:50:01.060] – Allan

Does that really work for you? Does that?

[00:50:03.640] – Dave

Yeah. It's not my only page, that's different.

[00:50:08.750] – Dave

There you go. Those are the three.

[00:50:10.580] – Allan

Thank you for that. Dave, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about Smarter Not Harder, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:50:19.700] – Dave

Go to daveasprey.com, and that has everything there. And get the form of smarter, not harder that works best for you. As an author, I'm always honored when someone wants to listen to my voice. I've read the whole book for you. Or absorb it however you want to absorb it. But orders now, right as it's launching, helped a lot of other people find the book. And I'd be grateful if people just say, no, I'm going to read it at some point. I'll pick it up now and do Dave a favor.

[00:50:45.230] – Allan

Great. Well, Dave, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:49.980] – Dave

Allan, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:51:00.000] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:51:02.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a fun conversation. I love a good biohack. I love working smarter, not harder, but there's a time and a place for these types of little shortcut, these little tricks.

[00:51:13.600] – Allan

Yeah. It's important in the context of what Dave went through. So Dave was a very successful young man in the tech industry making good money, but realizing that what he was doing and noticing it, realizing it a lot earlier than I did, that this was not a workable solution for him. He needed to do some things to improve his health. And in doing his own, going on his own journey, found things that he needed to resolve in his life to open himself up to be a healthier, better person. And we're all going through that at some stage or another, we realized, oh, okay, this is not where I belong. I'm in the wrong neighborhood of health and fitness, and I got to get myself to a better place. And so he did a lot of those things. And then he wanted more. He wanted to tweak that and bump that up a bit. And so that's been his mission for a long, long time because I've been listening to him online for a long time.

[00:52:16.090] – Rachel


[00:52:16.460] – Allan

And when you say the term biohack, I get a little cringe for a moment, only because some of these things are unproven, just whack. I don't mean that a bad way, but there was a phase there where all these guys were talking about Ayahuasca. Okay, it's basically this thing that you drink. It's toxic, it's terrible. It basically puts you in a hallucinetic state. So they'll go there to these hot cabins and they'll sit out there and they'll drink this stuff and they're puking their guts out and they're having all these hallucinations. And the principle is that it's supposed to help you resolve trauma and untold things that are going on in your head. So people who've done it again, they get into all this other stuff. They're people who swear by it. Yeah, go do this and it's going to enlighten you. But you go and make sure you do it with a good shaman that knows what they're doing. I'm like, okay, because you're going to apparently go to some scary places in your head. Sounds a little out there. Right. And that's the thing is that the thing is some of this stuff is out there and not meant for you.

[00:53:33.260] – Allan

And so I would say when you look holistically at where you are today, are you already really fit, really healthy, and then just want to move up 1 % where 1 % actually matters? Or are you someone who's really struggling with your weight, really struggling with your fitness, not sleeping well, dealing with stressful things and just really not in optimal, not in a good place, not even in a good place, then these hacks, while they sound great, Oh, you mean I can get fit just working out three minutes a day? And the short answer is you can get more fit. But there's other things to consider, and that is, okay, if you can't walk up a flight of stairs today without getting winded, okay, spending three minutes on a vibrating platform is probably not where you need to spend your time.

[00:54:36.660] – Rachel

No. And probably, hit training wouldn't be so good for you either.

[00:54:40.340] – Allan

And hit training might not be the best thing for you. But you go talk to a doctor and the doctor says, Okay, look, there's nothing fundamentally broken. You should be able to exercise. Then the reality of it is going up the stairs, get you a little winded, walk back down and walk back up.

[00:54:58.040] – Rachel

That's exercise.

[00:54:59.110] – Allan

Yes. And so instead of going up the flight of stairs once, go up twice. Yes, you're going to be winded. Yes, it's going to suck. And it's going to take you twice as long to go up the stairs as it would have to just walk up the flight of stairs. But if you do that regularly, then going up the flight of stairs once is not going to be a problem for you because you've built a level of fitness that allows you to do that. As you work on lowering your body fat and your overall body weight probably goes down, you'll find your carrying less weight up those stairs. And as a result, you're able to go up the stairs easier. So you can build fitness with an investment of time, with an investment of effort.

[00:55:43.310] – Allan

And sometimes an investment of money. But the slow route is the easiest route a lot of the times. And so where Dave is talking about hacking this, this is at a point where he's already reasonably fit. And because he likes to do other things besides work out. He just doesn't enjoy working out, which I can respect. Most people don't actually like the idea of working out. And that's why there's a lot of people that don't is he wants to find a way to get the same results or stay where he is without putting in a whole lot of extra time. So finding a more efficient way to do something makes a ton of sense for him.

[00:56:28.980] – Allan

But if you're not even close to the fitness level you want, these little hacks are not going to move the needle for you very far. And as a result, you're not going to get the results that are promised here or you think are there because that's not how you get there initially. You got to do a little bit of the work first, get yourself to a base, and then you can start looking at these other ways to improve from there to optimize, if you will. And so I think that's where a lot of the breakdown for me is. It's like, no, there are really no shortcut, but there are ways later on that you can be more efficient with this. But you're not going to stretch for 30 seconds and then your mobility is fine for the rest of your life. You've got to get out there and move. You've got to teach your body full range of motion and be strong in all of those ranges. And that's just time.

[00:57:23.910] – Rachel

For sure. Yeah. The other part of what you discussed with him was the you do you concept. And I love that phrase because we are all so different. And so how we choose to move, what we choose to eat, what diet we follow, it's just so individual. And the reason why I enjoy these conversations with you, Allan, is because we have had, the two of us have very different backgrounds. You spend a lot more time with weights in the gym. I spend a lot more time just running out on the road. But we achieve our own personal goals or health and fitness needs in different ways. But we're basically pretty healthy versions of ourselves. That's why the you do you phrase is so brilliant because we are so different and we can achieve the same ends with just different means.

[00:58:18.920] – Allan

And that's why you'll see these workout videos and this or that. And they're saying, okay, this is how you get six pack abs. Do this workout. This is the workout I use. And then you're like, Well, dude, you were an Olympic athlete in your 20s. And then you've never lost it. You've never been where we were or where we are. And so I'm not saying any of this is wrong. Dave does his research, and that's what I appreciate about him. Some other folks are just a little out there and a little wack, but Dave does do his homework, and he tries this stuff, and he invests his money in it and time. And so where he is and what he wants to do with his life, he's at a different place than you are. I'm at a different place than you are. And Rachel's at a different place than you are. And so as you're looking at your journey of what you need to do, you just need to be realistic with where you are. And if you live in a town where he has one of his labs or one of the franchises has opened up of his lab, go out and have fun.

[00:59:33.350] – Allan

Go out and check it out. You can go if there's cryotherapy labs that they can put you in and say, okay, this is going to do this. They can put you in a hyperbolic oxygen tank. There's all these different little things you can do. And if they make you feel good, great.

[00:59:48.690] – Allan

But don't expect to go into one of these things and come out like Superman or superwoman. But it's not going to happen. That's something science fiction, and it's just not. But there are ways to be more efficient with this stuff to go through it. And if you don't enjoy it, then there are ways to be a lot more efficient with it. You don't need three hours. You can get great workouts in a shorter period of time. And so it's just a function of putting it together in the right way for you. I had to figure it out myself. I tried to do the Insanity workout. They looked great in the video. I wanted to look like that. And I didn't, couldn't.

[01:00:35.680] – Rachel

It's tough. I've not done it myself, but that's tough.

[01:00:39.420] – Rachel

But it's always to have options.

[01:00:40.680] – Allan

It is. And so you try something and try something different and you go through the process. But I would just say is when you start this stuff, I think it's really important for you to think about where your head is.

[01:00:57.780] – Allan

Because if you say, I don't like working out, I don't like exercising, then I would say then you don't really want this. You're thinking about fitness, but you don't really want fitness because what you're doing in the gym or out on the road is training. It's not a workout. When you actually have the right mindset for this stuff and you actually wrap your head around it, it's like, Oh, I'm training to be that really cool grandpa. I want to be the grandpa that can go do what the kids are doing and be out there running around with them and rolling around on the grass and doing that stuff because I'm not worried about it. I won't even think about it then. Because it'll be play, it'll be fun. I don't have to worry, I don't have a plan to get back up. It's just role play, do the thing, and I want to be that grandpa. I see it as training. And then the word training has a very different connotation. If you think through your brain of the good things that you've accomplished in your life. There was typically a state called training at the front of it, or you could have called it studying, but there was training, and the training improves you in a designated way.

[01:02:20.560] – Allan

And so if you say I want to be faster, then you can train for speed. If you want to be able to run further, then you can train for distance. You want both, then you affect your training plan to give you some of both. You can be stronger and you can put your training plan that's going to do that. And then you put these all together and you might say, well, okay, if I add them all up, be able to run longer, run faster, and be stronger. Wow, that's eight or nine hours a week. That's a lot. It's not. But if you think it's a lot, then you can say, Okay, what are ways for me to be more efficient with this in a way that's going to let me accomplish all that? And that's where when he talks about, he talked about reaching the peak and then allowing recovery, what he's talking about is true hit training. So you can build speed, a lot of speed with hit training because that's what you're doing. You're running as freaking fast as you can. You're moving as fast as you can. That's speed. So you can be training for speed, but the way you're training for speed is not just normal sprint stuff.

[01:03:27.780] – Allan

You're actually packaging it in a way where you're reaching your max and then you're recovering. And then you're running for max and then you're recovering. And so you're building speed and you're building some of your stamina, your V02 max, which is going to help you for your longer runs. So instead of doing longer runs all the time, you just change up your training a little bit. And you use one of these hacks, if you will, that is scientifically based and makes sense. And for a lot of people to be like, Okay, that worked for me. That really worked. And then there's just going to be other people that are like, I don't like getting my heart rate up to 100 % like that. I don't like being in that space, that pain space. And so don't. But try it if you want to tweak it. But the whole point is, if you're thinking speed and distance, you're not at a baseline of fitness. You've worked up to a point where you're actually trying to accomplish something special, not just being able to go up a flight of stairs. So there's a point there. And that's what I'm saying.

[01:04:33.360] – Allan

So you don't necessarily want to be doing hit training when you're trying to work on going up a flight of stairs. Just go up the stairs more often, and that's going to help you be able to go up the stairs better. If you want to be a little bit stronger, just start picking up heavier stuff and you'll get stronger. But you could do all this reasonably. And if you just want to go at this with short cuts because you don't like something.

[01:04:56.640] – Allan

Then just realize those short cuts probably aren't going to get you the results that you really want. And so the more you use your brain, your mindset, and say, I'm going to embrace this as training.

[01:05:10.920] – Allan

Therefore, I don't have to necessarily like it because I didn't like sitting there with the blind studying for the CPA exam, just answering all of these accounting questions in a book, a multiple choice book, and then checking my answers. I didn't enjoy that, but the outcome was important to me. So I trained, I studied. And if you can get your brain wrapped around that idea that sometimes you're going to do things you don't enjoy, sometimes you're going to do things that take more time than you would want to put. But if the outcome is worth it…

[01:05:46.640] – Rachel

Yeah, then the training is worth it.

[01:05:48.440] – Allan

Then the training is worth it. And I think being a great grandfather.

[01:05:53.000] – Allan

And by that, I mean a great grandfather and then eventually a great grandfather is important. I just that's something that's important to me is to be that guy that I don't want to be a spectator. I want to be a participant. And so as you think about what health and fitness means for you, then you see these elements here we talked about during this episode with Dave, and look at them, look at them holistically, look at them deep and objectively and say, where am I and what can I do? And then it's the you do you. I'm not going to tell you to meditate or do yoga or travel to Tibet. Find something, try it, try it long enough to see if it's working or not working, and then chuck it if it's not. I've tried meditating good for about a good five minutes.

[01:06:45.920] – Allan

And then I'm building lists in my head. List of stuff I should be doing besides sitting there meditating. I'm building those lists in my head. And so it's like, okay, I know that 5 to 10 minutes is a sweet spot if I'm going to sit down and do it. The other thing I know is I can't be in an office space where I have access to a phone or computer. I literally need to be somewhere where there is no technology around me.

[01:07:14.530] – Rachel


[01:07:15.540] – Allan

Right. So I am in it and I don't have anywhere else to be. Those are the things. So for me, I have walking meditations that I do when I get by myself on some of the beach places I talk about here in Bocas. And so when I get to those spaces and I'm walking and there's no one else around, I'm able to do the walking meditation. And so I turn off everything, turn off the text, turn off the ebooks, turn off everything, and literally just exist for a period of time, breathing and feeling and listening and all the different things. I'm able to do it there. But sitting here right now in my office, if I said, okay, after this comment, I'm doing meditation, I won't make five minutes because I'm thinking, crap, I got to post that podcast today. I got to do this. I got to do that, and I got the client call at this time. So my brain won't shut off that way right now, and I know that. Again, hacks can be great, but they've got to be used at the right time in the right way. So where you are to do you?

[01:08:16.140] – Allan

Those are all great things. So Dave's book is worth it if you're interested in looking at ways that are out there looking at the technologies and the things because he does a really good job of breaking it down, explaining why this stuff either works the way it works or should work the way that it's supposed to work. And you can get into that. But I would say that can't be your primary mode of operation because that's not going to move the needle enough to really matter.

[01:08:45.000] – Rachel

It's good to have tools. It's good to have options. It's good to have different things that you can try and experiment with. But yeah, you got to do the big stuff first.

[01:08:54.140] – Allan

I agree.

[01:08:55.560] – Rachel

Yeah. Awesome. Great conversation.

[01:08:57.820] – Allan

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

[01:09:00.720] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:09:02.100] – Allan

You too.

[01:09:02.860] – Rachel

Thank you.

[01:09:04.300] – Allan


[01:09:05.020] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 21, 2023

How to get results with the minimum | Joey Thurman

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 578 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Joey Thurman and discuss his book, The Minumum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:51.960] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:02:53.060] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.900] – Allan

I'm doing well. I'm doing really well. How are things up there?

[00:02:58.380] – Rachel

Good. We're in the middle of the weird part of winter where it's taking a little long.

[00:03:04.420] – Allan

It's so.

[00:03:06.540] – Rachel

Yeah. It's just the weather changes. We had single digits last week. Today it's 40, which really does feel like a heat wave when you're comparing it to the single digits. We're going to get more snow this weekend. It's just a roller coaster up here, but I'm making it through, making plans.

[00:03:23.850] – Allan

Good. Yeah. I'm, I guess as this is going live, I think is the days the 21st of February. So I just launched pre-sale. So as you're recording this, I'm actually getting ready to launch presale. And so that's going to go to everybody that had joined the waiting list. When I say there's an interest list, there's an interest list. And if they buy all the slots, I'm sorry, you can log in right now and you might not be able to buy a slot. It might be gone. But I'm planning the retreat and I'm ready. I've got it all mapped out how I'm going to do what I'm going to do. And so, yeah, it's one of those things, it's the calm before the storm where I'm like, okay. And it's anything new, anything, because this is the first time I'm doing this. But it's like with anything new, you have these second thoughts, you have these moments where you're like, What if no one wants to come down here that week? I know, I know, I know. But again, we're going to talk a little bit about this later, but people will say they want something, and then when it comes time to do that thing, they just don't.

[00:04:38.640] – Allan

And it happens. And we say it happened every day. We train people for a living. That's what we do. And so people tell us, it's like, Well, I want to lose weight. I want to get fit. Okay, put that down and pick that up. The simple advice, put that down and pick that up. And they know that. They're like, Yeah, I should have been picking that up all along, and I shouldn't have been picking this up. And so it's like, just start making these gradual changes and good things will happen. But we're not there yet. We're not ready, willing, and able, and so we don't. And so that's one of those things. I'm at that moment of saying, Okay, I'm going to put this out there to the world and I know how good it is. I know what's going to happen. Are you on board? And that's where that thing is. When you offer something new, it's like, okay, is this going to happen? So I'm in that little right there and it's a little bit of second thought, but it's where I am mentally right now.

[00:05:41.780] – Rachel

Sure. Well, it sounds like a really fun retreat and a beautiful part of the country.

[00:05:46.560] – Allan

Well, the world. Yeah. Well, in our country, yeah. But the cool thing about Panama is there's just so much diversity for such a small country. You have mountains with the coffee and the chocolate you have here with some chocolate, but the beaches and the jungle, you have the big city of Panama. You have the whole Pacific Coast, which has its own flavor. And then you have some of the more shady parts of it like cologne and all that. But anyway, that's a whole another part of the world, part of this country. But the thing is, yes, I am in paradise and I want to share that with people. But it's also a fitness retreat. So the point being is you can come here and find the most efficient and effective way for you to get fit the way you need to be fit. Not the way a coach wants you to be fit, not what you see on TV or magazines. This is you defining fitness on your own terms and then building a plan and making it happen. So I'm pretty excited about what the content is going to be about and where we're going with it.

[00:06:56.380] – Allan

But I need you here, because I guess that's the answer. I need people here. So check it out and go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. The interest list is probably already over, so that link will probably take you to the page where I described the program. And then you can decide if there are any seats for VIP, whether you want to do VIP or general. But yeah, it's going to be pretty massive. It's going to be pretty cool.

[00:07:23.940] – Rachel

Awesome. Sounds great.

[00:07:25.850] – Allan

All right. And while we were talking about efficiency and all the other stuff. It's probably a good time for us to talk to Joey Thurman, right?

[00:07:35.920] – Rachel

Sounds good.


[00:08:20.000] – Allan

Joey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:23.040] – Joey

I am a fresh 40, my friend. So thanks for having me.

[00:08:25.990] – Allan

you were 39 when you wrote the book and the way these things work. You write the book and then seven, eight, nine, 10 months later, the book is coming out. So this has been out for a little while. And so you're just turning 40. And so this is probably some top of mind stuff as you look at some of the differences when someone walks into train with you and they're not 25 years old and they've done a lot of things wrong or they've done a lot or they've stopped doing things because we're all really busy and we've got careers and kids and parents and all those other things. When you talked about the minimum method, I think that's what really hit me because the name of the book is The Minimum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You. And it's almost like you read my book where I'm talking about wellness, those are the elements. You got to have all three of those or you're not living a balanced life. And the people that think they've got to spend hours and hours in the gym or hours and hours doing other stuff to get their fitness and health and all put it all together.

[00:09:40.900] – Allan

You've basically given us a shortcut and say, hey, just cut to the chase. Do these few things first, and then do these few things next and then do these few things, and you're stronger and you're fitter and do these few things and you're sleeping better and do these few things, and now you're even sleeping better. And now you're a ninja at sleep. And you put that together in a structure where, hey, flip to the back of the chapter and you're kicking it, man. But if you want to know why, all that's in there, too. So I really like that.

[00:10:15.080] – Joey

Well, thank you. Yeah. I understand that most people don't read a book cover to cover. You should read it cover to cover if you get the book or when you get the book, let's say. But at the same time, some people don't want to read the whole chapter. They just want to flip to the end and see where's my buffet of protocols and behavior change. And there it is.

[00:10:31.070] – Allan

Now I'm going to encourage them not to do that with your book. I know you say it's fine, but there's some things you put in there that I don't think you just want to skip to the fitness section or the nutrition section and miss some of the really good stuff that you have here. And one of those that you go through is the health and fitness myths. And again, there's a lot of this stuff that's been out there for a long time, and it's ingrained. And I think understanding that not everything you've been brought up to believe is true is really important for you to wrap your mind around why these other things are actually working, why you don't necessarily have to do it a certain way, or maybe the way you've been thinking about this is wrong. Can you talk about those myths and what people should be aware of that isn't actually true?

[00:11:28.840] – Joey

Yeah. There's a lot of them, and I didn't have room to fit every single one because it would just be a book of the miss. Maybe that's like the next one, the book of the miss. But yeah. Number one, still, for some reason, females, I think all of a sudden they're going to pick up a weight that's not pink, and they're going to look like the incredible Hulk. That's just not going to happen. You don't have enough testosterone, you're not having enough supplementation or illegal supplementation, if you will, it's not going to happen. I tell people this all the time, do you ever see a bodybuilder lifting a five pound weight? Probably not. They're lifting a high amount of volume, a high amount of volume load, and there's a lot of intent in that specific movement. And then they're in the gym for a long time and they're eating, breathing, sleeping, just that trying to grow, grow, grow. And most people are not doing that. And speaking of going into the gym and another myth, you don't need to work out for an hour. Who said it needed to be an hour workout?

[00:12:27.600] – Joey

I don't know where this arbitrary number came from. And how a workout isn't effective if it's not an hour. Well, how many times do you see a guy at the gym do a bench press and go on Instagram, maybe look at Joey Thurman Fitt's account for Seamus Plugg? And spend 10, 15, 20 minutes on there and do another set. And they do three sets in an hour. So is that more efficient as far as longevity and health as opposed to somebody that's in there for 20 minutes does 10 sets of a full body workout? Probably not. If you're just trying to get strong, yes, do a set, wait three to five minutes and lift as heavy as you can and keep doing that. But then you need to be in the gym for an hour, hour and a half. But your amount of work and load during that time is going to be completely different. So you can do exercise stacking where you're working out 10 minutes one time. You're doing a 10 minute walk out afterwards. Maybe you have five minutes to do three sets of bicep curls, why not do that? So it's cumulative load throughout the week that matters the most.

[00:13:22.060] – Joey

Same body parts two days in a row. You could do that. It's fine. That whole myth came from body building folklore where they're doing 20 plus sets of chest in a day. Yeah, your chest needs to recover when you're doing that. But you could do legs. You could do three sets of legs one day. You do three sets of legs in the next day. It's going to be fine. Look at the professional athletes. They're doing the same body part. They're doing the same drills, the same movements every single day. They're okay. They're taking some recovery days and some off days. So that's going to be fine. The whole carbohydrates are bad thing. I don't know where that happened. That's crazy because carbs are fiber, fruits and vegetables. If I said, hey, fruit and vegetables is bad. Most people in the Western car, we're going to say, no, they're great for you. Okay, no, there's carbs. Wait, what? So it's just crazy. All of these things that people will think and they try to get too much caught in the weeds of all of these myths and these protocols and these things that they're supposed to do or their neighbor does or whatever.

[00:14:16.840] – Joey

And then I really think about the overall consistent picture. Yeah.

[00:14:19.610] – Allan

And I think a lot of that is, well, so you see a friend and the friend goes and works out or you see someone and you look at the magazine and you're like, Okay, so how did Jack Hughman or whatever that was going to play a role? Or Downey Jr. Played Iron Man. And I'm like, Dude, it's the same age as me, maybe even a little older. And how did he get so ripped? And I'm thinking, okay. And I was even at the time blogging, and I wrote, I'm not Iron Man as a blog because I'm like, I don't know how he biologically did that, but I just don't know that I could mentally push myself to be in the gym that much to potentially supplement in ways that were not healthy and to change my body that drastically in a very short period of time. Because he was also in a Sherlock Holmes movie. And you're like, Okay, that's insane. But he did it and he kept doing it. And now he doesn't do it as much. So if you look at Iron Man, they don't really show you a lot of ripped out of uniform pictures.

[00:15:38.180] – Allan

But it's this whole idea that we have to be something that we see on a magazine and that if, oh, heaven forbid, we lift more than 15 pounds, we're going to become the man in the magazine. And those things are just not fundamentally right because we're not juicing and we're not spending that effort of that amount of time. And we don't need to for the basic levels of strength and fitness that we're after.

[00:16:06.400] – Joey

Yeah. I mean. Tell you what? I tell you how they did that. I've been the guy that's been hired by Fox and HBO to get those actors to that point. And you're going to pay me 10, 15 million dollars or a million bucks per episode? Yeah, you bet your ass. I'm going to just focus on that. I want to train Terence Howard before season 3 of Empire. His character was in prison. So I said, We need to make it look like you've just been in prison doing prison workouts and getting big traps and arms. So I trained him twice a day, seven days a week for three months. I showed up with all of his supplements, everything. I told him exactly what to eat. And that's all he did was I showed up to his place twice a day. And he didn't have to worry about anything but sleep, eat, work it out, and I showed up and told them exactly what to do. So that's how you can do that. But for most people, that is not their life. So it is not achievable to look like that. I've written articles for mental health, for muscle and fitness, all that stuff, even that they're not necessarily doing exactly that in the articles.

[00:17:01.230] – Joey

They have to fit it in there. They've got the amount of words. They're not putting some different things in there. Maybe you're sending them to a TRT replacement doctor. There's all these different or whatever hormones you're on or peptides. And there's all these things that you can't possibly do because your life isn't supposed to fit into your training. Think about that. You're supposed to fit the training into your life. And that's where people get it wrong. And that's why I apologize in the beginning of this book, not only for the entire fitness and nutrition industry, but also for my younger self. Nobody has the same 24 hours in a day. Nobody. You got kids, grandkids, you say you were in the same generation where we've got these children, we're still taking care of them, but you're not taking care of parents or whatever, we've got all these obligations. So it is not feasible for you to look like anybody else except for yourself. So stop trying to look unless you're a twin or quadruple or whatever. Stop trying to compare yourself to anybody else because you can't look like me, I cannot look like you.

[00:18:04.650] – Joey

You can only get in the best shape as you can with the time allotted.

[00:18:09.780] – Allan

Yeah. And the other side of it, if you enjoy it, I honestly enjoy spending an hour in the gym. It's my meditation time. It's my zen time. Guess what? No one else is talking to me time. And so for me, it's actually a pretty cool thing to go in there and do the old school, do a set, wait for 60 seconds to two minutes, and then do another set, and then just work my way through, feel every movement. But I'm still doing a lot of the things that you talk about, like time under tension and those types of things are still protocols and things that I follow, but I'm not in a hurry, and that's because I enjoy what I'm doing. But not everybody has that time or enjoys doing the things that I enjoy doing. So I have to taper that and say, Okay, so for someone who's time strapped, there are minimum ways, minimum methods, things for them that they can do that will get them the results they want without spending that much time. Now, you went through and like most fitness guys, I think we all… If we're all honest with ourselves, we're pretty clear that we're a minor, a little minor thing in the health and fitness aspects of all this.

[00:19:30.400] – Allan

So you did a little pie chart. And for me, if I did a little pie chart, I'd be like, okay, I have to admit, I'm 10 % of the pie. You got to work on these other things first if you want health and fitness. And your big one was sleep. Can you talk a little bit about why you see sleep as the most important thing you need to take care of? And then some little things that we can do right off the bat as soon as we get off this podcast because you and I are recording this, it's already 6:30, and so I'm going to be going to bed in about two hours. So what are some things I can do to sleep a little better tonight?

[00:20:10.050] – Joey

Yeah. So consistent sleep is one. If you can't get as much 7 to 9 hours of sleep or 6 to 9, depending on whatever research you're looking at, consistent, same time bed, same time of week. If you're getting five hours sleep, that consistency will regulate your endocrine system. So your 24 hours clock, which regulates your end, which regulates your testosterone, your estrogen levels, your cortisol levels. Right there, just the consistent sleep. If you're like, I don't have enough time to get seven hours of sleep, great, get consistent sleep. What it really thinks about that. So that consistent sleep will regulate that, will have you crave less highly processed, palatable foods the next day, which are nutrient devoid. So that'll help right there. And actually your cortisol levels are going to be down. They naturally raise in the morning, it's called the cortisol awakening response. Don't worry about that. That's an okay thing. But you want that cortisol to be able to go back down. So they're turning off the overhead lights, staying away from the blue light, wearing blue light blocking glasses. Those are all great before bed. If you can do that, one of the best things you can do is maybe take a walk at night as the sun is going down, preferably outside and look at the horizon as the sun is going down.

[00:21:13.960] – Joey

That's going to trigger your melatonin production and your adenosine production, which also makes you tired to work in parallel. That'll help you get a little more tired and a little sleepy. You're staying away from caffeine probably after noon ish is going to be okay. Depending on how you metabolize the caffeine, that's going to be very beneficial. But also your day sets up your night. So getting sunlight as early as possible as you can when you wake up in the morning. If you wake up and it's still dark outside, people, they say this all the time, we're trying to get bright lights, whether it's studio lights, where I'm at or something like that. Get that light that will trigger that super charismatic nucleus in your brain to get you elevated and wake up and get your system, your endocrine system, everything wrapped and ready to go. Then that starts regulating your night. People often think about what to do at night, even you just have to ask the question. But we don't think about what we're doing during the day to set up our night. So focus on that. Get movement as early as possible if you can.

[00:22:09.010] – Joey

If you're somebody that works out at 8 PM and you're all jacked up, like when I used to play hockey late at night and then it will have been beer League, if you're all jacked up and you can't go to sleep, okay, maybe you shouldn't work out at night. But if you work out and it makes you tired and you sleep more, sound great. Maybe you save your carbs for night. Why? Because carbs are satiating. They have a dopamine response and they make you sleepy. How about you use that for the evening? There's all these different protocols in the book that you can do at a minimum. You just listen to them there and you can try that. Try one or two of these behaviors without trying to pop melatonin or something like that, because we want to change the behavior first and see what happens to our biology as opposed to trying to override it with these pills that were trying to pop.

[00:22:51.300] – Allan

The funny thing was your book, The Minimum Method, is available on audiobook that you read. I happened to be walking to work as I was listening to that part of the audiobook, and I had the sun in my eyes. And then you're like, try to get as much early morning sunlight as you can. Yeah. And I'm like, oh, my God, I guess I'm doing the right thing. But yeah, my office is to the east of where I live. So I'm always walking against that sunshine in the morning. And yeah, it definitely helps you wake up and start your day the right way because you just feel like, okay, I'm here, I'm awake, it's daytime, it's time for me to get my stuff doing. And I found that if I get a really good night's sleep and then I get that early morning sun like you're talking about that light, the blue sky and the light. I don't have that two o'clock lull that I used to have. When I wasn't sleeping consistently, as you mentioned, I wasn't getting always early morning light because I was getting up before the sun rose and I was staying up well after it was over and never even seeing most of that day, getting that light and just having that time to unwind in the evening.

[00:24:12.550] – Allan

All of those are just perfect. And so you walk someone through that protocol in the book and it might seem a little overwhelming because there's a lot of little things you can do. But I think that's one of the key things I really took away was it's little things. You're not asking us to go invest in a hyperbolic oxygenated bed or buy a new mattress. There's just little bitty things that if we do those are going to help us sleep a lot better.

[00:24:43.500] – Joey

Yeah. And by the way, when you're walking outside, don't wear sunglasses, at least for the first five or 10 minutes, because the sunglasses is going to block the delux rays that you're trying to get in your eyes.

[00:24:52.650] – Allan

Yeah. So now the next one, and this is actually my favorite one, is nutrition. So let's talk a little bit about if you want to optimize your nutrition, what are some little things we can do to make that happen?

[00:25:07.880] – Joey

Yeah. And I think with nutrition, we need to talk about sometimes is it optimizing your nutrition to feel better or to look better because those aren't one and the same often. Like, if you're having your standard American crap, highly processed diet and you start making better food choices, you're going to start looking better. But if you want to look completely back to the movie star analogy, we're doing some things that are leaving them a little bit electrified efficient. We're doing some water tapering and things like that. And they are cutting complete macronutrients at a certain point just so they look better, just that snapshot in time for camera before he puts on Iron Man suit. They're not that healthy then. They look like what we think is the epitome of health and isn't. So for most people with nutrition, I say one of the best things you can do is add about 10 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories that you're consuming, roughly. If you're having 2,000 calories a day, you want to have about 20 grams of fiber. Fiber is satiating. It helps you obviously go to the bathroom. It helps your gut microbiome, which 70 % of your immune system lives in there.

[00:26:10.680] – Joey

Fiber also feeds probiotics, which we take these expensive probiotics, but probiotics are less effective if you don't have fiber and prebiotics. So that is huge. Adding more whole foods or foods that have moved and lived and grown before. There was a study out of University of Michigan where people had the options of having just highly processed foods and still having those highly processed foods but adding more fruits and vegetables. And I believe they had clean cuts of meat, too. But just by adding the good whole foods, they ate 500 less calories overall without counting. Because why? They were fuller, they were more satiated, they had more micronutrients, which helps feed your body and make you feel better. So they just naturally had 500 less calories today. And we're doing the math here, 30 to 500 less calories per week. You're probably going to lose a pound ish. It doesn't necessarily work that equally as anybody has been asked, but you're going to probably a pound a week just from doing that. And that's tremendous from having these little things. So increasing the fiber, having some more greens. If you can't handle greens, have one of those greens powders.

[00:27:12.900] – Joey

I think those are actually getting much better than they used to do. So have a serving or two of fruit a day, three, four servings of greens. And if you're not having a ton of fiber now, don't go crazy with the fiber because that'll create some digestive distress. If you can add some like Sillium Husk or some fiber powder into your smoothies or drinks, that is still going to be beneficial for you. A lot of people are like, Oh, I read this study and this artificial sweetener is bad for my gut health. Well, dude, you're 300 pounds. So what's really bad for you is carrying that extra weight. So if it's a matter of you having artificial sweeteners and your diet soda and still moving more and cutting your calories and losing weight, what's going to matter more for your health right now is losing the weight. And then when we get down to losing those last few pounds, then maybe we start going with the whole gut health thing. Your gut health will get better from losing all the weight, too. So people just like they lose sight of the short term once for the long term goals. And you need to think about both of those.

[00:28:17.080] – Allan

Yeah, I really like that. And I think that's maybe one message that gets missed a lot is we're always thinking with regards to nutrition, what do I have to cut?

[00:28:29.460] – Allan

And you're approaching it from the perspective of, Okay, what can I add? And I've seen this hundreds and hundreds of times is you add something good, like you say, okay, I'm going to start eating fruit after my meals. And for one reason or another, we know why. But it satiates their sweet tooth. So they're not eating a dessert and they're not hitting the cupboard an hour or so later. They're like, Well, I already had my dessert. Those berries were actually really good and I enjoyed those. And I don't really feel like I need the cookies or crackers, or crisps, or whatever right now. I'm good. I feel good. And as a result, you're almost like you're with the good, you're pushing out the bad. Your body is getting what it needs. And I like also how you said that in the book is when we're giving our body the nutrition that it needs, it turns on the satiety hormones and turns off the hunger hormones for us. And if we don't and we keep eating the standard American diet, our body is always hungry because we're not giving it the nutrition it needs.

[00:29:41.440] – Joey

Yeah, you're creating a positive feedback loop. It's the same thing where if you have a good experience and you're like, God, that's good. And you stop and think about it, you got a dope in response to the positive feedback loop. Do you have something like you had a bad food or maybe you got food poisoning from something like, oh, that's not good. That's a diversion and then negative feedback loop. So you keep creating this positivity, but also think about it and stop and anchor that thought like, oh, I had that piece of fruit, normally have ice cream, whatever it is. Which is not saying that's necessarily a bad thing to have that every now and then. But if you can't control it, like me, I have one scoop of ice cream, I'm going to have a longing to have four or five more. And that's not good because I know I can't control myself once I have that. But for me now, my salad with some berries or apples and maybe a little bit of dressing that might have like three grams of sugar in it and some lemon, whatever, that is actually my dessert and I crave it and I feel so much better for doing so.

[00:30:32.070] – Joey

Because for years I was the low carb, the no fruit, oh my God, whatever, that stuff. And then once I started paying attention to my friends and world renowned experts, Allen Aragon is a good buddy of mine in nutrition research, got a quote on the back of the book. He's like, Dude, send me something like what to eat. And it was very simple. I'm like, Oh, my God. It's this simple? He's like, Yes, it's simple. And I'd like three cups of berries and whatever. I'm like, Wow, I feel amazing for doing this. And my body actually did start to look better because I was fueling it as opposed to literally I used to have lunch meat and carrots. That's all I would have. No greens, no fruits, nothing. And once I started incorporating that into my life, my life became much better. Yeah.

[00:31:11.640] – Allan

And I noticed you're saying berries and not Twinkies. Very different carbs.

[00:31:18.500] – Joey

But here's the thing. Look, if you want to have ice cream and you have to have it, add some berries on top of it. Think about that. So you're having some extra antioxidants in there. You're having those phytonutrients, you're having that fiber that maybe you wouldn't have. So maybe as opposed to the three scoops of ice cream, you have two scoops and a cup of berries. So you're still getting it and then slowly you're weaning it off but you're adding more good into it. Nobody thinks about that. I prefer you not to have the ice cream, sure. But like I said, if it's a matter of the two scoops or you go and have the four scoops and then the berries, you have the berries, you'd be fine. Just some nuts and seeds, something like that.

[00:31:56.420] – Allan

And you can get higher quality ice cream and pay a little bit more because you're only eating two thirds of the ice cream that you would have eaten otherwise.

[00:32:03.840] – Joey

There you go. You should host a podcast. Nice job.

[00:32:07.440] – Allan

All right. Now, I know, and that's why I'm avoiding this topic. I could probably sit here and talk to you about fitness for, I don't know, what, three days till one of us had to go to sleep. And I know how much you care about your sleep, so we would both be taking breaks. But there's so much to talk about with nutrition. And you do a really good job going through the book and talking about, again, the minimum amount of work necessary to get the results that you're after. But I think an area where a lot of people can get really confused is when you start getting into the area of stretching. And some of us, we remember PE sitting on our butt in the grass doing the little butterflies with our knees and doing those types of things. And then now we watch professional sports and we see them doing these dynamic bouncing around on the field. We're like, Well, they're not doing what I did when I played football. What's changed? Can you talk about stretching and some of the other things that we might want to do for flexibility and mobility?

[00:33:14.040] – Joey

Yeah. So stretching, people used to think, well, first it was like you had to stretch beforehand. Then there was a study that looked at where they held the stretch for 90 seconds to two minutes, and it limited force production. All of a sudden stretching beforehand wasn't good. People just get too caught up in the black and white. Stretching before can be amazing if you're stretching. So a muscle that is short and tight is often overactive and a muscle… There's some nuances to this, but a muscle that is long and lengthy and is often weak and underactive. So the perfect example might be like your Peck Meyer. So if you're touching the front part of your shoulder and go right down towards your back, that's your Peck Meyer, the smaller part that gets tight, pulls your shoulder forward. Then the opposing muscles in your back, your round voids, different parts of your lats, your lower traps, things like that, will become long and under active because your back is pulling forward. So if we think about stretching appropriately beforehand, so most people, I could generally say they have upper cross syndrome, which is their rounded forward or like text neck, whatever.

[00:34:14.820] – Joey

If you did a 30 second wall stretch, which you find a corner and you can stretch that, have your elbow slightly above your shoulder and lean into that and stretch that for about 30 seconds. And then you do some exercise for your back to activate the back, the long and under active muscles, that'll be night and day difference from you if you just did that at a minimum. But we don't want to stretch muscles that are loose. So people always go to stretching the hamstring. It's like they bend down, they stretch the hamstring because it feels good. Your hamstrings are likely tight, and I could say this with probably 95% relevance here. I'm a human movement specialist and corrective exercise specialist, so we look at different tightnesses. Your hamstrings are tight because your anterior chain in your hip fluxes are pulling them up, making them tight. So by stretching your hamstrings, feels good, but it also makes the anterior part of your hip fluxers tighter and able to pull more. So we need to think about that tightness and that stiffness. Where are you tight? Then we need to stretch that. For the hamstring, I'd say that's pretty much the one muscle that is deceiving a little bit for most people.

[00:35:26.250] – Joey

But your doctor's in her party where legs get really tight. Your hip flexes. Your quads are part of that. Those get really tight. Your peck minor gets really tight. People maybe stretch their lats. It's like if you go into a modified Down Dog or like yoga pose, that will stretch out your lats. That top part gets tight as well because that's overworked. 30 seconds to 60 seconds of stretching before your workout is going to be completely fine. You can hold it, which is your static stretch, where your dynamic stretch is moving through a movement where you're kicking your leg. You probably see athletes doing that. And then when you see them jumping around and kicking and swinging, they're doing that. And then a little bounding, which is getting the tissue warmed up. They're getting the tissue to fire and react and fire and react. So that's what they're doing, that they're warming up the tissue. So there's a number of different protocols you can go through for that. And then we get into self myofascial release or rolling, if you will. But basically, like, and percussion guns, those still have a time and place. But for most people, if you're going to do a protocol, I like them doing self myofascial release with a foam roller or a percussion gun before and then stretching if they have the time and then going into an activation technique.

[00:36:35.840] – Joey

A lot of people don't have that time. So what's that linchpin that we can add? If your chest is tight and you have only 30 seconds, stretch out the chest, lean into the wall, do a back activation technique like some rows, something like that, tier X rows, some banded pull apart, and then go into your workout. If you're doing a run, stretch out the hip flexors, maybe do some glue bridges, 15 or 20, and then go for the run. Get that going. At a minimum, that's actually going to turn on the muscle that are stabilizing and helping propel you forward. There's a lot of nuances into the stretching. If you can't stretch after your workout, amazing. Your body is warm, it's more pliable. That's when you hold those stretches 30, 60, 90 seconds or even longer. That will help that adaptive process help stretching permanently. Going through full range of motion when you're working out, that actually helps your flexibility. A full range bicep curl, a full range chest fly, a full range RDL without your lumbar spine taking over too much. So all of these things are stretching as you're under load, too. People get lost around that.

[00:37:40.950] – Allan

Yeah. Well, I would say, and I agree with you, I also went through corrective exercise and things like that. Just really initially for myself because I would watch a squat on YouTube and I'd be like, okay, I don't look anything like that. I look like I don't know. And so for me, what I found was, again, having an office job for over 20 years, yeah, my shoulders were a little bit collapsed. My neck was a little bit down. And so now my monitor is always up at eye level and I adjust my seat or I'm standing, I'm always making sure that's moving. But there are things I didn't do back then. So my calves is extremely tight and my hip flexors are tight and sometimes my glutes are under active. And so for me, it's a function of saying, okay, I want to make sure I'm moving well. So I also have injuries to my ankles when I played volleyball when I was younger. So my dorsal flexion on my ankles are not what they're supposed to be, which dorsiflexion is when you're bringing your toes up towards your shins. So having a problem with dorsiflexion, having tight calves, having tight hips, when I try to go into a squat movement, it's almost like my face wants to kiss the ground.

[00:39:01.920] – Allan

And so I'm leaning forward, which means that the bar that's on my shoulders, that load is leaning a lot more forward than it should, as does my head. Again, if I'm not stretching out my chest. So there's just this whole movement where I feel like I'm doing a squat, I'm almost like curling up on myself if I don't do this first. And so while it does take a little bit of time, it will take less time later if you go through what he's talking about here because you're going to go through and say, Okay, I know that I need to mobilize my calves. And if I mobilize my calves, then I'm going to have a better range of motion through the whole chain. My squats is going to be better. And as a result, I'm going to be able to do my squat through the full range of motion and feel good about it and strong. And then, yes, after it's over, I've got that good warm up. I'm able to take my calves now and say, Okay, let's go ahead and lengthen them. And I've done it before. You can actually put your knee, stand with your toe about two inches away from a wall and try to touch your knee to the wall.

[00:40:05.070] – Allan

You should be able to do that. That's a normal range of motion for your foot to do its dorsiflexion. And what I found is usually before I start doing the stretching or do the squats, I can't until I actually mobilize it well enough then I know once my knee can tap that wall that I'm close enough and I can do my squats. And then after the squats, I do some stretching and my knee can touch that wall. I'm now full range of motion in my ankles. So this is important because a lot of people hurt themselves by not having good movement patterns. And if you're not comfortable with this, I mean, there's a lot of great information. You have videos that people can go to to look at what you're talking about in this, which again is great. But this is an area of fitness. I think a lot of people skip over or forget, and as a result, you're setting yourself up. And it's not so much to stretch to avoid injury as the injury is going to happen if you're not doing things and you're putting load on a body that's not built to cover and hold that weight.

[00:41:08.880] – Joey

Yeah. And like this thing, I always say that things start from the ground up. So yes, if you got limited ankle mobility, maybe you don't have time to do some joint distraction or something like that. Or by the way, put your fist on the wall. It's an easier way. And then your knee should touch there. Or you can elevate it and you can do that and do some stretches and just move it in and out. Your Soleus often, which is like, think about right above your Achilles tendon, that often gets really tight. So stretching that 20, 30 seconds, just like on a step, that will help squat down, see, assess and then reassess all those things or even you could put some plates or a slant board underneath if you want to go right into it. That will help the towards you flex and help you move so much better. If you don't want to back squat, you can do a gobble squat if it's loaded in front of you that will turn on the left, so it'll stabilize you more when you're front loaded. Belt squat's amazing. I love belt squats because it reduces that arm, but you can load up a lot, so you're not loading your spine.

[00:42:03.380] – Joey

There's things that you can do. If you're like, I can't squat, it hurts me, it takes too much, and you're hurt every time, then fine, don't squat. Pick a different squat, pick a different motion. Do a unilateral motion, do a single leg, do a belt squat, whatever. It's going to be okay. Do a step up. Great for the glutes. All these things, just focus on that. If your movement looks funky, your movement is not going to look like anybody else's squat. You won't look like anybody's body. I've got a long tibia. My knees go way past my toes and my foot's still flat, which is completely safe. So think about your movement and does it look funny? Are you shifting to one side or the other? And to have that awareness first and awareness, sometimes it will fix it right then. Feel like I'm going down on my squat, I'm shifting to my right. If you're just aware of that and think about addressing it as you go down in that movement pattern, that might be enough right there because you just know that you're compensating. And then you can go down the road of thinking about what you need to do.

[00:42:53.340] – Joey

But you need to prepare, just like you prepare for a meeting, anything else, prepare your body for that workout. Take an extra two or three minutes, do that same thing. Take an extra two or three minutes after the workout. Do some recovery breathing or at bare minimum, just lay down your back and just breathe in and out through your nose. That'll calm you down and get your body ready and move into that parasympathetic state from sympathetic state. These little things, five minutes right there is all I said. Like two to three minutes beforehand, some stretches, some foam rolling, some percussion, whatever, some movement protocol, and then two or three minutes afterwards, and you could still get your 55 minute work out and you'd be fine.

[00:43:29.260] – Allan

And even a shorter one. But I'm just saying if you're looking at working out, stretching has a place. And we pooh pooh it a little bit more. And as we're over 40 and so many of us have developed these by having office jobs or repetitive motion things and just taking a little bit of time to do that maintenance before you take the road trip is going to save you a whole lot of pain.

[00:43:56.520] – Joey


[00:43:57.640] – Allan

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

[00:44:07.240] – Joey

Yeah. A lot of this is mindset to me. So one, I touched on a little bit is your awareness. Awareness of your life, awareness where you're at awareness, what you can get done, awareness of your goals. So think about your life and your day and where you can fit in that movement, where you can fit in that training, where you can fit in your relationships. That's huge. Just having that thought process in that life cycle, I'd say, Go over it like it's a trailer, like your day is a trailer in a movie. What can I fit in? What can I do right here? That makes a lot of sense. Just having that awareness here, thinking about you and what you can get in and adding those positive behaviors. After that, I would say consistency. You need to be consistent in all these aspect of wellness, like sleep, nutrition, gut health, all this stuff. Consistency over intensity wins every single time. Once you have that consistency, maybe you add some intensity. But if you go at it really hard and you haven't worked out since high school football, 30 years, you try squatting the same way and doing whatever.

[00:45:07.200] – Joey

I used to be able to do this. Well, it's the same body, but you've got more mileage on it. You want to drive your car the same way that's 30 years old. You're not going to push it as hard. So you need to be aware of that. You're 40 plus right now. So let's think about that. Where can we add that? Maybe we touch a little bit of intensity here, but we don't go anywhere near where we're at. So you've got that awareness. Acl here is where we're going with this. You've got that awareness, you've got that consistency, and now you need to have the love. You need to have the self love for yourself to put yourself first every now and then. Take care of you and take care of your body and your health and your mental and physiology and psychology. They're one and the same. And taking care of that will take care of everybody else you love. So you have to be healthy to take care of those people. And sometimes in life, you're going to get less sleep. Sometimes in life, you're going to be more stressed. You're going to have more load on you.

[00:45:58.170] – Joey

It's going to happen. But be aware that's going to happen. Take some protocols, maybe do some breath work. There's a whole breath work chapter in there. Use that. That takes 10, 20 seconds. There's a few times that will just calm you down. Reassess. When you get up in the morning and there's something I call MVP, where it's your mindset, you visualize and you think about perspective. So if you got that in the middle of meditation and mindset in the morning, what are you going to call it? You visualize your day and then you have your perspective and where you were at. So ACL, which I didn't put in the book. I was just thinking about it today because you sent me the questions. It's good. Acl.

[00:46:34.800] – Joey

Awareness, consistency and have that love for yourself.

[00:46:41.380] – Allan

Awesome. Joey, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, The Minimum Method, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:46:48.670] – Joey

Easiest places. Amazon, you said audio, hardcover, Kindle, JoeyThurman.com. I've got a bunch of links on there. Joey Thurman Fit on all social channels and Joey Thurman Fitness on YouTube.

[00:47:01.980] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/578, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Joey, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:47:12.030] – Joey

Well, thank you, my friend. I'm 40 now, so I'm in the club.

[00:47:16.360] – Allan

Happy birthday. All right.

Post Show/Recap

[00:47:21.340] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:47:22.960] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Minimum method. I've got a love hate feeling for the concept, but back when my kids were younger and I had a very busy schedule of work and kids and school and all the things, I can see how finding a way to do the minimum amount of work to move the needle would be an important priority, an important thing to do.

[00:47:47.800] – Allan

Yeah. We're going to have this theme for a couple of different weeks, this week and then next week I have Dave Asprey on, and he's a biohacker. So it's really about efficiency and getting results as quick and easy as you can. So we're going to talk a little bit about why that actually is not a bad thing. But at the same time, I want people to take the step back. It's like, are you really that busy?

[00:48:17.620] – Allan

Or is this really a question of priorities? And the reason I say that is I know there's a lot of people that will say, well, there's just no way I can get eight hours of good sleep every night because my work schedule and this and that and the other thing, there's just no way I could be in bed before 11 o'clock and I have to be up at six. So already that's seven hours. I don't have eight. And I think if they did a little time audit, I said, okay, so what time you get off work? They're like, Five. I'm like, What time do you get home? It's like, okay, 5:30 6:00 o'clock. I'm like, Okay. And then, of course, you're maybe cooking dinner and doing this and that. I said, What if everything was precooked? You did a batch cooking on the weekend. How much time would that save you on a weeknight? They're like, I don't know, half an hour, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. So you could have dinner ready in 15 minutes instead of an hour. Okay. And then what? Well, now we clean up the kitchen, we get it all together, and then we sit down, we watch Netflix for three hours.

[00:49:27.120] – Allan

And then I lay in the bed and I get ready to go to bed. And then I'm on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or whatever for another bit. And then I finally fall asleep about 11 o'clock. I'm like, okay, well, what I heard was Facebook is a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that Netflix was a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that investing 15 minutes, investing some time on the weekend to save yourself potentially hours over the course of the week was also not your priority. And so I see this often as not just a reality. Sometimes it is. Someone pulls a 16 hour day, you get home, you're tired. No, you didn't do the precooking because you thought you were going to get home at five and you're not. It's like I'm thinking, okay, what am I going to do for dinner tonight? And then yeah, you're picking up the phone or Grab hub or whatever is available to you and you're ordering what you can order. You're getting what you can get as quickly as you can get it. But set your priority, at least have it.

[00:50:45.320] – Allan

and then work your way toward it. And then when those things happen, that's when things like this, what Joey is talking about, become valuable. Because then you can sit there and say, well, I actually don't have an hour, or I am getting to bed later than I wanted to. And therefore, getting up at six and working out for an hour is just not going to be reasonable tomorrow. And it was for the right reasons. Kid broke their arm. I had to take them the emergency room, and I'm not getting in until 10 o'clock. That's different than sitting there watching Netflix for three hours and saying, I just don't have time. But you end up later and you're like, okay, it doesn't make sense for me to set my alarm for 6. What I'll do is set my alarm for 6:45. I'll get up, I'll do a quick little high intensity interval training session of like, maybe 5, 10 minutes, and I'll shower and I'll head to work, and I'll call that a win.

[00:51:48.330] – Rachel

Sure. That would be a great win.

[00:51:51.040] – Allan

And so I think there's just a lot of opportunities here that we leave on the table where we just say, I lose.

[00:51:57.520] – Allan

I lose, and we walk away from it when we could have a plan B and maybe even a plan C for how we're going to get this done. And then we would just do it. And it wouldn't be this big thing because it would just become a part of us. You and I, we'll get up, it's just no problem. It's three hours to go do a cardio session. Who has three hours? This guy. And why do I have three hours that I'll go do that? Because it's a priority. And it's a priority because it's not just the exercise. Yes, I could go out and do a hit training on the beach, go down. It's like three tenths of a mile. So just walk down five minutes, I'm on the beach. I could do sprints, and then I could do that little walk back to cool down. And so I'm out for a total of 15 minutes, done. And I got just as much cardiovascular fitness from that as I would get from my three hour walk. But in my three hour walk, I would have seen these beautiful beaches and the waves and the surfers.

[00:53:04.400] – Allan

And then I wouldn't have seen maybe the howler monkeys and the sloths and just leaf cutter ants and just things that you don't think are just super cool. You're like, I know they're tearing up something that is beautiful already, but it's just you're watching. I mean, this is just something interesting that you're not going to see and do anywhere else. But you can't do that in your house and you can't go do a 15 minute workout and then see that you're done. You go in and start doing your other stuff. So again, there's value. And I think if we just look at our time and say, okay, what's the value of the time? And yes, sometimes sitting down and watching Netflix is what you need to do. We're going to have Kelly and Juliet Starret on. And it's their day. They unwind with their kids watching shows, TV in the evening. And that's what they enjoy doing. But they're sitting on the floor and they're working mobility while they're doing it. So they've got their mobility implements, the cross ball and the roller. And they're literally sitting on the floor watching their show and they're working on their mobility while they're doing it.

[00:54:24.080] – Allan

It's that thing where it's not just one thing. You can stack this stuff. There's lots of ways to be more efficient. Yeah, find joy.

[00:54:34.680] – Rachel

Well, I guess you had said earlier, do a time audit and take a good look at your schedule, which I think that we feel so busy because we've got a lot going on in our lives. We're coming and going, kids and work and all the priorities of the house and whatnot. And it feels busy. But if you were to actually write down day to day, hour to hour, what you are doing, where could you squeeze in a workout? And maybe it's a short workout like what Joey Thurman has suggested, quick and easy, get it done because even something is better than nothing. Or when can you get a longer workout in? You were saying you enjoy these really long walks. I enjoy really long runs and being outside. I know our schedules are hectic, but where can you squeeze in that time, whether it's short or long? I don't know that we all have such a firm handle on what our schedules are more so than what we feel is going on. Like, oh, I know I have a busy day, all these appointments and all these deadlines and all these things. But what reality is going on?

[00:55:46.810] – Rachel

Just like you said, are you spending too much time on your socials, which I do? Or are you spending a lot of time at night unwinding? But again, with the people you'll have on pretty soon, that time in front of the TV with their family is a priority. That is important. But yeah, I like the thought of doing a time audit and looking at your schedule and seeing what do you really have time to do?

[00:56:13.300] – Allan

Yeah. Tammy was in this charity event thing, it was a fashion show thing. And so I knew I needed to be there.

[00:56:20.660] – Allan

I also needed to read this book for this interview. And I wanted to go for a good long walk. And so I had three things that were like, okay, these are things that are important to me that I want to get done. And rather than figure I'm stuck, well, I got to go to this event thing. So I'm just going to have to suck it up and just go. And then I'll try to catch up with reading later, and then I'll stay up later than I want to. And then I guess my walk isn't going to happen. I went online, I bought the audiobook book for this book so I could listen to it rather than try to read it. I set it on 145, which is usually what I do audiobooks at. And I planned and left about an hour early and walked the three and a half miles to the event location, got there in plenty of time, had gotten through, basically at that point, a whole hour of an audio, a little over an hour because I was listening at 1.45. So it's probably close to two hours of audio time that I'd gotten through this book.

[00:57:31.700] – Allan

And most audiobooks are anywhere from five to eight hours. You can get an idea, maybe probably even a quarter or more of this book in that time. And I got to walk the beach for the three and a half miles to get to the location. So I got all three done. It took a little creativity. It took a little thought. It took an investment.

[00:57:53.900] – Allan

But it was just one of those things of saying, I'm not going to shortchange my priorities. My priorities were, of course, my wife and being there for her. My priorities were doing the walk. And at the same time, I still had this obligation, responsibility, not priority, but I had this responsibility to get the book read so I'd be ready for the interview. And I figured out how to make them fit in the best way that was the most efficient.

[00:58:26.920] – Allan

And then the cool thing was I invested in the audiobook, so the next day I was able to get out and go for another long walk and listen to more of the audiobook and get the whole thing done while I was still doing other things versus having to sit and read, which I do a lot of times. I will just sit and read the book. But I'm always looking for, not that I got to get more done, but how do I get my priorities done.

[00:58:58.160] – Allan

And still do my obligations.

[00:59:03.790] – Rachel

That worked out very well.

[00:59:04.730] – Allan

Yeah. And that's the balance. And so, yes, there'll be times when I'll say, okay, it's better for me to do that short workout. It's better for me to just go ahead and get this done. But I'm not going to sacrifice a priority over an obligation. I'm going to figure out how to do both.

[00:59:25.060] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely. That's the best part about listening to your interviews or podcasts like this is that I can do it while I'm sitting on the spin bike or on my treadmill because I'm not going anywhere. I don't have to look out for roots and cracks in the sidewalk, so I can listen as I work out at the same time. I absolutely love that. It's a great way to multitask.

[00:59:48.520] – Allan

Yeah. So don't get that I'm having these guests on for all these efficiency style people, bio hackers and this and that, to just say that that's what training really is. It can be whatever you need it to be. But it's just a function of if you think life is getting in the way, it always will. It always will. You've planted that seed to say, my life is too busy, therefore, I can't. And you're right. You're right. You won't. It's not that you can't, but you won't. So yeah, you can't. To me, it's about saying, okay, what are my priorities? What needs to get done? I have a little notebook here that in the morning I write down my gratitude. I write down, okay, what's my priority today? If I had to say that I only get one thing that I get to do or have to do, what's the one thing? And I write that in this book and it relates to my goals and what I'm trying to accomplish. It's one of those. And then I have my top actions. It's usually three to four items. And I say, okay, these are the three to four things that I do want to really need to get done my obligations, but my priority is always at top.

[01:01:03.080] – Allan

It's that first thing. It's like, this is the thing I've got to get done. And then at the end of the day, I recap and say, okay, what did I do to move the goal? What did I do to move towards my goal? Well, it's typically that I accomplished that priority thing. I set my priority, it relates to my goals. If I get that done, that's usually what moved the needle for my goals. And then I go through and do a reflections over what my day was like, what did I learn? And then I go in and just write some notes. Okay, what are things I could do better next time? And what are things that I did well that I want to keep doing. And I just collect those notes. And so that's my day in a journal that I do practically every day. And it's just one thing, but it's one of many. And you just get a structure to all this and you just start doing it. And then it's just the normal thing. I wake up, I plan my day, I put this together, and then I'm off. I'm like, okay, I know the one thing, I know the priority for today, and I'm going to focus on that priority till I get it done.

[01:02:15.500] – Allan

And then yeah, there's this other stuff I've got to do. I'm working on this certification, so I do need to spend probably about an hour and an hour and a half doing that. But I'm going to fit that in where it makes sense for it to be fit in. But the priorities are the priorities, and they are happening every day. And I got to get that done first. Or maybe not even first, but know that I have to block the time to make it happen.

[01:02:41.000] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, just like Joey had said, and you both discussed that you need to fit training into your life. Just find a way to do it. And it sounds like you've got an effective method for yourself. So that sounds great.

[01:02:54.700] – Allan

And if you want to learn more about how to do this stuff, I encourage you to check out the Retreat. Go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And there you're going to find a link that will let you sign up or learn more about the retreat. And that's actually going to be part of what we do in our workshop is talk about, okay, what does fitness mean for you? And then how do you make it happen?

[01:03:22.840] – Rachel


[01:03:22.880] – Allan

Because we can write all the workouts in the world. I can give you the workouts and say, go do these workouts and you'll be the monster that you want to be. But what happens when this and that, and you're there and you're not there? How do you still move the needle forward? How do you make it happen? And sometimes that's efficiency. It's often planning. We're going to talk about how all of those affect your journey. So I encourage anyone that's struggling with this, listen to the podcast, read the book. But if you're really interested in putting it to practice, I encourage you to check out the retreat.

[01:04:01.770] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[01:04:03.660] – Allan

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

[01:04:06.260] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:07.630] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 7, 2023

Are you capable of changing your health and fitness?

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Have you wired your brain in such a way that you'll be able to make the changes necessary to become healthy and fit? It seems like a simple question, but so many people want to throw strategies and tactics at the problem without fully recognizing what they need to do first to make those changes stick.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:15.390] – Coach Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:16.450] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:18.060] – Coach Allan

I'm doing well, I'm doing well. Staying busy. We're heading into busy season at Lula's. So that always comes with a good influx of guests coming in and guests going out. Like, we had three check ins today, so it's like this bring me in a whole new kindergarten class. Idiosyncrasies and things that those new guests like and do it. But yeah, and it was interesting. We had an event this weekend. When I say an event, it's kind of one of those things when you want to tell a story, it's a story about running a bed and breakfast.

[00:03:50.700] – Coach Allan

Well, there's this one girl that she stayed with us a couple of times. She'll come into town and she's usually only in for one night and then she well, another thing that this girl does that Tammy doesn't really like, I don't care, but she'll go pick up a guy and then she'll bring him up to a room and that's been kind of her thing. And I think she comes to Bocas so she can do just that and not, you know, whatever. It's her life, not my life. So again, you do you, I do me. That's my philosophy in life and everything.

[00:04:17.170] – Coach Allan

But apparently this guy got really drunk and was walking around the hall naked, and they're making a ton of noise. And it was bad enough that it was Chinese New Year here, and it's pretty much celebrated pretty big because there's a pretty large Chinese community within Panama and particularly within Bocas. So it's a holiday, and all you got to do is give Panamanians a reason to have a party and boom, it's off. So there was a party going on that night, saturday night, and that was going on. And then so that went on till about midnight, and they finished at midnight. I was like, I was kind of excited because, you know, I went to sleep. But I do wake up every once in a while throughout the night.

[00:04:54.200] – Coach Allan

I woke up and it was after midnight. I'm like, oh, they're not doing it? That's great because sometimes they'll go to 04:00 am and then you can hear them out there throwing up.

[00:05:02.530] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:03.400] – Coach Allan

You do you, I'll do me. That's. Again, not judging, but that's just normal. They stopped their party early, but apparently the guests upstairs and they were in the back, so I didn't really hear them much, but apparently they're making quite a bit of racket and all that.

[00:05:17.770] – Coach Allan

And again, then Tammy didn't sleep because the party and then, of course, all the racket and she hears everything. I don't hear anything if you come in my room and as soon as you wake me up, yeah, I'm going to kill you. But until then, I won't even know you're in there. But she heard it all. She was awake the whole night, so she was already kind of grumpy when she woke up because she needs her sleep too. And she woke up and started looking at the video and saw the video. This guy was walking down the hall naked, leaning against someone's door and all that. And then, so Tammy is livid.

[00:05:49.720] – Coach Allan

And I'm like, just go in the room. Just go in the room. Stay away. I'll manage the morning. Because you're going to take someone's head off.

[00:05:57.170] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:57.700] – Coach Allan

he'd already done it a couple of times to me. And I'm like, well, I'm used to it. I don't need my head. But anyway, she saw like now. So here this girl comes downstairs and she's probably 29 years old, you know, not young, not old. She's like right in kind of that age where you should know better, but it's her.

[00:06:12.230] – Coach Allan

And so I just pulled her aside and I said, look, last night I said, that's just not going to work here. And I went through the whole process. We have single women that will stay here. And I said, that would not make them feel safe. So we have families that are here. And I said, that definitely doesn't go with a family atmosphere we want to create here. And I said, our guests. You disturbed our guests. And I'm like, so that's just not going to work here.

[00:06:35.780] – Coach Allan

So she respected it. That was a mistake. And this thing happened. And that she's no longer welcome at Lula's. I think she's the second person, maybe. No, she's the third person I think we've had to ban in a year and a month. But it is what it is. Some people are out, they're not at home. The way they are going to act is different because it's not around people that they care about what they think. And so, yeah, it's kind of interesting but those are the stories. It's like you tell the story, so at some point down the line, yeah, it's going to be a book.

[00:07:05.960] – Coach Allan

All the crazy things that happen when you're running a bed and breakfast is naked guy in the hallway, the smoker who says he's not smoking but you literally see smoke coming out his window. All those kind of things.

[00:07:18.490] – Coach Rachel

Oh my gosh, what an adventure. Always an adventure.

[00:07:22.180] – Coach Allan

How has your week been?

[00:07:23.430] – Coach Rachel

Good. We were really busy this weekend. We are replacing the sink vanity in one of our bathrooms. And, you know, with a home project, nothing goes right.

[00:07:35.650] – Coach Allan

How many trips to Home Depot?

[00:07:37.830] – Coach Rachel

Several. Too many trips. They know me there. But we're getting it done. And it's something Mike and I can be pretty proud of. Once it's all finished, there's still this touch up and what not needs to get done. But we're really happy we were able to accomplish this. This is not in our wheelhouse of things to do, so it was a pretty proud accomplishment. And as I was mentioning to you earlier, I'm hauling salt, softener bags, 40 pound bags of salt up and down the stairs. We have a water cooler, so I've got those big five gallon jugs of water I'm hauling around the house. And I just took a second this weekend to realize how strong I feel right now, just being able to do these creative tasks, these heavy lifting. I'm just so proud of myself for being strong enough to be able to do these things. And your fit for task program that you've talked about in the past, it just was ringing in my head all weekend long, and I'm just so happy for it.

[00:08:31.300] – Coach Allan

Yeah, well, good for you. I'm glad you had it because there's a pride that comes in being independent, because you easily could have just said, hey, Mike, do you mind taking the water? Yes. And Mike would have done it. He's a cool guy and he's strong and he's fit and he's capable, but you were strong and fit and capable and just said, no, my water, too. I'm going to move it and do it. It's not that you have to move five gallon jugs of water at home, but all the time, all the time they do. We order probably about ten of those a week, so I'm carrying them around all the time and luggage. But again, it's just where I want to be. It's what I want to do. And it's that thing of I'm going to still want to do these things and be able to do these things 10, 15, 20 years from now, so I'm not dependent on other people to help me get things done. They bring the water, we put it on the porch, and if I weren't capable, it would sit out there, and if I couldn't find someone to help me, then it's going to sit out there overnight and someone's probably going to steal it.

[00:09:33.560] – Coach Allan

Oh, gosh. Rather than struggle with any pick them up and carry them and do it. And so it's one of the things I'm glad to hear that you were able to do that, and the pride and the strength and just the knowing that you're capable and you didn't injure yourself, and it was just done. And you didn't wake up the next morning saying, oh, my God, what did I do?

[00:09:55.090] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:09:57.790] – Coach Allan

Well, you may move in a way that you hadn't before, but at the same time, that's a good feeling because you know you're getting yourself stronger to be able to do that again, better next time.

[00:10:07.300] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. I'm so proud.

[00:10:09.490] – Coach Allan

You should be.

[00:10:10.420] – Coach Rachel


[00:10:10.760] – Coach Allan

Well, now the question is, Rachel, are you capable of changing your health and fitness?

[00:10:15.900] – Coach Rachel

Oh, you know it!

[00:10:17.000] – Coach Allan

All right, let's have that conversation.

Episode – Are You Capable of Changing Your Health and Fitness?

I want to tell you a little story. There was a kid, a fifth grader named Michael Pigford. He was the son of a military man living on a military base at Fort Meade, Maryland. He was a natural athlete, big and strong, even at that young of an age, and he was pretty darn good at karate, too. Now, Michael wanted to join the football team, and his friend, who lived in the same apartment building, decided he wanted to play, too.

His friend was around the same age, but he was much smaller and not nearly as strong an athletic as Michael. But he showed up at every practice, and whenever there was a drill, he and Michael did the drill together. Now, Michael was this gifted athlete, as I said, strong and big, and he made the team. His friend did not. The coach went over to the friend's family's house and explained to the parent that he just wasn't big enough, strong enough, fast enough, or skilled enough to be on the team.

Now, Michael went on to have a great football season, winning several of the awards because he was by far the best player on the team. His friend watched from the stands, and in the meantime, his friend joined the school band and found out he actually had a little bit of a talent for playing the trombone, although it wasn't his first love.

So we roll around to the next season. What do you think Michael's friend did? He really wanted to play football, but he was still smaller than the other kids, and he hadn't had practices or games to learn any of the skills. What would you do? Would you say or think, I just need to do this band thing because that's what I'm good at? Would you think or say, I'm just not genetically gifted as an athlete?

Now, let's talk about your health and fitness. Have you struggled to do certain things staying away from junk food, sleeping well, running yoga, or doing a fitness class where everyone else just seems to be a lot better than you? Or maybe you're so intimidated by health and fitness that you don't even try? I mean, there's that free weight section back there with all the guys in it, and you don't even want to walk back there.

Are you listening to an inner voice that's telling you you aren't enough? That coach who's telling the parents that the kid overheard, he wasn't enough, he wasn't big enough, he wasn't strong enough, he wasn't fast enough, he just wasn't good enough. Is your internal dialogue telling you that? If that's what you're hearing from your internal dialogue, you probably have what's called a fixed mindset. So what is a fixed mindset? A fixed mindset is the belief that while you may be good at some things, you suck at others. Having a fixed mindset can show up in many different ways. Seeing challenges is a problem to be avoided. Believing that you're either good at something or not. Valuing talent instead of effort, giving up in the face of obstacles, viewing critical feedback is something to ignore. Actually, it bothers you. It offends you when someone gives you feedback. So here's the rub if you have a fixed mindset about the things that you're trying to do for health and fitness, your chances of making it happen are very, very low. What you need is a growth mindset. So you may be asking, what is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is the belief that anything, a capacity, an ability, a personality trait can be improved with sustained effort. Having a growth mindset helps you do a lot of things, including focus on the process, over the results, focus on the behaviors over the outcomes. You respond productively to feedback and actually enjoy it. That may be not enjoy it, but you want that feedback. You keep persevering when things are hard, when you have setbacks, and you learn from your failures and mistakes, maybe even eventually enjoy them. And you look at things realistically as a constant work in process. So in general, a growth mindset is going to help you deal with ups and downs of life. As you move towards your health and fitness goals, I think you can kind of see the difference. A fixed mindset is going to tell you, well, I'm not good at running, I'm not good at yoga, so I'm not going to do that. Someone tells you if you did this and you did that, you would do better. And you see that as a slight versus an opportunity. With a growth mindset, you like that feedback. That feedback is helpful.

If you fail at something, you just know that you haven't learned what you need to know or haven't developed what you need to have to be good at, what you want to be good at. So there are two different ways of looking at a problem and health and fitness can be a big problem that we're trying to overcome. And there's going to be a lot of ups and downs during this period of time. So I want to take you through a little exercise. This is probably going to require you to get a pen and a paper and maybe a highlighter, a highlighter if you have it. But this is going to take a little bit of time. So this is probably going to be a stop and start type of episode. If you draw driving, you can listen through. But I would say come back to this part because this is where you're actually going to figure out a little bit of this. Okay? So what I want you to do is get that paper and I want you to write in this journal and I want this to be free flow. So not something you're stopping and thinking about, not something you're editing.

Just write down what comes to your mind. And then at this point as you go through this, there's going to be three things I kind of want you to do. Okay? First, I want you to write down several things related to your health and fitness that you're not good at and why you're not good at that thing. Okay? So for me, one example is I'm not really good at yoga, and I'm not really good at yoga because I just really haven't emphasized mobility and flexibility in my training over the years. And so I'm not as mobile and I'm not as flexible as I should be. So that's my reason why. But I'm not good at it, and I know why I'm not good at it, but I want you to think about it in your own terms. Why are you not good at something that, you know, from a health and fitness perspective is important for you? Second, now I want you to write down several things related to health and fitness that you are good at and why you're good at that thing. Similarly, just there's going to be things you're good at and things you're not good at.

Okay? Now set that list down, and with a pen or the highlighter, I want you to underline or highlight the statements that are fact based. Okay? So if you wrote anything that's not a fact, I want you to skip it. But if it's a fact, like, my joints hurt or this happens or that happens, if it's a fact, I want you to highlight it or underline it. Okay, so take a few minutes. You might want to pause this episode here so you can take the time to go through each three of those steps. Okay, so you're going to list things that you're not good at and why you're not good at them. You're going to list things you're good at and why you're good at them. And then with the pin or highlighter, I want you to go back to that list and see how many things that came out of that free flow are true and how many are false. Okay, so highlight the things that are true or underline the things that are true. All right, so if you took that ten minutes to pause this. Good. Welcome back. Okay, now the statements that you made that are not fact based, so some of those statements are probably not highlighted or underlined.

They are self limiting beliefs, and that is a part of a fixed mindset. So these are typically opinions. They're typically exaggerated, sometimes grossly exaggerated. And what you'll probably find is some of those may have words like never, always, and can't, and those will stick out to you. Also look for the ones that point to flaws about who you are and what you lack, for example, genetics or willpower. So you may say, I struggle to not eat sweets because I'm lazy and I don't have any willpower. I struggle to do my workouts in the evening because I'd rather sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Now, wanting to sit on the couch and watch Netflix is probably the truth. It's probably a fact. But I think you can kind of see that's not really something that's true true. If you really want to do this thing. So I want you to kind of map out this process and think about the statements that you just freeflow wrote. How much of that is identifying a fixed mindset? How much of that is a self limiting belief? That's not actually true. So now you've started the process of doing the fixed mindset piece and the growth mindset.

Some of this list might actually have been growth mindset, where you're talking about, I have a rocking program, and I struggle to go as far as I want to, but I'm working on it there. Hear the difference, okay? Until you know your enemy in this health and fitness journey, you're not going to be able to defeat it. So when I talk about being capable of hitting your health and fitness goals, this is where the rubber hits the road, okay? As you look at the statements that aren't highlighted or underlined, if the state I want you to think about it in these terms. So there's like, three levels here, because these are all very important to how you can do this next step, okay? So if the statement is completely false, what I want you to do is take a moment, and I want you to write down an affirmation with the truth. Okay? So I'll give you an example. You may say, for example, I'm not disciplined. Okay? If you're disciplined in some aspects of your life, but maybe not this, that's a completely false statement. You are disciplined in certain aspects of your life.

So another way to write this as an affirmation is, I am disciplined in all aspects of my life that I make a priority. Okay? So that affirmation now is something I want you to keep with you. You wrote down that you are not disciplined, which was not true, because there are parts of your life that you care about that you are disciplined. If your child needs to take a bath every night, you're bathing your child. If you need to pick up your spouse from work every afternoon, you're picking up your spouse. So those things happen. There is some discipline in there. You just need to apply it here. This needs to be important to you. This needs to be a priority, as we talked about before. So that's the point is you need to show discipline in all aspects of your life that you make a priority. Now, when you're writing an affirmation, it's important to write it in the present tense. This is not I will be. This is I am disciplined in all aspects of my life. Okay? Now, some of the statements that you wrote might be partially true, okay? Remember when we did those never and always we may say, I always make excuses to skip my workouts.

Okay? Now, do you always skip your workouts? Do you always make excuses to skip your workouts? And the answer is no. I do some of my workouts, but I do make excuses for the workouts that I don't do. So I would rewrite that as a statement. Often look for excuses to not work out. But I know if I remind myself why I have to do it, I will. Okay, this takes your fixed mindset limiting belief statement of, I always make excuses to a, I often do this, but I know if I do this thing, I'll get better at this. If I remind myself why I have to do this, I will do this. I will get better. So see how you can take a partial statement and now turn it into a growth mindset statement. Okay, so that's a series of those. Now, the final set is this statement is really something you do struggle with. So this is actually you haven't made any progress, and now there's a statement, and here you are. But, you know, it's probably true, but it's just really a struggle. It's not something you can't do. So maybe there's some of even these true statements that you made that are things you're not good at.

You've made these statements and you could still look at them now and say, whoa, that's still kind of very limiting. It's true, but I know I can still do something. So if you said, when I'm trying to unwind from a stressful day, I need a couple of glasses of wine, and in your heart of hearts, you might know that that's true at some level, but you know it's not serving you, and you know that you can get past this. So you could say it's partially true, but at this point in time, from a life experience perspective, that's where you find yourself those stressful days. So instead of writing, I need a couple glasses of wine, I would write, I haven't been able to break my stressful wine day habit yet, but I'm working on it. Okay, even though we know this is a bigger challenge than we're maybe able to do right now, we can put forward a more positive, a more growth mindset approach to that statement. So you should be able to go through all of the things that you think you're not good at and look at it and say, is it completely false?

And if it is, you need to write an affirmation that you're past it. If it's partially true, then you have to do the thing that's necessary for you to make it false. And that means you're going to start working right? So you have to remind yourself why you're doing this, and that can help you maybe push past this thing that you're not good at. Partially true. And then the final bit is, yeah, there's some things that you might really struggle with, and they're on that list. And you look at them and you're like, okay, this is true. This is a real struggle, but I'm not in this just to let things happen in my life. I want this to happen. Am I capable of making it happen. Yes. And so because I'm capable of making it happen, I can acknowledge that it's been a challenge. I can acknowledge I haven't been able to overcome this yet, but I can put in my head the statement yet, but I'm working on it. Okay. And that's a very, very powerful growth mindset statement that you need in your head. Okay. So we've covered a lot today, and if you're really interested in learning more about all of this, this is really based on some work by a psychologist at Stanford.

Her name is Dr. Carol dwick. She's done some really great work. It's worth looking at some of her YouTube stuff. She's got some books out there, and she's keynote spoke everywhere. She's like the growth mindset person. She also talks a lot about resiliency and those types of things. But just to kind of summarize what we're talking about here, when I talk about being capable, I just have to be open and honest with you. If you have a fixed mindset, you're going to struggle. This is going to be a lifelong struggle until you can get yourself to a growth mindset, because changing from who we are to something else is growth. And if your mind doesn't go there and I know you've heard me say this many, many times, if your mind doesn't go there, nothing else will. So you've got to start putting together developing a growth mindset. And this is not an easy thing, but this is something you do need to get done if you want the change to happen. So things that are happening, like failure, you think of the word failure. That's an opportunity to learn. You need to show patience and perseverance.

When there's a setback. A setback is an opportunity. It's not a failure if you quit. Yeah. Then you go back to start and game over. But that's not what we're doing here, right? So work on building that. Understand that anything worth having is worth working for. So if you want this bad enough, you're going to have to work for it. And it's not just the physical parts of watching what you eat and moving more and doing those things. This is a mindset game. But I can tell you, if you do this mindset work, it will pay more dividends than anything else you can do, because it's going to keep you in the game and it's going to help you be successful.

Post Show/Recap

[00:26:37.070] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:26:38.440] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Alan. Capable is such a strong word, just like we talked about a minute ago. It's just we are absolutely more capable of doing things than we can even imagine.

[00:26:50.470] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And the unfortunate thing is this is anyone listening to this, anyone who's been there, done that, tried anything, you might have struggled first time, the second time, 100 times, but if it was important to you, you got it done. And I know everyone has a story of someone who. Told them, you're not enough. You're not good enough. You're not capable. You'll never be good at this. And what happens then? Is that programming? Because we let it become programming. We're like, oh, that person told me I couldn't, and they told me I couldn't right after I didn't. And therefore, they have more evidence of me being terrible at this, or not good enough, whatever the adjective or word you want to use to talk about it. But it's basically you've been told you're somebody, and you start to accept that as reality. And aside, was it from the Ford cars? His quote, and I'm going to butcher it. But if you think you can't, you're right. If you think you can, you're right. And that's really where this goes to, is where your brain takes you, you go, and where your brain tells you you can't go, you don't go.

[00:28:06.810] – Coach Rachel

Right? Yeah. You know, I shared the story a few times recently, actually, with a couple of my running friends. I was a gym flunky, PE class flunky. If I could have hid behind the Bleachers for gym class, I would have done that. Every sport that I tried, I would quit just because I had no talent. I couldn't get anywhere, wasn't picked for the team. After a while, it wears on you, and it's strange, but I just had no interest in anything athletic. And then look at me now, running ultra marathons and lifting heavy things and staying as active as I am in this life, at this part of my life. But it took a while to overcome that mindset. In fact, the other story I share a lot with my friends is when I first moved to Florida and met one of my really amazing running friends down there, we did a lot of five KS together, which is a huge feat for a lot of people. Absolutely. And then she said, well, let's do a ten K, and I thought she was crazy. And then we did a ten K. Then she said, well, let's do a half marathon.

[00:29:09.050] – Coach Rachel

I thought she was totally crazy. There's no way I could run for 13 miles. But we did. And same thing for the full marathon. I thought she was totally bonkers, even suggests we could do a marathon, but we trained for it and we did it. And it was probably that haunting of my PE flunky days. I can't.

[00:29:27.330] – Coach Allan

But you know, in your heart of hearts, you pull out that yearbook, you're going to see an overweight guy wearing those polyester blue shorts. You know, it may be, oh, my God, I let that guy live in my head.

[00:29:44.970] – Coach Rachel

That's it.

[00:29:45.740] – Coach Allan

That's just it.

[00:29:46.720] – Coach Rachel

Those thoughts get stuck in your head, and it takes a while to overcome that. But now I have such a strong mindset, and absolutely, the growth mindset is wholeheartedly strong in my brain that I feel like, well, now I can attempt anything if I so choose that's the difference is that I need to want it and then put the priority behind it to get it done.

[00:30:09.190] – Coach Allan

I'll openly admit I still have my hang ups. I still have places where I struggle with a closed mindset. One example is when I was younger, my endurance level was off the charts. It hadn't been a priority. And so from an endurance perspective, I can walk forever. I could literally walk forever. But when it comes to doing something that's going to put me into like a level three or level four cardiozone, so that I'm at that point where I wouldn't be able to comfortably have a conversation. So now I'm labored breathing while I'm moving. When I get to that point, I burn out pretty quickly. What that means though, is for me, because I've never been comfortable floating. I'm going to say not comfortable, but I've actually never floated. I see. And so when I get in the water, there's a natural feeling that I'm sinking and that if I'm not moving, I'm sinking. And so when I swim, I have to swim. And that puts me at that level four. And I can only do it so long, so far. And I can practice it, I can train for it, and I can do better with that.

[00:31:20.760] – Coach Allan

But it's just the other aspects of feeling comfortable, floating, stopping, moving, and actually just be in the water, which I know I should be capable of, but it doesn't just naturally seem to happen when I get in the water. I just start going down. There's been a couple of situations where I was in water and struggling to get to this point because I was running out of juice. My energy systems were not giving me what I needed to keep moving, and I would stop moving and I would sink. And then it's like, okay, I have to keep moving or I'm going to stay down here under the water and not come back up. And so it's good fear there, and there's a lot of things going on in my head, but I'm aware of that. I'm aware of okay, that's an area where I do struggle, but I'll say it in this way. I just really haven't gotten to a point where I'm comfortable in the water yet. Okay? And that's the key. This is not that you just say, well, yeah, I'm actually good at this, even though someone told me I wasn't. And I'm actually good at this when someone else told me I wasn't, or I thought I wasn't good at this, but I actually am.

[00:32:29.310] – Coach Allan

This is when you've find yourself at that hard point. It's where you've maybe you said, okay, I'm going to cut back on my carbohydrates and I'm going to do this. And then here you are on a Sunday night with a Haagen-Das bucket in your lap watching a movie. And you're like, this is hard. And it is.

[00:32:47.590] – Coach Rachel

It is.

[00:32:48.770] – Coach Allan

So it's not that it's hard. You just have to get to the point where you're comfortable trying and pushing through and doing hard things and realizing one slip does not make the battle. You have to keep fighting. And so you get to those points and that's what it is. And where the real value of all this will come in is when it's the really hard things. And you just keep your head positive in that. I may not have done it yet, but I will. I haven't done this yet. I haven't solved this yet. I am struggling to lift this weight, but I will. I've struggled to lose weight, but I will. And I know I'm on the right path. I just have to persevere.

[00:33:31.210] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, that's a perfect mindset.

[00:33:33.210] – Coach Allan

Capable, capable, capable.

[00:33:35.000] – Coach Rachel

You got to remember, and you are.

[00:33:36.900] – Coach Allan

That's what's important. Yeah. So my Google assistant heard me say that word, and here's the definition, if you wanted to know, because Google's got on here having the ability, fitness or quality necessary to do or achieve a specific thing. So, again, thank you, Google. It's just one of those concepts where we struggle with hard things. And particularly if at one point we were told we couldn't, and particularly if we couldn't and we were told we couldn't, then it's reinforced. But I told the story about a really good football player and his friend who was not a good football player. Well, I was that friend. He didn't figure that story out. Gee, we're going to figure this out, of course. But I was Michael's friend and Michael was the athlete. He was the karate dude. He was the athlete. He was £25 heavier than me. He was just a big dude, a strong dude and everything. He was a natural athlete, football player, all of it. And I was not. But by the time I was in high school, I was that athlete. I wasn't physically that big. I wasn't physically. So from an athletic perspective, I was never naturally athletic.

[00:34:49.850] – Coach Allan

All of it was that I wanted it bad enough and I just didn't listen. I was not really good at listening. And so when the coach said I wasn't good enough, in my head, it's like, well, yet it was like, no, I will play football. And the thing that bugged me more than anything else was that we went through all this pre season stuff. I was the guy who was paying attention to all the videos. I was the guy who literally, when we would get out there and do drills, I knew every position on the football field because it was like my best chance of making it is to be good or at least know what to do everywhere. So the coaches never had to tell me how to play a position. They just had to say, Alan, go play that position. Now, was I good at it? Absolutely not. I was literally less than £100. Playing on the 110 pound team. Michael had to try to cut weight before the season started because he was too heavy. He weighed over £115, so he had to lose a little bit of weight right before the season just to make the team.

[00:35:51.040] – Coach Allan

And then he bloomed up to two to 120. So, like, literally, yeah. This guy's £25 heavier than me or more, but he was my best friend, and so when it was carrying someone up the hill carrying Michael up the hill. When it carries them up the hill, it's Michael carrying me up the hill. And I was just a sandbag to that guy. But that's the whole point. You're going to have some natural talents, and you should enjoy them, use them, be motivated by them. But then if there's something you're struggling with, don't use that as an excuse to say, no, I just not good at that. I can't eat that way. I can't do that thing. My knees hurt when I run, so therefore I can't be a runner. Okay, well, maybe there's some things you could do to make the running less painful, less damaging. It could be shoes, it could be a running form, it could be different things. But you're capable. You just have to find the way. And maybe that's just it. Maybe your knees are just they're just completely freaking shot. But what else can you do? You can walk.

[00:36:51.250] – Coach Allan

You can walk. Okay. I can walk. I can walk forever, okay? That's my thing. I don't need to run from one side of the island to the next. I can walk. There.

[00:36:59.410] – Coach Rachel


[00:36:59.800] – Coach Allan

No one's chasing me. Okay, well, now I just had to be big and strong enough so that they are chasing me. I can kick their butt. They're no longer chasing me. So chase me, yeah, please. But, you know, it's just that whole thing of saying, yeah, I'm going to have some skills, I'm going to have some capabilities, and then I'm going to have some things I'm not as good at or not good at yet. And you just have to go at it and say, okay, what do I need to do to be able to do the things that I want to do? And I work in coach online, if you didn't know that. And what does that mean? It means that I have to know the technology behind the things that I do. Now, I could hire all of that out, but then what's happened is I'm dependent on the guy who built my website. I'm dependent on the guy who's running my checkout stuff on my software. I'm dependent on the guy who writes and puts the quizzes together for me, and I'm dependent on those people because I don't know how to do it myself.

[00:37:49.510] – Coach Allan

And I'm like, well, okay, this is hard. It's a new software. I've never used it. It's not working like anything else I've done before. I got to figure it out, because this is mine and this is important to me. And as I was talking about a couple of weeks ago, this is a priority.

[00:38:06.260] – Coach Rachel

There you go, that word.

[00:38:08.620] – Coach Allan

That's that word again. So if it's a priority, even if it's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life, you're going to get it done right. And if you're struggling, you just haven't figured it out yet.

[00:38:20.350] – Coach Rachel

And the struggle is not the problem. It's uncomfortable. It's not easy to figure out a new task. It's not easy to try a new task. But once you get there, it all will make sense. It all becomes easier as you go. It's something that you got to try. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

[00:38:36.970] – Coach Allan

And those are wins or things that they can never take away from you.

[00:38:39.940] – Coach Rachel


[00:38:41.350] – Coach Allan

In addition to Naked Guy and having to have that conversation, I started working on another quiz because I've had a couple of ideas and concepts coming up, and I'm like, I'm going to do another quiz. So I started working on this new quiz, and the software is a little non intuitive. There's some things that are intuitive about it, and then there's other things like, why is that image there? It's not there. And then I look at the page and it's there. I'm like, where is it? I don't know where it is. And so I'm trying to figure all that out. And I asked for help when I needed it, I reached out and I told their help desk, I'm like, I'm trying to do this one thing, and it's not working the way I thought it would. So I did this little thing and I thought that might fix it because it made sense that it would fix it. And they're kind of like, well, no, you actually have to do it this way. And then there was just a different path that I had not thought of. It was not that I was dumb.

[00:39:34.700] – Coach Allan

I'm instead of saying, oh, I don't know how to do this, I'll just hire it out. Because I could literally go on there and say, do you know someone who could build this for me? I don't want to do it. And they would do it. I think they charged like $500, but they would have done what I did. That literally just took me about an hour and a half before I walked in here to do this recording. Once I understood how to back it out and do it, I was like, oh, now I can do everything I want to do. And other than, like I said, an image being where it's just not there, I deleted that image. It's not there. It should be gone. It's not gone. What do I do? And it's like, well, okay, don't worry about it. Just take your time, try a few things, figure it out, get past this with a little coaching, because I had to ask the guy a big question, and then once he answered the big question, a lot of things just fell in place. So when I talk about capable, I'm not saying you don't ask for help.

[00:40:24.540] – Coach Rachel

Oh, sure.

[00:40:25.370] – Coach Allan

I'm just saying you've got to get out of your own way and realize that and realize you got to do the work, but you can, and you're capable of doing these things, and you just have to keep persevering and pushing. And I did make the team the next year.

[00:40:41.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:40:42.020] – Coach Allan

It wasn't very good. I didn't get a lot of playing time. But in practice, the coaches realized I knew every position on the field. I could be anywhere they wanted me to be for squib team, because I, quite frankly, knew every play, I knew every position, I knew where every player was supposed to be at every single second of every play. And I carried that all the way into high school. And when you can do that in high school and you know where everybody is supposed to be, you're a coach on the field.

[00:41:10.780] – Coach Rachel

Oh, neat.

[00:41:11.420] – Coach Allan

And you're able to basically get in there and be a leader at a very young age, because you just know what everybody is supposed to do. So you're in practice, and it's like, no, look, think about this and do that. And it's like, I get it. You're on the other side of the field. For me, you're the tackle, and I'm the guard. And I'm like but I'm second string right now because we're practicing you at defense. So let me give you a couple of tricks of the trade. This is why I'm able to block you, okay? And do this. And so was I ever coached on defense? No. But every time the coach was coaching defense, I was listening. And every time that something was happening, I was figuring it out. And so the coach knew it could put me in, in fact, in one football game, because we didn't have enough players to play both our varsity and junior varsity, some of us varsity players could play junior varsity positions as long as we were not in that position as a varsity player, okay? So that meant I was the punter for the junior varsity team.

[00:42:11.120] – Coach Rachel


[00:42:11.630] – Coach Allan

And I was third string punter for the varsity team. So it's like, okay, I'll just punt for the junior varsity, and I'll let the games. Sometimes I ran the flags, but a lot of times, I'll just be their punter. And we're sitting there one day, and we're in a game, and the quarterback gets hurt.

[00:42:24.470] – Coach Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:42:25.180] – Coach Allan

Coach looks on the sidelines. Misner, come on out here. So here I am in a football game about to play quarterback. Well, I was an offensive lineman, not a quarterback. But he knew I knew the place. He said, you know, crossback left, cross pick right. And I'm like, yeah, you know what? You're supposed to do. I'm like, yes, you turn the opposite direction, hand the ball. They're going through the tackle gap. Okay? And he's like, first one, I just want you to run up the middle. Just get comfortable taking a snap. Just run it up the middle. And I did that.

[00:42:52.340] – Coach Rachel


[00:42:52.970] – Coach Allan

And then I did the crossbuck left and the crossback right, and both of those plays got nowhere. And then I was back there punting again. But the whole point being is if you told me beforehand you're not good at a quarterback being a quarterback, I'd be like, well, right, I'm not even on the depth chart. But that day, he needed me, and I did it.

And was I good at it? No. But one of the things that taught me again, it was just one of those things of, oh, I realized when I was back there taking the snap for the punts and taking the snap for the football was, I have to think a lot faster in this position than I did as an offensive lineman. An offensive lineman. I had like my very first task was like, what's next? That's all I had to think about as an offensive lineman. But a quarterback had to actually think about three or four different things at the same time. He had to catch a ball that's being snapped back at him or under center, take the snap. He had to be aware of what was happening, one of them with the linebackers and the linemen, to make sure, again, no one's coming that gap, he can get the ball cleanly and get out of there.

[00:43:52.350] – Coach Allan

He had to know where his wide receivers were going to be at a given point in time, where his running backs would be at a given point in time. And he had to also not trip, gosh a lot. It is, but again, was I good at it then? No, but I kept practicing again when it was instead of me lining up as an offensive lineman against this first team defense, hey, can I play a little bit of quarterback? This will be fun. And I was the quarterback. Good luck to getting tackled. And so, yeah, it's just fun. But I made things fun. If it was hard, I just made it fun until I learned it. And that's, again, there's a lot of different ways to look at this, but you got to get to the first one of I'm just not good at it yet. I got to figure out a way to get it done, make it fun, make it a challenge, get help if you need it. There's just so many different ways that I could have taken this episode, and we have a little bit now, but as I was going through it, I'm like, first thing is, you have to believe yes.

[00:44:47.120] – Coach Allan

And then you just got to figure out the rest.

[00:44:49.600] – Coach Rachel

That's right. And it always works out somehow it does.

[00:44:52.860] – Coach Allan


[00:44:53.600] – Coach Rachel

I went from a gym flunkey to an ultra marathon or so. Crazy things can happen.

[00:44:58.530] – Coach Allan

Yeah. Yeah. And and heaven forbid, if they chased you with that ball after probably about the first three or 4 miles, they're going to stop.

[00:45:06.260] – Coach Rachel

Yes. You can't hold me on that field. Allen. Kind of a longer yeah.

[00:45:11.890] – Coach Allan

Most of them are not most of them are not going to catch you after you get those first three or 4 miles done. Because yeah. She's going to run 50 miles just to get away from us. I don't even understand. She does not want to get hit by this little red ball.

[00:45:24.010] – Coach Rachel

That's right.

[00:45:28.070] – Coach Allan

I don't think they played that sport anymore, but I don't know. I don't think so. I think it was deemed one of those it's too mean to play sports in school. But I don't know. If your parent if your parent and your kid plays dodgeball at school, let me know. But if you're a kid and it's like, yeah, that's ball. Barrett. Who would allow a sport like that? Who knows? It was fun. Even when you were not the best player out there, it was fun. And such as life. But all right, so talk again next week.

[00:45:58.000] – Coach Rachel

You bet. Take care.

[00:45:59.380] – Coach Allan

I'll talk to you then.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 17, 2023

How to recognize bad health and nutrition science with Ivor Cummins

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

It is hard to do a good nutrition and health study. Add to that how many people conducting these studies have built-in biases, and we're left with a hodge-podge of bad science. Ivor Cummins (The Fat Emperor) is a professional complex problem solver. He's made it his mission to dive in and deconstruct much of this science to find the truth.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:50.080] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:52.050] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.200] – Coach Allan

Doing good. Little tired. I told you guys this a lot. We record this a few weeks in advance. A couple of weeks in advance. And so this is a holiday here, the New Year's holiday. And so we've made the decision this year to give our staff the time off. And I know I've talked about that, but it's quite a different thing when you know you've got 13 breakfast and you got three rooms to clean and this person wants to rent bikes and that person needs this and someone needs a ride there, and some people have to be picked up there. And then you have to wait for this couple to show up, and you don't know when they're here. And so it's just one of these move move move and then you finally get that opportunity to sit down and record

[00:03:42.980] – Coach Rachel

Oh, jeez. Oh, my goodness.

[00:03:49.300] – Coach Allan

And roll it through my head. It's like, okay, I got to get a bottle of water upstairs because they're about out there. And then got to make sure that all the laundry that needs to be done, the one ends we pulled off of the beds, and all that still gets done. I've got a laundry list of about a dozen things in my head right now that Call probably won't be able to nap immediately. There probably will be a nap somewhere today.

[00:04:15.280] – Coach Rachel

That sounds good. Good plan.

[00:04:17.750] – Coach Allan

Yeah. How are things up there?

[00:04:19.890] – Coach Rachel

Good. We made it through Christmas, made through New Year's. Now it's about getting back to schedule again. I miss having routines and schedules and just getting back to normal. My sleep is disrupted too, so I just feel wonky.

[00:04:34.680] – Coach Allan

And I saw this insane, insane picture of you standing in water in Mission.

[00:04:44.440] – Coach Rachel


[00:04:47.400] – Coach Rachel

On New Year's Day, our Fun Run Club organizes a polar plunge, and on the lake that we use, it had a pretty good base of ice. In fact, it was kind of a struggle to chop through to make a little hole for us to do our little polar plunge.

[00:05:06.560] – Coach Allan

That's everything nature, god, everything's saying, don't.

[00:05:12.400] – Coach Rachel

It's exhilarating. It really is. I look forward to it every year. I get really excited in December that this is coming up, and, yes, it is super cold, and there's a lot of screaming going on, but it is really a lot of fun, and I just feel like it's like washing off the bad luck of last year and getting myself ready and prepared for the upcoming year. It's kind of a great day, and it's a lot of fun.

[00:05:44.350] – Coach Allan

I have a completely different description of it.

[00:05:51.100] – Coach Rachel

Well, truth be told, I am no stranger to ice bath, and as an endurance runner, I am known to take an ice bath with lots of ice in the bathtub after a run. So I'm no stranger to any of it. I enjoy it. It is exhilarating. It is a challenge. But yeah. It's also a lot of fun.

[00:06:14.020] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And that's why when I say there's no one way to do any of this, there's no one way, and there's no way in that world. I might have considered it. But, oh, yeah, I'm not doing that up there. Having to peck through the ice to make it happen.

[00:06:36.380] – Coach Rachel

Yes, it was a fun time.

[00:06:38.400] – Coach Allan

Ready for the conversation with Ivor?

[00:06:41.670] – Coach Rachel



[00:07:21.240] – Coach Allan

Ivor, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:25.020] – Ivor

Thanks a lot, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:07:27.740] – Coach Allan

I'm hyper excited. I mean, I'm like a little fanboy right here now because I've heard you speak, and it's something else. If you can get out and listen to this guy, if you can get on his YouTube channel, you've got to go meet him, because Ivor is a no nonsense, data driven individual that he doesn't just take the headline. You go in and you drill and you learn a lot of interesting things. And I've learned a lot of interesting things by listening to you.

[00:08:02.120] – Ivor

Yeah. Well, thanks, Allan. It's my background, really, I was a complex problem solver and corporate for a couple of decades, leading teams, and it's always what I specialized in, so I don't dig into everything. Some things I judged are not of huge value to understand more deeply, but it's like breadth and depth, as we used to say. Breadth on capturing the full picture of any kind of topic or arena, and then depth where necessary, based on your skill and judgment, to go into depth where there's value.

[00:08:34.640] – Coach Allan

Well, like I said, your YouTube channel is pure gold. The depth and the breadth there is just fascinating. I got caught up in that rabbit hole the other day while I was prepping for this interview, and I just one video after the other. And so, the funny thing, I was watching one of your videos and you finished the video, and I was kind of peddling with something else. And you know how YouTube will take you on to the next video, just some other video, it wasn't yours. There was some newscast and they were talking about fusion energy and how someone might have cracked fusion energy. And now I'm hooked on they knew I wanted to see this, so they got me. But that's when it hit me. It's like, we know what fusion energy is. If you know enough about science and you've studied it a little bit, you know what that is. And there's a science, a hard science, between what that is, how you define something like fusion. Why is it that when we do science around food and health, it never quite gets to that same level of science? Why is science not science when it comes to food and health?

[00:09:52.300] – Ivor

Yes. Big question. Well, I think the theoretical science and physics and mathematics have stayed pretty poor, or pure, I should say. Not poor, pure. And they've stuck with the scientific method of create a hypothesis and then seek to destroy the hypothesis, ideally not just to support us, which are cognitive or belief bias and they've just stuck to science. And they've been allowed to really, because there's no mass market, particularly in kind of fusion and theoretical physics. So they were allowed to continue, as we did for hundreds of years, stick to the science. However, health and food are the two biggest markets on the planet, basically. So the processed food industry is enormous, as you well know, and we've got this ownership model over the last 30 years where a few corporations own the whole lot and that's just the way the world is. And then the health market, well, we've got big pharma and they have enormous funds and influence on medical training, doctors training, and funding studies and funding trials. So they bring all the money to direct the science. So I think that's a high level view. They've been co opted. And you know, with the FDA the revolving door, the head of the FDA becomes the head of some pharma group and vice versa.

[00:11:18.740] – Ivor

So basically industry capitalism has been very successful over particularly the last 40 or 50 years to essentially take over. Largely the science of both food, nutrition and health. Not exercise per se, but then there's a lot of kind of grifters and exercise as well. These are all big markets and that's essentially the bottom line. They are huge markets and there's no way they're going to be let just bumble along scientifically.

[00:11:51.040] – Coach Allan

So if I see a study and the headline reads that you should be eating beets five times a day, every day, and only beets.

[00:12:02.740] – Coach Allan

Other than that just sounded absurd to say it out loud. But how would I know, when I'm looking at a study that this isn't something that was just I'm not going to say made up, but that there was a cognitive bias or there were confounders, there was something wrong with the science or the way they're describing the output.

[00:12:22.300] – Ivor

Yeah, well, the first thing is always the funding. I mean the funding and the ideology. So many times you'll find a study that seems odd and is in conflict with what you would expect. It may go back to a particular strong ideology like veganism or a university associated with that or vegetarian leaning. Or there could be a climate aspect to the funding. Or of course, there could be food industry and pharmac and be in there. So it doesn't prove that the study is bad. But if your antennae go up at all, look to the authors, look them up online, find out are they a particular extreme diet of fysionadol and indeed where the funding is coming from. The other thing then are associational studies. If it says appears that or seems that, or tracks with or all these kinds of clues and they don't actually say this is a proven thing, it's often an associational study. So that's the basic correlation versus causation thing. So I give a quick example. We pretty much know because you can never know anything for 100% in science. But we know that the factory seed oils, the vegetable oils, the heart healthy oils, we know they're not a good idea compared to real food.

[00:13:44.180] – Ivor

However, for 40 or 50 years, the population has been screamed at to eat the vegetable oils and don't eat the natural saturated fats. So what's happened is, over 50 years, the health focused people who are focused on their health tend to listen to the advice from the scientists and the health officials, right. So they tend to eat more vegetable oils. But what happens then is you've got a healthy user bias. I. E. After 40 years, you can look at the data and you can see some better health outcomes in the populations that eat a little more vegetable oils. And it's not because they're healthy. It's because for 40 years, you've kind of ruined the pitch. You've ruined the experiment. Because the healthier people who are worried about their health, who have better outcomes, well, they tended to take more of the oils. So that's just an example of confounding, extreme confounding in an associational or epidemiological study. But there are many more. People who eat more saturated fat, and it is related. They tend to not care about advice. They are shown again and again to have more smoking, more overweight, more bad habits of various sorts, lack of exercise.

[00:15:06.570] – Ivor

So you see these signals. But the author of the study is only looking for one message. In this case, healthy vegetable oils are healthy. We were right all along. Honest.

[00:15:21.060] – Coach Allan

Yeah. The way I like to think about causing correlation is that if you go to a fire, there's a lot of firemen around. So maybe it's the firemen that are starting the fire. You know that's not the case. It's just because the way we address fires, there's always going to be firemen at a fire. And so you can't get rid of the firemen to think that that's what's going to get rid of the fire. And it sounds, again, kind of silly, this, when you say that kind of stuff out loud, but sometimes when you're reading the studies, that's exactly what they're saying. We see this thing here, therefore we know there's a problem. If we get rid of this thing we won't have the problem. It's not really the cause.

[00:16:01.440] – Coach Allan

So let's talk. You dived into it a little bit. You started talking about veganism, vegetarian, and animal based foods and saturated fat. You've talked to a lot of people. You've done a lot of research in this area yourself, digging, is animal based foods good for us or bad for us or in the middle somewhere? Maybe?

[00:16:27.640] – Ivor

Yeah, well, so whole, real natural foods that would be strongly associated with our evolution as a species, they are the best foods. They are the best diet. Unless you have weird compelling data to say otherwise, it makes sense and paleo anthropologists almost to a man or a woman. Dr. Michael Eads, a good friend of mine, often has said this, and it's true. They will all acknowledge that Homo sapiens evolved by the scavenging off animal carcasses. Now, we started off scavenging organ meats and even brain, et cetera, and we cracked open bones. The tools are all there in the record, every human tribe going back to daydot. And then we moved on to hunting. We became more and more successful as hunters. And the one ancestor of humans, Dr. Eads actually sent me this before that debate I did, and it was beautiful. And it was from one of his talks I'd missed. And it showed that around a million years ago, there were these striding, kind of hominids, two legged creatures that became us, and there were various branches, and they found one dead end branch. And there was no reason for it at first, that this branch had completely died off and the other branch had gone on to become humans.

[00:17:51.240] – Ivor

Most successful species on the planet, you could say. And that branch actually was one where it stayed vegetarian. So of course it didn't have access to the nutrient density of meats and organ meats. It didn't trade off its digestive large stomach size to enable a huge brain calorie drain like we did. It just stayed more like an ape with a big stomach and the brain nothing to write home about. So even there and in everything in the paleo anthropological research and fossil records, all says again and again, this is how we got here. So there's that. And then when you look at the mechanistic, you say, okay, what's the nutrient density of meats and fish and eggs? And boom, it's got massive nutrient density and much more bioavailability of key proteins than any plant food. Doesn't mean plant foods are no good. They carry minerals and vitamins and various proteins that you can convert. But the animal foods are clearly way ahead of the game. So without going into great detail, but I give an example b Twelve. You can have severe mental illness from being low on B12, and it only comes from animal foods.

[00:19:10.950] – Ivor

I mean, there's a giveaway, come on, and you could go on and on, but all these other components that are in animal foods and the fats match the fats of what our body makes our fat out of is mono and saturated fat. That's what human bodies make for safe storage of energy. And that's what we get from animal foods, very well matched fat balance to what we are made of. So there's all of that mechanistic stuff and nutrients and bioavailability, that's a no brainer. So now you've got the ancestral evolutionary, and it's basically almost like almost a proof in itself. It's hard to argue with. And then you've got what I just mentioned, including components and DHA, EPA, or another one that are almost you can't get anywhere else, right? So then you say, wow, with these foods we evolved on, they have vastly higher nutrient density and even contain nutrients that we actually need, or we get very ill. And you put that together and then at this stage you're kind of there, right. Obviously they're the healthful foods for those reasons. But the world for ideological reasons has spent definitely the last 40 years, particularly the last ten years, and bringing in climate as well as an argument, right, climate change.

[00:20:42.560] – Ivor

But going back to the Adventist Church and the huge industries they own, it goes back to the turn of the century. And Harvey Kellogg, who perceived masturbation as sinful and quite rightly, probably said if we feed them gruel instead of meat, they'll be less active. And he actually had a point there in a sense. So carnal knowledge and even the Bible, Carna has all these negative associations. For thousands of years, kings would tell the poor people meat is bad for you. That the top strata always indicated. The Bible said it. Vegetarian churches say it. All of these reasons that meat is bad are ideological, or even worse, they're a power play of sorts, a feudalism. That's all there is against meat. As an example, the big one WHO a few years ago came out with a study and said meat is now a grade two carcinogen and processed meat is a grade one, I think. The data in that, they said, we looked at a thousand studies and they kind of did, and none of them said that, but they used associational epidemiological data within them and maybe a mouse study to come to the conclusion that meats a carcinogen, which is de facto absurd.

[00:22:14.980] – Ivor

And that's the tip of the iceberg. There's 1000 studies now, all driven by ideology, whether climate, religious, or just general dietary ideologies.

[00:22:27.660] – Coach Allan

Yeah, the debate that you were talking about, that was with Dr. Gregor. I've had him on the show when he wrote his book How Not to Die. It's actually a good book. And he goes into science in the book, as he does with his normal video, I guess it's a videocast podcast thing, well produced, put together. But you're right, most of the studies that he covers are really one sided. And I've had conversations with vegans and I say, well, we've got to talk about B12. And they're like, well, yeah, you might have to supplement with B12, but carnivores have to supplement with statins.

[00:23:13.100] – Ivor

Welcome at a false equivalence.

[00:23:17.500] – Coach Allan

Yeah, but that's the conversation. And you touched on something that I really think is important because I have had vegans on the show. I've had carnivores on the show, I've had raw paleo. I've had a vegan that was keto. So I try to get a broad view of different people on the show so at least they can present their ideas in a fair location where I'm not going to beat them up for the way that they want to live. And that they think others should, but it's whole food. If I ask a vegan, why do you feel like your diet is the best? They're like, well, it's a whole food, plant based diet. And I'm like, okay. And I ask a carnivore, why do you feel like your diet is the best? It's basically a whole food, animal based diet. And so they always go back to the this is a whole food diet. And one of the reasons why that diet is bad is because they're eating all the processed crap.

[00:24:16.960] – Coach Allan

And it's true. And so you look at some of the studies, and you're like, well, if like the 7th Avenue you brought up, if they're following the doctrine of what their religion is, they would be vegan or vegetarian. But they go through the ranks and they say, okay, here's the people that aren't doing it, and here's the ones that are. And the ones that are doing it are healthier, but they don't factor in the well, they also aren't supposed to smoke, so the ones that are doing it also aren't smoking, but those guys are. And there are other risky behaviors. So they're all caused mortality is worse, but they never really pull that out. And I think that's what I really struggle with these studies, is when they go in with that cognitive bias or worse, financial bias, it just creates wonky science, and someone will refer to that study forevermore in their study. So it was like, we know cholesterol is bad, therefore. And then they do their study, and they draw a conclusion. And sometimes you're right, they do play with the words appears as if or kind of thing. But it just seems like it's really hard for people to know what to do to be healthy.

[00:25:35.630] – Coach Allan

And it's a shame that we can't depend on the governments to step up and do a little bit of house cleaning here.

[00:25:45.660] – Ivor

Yeah, the challenge is Allan so ideology, and again, I didn't say anything negative about them. And you can get along pretty well eating vegetables because you are giving up all the processed food, which is the real poison. My only angle was it's more optimum and better to get the nutrient density off the foods we primarily evolved on. But, I mean, Homo sapiens are very adaptable, and we were able to go long periods when there was very little gain, and we evolved to be able to handle quite a lot of plant food and a lack of animal foods for periods. But evolution didn't really plan for long, long periods, and especially didn't plan for vegan. Vegetarian, especially Ovo lacto evolution well prepared us for that. But vegan, like you say, you need B12. And Dr. Joel Kahn, a good friend of mine who's a hardcore vegan, he's in his 60s, looks great, and he's got a zero calcium scan in his 60s. But one reason is, for 20 years, he's been imploring vegans to take a whole range of supplements, and he acknowledges and puts the hand up and doesn't try and pretend that the vegan diet is a complete diet.

[00:27:02.300] – Ivor

He's interested for ideological reasons, and he admits its ideology by saying, vegan guys, don't let our side down. You need to take these supplements. And that's why he's so healthy. But the funny thing is, Allan, even these like Okinawa, everyone talks about Okinawan's plant based longevity. But the people who reached 100 in Okinawa, I think it was five out of five or six out of six in one study, all of them were non vegetarian. They were the cluster that really went the distance. And the other thing is, they went to Okinawa. And this is where all this stuff came from. In the early 50s, after World War Two, half the population on the islands had been were dead. I mean, Okinawa, there was horrific stuff that went on there, as we know. But before the war, pork was highly prized. In fact, it's in their literature, their culinary literature. Pork is at the center of Okinawan dishes. It's written in some old text. And after the war, they had no pigs, for obvious reasons. And within a few years, they went up from I think they were before there were 110 pigs per thousand people.

[00:28:20.140] – Ivor

It's pretty high density. And they went up to 150 per thousand people by the late 50s and early 60s. So they went back on track, a pork based diet. But you don't hear that. You hear just when they found them starving post war, with their whole infrastructure and their animals all dead, that's when they did the study. And that's the study here quoted.

[00:28:44.890] – Coach Allan

Yeah. That's the Ansel Keys seven country study, that there were 23 countries.

[00:28:52.180] – Ivor

And he picked from 22.

[00:28:54.330] – Coach Allan

Yeah. Okay.

[00:28:54.840] – Ivor

He picked like six from 22 the first time, the six country study, which was just toilet paper. And then he created the toilet paper pseudo experiment. 12,000 men, no women, seven countries, picked from around 20. And he knew in advance, it's like an engineer who's cheating, right, to get a raise. Ansel knew the countries that would give him the outcome. I mean, he's so stupid, but he wanted the outcome because Ansel himself was in the grip of ideology. He was nowhere within a thousand miles of a scientist. He was an ideological person who had a grasp of scientific kind of stuff, and he was hugely influential, and he was an extremely capable politician, too. He weaved his way in everywhere. And he destroyed the career of Yodkin in the UK, questioned his data, and he went after Yodkin hardcore and basically destroyed his career in the sense so that's the kind of man and so keyswell. So it's not surprising that the science he produced was junk science.

[00:30:06.360] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And unfortunately, we still see that stuff happening today with different things going on in the world. Pick a side. And then fight to the death seems to be the mode of operation for this. Now, you mentioned Dr. Kahn, and I've read some of his stuff, and you've had a lot of other notable heart health doctors on your show. If someone's in their 40s, 50s or older and wants to manage their heart health so that they can live a longer, happier life, what are the things that we could be doing to improve our overall heart health?

[00:30:50.940] – Ivor

Right. Okay, then. So we start at the top. And sometimes I and others get criticized that insulin, we say, is everything. It's like the one ring to rule them all. Now, we do emphasize insulin, but in a pareto, principle way, because it's the elephant in the room. It's the biggest factor, your insulin resistance in cardiac disease and Alzheimer's, type three diabetes, it's often referred to now, and even Parkinson's has been referred to by one or two specialists as potentially type four diabetes. And then we have type two, of course, which has massive impacts on shortening your life. So that's actual diabetes. And then we have type one diabetes and type zero diabetes. I used to jokingly refer to heart disease as type zero diabetes because as Professor Joe Kraft, who I interviewed in Chicago, who tested 15,000 people for a five hour insulin glucose test, he said, let me think, if I can just think of this quote those who die of coronary disease who do not have diabetes are simply undiagnosed. And he was inferring that nearly all cardiac disease and vascular disease is essentially type two diabetes, whether diagnosed or not. Now, I don't think he's correct on that, but the massive majority is, and a great example for people is the Euro Aspire study done in Europe in 2015.

[00:32:24.130] – Ivor

And you should see the pie chart. I featured it many times. And this team went out, a large team went across 24 countries of Europe think about it. Looked at heart disease victims or patients ages 18 to 80. So looked at all ages, not just old people who tend to get it. And they basically checked their blood glucose in detail. And they found out straight away, shockingly, that around a third of them were type two diabetic on their medical record. And they thought, whoa, they didn't expect to find a full third of them. But then they looked at their glucose and post glucose load glucose readings, and they realized another quarter were full blown, type two undiagnosed, but then another quarter were high risk for type two diabetes, they called it. But they were type two diabetic. They just didn't quite reach the very high bar to be full blown. So essentially three quarters, roughly, of all the heart disease patients across Europe, 24 countries ages 18 to 80 as a huge supergroup, three quarters were type two diabetic. I mean, come on. So Kraft was very close. And if you measured their insulin and this team did not. Sadly. But if they did a craft test, myself, Dr. Gerber and Professor Noakes, and everyone in our community reckons probably 85 plus percent would be essentially physiologically diabetic. So, heart disease, first thing you do is minimize your insulin resistance, get insulin sensitive.

[00:34:05.660] – Coach Allan

And that's through diet and exercise.

[00:34:09.740] – Ivor

Diet and exercise. Diet is enormous in insulin resistance. But funny things are sleep and stress. They've done studies that if people are stressed, their insulin goes way up. Deny people's sleep for a couple of weeks, their insulin resistance can double. Smoking massively pushes up your insulin. It's one of the mechanisms of damage. And if you give up smoking, your insulin resistance falls sharply, even pollution and, of course, lack of exercise. And we would say myself and Dr. Gerber or Dr. Ted Naman or Ben Buckagio, all the people in our network, stress training, pushing to failure with weights and body weight exercise, maybe 20 minutes, twice, three times a week. A lot more bang for the book than cardiometabolic exercise, running, but that has its place, too. So exercise, food. Food, the big thing is to take out satan's triad. That's what I call it. Sugar, refined carbs, refined grains, refined wheats. All these powdered carbohydrates and vegetable oils, seed oils, inflammatory, seriously problematic. Those three things together. Devil's triad. What are most calories in ultra processed food, which makes up 80% of the supermarket made up of they're made up of the devil's triad. You don't have to look far here to see the reason for chronic disease.

[00:35:40.860] – Ivor

UK British Medical Journal. A few years ago, over 60% of all UK calories consumed now come from ultra processed foods, which are mostly the devil's triad. I mean, everyone, most everyone, is pouring large calorie quantities of kind of poisonous foods into themselves. It'd be amazing if we didn't have a tsunami of chronic disease. It would be astonishing. Cut out the devil's triad, cut out ultra processed food. And whether you're vegetable leaning or you're a carnivore or omnivore, like we said earlier, you sit down if you cut out all the ultra processed foods and just eat real foods and maybe watch some supplementation as well. Magnesium is very low in modern foods. And there's some more. You do that, you're miles ahead of the game. Add in fasting and some stress training, doesn't have to be huge. You got this synergistic. You put yourself vastly ahead of the risk of the average person today.

[00:36:45.600] – Coach Allan

Yeah, thank you for that again. It's been such a struggle. You did mention something earlier that I wanted to circle back around. When you're talking about Dr. Kahn and his calcium score, could you talk a little bit about what a calcium score is and how we would go about getting one?

[00:37:05.620] – Ivor

Right, well, that's I spent many years massively pushing the calcium score, partly because my sponsor, one of Ireland's richest men, he got a huge score and he was slim, fit, running four times a week, 52 years old, and he got a score of 1000, which is enormous. And he had three nearly fully blocked arteries, the main ones. So he got such a shock, he explored and he found out what the calcium score was all about, because that's how he found out. They told him he was super healthy for years in executive medicals. Then he got one calcium scan. He found out he was destroyed inside, and then he personally found out, unsurprisingly, a few weeks later. Not the doctors. He found out he was type two diabetic because he got a blood glucose meter. And he began to hear from William Davis, MD. And others, checked his glucose, and it was five times normal after each meal. So that was David Bobbitt great work he's done. And he made the widow maker movie. And I'll give you the link to the 1 hour version on YouTube I put up. He spent $2 million to make this movie to tell people about the calcium scan.

[00:38:15.220] – Ivor

And the bottom line, Allan, is if you get a calcium scan, the score from that scan alone, single-handedly, is much more predictive of risk than all of the blood and the risk factors put together in framing him, framing him and in the algorithms. Essentially, that score is more accurate. Predicting your future, though you can change it, get a high score, you can fix the problem. That's key to note, but it's more predictive than all the risk factors put together put together. So if you get a score of zero in middle age, your chance of a heart attack or mortality is so low, they actually call it a warranty. Now, a warranty doesn't mean 0%, it means extremely low. You got a warrant. Fridge is a warranty very seldom fails. So you might have a half a percent chance or 1.2% of a heart event in the next ten years. But the guys with the high scores, like David Bobbitts, have up on 30% chance you could have 20 plus times the risk of heart attack, even though you got the same cholesterol as the guy beside you, because you have the disease. The calcium in the arteries is unequivocal.

[00:39:32.010] – Ivor

Calcium in your arteries is the direct proof and extent of vascular disease up till the day you get the scan. It's the scars and all your arteries where your body is trying to fix your arteries from atherosclerosis the problem that causes heart attacks. So it's amazing where you get it. If you go to IHDA.Ie. So it's Irish heart disease awareness dot ie. There's the scan centers there, and we, over a year or two, developed a map of America, UK and Ireland. Hard to get Europe where all the centers are, and their phone numbers. But in the US, you can get it from as low as $69 up to $200. Sometimes insurance covers it. In Europe, it's quite a bit more expensive, maybe $350 on average.

[00:40:24.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, if you have a family history of heart disease or, you know that there's a likelihood you're overweight, you're over 40, you've got the risk factors that's worth having that test done. So thank you for sharing that. If someone, I'm sorry, I jumped ahead.

[00:40:45.500] – Coach 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?

[00:40:56.800] – Ivor

Okay. And we probably touched on quite a few of them, I'd have to say. Number one, and it ain't easy. And I commiserate with people, and I cheat sometimes too shocking to hear it. It's Christmas now. Maybe a little, but I'm generally pretty good. Cut out the devil's triad enormously. And that does mean if you're going to get something in the supermarket, look in the back of it. Mayonnaise. 78% of it is rapeseed oil. It's vegetable oil. Imagine 80% of your mayonnaise. I checked. You can get these meals. You look in the back, you see added wheats. And you know, on the ingredients list, the things up the top of the ingredients list, at least in Europe, are the biggest components. Yeah. So you see open the first few, you see wheat, you see vegetable oils or any kind of vegetable oil. There's 50 names for them. That's bad. But you can get ready meals, convenience meals that are essentially a dinner in a foil tray. In Ireland, it's just got meat, potatoes, carrots, and maybe a little bit of sugar. So you can get convenience food, that's okay. But the lesson is always say, is this real food?

[00:42:12.090] – Ivor

Is it nutrient dense? Is it not processed with wheats, refined grains, vegetable oils and sugars? That's the biggest thing. I put diet first. The second biggest thing, I would say, of course, exercise is important, and I've gotten pretty sloppy over lockdown. When I began to do very little exercise, I was working seven days a week in the office. I got kind of involved in a lot of challenging work, should we say, but exercise, since I've brought it back, and it's only really working on DIY and kind of house improvement, but working hard at it when I do it, even that has brought me back into a much healthier and better sleeping mode. And I got an exercise bike as well. I'm going to start using so exercise, but as Ben Picaccio and Dr. Ted Naman and all of us say, just do the body weight exercises, press ups until failure, where you just can't do another one and your arms are screaming. Do two rounds of that, two rounds of set ups, two rounds of pull ups. Always go till the muscles can't do any more. There's no danger, there's no harm to your body, but it triggers more muscle growth, and that's a glucose sink.

[00:43:26.330] – Ivor

And that is just the healthiest thing you can get. Muscle growth is your age. So exercise, particularly those resistance training exercises, third thing, then I'd say I'm more and more focused on sleep. I have a Whoop device now and it keeps me honest. So every morning if I've had a good day, I go to bed on time, I don't have a few drinks. I get this great report in the morning from my Whoop, and it keeps me on track. If I do the bad thing, I get this nasty report and it's never wrong, so I find it guides me and the joy of getting a good sleep and then looking up your results. And indeed, you had good deep sleep, you had good REM, you had highly recovery prone sleep, and you got a high green recovery. I kind of run my life by this now, so I'd say sleep quality and managing stress, I know it's not easy. Stress is a killer. Raises your cortisol, raises your insulin, eats away at your body, even undermines your immune system. So if you can get sleep stress as the third thing sorted, and good food and good exercise will actually deliver the benefits in good sleep and reduce stress. So they're very much integrated together.

[00:44:44.520] – Coach Allan

Thank you. Well, Ivor, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the work that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:52.280] – Coach Allan

All right, I'd say if you just Google or search my name, Ivor Cummins. You'll quickly hit my YouTube, which is where a lot of the stuff is, and also my Twitter. I'm quite active on Twitter, and since the shadow banning stopped recently with Musk, suddenly my followers are growing again. I was perceived as questioning medical science at times, sadly, but I'm back on track, so Twitter is a good place. Often share reports, have technical arguments, and they're the main ones. And my Pin tweet at the moment, actually, and I think I'll leave it there is linked to one of our latest conferences with 14 stunning speakers and the whole packages available there of the 14 talks and the Q and A's, which I moderated for every speaker. So that package is like, I don't know, 12 hours of pure gold. And if you watch that package, I think it's 29 books or something. I don't know. It's just astonishing what all of our best guys have come out with in their talks. It's amazing. And the Q and A are revelatory as well because we brought in people and they asked their questions, and myself and the speaker in each instance had that discussion. So all of that's in there.

[00:46:08.920] – Coach Allan

Awesome. Thank you for that. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:46:14.580] – Ivor

Delighted to be here, Allan. And yeah, look forward to being back again. Great stuff.

[00:46:19.640] – Coach Allan

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:23.330] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:46:25.250] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a really fun interview. I can see why you enjoy talking with Ivor. He's got a lot of wealth of information about all of the studies that get thrown around in our community, in our health and fitness community. So it's interesting to hear him analyze them and get to the real meat of some of those studies.

[00:46:44.890] – Coach Allan

Yeah, it was funny because like I said, I was at Keto Fest and I was finishing up my talk. And it's normal when you do a talk, there are people who are going to come up after and want to ask you questions and just say hello or shake your hand, that kind of thing. And so I'm shaking hands trying to answer questions and I'm like the best I can throw out one word answer so that I can go see. And he was due to start and I was like, okay, I want to get over there. I want to get over there. They shortened mine. I got squeezed that year. And so my talk was supposed to be an hour and they ran late on the one before because they were having issues. And so I was told when I walked up to the stage, I'm like, you're really only going to have about 35 minutes. Okay, I'll get it done. But that also meant that I didn't get done early and wasn't really able to do any Q and A. That was one of the things I ended up cutting out of that talk. So I had a lot of people walking up asking questions.

[00:47:48.590] – Coach Allan

But that's cool. I got there, he wasn't too far in, but he's got this slide and diagram and I'm like, okay. And then he's talking and I'm like, it's like drinking out of a fire hose and he's just throwing on the screen and it's just so cool. If you're geek out about some of this stuff, go find his YouTube channel and prepare to spend a few hours there because it's good stuff. He does his homework, he knows what's going on. And yeah, his talk with Dr. Gregor, it was kind of a TV debate. I don't think it was exactly fair. Ivor is going to come in prepared three times to Sunday. Gregor was Dr. Gregor. I respect it as well because he has his thought beliefs and his biases and his data and he goes at it. I don't think he expected a debate. I think he just expected, and he didn't probably expect that the news anchor was going to actually sort of be almost unbiased or at least acknowledged when Ivor brought up data. That of course, Gregor, you can explain that why that doesn't make any sense. He couldn't. I mean, Ivor was right, as he mostly is, but it was great to be able to just talk to him, pick his brain a little bit.

[00:49:13.660] – Coach Allan

I'm definitely going to get him on the show again because it's just oh, good, yeah. And the people he talks to, they respect him as well because they see him on the stage and realize, okay, this is a guy who gets it. And so they're on his YouTube and on his channel and have those conversations with him, and that's who he's traveling with when he's doing the speaking circuit. And so he's got all the connections, he knows all the people, and it's just great conversation.

[00:49:41.510] – Coach Rachel

That's awesome. That is awesome. And it's nice. It was interesting to hear you point out the biases that are often behind the studies. The reason why that's interesting to me is because we don't hear that we get the news clipping or the news story that says the study just says coffee is good for you, or Animal fat is bad for you, but you don't get the behind the scenes stuff that Ivor was able to talk about. And like the Ansel Key study, we've talked about that study in the past. It's just one example of a study with some cherry pick data. Then you've got lobbyists involved that are pushing different food groups or something. And so it's hard to know. Like you had said, there's a lack of science in food science.

[00:50:29.090] – Coach Allan

The problem is that one pretty much any time they've tried to do a food study the right way, they stop the food study in a lot of other studies. Because what happens is they have one group eat one way or do one thing and they have another group something an entirely different way, and one of them starts really having problems. And then they're like, well, we can't in good conscience with ethics continue this study. We're killing people.

[00:51:03.470] – Coach Rachel

That's not good.

[00:51:07.890] – Coach Allan

So what they end up doing is they say, okay, well, tell me, Rachel, how many times did you eat meat in the last month?

[00:51:16.690] – Coach Rachel


[00:51:17.350] – Coach Allan

And they're like, okay, how many times per week do you eat meat? And then I was like, So you eat red meat and processed meat? Yes. Okay, well, they didn't ask, did you eat meat? Do you eat processed meat?

[00:51:29.270] – Coach Allan

And so am I say, I don't really eat that much processed meat. Deli slices of ham and beef, but other than that, not a lot. And I don't eat a lot of bacon, even though I'm on the keto spectrum of eating most of the time. I'm not a big bacon person. Actually, I had half a slice of bacon this morning.

[00:51:50.620] – Coach Rachel

Wow. Yeah, that's willpower.

[00:51:55.790] – Coach Allan

Well, that was the only piece, and I didn't want to cook because we just made breakfast with 13 people, and I wasn't going to throw that out or feed that to the dog.

[00:52:06.960] – Coach Rachel


[00:52:08.690] – Coach Allan

But it's just that thing of, okay, if they have a bias, they can't help the structure of the science to work the way they want it to. And even if right, there's still a likelihood that the data might not be as conclusive as they'd like it to be, which is the worst for scientists to sit there and have a hypothesis and then do the study and have zero effect to basically say they can't find even a correlation. Prove causation, necessarily, but they couldn't even find a correlation either way or the other. And so, as they're looking at it from that statistical perspective, the study is basically worthless in their minds because they had a hypothesis and they can't prove or disprove that hypothesis. And that's normally how science works. They try to prove something, either it's going to happen or not happen based on what they did. You add blue water to yellow water and you get green. That's the hypothesis.

[00:53:16.090] – Coach Allan

And then it kind of depends, right. How much blue water did you pour in and how much yellow water did you pour in? Is it still green or is it blue? So there's even some judgment in there as far as how all that's going to work. And that's a simple thing. That's pretty simple. But when you're asking people what they ate, how much they ate, going back 20 years

[00:53:42.770] – Coach Allan

And then again, of course, if someone is really not eating well, they're probably also not doing other things so well, so they're probably not exercising as much. They might be doing other things like overusing alcohol, maybe using tobacco, maybe using other things. They may be have very stressful jobs. They might not sleep very well. And so it's really hard to pull all those confounders out there, because you're not going to find that one person that eats processed meat, but exercises every day, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, sleeps well, has no stress, but eats processed meat to find out processed meat causes colorectal cancer. You're not going to find those people to do that.

[00:54:30.660] – Coach Rachel

Right. Well, it's almost impossible to set up a study like that. But you know what we have found in real life, Allan? You and I have both seen and heard stories where people pick up a vegetarian or vegan diet and suddenly they lose a lot of weight. Or in my world, some of us have done the keto diet and we've lost a lot of weight. But even then, it's not about choosing a diet, eating plant based, eating animal based. It's the fact that we're eating real foods, foods that were obviously grown on a vine or harvested somehow in nature or a farm, and it's not processed foods. And I think that's where people find the success. So right now it's January, it's the beginning of the year, we're changing our diets and everything. And so, sure, maybe some of us have a goal to eat better. And so we're going to say, well, we're going to eat these healthier food items, but we're getting rid of the processed food. And it's really that one thing that gives us the greatest benefit is switching from the processed foods, the cereals and granola bars and things that are in a jar or a bag, like you say, and choosing an apple or a salad or a chicken or something like that. You know what I mean? Real foods.

[00:55:54.640] – Coach Allan

Yeah. The basis of it is this, processed foods are made to be delicious, not made to be nutritious. They're calorie dense, nutritionally weak, whereas whole food tends to be nutritious. It tends to be nutritionally dense and calorie weak. And so you eat to satiety with whole food, you're not going to gain weight, and you'll probably lose weight if you're over. If you eat a processed food diet, you're very likely to continue to gain weight because you're just not getting the nutrition you need, and you're getting more calories than you need. And it's just the basic math of calories in, calories out. It's a pretty simple thing. But it goes down to the hormones, because once you tell your body this is real food, you're giving your body real food. Let's just be clear about that. There is no pie tree. There's no muffin tree. All of these Little Debbie cakes on the prairie, you just don't. So we're consuming those things, we're not getting nutrition. And so when they talk about the nutrition from plants, what we know is when a cow eats, he's grass fed, they have a better fat disposition than a cow who is not it's grain fed.

[00:57:27.130] – Coach Allan

The fats in the cow of a grass fed cow are healthier for us than for a grain fed cow. The grain fed cow will taste great. It's fattened up for just for that purpose. They'll get it perfect. It's a formula. That's what they do. Not that the cow is healthy, but they can make it taste great. That's what companies do. So you'll eat more, and they're able to price it at an affordable price because of the volume. So you know, it's this is what this is really about, is realizing that every guest that I've had on here, we talk about when we talk about nutrition. You, you've not heard a single one of them say that they think that the Twinkie diet or the McDonald's diet or the is okay, because now they'll acknowledge you can undereat with those diets, but you can't sustain that. So the person that loses the pounds with the Twinkie diet or what's his name, Penn Gillette, the comedian, magician guy, he did a potato diet, eat potatoes until he lost the weight, and he got sick of potatoes. He just stopped eating. That's what happened. The point being is that he just, dietitian said, just eat potatoes.

[00:58:47.320] – Coach Allan

You'll get sick of potatoes and you'll stop eating. And he did that until he lost the weight and he's off, which means he's probably also learned a couple of other things. But at the same time, what he could have done was just said, okay, I'm going to go back to eating whole food. And he probably would have the same results and been healthier for it. It's an investment, and it's an investment of time, getting to know where your food is coming from. I know no one likes to know how the sausage is made.

[00:59:17.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:59:18.140] – Coach Allan

But you start looking at industrial farming, and you start looking at where you go into the grocery store and you're picking up those eggs. You're picking up the chicken. And chickens don't have three pound breasts. They're not that big. We have Dolly Parton chickens now, and it's because the hormones and they've been bred a certain way. They're not healthy, happy animals. They can't walk. They can't do anything. They're bred and grown and nurtured to do a certain thing, and it's just not the right way. You want happy, healthy animals, and they make for happy, healthy humans. Whether you choose to be plant based or animal based or a mix, know where it's coming from. Just know what you're eating and start making better choices. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Just start making little better choices, and they add up. They add up fast.

[01:00:22.770] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, that's exactly what I say. Yes. Small steps. Make some choice.

[01:00:27.000] – Coach Allan

When you see that headline that tells you something, question, question. New study says,

[01:00:38.710] – Coach Rachel

beware of those words. And look carefully into it.

[01:00:42.440] – Coach Allan

Says this. You're listening to reading it, and you're like, well, that's the exact opposite of what they told me last year. That's exactly the opposite of what I've always known. And we can look at a lot of stuff that's happened in the last few years about food and other health science, and it's like they're telling you something, and it's like, wait, that's not how I was. We talked about this in biology, and this is not how it was taught. So what's different, and somehow or another, the doctors are the experts are trying to tell us this is different. It's not. They just wanted it to be different because they wanted us to do a certain thing. So they had a bias behind why they said what they said. They had a bias behind how they planned and did the study, and they got a result. They presented the result, and then the media ran with the headline. And so just be careful when you see a headline and they say, but this is science. Just be leery that some science is not science. And that's particularly true in the health and nutrition space. So need your sit there and say, oh, I need to start taking 10,000

[01:02:01.640] – Coach Allan

I use of vitamin D every day to help my immune system. And the short answer is, you might not. You might need some, but you won't know until you go get a blood test. So just because study said people who took vitamin D were less likely to suffer from this thing, that doesn't mean that that study was even done on you. But it could have been three high school kids that they gave vitamin D to, and guess what? None of them died in three years. So vitamin D helps you live longer. And that's the reality they're control case two of them got in an automobile accident and died so of the six people in this piece, all caused mortality. Two thirds of them died not taking vitamin D. And here in this one, all cause mortality all three of them are still alive. So vitamin D keeps you from getting in car crashes is the conclusion.

[01:03:04.150] – Coach Rachel

Oh, these studies.

[01:03:05.670] – Coach Allan

But that's sometimes how this is structured and how it's interpreted. They're going to use words that are confusing, like all cause mortality. Instead of actually saying heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, instead of really getting to it, they'll use the term all cause mortality. Right? There should have bright light on that. Okay, what does that mean and how did these people pass? And the data has it. They will get into the data. And that's what Ivor does. He digs into data and says, oh, they were dying of automobile accidents. So what you found was vitamin D keeps people from having automobile accidents. I'm not saying that vitamin D doesn't. I'm just saying that if you don't set the study up right and you don't interpret the data right, and you want to change the way the conclusion is worded to give you the result that you were looking for, they do it. They do it all the time based on who they're funded by, based on what their bias was, and you just have to be careful.

[01:04:14.090] – Coach Rachel

Well, I appreciate having people like Ivor looking into stuff like that.

[01:04:19.930] – Coach Allan

If you ever get a chance to go to a conference or catch up with his YouTube, it's well worth the time and money.

[01:04:27.330] – Coach Rachel


[01:04:28.120] – Coach Allan

All right, Ras, let's talk again next week.

[01:04:32.530] – Coach Rachel

All right. Take care.

[01:04:34.020] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 10, 2023

How to manage chronic pain and fibromyalgia with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Some chronic diseases are extremely hard to manage, mainly because the doctors don't have experience. On episode 572 of the 40+ Fitness, we meet with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and discuss his book, From Fatigued to Fantastic!: A Clinically Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health and Overcome Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.470] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:02:49.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:51.740] – Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:02:53.030] – Rachel


[00:02:53.540] – Allan

As we're recording this, we're getting ready for the new year, but Tammy has been gone. She managed to make it back home visiting four different countries in 24 hours. They didn't have a straight path back. So to get back, she took the hard route and she flew from Chicago to Dallas, Dallas to Cancun, Cancun to Bogota, Bogata to Panama City, and then Panama City to Bocas, and literally did most of that trip. It was about a 36 hours trip to get back here.

[00:03:27.490] – Rachel

That's like a nightmare for me. I hate flying. It's awful.

[00:03:30.830] – Allan

Yeah. And then she was bringing some of some stuff back and they confiscated a lot of the stuff she had. So she couldn't carry it, couldn't check it, couldn't have it. So she was hoping, but no, they didn't. And it wasn't that it could come into Panama. It's just it couldn't go into Mexico.

[00:03:49.270] – Allan

Yeah, they had different rules.

[00:03:50.510] – Allan

And so, yeah, she looked it up for Panama. We were okay. And then she wasn't okay for Mexico. And even though she was just connecting, that was not good enough for them. But anyway, so, yeah, it was tough work on her.

[00:04:02.300] – Allan

She's tired. I'm tired, but at least I've got a partner now. Someone spread some of the work with.

[00:04:11.070] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:04:11.890] – Allan

Break away and get over and record this.

[00:04:14.050] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:04:14.870] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:16.260] – Rachel

Good. It's funny you mentioned being tired, because I'll be tired this afternoon. I got my allergy shots this morning, and I noticed that I'm high up in the build up phase. I'm almost to the end of that. By the afternoon, I'll be ready for a nap. It just sucks the life out of me. These shots are tough, but I'm hoping that it'll be good in the end that won't be as allergic to things.

[00:04:41.590] – Allan

Good. I hope that works out.

[00:04:43.320] – Rachel


[00:04:44.650] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to talk about fibromyalgia and chronic pain?

[00:04:48.730] – Rachel



[00:05:36.190] – Allan

Dr. Teitelbaum, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:39.040] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Allan, it's awesome to be with you and with your listeners and viewers today because we're seeing a human energy crisis of really unparalleled proportions, and people are just exhausted. They're exhausted, they're in pain, they have brain fog. All of that is optional. We're going to teach you simple ways to feel great.

[00:05:56.930] – Allan

Yeah. So the book we're talking about is called From Fatigue to Fantastic: A Clinically Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health and Overcome Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. I don't know a lot about fibromyalgia, to be honest with you. I know my co-host's daughter has it, but that's as far as my knowledge base goes. But the Fatigue to Fantastic conversation really kind of piqued my interest, because in having all of these conversations with various doctors, it seems like all of the chronic diseases we face are getting worse over time. Higher and higher percentage of people are suffering from them, all of them. And fatigue seems to be one of the top symptoms that we all talk about. So it's almost like everybody is at some level fatigued and it's getting worse.

[00:06:46.300] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, 31% of adults have not just fatigued, but have disabling fatigue where that's severely interfering with their life. And in terms of how many people have the do, you know, have all the energy that they need? I mean, I basically have all the energy I need for what I need to do, which doesn't preclude resting when it's time to rest as well. It's not hard to optimize energy. The trick is to use good, healthy energy, not alone, short energy. We'll teach you how today.

[00:07:13.950] – Allan

Yeah, well, thank you for that. So the core of this, and one of the things that I did take out of your book, because when I heard chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, what I did know of fibromyalgia was just pain. Okay? So I knew that was a very painful disease and I guess before this is your fourth edition of the book. So we've learned a lot in the decades that this book has been around, but you've changed it also, which I think is awesome over time because as we learn new things, there's new things in the book. And you've made it more user friendly.

[00:07:46.720] – Dr. Teitelbaum

When it first came up in 1995, it was meant to be a pamphlet.

[00:07:53.110] – Allan

I'm going to say it's slightly larger than a pamphlet right now, but very well written and easy to read because I think that was kind of your mission for this fourth edition, was to make it where someone who's suffering can understand the content and can get value from it, even if they don't have a medical degree. Let's talk a little bit about that, how fatigue and pain fibromyalgia, how they're all interrelated. Because, again, I didn't tie that together as well as I think I should have in the past.

[00:08:27.170] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, here's the thing. We're looking at a human energy crisis coming because half of the vitamins, minerals are lost in food processing. All the calories are still there. We used to get 9 hours sleep a night on average, or down to 63, quarter the speed of modern life. It used to be wanted to send a letter to the west from one coast to the other, pony Express. If they survived, you get it there in six months and back. Now we get hit, email, you ping, and 10 seconds later, ping right back. And our news media seems to have this feeling that their job is to scare people to death and make them hate each other. All of these things are doing a.

[00:08:59.100] – Allan

you're doing a great job, by the way.

[00:09:00.370] – Dr. Teitelbaum

I think it's brilliant. They're all really nice people. They're all really good people. But if you believe what you're seeing, I love reading and I love books, but I like my fiction to be labeled fiction. So we'll teach us a nice Tai chi move without, if we get to that, how to get rid of the stress of watching the media. I like that. But the bottom line is that it's not just fatigue. It's not only brain fog, but the most common cause of pain in this country is from tight muscles. And when muscles don't have enough energy, they don't go loose and limp, they go tight. If you have a heavy workout, you don't come home and say, honey, my muscles are all loose and limp. They're tight. And it takes more energy to stretch a muscle than for it to contract. So low energy equals tight muscles equals pain. And as a physician, physicians are simply not trained at any reasonable level about pain in general and even less for muscle pain. We're taught about what we can give arthritis medicines for or do surgery.

[00:10:09.420] – Allan

Yeah, there's one of the things that has bothered me a bit is that we're really quick to want a quick pill. What's the pill, doc? It's this and pill or this and surgery. And the reality is the human body is a really special thing. And that if you give it what it needs, it can do a lot of healing on its own.

[00:10:36.090] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's meant to handle most anything. They can get their own at it if you give it the tools that it needs to do so. But you have to understand, in medicine it's about the money. And I'll tell you, when you're talking to your doctor, they're not about the money, they're about taking care of you. But the people who are educating your doctor. It's basically medical education is slick advertising masquerading as science. So you know, when you have pain, this is not like an infection, it's not an outside invader. Pain is like the oil light on your body's dashboard saying that something needs attention. You can smash the oil light, you can cover it to the band aid, which is medical approach, doesn't work very well, or you can put oil in the car. So we'll talk about the different kinds of pain and what your body is saying that it needs as well. But pain is part of the human energy crisis that we're dealing with today.

[00:11:27.790] – Allan

So the tool that you give us in the book you call SHINE, that's sleep hormones and hypertension, infection and immunity, nutrition and exercise. Can you talk about how shine is a good tool for us to consider when we're dealing with pain and fatigue?

[00:11:44.840] – Dr. Teitelbaum

When you look at most of the things that build energy or that are draining energy, they fall under that overall thing of shine. And again, realizing how much sleep do you need? There's no one size fits all. Some people do take 5 hours a night. Personally, I like my 9 hours a night, take a weekend, sleep in, do that for a couple of days, see what leaves you feeling the best again. Normal average night sleep until light bulbs was 9 hours a night. So just get your sleep. You have trouble sleeping, there are numerous herbal mixes, revitalizing sleep formula, EP 120, sustained release, ten milligram melatonin, and autographic z thing going on. Getting sleep is easy. You just need to make the time for it by cutting out things you don't enjoy. The hormones. The blood tests are miserable for diagnosing, hormonal deficiencies. They miss the vast majority. Most doctors have no idea where the normal range comes from, and that's all they use. They just stay home.

[00:12:48.230] – Allan

That was something that surprised me, because there are different types of doctors now. There are doctors that want you to optimize your hormone levels, and there are doctors that will look at it and say, oh, well, for 57 year old man, you're right in range, so nothing to worry about, kiddo. But you don't feel like you're in range because that's a two standard you said there's a two standard deviation. So kind of tell us, why is it we're looking at this range and it's not necessarily right for us.

[00:13:19.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

The normal range, and we're not talking to the med school, comes from what's called two standard deviations. You take 100 people, the 95 in the middle are defined as normal. So if I was sitting in the mall, 100 people walk by, I check the shoe sizes, and I'd get a normal range of size five to size 13. That would be the way that it's derived, income. An income of $8,100 a year is in the normal range. Poverty is $16,000. So that the test is in the normal range just means they're not in the lowest 2% of the population, which is insane. As a way to determine whether the person is optimal when they're having fluoride symptoms of low thyroid, low adrenal, low estrogen, low testosterone.

[00:14:02.150] – Allan

Okay, and so then the next one was hypotension.

[00:14:06.120] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So with the hormones and let me do one quick thing, a very common thing. Thyroid, tired, weight gain, cold tolerant. How to tell low adrenal if you get irritable when hungry, if you get angry, get Adrenal support, increase salt, cut sugar. Adrenal plex is a very nice supplement, much cheaper than marriage counselor or divorce lawyer. And it's easy to take care of the adrenals of a couple of liquorous tea each morning if you don't have high blood pressure. Can help that, especially post COVID now, but in general, what's more severe? Chronic fatigue to hypertension. If you tend to be a little lightheaded when you stand up, associated with fatigue and brain fog, you probably have orthostatic intolerance, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. Email me for the information sheet. There's two quick quizzes you can do at home. It'll tell you if you have it or not. And it's a low blood pressure. Orthostatic intolerance information sheet. It's just all laid out there. My email address is fatigue. F-A-T-I-G-U-E-D-O-C like doctor @gmail.com. And if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or long COVID, you can ask for that information sheet. If you have Pots, those of you who haven't know what it is. Those who don't, don't worry about it.

[00:15:19.480] – Allan

Okay? Infection and immunity.

[00:15:22.950] – Dr. Teitelbaum

The most common chronic infection overseen that most doctors don't even know exist is Candida overgrowth. And what you'll see there's no test for it. That's worth a nickel. There's plenty of tests, but then that I bother with. If you have chronic sinusitis, chronic nasal congestion, post nasal drip, or irritable bowel syndrome, gas bloating, diarrhea, constipation, those are symptoms of Candida over. 90% of chronic sinusitis that's not seasonal comes from immune reactivity to fungal elements. It's a Mayo Clinic Journal study ignored by medicine, and the book will talk about how to get rid of both the irritable bowel syndrome and how to get rid of the chronic sinusitis by getting rid of the candida. And not only those two symptoms, but then the energy goes up, the pain goes down, the cognition improves.

[00:16:13.040] – Allan

Okay, well, nutrition, you got me there. I agree 100%.

[00:16:22.650] – Allan

In a standard American diet, it ought to be criminal, but it's not. Just again, if someone is really low energy or in pain, what are some things they can do to tweak their nutrition to get themselves in better shape?

[00:16:36.770] – Dr. Teitelbaum

There's no one diet that's best for everybody. And there's times I've been vegetarian, and there's other times the work I'm doing that will be exhausted. For those vegetarian, I'm doing every work, I need a more meat based diet. So there's not what's the right diet. The question is what diet works for you? What leaves you feeling the best? Without being an energy loan shark kind of a thing. Sugar not good for you. Now, again, I'm not saying you can't have chocolate. Chocolate is a health food in moderation. Go for quality, not quantity. There are sugar free chocolates. Ernd is a very good one. These are both many other ones that taste really good. Most people, unless they have heart failure, want to increase salt. Salt, you don't eat cup of salt soup, but basically use the salt shaker and let your body tell you how much salt wants. This whole thing of salt restriction is a myth. Sorry, it's just not supported by the literature. If you have high blood pressure and you salt restrict from the most high salt diet you can tolerate to the low salt diet, you can tolerate it to lower blood pressure.

[00:17:45.660] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And white is about 1 in black is about three millimeter. The effect is negligible, increasing potassium and magnesium and vitamin D. That helps lower blood pressure. So again, equally, it leaves you feeling the best, use common sense. If the food has been stepped down and basically processed and processed. Usually if I make a shirt I'm in Hawaii, my Hawaii shirt. Each step of processing increases the value of the shirt. When you're looking at food processing, the more processed it is, the cheaper it is. Why? It's because they're loading it with junk. So if you can't recognize I used to lecture to third graders every year on nutrition. And the simple thing is, when you look at the ingredients, if you can't read it, don't eat it. If it looks like a chemical soup or if it has a lot of sugar, again, they look at grams of sugar, divide by four, that's how many teaspoons of sugar if you look at that. And this is 18 teaspoons. Just put that thing back on the shelf. Use common sense.

[00:18:49.130] – Allan

I go by a standard where I say if it's in a box, bag, jar, or can question it heavily. Real food actually doesn't have labels

[00:18:57.850] – Dr. Teitelbaum

actually and everything on the label is an advertisement, which is another way of saying it's a lie. They're just making it up. With the exception of the ingredients and what's in the little nutrition box, everything else is.

[00:19:11.950] – Allan

You got me there. Okay. Now, for a lot of people that are in pain and fatigued, and then you say exercise, they're just going to look at you and just kind of lower their shoulders and say, how. So let's talk about exercise.

[00:19:27.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Especially if the chronic fatigue syndrome or Fibromyalgia, where they get what's called post exertional malaise. They exercise in a bedroom for three days, and that's why it's exercise as able. So for those of you with day to day fatigue, just go for a walk. You're going to find if you're too tired to exercise to go for a brief walk, you got issues. And then do the nutritional stuff. There are simple things, I'll give you three simple supplements that we finished four studies in the last two years on post viral fatigue and fatigue in general. You can double your energy in 1 minute a day. With three supplements you can go for your walk. There's a vitamin powder called the Energy Revitalization system. There's a form of ginseng. The only one I would use is HRG 80 red ginseng, and there's called a smart energy system. Those three together in the research, again, more than doubled energy. So you can get the energy to go walking. But the key thing is, if you're going to do exercise, find something to enjoy. Sex is exercise. Going for shopping is exercise. Do something to enjoy usual power to get out of the house.

[00:20:39.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And then if you want to sit and play with the stage that you find in the field, just relax. Don't worry how much you do, just get out of the house.

[00:20:47.790] – Allan

Cool. Now, you said something in the book that I thought was really important because we're sort of becoming this sandwich generation where our kids have graduated. Actually, I have one that just got married, another one that's going to able be to get married in a few months. So we're kind of saying, okay, we're going to be an empty nesters. And before you'd be an empty Nester for a decade or two or so, before you had to worry about your parents. But because kids are getting married later and parents are living longer and so that whole gap in what's happening is we end up with parents. Now we're looking at we're finishing the first that generation. Now we got to turn our attention in many cases to taking care of our parents. There's going to be some needs there. And so a lot of us get this weight on our shoulder of we've got to save the world and we've got to take care of the world. And the way you put it on there is you call it shooting on yourself. I love that concept because it's like when you put that in your head, you're like, I really shouldn't be doing that.

[00:21:51.330] – Allan

But can you kind of talk about where we are with that and how we can set priorities in the right way that allows us to have the energy to do what's really important?

[00:22:01.990] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, you know how your mind goes through all of the things and the reasons why you should and the reason why you shouldn't. And while this is a final two, this is going to turn your brain off. I find tequila a good way to do that. But whatever your approach is to turn the brain off for a little bit, see how things feel, your brain is going to tell you it's a product of programming that you've had as a child. Virtually everything that comes out of your brain was put there by parents, church, synagogue, news media, teachers, basically everybody else programming you to do what they want you to do to make them happy. But it doesn't know who you are. Your brain really doesn't your feelings know what's authentic to you. It will take into account because authentically, most of us really care about people. We care about our parents, we care about our kids, we care about the neighbors. So you don't have to worry that just seeing how things feel and going with that to kind of set your direction is going to be selfish. And selfish is okay. It's called personally responsible.

[00:23:08.650] – Dr. Teitelbaum

See how things feel. If something feels good, to go with it. And if it doesn't feel good, say no. And then as a check and balance, don't hurt anybody and see how does that work out for you. I can shoot up heroin. It feels really good, but for a day it's going to feel like crap. So what feels good? How does that work out for you? Use that and you're going to say, well, who's going to take care of my parents? Well, if you burn yourself out, you're going to be useless to your parents. You take care of them to the degree that it feels good to do so. And otherwise you say no. In general, in life, whether you're in the Sanders generation or whether you're 30 or whether you're 80, there's nothing doesn't feel good to you. It's not authentic.

[00:23:54.330] – Allan

you had a tool in the book that I really liked where you said, get a piece of paper, turn it sideways, you know, landscape, basically draw three columns, and on the left column, list out all the things that you think you have to do now. And just so you're going to fill up that left side pretty quickly. And then you take those and you say, okay, which ones of these are really if I looked at it, if I didn't do this like you said, somebody's going to die basically. These are actually legitimately important things, and this is what I need to do about it. And then you write your little to do list and then said so on the left, then what are the things you could do or might do or not do about these other things? That in many cases you can just stop writing that list because you're going to realize that they're really not all that important you thought they were. And then you just do the things in that middle list. And when you finish those, then you can go back and look on that left column and see if there's anything in the right column and see if there's anything you really need to do next.

[00:24:52.530] – Allan

And it's your experience, what you've said is that the universe or God or whatever seems to have a way of taking care of those things.

[00:25:02.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Let me reframe that just a little bit to simplify for people and make a list of the things you do during the day. On one side, have the column be things that feel good, things that don't feel good. So the things that don't feel good, you can put on the left side. Things that feel good, you can put in the middle. And then if the things that don't feel good, put a little star by the things. You're going to be arrested or homeless if you don't do because you can sort of go later. So you have the list of things to do, things that feel good that you want to keep. You just withdraw your energy from things that don't feel good. Let them drift away. Here are the things that feel good. Then which thing do I want to do today? Which one or two things need to get done today? And you just put a little arrow into the far right column for those two. That's what you do because you have more than three things in your head. It just can be spun out and do nothing. You do the one or two things.

[00:25:52.160] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And what I do is I give it to the universe to do all those other things, but they call it god, universe, life, love, whatever you want to call it. And the funny thing is, those things in the universe column seem to get done a lot quicker than things and more effectively than the stuff in my column. Just an observation I've made. But if you just have the one or two things that need to be done that you're going to do today, then you can focus on that and get that done. But when you have the whole list for the rest of my life to do and it just can be spun out, it ain't going to work.

[00:26:21.370] – Allan

Yes, I like that focus because it gets you focused on, like you said, one or two things and it kind of gets you to just put that other stuff and say, okay, I've got it on the list so I'm not going to forget about it, but I'm not going to think about it right now.

[00:26:34.910] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And you can cut loose to things that don't feel good that you don't have to stay out of jail or in your home.

[00:26:41.260] – Allan

Yeah, that's kind of important. Okay, so another thing that kind of came up in the book that I thought was really interesting was that you identified several different types of pain and it didn't really occur to me that that was important until you started getting into what to do about those types of pain. And I was thinking, wow, we have this tendency to want to do the same thing for every pain. And it's kind of weird that we'll throw everything and that's not necessarily the best answer.

[00:27:23.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's as if you have your car dashboard and you have all these different warning lights on the dashboard. You have the oil light, the overheating light, you got all these different things. And with the doctors who say, well, the warning light came on, they don't even bother to ask which one. Well, no problem, we're going to take a band aid and put it over that morning plate. So you don't see it solved. But we see, I mean, most people don't know and they're major Advertisers, so they're not going to hear it in any place where they Advertise. But the arthritis medications, which is the usual ibuprofen, naproxen, these kind of things, so we see both prescription over the counter associated with, by my looking at research about 50,000 excess US deaths a year. You've got a 35% less conservative increased risk and heart attack and stroke. This is two massive studies of about a million people in the British Medical Journal. This is not maybe. And then you're looking at 4000 to 16,000 excess bleeding ulcer deaths a year. That's 50,000 deaths that are preventable basically. By using that, their research shows that there are natural remedies such my favorite is a mix called Curamin. Not curcumin, but C-U-R-A-M-I-N. It's been a pain relief miracle for.

[00:28:46.070] – Allan

Right now that's actually sitting in my Amazon shopping cart. My wife has some knee pain, and we've been trying a few different things to avoid surgery and see how she can get through this, because one doctor tells her it's a torn meniscus, another doctor tells her it's tendinitis it's anybody's guess yeah.

[00:29:04.130] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So here's the thing. Do the Curamin. But if it's a tendonitis, there are double blind studies looking at the curcumin, the Curamin, and it was more effective than the ibuprofen mouth celebrex type medications. There's other research looking at topical comfrey if you're looking at a tendonitis and there was actually for knee pain, was the study. The topical comfrey it's available as a brand called Trauma Plant. Rub it over the affected area of the knee three times a day. Use them both together. Give it six weeks. Because it takes natural things tend to heal systems. It's like putting up a house where medicines tend to poison systems. You can tear down a house in one day. But bolding, it takes six weeks. Give it to six weeks and the effect can be quite traumatic. It can be taken with the medications. So for general pain, those are my go to. Curamin C-U-R-A-M-I-N. Then I may add topical comfort. And certainly we'll talk about the different kinds of pain and how to approach each one. But if I had to say a general thing for pain, start with the Curamin.

[00:30:16.440] – Allan

So let's go through a few of these.

[00:30:19.010] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So the number one most common type of pain and the one that doctors know virtually nothing about, we know about it as a concept, but most doctors have no idea how to do a muscle exam for pain. That's like trying to diagnose appendicitis and not knowing that there's a thing called an abdominal exam you can't do it. Doesn't work. Muscle pain comes from low energy. If you have widespread low energy in the body, then you're going to have widespread pain fibromyalgia. But if you have, say, just localized things, you have poor ergonomics by your computer and you don't have a wrist support, you don't have your elbows supported, and you're holding your hands up in the air while you're typing like this, it's going to hurt. Those muscles are going to have neck and shoulder pain. There's different structural things. If you have a localized pain, does your wife have an uneven hip height? Does she have is her foot torqued out to the side? Seeing somebody who knows how to look for gait, looking for different localized triggers with muscle pain or is a good place to begin. But if you give shine, if you do what I mentioned, the multivitamin with magnesium and B vitamins.

[00:31:30.160] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So the energy revitalization system, vitamin power, very good. And one drink replaces 50 pills. Now, I had one guy who used to live on the Chesapeake Bay, walking by the harbor one day, and this guy eyes me from across the street and he suddenly he starts weaving through traffic and he runs up to me and he says, you're not the title by Marinco. And I said, yeah. And he lifted me up in this big bear hug and I just like, we have not had a first date yet, please put me down. And he said, sorry, but I had horrible back pain. Most back pain is muscle pain no matter what the x rays show. Horrible. And I took the vitamin powder, I designed that most of the things I talk about, I have no financial tattoo, but I did design the vitamin powder to my foundation gets royalties for that. And he said my back pain went away and over that just giving the muscles the magnesium, the B vitamins and the things needed in multivitamin. So feed the muscles so that they can make energy and that will often help the muscle pain go away.

[00:32:33.550] – Allan

Another one I know that I think it's big is called it's inflammation. Can you talk a little bit about that one?

[00:32:38.610] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So we're looking at anything that ensemitis, which would be like arthritis and then there's appendicitis and everything else too is when the inflammatory system is out of balance. Inflammation is not bad. It's part of our natural system for maintaining health and treating injuries and things like that and preventing infections, invasion. It's when it's out of balance. Why? We've dropped our fish oil intake dramatically. The Omega sweets I'll use, I personally take vitamin multivitamin out of vector omega each day because one of those vector mega replaces eight fish oil pills. So it balances inflammation. Cutting down white flour, whole grains are okay. Grass fed meat is less inflammatory than grain fed meat. Sugar very inflammatory. So simple dietary changes can settle down inflammation quite a bit. But where the curamin? The mix of the curcumin boswellia DLPA and natokinase shines. It's just awesome is the curcumin and Boswellia, these are highly absorbed forms balance and settle down excess inflammation, but they put them in balance and instead of side effects, you get side benefits of ill curcumin associated with 70%, lower Alzheimer risk, for example, dramatically lower cancer risks. And there's now over 100 studies looking at it, usually using this form, the Highly absorbed curcumin for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

[00:34:09.780] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's just the thing about these natural things is like say side benefits instead of side effects and they're as more effective.

[00:34:17.590] – Allan

Now, one of the ones I know that's really hard for doctors to deal with is the neuropathic pain. Can you talk about that one?

[00:34:26.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Yes. So just like the low energy causes muscles to get locked in the shortened position, nerves have a pacemaker that fires and triggers the nerve signal. And when you don't have enough energy in the nerves that pacemaker, the pacemaker actually will automatically fire unless you kind of hold it in check. And it takes energy to do that. The energy in the nerve drops to a certain point and that nerve keeps firing and suddenly it starts to hurt again. So the general things we talked about for B vitamins, magnesium, things to feed the nerves, but then lipoic acid and acetyl L carnitine, both very helpful for nerve pain. So what they do is they settle and soothe the nerves, and lipoic acid helps to heal it's 200 milligrams three times a day or 300 twice a day. For lipoic acid, acetyl carnitine, they use it and studies for chemo induced nerve pain. For example, or number there, it's 1 gram twice a day. I know I'm grabbing off a lot of stuff. My phone app, there's a free phone app called Cures, C-U-R-E-S capital A-C. You look up each of these kind of pains and it will lay out.

[00:35:37.850] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Look up arthritis, look up muscle pain, look up nerve pain. It'll have the recipe and just short and sweet. Here's what you do, here's how you do it.

[00:35:46.030] – Allan

And the book has all of this as well, and you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/572. And we have a full set of show notes, though, that's literally a transcript of everything you're saying. So they can go out there and they'll have all of that spelled out for him. So don't worry. Don't be trying to jot all this stuff down and spell, because I started trying, I'm going to have to ask him how to spell it later. But you'll have it. And then the book has literally line per line. What he's saying right now is from the book, and it's in a very simple way to read. And then again, if you've really, really suffering and you're going through chronic pain or really bad fibromyalgia symptoms, he has his deep dive cure, which call it I forget it, Intensive Care. And so it takes that shine and it ramps it up tenfold or better to give you all the protocol in a very deep and meaningful way that you can follow step by step to make sure that you're doing everything you possibly can to do this in the right way. Now, Doctor, before we move away from the pain part, there's another one that I'm kind of familiar with.

[00:36:59.270] – Allan

When you start talking about back pain, I went back and said, well, every time I've talked to any doctor about pain in the back, they always talk about nerve compression. I said, well, a disc is slipped and it's compressing on a nerve, and you're saying that's not it. But there is nerve compression as a pain source. Can we talk about that a little bit?

[00:37:21.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Absolutely. So let me start with the back pain, because the majority of pain is coming from structural issues with weak muscles. And again, this is what the research has shown that was funny. There are some doctors who are troublemakers and they realize that every time they send somebody from X rays or MRIs, they all came back. Oh my God, horrible, this disease amazed person can walk. And so they took a bunch of people who are totally healthy and they sent them in and said back pain to the x rays. And then the MRIs, they came back with the same readings and then they put up all the films with a bunch of radiologists that they're good radiologists. They couldn't tell the people from pain, from the ones without pain, anybody can chance. We are an upgrade species. Walk on four legs, we walk on two. We're going to have normal wear and tear on our back and same on the hip joints and on the other joints. And what the research has shown, same with TMJ, where they did another study, the changes in the x ray do not correlate with the pain. They are not the source of the pain.

[00:38:21.920] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And you see all these journal things saying you don't operate out of pain unless there is a neurologic deficit that correlates with that line of pain in that one area. But people do. Why? Because and they're not bad people, they think they're doing the right thing. There are some people who have real disease and they need surgery and those are the ones who do well. You have a specific pain in the area, you see the defects specific to that. There's a neurologic deficit, the reflexes are gone there or hyperreflexic, you have that triad. Now you have this pain. But for all the other ones they're not. And doing the conservative management with some of the things we talked about, for example, nutritional support, Curamin, there's one called Curamin, low back pain, things like that will often heal it up. First doing the structural things, simple heel lift, if one hip is higher than the other, can make all the difference. So simple measures. But again, the x rays, they will scare you to death. But research shows you'll see people there's, oh my God, my hip. It's bone on bone. Yeah, so is that guy jogging down the street with no pain doesn't mean that that's the source of your pain, but it does mean you're likely to get recommended for something very expensive with a knife.

[00:39:49.940] – Dr. Teitelbaum

On the other hand, by very good doctors who mean well,

[00:39:54.100] – Allan

yeah, well, they go to school with all the good intentions and then they're taught this is what you see, this is what you do. If this, then that, if this, then that.

[00:40:03.590] – Dr. Teitelbaum

We're taught about where the money is.

[00:40:05.460] – Allan

Well, that's coming through the medical school because that's who's funding the medical schools.

[00:40:11.260] – Dr. Teitelbaum

But they're paying for education and our medical education. And this is paraphrasing from a past editor of New England Journal of Medicine, which is a Harvard journal, that most continuing medical education is simply slick advertising, mass grading of science.

[00:40:29.440] – Allan

And it's sad. So ask questions, advocate. That's why I like books like yours because they kind of give us some tools to advocate for ourselves, to do some things that are non invasive that are generally safe and say, okay, I'm going to try these particular supplements and see how they go. Give it the time necessary, and then you can consider the medications and potentially the surgeries.

[00:40:56.690] – Dr. Teitelbaum

I'm an MD. I'm not against medications. I'm not against surgery. I'm just against the way they're being used, which is based on profit rather than science insanity. When used based on the science insanity. These are amazing and incredibly wonderful tools.

[00:41:12.510] – Allan

Yeah, because I tore my rotator cuff, and I knew the instant I did it exactly what I did, I know how bad it was. I mean, I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was off the bone, felt the tore, knew exactly what it was. And so I didn't go to the doctor straight away because I had something else I wanted to do first. And I'm like, I can't tear it more than it's tore. And then I did go into him, and he's like, when did you do this? I said, about a month and a half ago. He's like, that must have hurt. And I listed, yeah, we got to talking about it. He was a good old fellow. He'd been doing this for forever. And he said, yeah, most people are going to do this, and most people are going to tear their shoulders. It's just going to happen. And then he said, So let's do this review. And then he did the X ray, and he said, I'm going to send him for an MRI. He said, A lot of times they push back, and once you do therapy, but you know, it's tore, I know it's tore, so maybe the insurance company will be cool and let us just do the MRI, does the MRI, and says, yeah, we both knew it was tore.

[00:42:05.290] – Allan

And so he says, I got to do surgery. I'm like, of course it's not going to reattach itself to the bone. That's medicine. That's science. It's just not going to happen. So if I thought taking a pain medication and doing physical therapy was something that was going to fix it, then by all means, I would have tried that long before I ever went into surgery. But I knew where I was, and I was like, okay, I can use common sense. I can have a reasonable conversation with a doctor. And if the doctor can't have that conversation, then I'll go have the conversation with a different doctor.

[00:42:40.050] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And endoscopic repair of a tear is a common sense kind of a thing. It's low. It's not hard on the body. You don't have a lot of complications where when you're going into doing disc reconstruction on the back, failed back surgery is nasty. But like I say, what I find is when surgery is done for the right reason, people usually do real well. And when it's done for the wrong reason, for some reason, they don't.

[00:43:08.350] – Allan

Okay, let's pivot to something a little bit more positive. We talked about a little bit earlier how special the body is, but in the book you kind of got into a concept of self and healing and how there's a little bit more to just resting or eating or exercise. There's an internal something that drives healing better.

[00:43:39.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, here's the thing. You just don't get in the way of it. Give your body what it needs and let it do its thing. So the body is amazing at healing things. Sometimes things get out of balance, like heart failure, where its mechanism for healing the problem actually makes it worse. But most often that's not. So if you're giving body what it needs nutritionally, again, the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder to me is the best multivitamin because it replaces 50 pills from one drink. Easy. You give it to stuff for inflammation. So you go ahead and curamin. Nice easy way to do that. Then you just tailor it to the lights. You stop doing things that hurt it. It's like the doctor, the joke man goes to doctor and if it's dark when I keep doing this, it hurts. Doctors don't do that. So use some common sense with it. Your body pain is your body's way of saying something needs attention. Or maybe it's saying don't do that. But also, it's a funny thing. A good amount of pain, especially back pain, is associated with depressed feelings. The body, the psyche is actually distracting you from an uncomfortable feeling with the pain.

[00:44:52.120] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And it's not a rational process, so it's not proportional. It's not like this is a little thing. So I have a little pain and this is a major trauma that I was raped as a child. Never big pain. It's not like that at all. It's an uncomfortable feeling. The body will create pains, distract it distract you. And simply going in and seeing how you feel. For the gals out there, it's easier. Although sometimes it gets more complex. For guys, it's like feelings, what do they sometimes you do that, go in, find that things are feeling no judgments are not broken. You don't have to fix them. All you have to do with the feelings is feel them. And then when you're done feeling them and you'll know you're done because they'll stop feeling good, be amazed how good it can feel to grieve or their anger. I mean, ask my wife, I love a good self righteousnessy fit. I get on my hands down on the whole thing. But when it stops feeling good, that feeling is done. Then let it go. Now, the book talks about how to feel the feelings, how to let go of the feelings, and you'll find that a lot of the pain will go and go.

[00:45:56.210] – Dr. Teitelbaum

You mean I've been suffering for 30 years because I was upset that little Johnny took my girlfriend or something when I was seven? There's sometimes nothing

[00:46:05.570] – Allan

well, they were something. They were something, they were traumatic, and they were important enough at the moment for your body to store that and decide it needed to react in some way and it's manifesting his pain.

[00:46:18.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Yeah, little johnny when we were seven, it was something.

[00:46:25.130] – Allan

She was gorgeous

[00:46:26.450] – Dr. Teitelbaum

she was amazing.

[00:46:29.630] – Dr. Teitelbaum

But at 40, maybe kind of over that. There's a lot of different things to the pain. So the book will talk about nutritionally and herbally and then when to use medications, which medications to use, when to consider surgery. Again, this stuff is not rocket science. It's basically science. How it's used is not science. It's Advertising.

[00:46:56.030] – Allan

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

[00:47:05.990] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So, number one, want to double your energy in 1 minute of the day? Take a piece of paper, write this one down, get the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder, get the Smart Energy System, which is a mix of Ribos and five herbs, and get HRG 80, HRG 80 red ginseng, and get the chewable tablets. And you take one drink a day, two capsules into one tablet, it'll take you less than a minute. It's not expensive. You do that each morning. And again, most people find that they as much as more than double their energy. And again, in the studies for the Smart Energy, the average increase in Stamina, I think was 70%. The HRG 80 red ginseng was like 60%. Now, there's not a study looking just at the vitamin powder to combine those data is what I do each day. And you'll find that nutritionally you're going to have an amazing amount of healthy energy and it's just easy. Then. Number two, equally important is to follow your bliss. You know how you have a GPS in your life? If you went to your car's GPS and said, take me where I want to go, it has no idea where you want to go.

[00:48:17.070] – Dr. Teitelbaum

If you go to your brain and say, take me where I want to go, it has no idea who you are. Your brain is the programming that everybody did to tell you how to make them happy. It has no idea who you are. Your feelings know who you are. Start to steer and plan your life by what feels good to you as long again, don't hurt other people and how does it work out for you. But follow your bliss, see what feels good. Step number three, go for walks. A little bit of exercise doesn't have to be left. And do it outside in the sunshine and pick something that's fun and do it to the friends who actually show up. And you do those things and your life is going to be fantastic.

[00:49:02.510] – Allan

Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, From Fatigue to Fantastic, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:10.910] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, vitality101.com has information especially for people with CFS and Fibromyalgia. For those who are interested in the supplements, the website is endfatigue.com and Amazon has book. So simple things. But again, for Day to Day, if you'd like to know, I wonder what Doctor T would say about this problem. You look up acne or acid or whatever it is, the free phone app cures a-c. We have over a million downloads for the app. It's like having my brain in your pocket. It's just a lot less messy and it's just short and sweet. It's just each topic, hypertension, arthritis, whatever it is, just look it up. And here's what's going on. Here's how you take care of it. Here the best supplements, here's the best, here's what you use medications, how I just laid out for you.

[00:50:05.490] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/572 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:14.330] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Allan, always a pleasure. Be well.

[00:50:16.200] – Allan

You too.

Post Show/Recap

[00:50:17.650] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:50:19.100] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was really a wonderful interview and another book that I got to add to my list that I need to buy, but very helpful information. Right off the bat, I'll tell you and the listeners that my daughter suffers from both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which I often just simply call CFS. I have another loved one that also has fibro. So these are things that I'm pretty familiar with. And so as I was listening to you discuss these different points, I'm like, yup, that makes sense. Yes, we've experienced that. It's all good information.

[00:50:57.970] – Allan

Yeah, I wanted to have Dr. Teitelbaum on when I saw the topic of the book. I was like, okay, I want to talk about this because it's something we haven't really gotten into. And again, and I said it in the interview, so many diseases that are out there, that's what you're complaining about and that's what your symptom is. And they're like, okay, well, are you just not sleeping well?

[00:51:21.120] – Allan

Is it stress? Is it this? Is it that? And there's so much to rule out that I think it has to be a frustrating thing to go through because the diagnosis is just not going to be easy. And I can just see a situation where you walk into the doctor's office and they seem almost rude about it.

[00:51:41.390] – Allan

Fatigue, check. Okay, what else? You're like, Well, I'm in pain. Okay, check. What else? Because what they really just want is six minutes and a prescription. And that six minute includes in time to write the prescription. But you're not making it easy on them because you don't have any outward symptoms of anything major going on. They're looking at your thyroid, they're looking at some of these other things, and they're saying you're a perfectly healthy human being. And yet you say you're tired all the time.

[00:52:12.650] – Rachel

Yeah, that's exactly what we experienced. My daughter started having symptoms, probably she might have been close to 13, actually, when she started having some symptoms. And again, when you look at my daughter, she looks like now she's in her 20s, she looks like a young, healthy person. You would never imagine that she would have both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. And it was very difficult to diagnose, because when you think of your 13 year olds remember when you had 13 year olds?

[00:52:43.390] – Allan

Yeah, I'm just going to lay around and sleep all day

[00:52:45.800] – Rachel

lazy, moody. And so it is it's hard. And the thing with fibro and CFS and some of these other very similar diseases is there is no one blood test. And not only is there no one blood test, they first want to rule out things. So we spent ridiculous times in the doctor's office. It's not lime disease from a tick. It's not a thyroid problem. It's not a hormone problem. It's not a gluten IBS problem to get to all of these, it's not this, it's not that, still kind of leads us to it's just a rabbit hole of trying to get diagnosed. And you put together symptoms, and not all the symptoms make sense either. So it's this type of pain and this type of fatigue and all these different things. And the best advice that I have, someone who's dealing with some level of fatigue, is to get to know your doctor really well, go through the rabbit hole of test after test, diagnosis after not diagnosis, and see what you can get to. But when you talk about fatigue for, I guess, healthier people like you and I, we can pinpoint things like, you just had a whole week of craziness at your bed and breakfast.

[00:54:04.190] – Rachel

I just had a whole craziness of fatigue over the holidays, family parties, not sleeping in my bed, not eating the right foods. And so there's certain things that we can look at and say, this is why we're exhausted, and we know if we get some good sleep that we can recover from that. But if you're continuously struggling with fatigue, then there might be something else behind it. And the doctor has some really good things, really good advice. You got to look at your sleep. You got to look at your nutrition and stress and all these types of things. So it's a good place to start.

[00:54:41.440] – Allan

Yeah. He took the book it was originally a pamphlet that he wrote for doctors, because doctors didn't know how to diagnose this properly,

[00:54:49.560] – Rachel

and they still don't.

[00:54:50.730] – Allan

Okay, well, saying, get a copy of the book and send it to a doctor if you have questions. But he probably won't read it, or she won't read it because it's 400 pages.

[00:55:03.230] – Allan

But he originally started it as that, and then he worked his way up to really documenting and getting the evidence and looking at protocols. And then this one he wanted to make sure was good for the patient or someone who thinks they might be struggling with something like this because fatigue or pain is just a big part of their lives and their doctor hasn't been able to figure this stuff out yet. The protocols that he has in the book, a lot of them are just normal stuff that you should be doing for your general health and fitness anyway.

[00:55:36.560] – Rachel

That is true.

[00:55:38.350] – Allan

Eating right, getting exercise where you can, sleeping well, managing stress, all those things are things you should be doing. And he approaches it from a food first perspective, then supplements, and then, if necessary, he talks about medications. So it's pretty thorough book. It's up to date. It came out in 2021. So it's an up to date reference for you to get in there. And he makes it easy to follow, easy to know if that applies to you pretty early in the book because he writes those little subsection summaries at the beginning where he says, okay, this is the brain fog conversation that I could have with you, so you don't have to read all of this other stuff. You can read this and know at least, okay, is this the chapter I need to focus on now, or can I move on? So he makes it really easy. It's a good book.

[00:56:33.260] – Rachel

That sounds really great, especially how he broke it down for the people that are suffering. People with fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome do have a level of brain fog. This is partly a brain disease, and so it's hard to concentrate, it's hard to keep focused on tasks. It's important. So it sounds like a very helpful book.

[00:56:57.110] – Allan


[00:56:58.020] – Rachel


[00:56:58.780] – Allan

I'll talk to you next week then.

[00:57:00.280] – Rachel

Thanks for bringing on Allan. I appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:57:03.670] – Allan

You're welcome. Bye.

[00:57:05.450] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


December 27, 2022

How breath-work can improve your life with Stuart Sandeman

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Stuart Sandeman became aware of the awesome power of breath-work as he was grieving over the loss of his girlfriend to cancer. He sought out experts and dove deep in breathing and all of the benefits we can get from a good practice. He shares this in his book, Breathe In, Breathe Out.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:12.410] – Allan

Hello, Ras. How are you?

[00:03:14.240] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:16.030] – Allan

I'm doing well.

[00:03:17.340] – Rachel


[00:03:18.160] – Allan

So you got some stuff to tell us.

[00:03:20.840] – Rachel

I do. I'm so happy and grateful to report that my husband is doing well. After his surgery, they removed his kidney, adrenal gland and a bunch of lymph nodes, and we got the all clear report. All the margins were clear, the lymph nodes were clear. So technically, my husband is 100% cancer free right now. We're grateful for all the support and prayers from our friends in the community and moving forward, we know he'll have immunotherapy still with our oncologist, but I expect to hear even more good news from him when we get to see him in about another week or so. It's all good.

[00:04:02.180] – Allan

And for Mike, ice fishing is right around the corner.

[00:04:06.020] – Rachel

It is. He needs to sit still and let this giant incision heal. It's a pretty big one and he needs to sit still, let it heal, and he'll be all set to go.

[00:04:17.040] – Allan

Legs are freezing over as we speak.

[00:04:19.110] – Rachel

That's right. So true. He'll be chomping at the bit to get out there.

[00:04:24.600] – Allan

Well, good. Well, I had an interesting weekend.

[00:04:29.030] – Allan

Saturday we had a 5K here in Bocas. It's the first one, the first one I've seen in four years. And I don't know, but there's apparently a running organization in Panama. So they put this on and there are prizes. So people came in from all over Panama to compete for this. This was not necessarily intended to be an amateur run, but I was

[00:04:52.490] – Rachel


[00:04:54.010] – Allan

Yeah. I was the penultimate finisher, which was fine. I finished it and had a good time. It was enjoyable. But what was cool was they scheduled it for 03:00 in the afternoon. It's like the hottest part of the day, but as fate would have it shining down on everybody, it's like it was maybe 79 degrees. So the temperature was probably about five to seven degrees cooler than it normally would have been. Actually a little bit chilly.

[00:05:22.560] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:05:24.870] – Allan

I'm kind of like, wow, I got to move around a little bit here to stay warm because, yes, I've definitely acclimated to the warmer weather. But it was a nice little run out and back to a spot. A really cool little run. I used the Jeff Galloway run walk run.

[00:05:41.660] – Rachel


[00:05:42.270] – Allan

Which surprised a lot of people because almost no one else really walked. They're all going to do their little run and then slow down as they go and get started. So Me was like, okay, I'll go for a little bit. It's like, okay, I'm hitting that threshold and I'll do a little bit of walk. I didn't do the timing of it and all that. I just okay, just go ahead and go for a moment here. Get to a point when I feel like it's necessary myself down and speed myself up.

[00:06:06.820] – Rachel


[00:06:07.490] – Allan

I hit my marks. I didn't really tell myself, but I kind of know. Okay, I want to run about half of it and I want to walk about half of it. And that's really kind of how I ran my race. I felt good about it and it was a lot of fun. And they had prizes for people. So, like I said, there's a lot of people were excited, and they had a kids fun run. It was a one k, two age divisions. And the kids got money, too, which was neat. These kids were just ecstatic to do this little race, win some money out of it. So they probably got runners for life on this island now because, little kid, you went $25 running in 1k. Hey, good money. That's good money there.

[00:06:48.770] – Rachel

That's awesome.

[00:06:50.450] – Allan

And then, yeah, the top price for the men's and for the women's, five places, like 125 all the way down to wow.

[00:06:57.590] – Rachel


[00:06:58.120] – Allan

$15 to sign up. So, I mean, like, literally, yeah, these guys are getting a haul for their money, and then there's a relay, and so a lot of the guys from Panama, a lot of folks from Panama City came in and took most of their award money back home, but it was still fun. And then they had a fundraiser for the spay and neuter group called Papagato here. And something that I sort of got roped into last year and went along with was being Santa. So I was the Santa. I led the parade of the pets, walking their pets down to the location. And then we did get your picture taken with Santa. So all the dogs and the people and did a little fundraiser there.

[00:07:39.440] – Rachel


[00:07:39.880] – Allan

So overall, yeah, we raised about $1,200. They were doing other stuff, they were selling stuff. So proceeds from a lot of different things went into this. I was a part of it. I think the report I got was that we pulled about $200 for Santa sitting.

[00:07:55.920] – Rachel

Awesome. Way to go. That's so cool.

[00:07:59.340] – Allan

Yeah. Got kind of raunchy at the end, but it was all good fun and good. Making some money for a good cause is the Spaniards on these islands. So, yeah, very interesting. Active weekend for me.

[00:08:13.710] – Rachel

That sounds great. It sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:08:16.080] – Allan

All right. And a lot of breathing. So are you ready to talk about breathing with Stewart?

[00:08:20.530] – Rachel

Sure. That sounds great.

[00:08:22.070] – Allan

All right, here we go.


[00:09:29.830] – Allan

Stuart, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:33.670] – Stuart

Thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.

[00:09:37.130] – Allan

Now the book is Breathe In, Breathe Out: Restore Your Health, Reset Your Mind and Find Happiness Through Breathwork. And you touched me on a lot of different ways in that one little title and subtitle. And I think as I was going through it and kind of reading the book and getting into it and particularly your story, which I want you to get to in a minute, but it was just repeated realization of how important breath is to every single process in our entire body. That without a breath, we have nothing to look forward to. But with a breath, we have everything to look forward to.

[00:10:22.150] – Stuart

I love that. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, not only does breathing bring life into our body, but it triggers our state of being. It affects how we feel, how we think, how our system works. And it's such an amazing tool that we all have. And once we know how to use it, we can empower ourselves to make positive change in all facets of our well being, from physical health to mental health, emotional health, and even spiritual health as well. So it's really a fantastic tool and so glad we get to chat about it today.

[00:10:58.900] – Allan


[00:10:59.570] – Allan

Now, you brought up in the book that we were born, of course, there's maybe the slap on the bottom that we hear about so often, and then we take our first breath. And from that point forward, as babies, we're doing a pretty good job of breathing. And then we sort of, along the way, forget how to breathe right and other things get in our lives and kind of affect our breathing and change our breathing. And many of us become very bad at breathing. And you're not someone who just remembered it as a baby. You had to re-learn a lot of these things too. Can you tell us a little bit about what triggered you to get into breath work as a tool, as a way of life?

[00:11:43.810] – Stuart

Yeah, I think, just to reiterate, babies are the breathing gurus. That's what I always say. If you spot a baby breathe, everything's kind of working as it should. Unless there's been a complication, of course, but we're all perfect breathers and it's then the life experiences, the stress, the emotions, where our breathing starts to constrict and we form these bad habits of breathing. And it can be physical, it could be things like posture or clothing choice can even affect our breathing. And I wasn't ever aware and I had gone through my life running around pretty busy, too busy to breathe for sure whether my background was in sport and then I was in judo. I was on a judo mat at four years old and had dreams of being an Olympic champion. But through injury, I was a Scottish champion for many years, but through injury, I couldn't pursue that any longer and end up working in finance and a very fast paced dynamic world finances and very stressful moments. Nobody ever taught me to breathe then either. My breathing was probably completely out of whack. I left my finance job after signing some record deals and start touring the world as a DJ.

[00:13:03.040] – Stuart

So quite a jump from gunna sports to corporate to very creative. And again, nobody taught me to breathe or I didn't know the tool that I could have to manage myself, whether that was practical things like jet lag or nerves before gigs. And what got me into breathing was actually through grief. I probably wouldn't have listened like I said before, if somebody had said, look at your breath. I wasn't on my radar at all, but my girlfriend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and when she passed away, all that happened was I took my mom from Mother's Day to a breathing class. My mom is into breathing, my mom is a yoga instructor. So I popped up online last minute and I thought, mom will love that. And when I was still in my grieving process, I was in a pretty bad headspace at that time. And yes, I went along to this breathing class not really knowing what to expect. I was kind of just there for my mom. And I had a very powerful experience, a very cathartic experience. A lot of emotion stirred and my breath felt like I released my breath for the first time ever.

[00:14:13.380] – Stuart

And it wasn't until I did it that I realized I've been carrying this tension around for not just through grief, it was amplified a hundredfold through grief, but it was more than that. So that's how I initially kind of entered the space of breathwork. It has become more of a commonly used term of phrase, but at that time it wasn't very widespread. And I thought, right, okay, what has happened? Because my experience not only was very physical, it was extremely emotional, but also I felt that my girlfriend was there holding my hand, which didn't make any sense to me in my mind. So I thought, right, okay, what was that? What just happened? I really want to know as much as I could. So dived back in to do another session as soon as I could to figure out what if that was a one off, if I was going completely mad, if it was something else. And lo and behold, I had another powerful experience. Seem different, but similar, but different. And the more the practice, the more I uncovered, the more I realized about myself, my breath, the more my energy shifted, my voice in my head became kinder.

[00:15:32.210] – Stuart

I was flying up the leaderboard at CrossFit Gym. And the difference was a lot of physical differences, but a lot of mental emotional differences. And it felt like there was like this change, this upgrade was happening. And a big part was that we were working through grief and helping myself move through that and empowering myself to move through that through something so simple as breathing. So that was when I first realized that there was this very powerful tool that we all have called breathing. And that was one form of breathing, one type of breathing that is used to uncover release emotion, let go of tension. And from that point I thought, what else is out there for breathing? What are the different ways we can breathe? And what does that mean to our physical body, our energy levels, our stress levels? How are people breathing? How our athletes breathing? Are they breathing optimally for their sport? So I went off to kind of discover as much as I possibly could and learn as much as I could about breathing because it helped me so much. And I thought if it could help me, well, it could help a lot of other people.

[00:16:44.500] – Stuart

And initially after that first breathing session, I had a list of people, my dad needs to come and do this, my friend, someone needs to do it, someone else needs to do it. And I had this list of people, okay, they all need to do it, but I'm not sure they would connect with the way it was currently at that time being delivered. And so I thought, well, let's find out as much as I could and try and bridge the gap between the kind of scientific approach but also this amazing magic that can happen in these sessions. And that's what I think is very interesting, figuring out what is happening as best as we can, but then also being open to explore what we're not quite sure is happening in these sessions.

[00:17:24.510] – Allan

Yeah, I'm probably a lot more like the people you're talking about where I'm going to need to see a little bit of science before I decide I'm going to give this a go. Not that Woo doesn't have a place.

[00:17:37.810] – Allan

But we've got to have a little bit of science behind it.

[00:17:41.750] – Stuart

And that is me all over. And I think I'd live my life science, logic, mind. I did maths at university and went off and worked in finance and that what my brain couldn't comprehend. What happened in that session? Was my girlfriend there holding my hand? Or was that my imagination? And trying to figure that question out, a big question to ask because I'm not sure anyone's got the answer for it yet. But we can start to look at, well, what is happening in the body when we breathe in certain ways. How is it possible to reach a state where we have an experience that isn't easy to quantify through science. It's a lot of breathwork practices. We can quantify very much, especially the sports side of things as well, when we're looking at the body and performance, because we can measure performance and vo2 max and these interesting parameters. But with the more emotional side, it's a little bit trickier to quantify, but it's still a very valid space to explore.

[00:18:47.290] – Allan

Yes, and to me, I guess, and this was in the book, the big tie in here is this part of our body or brain, really, that's called the autonomic nervous system. And that's at least how I kind of visualize as I went through your book. And I was thinking about this, and I think most people would think of this as, oh, this is either the fight or flight mode, or I'm relaxed and chilling and enjoying my life right now, sitting by a beautiful lake watching frogs or whatever. Can you talk about the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic, and how those play into breathing?

[00:19:27.910] – Stuart

Yeah, absolutely, because it's such a key factor. So the autonomous nervous system is split in two halves. We got our kind of on switch, our sympathetic drive, and it's our stress response. You said the fight of flight response. Fight or flight response is often deemed as a very negative response because everyone's so stressed. We're trying to get rid of that the whole time. But in essence, every in breath is going to switch us on. Heart rate will go up, blood pressure will go up, our sympathetic drive kicks in. So how we're breathing really affects that on switch. And when we're switched on, our blood flow moves to our muscles and gets us ready to act. We are motivated and ready for action. So that happens every time we breathe in. If we breathe faster, it's going to happen even more. Sometimes we click into that state, the fight or flight response, when we walk outside and wander off the pavement onto the road and didn't see a car was coming, we see the car, we take a big gasp of air and jump back off to the pavement. So that sympathetic mode is there to keep us safe and protect us from any type of danger.

[00:20:37.470] – Stuart

It's what we've had for thousands of years. I like to think of it as the best friend that is always looking out for you, saying, watch out for this, look out for that, let's get going, which I guess is a nicer than the fight or flight response, this negative thing. It's actually a very positive thing. Then we have the other side, the rest digest. The parasympathetic mode, I would think sympathetic S for stress, parasympathetic P for peace. And the parasympathetic mode is really about conserving energy, slowing things down, moving our blood flow to our digestion, our reproductive organs, where we can start to repair and digest our food and get some good rest. And this is like the best friend that is calm down, relax, digest your food, get some sleep. So we have this interplay in every breath cycle. We breathe in, sympathetic goes up, breathe out parasympathetic happens when we slow our breath down and breathe out. So how we breathe really triggers each one of these divisions. Are we more switched on or are we more switched off? When I say switched off, it's more about calming this relaxation response. So it's quite binary in its direction.

[00:21:54.510] – Stuart

How we're breathing, where we're breathing, where our breath is flowing. Am I breathing in a certain way that's going to drive my sympathetic mode, which is creating this stress response, or am I breathing in a way that's going to calm my body and mind? So that's pretty much how breathing interplays with that, because that interplays with our stress, our energy, our focus, our relaxation, our sleep, our digestion, when we understand how we're breathing and how we're breathing in different situations or scenarios where we can start to take control of some of those responses because we can control our breath. Now, that for me is such a powerful thing because no longer is it I'm just at the mercy of being reactive to the world around me. Yes, the world is still happening around you, but you can start to take control of how you feel. You can start to take control of how your body is responding so that you can respond instead of react. You can calm yourself in those stressful moments. You can invigorate yourself in those lulls where you're feeling exhausted and you don't want to have the fifth cup of coffee.

[00:23:03.650] – Stuart

But you can create a bit of ooh stress, positive stress to motivate you, or you can start to balance out on and off. And when I say balance out, when we have this kind of equal in breath and out breath ratio, then we start to have coherence between our heart rhythms and from our heart to our brain, so we can access more flow states where we're feeling on and off in equal measure. We're feeling energized, focused, relaxed, and able to go through tasks or go through the day feeling at ease with everything that's going on.

[00:23:35.010] – Allan

Prior to reading this book, I really kind of thought there were really sort of four different ways to breathe and really they were just opposites of each other. So maybe not even four, but just how we happened to be breathing at the time. There were nose breathers and mouth breathers. My German shepherd's a mouth breather, but that's how she cools herself off, so what am I going to say? And then there was whether you breathe deep or whether you'd breathe shallow. And so to me, that was the only dynamics I really thought about with regards to breath. But in the book, you took this out and kind of broke it into seven breathing archetypes. And I think those are really important because once you kind of know, I guess the basis, like, where you are today, it kind of gives you a starting point of knowing, okay, I'm not breathing deep enough, or I'm not breathing this way, or I have a tendency to breathe that way, and you can start working on it. If you don't know what the problem is, you can't really fix it, so to speak. So could you talk about the seven archetypes?

[00:24:34.710] – Stuart

Yeah, the breathing archetypes is the common breeding patterns that people fall into, the breeding types. And we all have an archetype. Sometimes we're a combination of two archetypes or three archetypes or sometimes we fall into a pattern of archetype in a certain situation. So the archetypes that I share is the first one is the chest breather. Are we breathing dominantly in our chest? Which means that we're not using our primary breathing muscle. We're using our chest muscles or intercostal muscles. And the pure mechanics of a chest breather means it's shorter, it's shallower, we're breathing in more air, in and out a bit quicker. So the chest breather is ringing the alarm bell to our brain to say we're under stress. The fight or flight response is kicked in. Now if that becomes the archetype, that means that that stressful day has probably become a stressful week. It's probably become a stressful year. And we've been stuck in that breathing pattern. And not only is it the mechanics that play into some of these patterns, these archetypes, it's also the chemistry of the body. Because when we breathe it's really about the body finding homeostasis between the chemistry, the PH levels.

[00:25:46.030] – Stuart

And if we are having a stressful day, then the brain is perceiving, that the interesting about a mind is it triggers the same breath response whether there's a threat in the environment. So the tiger in the room or the tiger in our mind triggers the same breathing response. Doesn't matter if it's a thought, a perceived thought or an actual experience happening, the breathing happens the same. So for the chest breather something can happen in their experience. And if they're stressed a lot of the day then carbon dioxide drops because they're breathing too fast. The body doesn't like the change in PH. So what it does is it holds on to acidity and rebalances the PH level at the cost of keeping the breath fast. So it's like we find a new normal of breathing. So often the chest breather has this kind of fast too fast for creating stress in the body. It becomes normal because our body tries to balance this out with homeostasis and with its PH and we get stuck in this archetype. So that's the first one is the chest breather. It's quite common. It's probably one of the more common ones I see.

[00:26:52.850] – Stuart

And it takes a little bit of practice just to get the diaphragm engaged and opening up downward such as our primary breathing muscles so that we can start breathing with it and feeling that lower torso flow before the chest. So that's, yeah, we got the chest breather. The next one is the reverse breather. Reverse breather. If you imagine breathing in and if you're listening or you can try it as well, as you breathe in, you may see your belly rise first or your chest rise first. So the chest breather is breathing up in the chest first. The reverse breather is quite similar, but it's more of a seesaw action. So when they breathe in, the belly goes back and the chest goes out. And when they breathe out, it kind of collapses back the other way. So like it says on the description, reverse breathing is kind of like having our breathing going back to front. And when we have our breathing back to front, it's like our basic form of movement. So it confuses the body. It's a bit like having your charges on back to front. It's uncomfortable for the body, but again, the body gets used to it and we think this is normal, we're just feeling this way all the time.

[00:28:04.410] – Stuart

We're not sure why we're lack of energy or we can't sleep properly or different effects that will happen when we have the reverse breathing archetype. The collapse breather is one of the other ones we got. Collapsed breather is basically often posturally caused. A lot of these are actually from posture as well. If you've got tight jeans, high waisted jeans, tight belts on, a bra that doesn't fit. We can create a lot of these archetypes just by the restrictions that we put on ourselves. Sat at our desk all day driving too much in the car. So the collapsed breather is often postural. Shoulders are hunched around and when we're hunching our shoulder, we're actually just collapsing their breath. The mechanics again, is not allowing this natural flow and each of these archetypes will trigger because our brain triggers our body to breathe and our breath pattern sends us to go back to our brain. And our brain is about thinking and our breath and our body is about feeling, then it changes the way we're thinking and feeling. When we fall into some of these archetypes, where do we get to? We've got the chest, we got the reverse, we've got the collapse frozen breather.

[00:29:11.180] – Stuart

Frozen breather is if you imagine going out onto a cold day and we didn't have a jacket on and we kind of start to close it up. It's like the whole body constricts. Some people have an archetype where their body is constricted. They're kind of in this frozen state. They're not actually breathing much at all, so they're not getting this natural flow of air in and out. So they're not kind of allowing this natural resource for energy to happen. They just got this very frozen style of breathing which will affect their body and mind. Again, differently. Breath grabber is our next one. Now, the breath grabber all have met them before, is often when somebody is grasping for air, you can usually find it in conversation. The breath grabber is trying to grab that air. So it might be they will be buttoning in and trying to get the point across and speaking quite fast and in between breaths, gasping for breath in through their mouth. So you might find that kind of hyperactive person often breath grabbing. And for all these archetypes, when we start looking at somebody breathe, their breathing pattern, if you mirror their breathing pattern, say, well, what's happening with their breathing?

[00:30:27.730] – Stuart

Well, if we say those in words, that's probably how they're thinking and feeling. So if we got the breath grabber, it's a pace that they're living very busy, a lot going on. So the breath grabbers like that. We also have the breath controller. Now, the breath controller is at first sight, the breathing looks pretty good. The breath controller tends to be about this out breath being very controlled and in some ways it's an all right architect because the breath controller harder to spot. But their breath is so controlled because they're trying to control everything around them and the nature of the world that we live in. Yes, it's great to have control sometimes, but we can't control everything. It's like trying to control the Scottish weather or any weather, but we just can't. But the breath controller wants to have that control the whole time. So often find with the breath controller, with the breath being controlled, all these other things they find when they don't have control, it causes them to feel pretty uncomfortable. So that might be things like flying. If somebody has got a fear of flying, it might be because they don't have that control anymore and the breath could be a part of that controller pattern.

[00:31:38.130] – Stuart

And then the other archetype I put in there was actually the perfect breather. I know you said most people have dysfunctional breathing patterns, but I thought I'd say the perfect breather is kind of a trick question or a trick archetype. Because the perfect breather really depends on what we're doing. Because if we're running for a bus, our breathing is going to be very different from sat still or being in our beds and relaxing or watching TV or you mentioned sitting, watching the frogs. But when I talk about perfect breathing, I usually look across five different areas. It's really important to make sure that we have our natural resting breath. Meaning when there's no threat in our environment and we are sat going about our business, feeling relaxed, thinking relaxed, that our breathing is operating as optimally as it can. In and out through our nose, using our diaphragm. Slow, gentle, flowing, steady. And then from there we can start looking at these other areas. So breathing at rest, we've got breathing and sleeping is a big one. Breathing and whatever we're doing throughout the day. So that might be at work or studies or whatever happens throughout your day

[00:32:56.310] – Stuart

Mainly our breathing tends to change from when we're at rest and then we're out and about in our day. The next one is linked to that is breathing and speaking. A lot of people switch to mouth breathing when they speak. That breath grab our style, but a lot of people end up doing it. So what I mean by that is go speak and breathe into the mouth. Now, the mouth breath is that trigger for stress, like stepping off the road into the oncoming traffic. So we find that if we were doing a job, maybe a sales role, or we talk a lot on the phone or throughout the day, just talking a lot, a lot, nine people out of ten will start becoming the breath grabber in those moments. So making sure that we're breathing and speaking effectively, using our nose to breathe in sensitive, is quite hard to change. And then the final one, which is a bit more of the advanced side, is how we breathing when we are doing physical exercise, when we are kind of increasing that respiratory rate for whatever given sport or exercise we're doing, whether that's walking or whether that's something more intense.

[00:33:59.050] – Stuart

They're the kind of five areas. But it all happens or begins with breathing at rest.

[00:34:04.350] – Allan

You talked a little bit about back and forth about breathing through your nose and breathing through your mouth. Why is it important to focus more on breathing through your nose? And is that always the case?

[00:34:16.370] – Stuart

Yeah, absolutely. Our nose is designed for breathing. Designed for breathing. It gets the perfect moisture and temperature of air to our lungs. I call it breathe in and breathe out. I say it's the bouncer for the lungs. Saying that the lungs are like a nightclub and the nose stops people coming in that shouldn't be in. So the nose yet. The nose is the first line of defense. It filters the air, gets the perfect moisture and temperature to our lungs so we have optimal absorption. The nose also flushes the air with nitric oxide, which is a gas that works as a vascular dilator and a bronco dilator. So basically opens up our blood vessels, which helps improve our circulation. So the nose really gets everything prepared. Now, the size of our nostrils are also a lot smaller than our mouth. So when we're breathing through our nose, the rate at which we breathe is much slower. So when we're breathing through our nose, we start to fall into this slow, gentle pattern of breathing, which is more optimal throughout our day. We feel calmer breathing through our nose. We divert to the mouth breath at times of need, like I said, the gasp of air when we need that sort of instant flick of switch into the stress response.

[00:35:32.880] – Stuart

But the nose is really what we want to be using. So that we feel calm, relaxed, and everything is kind of falling into place. There's some interesting research around facial development and all sorts with nasal breathing. When we're breathing through our mouth a lot, it can even affect the way our jaw forms and how the palate of the mouth and how much space we have in our mouth. So it's more than just breathing that is affected by our nose. So it's really quite important that we learn to breathe through our nose just to get the whole system working effectively. 

[00:36:10.890] – Allan

I was having a conversation with a dentist, his name was Dr. Kami Hoss, and he was saying a lot of the reasons why we have a lot of the health issues we have is that we're breathing into it through our mouth, and that's messing with the microbiome of the mouth. And as a result, it's creating health issues all the way through the system. So he also encourages to breathe through your nose. A lot of times when people are doing like a meditation, so they'll say breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Is that not necessarily the right way to do this? Or are there times when that type of response is the right way to go about the out breath, particularly?

[00:36:52.610] – Stuart

Yeah, so the nose, I guess we talked about the nose on the in breath. On the out breath, the nose captures moisture and heat leaving the body. So in a lot of meditations or a lot of breath practices, we may wish to breathe in the nose and out the nose, or you may wish to breathe in the nose and out the mouth. You find that breathing in the nose and out the mouth has this lovely relaxation response that happens. It still happens to the nose, but it's as if we still have this activation happening when we're nose nose or mouth mouth. When we breathe in the nose and out the mouth, it kind of impacts the relaxation response and makes us feel nice and calm.

[00:37:32.370] – Allan

All right, so let's get into some of these exercises because I think for many of us, the low hanging fruit is going to be how we can calm ourselves down in a stressful situation. Like the boss calls your desk and you got to go see them and your heart's just racing because you don't know what's going to happen. You've got to calm yourself down before you go into that meeting or another situation being it's the middle of the afternoon and you're just not feeling any energy and you really don't want to go grab a cup of coffee because you know that's going to mess with your sleep. So some breath work that would maybe lift us up in the afternoon so we have the energy to complete our day. Can you talk a little bit about the relaxation breathing and the energized breathing?

[00:38:17.230] – Stuart

Yeah, my pleasure, because it's something that I use so often and stressful moments call from the boss. When you feel that it's like the heat is going to your heart races, the thoughts or the anticipation about what that might be, the fear that's kicked in because of that phone call, or even seeing their name pop up on the screen, triggers the stress response. The tiger is now in the room, so a sympathetic drive is on. Heart rate is up, blood pressure is up. Our breathing will change. We might freeze our breathing altogether. Hold on. Or we might breathe a lot faster. So the stress response kicked in. The volume of our sympathetic is up. So we simply need to flick the off switch and increase the parasympathetic drive. Now, the parasympathetic happens on that outbreak so in those moments, because also what happens in those moments is the fear response closes down our prefrontal cortex in our brain, which is our reason. And we go into this sympathetic, the limbic part of our brain where we're often not able to get that we're ready to fight. Yeah, we have to fight with the answer that we need in those moments.

[00:39:32.240] – Stuart

So it's really, really important and very valid. And what I usually say is it starts with the phrase, if in doubt, breathe it out. Because in those moments, we might not remember which technique to do. So remember the phrase, if in doubt, breathe it out. Having a nice long, drawn out breath. So doubling our out breath to our in breath will allow us to increase the parasympathetic response. So that nice long, drawn out breath increases the parasympathetic response and we start to relax. So the technique that I go for in those moments is simply in through our nose for a count of four, feeling our belly rise. We want to be using our diaphragm to breathe as much as possible, hold our breath for a count of four and then breathe out through our mouth for a count of eight. And on that out breath, really being mindful of letting the body relax. So we might find in those moments, our shoulders are up by our ears and we go out breath. Oh, wow, relax. In for four, through the nose, hold for four, then breathe out through the mouth for eight. Increases this parasympathetic response.

[00:40:38.660] – Stuart

One cycle. If you're listening, give it a go. Now, you'll notice a difference in one cycle. The likelihood is in those moments, the brain will jump back in with another thought. And the thought might be, oh my God, the meeting with my boss. So it triggers the body again. So we had this mention before, this tug of war that kind of happened in those moments, the thought and the mind triggering the breathing to speed up. So the sympathetic saying, no, we're under alert. And then our conscious mind saying, no, it's okay, I'm in control. In for four, hold for four, out for eight. And that's creating this parasympathetic response. So it takes a bit of practice to get used to it, and it takes more than a couple of rounds just to get used to it. But if we only have one round, that's better than nothing. The amount of times I've done this in a cab or I've got radio show, sometimes from nowhere, I think I've got it all together and it's just about going air. And then it's like the anxiety kicks in and it's straight into in for four holf for four out for eight and it just dissipates.

[00:41:44.140] – Stuart

It starts to not completely disappear, but it starts to slow down. You start to feel a bit more relaxed, less overwhelmed, and you can start to just move through those moments a lot easier.

[00:41:57.100] – Allan

Yeah. So our zoom call went down while we were, I was about to ask this particular question and I'm sitting here breathing, like, remember what you read, remember what you read. It'll come back.

[00:42:08.490] – Stuart

Yeah. The instant reaction, isn't it? Something happens out with our control. Oh, my God. And what's that gasping, it's that contraction. Contraction our breathing. The contraction in our mid secs and run that solar plexus freezes up and we move it into that stress response. So, yeah, coming back, eight for four, hold for four, out for eight to really relax the body and mind. If we calm our breath, our mind will follow.

[00:42:36.690] – Allan

Okay, so now it's 02:00 in the afternoon. We're starting to have that midday lull and we could go in. There's a machine that's going to give me the sweets and all the sugar stuff and the cake stuff and all of that. I can do that cinnamon roll thing and a cup of coffee and I'll be good to go. But I won't sleep well tonight and I know that. So if I want to bring myself up to finish the day out strong, what's a breathing technique I can do to do that?

[00:43:04.650] – Stuart

Yeah, well, for this, we want to go the other side, don't we want to kind of evoke the sympathetic response. And I'm going to say something. Hopefully it doesn't scare people, but create stress. Now, when I say stress, stress isn't all bad. We have eustress, which is positive stress that motivates us. What happens when you have a coffee? Anyway, we have this kind of stress in the body, so to evoke this kind of energy flow, we need to breathe a little bit more. So what I tend to do is going to have a double in breath to an out breath. And we can even open up the sections, so something like belly, chest, exhale. So belly, so it's a bit quicker there. So belly, chest, exhale.

[00:43:47.610] – Allan


[00:43:48.890] – Stuart

So just creating a bit more open flow where we've got this natural, bigger breath in opening up those sections. And we can do that a couple of rounds. Try not to sniff hard through your nostrils, not real sniff hard through there because we'll get a little bit light head or dizzy, it's really driven from the body. So we're breathing in barely rises, diaphragms engaged in the chest and then we're breathing out. So we're just opening up the sections of our breath and adding more airflow into our body and kind of shaking things up again. The body will start to shift and move. The PH changes slightly and they can create this energized feeling.

[00:44:28.030] – Allan

And I would encourage you to do that standing up.

[00:44:30.950] – Stuart

Yeah. Or you can do standing up. Sitting down.

[00:44:33.540] – Allan

Well, I think if you're standing up, it's going to actually let you open up a little bit more sitting down. You might be a little bit more closed. If you're standing up, you're really going to be able to bring in that breath and kind of fill yourself, get more energetic.

[00:44:46.190] – Stuart

Sometimes you even get the arms moving as well for it. You can lift your arms up.

[00:44:49.860] – Allan

There you go. With some dumbbells or something.

[00:44:52.830] – Stuart

Maybe the dumbbells, exhausted.

[00:44:56.510] – Allan

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

[00:45:05.250] – Stuart

Yeah, three tactics. Mine are always pretty simple. I like to keep things simple. The first one we talked about, and it has to be my first one because it's what has just changed my life and the thousands of people I've worked with is breathe. Use your breath. And that comes with awareness. How am I breathing right now? How am I feeling right now if I want to change how I feel? Change the way you breathe. So breath is the first one. The next thing is getting moving again, super simple. But the difference we feel once you've moved our body, it will force our breath to move as well. So they go hand in hand, but breathing and moving. And then the final one is more about the mind. I like to follow my highest excitement. And when I started doing that, everything started to flow in a positive way. And when I say follow your highest excitement is really with integrity of course, as you get in trouble with following your highest excitement. But when you have a decision, sitting with it and feeling into it and say, well, which actually creates more excitement and what does that mean in my body?

[00:46:14.060] – Stuart

Where can I feel that in my body? So is this kind of feedback? And all of these have feedback, breathing, awareness, how am I feeling? What do I want to feel? Can I use my breath to evoke and help me step towards that movement? Or how do I just change the state of my body through movement? And then following your highest excitement, creating those moments we say, well, which will excite me more from a heart centered place as opposed to just thinking of excitement. So really making sure that integrity is woven into that. But once we do that, we start to find this flow in our life and it's going to be a really effective way to kind of move forward.

[00:46:53.490] – Allan

That was awesome. Stewart if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, Breathe In, Breathe Out, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:47:03.110] – Stuart

The best place is the website Breathpod is my business, so www.breathpod.com and from breathpod.com that has all the other areas, you can find out more, whether it's the book, whether some of the courses I do, my social media, my breathpod, or most channels. So, yeah, the website will probably be the easiest place on Instagram as well. @breathpod

[00:47:28.750] – Allan

you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/570, and I'll be sure to have all the links there. Stuart, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:47:39.090] – Stuart

Thanks so much for having me. Remember to breathe.

[00:47:43.330] – Allan


Post Show/Recap

[00:47:53.810] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:47:55.210] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Well, just give me a second I need to take a deep breath. Whenever we talk about breathing, or whenever I listen to a podcast about it or read about it, I always feel compelled to take some deep breaths. It's very calming. It is very relaxing.

[00:48:10.550] – Allan

Yeah. Well, you got to try reading a whole book.

[00:48:13.550] – Rachel


[00:48:14.830] – Allan

Because what I've found is when I think about my breath, I try to control my breath. I mean, it's like I can't just let myself say, just breathe. It never happens that way. If you say breath, I'm thinking about breath and I'm going to try to breathe better because it just is what it is. It's how my brain is wired. If you draw attention to something, I'm going to control it.

[00:48:41.160] – Rachel

Same. Yeah, same here.

[00:48:43.160] – Allan

Which means that when I'm running, I'm trying to control my breath because that's managing my heart rate and not overextending. So when I run, I try to manage my breath. When I'm talking podcasting, I have to control my breath. It's the only way you get the voice you're supposed to get without getting all squeaky whiny because you can breathe. But what was cool was how much he's learned and he's willing, he's sharing in his book about how the breath controls us as much as we control the breath. And so you can use breath as a way of relaxing and controlling yourself. You can use breath as a way of getting yourself energized and moving. And in his case, when he really became aware of the power of breath, was letting go of trauma and letting go of past pain, finding himself in a place where it basically opened him up to heal.

[00:49:42.150] – Rachel

Right. Well, as you know, this has been kind of a stressful year for my husband and I with his cancer diagnosis. And every time that we've gone to a cat scan or an infusion or something, I do feel the tension. I feel it in my shoulders, I get it in my neck and I can't concentrate, I can't think. I can't do anything for some time. And so if I can just sit and practice something similar to that box breathing technique, a couple of deep breaths in, a couple of deep breaths out, it really does a world of difference to help me calm down, breathe deeper, breathe fuller, and relax into it a little bit so that I can think straight and deal with the situation at hand. It is definitely a great tool.

[00:50:28.350] – Allan

Yeah. And there have been moments where anxiety just washes over me as like, holy crap, go into complete panic. I'm incapable of doing normal stuff because I'm just so tense. And then just having a tool to be able to let that go is really important.

[00:50:49.810] – Rachel

Yeah. And I've always heard of breathing techniques for the purpose of relaxing, for getting that parasympathetic system going, but I never really thought about using it to get amped instead of reaching for the cup of coffee in the afternoon, I never thought to do a different breathing technique to encourage energy instead of relaxation.

[00:51:10.460] – Allan

And so there's the two systems. There's sympathetic, which is the relaxation. Parasympathetic is the bounce off.

[00:51:22.650] – Allan

You find yourself breathing heavy, you're stressed out and you're breathing heavy. You're literally firing up your parasymphatetic. Fight or flight mode. It's like, literally you ready to fight. Now, there are times when that's appropriate. You got to run after something, do something. You need that energy obviously appropriate, but we use it when it's not necessarily appropriate. And as a result, we can't keep ourselves in the frame of mind to do the right things because it turns the brain off.

[00:51:53.490] – Allan

It's like, no, we've got two things to do here.

[00:51:55.290] – Allan

We're going to fight or flight. I'll tell you, punch your boss. You're in trouble

[00:51:58.850] – Rachel

it's a bad day.

[00:52:01.910] – Allan

And so unless you just really need to punch your boss and you didn't need that job or the next one.

[00:52:07.450] – Rachel

That would be bad.

[00:52:08.320] – Allan

You're ready to retire, Pop. Yeah, it's done. But just make sure you sign the paper. So you are getting your pension. But anyway, there are going to be times when you need to calm down. And probably in our current environment, there's more times that you need to calm down than you need to amp up. But, yes, in the afternoons, you find yourself lulling rather than hitting the caffeine, knowing that that's probably going to disturb your sleep a little bit

[00:52:35.970] – Allan

Just take in some deep breaths. Give your body the oxygen. Oxygen is the energy for fire. We know that you can't have a fire without oxygen. Your body is no different. If you bring in extra oxygen, you're going to stoke the fire. It's kind of the same chemistry that's going on when you have a camp fire and you have the little billow thing and you amp up the fire. It has to have the oxygen.

[00:53:03.170] – Rachel

I love that. And then at night, when it's time to wind things down and try and lay down and fall asleep. Taking those deeper breaths and having a little bit more relaxation could help you fall asleep faster.

[00:53:16.520] – Allan

Yeah, the slow breathes out. Just let it out. Just slow and easy. That's the settle down that's you telling your body, okay, there's nothing to worry about.

[00:53:27.360] – Allan

Just chill

[00:53:28.780] – Rachel

sleep off, go back to sleep. It's important. We need our sleep.

[00:53:33.490] – Allan

We do. Absolutely.

[00:53:35.090] – Rachel

Yeah. Interesting.

[00:53:37.030] – Allan

Well, Ras, I'll see you next week.

[00:53:39.530] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:53:40.890] – Allan

You too.

[00:53:41.610] – Rachel

Thank you. Bye bye.


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


1 2 3 55