Category Archives for "health"

November 30, 2020

How to keep your health instincts from making you sick with Dr. Rob Barrett & Dr. Lou Francescutti

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Dr. Rob Barrett and Dr. Lou Franchetti are a Ph.D. from the world of social science and an M.D. from the world of medicine, they combined forces to bring this emerging human crisis to light. In their book, Hardwired: How Our Instincts to Be Healthy are Making Us Sick, they share fascinating facts and little told stories to weave together real life cases that describe how our ancient evolutionary drives are propelling us toward ill health and disease.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:53.780] – Allan
Raz, how you doing?

[00:00:55.670] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:00:57.560] – Allan
I'm doing all right. We are we are doing the traveling around the country and we're just dodging left and right to try to avoid this covid thing. People around us are starting to get tested positive. And so far our testing has been negative. And I have a thermometer that I now carry around with me and we check our temperatures. And so, you know, trying to do the right responsible thing, wearing masks in public and doing those things.

[00:01:23.000] – Allan
You can have your position about all of that. But the reality of it is, do you really want to take your chances and get it?

[00:01:29.690] – Rachel

[00:01:30.500] – Allan
You know, if I got it, I would say, OK, I got it. And I'd hunker down somewhere for two weeks and then I'd say, OK, I'm probably going to be fine from here on out. But I know a lot of people don't have that. And if you're around someone who's ill, you really have to think about what your behavior is potentially doing to them.

[00:01:47.270] – Allan
My daughter staying with her mother this week because it's closer to her workplace and her mother got tested positive. So, you know, not that either I'm done anything wrong. It's just I got exposed in some way or another and now they have to deal with that. And now I have to somewhat deal with that and go get tested again just because of the exposure. So, be aware that that stuff's out there and it's going to get probably a lot worse before it gets better.

[00:02:17.510] – Allan
And even though there's vaccine coming out and the testing and things that'll have to go on with that, that's a ways off for all of us. It can seem kind of pretty exciting when they make an announcement like that, like, hey, we've got this thing. They don't have this thing that they have this this potential other thing that they have to start building and manufacturing and apparently keeping below a certain temperature, below freezing, which most freezers don't do today.

[00:02:44.000] – Allan
So there's a lot of logistics. A lot of things will have to go on before we can actually say we're out of the woods on this. So just be safe. And that's what I'm trying to do as we travel through the United States is, make sure that I'm staying safe, get myself tested when I can. And if I get exposed, then go get tested again. You know, that's going to be our life going forward for a little while.

[00:03:05.570] – Rachel
Yeah, I suspect that's the case for a lot of people. You know, Mike deals with this for work. Covid is an important part of his health and safety responsibilities for his work. So but we do see time and time again how mask wearing and hand washing has been, really helpful with keeping the count down. And I know the whole world is actually going through a whole new wave of it. And this one is going to be really hard, especially in places like where we live in Michigan, where it's going to be cold and we're going to spend a lot of time inside.

[00:03:35.810] – Rachel
But, again, if you just take a few of those extra steps and wear your mask and wash your hands, it really can do a lot to protect you. And like we've also talked about, Allan, being healthy, you know, just taking the extra step and taking care of your physical health will also be a huge part of the process of keeping you healthy in the long run.

[00:03:57.320] – Allan
Absolutely. Well, let's go ahead and jump into the interview then.


[00:04:31.490] – Allan
Dr. Rob, Dr. Lou, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:35.600] – Dr. Rob
Thanks for having us.

[00:04:37.510] – Allan
So the book is called HardWired: How Our Instincts to Be Healthy are Making Us Sick. And, one of the things I have to say about this book is it's very unusual that I will read a book and learn more than one or two things because it had so many guests on in health and fitness. And honestly, most books are just repeating something I've read somewhere else.

[00:05:00.610] – Allan
And occasionally someone will pop in with some new ideas, some new thing I've never heard. But I got to the first chapter and I'm like, oh wow, I didn't know that was that bad. And it's the next chapter. And like, hmm, that's very interesting I've never heard about those people before. And then the next one. Oh, so that's what was going on with me. It was just like every chapter I'm like just kind of a new thing in my head. And so really, really great book.

[00:05:26.240] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, thanks very much, part of that was was by design, we when Dr. Lou and I sat down and realized that we're both asking the same question, why do we do the things that we do but from different standpoints, Dr. Lou, being an E.R. physician. So he sees that in the medical world and me seeing that mostly in the social science world, when we started to look at the intersection of those two, we started to discover all of these amazing facts, as you say, and stories that can be told about how these things play upon each other and affect us in our everyday life.

[00:06:01.250] – Dr. Rob
So I'm glad you found that we were actually, as we as our journey was over many years writing this book, our journey was the same. We were shocked at how much our social world is now directing our health, our biological health as well. And that was that's one of the true takeaways of the book.

[00:06:21.640] – Dr. Lou
You know what, the aha moment for Rob and I when we were doing a previous interview was that humans, as well, designed as they are, are running on outdated software.

[00:06:34.180] – Dr. Lou
So the software we're running on served us well for the previous million years. But the fast-paced environment of today's world leaves our brain confused as to what to do. And Rob explains quite nicely that we have too much choice, too much choice in food, too much choice in social media, too much choice in everything. And with that choice comes the consequences of bad decisions that are driven by something that's hardwired into us. I mean, dopamine drives humans.

[00:07:07.240] – Dr. Lou
You get rewarded for water, you get rewarded for food. Finding water, finding food and having sex and having sex is the greatest dopamine release in your brain. And that's because humans want to be around for a long time. But if you have access to too much food, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we have to sort of ask ourselves, why is this obesity epidemic all over the world? It's not just in North America.

[00:07:34.390] – Dr. Lou
It's all over the world. And we really believe that we're not wired properly. And so what we need to do is patch our software to make sure we can live in these modern times.

[00:07:45.540] – Allan
Yeah, you know, one of the first things you got into in the book was, quite frankly, was terrifying. I worked in the oil and gas business and so we were safety, safety, safety. And, you know, we any anything that went wrong, like you just you took a step wrong, you know, walking up the steps. You were supposed to write up a paper of a near-miss. And, you know, so safety was just drilled into us. In fact, it was actually a part of our bonus. If we had safety events above a certain threshold, we didn't get that portion of our bonus, which made sometimes me question a lot of the reporting.

[00:08:21.750] – Allan
And as an auditor, that's, you know, part of what I was like, OK, how are we doing this? Right. What what astounded me was that the same problems I would see we were seeing in the oil field. With health and safety are happening in our hospitals, and I think the stat that kind of blew me away was 440000 deaths per year due to a mistake.

[00:08:48.620] – Dr. Lou
There was a study that came out of Hopkins that basically said hospital related injuries were the third leading cause. And it's not as if as a health care provider, I go to work wanting to hurt someone. But it's like you said, oil and gas are so far ahead and taking safety seriously that the health care industry, unfortunately, still doesn't believe this is a major problem.

[00:09:11.970] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, it's interesting, we put in some really interesting numbers around preventable error in hospitals and one of the kind of the little math stats that we put in there that was really fascinating for Dr. Lou and I, as well is if you look at comparing hospitals and modern hospital to, say, the Iraq surge in 2007. So we remember the Iraq surge was one hundred and sixty thousand troops that went to Iraq and they experienced a death rate of nine hundred and four servicemen and women. In that same year, 35.1 million people visited modern US hospital. And if you use that number of roughly four hundred thousand preventable errors and deaths, then really it was more dangerous to visit a modern U.S. hospital in that same year than it was to serve in Iraq during the deadliest year in Iraq.

[00:10:04.020] – Dr. Rob
That is just astounding. And now one in four people that visit a modern hospital are at risk of experiencing a preventable error in hospitals.

[00:10:15.180] – Allan
Now, part of the solution of this is obvious. Don't go to the hospital, but you need to go to the hospital. If you have an acute issue, if you're having a heart attack or a stroke or something like that, you absolutely need to quickly get to a hospital. What else can we do to help prevent us from being a part of that statistic?

[00:10:36.520] – Dr. Rob
Well, I mean, one of the things that we look at is why are these happening? What's the nature of these errors that are happening? And it's really not a lack of understanding of medicine anymore. Of course, there's always room for improvement there. The technological advances is really not that we don't have these available. Sure, there are some cognitive biases that play into diagnostic error, what have you. But really, these are non-technical errors, non-technical errors and what we've learned a lot.

[00:11:07.090] – Dr. Rob
And we use we use the comparison in the book as well as aviation safety. Aviation, the same thing, same thing. They looked at these aircraft that are so sophisticated now that really the types of errors that we're seeing are of a non-technical nature. And that's the area that's the main domain that we need to improve upon. But as the book suggests, our hard wired parts of ourselves mean that we're very social creatures. And that means that we have to dance and play around in groups, even in very serious settings like the hospital as well.

[00:11:40.510] – Dr. Rob
And some of that group dynamic and that interplay, that psychology of being part of the group. Some of the hierarchies that are built into the hospital system mean that it's sometimes difficult for us to communicate effectively. So there's leadership issues, there's communication issues. And Dr. Lou sees that a lot more than than I do, obviously, on a day to day basis in the in the hospital environment.

[00:12:05.170] – Dr. Lou
Allan, in emergency department, there's three documented biases that emergency physicians have that lead to error, and that leads us into a similar situation in industry condition known as procedural, intentional noncompliance so that people do bad things knowing they're doing bad things.

[00:12:27.460] – Dr. Lou
And so you have to try and figure out, well, why would somebody take a shortcut when they know they shouldn't be taking a shortcut? Well, if it's the end of an eight hour shift, then they're exhausted and they just want to get out of there. They'll come up with a diagnosis and confirm in their mind that that's the right diagnosis. When if that patient had been seen at the beginning of the shift, maybe that wouldn't have happened.

[00:12:52.000] – Dr. Lou
There was really good study done out of the UK where they had staff wear red badges and green badges and their red badges were people that were fatigued and the green badges were people that were fresh. And the patients had a choice of who they wanted to take care of them. And they always chose the person that had the more sleep and that was relaxed. So when you said, what can people do? First thing is make sure your health care provider washes their hand right in front of you before they touch you.

[00:13:20.050] – Dr. Lou
And if they refuse to, then don't allow them to touch you. Raise a stink. And the other thing is ask them how long they've been up and if they've been up, you know, for a 36 hour shift and they're proud of it, ask for another health care provider. Two simple things. And bring an advocate for yourself as well. You know, you need someone that's going to help you advocate through the system. And unfortunately, if seniors go into health care facilities, which they're more prone to, most of the time they're still, a little maybe too respectful of the health care profession. And don't question what's going on.

[00:13:54.310] – Dr. Lou
Well, we know that Institute of Medicine study done in the States showed that 35 percent of all health care dollars spent in the US are totally wasted, totally wasted. So there's more than enough money in the system to develop a better system. But like you said earlier, and the ideal thing I always say is we should try and get rid of the patient so you don't have to use health care in the first place.

[00:14:16.870] – Allan
Yeah. So avoid the hospital when it's appropriate by staying healthy by a lot of things we're going to talk about here is if you keep yourself healthy, you're in the hospital less. And if you're in the hospital less then you don't have to worry about it as much. But then when you are advocate for yourself, ask those questions.

[00:14:32.810] – Allan
I got what I like. So I was just shocked that there was there was not a check balance or something to say that they had to wash their hands between seeing patients. I just, I don't know. You assume some of these things are just going to happen, because if anyone knows what they're doing, it's the guy that's walking in there with the white coat. But we need to ask more questions. We need to we need to be on the medical team with the doctor.

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[00:16:22.880] – Allan
I don't think anyone right now doesn't know that willpower is a finite resource, and if we get fatigued, sometimes willpower just gets weaker. That's why it's easier to eat ice cream after dinner than it is. You would not necessarily eat it for breakfast because you know better.

[00:16:40.220] – Allan
But you talk about actually taking some of these tactical indulgences. And as I was talking to a client today and he said he just he just loves candy corn and he's lost 150 pounds and he's like, but I love candy corn. So this time of year when it rolls around, I'm going to buy myself a small bag of candy corn. And he says that keeps him on track for a whole quarter. And he says then he knows around Thanksgiving, Christmas, he'll give himself another little treat.

[00:17:07.640] – Allan
Can you just talk about why tactical indulgences are a great way to bolster our willpower or at least help us through those times?

[00:17:15.770] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, for sure. Well, if we start with the idea that, we do have this hard wiring. So if we're stuck with this hardwiring for now, that means we have this reward system in our brain that's constantly turned on. It's constantly wanting reward all the time. So we can either try to fight it or we can try to we can try to work with it somehow. And if you're trying to fight it, you end up, this idea of building resilience all the time doesn't necessarily work.

[00:17:41.360] – Dr. Rob
It becomes more and more difficult. So the idea of these tactical indulgences means that you are allowing yourself to feed the reward center of your brain, but in more perhaps and more positive, ideally in more positive ways as well, taking a little breaks. So willpower is almost like the gas in your car. You can run out of it, you can burn through it and run out of it. You have to keep adding it. You have to keep replenishing it as well.

[00:18:06.620] – Dr. Rob
So there was a great experiment that illustrates this, and it was the cookie and radish experiment. And what they did was they had people have either some cookies or some radishes in a control group, and then they had to do some math problems afterwards, some really challenging math problems. And they found that the ones that had the cookies did a lot better and they were able to last a lot longer with the math test. And that's because they were able to free up some of that willpower by this some small indulgence that allowed them to not have to sort of double up on their willpower. Like, eat these radishes while other people are having cookies and then go into this tough math experiment.

[00:18:44.450] – Dr. Rob
And that was kind of a doubling up of willpower. So we have to be able to allow ourselves and this flexibility to have these small indulgences. And we've we see that even in athletes. And that we we talk about that in the book. And this is very fitting for the theme today as well. So in elite athletics, obviously, athletes are extremely disciplined. They are among the most disciplined people on the planet to be able to get through these excruciating workouts.

[00:19:15.470] – Dr. Rob
But between those workouts, they allow themselves downtime and they maybe have a race and then they watch a corny movie. They eat some indulgent food. They allow their their brains and their bodies to be able to have this tactical break before they have to start again. And that allows them to refresh the system, to add that willpower back into the gas tank. So it's a very, very powerful tool. And it's one that that a lot of people don't necessarily understand how to use. And if we are truly hardwired, we have to work with that reward system. We can't work against it.

[00:19:51.770] – Allan
It's interesting you said that because with the covid pandemic, everything that's going on, a lot of football games in the pros are getting shifted around. And so, it's interesting that we're interviewing this guy and said, you were supposed to have a game and then you didn't have a game. And now it's been 16 days since you having a game. What did you do? And he said, I sat with my wife and watched a movie and had some wine, like that was something he would never have done during the season. But because he had that break, he just used that opportunity to basically have an indulgence.

[00:20:25.130] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And it's really, really important. And we so we see that in top performers all the time. I've talked to people who are executives as well. Maybe some of your listeners relate to this where they are. They have to be on all the time. They have to be on their game. And then they go and travel, you know, on an aircraft somewhere, maybe overseas. And that that break to be able to sit down, put on the headphones, watch a crazy movie just to relax.

[00:20:52.340] – Dr. Rob
And they say that it almost resets them. It's that refreshing way of resetting your brain and then you can go back to your A-game again afterward. So these are these are feeding our reward system. It's the same dopamine pathways that we're feeding, but we're trying to feed them in more positive and conscientious ways.

[00:21:13.230] – Dr. Lou
Allan, sort of related to that is people don't appreciate the importance of volunteering. So volunteering your time releases something within you and people that volunteer are, it's estimated, 40% happier than people that don't volunteer. So your listeners, if they're not currently volunteering right now, they should try it and see if it makes a difference in their lives. I mean, happiness is 50% genetic. You either have it or you don't. 10% of it comes from having more money. But we know that 40% of it comes from volunteering and strong social support network. So people should not underestimate the power of volunteering.

[00:21:59.060] – Allan
Yeah, and that rolls right into the Rosetto Effect. This was fascinating. I guess. Rosetto was a town in Italy and especially long-lived folks, and they moved to like it was Pennsylvania. Right. And they set up another town called Rosetto. And it was all these people were immigrants coming over and staying in that one town. And they didn't have heart disease. And it was fascinating. And they started studying them. And then two generations later, all that's gone. And you calling that the Rosetta Effect, could you talk a little bit about that?

[00:22:34.160] – Dr. Rob
Sure. I mean, Dr. Lou may want to talk about the clinical side of that, but what I think what to start off, it's very interesting case because, yes, the population, despite their lifestyles, first of all, they worked. They were hard working. They lived and worked in mines that worked in mines they didn't have especially great diets. They drank gallons of wine. They so the typical behaviors that you might associate with having a fantastic cardiovascular system weren't necessarily there.

[00:23:10.010] – Dr. Rob
But yet they were noticing that they were lacking a lot of coronary artery disease or coronary diseases. So they wanted to look into the effect of that. And the traditional medical analysis of them wasn't necessarily yielding an answer. So they had to look at other areas. And one of the most fascinating and seemed like the determinant factor was the sense of community that they had. So Dr. Lou mentioned volunteering, and it's that social support, that network that seems to be absolutely critical to our health.

[00:23:43.280] – Dr. Rob
And we know that intuitively. If you feel that, you know, your family or your friends have your back, you sense that, that if you were to fall on hard times or whatever you need to pick up the phone and call them that they would be there to help you in a second. That intuitively feels good. It's a stress lowering mechanism in your life. And so that was one of the most fundamental findings of that.

[00:24:11.030] – Dr. Rob
And it's a great case for the book as well, because it does illustrate that nexus or that point between our biological medical selves and our in our social world and how our social world is so very important.

[00:24:26.420] – Dr. Lou
Tying into Rob's comments, that's why the UK has a Minister of Loneliness, that's why the United Arab Emirates as a Minister of Happiness, because the literature is now starting to show us that loneliness is worse for your heart health than smoking. That's pretty powerful when you stop and you say that somebody's loneliness is worse for your health than smoking. And so, volunteering is part of a strong social support network as part of it. And this all ties in with the increase in suicide rates that we're seeing as well. That ties in with a lot of social media factors that hopefully we'll talk about. But, you should be saying to yourself, come on, guys, you're trying to tell me that loneliness and volunteering are these are such basic things that don't cost anything. You're absolutely right. They don't cost anything. But the impact they have on you is phenomenal.

[00:25:22.370] – Allan
I think I read in your book it said that loneliness actually changes the shape of your heart. The left ventricle.

[00:25:31.830] – Dr. Rob
Yeah. We do talk in the book about the changes in our body. There's one that is a an effect almost like the broken heart effect and that is a that's a clinical presentation. And Dr. Lou may know a bit more about it, but it's a clinical presentation which is like having a heart attack. And that can happen in times of a very high acute stress. We see it they call it a broken heart effect because you see it oftentimes with the death of a spouse, you're going through that that that horrible grief that is so very stressful for you.

[00:26:11.240] – Dr. Rob
And that can actually play out in the actual way that you're that your heart is working. And the the the the widow and widower effect is very real, where the risk of dying after the death of a of a long time spouse is very high within the first year or two, much higher than the general population as well.

[00:26:36.120] – Allan
Now, I told you I had worked in the oil and gas field, and as you might imagine, when that when the market's good, everything's great, and when the market's bad, everything's really bad. And so I went through about three years of just continuous layoffs until finally my name was on the paper with along with everybody else. It turned out to be a blessing because I said I was I'm not definitely not going back to that kind of lifestyle.

[00:27:05.670] – Allan
You brought up something called allostatic load, which is basically, I guess, an accumulation of stress. And I have to believe that was my problem because I got to a point where everything hurt. Everything just bothered me.

[00:27:20.610] – Allan
I really felt like I had no resilience to stress and I really feel like that's what it was. Yeah. Can you talk about allostatic load and what causes it and what we can do about it?

[00:27:33.250] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, yeah, so we talk about allostatic load and allostasis, we're talking about the cumulative stresses that impact us on a day to day basis and chronically as well as you say, it's that it's the idea of that wear and tear that happens on the body over time with all of those stressors that can be psychological, it can be social, and it can be physical as well. Doing night shifts and all this kind of stuff all adds to this sort of wear and tear. So we want to be able to manage that, of course. And if we go to we obviously we start to venture too far into the stress side of that of a so-called bell curve. If we if the middle is the optimum, then then we're constantly living with stress. It's a chronic stress condition and that will obviously bring us down over time.

[00:28:20.500] – Dr. Rob
And the same thing, if we're under stress as well, that that can be a challenge, a different type of challenge. But we want to kind of stay in the middle and really we talk about having almost like a flow state. You're staying right in the middle. You're on your game. You're optimum. But your body and your brain are essentially evolved to be able to manage this type of stress.

[00:28:42.950] – Dr. Rob
And what we're seeing and we talk about in the book, Hardwired, is that we are in a super saturated ecosystem, essentially, that is creating so much stress that we're having a very difficult time staying in that happy place right in the middle, that optimum. And so now we're walking around with all of this weight of the world, stress on our shoulders, and it's having a real health effect in terms of our actual physical health as well.

[00:29:09.700] – Dr. Rob
And Dr. Lou probably sees that that all the time in terms of stress in the clinical environment.

[00:29:15.560] – Dr. Lou
Yeah, let me let me just add onto that and back up a little bit, so if that stress is present in a pregnant female, that stress actually has an impact on the fetus, so much so that it can change the genetic structure of that if that fetus it's called epigenesis and so that in combination with adverse childhood events. So that's child abuse, child neglect, child malnutrition will stick with an individual and manifests itself later in life with increased cancer rates, increased diabetes rates, increased asthma rates, increased obesity rates.

[00:29:52.550] – Dr. Lou
Just about every chronic disease can be linked back to adverse childhood events. And the stress, especially in a pregnant female, is directly transferred to the fetus. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, the most important members of our society are obviously pregnant females and kids. You know, in the first 18 months of life, what happens to a child in the first 18 months of life regarding adverse childhood events is going to be with them for the rest of their lives.

[00:30:22.280] – Dr. Lou
Some of your listeners may wonder, why am I still behind the eight ball? Well, you know, if you were to go and do a little bit of a forensic analysis of your upbringing, a lot of the reasons why you are who you are today, can go right back to when you were in your mom's uterus.A

[00:30:43.100] – Allan
lot of people and I fit this list at one point I've tried to move away from it. I don't carry my phone with me unless I have to. So right now, I'm recording this in a spare bedroom and my phone is in the living room. And my wife, she couldn't stand that. If her phone was in the living room, she's in the living room. And because she uses the video games and the social media almost, she feels like a stress release for me. It's the exact opposite. I feel stress every time I get on social media.

[00:31:17.330] – Allan
But you brought up the term called Nomeophobia. First time I'm hearing that word. Can you explain nomophobia and then kind of why? You know, obviously we didn't have social media when we were designed. And it's a new thing, a really new thing. I know some folks out there might not realize it, but we were all born. If you're over 40, social media didn't exist when we were born. Kids are being born into it now, where there are on social media playing these video games before they really even look like they should be able to hold a phone.

[00:31:50.030] – Allan
Can you talk about this? Because this is this is actually, I think, becoming this is going to be big. This is this might be, in my opinion, going forward, one of the biggest health risks that we have in front of us.

[00:32:00.560] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, nomophobia is is it kind of fun word, but it's basically a fear of being without your phone. It's that panic. Where's my phone? And you're padding your pockets and you're looking for your phone and you know, so but is that fear of being with or without it? It's not it's not necessarily a fear of losing it, it's a fear of not checking it all the time. So so it's funny, the spouse thing, there's about 20% of the population would rather not see their spouse for a week, then go without their phone for a week. That's a sad statistic.

[00:32:33.000] – Allan
It is.

[00:32:34.100] – Dr. Rob
Yeah. And about 90% of the people out there will check their phone and look at their phone before bed. And there's all sorts of, you know, things that happen in your brain with a light that comes off the phone that, the blue light that affects you with melatonin. But really, it has to do with the social side. And it's that ability to not disconnect yourself from what's happening on the phone, the content on the phone as well.

[00:32:56.390] – Dr. Rob
So we especially see this in young people. So about 90% of them sleep with their phone like right beside them in bed. And about one in five people will, especially younger people, will wake up in the night to check their social media because it's so arousing for them to do that. So there's a couple of things. One is that, as are our brains, get a very positive reward from looking at our phone.

[00:33:21.770] – Dr. Rob
So we get this, as Dr. Lou had mentioned, this dopamine reward center in our brain. It lights up when we look at our phone. Every time you pull your phone in your pocket, you look at you're getting hit of dopamine. There's other things that they've come out with some of the research too. So oxytocin, which is the cuddle hormone, the love hormone that you would have between a mother and a baby, between a couple that have been together in a long, loving relationship, that that oxytocin, the feel good hormone is also released as well.

[00:33:51.950] – Dr. Rob
But we also know that very heavy social media users also have higher rates of depression. So you have this sort of positive thing that's happening. But in the long run, in the big picture, it's quite a negative one. And a lot of that, again, has to do with the hardwired part of our brain. That has to do with us being in groups and wanting that social reward. So, we're social creatures, we want that social reward to happen. And so all of these likes and everything else that we get on social media stimulate our our brain. And we can't get away from it. We can't get away from it.

[00:34:28.810] – Dr. Rob
But at the same time, a lot of times social comparison in itself doesn't make us feel great. We compare ourselves to others. And it's sort of that, you know, comparing yourself to the Joneses sort of thing, the neighbors. And when you compare yourself, you can't help but look at the things that are in social media that you might not have, that you wish you had. And a lot of times it makes us feel a little bit negative about ourselves.

[00:34:56.140] – Dr. Rob
Dr. Lou talks about that all the time, about how that, you know, that that the ability to appreciate yourself and that self-love is still very important.

[00:35:05.480] – Dr. Lou
It's a matter of then coming and doing a reality check so you can create whatever persona you want online. It's very simple to do right. So what you do is you create this image of yourself and your family and your life. But reality is that's not what it's like. And the reason you do that, as Rob said, is you want to belong to part of a group. Right. That's how we've survived as a species for so long. And so when you get the like, you get the dopamine hit. When you get, you know, people retweeting you, you get the dopamine hit.

[00:35:34.520] – Dr. Lou
But, you know, it also brings out the worst in us. All you have to do is take a look at Twitter and sometimes what happens with Twitter. And it's like people check their filters at the door. And if it's on your mind and you should have slept on it and you don't and you tweeted and you can't pull it back. And so that just perpetuates a cascade of things. And for our young adolescents, belonging is so important. That's why they constantly feel that they need to be present, because if somebody makes a comment and they don't respond, then everyone else seems to gang up on them.

[00:36:09.560] – Dr. Lou
And I don't think it's a coincidence that suicide rates amongst our adolescents have shot up by 35% in the last little while. I see kids in our emergency department on a regular basis that are self-mutilating and attempting suicide that I've never seen before. I teach at the university and whenever they pool or university students, suicide is on their on their mind. Mental illness is on their mind.

[00:36:35.750] – Dr. Lou
We're raising a generation that's not going to live as long as we did. That's the first time in history that we're losing traction. And part of it is the opioid crisis. And so you start taking all these things together. And I think the book is a wake up call to everybody, to our politicians, to our policy makers, to our teachers, to our doctors, to our podcasters, to our influencers. We've got to sort of put things on hold for a second and say, hey, wait, it's not as if we don't have enough money and we're not spending enough money, but we're just not doing it so that everyone benefits from it.

[00:37:13.610] – Allan
At one point in time when I got Facebook, I was like, I'm only going to have people on Facebook that I really know. And I would go through a process about once a year if I had more than 150. And I think that actually it was ironic that that's also the number you said we have connections in our lives, about 150 real connections. And so if the number got over 150. Being a numbers guy, being an auditor, an accountant, I love even numbers like a 50 or two hundred or whatever. So I was at that 150 number and I pare back down and pare back down and it would get harder as I went along and then, OK, maybe I can let it go up to 200.

[00:37:53.210] – Allan
I might have three hundred and fifty Facebook friends right now. And I bought an application that that takes all the political posts and hides them. It takes all of the fluff stuff and just hides it. And any word I want to put in there. So if I just decided for a day I didn't want to see anything about covid, I could hide it and I wouldn't even see it. It puts my timeline in order. So it's not Facebook playing that algorithm to dance in my head. It's in the order it was posted. And I can go back to the last post I saw and know that I've seen my whole feed and there's no reason for me to be on Facebook anymore because I've seen everything that's there.

[00:38:31.610] – Allan
Then I put the phone down. I don't let Facebook send me any other videos or other things they think I want to see because they're playing into this whole dopamine, get you on there, keep you on there, and then just keep feeding you the content. It's a formula and they've got it down really, really good.

[00:38:48.140] – Dr. Rob
Yeah, absolutely. The other thing that happens, too, is we especially with the 24/7 news cycle and obviously the political, you know, conflict on both sides of the fence there. And we get caught in this sort of fight or flight response all the time. We're always whenever we pull our phone out, we're looking at the news. It's activating that part of the brain that is really stuck in almost that very prehistoric evolutionary fight or flight stage.

[00:39:16.130] – Dr. Rob
And there's all sorts of chemistry in our body that then gets affected by fight or flight. The cortisol levels and everything else is, you know, we're bathed in this and that is very detrimental to our health and our fitness and everything else in our routine. And then in the young people, too, if they're stuck in fight or flight, either because of screen time or because they're getting caught up in some of the political drama and they're confused and afraid about the world, then everything starts to become a threat and they lose that ability to sit back and use that sort of executive function of the brain and say, hey, I can filter this and I can make sense of it in a more rational way.

[00:39:59.150] – Dr. Rob
They get stuck in that fight or flight. And what you end up happening is they start to become. Hyper-reactive to the world around them, and if you're hyper-reactive, then once again, you get on social media and you see the back and forth of the arguments going on in social media. And you start to become very reactive to that and you start to take a side and you start to get involved in that.

[00:40:22.180] – Dr. Rob
So it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. This this fight or flight is very difficult to get out of. And so, as Dr. Lou said, the generation that is now coming up, the young adolescents, the kids, the adolescents and the emerging adults, the ones that are the college and university age. Those are the ones we're seeing the effects of this now that we're talking about in the book.

[00:40:50.140] – Allan
Yeah, but I would say it's even happening for people over 40. I'm seeing it more and more and just the people I interact with, something will blow up and that's not who this person is. I was sitting with them at a restaurant and we were having dinner. That's not something they would say. But something here is driving them to an extreme behavior. And again, it's the stress of the whole thing. They want to be right. I guess they want to be right. But it just that blow up and it's really kind of bizarre to see that kind of behavior in someone who wasn't on social media 15 years ago.

[00:41:27.880] – Dr. Lou
Yeah. So one of the things that I would suggest for your listeners is that they become familiar with the concept of emotional intelligence so that they have a really good understanding of their emotional intelligence. And there's plenty of good books out there that you can buy and do this assessment and get a printout of what your emotional intelligence is like. And then the next most important tool that they need to have in practice and get good at is the art of having a crucial conversation.

[00:41:57.700] – Dr. Lou
Most people don't know how to have a crucial conversation. And unless you can get a really good check on your emotional intelligence so that you know, when you're about to enter a crucial conversation, otherwise you'll end up with road rage. Like road rage is a perfect example of emotional intelligence gone wild and inability to have a crucial conversation. Because once you get into that situation, it's like Rob said, humans will do three things. You'll either freeze and try and camouflage and blend into your surroundings. You'll turn and run or the hair on your back is going to go up and you're in a full fight mode.

[00:42:39.490] – Dr. Lou
And I see this every shift in emergency, somebody gets their face punched out because they looked at somebody the wrong way or said the wrong thing. And it's pretty frightening. Good advice I can give your listeners as you're driving and somebody cuts you off, lay off the horn, ignore them. You don't know what's going on in that individual's life. You don't know what happened to that woman that day.

[00:43:02.260] – Dr. Lou
You don't know what happened and you don't know what they're on. You know, with this opioid and meth epidemic that's out there, somebody will kill you just for the sake of killing you. So I don't want to frighten people, but just have a really good check on your emotional intelligence. And if you do get into a conversation where you sense it's not going to be a good one, just say, hey, listen, we're about to have a crucial conversation and let's follow these certain rules.

[00:43:31.180] – Allan
Absolutely. I appreciate that,

[00:43:33.550] – Allan
Dr. Lou. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:43:43.120] – Dr. Lou
Well, it all depends. So most of your listeners probably are at the advantage that they have a roof over their head, they have some sort of income, and they have the ability to want to get better. I would say the first advantage would be let's make sure everyone has a roof over their head. Let's make sure everyone gets as educated as they can so that they can find a good job, keep a good job, find a good mate and create a nice, strong family that's healthy for you.

[00:44:12.190] – Dr. Lou
The other thing is we have to understand that we're in far more control than what we think we are. And I think the last one and Rob can remindthem, I think the last one is to just understand that we're running on outdated software. And that's why life is so difficult for all of us. And, the sooner we understand that we have to work even harder at it and develop our own strategies and our own sort of patches to make sure that software is operating in the twenty-first century and not to be afraid of saying I'm lonely, things aren't working, I'm not happy, I need help.

[00:44:47.920] – Dr. Lou
That's the first sign of getting better is saying that you want to get help and stop comparing yourself to others because you'll always find someone that's worse and you'll always find someone that's better.

[00:44:58.330] – Allan
Thank you,

[00:44:59.530] – Allan
Dr. Rob, I'll ask you the same question I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:10.020] – Dr. Rob
All right, I'll just build off of what Dr. Lou was saying there. I think that we talk about in the book is and I think the book's purpose, really, as Dr. Lou was saying, is a great word, is a wake up call. Really, it starts with with understanding. So it's understanding ourselves and our bodies. And that's always what we want to do in fitness and health, is that how do how does my body work? How do I get better at everything?

[00:45:31.500] – Dr. Rob
So really, this book is about understanding. It's like a health enlightenment, really. So we talk about the whys. So Dr. Lou's always said, you know, why, why? Why can't I get healthy, why can't I lose weight or why can't I stick to this diet that I'm supposed to be? And, you know, as a doctor, he gets those questions all the time. And really this book is to try to help you understand the whys.

[00:45:52.830] – Dr. Rob
And you've mentioned it right off the bat, that this you know, there's some really interesting facts and figures and understanding yourself. I think that's the first thing is understanding ourselves. And we do that in health and we do that in fitness right off the bat, that the next thing I think is really understanding what parts of us are hardwired in. What what what does that software, Dr. Lou was saying that we're running on, that we need to respect, that we need to understand. And knowing that, for example, the reward system in our brain, how that reward system works. Can we, as we talked about, feed that in more positive ways that frees up some of that capacity that we have to be able to live a healthier life and not get dragged down. And I think the final thing we've touched upon it is real social connection. That is the potentially the the biggest thing that can change your life today almost immediately is having real human connection.

[00:46:52.770] – Dr. Rob
I know it's tough and covid, but that means, you know, having a kind of connection with immediate family, those who you see every day, spending more time with them, walking in nature with them, having more quality time with them, and not just typing on phones in terms of how you communicate with others, but having real face to face conversations with them as much as you can. That social connection bit, and Dr. Lou mentioned it to the loneliness aspect, is probably one of the biggest takeaways from the book.

[00:47:22.140] – Dr. Rob
It not only gives you good health, it gives you happiness as well. So one of the longest studies in the world out of Harvard University, which they started in the 1930s when they looked at, in this case, it was men over the course of their lives, those from fairly privileged backgrounds and know from and those from less privileged backgrounds. They found that at the end of their life course, they essentially said, it wasn't the money that made the big difference. It wasn't the great job that that that was that made the big difference in my life in terms of happiness, even though they thought that was going to make them happy. It was the social connections and the strong social networks that really, really mattered. And those that had the strongest social networks had the greatest health biometrics when they tested them.

[00:48:07.230] – Dr. Lou
One thing that listeners should understand is that you're given two ears and one mouth. So you should always be listening twice as much as you're speaking. And that's a very hard thing for most of us to do. But if you want to connect socially with others, you have to become a really good listener, like a really good listener. And the best way to do that is to repeat what you heard back to the individual so that they understand you're really listening. And the other advice is St. Francis of Assisi said use words, but only if necessary. So in other words, don't yap too much.

[00:48:42.360] – Allan
There you go.

[00:48:42.900] – Allan
Thank you for that, Dr. Rob. Dr. Lou, if someone wanted to learn more about the book, Hardwired or anything else that you guys are doing, what would you like for me to send them?

[00:48:54.660] – Dr. Rob
We each have websites. So, my website is DrRobertBarrett.com And Dr. Lou's is drlou.ca.

[00:49:13.140] – Allan
Excellent. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/462 and I'll be sure to have links there. So Dr. Lou, Dr. Rob, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:49:24.690] – Dr. Lou
My pleasure.

[00:49:25.200] – Dr. Rob

Post Show/Recap

[00:49:32.080] – Allan
Well, welcome back, Raz.

[00:49:34.180] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow! That was a lot of information in that interview

[00:49:39.760] – Allan
We jumped around and the book is really good because it has a lot more than I was ever able to cover in any kind of podcast. But there were those few highlights where I was like, I need to get into this. I think I mentioned during the interview it's just like every chapter running into something I'd never read before. Stats, I didn't know.

[00:50:02.230] – Allan
Don't go to the hospital, find ways to avoid being hospitalized. Work on yourself because being hospitalized increases your risk of death. Significantly. Which I was just, again, shocked and appalled a little bit. But, it is what it is just, now we know advocate for yourself and try not to go to the hospital if you can avoid it.

[00:50:26.650] – Allan
And I don't mean to not do something that you need to get done to prolong your life or to improve your life. But just realize that you're taking a risk and you have to be proactive as a participant in your health care.

[00:50:40.630] – Rachel
Mm hmm. Yeah Going under the knife is not an easy decision. But, we've always heard my mom's a nurse, so we have a lot of health professionals in my family. And that's always the last thing. That's what the doctor tells you. Going under the knife is always the last thing. And so if there's anything we can do to prolong that or change our lifestyle or nutrition or whatever, that might help keep you out of the hospital.

[00:51:04.330] – Allan
Absolutely. And then I think one of the other cool things that I got into there and, I do this because I do seasonal ketosis, but they called it, what was it?

[00:51:15.070] – Rachel
Tactical indulgences.

[00:51:16.000] – Allan
Tactical indulgencies. Yeah. It makes sense. And I have a lot of clients that talk about that. And, you know, with seasonal ketosis, I have a period of time when I'm allowed to go do the things I like to do. I have some beer, enjoying myself, watching, you know, football, that kind of thing. But I do make sure they're good beers, you know?

[00:51:36.670] – Rachel
Make it worthwhile.

[00:51:37.630] – Allan
It's worthwhile. Right. I'm not just going to sit there and throw down with a national light beer brand, pick your pick poison. But I'm going to go have a nice IPA. I'm going to find a local brew and I'm traveling, that kind of thing. But it is a tactical indulgence. It's a period of time. I know when I'm doing it and I know when I go back that I'm back to who I was and who I am.

[00:52:01.420] – Allan
That's the thing. So, you know, a lot of that is about knowing yourself. And that's why I don't just do it for one meal or one day. I make it a period of time, that's a set period of time because I'm an all or nothing kind of person. I'm not going to have the capacity to sit there and say I'm going to have two beers and then be done. I'm going to have beers till you know, we're done doing what we're doing, so it's a football game. I'm just going to sit there and enjoy myself not driving afterwards so boom, have some fun. I think I think that's a really cool concept to think about in as far as your self-awareness is how do I react to certain things and do I need that reward?

[00:52:42.940] – Allan
I have some clients and they've told me it's like every once in a while they want to do that thing. And I think that's cool, especially when you compare that with the Rosetto Effect, which is spending time with each other. And it's one of the examples I use quite often is, if your significant other invited you to Hawaii, you're going to have a Mai Tai. You're going to eat the pineapple, even if you're keto. You're going to enjoy those things and you should, because that's a part of putting joy into your life. And that's a big, big part of long of longevity. And that's how when I say I'm defining wellness, I include that. I probably should have used the word joy instead of happiness. But to me, they're somewhat synonymous. If you have enough happiness, I think it's called joy.

[00:53:31.110] – Allan
I think that's the key, surrounding yourself with people that you care about, having a purpose and spending time with people because, we're social animals. You need that social, and I've said this before. I hate that they use the term social distancing because that's not what we need to be doing. We need social adherence. We need to be close to each other socially. Now, we might need to physically distance, which is the case if I'm testing positive, I'm not going to subject someone to covid just to be close to them, but I am going to physically distance.

[00:54:09.600] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:54:14.730] – Allan
It's really, really important when you're looking at wellness

[00:54:17.250] – Rachel
For sure, they mentioned the Rosetto Effect and having the social support group and how that is so critical for somebody's happiness. And that's really hard right now with covid. And a lot of places throughout the year have had to quarantine. We had to shelter in place in Michigan where a lot of states did. It's hard. And even now, getting outside with normal groups is really difficult and limited. It's hard.

[00:54:46.200] – Allan
It is hard. It is hard. We talked about social media on the show. Social media is not necessarily the answer to being socially connected. I think it can be as simple as picking up the phone. You know, Zoom is an excellent tool. We're using it for this interview or this discussion. So I can see Rachel right now. We're right here. And even though I guess we're probably driving distances, we're recording this about a little over two hours away. You know, we can have this kind of conversation and we could have this conversation even if I were still in Panama. So I think that's what makes this technology pretty powerful, is you can still visually connect with someone. You still be engaged with someone, and you don't have to necessarily physically be in the same room with them. So we do have that. But, you know, when you can call your mom, visit your mom, you know, go see your dad, spend some time with them, have a beer with them if it's a tactical indulgence.

[00:55:47.772] – Rachel
Yep. Yeah, we've done a lot of that this summer, actually, since the weather's been so nice, we've been able to organize activities outside. So we'll sit out on the back patio at my parents or my in-laws house and just spend time and it's it's safer outside. You can social distance easily. And the weather's been great for that, although it's going to be much harder to do the same thing this winter when it's going to be as cold as it gets up here in Michigan. Not quite the same.

[00:56:17.310] – Allan
I don't understand why you moved that far north.

[00:56:20.730] – Rachel
I miss Florida sometimes. Let me tell you it mostly in the winter. But Zoom is the next best thing. And that's how we're going to have our Thanksgiving. It's how we're going to have Christmas. And our birthdays have been consumed this year and it's the next best thing.

[00:56:36.750] – Allan
Yeah. Well hopefully again they've got the vaccine together and they're working on that and you know, provided it doesn't turn into the movie Legend, you know, super zombies running around everywhere because they've got the innoculation. Hopefully all that will start to work out and buy, you know, particularly by this time next year covid will be somewhat of a memory. But still one. So, you know, I'm not one to push for an end of 2020. And a lot of people like, oh, this is the worst year ever. I think they had it worse and some of their like 1818 and 1918. And if you kind of look back at history, this, we were actually in pretty good shape when you break it all down.

[00:57:23.010] – Allan
But, I'm not one to let days go. I'm going to make every day count and enjoy every day. I'm not going to say let's get to 2021 and any time sooner than we need to get there, you know, enjoy your day and find joy in every little thing. If you don't have a gratitude practice, get one on. Sit down for just five minutes each day, if you want to journal it, that's awesome, too. But find those things that bring you joy and then spend more time doing that, even if it's a little five minute increments.

[00:57:54.120] – Allan
Spend more time doing the things and socializing with people and being with people that bring you that that that thing, and that's going to be so much so much more benefit for your longevity than me even telling you what to eat or me telling you how to exercise. It's really about putting it all together in a balanced lifestyle that makes sense for you.

[00:58:18.030] – Rachel
Yeah, yeah. Happiness is such an important part. And whatever it takes to bring you that joy every day, it's important to really search for that, to go after that and not just let it happen. Happiness just doesn't happen. Sometimes you need to go for that. And for me, I like to exercise. I love my run clubs. I've got a really positive relationship with social media, mostly because I follow runners who are always inspiring and motivating. But it's important to take some time out of your day to do that one or two things that really helps you find overall happiness and joy.

[00:58:53.850] – Allan
Absolutely. All right. Well, Rachel, anything else we need to go over before we sign off?

[00:59:00.450] – Rachel
No, this is a great interview. I think I might need to read that book.

[00:59:04.050] – Allan
It is a good book. Like I said, every chapter was something special in that book. I learned a lot from the book and having done almost 300 interviews for me to learn something new, not just once or twice, but practically every single chapter, this really is something that I think is well worth the time and effort to read. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much. All right.


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Another episode you may enjoy


November 23, 2020

Improve your self-esteem with Rosie Mercado

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Rosie Mercado is a bilingual Latina model, certified life coach and former co-host on the talk show Face the Truth, which is produced by Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw's stage Twenty Nine Productions. She also guest hosts and is a correspondent for leading Spanish language networks Telemundo and Univision, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors. Today we discuss her book, The Girl with Self-Esteem Issues.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:16.500] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:17.910] – Rachel
Good, how are you today, Allan?

[00:02:19.440] – Allan
I'm doing well. We're about to head back to Bocas. So this is our last days. Weeks. I think tomorrow. Yeah, it's because I have them tomorrow. We're getting on an airplane and flying to Bocas and, you know, the whole snafu they had with booking a flight.

[00:02:36.390] – Allan
So we won't get back till the 25th, even though, you know, originally supposed to get there just in one shot during the day. But they rebooked flights and caused issues. So we'll spend the night in Panama City, which is not a problem problem. It's just one more day away from my dog, Angel.

[00:02:50.940] – Rachel

[00:02:51.240] – Allan
Looking forward to get home to her. She says she'll be excited to see us and, you know, get things going there. So that's that's right. Now, I'm still in travel mode for a couple more days and. Well, we'll be there. How are things up there? Michigan.

[00:03:06.850] – Rachel
Oh, good. Good. Getting chilly, of course. But things are good up here. Mike and I have been spending some time in the gym and our new weight set. And I actually, for the first time ever, I had him help me do my one rep max and a bench press and the squat. And I don't remember I don't have what I squatted or pressed handy, but I've never done that before. So that was a really interesting experiment for me.

[00:03:34.140] – Allan
Yeah, they have formulas where you can do like a three rep max or a ten rep max and then you you basically use the formula to convert to a one rep Max, but for one reason or another. And I don't know exactly why my stamina works this way, but that formula never works for me. You know, I can do I can do a ten rep, Max. And then when I actually get under the heavy weight, I do more.

[00:03:57.180] – Allan
I do a good bit more than that. Might even my trainer, Dave, when I was using him up in Louisiana, he was like he says, I don't know what's going on. He said this formula works for almost all of my clients, but not not for you know, there are ways to do it. I do the formula. And basically so along the way, you feel like you're getting stronger. Just look up one of those formulas and said I'd be more comfortable under three rep max? You know, and rather than the one rep Max has.

[00:04:24.640] – Allan
And then the other side of it is it's sort of sometimes easier to to do that more often than the one rep max, because if you don't know exactly where you stand, then there's a lot of lifts and then there's fatigue. And, yeah, you know, that's what most of the time when you're doing this, you know, like for a meet there's three you get three lifts.

[00:04:44.490] – Allan
So if you were going to go into a meet for those those those lifts, they'll say, OK, go in, kind of figure out what you kind of have an idea. Like if you did a three rep max, he's like, OK, I'm like three rep max? I know I'm at x pounds, let's say one hundred. And then you say, OK, so I should be able to based on the formula and then I'm just pulling this out the top of my head.

[00:05:03.180] – Allan
But it's going to say something like, you should be able to one rep max 125. So since you don't know that you do your first lift, you say, OK, I'm going to do 110 as my first lift. So I get something on the board and then you're going to say, OK, it should be 125. So I'm going to do 120. And then your third lift, you can either decide that you're going to go in at the 125 or say, you know, I'm going to push and try 130.

[00:05:29.460] – Allan
So that's why it was important for me to know that the formula didn't work, because if I were to go in and say, I want to do my one rep, Max, a trainer is going to want to start me really low, too low, and then I would never actually get to my one rep Max within the three lifts.

[00:05:44.450] – Rachel

[00:05:44.830] – Allan
You want to do it in three lives because you start to really fatigue after that and you coverage's long enough.

[00:05:50.220] – Allan
But it's still you're not going to know your full true one rep max, until you're really pushing that top limit. And most people, when they're doing it right, they're typically failing on their third lift just because they put themselves in a position where they just can't can't do it.

[00:06:06.390] – Rachel
That's that's what we were doing because we were trying to fail on the second or third.

[00:06:11.160] – Allan
OK, OK, good, good.

[00:06:13.170] – Rachel
Starting point though.

[00:06:14.570] – Allan
Awesome. OK, so let's get into our conversation with Rosie Mercado.


[00:06:48.420] – Allan
Rosie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:51.000] – Rosie
I love it. 40+ Fitness. I never thought that I'd be talking about being 40 plus and just feel so empowered.

[00:06:58.260] – Allan
You know, it is interesting that we think about how we wear when we are 20 years. I was actually talking to my wife about, you know, who I was in my 20s in a kind of some of the crazy things I would do back then. And she said, you're no different now. And I guess guys don't really grow up and don't want to grow up.

[00:07:18.550] – Rosie
You said it, not me.

[00:07:20.760] – Allan
I did. I did.

[00:07:23.730] – Allan
And but the interesting thing is that there are still general similarities. You know, since you can't really stereotype and say this is how men are and this is how women are

[00:07:33.450] – Rosie
No, I think it's a variety of experiences that you go through.

[00:07:38.370] – Rosie
I mean, some people mature more than others just because they've had lots of wisdom thrown in their life. And other people just have had you know, they've had, not so much difficulties. I mean, I think each of each person dealls with different issues in their life, depending on their self-esteem, their thoughts, their surroundings, their upbringing. I mean, there's just so many things that really create that environment. So I don't know right now that you said that you were talking about your talking to your wife, about when you were younger and how you view everything.

[00:08:07.710] – Rosie
It's so funny because I was talking to my husband and I said, I don't feel like I'm 40. And everybody I mean, you ask a woman and obviously this is not all women, just some women. It's like you don't ask my age, like if that's such a bad thing.

[00:08:21.900] – Rosie
And it's like, no, I'm 40 years old. I'm embracing it. I feel better now now than I did when I was in my 20s. And because my life is so completely different. And I think it was the self-discovery and the self-love that has made such a huge impact in my vitality and my energy and also in the way that I feel and look, I mean, it's just it's completely different. There's just so much more wisdom.

[00:08:42.450] – Rosie
I wish I could tell myself when I was younger so many things like if I only knew that. Oh, my God.

[00:08:47.250] – Allan
Which is cool because I think that's exactly what you're doing with your book, The Girl with Self-esteem Issues. As I was reading through the book, I thought any woman in her in her teens, 20s, 30s would benefit from that book. But as I got really into your story, which I think it was just it was beautiful that you were just raw and honest and real.

[00:09:08.310] – Allan
And this is where I was and this is what I did. And you share that. And I was like, this is something that a woman in her 40s needs to hear. This is something a woman in her 50s and maybe 60s and 70s needs to hear. And a lot of men need to hear it, too, because women, women do a lot of them will talk about their self-esteem issues. Men tend to bury that stuff and in many cases try to come out a lot more macho than they really are.

[00:09:32.970] – Rosie
We don't cry. It's not we're not supposed to cry. It's not supposed to hurt. I'm going to deal with it. And yes, unfortunately, when we internalize them, we kind of bury that, like we just put it in the back eventually to manifest in some somehow it'll show up in your life, whether it's through having, you know, just all these flings and sex, become a shopaholic. And this is for men and women, you know, bouncing from one relationship to the next, not having relationships, pushing everybody away over eating, drinking.

[00:10:00.120] – Rosie
I mean, it just manifests when you are suppressing old memories, pain, and you don't want to deal with it or you don't want to validate that it exists. It shows up and your life, trust me, it will show up. Because I learned that lesson pretty early on.

[00:10:13.950] – Allan
Yeah. Now, you went through some of the the damaging effects of low self-esteem. And there's there's lots of them. And you explore a lot those in your book. When we start seeing those things happening, what do we do about it? Because, you know, you're really that's going to be big. It's a big project. It's not something that you just do. Can you kind of talk through some of the damage and we can recognize that damage and how we recognize that damage and then just some things we can do to turn that around.

[00:10:40.960] – Rosie
Yeah, you know, I think, first of all, when writing this. First of all, I have to say thank you for reading the book. I appreciate that so much. That for me is thank you. But when it comes to self-esteem, I feel that self-esteem really starts changing and developing as we're growing up. I mean, for me, my self-esteem, I really understood that, I didn't feel accepted or I felt rejected or when I got the negative comments of being called fat ass or hippo at a young age at the age of eight or nine.

[00:11:08.080] – Rosie
I mean, just imagine eight or nine. And the conversation wasn't created at home. I had wonderful parents, but I was too ashamed. I was too embarrassed to come and tell my parents, hey, I'm being made fun of at school. So I feel that it starts at a really young age and different triggers, whether it's at home, whether it's at school, whether it's with friends, whether it's some form of bullying with family, there's just different ways that it starts.

[00:11:31.690] – Rosie
But I really feel that it starts at a young age and sometimes we don't know that that's going on. We don't know because we're innocent. We don't know how to deal with that. We just know that we're being called names or being made fun of because of our looks or the way we speak or ethnic background or just for being, for being you someone. They trigger someone somehow because I feel that bullying really starts like you have to be introduced to bullying.

[00:11:54.880] – Rosie
You're watching it somewhere, you're listening to somewhere, and then you act out on it. And for me, it would start at a young age and then it developed into going into high school or even more so that I already had those issues growing up in middle school, that I took it to high school. I felt fat, I felt isolated, I felt rejected. And because that's the way that I felt, anyone looked at me in a different way.

[00:12:20.200] – Rosie
My mind, they're already criticizing me. They're looking at my hips. They're looking at my body. They're looking that I'm Mexican. And it didn't make it any easier when the mean girls in school started calling me names and nit picking at me, like especially around body issues. And that really played a role because their story became my story. I accepted that as my truth.

[00:12:41.230] – Rosie
And now that I'm forty, I look back then and I'm like, girl, you should own those curves. You should just love yourself because I felt huge. I felt so fat in comparison to the other girls. And I remember one time when I talk about this in the book, being in the bathroom because it affected me so much that I would go grab my lunch. I didn't want anybody watching me eat because I thought I felt fat and people watching me eat would make fun of me that I go there she is going to eat the whole cafeteria. I'd go into the bathroom stall, close the door, stay there for my lunch hour.

[00:13:13.180] – Rosie
And I remember seeing these cheerleaders that I thought were not only beautiful, they had the most beautiful body, they had no cellulite. And I remember going in there saying, oh, my God, I hate this. And, you know, my mom's going to tell she my mom pinches my fat. She says that, you know, that have jello thighs. And I remember listening to that. And I was like, it really triggered in me something. She thinks that she has gelo thighs. I think she's just beautiful. I wish I didn't have cellulite and not having that conversation at such a such a young age, really, I internalized everything.

[00:13:48.040] – Rosie
And I think one of the things that we have to I think as parents and coming in to family, I think one thing that's really important is starting the conversation, being OK with saying, Hey, I went through this when I was younger. Start the conversation to, number one, get your kids comfortable saying, oh, my God, my parents went through that. I thought I was the only one creating the conversation to create that trust and that just openness of saying, look, I went through this and it felt like crap.

[00:14:14.600] – Rosie
It made me feel isolated, make me feel rejected. Why? Because you're opening that door of authenticity, of letting your family and your friends know that, hey, like I've dealt with this and it made me feel this way. You're validating your own emotions and therefore you become an invitation to start a conversation. And for someone else to say, oh, I'm not the only one going through this. And I think that for me would have been it would have been life changing if I would have had that conversation to be able to talk to someone about it, because then I would have felt like I'm not the only one that feels isolated.

[00:14:48.940] – Rosie
I'm not the only one that has body image issues. I'm not the only one that feels fat and rejected. And I think my decision making would have been different and I would have just had someone to speak to. Just having someone to speak to creates a different environment. I think the next thing, when paying attention to self-esteem issues is understanding our own uniqueness and being OK. It really comes to understanding self discovery and self-love. And I had loving parents and they were amazing and everything in the environment, they loved and accepted me, but really being OK and just being constantly told that having an environment where I could look in the mirror and say, hey, I'm unique, I'm different, and that's OK Just having that environment and all starts the conversation. So I really feel that at a younger age, conversation is key. That is the starting point because you just don't know what people are going through.

[00:15:46.300] – Allan
And I think that's actually the key. Any time, any time you're trying to solve this in your head, you have a you have a fixed box that you're…

[00:15:56.870] – Rosie
A negative voice, don't we all we it I mean I'm 40 and I still hear that negative voice pop into my head. The difference and people think, oh my God, she's crazy. She talks about the voices in her head. No, we all have this negative voice that makes you second guess it's how much power are you giving to it and how much are you directing it?

[00:16:15.730] – Rosie
The difference now is when that sucker pops up, I'm like, you need to just be quiet, calm it down. I take a deep breath and I speak my truth. I'm capable of doing this. I'm worthy of doing this. I'm not going to self-sabotage. And I'm going to change the story that that voice in my head is telling me, because these are triggers that are not built overnight. These are this is a voice that has developed since I was younger.

[00:16:38.380] – Rosie
And being able to redirect it has been working, you know, working on it and then just loving myself through it, like accepting that that voice is there, not rejecting it, just accepting. I hear you. But that's not my truth.

[00:16:51.700] – Allan
Yeah, and I think that's really the key. If you if you don't get to a point where you love yourself, you really start making bad decisions and you make bad decisions because this is the voice that is telling you that go with it, have fun, enjoy yourself.

[00:17:07.120] – Allan
You deserve this and then you. But you're not actually doing it from the perspective of saying, well, if I loved myself, I would take my time.

[00:17:15.850] – Rosie
Or that voice that pops in your head that says, oh, my God, if I don't accept this guy, nobody's ever going to love me. This is my last chance that those moments also or when you see a red flag, you're like, hey, you know what? Maybe I'm just gonna let it go. Why? Because this feels good right now and you don't think about the future outcome. You just thinking in the moment that voice I mean, that voice can really play a number if you allow it to. And I think learning to love yourself is such a journey. People don't understand how long of a journey self-discovery can be.

[00:17:49.870] – Rosie
It never ends. It's always growing. It's always developing. But I think you have to be really present to understand that and understand what it takes to really love yourself.

[00:17:59.920] – Allan
Yeah. Because, you know, like you kind of got into in the book is you would you would make a decision. And then when you got to the point where where you started recognizing, OK, I need self-love, I've got to have a relationship with myself first. At that point, you were able to almost mentor yourself. You did have mentors. You talked about a lot of them. Some of them you would you wouldn't imagine a security guard at your high school being a mentor. But for a moment in time, he was, you know, and then you're I guess you're sort of your agent as you got started in your modeling career, became a mentor. And your father was always there and those types of things, your mother. And so you had a lot of good influences in your life, but you had to actually start loving yourself before you would let those voices in your head long enough to do some good.

[00:18:49.180] – Rosie
And people often like I think and that you bring such a great point. People often think that when someone creates makes a bad decision, goes through failure automatically. Oh, my God, they must have had crappy parenting and crappy upbringing or, you know, they just they probably went through something really rough that made them go down that road. And that's not the case. It all comes down to your personal choices and decisions that you make based off of what?

[00:19:15.820] – Rosie
Your self-esteem. I had great parents growing up. The problem was not my parents. My parents empowered me. They loved me. They were old school. Yes. They had such great values. My father was such a role model and he was this tough sergeant. But he was, you know, full of love. And his interest was always, you know, and me becoming better. The problem is sometimes when we're not ready for that, we don't receive that in the best way and we start rebelling.

[00:19:42.940] – Rosie
And I did that with my father. I put my parents. Oh, my goodness. I say to my book, I asked for their forgiveness because I acknowledge as a parent now that I am with my kids, I acknowledge the hell that I put my parents through and they love with me through my darkest moments.

[00:19:58.120] – Rosie
They didn't criticize me. They always had words of honesty that I sometimes wasn't ready to hear. But they always were there to uplift me. And I I had the most amazing parents. What I didn't have was my own self-love. I didn't understand what self-love was. I constantly made other people's stories, my truth. I constantly criticized my hips, my cellulite, my body, my face. And I just felt like I didn't fit in. And the more that became my truth, the deeper that my decisions were based off of fear and rejection.

[00:20:33.780] – Rosie
And that led me into these relationships and self-discovery, for me, it happens to different, you know, in different points of your life, but it really didn't happen to me until I was twenty-eight after my third marriage, my third divorce and, you know, three marriages, three divorces down, hit rock bottom and get sick. It was really a highlight of wow, like I really like God really brought me down to my knees and I really had to focus on where is this all coming from?

[00:21:00.930] – Rosie
And then start asking different questions. Because those questions that I was asking, why me, why me, why me was not serving a purpose in my life.

[00:21:08.280] – Allan
Yes. And then you start to turn it around. And like a lot of us, we've surrounded ourselves with people that are reinforcing the voice we already have. You know, it's you know, we talked with you. It was Jim Rohn that says you're the five people you spend the most time with, Will, and you've got a voice in your head that doesn't like you. It's more than likely four of the other people around you, five of the other people around you are also really don't have your necessarily your long distance, long term best interests. Yeah. And so, you know, in the book, you did have some saboteurs that you had to balance and work through.

[00:21:47.160] – Rosie
They were great teachers. I'll tell you that. They were great teachers of what not to do and not how to react. And they were great teachers in the sense and I love that word saboteurs. It just you know, I think it's the first time that I've heard that word. So thank you for sharing. You just I just learned something is something new.

[00:22:03.900] – Rosie
It's it is so true, because when you are reading this deep, dark hole of no self-respect, no self-love and you don't know what's going on, and you're constantly being told that you will never amount to anything, that nobody's ever going to love you. You go through your divorce. It's like you're lucky I paid attention to you. You know, you're fat, you're old, like you don't give up. You have. Who's going to ever love you after this divorce again?

[00:22:28.920] – Rosie
Who's going to ever love you after this are your body just grosses me out. We already have issues with self-love and you don't know who you are. And you hear those stories. You believe them. You're like, yep, it's confirming what's in my head. Add that voice that's telling me those same stories that, you know, it's just an exterior confirmation that what I'm saying is true. And what happens, you start believing that. And when you believe that, you start acting on that and what happens, you start tolerating disrespect in relationships.

[00:22:56.160] – Rosie
You start, you know, tolerating abuse, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. You tolerate anything that comes your way. You stay quiet, you don't speak up. Your voice doesn't matter. There's no respect towards your body. And not only that, who does that impact? It impacts you. It impacts those who are watching you. It impacted my parents. Why? Because they didn't know what was going on, but they knew something was going on.

[00:23:18.810] – Rosie
I kept the physical and emotional abuse so quiet that I would have bruises on my arm and my excuse. I have anemia. I'm I'm anemic. I didn't want anybody to find out what was going on. Who else did that impact my kids growing up? Why? Because they think that I'm teaching them through the lack of self-love and tolerating something that less than than I deserve that that is a normal relationship. They grow up with that sense. So to do the self work and turn that around, turn the story around, is teaching my kids that not only did I accept something less than I deserve, this is what happens when you don't love yourself.

[00:23:54.810] – Rosie
But when you turn that around and get back up, you show them the strength and getting back up and discovering yourself and changing your story, changing your values and saying no longer am I going accept this because I love myself, because I'm worthy of more. Because in life, Tony Robbins says it and it's in my book in life you get what you tolerate.

[00:24:12.060] – Allan
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that's the hard thing is when you get to a point where you're you start making better decisions because you've now had that conversation with yourself. Look, I love myself, and I'm not just going to roll with it. I'm not just going to sit there. And when you when I'm inside telling myself something that I'm not capable of doing, something that, you know, I need to quit, I'm not going to go with that.

[00:24:36.930] – Allan
I'm not going to double down on overeating or not exercising or alcohol or whatever the problem, whatever it is that you're the voice in your head is saying, oh, well, you're not going to you're not going to change anyway. You're not going to get to that size or you're not going to accomplish that weight. And so at this point, you know, but you get past that and now you've got this group of saboteurs that are also trying to do the thing.

[00:25:00.090] – Allan
And I think that's the point where once you start breaking through and saying, OK, that voice is wrong, that voice is wrong, I see it, I see it and what I'm able to accomplish and so setting like short term goals and and understanding what you need to move forward, because, you know, as you were going through your career, you were kind of recognizing that you weren't as healthy as you needed to be and you weren't moving in the direction of your career as well as you needed to do. And so you took in my mind. Pretty drastic step because bariatric surgery is no joke, and especially when you had it done, it was better.

[00:25:38.450] – Allan
But, you know, there's still a lot of complications that could come from a surgery like that. But you did go through bariatric surgery, and I've never actually really talked about it on the podcast. Could you take a little bit of time to just talk about your journey? Because I think this is some for some people, you know, we've gotten down the road a certain way, and we just need to do some things that are a little bit more drastic to get that kick start to get that big win. So from that point forward, the voices don't sound as loud because we know we've done the right step.

[00:26:10.610] – Rosie
Well, you know, before I did bariatric surgery, I lost 100 pounds. So before the bariatric surgery and I've you know, I went through Yo-Yo dieting. I go on one diet, lose weight, gain weight. It was always, you know, it was always up and down.

[00:26:21.770] – Rosie
And it just got to a point where I really wanted to dominate. I really wanted to create change. I wanted it so bad and I didn't understand why I wasn't successful. And one of the things that I learned through bariatric surgery, that's and it was such a big aha moment. I never had felt for the sensation of eating something and feeling full of saying, all right, I'm full like that, because when you're full, there's an automatic reaction to your body.

[00:26:48.830] – Rosie
There's like they there's a sensation that when you've eaten and you get to that point, it's your body saying, OK, you're done and sometimes you keep eating, keep eating. What happens? You stretch your stomach so big that that sensation is no longer there or you're not connected with your body where you could acknowledge that. So I went through ups and downs. When it came to yo-yo dieting, I tried it all, everything you could ever imagine. I tried it all.

[00:27:10.580] – Rosie
I had the strength to start to keep going and then somehow eliminate story would show up and then I'd drop a little bit of weight. And I'm like, yes, now I can eat the cake. Well, no. I mean, there's nothing wrong with eating the cake. The problem is discipline, perseverance, really understanding what you're transforming. And the problem was a word diet. The word diet really impacted me. And I learned this through bariatric surgery and people discredited me when I became so honest and authentic and saying, look, I lost one hundred pounds before. People are OK to credit that, oh, you did all the hard work doing bariatric surgery.

[00:27:43.970] – Rosie
That's even harder. People don't understand that. So if you are one of those people that say you cheated your way out, look, going underneath the knife at four hundred and twenty pounds is no joke. I'm literally one way or another whether I at four hundred twenty pounds eventually that's going to catch up to me because I'm obese. It will catch up to me and I will pay a price for that. And if I go underneath the knife I could pay the price for that.

[00:28:07.730] – Rosie
I don't know, I'm just, I'm trying something new. And when I did that I got so much hate and criticism saying that I got like I took the easy way out. You just did surgery. And that's the easy way out. No, because you're not guaranteed that you're going to lose. There's people who have gotten bariatric surgery that only last twenty to thirty pounds. Why? Because that inner voice is so strong that they keep eating the foods that they're not supposed to do.

[00:28:32.090] – Rosie
It is just a tool. So they take 80 percent of your stomach out. And basically you start with liquids, they go into puree foods, and then you go into small amounts of food that you're eating throughout the day.

[00:28:45.950] – Rosie
When I go to bariatric surgery, the first time I drink water, it was a first time and I can't even remember that. I felt the sensation of full. I was like. What is that like, I literally you're going to be like, I can't anymore, and I was like, I can't anymore what's going on. Like I've never felt that sensation in Dr. Bernie Hannah running. And he told me he's like, that is a sensation being full.

[00:29:08.520] – Rosie
That for me was mind blowing. The next step is going through the process of pureed foods and then discovering. Looking at the amount of food I was eating and why I was eating, I was eating because I was sad, I was eating because I was happy, I was eating because it was the only way that I could connect with my family. I was eating because it's the only way that I could connect with another human being. It was always through food instead of just having that general connection without the food, like I didn't need the food to connect with all these people.

[00:29:35.370] – Rosie
So that was another lesson that I learned. But the process, the psychological and physical process of losing weight through bariatric surgery, it is transformative because you pay attention to how much food you eating. You have the sensation of being full. Now you have you're learning about your body and how to create energy and how to drink water. And really, OK, I'm educating myself. If I have the sugar right now, that's going to make me break out in sweat. I get nauseous. I do not like the feeling that my body reacts to that. So now you're like, I'm not going to have that, not because I can't, because I don't like the feeling associated. So it transformed the whole psychology. And then once you sit down with your family, you're eating such a small portion and you're done.

[00:30:18.900] – Rosie
You're kind of left like, what's next? You learn to reconnect with other human beings.

[00:30:24.510] – Rosie
So for me, bariatric surgery not only saved my life, if I could have done it when I was younger, I would have. It played a domino effect in my family because my entire family got bariatric surgery. Everybody got bariatric surgery. If my daughter chooses to one day get bariatric surgery, I completely support her. It is just a tool because once you get into it a couple of years later, you could gain the weight back. You could stretch out your stomach.

[00:30:49.320] – Rosie
So it is not a diet, it becomes a lifestyle. And that is the switch in the mind. That is the psychological when it's the story behind it.

[00:30:59.280] – Allan
Yeah, and that's one of the things I really like to get into with my clients, with anyone I'm talking to, is that we have a ton of tools and strategies around. There's not one path to getting there and there. You know, people can say something is a shortcut. But so what this is you know, this is you're not in competition with anybody but yourself. You're just trying to be the best person that you can be. And if you're doing it for the right reasons, because you love yourself and you know the tool that's going to help me get to the next level, that's going to keep me moving forward and not falling backwards, then it's a tool and it's

[00:31:33.950] – Rosie
It's tool. It's a wonderful tool. And I think you've hit it right on my head. What may work for you may not work for me. And that's OK. Failure, just an indicator of what's not working. And that's the beauty of it. If this doesn't work, try try again. Try something different. And what worked for someone else? I may try it. You know what? I just I'm not getting the results that I want. Let me try something different. So the equation is very different for every single human being.

[00:32:01.320] – Rosie
The most important is to start the equation and end the equation in your own way until you find your own happiness and your own success. And that terminology, that definition changes for everybody, because what makes you happy might make me miserable. And I think we have as human beings, we have to learn to respect and have compassion and understanding instead of being so quick to criticize everybody. Because I learned a lot about compassion and criticism throughout my process and throughout my journey and still until today.

[00:32:30.290] – Allan
Rosie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:32:39.680] – Rosie
Be honest with yourself. That is so important. Be honest with yourself, with what you're feeling. If you don't like what you're feeling, you the only thing you could control in your life is your mind, body and soul. Everything else you can't control is just out of your hands. So I surrender to that. So understanding and validating my own emotions. It's so important not seeking exterior validation. If I feel angry, I acknowledge that I feel angry.What am I going to do to shift but feel happy? Wonderful. Let's celebrate.

[00:33:06.140] – Rosie
The next one affirming who I am, not making other people's story about myself, my truth, affirming that I am faithfully guided, that I have everything that I need, that I am divinely created, that I am a powerful woman, that I love myself. Affirming who I am in the morning and night is very important. Why? Because things will happen throughout life that could shift us if we allow it to.

[00:33:27.920] – Rosie
And last but not least, the importance of understanding your values. What are your values? How do you make your decisions based off your values, understanding what your top three values are, and making decisions based off of your top three values? Because when you don't when you do that, you won't go wrong, I promise you that. So that for me is really taking care of myself. It's taking care of my mental health and creating happiness for myself.

[00:33:51.530] – Allan
Cool. Rosie, if someone wanted to learn more about you, the things you're doing and your book, The Girl with Self-Esteem Issues, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:34:01.160] – Rosie
You could visit me at RosieMercado.com. Follow me on social media Rosie Mercado and of course the book, The Girl with Self-Esteem Issues is available wherever you buy books. I also have my podcast. You can listen to whatever you listen to podcast, the girl with self-esteem issues. I'm just so excited to be able to talk to you and thank you again for reading my book. That really for me it's amazing when I connect with people who actually take the time to invest and read and really get to know about the story.

[00:34:25.310] – Allan
Well, you're investing in us by being on the show, so it's the least I can do. Thank you. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/461 and I'll be sure to have the links there.

[00:34:36.500] – Allan
Rosie, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness. Thank you.

[00:34:40.110] – Rosie
And I love the name. I want to commend you on that. I'm forty and fabulous. I love it and breathe it in and make it your truth.

Post Show/Recap

[00:34:51.320] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:34:53.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a great conversation you had with Rosie. She seems like a really energetic person.

[00:34:58.590] – Allan
Yeah, yeah. You know, it's I knew from the book because it's it's a memoir. And she shared so much about herself. I knew I knew it was going to be a great conversation and that she was going to bring a lot of energy to it and of course, to tackle the topic of self-esteem. And one of the interesting things is there's a lot of people think that it's mostly women that are dealing with self-esteem issues.

[00:35:20.160] – Allan
But I'll tell you, men do, too. And if you don't tackle that problem, if you don't have the self-love, it just becomes increasingly difficult for you to accomplish great things.

[00:35:34.530] – Rachel
Mm hmm. Yeah. She mentioned about how she went through a couple of marriages and a couple divorces, Yo-Yo. Dieted, I mean, and it's she even mentioned it could show up in other ways, like people that have shopping, addictions or whatnot. So it's it's fascinating how bad self-esteem could lead you to some pretty bad places.

[00:35:55.310] – Allan
Yeah. And I think one of the core tenets is that I think people don't give themselves credit for the winds. You know, they'll lose five pounds. That's a win. Not know what they'll do is they'll look back and say, well, the last time I lost five pounds, I gained 10 back. And that's a problem, you know. Yes, you did. But you've just proven that you can lose five pounds. That's a huge win.

[00:36:19.380] – Allan
Five pounds of fat is a lot. And then taking the next step and saying, OK, I just need to repeat the same things. I need to keep going forward based on that win. And so many people just don't have the confidence in themselves to do that.

[00:36:34.680] – Rachel
Yeah. And I always like to celebrate the baby steps really, rarely do we have huge overnight success. I mean, in the topic of weight loss, it took a long time to put on. It's going to take a long time to take it off. I know, because I've been there, too. But we do need to celebrate the incremental steps. And when we learn something new, we can make additional changes to get closer towards that success. So it's a process for sure.

[00:37:01.410] – Allan
It is. And so if you take the time to tackle that and you approach this all with self-love, you'll start treating yourself like somebody you love. And that's really important that that care that self-care from a position of self-love is really how you win the long game in this.

[00:37:19.120] – Rachel
Mm hmm. For sure.

[00:37:21.180] – Allan
And then, you know, we tackled the topic of bariatric surgery. And I would say in the past, I would have probably been a lot more critical on this, because at the time, you know, I had the experiences I had were people getting the surgery and then not changing anything else except volume made the same foods. They just now they eat less of them. And then they went right back to what they were doing and eventually were eating the same sized meals, the same stuff that they were eating before.

[00:37:48.810] – Allan
And yes, because they for a period of time ate much less, they lose some weight, but then they start putting it back on.

[00:37:56.310] – Rachel
Yeah, that's the interesting thing about bariatric surgery. It's it's amazing how the stomach can still stretch even after it was shut off a little bit. So it's interesting.

[00:38:07.050] – Allan
Yeah. And the scary thing to me is and we're going to talk about this next week, actually, is the volume of errors and problems that happen in hospitals. It's a leading cause of death in our country, in the United States. I mean, you know, you don't go to the doctors all the time. You don't go to the hospital necessarily with a life threatening thing and then just die. But it happens. It happens a lot more than I thought reading their book.

[00:38:31.380] – Allan
And so here you are taking that risk, making that investment, because, you know, it's not cheap. And even if your insurance is helping you with it, it is not it it's not a cheap deal and it's not easy to recover from. And then you're going through basically blending your food to be able to eat at the beginning of it. So it's a process. And if you'll take that process and use it well, the way Rosie did in her family, then I would say, by all means, it's a tool.

[00:39:03.360] – Allan
Just recognize you're taking a significant risk by going through an elective procedure like this and you dot your Is and cross the T's and you make sure that things are getting done right. It's you have confidence in your doctor, in the doctors team and then follow through, you know, change other things in your life that are going to help you get to where you want to go, you know, move a little more, eat the right foods to get the nutrients because your stomach is smaller.

[00:39:30.240] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:39:30.930] – Allan
OK, and being full, it doesn't mean you're getting the nutrients you need.

[00:39:36.250] – Rachel
Mm hmm. Yeah. She had the right attitude, I think about for all of those reasons you just said. But she knew that bariatric surgery is a good tool and it sounds like her family members looked at it in that same way, and they made the changes, made those big changes that they needed to after they had the surgery. It sounds like they were very successful afterwards.

[00:39:57.920] – Allan
Yeah. And for her, it was it was a little bit about self-esteem. But I think in a big part, you know, she had some driving forces behind why she wanted to do this. You know, we talk about that. What's your why? Yeah, it was a career that she loved and she was basically being told that, you know, she didn't change her size. She was going to size herself out of plus modeling. She was not the ideal plus model.

[00:40:23.270] – Allan
She didn't fit the demo. So to be the way she wanted to be. And because she was driven to have the success for her children, she did this thing and it worked for her. But she didn't just do it and then eat the way she was eating before. She changed what she was eating. She started exercising more. And even before what she had done exercises, she worked hard, but, you know, she didn't have the drive and determination that really takes her. Plus, she didn't have the self-love that sustains her. And now she does. And that's why she's successful.

[00:40:58.520] – Rachel
Yeah, it's a powerful way to have and something to hold on to it as you go through all these hard situations. She said afterwards when her stomach was about, I think she said they removed 80 percent. She had a really small stomach afterwards and she discussed how she felt full afterwards. And then how she when she did eat sugar with that super small stomach, she was feeling nauseous after she was eating it. So was some pretty big light bulb moments of that something you haven't ever felt before.

[00:41:32.630] – Allan
Yeah. And there are ways, you know, there are strategies for feeling full without, you know, eating a ton of food. If you're eating whole food, you know, and, you know, just starting off with a salad with a lot of roughage, green drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal. you know, that's going to put some volume in your stomach. And then when you put the food in there, you're going to feel fuller.

[00:41:57.650] – Allan
And so, you know, there are ways to feel full. And if you're eating whole food, you're getting the nutrients and get and getting the nutrients that your body needs. Signaling will work. Slowing down when you eat is another way to avoid overfilling. You know, it's just. Oh, yeah, it's live. We're approaching Thanksgiving, the classic day of overeating. So, slow down. Yes. You want three pieces of pie, but no, don't.

[00:42:25.490] – Allan
I eat one third of three pieces of pie each. And then you've got your piece of pie and you taste it all three. Use some strategies to help you get through these times when you have a tendency to overeat by and taking the time and enjoying the taste of the food and giving your body the time to signal, hey, we're there, it's time to stop. You know, we've got enough.

[00:42:48.370] – Allan
Yeah, you avoid the food coma, avoid the seasonal five to five to ten pounds gain after you lost that five to ten before and now you're putting it back on. That's the cycle. That's the cycle of why that happened. You win, you're a winner, you have the confidence you lost the way and successfully make it through these holidays. You're going to get there.

[00:43:11.630] – Rachel
Yeah, well, personally, I hate the feeling of being full. And like I've said before, Thanksgiving is my favorite eating day of the whole year. But I also like leftovers. So I know that I can make a plate of my favorite foods, enjoy it, enjoy the company of my family and put it away and that feel full and bloated for the rest of the evening. And I can look forward to leftovers the next day. So there are a lot of really good tips out there that you can avoid all that.

[00:43:38.990] – Allan
Yeah. And if you're if you're looking for a reason to move a little bit more and I told you about this last week in a post on Facebook group a couple of times, I am participating in the sloth race, Sloth Racing Team Race, and it's a virtual five or 10K. You get to decide which one you want to do. You sign up online on the link if you want to go. There is 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/race and that'll take you to their sign up page.

[00:44:05.690] – Allan
You go ahead and you sign up for it. You don't have to tell them if you're doing a five or ten, but you know, you can choose which one you want to do when you get it. They send you the medal, they send you a T-shirt, and then you go do the race. And what I'd love for you to do if you do this race at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/race And you're on the 40+ Fitness Sloth Racing Team.

[00:44:24.440] – Allan
Go ahead and post a picture of our group. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. And I'd love to see the pictures since I'm traveling back now I'll be doing it within about the next two weeks. You got until the end of November to do the race, so there's still time to sign up, about a week to sign up and then you get your stuff and you do your race. Really looking forward to seeing those pictures on Facebook.

[00:44:44.870] – Rachel
That sounds awesome, Mike. And I can't wait for the 10k.

[00:44:47.810] – Allan
Cool. All right, Rachel, anything else we should go over before we call it a week?

[00:44:52.540] – Rachel
Nope, sounds great.

[00:44:53.950] – Allan
OK, I will see you next week.


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

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

Another episode you may enjoy


November 16, 2020

Dr. Jason Fung on the mystery behind cancer

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we bring back Dr. Jason Fong and discuss the mystery behind cancer and his new book, The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery.

Our guest today is a physician, author and researcher. His groundbreaking science based books, The Diabetes Code, The Obesity Code, and The Complete Guide to Fasting, have sold over one million copies and challenged the conventional wisdom about Type 2 diabetes, weight loss, and fasting. He is also the co-founder of the Fasting Method, a program to help people lose weight and reverse Type 2 diabetes naturally with fasting.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:51.670] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:52.630] – Ras
Good. How are you today Allan?

[00:02:54.310] – Allan
I'm doing really well. I'm doing well. I'm excited about conversation that we're going to interview, we're going to have today with Dr. Fung and his books called Cancer Code. And, you know, it's it's a big, big problem. So I'm pretty excited about the conversation. You know, as we're getting into this as this goes live, I'm going to be in North Carolina visiting my mom, the last leg, sort of last leg of our trip through the states.

[00:03:18.790] – Allan
So kind of exciting, you know, a couple weeks ago. Then we got loaded all of our stuff in a truck. So it's now in a cargo container headed down to Panama. So when I get down there I'll have a lot of stuff to sort through and a rack to build and all that. And I saw the picture that you posted on the group of your rack. So now I'm Jonesing and get that thing going down there because it's a much better rack than the one I have.

[00:03:43.030] – Ras
Nice, that will be awesome.

[00:03:46.300] – Allan
So how are things going up there?

[00:03:48.310] – Ras
Good, good. Mike and I are doing our puppy training, so Puppy is learning good tricks from Stella and vice versa. Actually, Stella is learning how to be a good dog to a puppy. So they're becoming fast friends and they've been really entertaining for us lately, which is timely this time of year. So, yeah, everything's good here.

[00:04:10.570] – Allan
Yeah, a lot of times when you get a puppy, an older dog kind of livens up a little bit, a little bit more playful than they would have been otherwise.

[00:04:16.660] – Ras
Absolutely. I was actually really surprised at how well she's taken to having a little sibling. She's teasing her with toys and and they're just really entertaining each other, which has been a real treat to watch grow.

[00:04:29.290] – Allan
All right. So let's get into the episode with Dr. Fung.


[00:05:02.530] – Allan
Dr. Fung, welcome to 40+ Plus Fitness.

[00:05:05.210] – Dr. Fung
Thanks for having me here. Great to be back.

[00:05:07.330] – Allan
You're the kind of guest that I just love having on the show because you do your homework, and after you've done your homework and you have your your case, which you say in one of your books. I've had you, I've covered you for The Obesity Code (Episode 77), The Complete Guide to Fasting (Episode 175), and then had Megan on for The Diabetes Code (Episode 321). But you do your homework and then once you have your statement, it's like, man, you just you're just like a wolf.

[00:05:32.830] – Allan
You're on it, man. And I just love your approach to these things because people are always talking about this. And a lot of people don't know about this. The book we're going to talk about today is called The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery. And it's a part of your wellness code trail, I guess, at this point, and like I said, I was going through the book and I'm like, this is this is completely fascinating and scary because this is not what my paradigm of cancer was.

[00:06:04.730] – Allan
My paradigm was that it's growing and we've got to get it out of there any way we can. But we don't understand cancer nearly as much as I thought we did. But we're getting there.

[00:06:16.830] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, yeah, and I think that these things are very important to understand, because a lot of times specialists like doctors and oncologists and researchers, they get caught in the sort of weeds of the minutia, which is not to say that they're not important, like you should use this drug versus this drug. Those questions are clearly important, but the frame is often missing in terms of, how are we looking at this problem as a whole? And it gets into the same sorts of things as the Obesity Code and the Diabetes Code, which is that obesity medicine sort of you get you get locked into this frame of calories calories calories.

[00:07:03.210] – Dr. Fung
Then you start talking about, oh, this food versus food, but your frame is still defined by calories as opposed to sort of hormonal responses and so on. And that's the reason it's important. Same thing with Type two diabetes. You get locked into this frame where it's all about blood glucose and you forget that the disease is not about blood glucose. Right. That was the result of the disease. It's not the cause of the disease. It's not the disease.

[00:07:29.280] – Dr. Fung
So it's the same thing in cancer where people often get sort of really focused on these very small questions and sort of leave the big questions of what cancer actually is that sort of frame unanswered. And it's important because the way you frame a question has huge implications as to everything that sort of goes on afterwards. So not that these questions are not important, but they have to you have to understand both. And this is talking about the frames or the paradigms of cancer and how you approach the disease.

[00:08:07.560] – Dr. Fung
And it's one of these things that's been changing over time, because the real question we're trying to answer here and this is, the book is sort of an exploration of how far we've come, which is not to say that there's not going to be changes in the future. Right. It may change in 20 years. That's that's clearly a possibility. But where we are now and how much it's changed in the last sort of 10 years, this idea of cancer, because the question we're trying to ask is what is cancer?

[00:08:37.410] – Dr. Fung
What is the actual disease that we are trying to treat? Because if you don't know that, then you're sort of guessing a little bit at treatments. So for the last 50 years, the main paradigm of cancer is a disease that grows. And then you say, well, why is this growing, why is this tumor growing? And the answer to that, if you ask a lot of people like, oh, it's a disease where you have these random genetic mutations which cause excessive growth.

[00:09:10.530] – Dr. Fung
So say you take a disease like lung cancer, you say, OK, well, we know that tobacco smoking is a cause of lung cancer and tobacco smoke is a mutagen. That is, it damages genes and causes mutations, and that in a chance mutation in a growth causing gene will accelerate growth. And that's been our sort of understanding of cancer for this entire time. But there's a huge problem with that paradigm of cancer, which is that the data simply didn't fit that sort of paradigm.

[00:09:50.680] – Dr. Fung
So where we were sort of 20 years ago, was that OK, so now we know that there's a mutation in a gene. So you take breast cancer, say, oh, let's look at the BRCA gene or colon cancer, let's look at this gene. So now that we identified this paradigm, we say there's a couple of mutations, two, three, four mutations. So the initial paradigm was, OK, we have one mutation, one cancer. Block that mutation, get rid of that cancer.

[00:10:19.180] – Dr. Fung
And it worked well for some stuff. Right. So CML was a great case where we did that and it worked extremely well. Then clearly, most cancers were not one gene. So then they said, well, it's two or three or four genes. So therefore, if your paradigm is that you have two or three or four genes which are mutated due to random genetic mutation, then let's find those two or three or four genes and we'll block them with drugs and then we'll do fine, we'll cure cancer.

[00:10:49.280] – Dr. Fung
And that's where we were sort of 20 to 30 years ago, where we had this huge optimism that we're going to develop great new genetic treatments of drugs, that we're going to cure cancer and wipe it off the map. And it's all predicated on this frame, this paradigm that this is what we're dealing with. So we started to look for these genes. So we had the Human Genome Project, which, you know, finished up around 2000.

[00:11:16.840] – Dr. Fung
So we sequenced the genes of an entire human genome. And that was a monumental accomplishment. And at the time, we thought, well, well, now we're going to find all these cancer causing genes and figure it out. But we didn't. So then they did something further, which is called the Cancer Genome Atlas, which was that the ability to sequence human genomes, had the technology improved so much by that time that you could you could sequence many, many, many genes. Like you could go sequence your gene for like 50 bucks sort of thing at 23 and Me or whatever it is. Right.

[00:11:53.890] – Dr. Fung
So the technology went from multiple labs in 2000 with multi-million dollar budgets to like you could go to a company, get your genome sequenced today. So by that time the human genome, by the time the Human Genome Project wound up, we did this further thing where we sequenced sort of thousands and thousands of genomes of cancer patients.

[00:12:16.870] – Dr. Fung
So we took the cancer and we sequenced the genome. So then it's like, OK, well, we take like a fifty or one hundred breast cancers, sequence and find that one or two or three genes that's causing it and boom, we're going to get some drugs to block them. So that was sort of the paradigm from 2000 to, say, 2010.

[00:12:36.760] – Dr. Fung
By the time the Human, the Cancer Genome Atlas finished, that paradigm was sort of shattered. It was like blown out of the water because we were not finding two or three or four mutations in a cancer genome, we were finding hundreds and millions of gene mutations. So that is if you take a cancer such as colorectal cancer example. One person with person A with colorectal cancer might have not two or three or four genes that are mutated, might have 80 that are mutated.

[00:13:17.580] – Dr. Fung
And so that's the number that is far out. Like you can't develop 80 drugs and give them all to that patient. It's just so far out of what we can do with cancer therapeutics. The problem was also that if you had the very next patient that you saw with the exact same identical appearing colorectal cancer, say it's in the same place at stage three, same metastasis, everything exactly the same clinically, they would have 80 mutations or a hundred mutations and they would be completely different than person A.

[00:13:53.690] – Dr. Fung
So you needed 80 or a 100 drugs for person A, and 80 to 100 drugs that were completely different for a person. Well, that's just not doable. So at last count that I saw in 2018, there was close to I think six million mutations identified in cancers. So it's just this genetic paradigm of cancer just sort of got blown out of the water. Because how can two gene genomes with, say, 80 to a 100 different mutations like different at many, many, many places, how can they appear exactly the same?

[00:14:37.220] – Dr. Fung
Like what is it that we're dealing with? We're obviously not dealing with anything random because remember, this is the whole premise of this so-called somatic mutation theory, which was that paradigm that we were using. Is that it's just this chance mutation in a growth causing gene. So you randomly mutate this growth gene that grows. And that's why growth. Right. That's, but that wasn't the case. You have all different mutations in all different genes, yet they were appearing identical.

[00:15:08.150] – Dr. Fung
So there's nothing random about this. That is, if you think about it, it makes sense, because if you take a colon cancer from a, you know, a 40 year old black woman today compared to a colon cancer from a Japanese man in the 1920s those two situations are very different. But those colorectal cancer is exactly the same. yet they evolve differently from that Japanese man and that black woman. Like they've evolved completely independently, yet they've appeared the same. Which is an interesting sort of conundrum, because if you think that cancer, is this sort of random genetic mutation, how does everything end up looking the same?

[00:15:57.410] – Dr. Fung
That's a real that's a real problem. So by 2010, this sort of random genetic mutation idea of cancer genetics was sort of blown out of the sky. And it had a lot of implications because what we saw, of course, was that from 2000, when there's this huge optimism with all these new drugs. But the amount of new drugs that have really seriously impacted cancer that is significantly improved the lives of cancer patients is sort of dwindling rapidly.

[00:16:34.880] – Dr. Fung
So, yes, there are new drugs. But if you look at the actual studies of these drugs and some of them are fantastically expensive, you're talking one hundred thousand dollars a year, two hundred thousand dollars a year for some of these drugs. The thing is that if you look at how effective they are, they're sort of like, well, they're either completely ineffective at adding months of life to somebody's expected prognosis to sort of barely improving life.

[00:17:08.030] – Dr. Fung
So. I think one study showed that on average, if you take all of these recent drugs, they improve the prognosis, like the life expectancy by an average of two point one month or something like that. It was it was really, really, really bad. And I think that that's something that we have to sort of look at, because if if these drugs are so poor, then there must be sort of this better way of looking at this disease so that we can identify new drugs because we're sort of twenty, twenty five years into this genetic paradigm. And if you go to the American Cancer Society website, for example, you'll still read what is cancer?

[00:17:48.300] – Dr. Fung
Cancer is a genetic disease of mutations. And it's like, well, that paradigm didn't actually help anybody. It's actually been a giant dead end. Not to say it's a waste of time because obviously this is a learning process. But now in the sort of last 8 or 10 years, there's been this new sort of idea of how cancer, what cancer is, how it came to be that is leading to sort of more improved treatments.

[00:18:17.490] – Dr. Fung
And that's the sort of story that I sort of sort of write about, is that what are, what is this new thinking about cancer so that we can improve people's lives, prevent cancer or identify more promising areas of research, that kind of thing. And that's the sort of evolutionary paradigm of cancer, that cancer is a disease that evolves, not a disease of random genetic mutations.

[00:18:46.110] – Allan
In one of the things that you got into in the book is in helping us understand what cancer is, you identified eight hallmarks of cancer and then you further refine that down to four main characteristics. Do you mind going through that real quick? Because that for me was a real good frame to kind of understand when we're talking about cancer.

[00:19:07.890] – Allan
And then as you took that forward, it's like, what else is like this? And you kind of took it, like you said, in that evolution, which I kind of read as a De-evolution back to basic or atavism. But it's one of those things where it's now it's a new organism. I mean, it's almost its own thing. Can you kind of talk through that?

[00:19:29.130] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, exactly. So this is what we're, so it's an interesting sort of way. We came to this because cancer, we know is, evolve, is sort of originates from our own cells. When you have lung cancer, it came from your own lung cells that when you have liver cancer, it came from your own liver cells. It's not some extrinsic thing that like an infection or a virus or something. It's something that came from your own body, but now somehow became perverted.

[00:19:58.350] – Dr. Fung
So there's lots of different types of cancers and there's, you know, lung cancer, and liver cancer, and breast cancer and so on. And they're all different in a lot of ways. So that's the way that we've always treated them. So you look at things like breast cancer and you have a different staging system compared to liver cancer, colorectal cancer, different things are important for different cancers. So one of the things that happened in about year 2000, which was a big change, was this sort of codification, not of how cancers are different, but how cancers are the same.

[00:20:35.820] – Dr. Fung
And it's an interesting story because the researchers, and it's actually one of the most highly cited research papers in oncology. So this is the sort of one paper that everybody reads and it's called The Hallmarks of Cancer. And it was published in 2001. And when you read about the story, it's like the researchers themselves didn't actually think much at the time about the paper. They said, well, they're very smart researchers. And what they did was they said, hey, like we all talk about the differences between cancers and then way talk about the similarities between cancer so we should write a paper.

[00:21:13.680] – Dr. Fung
So they wrote a paper about it and it became the most important piece of research in a long time, because when you look at the sort of lumpers litter problem. So in biology, you can either lump things together or you can split them apart. And this has important implications because you can lump things together like, OK, an apple and an orange or two pieces of fruit. So they're fruit. You can split them apart and say apples and oranges are different because they're different.

[00:21:46.110] – Dr. Fung
Like this, it's round, it's orange and so on. So you can lump them together, you can split apart. So cancer had always been a splitter. So you say breast cancer, stage one versus colorectal cancer stage four, they are different. And what you do when you split things apart is that you actually highlight their differences and you sort of investigate further how they're different. When you lump them together and say their fruit, then you can say, well, fruit share these two characteristics.

[00:22:15.360] – Dr. Fung
So it's the same thing in cancer. So what they're doing, instead of being splitters, they were sort of lumpers and said, let's look at all cancers and say how, what is it about cancer that is similar between breast and colorectal and leukemia and all these different types of cancer? So they came up with eight sort of characteristics, which is a great starting point, because in order to understand cancer, not just breast cancer, not just leukemia, but cancer, you have to know what it is.

[00:22:44.280] – Dr. Fung
And nobody had sort of defined that. So the best sort of scientific definition of what cancer is could be defined by these eight hallmarks. Which is very is a little bit technical. But I break it down into something a little bit more sort of simple to understand, which is that one, these cancers, so cancer as opposed to normal cells, and this is sort of irrespective of what type of cancer they grow. So cells don't normally grow, tissues do not normally grow.

[00:23:10.990] – Dr. Fung
Your liver doesn't continue to grow and grow and grow until it's sort of the size of a small boulder. Because it's going to impact everything else. And that's what sort of partially was so deadly about cancer. So they grow. Second thing is that they move around. So, again, this is not something that happens in normal cells. So when you consider a sort of lung cell versus a lung cancer cell, lung cell never moves around. It's always anchored to the lung, whereas the lung cancer cell moves around the body.

[00:23:45.930] – Dr. Fung
It can go anywhere. And that's why it's so that's why it kills you, because it metastasize to the liver, to wherever. So it grows and moves around. Third is that it's immortal. So the mortality, again, is not something we see in normal cells. So this is called the hay flick limit. And this has been talked about a lot in the longevity sphere. But the hay flick limit is basically if you take a human cell, so you take your lung cell and you try to grow it, it will split into two daughter cells.

[00:24:20.160] – Dr. Fung
That's that's how cells divide. But you can't do that sort of indefinitely. So when you get to a certain number of replications, that cell will no longer replicate. And we know how this works. So when cells divide, the genetic material sort of splits in two and and that's what you get. But at the end of each chromosome, which is where all this genetic material is as telomeres and the telomere is this sort of cap on the end of the the chromosome.

[00:24:52.680] – Dr. Fung
And every time you replicate it sort of shaves off one. So in other words, every time, you do the cell divides, the telomere cap gets a little smaller and smaller, smaller and smaller. When it goes away, you can no longer divide. And so that was sort of Nobel Prize winning material 20 or 30 years ago. So but it's another way that cancer cells are different than normal cells. And the fourth way that they differ is that they use a different way of generating energy, which is very anomalous.

[00:25:25.620] – Dr. Fung
And it's very interesting because it's anomalous and that's the war of effect. That is, the cancer cells and normal cells generate energy, cellular energy differently. So when we, normal cells generate energy, we use glucose in a process called oxidative phosphorylation. Which means that we take oxygen, we take glucose, we burn them together and we get energy. So we measure cellular energy as ATP and get 36 ATP per glucose in this oxidative phosphorylation, so you get lots of energy.

[00:26:00.820] – Dr. Fung
When you, but cancer cells don't do that. And it's very anomalous because cancer cells which are growing and moving and stuff, you think that they need a lot of energy. So you think that they use oxidative phosphorylation but they don't. They actually use glycolysis. Where you take the glucose and you metabolize it through a different pathway called glycolysis and you get two ATP and lactic acid. So this is, all cells can do this. So when you sprint, for example, and you run and you can't get enough oxygen to your muscles, they generate anaerobic energy, which is glycolysis, which is gets you all the lactic acid, which gives you the muscle burn and all this sort of stuff.

[00:26:43.360] – Dr. Fung
But the point is that you get a lot less energy than you generate more quickly, so that's the trade off. In cancer cells almost always use this sort of less efficient way of generating energy. At the same time that we know cancer cells need a lot of energy, so it's like that is very, very anomalous. And those are the ways that cancers all stay the same in any theory of cancer as to what is cancer.

[00:27:08.950] – Dr. Fung
So we take a paradigm like, cancer is this random collection of genetic mutations that happens to kill you? Well, it doesn't explain anything of why cancers grow like it does and that you have the growth gene, but why they're immortal, like how does it affect the telomeres? Why do they move around? Because to move around, you have adhesion molecules for example. You have blood cells which are trying to kill you, like the body has defences against the lung cell moving around the body.

[00:27:41.050] – Dr. Fung
If it's lung cell detaches and tries to move around the body, it'll get slaughtered. So these sort of genetic mutation, random genetic mutations doesn't explain why. Why is it going to grow? Why is it immortal? Why is it moving around? Why is it using warping effect? Because each of these each of these hallmarks and those aren't, those are just sort of characteristics. Those are not the actual hallmarks. But each of these characteristics requires many, many, many genetic mutations to make it happen.

[00:28:10.210] – Dr. Fung
So why is every cancer independently, so every cancer in history for the last five thousand years of humanity where cancer has existed, each cancer has independently sort of reinvented the wheel. Because like the cancer of the person Queen Atosa in the year 20 AD or whatever, has reinvented the wheel to develop all these characteristics just as the person in 2020 has. How is that? Right?

[00:28:44.440] – Dr. Fung
That's that's a very interesting question that needs to be answered. And the answer is that this is sort of an evolutionary process. And as you say, it's not a forward evolutionary process. It's actually a backwards evolutionary process. And that's how we get to there by understanding what it is that cancer is doing.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Himalaya Botanique Toothpaste. Over the years I've tried several natural toothpastes to reduce my exposure to chemicals like fluoride and artificial flavors. They often feel like and tastes like I'm brushing my teeth with dirt. One was actually made out of clay. None of them foamed up and left my teeth feeling clean. Now I use Himalaya Botanique Toothpaste.

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[00:30:19.930] – Allan
One of the things that came out of this is when I was thinking about the treatment, so, you know, you hear a friend is going in for chemo or you hear they're going in for surgery. And, you know, the principle is how do we reduce the tumor size? How do we get rid of the tumor? How do we make sure we got it all? And that's because we know that cancer has the opportunity to metastasize and spread, which is how it tends to kill most of us because we'll get a cancer that's not necessarily deadly.

[00:30:45.400] – Allan
And then it's going to spread to the bone or to the heart, I mean to the brain or to the liver. And then then it is something that could absolutely kill us. Why is there still a big focus on tumor size when that's not really what's going to preserve us? That's not really going to get rid of cancer? Just seems that that's still the paradigm of most of what I hear in treatments as we need to get the tumor size down. If we get the tumor size down, we're winning.

[00:31:11.980] – Dr. Fung
And I think it comes back to the sort of old paradigms, which is to people who are thinking, well, this is a disease of random genetic mutations, which causes it to grow. So the less growth you have, the better you're doing sort of thing as opposed to saying where are we in this sort of evolutionary process of cancer development? That is to say that cancer is, so we focus on this sort of growth and it's easy to measure. So therefore it's easy to put a number on it.

[00:31:43.930] – Dr. Fung
And a regulatory agency such as the FDA can sort of say, OK, well, that's where we go. It's sort of what led us to this sort of inpass of how we got so many marginally useful drugs at this point? Like fantastically expensive, but marginally useful because of this sort of focus on size. Like the focus on size is extremely misguided because we know that it's not the size of the tumor that kills you. So about 90 percent of the deadliness of cancer is the fact that it moves around.

[00:32:24.940] – Dr. Fung
So that's metastasis. When when cancer metastasizes, your prognosis becomes very, very poor. So you have benign cancers like comas, for example. They grow very large or cysts, grow very large. It doesn't matter so much because as long as it doesn't move around, you can always just cut it out if you have to. Most of times you don't even have to. So the whole point is that, you know, you get to this stage because years ago so we know that the size of the tumor is probably a very, very, very minor part of what causes cancer to kill you.

[00:33:08.530] – Dr. Fung
At the same time, the larger the cancer is, the more likely it is to be a more advanced tumor, which means it's more likely to spread. So you get this sort of confusion between the size, which is sort of a marker for how advanced it is compared to the size, which is important in and of itself. Right. I mean, it's a very important thing, just like saying that gray hair, for example, is a marker of mortality.

[00:33:35.500] – Dr. Fung
Right? If you have more gray hair, you're more likely to die. That's true because it's a marker for age. If you're older, you're more likely to die. If you're older, you're more likely to have gray hair. But there's this confusion between sort of gray hair is going to kill you because the gray is a bad color sort of thing versus gray is just a marker for age. It's the same thing as size is. It's the size that's going to kill you.

[00:33:59.980] – Dr. Fung
Or is it because the larger it is, the more likely it is to be advanced? Right. And it's really the light. It's really that if it's bigger, it's more likely to be more advanced. And therefore you've probably had longer and therefore it's more likely to spread. So it's a very important, because if you say that gray hair is a marker for mortality, we know that the gray hair actually causes mortality. You make that sort of leap, that horrible leap of association and causation which we do all the time.

[00:34:31.660] – Dr. Fung
So when you make that horrible leap into causation and say gray hair will kill you, then you say, well, I just need to dye my hair and I will reduce my mortality by 50 percent. Well, obviously that's not true, but we've done the same thing. So a big cancer means that it's more likely advance, which would more likely kill you. So we say, well, let's make it a smaller cancer, and that is the equivalent of dying your hair.

[00:34:54.340] – Dr. Fung
It doesn't do anything, though, and we know that it doesn't do anything because, for example, in surgery. When we have a cancer that has metastasized, there's no point cutting it out or cutting it, you know half of it, because it doesn't do anything yet. Yet when we measure this sort of partial response in cancer trials or drug trials, they say, well, we reduce the size from sort of by 50 percent. That's considered positive. And you can get your drug approved on the basis of these sort of measures, which is like reducing the size or something called progression free survival, for example.

[00:35:39.200] – Dr. Fung
And there's all these sort of logical fallacies as to why these sort of markers don't work. But what happened in the sort of in the 2000s is that the Federal Drug Administration, which approves these drugs, created this sort of expedited way of accelerating drug development. So the reason we never use these sort of markers of approving drugs is because they weren't effective. But in the sort of 2000s the FDA said, well, we need more drugs, so we're going to make it easier for you to get your drug approved so you can use these half measures like gray hair and so on, so you can use these half measures like tumor size to get your drug approved as long as you go back and study to see if it actually improves things overall, that is overall survival.

[00:36:38.300] – Dr. Fung
That's the only thing that matters, overall survival. So the problem was that a lot of drugs got approved based on these surrogate measures. And they when they look back at first, a lot of drugs never went back in to see if they're actually effective. A lot of them, when they look back, found that they weren't effective. So then they actually got pulled down from the market. And other drug companies say, well, we just won't look then, because once we are approved we're just selling stuff.

[00:37:10.650] – Dr. Fung
But you're selling stuff that has never really been shown to be useful. And that's how you get into this situation. We have so many very expensive drugs that have very marginal benefits, if any benefits at all. And it's the use of these sort of surrogate outcomes. And it's the equivalent of saying we measured gray hairs and you colored all your gray hairs black and therefore you did really good for reducing mortality is the same thing. So that's the reason in surgery you never cut half the tumor because it's not useful.

[00:37:43.970] – Dr. Fung
You might as well not cut any of it in. If you could give a drug that reduces it by 50 percent, it probably doesn't do anything. And that's that's the sort of thing that we get into in the book, because there's all these fallacies. People say, well, if you're reducing cancer deaths as opposed to overall deaths, well, how can it not be good? So let's take an example, you have one hundred patients, for example, and they get cancer at age 60, they all die at age sixty five, for example.

[00:38:16.380] – Dr. Fung
So a group of one hundred patients, they get at sixty, sixty five. Now you have one hundred percent of them die of cancer. If you treat them with this drug they, like twenty five percent of them will die of chemotherapy related causes, heart attacks and infections and so on. Now everybody still dies at sixty five. So same overall effect, but now twenty five percent have died, of heart attacks and infections and whatever. Seventy five percent have died of cancer.

[00:38:52.160] – Dr. Fung
So now you have seventy five percent cancer deaths versus one hundred percent cancer death. And so you say now my drug is useful because I've reduced my cancer deaths by twenty five percent. You haven't reduced your overall mortality. In fact, you did harm by causing all these other deaths when the data will actually make it look like you could actually argue that you're actually improving things. So that's that's a big problem. Same thing with lead time bias, for example.

[00:39:21.590] – Dr. Fung
So if you and this gets into the question of screening, for example, where if people talk about screening and they say, well, how is screening bad? Because there's actually a move backing away from a lot of screening and the same thing, you have this lead time bias, which is that if you take a group of people that have cancer at 60, they died at age 70. So with screening, you discover them immediately. They survive 10 years with their cancer.

[00:39:48.530] – Dr. Fung
Say you didn't screen them and they got to that age 60. You didn't find it till age sixty nine. They only survived a year with cancer. Sixty nine to 70. So you say, OK, well, I improve my survival with cancer. From 1 year to 10 years, but it's completely artifactual. Because, in fact, the both groups got to that 60 died at 70. So you see there's all these sort of statistical things when you start to make measures that are like cancer deaths and, you know, survival with cancer and progression free survival and all these sort of terms that get used in the development of disease that actually don't make any difference.

[00:40:29.970] – Dr. Fung
So that's sort of where we got all these where we got into trouble with a lot of these things, such as the screening, which we thought more screening is better. Turns out more is not always better. There's been a lot of screening that's been a complete dud and has been sort of walked back a little bit. And that's how we got to this situation with with cancer therapeutics, where we've got a lot of marginally improved marginal improvement drugs by looking at these measures like size that just were not important in and in and of themselves.

[00:41:06.470] – Allan
Now, insulin is a is a growth hormone, it's a it's a hormone we need for a lot of different purposes in our body. It pulls in sugar into our muscles and our liver when we need it. Stores body fat when we need it. But insulin is also a very big problem for us, and it's intricately tied into cancer growth. And that has when you take that one step further, it's like, what control do I have actually over my insulin? And that's what I put in my mouth. So can you kind of talk us through that?

[00:41:35.900] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, this is the fascinating part. So again, when as we're moving from a paradigm of genetic mutations to something a little bit more nuance like the evolutionary thing. So as cancer is an evolutionary process, almost the development of this sort of new species, then you have to say, well, if it's going to be a new species, and I say that because the human body actually recognizes cancer cells as foreign cells. So it's not our cells. Right.

[00:42:07.040] – Dr. Fung
So the human body has this unique immune system. And if you are not part of the human body, it will attack and destroy you. So bacteria that come in, the immune system will recognize it and kill the bacteria because it recognizes it as non-human. Same thing as a cancer. It will actually, if you put a cancer cell, a cancer cell develops, the human immune system will just innately, without any training, just destroy that. So it is a foreign invader almost, but it came from our cells.

[00:42:38.150] – Dr. Fung
So if you see that as a genetic mutation problem, then you say things like, well, what you eat doesn't make any difference because, or your lifestyle doesn't make any difference because what you eat is not mutagenic. That is, if you like to eat sugar, it doesn't cause a lot of cellular damage. If you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, it doesn't make your genes mutate. So therefore it shouldn't make any difference. But it turns out it makes a huge difference.

[00:43:12.470] – Dr. Fung
And we started to recognize this sort of with with in the 2000s. So this is why I say a lot of what we think about cancer has changed in the last 20 years without people quite recognizing it. We found out that there's this huge link to obesity. So a lot of cancers are actually obesity related. The WHO recognizes that leads 13 types of cancer is obesity related. So this was not something that we actually knew about in the past. So we actually, I went to medical school in the 1990s and we never talked about obesity as a cause of cancer.

[00:43:52.670] – Dr. Fung
Turns out when you look at the population attributable risk, that is, you know, in a whole population of people, what percentage of risk can be attributed to, say, smoking? It's about 35 percent. Then you say what can be attributed to diet, it's about 30 percent. So it's actually just below tobacco smoke as an attributable risk for cancer. So it's like, wow. And it far, far, far outweighs everything else you think causes cancer, which is things like radiation and pollutants and chemicals, manmade chemicals and plastics and all that.

[00:44:32.840] – Dr. Fung
Those all can cause cancer. But your population attributable risk, in a big population. It's going to be one percent, two percent, whereas diet is like 30 percent. Tobacco smoke is like 35 percent so far outweighs everything else. And then you have to go back and say, well, what is it about this diet that is making people get cancer? And that's where you start to get into these hormones that change with your diet. Things like insulin and other things.

[00:45:03.830] – Dr. Fung
So mTOR, for example, goes up when you eat a lot of protein and that turns out to be very involved in the cancer making process. And 20 years ago, people would laughed at you if you said stuff like that. But now we know that it's true. And the link is that all of these sort of diseases, sort of these hormones that are implicated in nutrition, that is you eat certain hormones, go up like insulin. Well, these sort of nutrient sensors.

[00:45:36.890] – Dr. Fung
So these are specific ways that our body knows that nutrition is coming in. So towards one, AMPK insulin, the others. So insulin goes up when you eat. So we know nutrition is coming in. Turns out that they're also growth factors, that is. And the reason their growth factors is because your body wants to grow when nutrition is available, when nutrition is not available. So if you're in the middle of famine and you're not eating anything, insulin is going to go down very low and your body doesn't want to make more cells.

[00:46:10.910] – Dr. Fung
They don't want the cells that are there to grow. They want the cells that are there to shrink or die. So that's the whole point that that these hormonal mediators of nutrition are actually the growth factors. So it's important because if you have a disease where you have excessive insulin, so Hyperinsulinemia, which we talked about in the Obesity Code, the Diabetes Code, if you have foods that are causing you to have way too much insulin. You're going to have very high signaling for growth, that is, you're telling your body not only to store fat, but you're telling all the cells of your body, hey, you should grow because lots of food is available.

[00:46:55.340] – Dr. Fung
Please grow. Please grow. And the things that are going to grow better than anything else are those cancers. So things such as breast cancer cells are very insulin sensitive. So they're very responsive to insulin. Same with colorectal. So we see this also in obesity, which is also a disease of hyperinsulinemia, where you have a huge risk increase with obesity as well as Type two diabetes. So both diseases of Hyperinsulinemia and both diseases are associated with sort of increased risk of cancer.

[00:47:28.910] – Dr. Fung
So that's the sort of link because these are independent organisms almost. These cancer cells, but they do respond still to growth signals and nutrition, so you increase nutrition such as you eat a lot of sugary food, you eat a lot of high, highly refined carbohydrates, which really spikes your insulin up. You get into the state of obesity where you have insulin high all the time, or type two diabetes, well, you're signaling increased growth, which is going to translate into an ideal sort of growing environment for cancer cells because cancer is like a seed.

[00:48:14.170] – Dr. Fung
Just because you have the seed doesn't mean that it will grow. That is, you take a seed of a plant of whatever plant or flower or something. It's not going to grow if you just put it in a little bag, but you put it in soil and give it water and it grows. Same thing with cancer. So the seed is there because it's actually in all of us, but it doesn't grow until you have the fertile soil which is provided by these nutrient sensors that is giving it the nutrition, you're making nutrition available at the same time, you're signaling it to grow as much as it can and you're in a disease of too much insulin is a disease of too much growth, which is bad for cancer.

[00:49:00.950] – Allan
OK, so knowing what we know now, we want to reduce our risk or minimize our risk. What are some recommendations that you would make now?

[00:49:10.300] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, and that's a great question because I don't think there's a lot of good recommendations that we can make right now. However, the only thing you can say is that if you are overweight or obese, then you should try to lose weight because there seems to be a clear reduction in cancer because you have all these cancers that are related. If you're not obese, then you're going to reduce your risk. Whether or not low carbohydrate diets, for example, versus a plant based versus paleo versus whatever diet, there's not the amount of data that you can say, well, you should follow this diet.

[00:49:51.730] – Dr. Fung
I'd love to be able to say that, but the science just doesn't allow us to. All you can say is that maintaining normal weight is going to be very likely to reduce your risk of cancer. So that seems fairly uncontroversial. But how you lose that weight is you can't sort of at this point say this diet is better than this diet. So whatever diet works for you to lose weight, that's probably the most important thing. A few other things, such as fasting, will it work?

[00:50:26.530] – Dr. Fung
Again, theoretically, fasting is going to be very, very effective for prevention of cancer. But that's all you can say. Theoretically, we don't know that that's true. So fasting, of course, reduces all of your nutrient sensors. So insulin is going to go down and talks are going to go down AMPK is going to go up. So it's going to affect all of them because it's not just insulin, right? There's other nutrient sensors in the body.

[00:50:54.070] – Dr. Fung
So you're going to affect all of them simultaneously versus a low carb diet or a ketogenic diet where you're really only lowering insulin. So the point is that if you're able to lose weight, that's probably a good thing. Fasting is probably a very important part. And that's the argument I make, is that fasting is an important part of weight loss. So therefore, fasting is likely going to reduce your risk, future risk of cancer by allowing you to maintain a normal weight.

[00:51:21.820] – Dr. Fung
The second thing, of course, is type two diabetes. Type two diabetes also happens in people who are normal weight. So it's not just the weight of the Hyperinsulinemia. So, again, fasting is going to help reduce your insulin because when you don't need insulin goes down. So therefore you're reducing the sort of nutrient censor's which is going to likely translate into a reduced risk of cancer. But that's all you can really say. You can say that theoretically this should work, but whether it actually works, you couldn't say with any confidence, there's a few other things in terms of chemo-prevention.

[00:51:55.690] – Dr. Fung
So this was a term coined by the NH to talk about substances which will reduce cancer. And this is always interesting to people to say, well, if I eat this, I'm going to protect myself against cancer. And there's very little that actually is proven there. There's some data on metformin. Some metformin is used again in the longevity circles. It increases AMPK, which is actually one of the nutrient sensors. So it actually signals low food availability. So if you are on metformin for type two diabetes, it seems that there's a lower risk of cancer than other types of diabetes treatments. So if you're on if you're a Type two diabetic, maybe you should consider metformin. There's a little bit of data on that in terms of chemo-prevention. The other one that is interesting to me, but there's not a lot of data is also is green tea, because, again, a lot of these compounds have been studied mostly by the Japanese.

[00:52:58.370] – Dr. Fung
You drink a lot of green tea that it might reduce the risk of cancer. So some of the some of the data coming out of Japan are very interesting. But of course, it's not a randomized control trial. You can't say for sure that this is or isn't going to reduce cancer. But on the other hand, when you look at a chemo-prevention, you have to say, well, what are the risks of drinking green tea? And you have to say, well, almost nothing.

[00:53:25.780] – Dr. Fung
I mean, people drink five, six, seven cups of green tea a day. They don't seem to have any harmful effects and it's pretty cheap. It's just go to the grocery store, buy a big box of green tea. And so it's pretty, seems pretty safe. Seems like there's a fairly inexpensive and potentially you could lower your risk. So, again, as a chemotherapeutic, as a chemo preventative agent, it's probably one of the more interesting things.

[00:53:56.250] – Dr. Fung
But again, mostly I would. I would. That's all the science can say about that. So maintaining normal weight and getting back to the Obesity Code and the Diabetes Code, you know, I think that a rational strategy involves sort of reducing carbohydrates, intermittent fasting, sort of reducing snacks and reducing processed foods.

[00:54:16.510] – Allan
Dr. Fung, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:54:25.730] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, I think I think that those are the main things which I cover in these sort of these books, which is it all kind of comes back to the same sort of things, which is, you know, cutting out processed foods largely like it's not just the process carbohydrates, but they are the biggest culprit. But most processed foods are not going to be very good for you. So reducing processed foods, reducing the frequency of eating, because and this was different of course, in the 1900s versus the 2020s, we're all sort of more towards the obesity side than in the past. So therefore we should try and bring it back in order to be healthy.

[00:55:13.010] – Dr. Fung
And then more specifically with regards to cancer. I mean, I think that the main thing is really just sort of maintaining this balance of understanding of what it is so that we can, and it's not just diet. Of course, there's lots of other determinants, but also things such as avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking. And there's always these things. In terms of stress you should you know, it's probably not good, the chronic stress, because it's this chronic sort of damage that happens when your cortisol is always high. So sort of maintaining this balance of diet and also the lifestyle, which is going to keep you free of cancer.

[00:56:07.000] – Allan
Great. So, Dr. Fung, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, The Cancer Code or your other books, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:56:16.310] – Dr. Fung
Yeah, so you can go to my website, which is thefastingmethod.com. You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram. That's at Dr. Jason Fung. That's Dr Jason Fung. Those are great ways to get in touch. And of course you can get my books, The Cancer Code, The Obesity Code, and The Diabetes Code.

[00:56:34.880] – Allan
Well, Dr. Fung, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:56:38.100] – Dr. Fung
Thank you so much.

Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 2, 2020

How to use peptides safely with Dr. Miles Spar

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Dr. Miles Spar, the Medical Director for Vault Health is an expert in men's health. On Episode 458 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss peptides, what they are, how they work, and how to safely use them to improve your health and fitness.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:16.050] – Allan
Rachel, how you doing?

[00:02:18.120] – Rachel
Great. Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:20.850] – Allan
I'm doing good. You know, we're doing a lot of people might not know about the behind the scenes part of a podcast. We record these intros in this discussion sometimes a week or two or three ahead of when an actual episode airs. And so in this case, we're recording a few weeks ahead because I'm planning a trip to the United States to see family get my crap out of my daughter's garage and then, of course, to vote. And so I'm pretty excited about that.

[00:02:47.700] – Allan
You know, we got into covid. I was a little concerned. You know, my mother and her mother are not in the best of health and my stepmother isn't either. So, you know, with this thing and all the ramifications of being an at-risk person, you know, it's one of those things you're thinking about on a pretty regular basis when you're sitting around in your apartment with nothing else to do, which is why I go back and listen to that Slip-to-Success Episode, because that's really where my head was, is that I might not see our parents again.

[00:03:17.790] – Allan
So it's a little daunting, but I'm happy to be going back to get some of my stuff out of my daughter's garage and ship some of it down here. We started pricing that out. And it's you have to in your head, justify do I really want to pay that much to ship that thing, to have it down here? And I'm hopeful the answer for a lot of that is no. But you know how things go when you're trying to get rid of things that you own.

[00:03:41.850] – Allan
You end up toting them with you.

[00:03:43.680] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. I'm glad you get to come up and visit your family. It sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.080] – Allan
Well, how are things going for you?

[00:03:50.370] – Rachel
Oh, good, good. The weather's been great. It's been great for running in the mornings and we just got a new weight set for our gym. So I'm excited to unwrap everything and get to it.

[00:04:01.500] – Allan
OK, tell us about that.

[00:04:03.390] – Rachel
We bought an Olympic bar and a full set of weights, so we've got everything from forty-five down to two and a half and just excited to get it all out. It took about six or eight weeks I think, to get here. So we've been anxiously awaiting like a little much, but yeah, we can't wait to get it unwrapped.

[00:04:23.190] – Allan
Well, that's that's one of the things, as you know, covid came along and people wanted to start training at home. They're like, well, I could outfit a home gym, but you got to start, you know, figuring out the equipment and then you go to buy the equipment. Well, you're not the only one. And so a lot of these places stocked out. I was looking at a Concept2 rower because back in June, I didn't necessarily want to wait all the way until like January when I could go back and get because I have a little rower. It's not a Concept2. But I was thinking I'd just buy a Concept2 and ship that down here and then I'll sell my rower up there. But they had a waiting list and I was like, well, OK, I'll just if I, if I have a waiting list, I may as well wait. You know, it was a shame. So but that. Good, good, good. You have to let us know how it goes.

[00:05:07.050] – Rachel
For sure. Absolutely.

[00:05:08.400] – Allan
Post pictures on Facebook.

[00:05:10.140] – Rachel

[00:05:11.520] – Allan
All right. So one more thing. I do have to let you know, we're recording this interview, Dr. Spar on peptides. And just for full disclosure, Vault Health, which is the company that Dr. Spar founded and works for, is a sponsor of the show. So if you do visit Vault Health, I do want you to know that we get a little bit of a kickback on that if you schedule your call and get on your call.

[00:05:37.950] – Allan
They do. They do pay us for that referral, but it doesn't cost you any more. And I'm not telling you that's who you need to go to or that you even need to do peptides. But I wanted to have an episode out there because so many people will start hearing about this. And it sounds really magical and it sounds really cool, but there's some pitfalls. So how about we go ahead and get into the episode? And Rachel, I will be right back with you afterwards.


[00:06:46.140] – Allan
Dr. Spar, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:48.720] – Dr.Spar
Thanks, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:06:50.670] – Allan
You know, today we're going to talk about peptides. And I as I kind of follow the health and fitness space, I, I tend to put one foot out there in the area I call biohacking, just kind of know maybe what's going to be coming down the line five years, ten years down the line. But that curve is accelerating.

[00:07:12.600] – Allan
You used to hear about something and say, OK, when's that going to hit mainstream? And it would be a generation later, like with some medications. And then you'd hear about this new thing bodybuilders were doing and it would be mainstream maybe five years later. And now I can listen to a podcast like Ben Greenfield or Dave Asbury. And they were talking about SARMs a year ago, two years ago or three years ago.

[00:07:37.140] – Allan
And it was happening then and then. Now times, you know, I think a lot of the things that we're calling biohacking are actually coming so fast and getting mainstream so quickly with technology we have and the communications we have. It's really kind of amazing what's happening right now.

[00:07:54.330] – Dr.Spar
It is. It's exciting and a little bit overwhelming. So I love that you have the podcast because it's really hard to separate the wheat from the chaff and to know it's the what isn't, what's safe, what isn't and what's proven. And like you said, it's good when things move fast, but it also means sometimes we don't have all the data yet. So it's great to kind of talk about, well, what do we know and what do we not know that you need to watch out for?

[00:08:16.740] – Allan
Yeah, and even in 2020, we still have snake oil salesmen.

[00:08:21.370] – Dr.Spar

[00:08:22.170] – Allan
They come to town and try to sell us something that isn't going to help us at all.

[00:08:26.070] – Dr.Spar
Yes, especially on fitness. That's a big one. You know, one of the number ones where you get questionable recommendations and products.

[00:08:33.870] – Allan
Because we're eager to do something and everybody likes that easy button concept of what's what's the one thing I can do. And I'd love to say, yeah, say maybe one day science will figure that out, but we don't quite have it. But peptides are really, really interesting to me because you're literally going in and the way I understand it and correct me if I'm saying this wrong, but I can think of your genetic code is like an operating system for our body.

[00:09:03.030] – Allan
And in general, it's going to function and do certain things. Yet we can introduce things like peptides in there, which then basically turns on and off or dimmer switch. However, you want to kind of look at it in your head the way that our genetic code is working and cause our body to do things good or bad. I mean, but most of what we're going to try to do here is some good.

[00:09:26.610] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, I think it's a good way of putting it, actually, because peptides, basically they're signaling molecules. Right? So they're different from exogenous hormones or hormones you take in or separately, even though it's confusing to some peptides or hormones. But in general, when we think about hormones, we think of instead of relying on the body to produce something like testosterone, we're going to give testosterone because the body isn't producing enough or for whatever reason or even using growth hormone, which we'll talk about later, just taking extra growth hormone.

[00:09:54.660] – Dr.Spar
And that's a little more of a big hammer, right? Because you're just basically saying, yeah, we're not signaling the genetic code, like you said. We're just basically saying, yeah, whatever you genes turn off, we got this. Peptides are a little more elegant. They rely on the body's own natural rhythms and their natural processes of when they're going to produce something like a hormone. And yet it helps to coax them to maybe do that at a little higher volume.

[00:10:20.400] – Dr.Spar
Just like you said, I love that the dimmer switch. It's a great way of putting it.

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[00:11:58.710] – Allan
Now, I remember reading about SARMS a few years ago and thinking, OK, this is kind of interesting cutting edge stuff, but you had to basically, if you went, looked online for what SARMS were, they'd say, yeah, we'll sell you this. But it's not for human consumption. You know, what? Why are you selling it to someone that's not a scientist? But they were. What's the difference between SARMS and peptides?

[00:12:21.240] – Dr.Spar
Sure. They're actually they're actually really different. So peptides are chains of amino acids, proteins, which are what most enzymes and a lot of hormones and a lot of substances in the bodies are large chains of amino acids. But peptides are smaller chains of about 50 amino acids or less. And like I said, they're signalling molecules. So they're naturally produced in the body. And that's a key thing because SARMs are synthetic peptides are all naturally produced in the body. There's about 7000 that are naturally produced and some of them are also made available to use as well to give yourself or to take.

[00:12:57.750] – Dr.Spar
And about 60 are actually approved by the FDA. And these have the same type of impacts as hormones in that whatever their direct thing that they are coaxing along will cause that thing they're coaxing along to have a broader impact. So the peptides themselves are very elegant. They're very specific to like one hormone or one chain in a pathway that they will stimulate. But it's really only that one thing that they'll stimulate. So, for example, we'll talk later about peptides that stimulate growth hormone release.

[00:13:31.230] – Dr.Spar
That's really all they do. They don't have by their actions. And then they rely on the impact of growth hormone to have a bunch of actions and example of peptides that many people might have heard of are these GLP1 agonist for diabetes like Victoza or Semaglutide or Ozempic? These are newer medications for diabetes that help with weight loss that are great. And they really only work on this glucagon-like peptide that they stimulate the release of and that then helps a lot with insulin sensitivity.

[00:14:01.200] – Dr.Spar
Whereas SARMs. They're are actually synthetic. They're small molecules like peptides. That's really the only thing that's the same. And the reason that they're selective, like we used to have SERMs, a selective estrogen receptor modulators, the SARMs are selective androgen receptor said the surge or things like tamoxifen and related estrogens. These are ones that are related to androgens, but they're selective in that. Hormones like androgens are hormones by definition means a hormone has impacts all over the body.

Right. So that's what defines a hormone when you learn in med school a hormone, basically something that goes everywhere to every kind of tissue. So SARMs say, well, we don't really want to have impact all over the body for certain things that we're really trying to build muscle. We want something to be androgenic and muscle, but we don't want it to affect the liver and the kidney and the testes and shut down testicle production of testosterone. We want to just to really focus on building muscle or maybe also fat to lose some fat.

[00:14:57.630] – Dr.Spar
So that's what SARMs are meant to do. They're actually broader molecules that look a lot like bigger hormones, but they're designed to specifically have less widespread impact than a whole hormone or whole steroid would be.

[00:15:15.690] – Allan
It was interesting because when I was first reading about SARMs, I think, you know, the broad interest in this was how do I gain muscle? How do I lose fat? How to get more growth hormone, which also helps improve both of those. It was interesting to find out that there are peptides that can actually improve our immune function, which I think at the time of COVID. That's huge. Can you talk a little bit about that peptide or those the class of peptides and what they do?

[00:15:43.680] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, absolutely. That's a big interest right now. And there's some really good studies on some of these peptides helping the immune system. I don't want to say that these are cures for COVID, but these are anything that really we can make specific claims related to COVID about because there haven't been studies were uncovered. However, there are some good studies in some of these with virus in general in helping boost the immune system as it protects us from viruses. So the main ones are ones that are initially produced from the thymus gland.

[00:16:14.880] – Dr.Spar
We all have a thymus gland, but it involutes as we age in that thymus gland is what really produces a lot of our immune system. Cells are T-cells are named after our thymus land and those are the some of the important cells, our immune system. And they also help not only just produce these T-cells, but they help tell the T-cells how to operate and how to do what they do best. And yet over time, that thymus gland, like I said, invalutes.

[00:16:38.280] – Dr.Spar
And so it gets less active. So these peptides, especially one called Thymosin Alpha One, and you'll see it abbreviated TA1, really is something that naturally is produced in the thymus clan, but it's produced less and less as we age. So when you're over 40, have less of it. Yet it's very helpful to boost this type. The immunity called cell-mediated immunity, these T-cells, immunity that are really the most important arm of our immune system against viruses, we have like the antibody arm, which are great for bacteria and help a little bit with viruses.

[00:17:06.930] – Dr.Spar
And that's what vaccines help with. But really for viruses, we really need this thymus that this T-cell arm, the cell-mediated immunity arm. And that's what times an alpha one helps, helps boost production of these T-cells and helps them mature better and helps teach them what to go against, what not to do. So they're actually used in autoimmune diseases because it helps teach the immune system. This Thymosin Alpha One does teaches the immune system.

[00:17:32.340] – Dr.Spar
What's something that really we want to attack and what's our own self that we don't want to attack? And that's an autoimmune disease, right when you're attacking yourself. So they're used in viruses and autoimmunity and allergies. And then they also help, even with chronic infections like Lyme is a big one or chronic fatigue syndrome. That is unclear at Epstein Bar, which is another virus or Lyme.

So, Thymosin Alpha One is the main one that we see very well studied. It's actually used in as a pharmaceutical. It's approved in over 70 countries around the world. So it's not a way out there. It doesn't happen to be FDA approved in this country for a lot of things, but it's a very safe peptide to use.

[00:18:10.980] – Dr.Spar
The other one you hear about less so, but to some degree it's called Thymosin Beta Four. So I mentioned Thymosin Alpha One and this one is Thymosin Beta Four. That also has some immune-modulating activities, but that's more around cancer care that's used. And so I would really say for listeners that are interested in boosting immunity in a really sophisticated way, the Thymosin Alpha One is the way to go.

[00:18:35.680] – Allan
Another area which I found kind of interesting and as I was reading the story on this is the guy just sort of accidentally somewhat overdosed, I guess. He shot himself up some peptides and he found himself in a position of excitement for about eight hours.

[00:18:54.300] – Dr.Spar

[00:18:55.270] – Allan
And so there are actually peptides that can improve your libido. Could you talk to them?

[00:19:00.300] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, this is really exciting. And it's something that, like you said, it was found accidentally. So it's interesting. One of the hormones that leads to melanin in your skin and helps to promote skin pigment actually as a precursor to ACTH, which is a hormone that many of your listeners might know about, comes from the hypothalamus pituitary gland that can produce this hormone that produces skin darkening, but also the precursor to that hormone that produces skin darkening is called Melanotan.

[00:19:35.730] – Dr.Spar
And that also actually helps with libido and erectile function from essentially acting way from a nerve stimulating erections as opposed to like Viagra and PDE5 inhibitors. Those all help promote vascular flow, right? So they help with the blood vessel part of erections. These help with the central nervous system being turned on. So it's all a nerve part of not just erections, but libido. And in fact, when they study this and they found the form that doesn't cause as much skin darkening because the first form just cause a lot of skin darkening and the libido isn't really helpful unless you really want to have really, really, really dark skin.

[00:20:14.070] – Dr.Spar
So they found this basically it's Melanotan two, and they found this substance called PT141 or Bremelanotide, which is a derivative of Melanotan two and works the same way and stimulates this libido very strongly. They actually have it as an FDA approved medication for women with hypoactive sexual desire, especially post-menopause, because it works in men and women, because it's working in the brain, it's not working in the penis. It's working in the brain. I'm getting you turned on and that helps libido and it helps with erections.

[00:20:45.330] – Dr.Spar
And especially helpful, though, off label, so to speak, for guys who have maybe tried Viagra or PDE5 inhibitors. And they're still not getting good erections because they're just not into it. And it's more of a mojo thing than just a blood flow thing. So these are very powerful and getting you turned on, you inject them or you do an intranasal an hour or so before sex.

[00:21:07.740] – Dr.Spar
And like I said, it's an FDA approved drug for women. For men, we use it as well. It has some side effects to watch for. It can cause a little bit of nausea that's usually fleeting and some flushing. And it's not recommended for guys with really high blood pressure. But other than that, it's really well-tolerated and it works wonders in guys who are really frustrated because they've tried ordering Viagra online and they're still like, yeah, whatever.

[00:21:29.820] – Dr.Spar
I don't even want to take it because I'm just not into it or I take it and I still don't really get an erection because I'm just I'm not into it. And this is works at that at that central nervous system level.

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[00:22:56.560] – Allan
Now, I guess, you know, and of course, this is going to be the exciting one, is that there are quite a few peptides that can actually increase our growth hormone, which is another one of those hormones that declines as we age.

[00:23:11.710] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, and growth hormone know, I'm sure your listeners know, growth hormone and it's kind of like the fountain of youth in a way, because it really does. Growth hormone is really responsible for muscle growth and fat loss and helping us feel more energetic, helping us sleep better, helping us with brain cognition. And it does decline as you age. It's also impacted by lifestyle factors. So things that help boost your own production of growth hormone, like getting enough sleep and intermittent fasting, are really helpful.

[00:23:41.630] – Dr.Spar
You produce most of it at night when you sleep. So if you eat a lot of food close to bed, you're going to blunt your production growth hormone. If you don't get enough sleep, you're going to blunt your production of growth hormone. So anything you do first has to be on this foundation of watching, not eating a lot. Ideally, then you might intermittent fasting and making sure you're getting enough sleep and managing stress because all that impacts it. But even with all that, some guys get frustrated that not doing the same workout I've been doing, but now I'm making less gains or I'm losing muscle mass and they get testosterone checked and that's fine.

[00:24:12.730] – Dr.Spar
So then they think about growth hormone. The problem is, I've never really advocated using growth hormone itself because I kind of said at the beginning of the show, it's not very elegant to just take over of growth hormone and give your body a big boost of it, because the way it works is in this pulsatile fashion, it works best when it's produced a lot at night. And then that's when your body's, say, recovering from a workout and responding to that workout by building up bigger muscle cells and building up muscle and hypertrophy in the muscle. That's how you get bigger muscle.

[00:24:42.640] – Dr.Spar
And then it goes down as the day goes on during the day and comes up at various times in the day. And you want that normal circadian rhythm of production. If you just give yourself HGH, human growth hormone, it kind of takes over that and it actually then makes the growth hormone work less well over time because the body gets kind of sensitized to it. So that's where peptides are much more elegant because all they do, the peptides that help stimulate growth hormones, own natural production, get their effect by relying on that same natural pulsatile flow.

[00:25:13.120] – Dr.Spar
So giving peptides that produce a little more growth hormone from their own body relies on the body's natural production and doesn't make the body get sensitised to it, doesn't destroy that normal circadian rhythm, and also doesn't come with some of the risks that we worry about of constantly adding growth hormone, like a concern about cancer risk or blood sugar being too high. So these are really helpful and safe ways to boost your own body's natural production of growth hormone.

[00:25:40.630] – Allan
Yeah, it's the more I read into hormones, the more I actually realize I'm never going to fully understand the endocrine system and how it works, because it's just I mean, of course, there's entire professions, entire doctors that just focus on endocrine. So it makes sense that it's not something I'm going to just pick up from reading a few books and articles.

[00:26:00.940] – Dr.Spar
No, you have to go to the doctor for sure. And I'm just going to go in the weeds a little more on the growth hormone. What about some specific so listeners can really know what to ask for. And again, this is all things you do through your medical practitioner. You can certainly do it with us at Vault Health or someone else, but don't do this on your own. But so it does get a little complicated growth hormone. So the way it works is this your body, right, stimulates its own production growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

[00:26:29.470] – Dr.Spar
However, the peptides that help release that, if you just take a peptide that is called the growth hormone-releasing hormone that just tells the body make more growth hormone. And the examples of that are like, Sermorelin people might have heard of or Tesamorelin, which is also which is actually a pharmaceutical called Egrifta approved for HIV lipodystrophy and or something called CJC1295, which is the newest generation. Those are great and they actually do help and they can help with decreasing fat and increasing muscle and energy and even cognition.

[00:27:04.510] – Dr.Spar
However, the body will naturally see, Oh wait we're stimulating too much growth hormone. We're going to put a brake on that. And the brain will make something called somatostatin, which basically, “statin” is stopping kind of and “somato” is body. So it's like stop this body-building hormone because we don't want a lot of growth hormone all the time. So you so it stops the release of that extra growth hormone that was produced. So you want to also take something that helps overcome a little bit of that somatostatin so that what extra growth hormone was produced actually gets released.

[00:27:37.300] – Dr.Spar
So that's another category, these first growth hormone peptides and the main ones called Ipamorelin. And so you couple that with like the CJC1295 so that the CJC1295 coaxes the body, again it's a signaling molecule, make a little more growth hormone when it's appropriate to make growth hormone. And then the Ipamorelin says yeah you somatostatin trying to stop the release that chillout, let's release some of this and it together works really well and helping make sure you produce a little more and you release it at the appropriate time.

[00:28:12.630] – Allan
Yeah, and so once you start getting to stacks and things like that, we're trying to fine tune a human genome. We're trying to get some improvement, some optimization out of our aging as we go. But there are side effects. As you mentioned, the one for libido caused some skin darkening. There are some things you have to consider.

[00:28:41.060] – Dr.Spar

[00:28:41.820] – Allan
This isn't a do it yourself at home chemistry experiment.

[00:28:45.180] – Dr.Spar
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, a lot of them, they all have their own because these are really elegant molecules. And so they all have very specific effects, like I said, different from bigger molecules or bigger proteins. They all have an effect on kind of one pathway. They all have different side effects. And so it's really important to talk to your practitioner about this specific peptide that we're talking about. What are the potential side effects?

[00:29:07.830] – Dr.Spar
So like some of the growth hormone ones, you can get a little water retention. You can even get a little like numbness or tingling in your arms. And usually if you decrease the dose that goes away. But we used to see that in higher doses, people were using like almost like a carpal tunnel syndrome. For most people, they help with sleep, but for some people, it causes them sleeplessness because it gets some kind of revved up.

[00:29:31.380] – Dr.Spar
So that just we usually say, well, use it a couple hours earlier and that can help with that. The ones that also for growth hormone can raise your blood sugar a little bit. So that's something to watch for, not to the point of creating diabetes. But if you already have high blood sugar, it's something to watch for. And then, like I said, the ones for libido, the Bremelanotide can cause a little nausea and a lot of people. But it's a very short acting and it's not to the point of vomiting. It's just like a flushing kind of wave. But it can also cause some swelling as well.

[00:30:00.180] – Dr.Spar
So, yeah, they each have their own set of side effects. The big one is, like I said, high blood pressure with bremelanotide to watch for and then the darkening with that. But in general, they're really well tolerated. They're very safe. They're not causing side effects you don't aren't aware of because they're so small and elegant and targeted that they're not causing liver damage and kidney damage that can happen if you start using even some SARMs that aren't so safe, that are synthetic or some growth hormone itself or some of these other bigger, more wide-ranging effect type molecules.

[00:30:34.830] – Allan
Dr. Spar, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:30:42.360] – Dr.Spar
Well, so have a really hard time narrowing it down to three. So I might add. But I'll tell you the first one and I did a TEDx talk about this, it sounds really, really woo woo. But it's really the most important is the first tactic to being fit is why do you want to be fit? You know, the first tactic to being healthy is why do you want your health for? Because as soon as there's a donut available, when you had said, I'm not going to eat donuts, unless you're clear why you committed to not having donuts and being more healthy, you're going to eat that donut.

[00:31:14.610] – Dr.Spar
You know, you need to really be clear on. I want to be healthier for my kids to be a role model. I want to be a better partner and feel more sexy. For me to feel more sexy, I need to have a little bit better physique or I want to feel stronger so I can beat people on the basketball court, whatever it is.

[00:31:32.040] – Dr.Spar
Why is it that you want to be fit and healthy? You need to literally sit down and think about it? It doesn't take that long, but studies show people who have a clear sense of why they're doing so, they are much more likely to do it. So that's number one.

[00:31:44.550] – Dr.Spar
The second I would say we hear a lot about diet and exercise and those are important. So I'm not going to include those. Since we all know that, I'd say stress and sleep are the other two and I worked with NBA basketball players is like an integrative medicine consultant. And those are the two biggest issues for them. And these are obviously very high-level fit guys. And they would find what would undermine their fitness was if they weren't managing stress. We talked a lot about apps that you can download, like Headspace or Calm are the ones how manage stress or journaling or doing some kind of meditation or prayer or even something that helps you every day, even if it's five or ten minutes. Tell your body I'm not in fight or flight mode, because if you're trying to be fair, fight or flight motos, your body.

[00:32:26.880] – Dr.Spar
Oh, no, no blood to the muscles. We need to we need to be supporting responding and we're going to store up sugar as fat because we're in crisis. So we're not going to be making sure that we're lean. We're making sure that we're just able to respond and not manage our immune system and our digestion. So managing stress is key. And then sleep is a huge issue for guys, especially where they think, oh, yeah, I can get away with five, six hours a night.

[00:32:52.320] – Dr.Spar
And really about five percent of the population can deal with less than seven hours a night on average. Ninety-five percent really need seven to nine hours to not tell the body we need to be in crisis mode and we need to store more fat. And you're just not going to be as healthy and you're going to have early cognitive changes. So. I would say identify why you want to be healthier, fit, manage your stress and make sure you're getting good quality sleep.

[00:33:17.930] – Allan
Perfect. Love those. Thank you.

[00:33:20.270] – Allan
Now you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast/vault and Dr. Spar or one of his fellow doctors there will have a free consult to talk to you about peptides and some of the other opportunities. Do you want to kind of go a little bit into what the call is about and how they work?

[00:33:38.390] – Dr.Spar
Sure. Yeah, absolutely. You know, we created Vault Health because we felt there needs to be mental health specialists that are more available. Women have gynecologists, which is great and very needed, but guys haven't had like somebody who gets guys. So a lot of guys don't have anywhere to go when they want to perform better. I want to be more fit. I don't want to just be not broken. They go to the regular doctor and they get an annual physical to make sure they're not broken.

[00:34:02.390] – Dr.Spar
But usually that doctor isn't really looking further to how can I perform better? How can I really make sure that I am not feeling my age as much as I do? And that's what we're all about. So we are a national network of men's health specialists that really get guys who are trying to achieve goals that better. We break down performance into physical performance, sexual performance, and cognitive performance because those are the three areas we really see guys wanting help with.

[00:34:28.310] – Dr.Spar
And then we find out what is it that you want help with? Let's look and see. Do we need to do any bloodwork to look further or have you already had bloodwork done and then you don't need it? And then is it hormone therapy like testosterone or peptide therapy? Like a lot of the ones we've talked about, we have other ones we didn't even mention that help with brain health or are there other things to help with energy, to help with sexual function, libido?

[00:34:48.380] – Dr.Spar
So we really offer a suite of solutions that are personalized to what that guy really wants. But it all starts with that telehealth visit with a men's health specialist.

[00:34:57.770] – Allan
All right. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/vault if you want to learn more about Vault Health and if you want to get to the show notes for this episode, they're at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/458.

[00:35:10.850] – Allan
Dr. Spar, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:35:15.470] – Dr.Spar
Thank you, Allan. It's great. I really appreciate it.

Post Show/Recap

[00:35:23.190] – Allan
Rachel, welcome back.

[00:35:24.480] – Rachel
Yeah, how are you doing, Allan?

[00:35:26.490] – Allan
Good, good. I'm really glad I had that opportunity to have that conversation with Dr. Spar, because, I've always said on here I don't like the term biohacking because most of the biomarkers that you'll hear out there and I'm not going to name names, but the ones that are on that cutting edge, a lot of them are trying this stuff on their own before they really know what it is.

[00:35:50.640] – Allan
And we can look back at bodybuilder's and say, OK, you know, they're bodybuilders in the 60s, 70s and 80s and 90s that we're doing all these steroids. And some of them are just fine. One of them became governor of California and had that great acting career. And, you know, they're fine and did well into their 70s. Others weren't so fine. Some of them had heart attacks. Some of them had roid rage issues.

[00:36:13.800] – Allan
There's a whole variety of issues. And until enough of this stuff happens, until it's gone on and enough people have been engaged using these things, we really don't know how someone's going to be effected. That's how clinical trials work, is that they start out with a few people and then they add a few more people and then see that it's working. And then they put a whole bunch of people through. And when I say a whole bunch, we're talking tens of thousands.

[00:36:38.520] – Allan
And then from that they start gathering information. Is this safe? Will this kill you? And then that's where you get that whole legal mumbo jumbo at the end of an ad for the purple pill or whatever is because this is X number of people had this problem. X number of people committed suicide or had thoughts of suicide. X number of people had that problem. So how you're going to be affected by potential chemical? I think that you're putting your body in this case that happens to be an amino acid.

[00:37:08.550] – Allan
So it sounds benign, but steroids seemed kind of benign when they first started using them. And sometimes they're just not. And especially when you start getting into things like growth hormone, because there are things we don't mind growing. We don't mean growing that muscle and bone and those types of things. But there's things we don't want growing like cancer. And I'm not saying that peptides cause cancer or that peptides could promote cancer. I'm just saying that when you go to these places online and you go to order it and you receive it, I'm going to tell you right now they'll tell you it's not for human consumption, it's for testing purposes.

[00:37:49.080] – Allan
And for the most part, it should be animal testing. I think we're past the animal testing stage at this point with peptides, because I was hearing about peptides five, six years ago. So there's a lot more known about them now than there was then. But you still want to be working with a medical professional. So rather you're working with Dr. Spar at Vault Health or you find someone else that you want to work with on these. It's important for you to work with the doctor, make sure you're getting these things from a reputable compounding pharmacy and play it safe.

[00:38:20.040] – Allan
You know, we all want to get better. But I can tell you, there is no magic pill. These things can help, but there is no magic pill.

[00:38:28.440] – Rachel
Isn't that the truth? Yeah. Peptide sound really intriguing. It sounds like another interesting supplement that's worth trying. And as he had mentioned about some already existing that are tailored for improving immune function. That sounds wonderful, but I have to agree that with any supplementation, it's always best to have the supervision of a doctor. And it's not even the known side effects. There's also unknown side effects and you just don't know how you as an individual patient are going to react.

[00:38:59.550] – Rachel
So that's why it's best to have a doctor keeping an eye on you as you try something new. But, yeah, be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe in another couple of years as they get better with the science and use of it.

[00:39:12.570] – Allan
Yeah, and that's what's happening right now. You've got doctors in a clinical setting or you've got doctors like with Vault Health that get on the phone with you. They'll do blood tests where they need to do blood tests. They'll listen to what your health history is and other things that you're going through. And then they'll be able to prescribe something that is appropriate to you. You'll then receive it knowing you can trust what you're getting. You can try it.

[00:39:38.190] – Allan
But like with everything, you know, somebody will try a medicine and it doesn't work. And so the doctor will say, well, let's change the prescription and try it this way. This is going to be no different than that. You're just basically trying a peptide rather than a medicine. But that's not to say there's not some negative effects to using peptides.

[00:39:58.290] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. You know, as as we do get older, these little things crop up and it's you know, you just need to make sure you're not trading one set of problems for another set of problems with the different supplementation peptides or anything else. And again, I still refer to the experts who might know you a little better as a patient and what you can tolerate and in the can they can just keep an eye on. You as you try these things.

[00:40:23.970] – Allan
Absolutely. So, Rachel, we are rolling up on the end of the year for Thanksgiving. Actually, I think as we're recording this, I mean, as this is going on, I think we've already had Thanksgiving in Canada. So I apologize, Canada, that we're a little bit late on the gun with your Thanksgiving, but you can save these recipes and use them next year. OK, I have one of my favorite recipes that I want to share.

[00:40:53.490] – Allan
It's a cranberry sauce, but I'm going to let you go ahead and go first, Rachel.

[00:40:57.480] – Rachel
Well, I like to have biscuits with my Thanksgiving dinner, which is strange for a Keto person, but I have a new recipe that we just tried recently. Mike bought an airfryer, so we're new to the whole air fryer implements and Keto Connect has an air fryer biscuit recipe that is based with almond flour and cheddar cheese and sour cream. And it was really easy to put together and really easy to use in an airfryer. But if you don't have an airfryer, I've got another recipe that is based with mostly cheese and a little bit of almond flour.

[00:41:39.690] – Rachel
It includes cheddar cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and sour cream. And with a little bit of almond flour in that one, I baked in some muffin tins and they came out great. Even my family, who are not keto, really enjoy these biscuits as well. So I'll send you these recipes so that you can post them in your show notes.

[00:42:00.450] – Allan
Awesome. Thank you. All right. So on cranberry sauce, to me, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without a turkey and without cranberry sauce, I can do without the stuffing. I can even do without the mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash as we did last week or even without the biscuits. But I want the cranberry sauce and I want the turkey. They just hand in glove. I can't help but combination.

[00:42:26.040] – Allan
And so here's my basic thing, OK, cranberry sauce has everybody can have it kind of a different feel for how they want their cranberry sauce. You can buy the cranberry sauce that's mostly berries and very little gelatin, and you can buy some that are just about practically just gelatin. OK, so you're going to want to play with this a little bit to get it to the texture that you want. So I'm going to talk in my terms of the texture I like, which is more of the whole berries, more berries. OK, you basically want to buy a bag of the cranberries, they sell a 12 ounce bag.

[00:42:59.010] – Allan
It's pretty easy. Just rinse them off, put them in, get a saucepan going off of a water about a cup of water, and then you're going to want to put about put a packet of gelatin in there. So if you like a little bit of gelatin, you can make it a little gelatin. And so up to a packet, OK, with no more than that, get the water boiling and then drop the berries in there. Now, the berries will go anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes at ten minutes is about the time they start to pop. And that's what you want. You want the berries popped. For me, by the time they get to fifteen, it's mush. So now we're just doing the jelly kind. So I'm going to be erring on the side of ten minutes. It's in there boiling and I'm stirring. And then, you know, there you go. Once I get it just about toward a point. So the cranberries are just popping for me. For you. If you want it more gelatin, you may put you may let it go a little bit longer.

[00:43:56.130] – Allan
But when you got about maybe just I would say a minute left, you drop the chia seeds in there, OK? And that's about a quarter of a cup of seeds now at the Chia Seeds do is they just give it kind of a little bit of a different texture, OK, and then when I start doing is I take it off the heat and I start stirring in confectioner's Swerve. OK, so this is an artificial sweetener. Realize, you know, sometimes you want something, you're not going to want the cranberry sauce without the sweet to back it up.

[00:44:26.040] – Allan
It's not just telling you. Right. So you start putting in this Swerve. Now I try to stay closer to like half a cup, but you can go up to as much as three quarters of a cup with the confectioner's Swerve. OK, so you just stir that in and I'll stir in a little bit and then I'll taste it and then I'm OK. This is good for me and now I need to get a little sweeter because everybody else will want to eat it. And then you start on in there. Now, by the time you do all this, the gelatin is going to start to be mixed in.

[00:44:55.470] – Dr.Spar
You know, the gelatins in there, the water is in there. Your cranberries are all set. You've got the chia seeds in there. There's one other option that I'll add. And it really depends on what else we have with dinner. But some people like walnuts, crushed walnuts in there. And so you if you want, you can add walnuts to get the additional texture that you want, put it in a glass bowl and set it in the refrigerator.

[00:45:22.010] – Allan
For about an hour and then it should set and there you go, you've got cranberry sauce and depending again, if you add that the nuts in there, you could have as much as eight servings. But without the nuts, it's probably going to work out to around six.

[00:45:36.500] – Rachel
That sounds wonderful. I have to give that a try for sure.

[00:45:39.170] – Allan
Yeah, it's something and it's one of those things, like with most recipes, I do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then you just fill it out. So I don't really have exact measurements for a lot of these things and I apologize for that. I'm not really a recipe writer. I'm a sit down at the stove and just play and then but, you know, having done some of these things over and over and over again, I have a general good idea about how much of stuff to put in it.

[00:46:03.860] – Allan
But just play with it if you like it, a little bit more gelatin to put more gelatin in it and let the berries go longer. If you want a little bit more berry and maybe a little less gelatin and don't cook the berries as long but the chia seeds going in there and then just enough sweetener. And then of course, if you love walnuts like I do, then you put the walnuts in there, a good, healthy, fat kind of round this whole thing out.

[00:46:31.070] – Rachel

[00:46:31.820] – Allan
All right. So anything else we need to go over, Rachel, before we call it a day?

[00:46:37.430] – Rachel
No, I'm good for today.

[00:46:39.410] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll see you next week.

[00:46:41.930] – Rachel
Yep, I know.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 26, 2020

How to become male 2.0 with Dr. Tracy Gapin

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

When men become proactive with their health, they become what Dr. Tracy Gapin calls Male 2.0. On this episode we discuss his book Male 2.0 and learn more about endocrine disruptors and peptides.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:18.690] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:20.560] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:22.800] – Allan
Doing a little better. They finally gave us our Saturdays back and they changed their mind and said the islands could have their Saturdays. And everybody is speculating that they were afraid if we got more days available to us than other people, that those people would just travel here to spend their weekends.

[00:02:41.890] – Allan
And they don't really want people doing that. But they they did decide to give us the weekend back, which was really nice because I was able to go in and get a good long walk in, see parts of the island I haven't seen yet because I just haven't been up that way that far. But I found my limit, you know, I found my spot. I was not going be able to probably go much further than that because four hours and five minutes on your feet as well.

[00:03:06.350] – Rachel
That's a long day. Yeah, for sure. So but I enjoyed it.

[00:03:10.180] – Allan
I enjoyed getting out and got a lot of sunshine and a beautiful day in the jungle. And the cows, most cows got free and we're walking down the road looking around. Yeah. So it's interesting all around. So what are you been up to.

[00:03:26.230] – Rachel
Probably the same thing actually over the weekend. I did two long runs. I told you I was going to get back to double digits and I did. And I did some long runs over the weekend. So today is kind of a rest day.

[00:03:37.970] – Allan
Good rest days are good. I'd say it's kind of a rest day for me to had a lot going on. I just didn't really have time to put in a good. It's weird. I don't like getting out walking if I can't do two hours.

[00:03:50.680] – Rachel
I understand that. I do understand that.

[00:03:53.380] – Allan
If I can't get to a part of the island, it's just gorgeous. Then it's like, you know, it's just not as much it's not as much fun. So and it doesn't it's not that it takes me two hours. It's just once I get to about the 45 minute part, 45 to 50 minutes, that's when I start getting the prettier beaches. And so, you know, just that point, I don't really want to turn around, but I, I do sometimes.

[00:04:18.250] – Allan
But, you know, because I know once I get that next mile in the just the beaches are just that much prettier. So it's really hard for me to to pull it back in but rest day to day and I'll hit it tomorrow.

[00:04:30.360] – Rachel
Awesome. Sounds great.

[00:04:31.840] – Allan
All right. So let's introduce our guest.


[00:04:35.080] – Allan
Our guest today is a world renowned men's health and performance expert, professional speaker, entrepreneur and author. He has over 20 years of experience focused on providing Fortune 500 executives, business leaders, entrepreneurs and athletes, a personalized path to optimizing their health and performance. With no further ado, here's Dr. Tracy Gapin.

[00:04:57.120] – Allan
Dr. Gapin, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:59.890] – Dr. Gapin
Hey, Allan, thanks so much for having me today.

[00:05:02.830] – Allan
The name of your book is Male 2.0: Cracking the Code to Limitless Health and Vitality. And, I think everybody aspires to be a better version of themselves, but we don't always have the tools or the know how to get there. And I guess as you wrote this book, and it's something that's been kind of top of mind for me, is that you just at the very beginning of the book, kind of just grab us by the collar and say, dammit, grow up, man.

[00:05:30.550] – Allan
You know, talking about covid-19 and all the things that we're going through right now, now, more than ever, men have to start paying attention to their health.

[00:05:39.880] – Dr. Gapin
Sure. Yeah. You know that I use the term Male 2.0 as really a contrast to what men have done up until now. And that is now 1.0. And you and I spoke briefly before we started about how men don't typically go to the doctor until there's something wrong or their wife is nagging them or there's an acute problem, like they have a disease, a kidney stone, a cancer, or something. Or more commonly when they start to have some issues with their sexual function, sexual health concerns.

[00:06:13.390] – Dr. Gapin
And so what male 2.0 is all about is really shifting the mindset of men to focus on proactively optimizing their health before disease sets in. And we could talk about how we do that in a moment. But the key is to understand that guys need to take control, take charge, own their health, and do something about it in a proactive way before it's too late. And that's what Male 1.0 is waiting until disease sets in. Now, 2.0 is being proactive and taking charge.

[00:06:49.000] – Allan
Yeah, because our current health care system is designed for sick care. It's not really designed for health care. But, that's when one of the cool things that I've noticed that's changed in the last product, the last ten years is there's a higher emphasis on well care. There's thee's more opportunities than ever for a man to go in and talk to a doctor and start doing protocols that are going to get them healthier.

[00:07:14.140] – Dr. Gapin
Sure. Exactly. And, we could talk. We can call that. Preventive medicine, we can call it functional medicine, we can call it personalized precision medicine, but it's really about optimizing yourself and optimizing your whole human system. Men think that all they need is testosterone because that's what's kind of drilled into your head from all these T clinics that are on every corner now. And the key is to understand that if we're going to optimize our health and have amazing energy and feel confident how we look and feel, you have to go well beyond testosterone and focus on stress, which is a big issue right now with covid, especially,

Sleep quality of sleep. Almost every man I see has struggles with poor quality and or quantity of sleep nutrition. What should you eat and when should you be eating it? Looking at our detox and our body's ability to clear toxins, our environment, our fitness, our mindset is a big part as well. You an I spoke briefly before about, you know, limiting beliefs. And and so it's putting all these pieces together into what we call a systems based approach or call it a comprehensive approach, or it's really looking at the whole human system as a complex network of different parts.

[00:08:33.560] – Dr. Gapin
And you have to focus on all of it or else you're wasting your time.

[00:08:37.820] – Allan
I think that's that's the unfortunately the approach I think a lot of us will take. You know, well, we go out there and say, OK, well, I need to I need to exercise. So we go out and we get some shoes on and we get out and we start doing the jogging and we just don't see the change. The knees hurt the ankles hurt them all hot and sweaty. Now I take a shower and I can feel good about that, but I didn't really change my health significantly.

[00:09:02.090] – Allan
And so it almost seems a little too hard. And then I was you had it in the book and I actually saw it on on one of the YouTube channels that you had a speech on that that you were just talking about how low T has just become this epidemic thing men are dealing with. So, obviously, if they know that, that's probably the problem, fatigue, you're lethargic, you don't have any energy.

[00:09:27.890] – Allan
Things aren't working the way they're supposed to be working. You're not sleeping. You're not gaining muscle. You're losing muscle. You're putting on body fat, all those things. We know that testosterone helps us not have a problem. I was just shocked when you can say that free testosterone, a male now at a given age, has 45% less testosterone than we did 15 years ago. That's crazy. We're becoming women.

[00:09:57.030] – Dr. Gapin
Yeah, you're exactly right. And we could talk about the causes of it. But make no mistake about it, the testosterone levels in men are plummeting. Free testosterone, which is the bioavailable form of it, is even worse. And that's causing all the I shouldn't say necessarily causing it. It's a big part of all the health issues that men are experiencing now. And the mistake is what you just mentioned is to think that, well, if I just go get a testosterone shot, that solves the problem.

[00:10:26.900] – Dr. Gapin
And I can't tell you how many men and I see on a daily basis who come in and they're getting testosterone shots from the place down the street. Forty five bucks every two weeks getting the shot. And I still feel like crap. And I'll be like, well, what are you doing for your sleep and your stress? And you know what? You should be eating based on your genetics and. Well, the answer is no, no, no, no.

[00:10:47.720] – Dr. Gapin
And and so it's understanding that that as massive a problem as low testosterone has become, if we don't address the underlying causes of it and the other cofounding variables as well, then you're not going to get the success that you're looking for

[00:11:05.090] – Allan
That kind of leads me to you had the four components of male 2.0. Could you kind of go through those? Because I think it's really important to understand that this is like we've been talking about. It's not just one things. There's not a magic pill or a magic shot to solve this problem for us. But there's a holistic approach that we really have to consider.

[00:11:26.910] – Dr. Gapin
Exactly. Yeah. So over the last twenty years, really, I have formulated this process that I use, that I've now coined the male method as my approach to help men focus on the key pieces of optimization that they need. And so M is mindset, A is aging, L is lifestyle, and E is environment.

[00:11:50.990] – Dr. Gapin
So M looking at mindset. I focus first and foremost on your why. Your why is what drives you, what gets you up in the morning, what keeps you up at night, what is your motivation. You're never going to turn things around and get optimized because your wife is nagging you because just because you want to lose ten pounds just for the hell of it. No. My why for example. Is my kids, those beautiful little kids of mine are my everything, and everything I do is to create a better life for them, and that drives me every day more than anything else, more than than any other superficial details. So the key is with mindset. Focus on your what is your why? And don't ever lose sight of that. Don't ever let that go.

[00:12:45.250] – Dr. Gapin
Number two is eliminating limiting beliefs. We talk a lot about how guys think that they can't change, that they're too old to change or they'll never lose weight or they'll never have the energy they have when they're 20 years old. Those are all just lame limiting beliefs that we need to overcome. On mindset l also focus on stress mitigation, understanding stress and accepting stress and being able to to put it in it place, put it aside, and move on with your life and not let it let it affect you at a physiologic basis.

[00:13:18.090] – Dr. Gapin
So I focus on mindset, techniques, breathing techniques, mindfulness practices like meditation to help with mindset

[00:13:26.220] – Dr. Gapin
A is addressing the challenges of aging.This is where I really focus on hormones. Testosterone is just one piece of the the whole picture. You have to look at thyroid and cortisol and estrogen and DHEA, melatonin. The list goes on. There's about eight or nine different hormones that I focus on and all those are associated with the root cause of aging. We look at glucose regulation. We know that that long term blood sugar regulation, insulin sensitivity is the medical term for it has been correlated with obesity and mortality as well. So regulating those sorts of things.

[00:14:04.590] – Dr. Gapin
L lifestyle, this is where we focus on the basics of nutrition and fitness and sleep. And there are, of course, generic recommendations like nutrition. I really emphasize the benefits of intermittent fasting or time or restrict feeding, but there's also genetics. We can talk a lot about your epigenetics, how by understanding your genetic blueprint, we can really dial in on exactly what you should be doing, Allan, which may be different than the guy next to you and then the guy next to him. And so it is really personalizing it with genetics can take this to the next level as well. And then finally E is exposures. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals and toxins in our environment which are crushing our health, causing obesity, autoimmune disease, crushing our hormones. And so mitigating exposure to these toxins, as well as improving our body's ability to handle them is the E of of environment.

[00:15:03.410] – Dr. Gapin
So that's the Male Method.fifty-sevenOK, and I think one of the core of that, yes, it's a very holistic thing. And one of the areas I want to dive into is the limiting beliefs, because I think many of us still sit there and we'll say, well, my my father my father was obese and then he had a heart attack when he was fifty seven. My mother was obese. And then this happened, which is not actually true.

[00:15:26.150] – Allan
I'm just saying. And someone said, but we feel like we're on a track, we're on a train track and we're going at the same speed that our parents went and we're going to the same destination. And while it is true we're going to the same destination eventually, If we believe we're going there faster, we are. I think it was. Was it Ford that said, I really believe you can or you can't? You're right. Can you talk about these limiting beliefs and some things that we can do as a practice to kind of get past them?

[00:16:01.880] – Dr. Gapin
Absolutely. And so living beliefs are exactly what you said. They are ingrained beliefsthat really formed the basis of your of your behavior and your emotions.

[00:16:15.320] – Dr. Gapin
And these beliefs arewrong. So one of them, you brought up the concept of genetics and how if my parents died young from heart disease or my mom had breast cancer, that means I'm going to get as well and I'm destined to to die early. And and from that perspective, that's just epigenetics where we know that your genes are not your destiny. And we now understand the concept of epigenetics, which means that our actions, our lifestyle, our behaviors and what we do, how we eat, how we move, even how we breathe and how we think it's amazing affects the expression of our genes.

[00:16:53.810] – Dr. Gapin
And so people talk about the BRCA1 gene, for example. Did you know that that lifestyle has a massive impact on whether that brak a gene is going to cause a woman to have breast cancer or not? It's not just the gene alone. You need the lifestyle and the environmental factors as well. And so it's understanding that that's a limiting belief that just because your parents were ill or died early, that you will as well.

[00:17:19.200] – Dr. Gapin
But a lot of it also is really just psychological, you know. We in general tend to think negatively, think the worst, have limiting thoughts of our capabilities and what we're able to achieve. And we need to get beyond that. We need to understand the limitless potential is the phrase that I like to really emphasize that we all have. We all have a limitless potential, if you will, recognize it and pursue it. And I can show you men who are in their 80s who are incredibly healthy, who decades ago were on death's door and they made a decision. It's called Living with intention, I call it where you live with specific intention, laser focus on your goals and you don't ever lose sight of that. And so a lot of that is psychological understanding that these negative thoughts are nothing more than negative thoughts and that you can overcome that it comes down to the power of positivity and living with intention. And again, what's the underlying foundation for all that? What is your why?

[00:18:27.370] – Allan
Yes. When I when I got into all this and I was I was on the wrong path and my wife was that I was I was not going to be a part of my daughter's life as long as I needed to be. I want to be around to help her. And so I know she was getting into things that reminded me of who I was when I was her age. You know, she was doing the the cross fit and the obstacle course races.

[00:18:53.060] – Allan
And I was like, you know, I really want to go there with her. I want to be a part of that. She wants me to go watch. And I'm like, no, I'm not going to be a spectator in your life. I'm going to be a participanttwenty-five. And that was the spark I needed to get in the gym to start moving more, to start learning how to eat, to start working on my sleep and my stress and build the body that could do a Tough Mudder with my daughter, who was twenty-five years younger than me.

[00:19:21.050] – Allan
And the other thing was, I didn't want her dragging me behind or slowing down. I wanted to be there with her the whole way. And the joy of that, that was the reward. You know, there's not a food reward or anything. I threw at myself afterwards saying, oh, well, now I can go off of this. It was this. I just got the best gift of finishing this Tough Mudder with my daughter. And when you have that kind of passion behind what you're doing, you said you can overcome anything.

[00:19:47.750] – Allan
You know, we ran through electricity. They're shocking us with electricity as we were trying to finish this race and people were faced planning left and right. And we just ran straight through it because I was just so pumped about that moment with my daughter. So, yeah, I agree. If you believe it'll happen and you have if you've got that, why build behind it been by absolute sureness. You'll get where you want to go. Yeah.

[00:20:13.550] – Dr. Gapin
What a great story. That's a perfect example. And I love that of how that drives you to achieve something that you would never, ever achieve. If you're doing it just for the sake of doing it or because someone is telling you to do it or something that doesn't have emotion behind it. You know, I see guys every day who say, I want to lose ten or fifteen pounds. Why would I just want to have a smaller waist size or I want to have smaller.

[00:20:39.440] – Dr. Gapin
That's not what the why is the emotional driving force behind it for you? It's that amazing experience with your daughter that you can't put a price on that. It's incredible. For me, it's my kids, same thing. For a lot of guys is to actually feel loved by their partner and they want to feel attractive to their partner. And that provides them fulfillment and an emotion that's very important to them. That's what's going to drive them. It's not the I want to lose ten pounds. It's the emotional underpinning that we need to focus on.

[00:21:14.480] – Allan
Yes. And, you know, one of the interesting things I just had Amanda Thebe on last week and we were talking about menopause. And one of the things that she brought up was that when a woman's estrogen starts going out of whack at menopause, then they also the oxytocin goes down and that's the love and bonding. And so in many cases, we're getting to this midlife point. Our testosterone is crap, their estrogen is crap, and now there's a conflict between us.

[00:21:43.130] – Allan
And we don't have that the bonds sometimes to make it through there. So, you know, I can I can definitely see a situation where you're saying what's happening to me and what's happening to my wife is not working. And I do want to feel that love again. I do want to have that, that. And a lot of that's going to come from what you can control, which is yourself.

[00:22:02.490] – Dr. Gapin
Absolutely. Yeah, I completely agree.

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[00:24:12.860] – Allan
Now, we talked about endocrine disruptors and I've gotten into this before, you know, I remember at work there's a guy who would come in every day and he would he would have a little plastic container with his lunch and he would put it in the microwave, but he would microwave his lunch. And I wanted to say something, but I just didn't feel like it was my place there just to say something to this guy. And so I started trying to avoid BPA.

[00:24:36.230] – Allan
I started saying I'm not going to get bisphenol A. I'm not going to use that. And then now I'm reading when they switched to Bisphenol S we don't know if that's any better, any worse. It's just it's different sources that can say it's a BPA free thing.

[00:24:50.480] – Allan
And then there's phthalates and astrazine and birth control and phytoestrogen. And then you're whole talk about cows and the myriad of reasons why cows milk could be a problem or is a problem. I'm just fascinated hat stuff's out there and took me like atrazine. You were saying it could affect male frogs. Could you could you go through that story?

[00:25:16.120] – Dr. Gapin
Because it's pretty dramatic. Yes. So for your listeners, atrazine is an herbicide that's used to kill weeds, basically, and it's sprayed on crops here in the US. It's been actually been banned in Europe, but for some reason, it's still allowed here in the US. Thank you, FDA.

[00:25:34.680] – Dr. Gapin
And it's the second most commonly used herbicide behind glyphosate. So people focus on just glyphosate, but atrazine causes similar issues and it's sprayed mostly on our corn crops and our wheat crops here in the US. So and especially if something is nonorganic then is likely been sprayed with atrazine and that will never show up in the ingredient list of your products. So you don't know what's there, but it's definitely there. We have found that atrazine is found in significant levels of our drinking water and the water tables are contaminated with atrazine because our community, our municipal treatment plants are very poor at filtering out endocrine disruptors such as atrazine and estradol, birth control, and all these other toxins.

[00:26:19.550] – Dr. Gapin
So atrazine, you mentioned the frog story is pretty scary at very minuscule levels of atrazine. Male frogs become female frogs. If they're exposed to atrazine in very small concentrations in the water, they become female and actually lay eggs. So it's amazing to think about these male frogs actually become female and they're actually able to actually lay eggs and reproduce, which is insane. The drinking water here in the US has exponentially higher levels of atrazine than those studies in the frogs.

[00:26:56.010] – Dr. Gapin
And so we know that atrazine causes autoimmune issues. It has been linked with a decrease in testosterone levels. Without question, it's been linked with cancers and obesity and diabetes, and it's unfortunately not really discussed very much.

[00:27:12.960] – Allan
I think the worst of it is that we all have it. Every single every single one of us is exposed to these on a daily basis. It's in our water, as you mentioned. It's in containers that we're putting our food in. It's in products that we're using to wash our hair or shave our face or wash our clothes, keep the static out, make our stuff soft and smell good. All of these are really messing with the way our bodies hormones work.

[00:27:44.490] – Allan
So what are some strategies for us to implement where we can at least do something about this? Because it's not going to change, we can't count on the FDA to come around and fix this for us in the short run. And so we have to be proactive. What are some things we can do?

[00:28:00.360] – Dr. Gapin
Yeah, great question. So we can look at it from two different angles. First, we can look at it from mitigating or eliminating it possible our exposure to these toxins. And then we can look at it from a functional perspective of how do we optimize our bodies, detox pathways to fight off the exposures that we do encounter.

[00:28:23.120] – Dr. Gapin
So from the mitigating exposure part, first, it's from a food standpoint focusing on limiting exposure in our foods. That means eating organic. That means eating grass-fed beef if you are meat eater. That means focusing on almond milk, cashew nut milk, rather than cow milk, because we know all cow milk. You mentioned that cow milk. These cows are eating the crops, normal milk on the shelf. These cows are eating the crops that are laden with atrazine and phytoestrogens and other chemicals. The cows are given steroids hormones themselves, and then the milk, once harvested, is stored in plastic containers and the plastic is getting leached into the milk, the phthalates and the BPA.

[00:29:13.050] – Dr. Gapin
And it's this soup, if you will, of endocrine disruption in that milk. So, limiting exposure in your food by focusing on organic fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed animal meat. Looking at drinking water, one of the biggest culprits is plastic water bottles. And so I focus on right here. I know your listeners can't see, but I'm holding a stainless steel water bottle so that every time I drink water, I have this with me and I drink from this rather than ever using a plastic water bottle.

[00:29:45.390] – Dr. Gapin
Another big one is coffee. I'm a coffee addict like a lot of people and cups, you know, plastic when it gets hot, releases these chemicals into your food and drink. So I would avoid cups. For example, I would avoid store your plastic or your food in any plastic containers, especially the story you mentioned of heating up food in the microwave and any kind of plastic container as well. It tends to be more when these plastics are hot, when they tend to leach the chemicals.

[00:30:16.980] – Dr. Gapin
And then you mentioned personal care products like shampoo and soap and laundry detergent and sunscreen and deodorant. You want to really look at the ingredients and choose carefully. There are I like to recommend a couple apps on your phone that you can use to actually scan barcodes and find out the actual ingredients of your products before you buy them. Because a lot of those personal care products you are putting on yourself and these chemicals they can absorb through your skin very easily.

[00:30:47.640] – Dr. Gapin
It's called lipophilic, which means they like to get absorbed through the fatty layer of your skin. And so you want to really do everything you can to mitigate exposure. We find it in plastic products, baby toys, plastic containers, chemicals, paint and hoses and garden. Everywhere.

[00:31:13.980] – Dr. Gapin
Yeah, what's amazing is I've tubing has high levels of phthalates in an I.V. tubing. You go to the hospital and you're getting IV fluids and you're actually getting these chemicals in. It's it's insane that they're everywhere.

[00:31:29.230] – Dr. Gapin
So then the other side of it is really optimizing your detox system and your body has a free radical scavenger system or an antioxidant system where your body is able to kind of detoxify these chemicals. And so we look at things like glutathion and catalase. And thyrotoxin and all these other complex pathways that start in your liver to clear these toxins. And so anything we can do to optimize, that's going to be valuable. What do you what can you do to optimize that? We can look at cold therapy, cryotherapy like cold showers, look at intermittent fasting. We can look at supplements like curcumin or tumeric, supplements like protandem, which is amazing, has Nrf2 activator. And we can look at supplementing with NAD boosters. NAD is a molecule that is very much needed to improve our redox system, redox pathways to help clear these toxins.

[00:32:32.010] – Dr. Gapin
And so making sure that your body has an ample supply and so supplemented with MNN, for example, or NAD patches are great way of doing that as well. And then finally, I'll briefly mention that what I do with my clients is I look at their genetics and based on your genetic blueprint, we can really understand your body's function and your weak spots or your blind spots of what we need to optimize. So for some people, it may be that there are glutathione is susceptible or maybe they don't have good mitochondrial function or whatever it may be. And we can specifically target that area for optimization to improve your body's detox pathways.

[00:33:15.140] – Allan
And there's one I didn't want I didn't want to go on without reminding them you brought this up. Neither one of us are spokespeople for this company, but you filter your water specifically using charcoal filters to try to get these these endocrine disruptors out of our water.

[00:33:32.810] – Dr. Gapin
Sure. It's actually it's a carbon filter, you're right, its a carbon block filter. And there are a couple of different ways of doing that. I have in the past used a Berkey water filter and an nonaffiliated I have no financial involvement with them at all, but I love their product.

[00:33:48.530] – Dr. Gapin
It looks like a tea urn and you can take lake water and put it in this and it'll filter out all the toxins and chemicals and purify it to the point that you can drink it safely. They also are there also is an underwater mount for your sink that you can use that has again, you want a carbon block filter that will clear out these endocrine disruptors. Not reverse osmosis. I actually don't recommend RO typically because it does filter out some minerals that you actually need, like calcium, for example, you filter out too much of the good stuff with RO and you waste a ton of water as well.

[00:34:26.780] – Dr. Gapin
But there is an undercounter mound that you can use for carbon filter. And then there's also a Kinetico has a good one that we're actually building a house. I'm going to be putting it in that house as a Kinetico, a home system that will filter your entire house water again with a carbon block filter to purify it.

[00:34:45.500] – Allan
Cool. Yeah, we live on an island and a lot of people here are they basically have to get their own water from rainwater and we're told not to drink the city water and stuff like that. So we do some of that. And so, yeah, water filters are pretty ubiquitous here on the islands because you when you're dealing with rainwater and trying to drink that or even the city water, in some cases you just want to be careful.

[00:35:08.900] – Dr. Gapin
Sure, sure.

[00:35:10.250] – Allan
Now, I really haven't talked about peptides on this show. It's kind of something that I think is it's starting to go a little bit more mainstream. When I first started hearing about you and I think the term they used was SARMS. And so I started doing a little bit of reading on them there. But I'm not someone who typically brings the type of stuff that's going to move you two percent. If you're not focused on your mindset and your lifestyle and your environment, then the peptides aren't going to get you there.

[00:35:39.050] – Allan
That's not the secret sauce. Yeah, but they're very, very interesting because they're just amino acid chains, but they have some pretty significant effects on our body. If, again, if we're doing everything else right, peptides might be something to explore. Could you talk about peptides, what they are and what they do?

[00:35:56.110] – Dr. Gapin
Sure. Yeah, peptides are absolutely amazing. And I truly believe that at some point peptides will replace pharmaceuticals. And I know that's a bold statement, but it's true because they have amazing capabilities to provide very precise, specific outcomes with very minimal, if any, downside or side effects.

[00:36:18.290] – Dr. Gapin
So peptides, as you mentioned, are simply chains of amino acids. A protein is just a long chain of amino acids. That's all it is. A peptide is a short protein. Anything under 50 amino acids long is considered a peptide and anything between fifty and a hundred is a polypeptide and over one hundred amino acids and length is called a protein. It's that simple. So peptides can provide amazing specific functions, such as we can use peptides to help with metabolism, burning fat, losing weight.

[00:36:51.500] – Dr. Gapin
We can use peptide for building muscle. We use peptides to sleep through peptides for improved cognitive function, focus and memory and anxiety. There are peptides for improving gut health or musculoskeletal repair or reducing systemic inflammation. There are amazing peptides for men's health, specifically libido and boosting testosterone and actually erectile dysfunction. There are a few peptides that men have actually complained that the erection last too long from the peptide. So they may have taken too much on their peptides for hair loss and for skin rejuvenation.

[00:37:31.310] – Dr. Gapin
And it goes on and on and on. And so so what's amazing about peptides is that you can have very specific functions and again, very little, if any, downside. You know, the first peptide ever discovered was actually insulin. Insulin is a peptide and growth hormone peptide. So these are naturally occurring, signaling molecules in the body that give signals that your body already recognizes. So that's what makes these very unique and different from pharmaceuticals, is that these are natural products that are recognized by your body to provide specific outcomes.

[00:38:08.390] – Dr. Gapin
Some peptides are given orally and some peptides are given via subcutaneous injection. Some peptides are given intranasally, as a nasal spray as well. So you can also inject peptides into a joint. For example, BPC is a great peptide that's amazing for reducing inflammation either in the gut or in your joints.

[00:38:33.560] – Dr. Gapin
And BPC can be given orally, which is amazing for gut health. Or it can be given subcutaneously for systemic inflammation or specifically into a joint to help reduce inflammation in the intraarticular space. So that's an example of how depending on the function, you're trying to achieve different routes of administration.

[00:38:54.950] – Allan
OK, now if I eat a grass-fed, grass-finished steak, it's a protein. My body is going to break that protein down to usable amino acids. What's preventing the oral peptides from being broken down in a similar fashion?

[00:39:10.950] – Dr. Gapin
Yeah, great question, and that's the reason most peptides are not oral. BPC is a great one and BPC is very helpful to be taken specifically orally if you're trying to improve the gut, because that's where it's going to get absorbed and have its function is specifically in the gut and affect the microbiome.

[00:39:31.020] – Dr. Gapin
I've had guys who have come in with significant reflux symptoms, irritable bowel symptoms and chronic gastrointestinal bloating and pain. And among other things, I add BPC and a month or two later they forgot they even had any symptoms at all. It's pretty impressive. So you're exactly right that in general, most peptides need to be given either subcutaneously or intranasal or somehow get systemic other than the gut, because the gut will break those down and they're too big to be absorbed the way they are.

[00:40:07.800] – Dr. Gapin
And I'll also emphasize briefly, I love what you said. That is, once you do everything else, peptides are great. A lot of guys will come to me for peptides first. And my analogy here is peptides are dessert until you eat your dinner. You don't get peptides until you do the heavy lifting and do the right things and make sure that the male method is being achieved properly, then peptides are not necessarily going to be very helpful.

[00:40:35.910] – Allan
Yeah, I think I think the other thing that comes out of this is you can go on onto websites and they're going to they'll sell you peptides. So they'll tell you it's MK677, and this is going to help you gain muscle. And but that's that's not really the route you really want to go with. This is the self somewhat medicating. I don't want to call it a medicine, because when you get it from them, they're saying it's not for human consumption.

[00:41:01.170] – Allan
But that's what your intention is. So how do we go about knowing what one I guess knowing what we need or we could use and then getting it appropriate?

[00:41:11.860] – Dr. Gapin
Yeah, great. Great point. So as you mentioned, you can find these peptides all over the Internet and the problem with these places, and I'm not going to name any of them to call them out, but they are research chemicals in. You know, when you go to these sites that are offering it to the masses, it's a research chemical. And unless it's coming from a compounding pharmacy that have quality assurance, they have good QA documentation of the purity of their product, the safety of the products. You just don't know what you're getting. I've heard amazing stories of people getting these peptides and then sending them off for analysis and they have nothing like what they're supposed to have and other stuff in there that they shouldn't. And so from a pure standpoint, from a safety standpoint, from a quality assurance perspective, I would never recommend I wouldn't take it myself unless it comes from a qualified compounding pharmacy. And so that's why you need to get your peptides from a physician like myself or another prescriber who has experience with peptides.

[00:42:18.930] – Allan
So as we're coming up on November being Male Health Month, we want to make sure we're more aware of it. I have to ask you the same question I ask all my guests. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:42:38.340] – Dr. Gapin
Well, absolutely. Great questions. Number one is sleep. I think that one of the most overlooked aspects of men's health is sleep. And I like to use wearable technology to track every client I work with. They have to wear either an aura ring, a biostrap, a Garmin watch like I have on here some they actually track their data. And what we find is their sleep is awful. And so they may think it's fine when you actually track the quality is terrible.

[00:43:07.800] – Dr. Gapin
So I really like to emphasize a couple aspects of sleep hygiene that are very valuable when it comes to basics of sleep optimization.

[00:43:17.140] – Dr. Gapin
Number one is consistent sleep schedule. So setting a time that you're going to go to bed, let's say it's ten o'clock, ten thirty and you go to bed that exact same time every single night, eventually your body is going to get into a good circadian rhythm that is going to help improve the quality of your sleep. And your body senses that your circadian rhythm, your clock genes are called and your period changes are genes that regulate your circadian rhythm. They sense this. And so going to the exact same time every day, including the weekends, there's the social jetlag people have where they tend to sleep very poorly during the week and they go, oh, I'll just make it up on the weekend. It just doesn't work like that. Your body does not recover like it needs to by simply adding an extra hour sleep on Saturday and Sunday. So it's really being consistent about sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the exact same time

For three hours before you go to bed, you need to turn off every single electron in your house, no more phones, no more computers, no laptops, iPads, that sort of thing, turn off the TV, read a book, use an incandescent light to read a book and focus at that time on meditation is great on some mindfulness techniques before you go to bed as well. But you've got to get the blue light that's coming from these electronic devices off of you for three hours before bedtime.

[00:44:37.740] – Dr. Gapin
I would also emphasize that your bedroom should be for two things only.

[00:44:43.890] – Allan
Preach it.

[00:44:45.030] – Dr. Gapin
And one and one of them is sleep. Yes, a lot of guys will, I hear the story all the time: I just lay in my bed and work on my laptop for a couple hours before bedtime. Worst thing you could do is when you go in bed. It's only for two things.

[00:45:02.860] – Dr. Gapin
During the day, your body needs sunlight, you need exposure to sunlight, and so especially early in the morning, as early as you can, you want to get out and get your body exposed to at least 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight, especially in the morning, again, to help with that circadian rhythm.

We can also look at things like keeping your your bedroom completely dark, keeping a cool, comfortable bedding, get rid of any EMF electronics in your bedroom, such as WiFi, cell phones. There are some advocates for actually turning off the circuit breaker for your bedroom because your outlets are actually releasing EMF, even if nothing is plugged into them.

[00:45:41.780] – Dr. Gapin
And then the last piece that a lot of people may not have heard about is your diet. So what you're eating at dinner can often have a profound effect on your sleep. So foods that are high in amino acids, foods that have MSG, these foods give you glutamate. Glutamate, an amino acid that is actually an excitatory neurotransmitter, it gets converted in your body to GABA, which is a very relaxing, soothing neurotransmitter. For some people, they can't make that conversion very easily. They have a variant in one of their genes that code for the ability to turn off glutamate. And so for a lot of men, what you're eating at dinner time may actually be affecting the quality of your sleep and the disruption of your sleep. So I recommend that you really try to limit high protein foods and MSG, even grains that may have glutamate in them for four to five hours before bedtime as well.

[00:46:41.820] – Allan
Thank you for that, Dr. Gapin. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, Male 2.0, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:46:51.870] – Dr. Gapin
Thanks. Yeah, they can check out my website. It's drtracygapin.com, and I will offer to your listeners a free copy of my book called Male 2.0, and they could check that out on my website at drtracygapin.com/limitless. And again, free copy. Just help with the shipping. Otherwise, the book is free.

[00:47:15.690] – Allan
Awesome. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness

[00:47:19.320] – Dr. Gapin
Hey, I enjoyed being with you here, Allan. Thanks so much.

Post Interview/Recap

[00:47:26.480] – Allan
All right, Ras, I know this was kind of a men's health topic, but, you know, there's ways to take information away from all these conversations, whether we're talking about menopause, whether we're talking about some men's health issues. There's always something to take away, if nothing else, than just knowing that your significant other is going through some stuff and things that we can do to make it better for him or her, things we can do to take care of our children, because it's not the amount of chemicals that are going to be available in the world are not going down or going up.

[00:47:58.670] – Allan
And so that's one of the things I took out of this was just how serious endocrine disrupters can be. I mean, you're talking a frog from a male to a female. And I'm like eww.

[00:48:11.010] – Rachel
That's very serious stuff right there. That was a light bulb moment for me, too.

[00:48:17.810] – Allan
I downloaded the Environmental Working Group app. You can find this on iPhone and I'm pretty sure it's on Android. But I downloaded the app just to see what it was like. And it's actually really, really cool. You just take a picture of the barcode, you know, so it opens up like your camera. So it's going to ask to use your camera and then you just put the barcode in that little square.

[00:48:41.600] – Allan
And as soon as it reads what it is off that barcode, it tells you everything that's in it. And, you know, you basically can see. And so my wife bought this body wash. She likes the smell of it. It's supposed to have pheromones. I don't know that it's making a difference, but she does like it. So that's that's that. And it's caught in the middle. And I was like, OK, now it's caught a middle because of possible allergies.

[00:49:04.900] – Allan
And I'm only really allergic to dumb people and people that lie. I'm not allergic to anything else.

[00:49:11.780] – Allan
So, you know, that's got the fragrance that they're using. I'm not allergic to. But, you know, it doesn't have any of those endocrine disruptors, which was good to know. Now, I did have some dyes in it. Of course, they want it to be a pretty color. Doesn't have to be, but it is. And so, there are some dyes in there that I have to think about. You know, there's really something I want to put on my skin or is that something I want on someone else's skin in my family?

[00:49:39.440] – Allan
So I thought that was a really cool app to have and just kind of go through and look at your household cleaners, look at the things you're putting on your body. You know, this makeup, all of it. It's just, you know, there's things there that you just might not know which you're getting because a shampoo sounds are, you know, cleaners sound like a very easy thing. Just put some soap and some fragrance and let's go.

[00:50:00.500] – Allan
But that's not always the case. They said they want to make it pretty color. They wanted to, you know, have a certain feel and texture to it. So you feel like you're getting something more than just some soap. And so there might be more than just soap in your soap.

[00:50:18.350] – Rachel
That's so true. And we don't know about what these chemicals, many of these newer chemicals or compounds do in the long term either. So it's helpful just to get a little heads up to see what's in things, just like with the food we eat every day. You just may not know what chemicals are in all of those detergents and soaps and cleaning products. So that sounds like a really neat app.

[00:50:41.720] – Allan
Yeah, I'm glad I did. And also, I'm going to take a few minutes to find that that filter he was talking about, you know, the charcoal filter. It does look like a coffeemaker. You know, one of the things you have in an office space, if you've ever seen office space type of coffee deal where it makes large things of coffee, but go find one of those and I'll put that in the show notes for this episode.

Berkey IMP6X2-BB Imperial Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements

[00:51:07.310] – Allan
So if you do go to the show notes, there'll be some links there. I don't think I can link to the app, the Environmental Working Group app itself, but it's easy enough to find by doing the search. But I will I will link to that filter so you can filter out some of that stuff that might be in your tap water at home.

[00:51:27.230] – Rachel
That's a great idea. He didn't talk about reducing exposure to toxins and that's the first step is knowing what we're exposed to. But he also mentioned that being healthy or having a healthy lifestyle can help improve our options after maybe being exposed to some things. You talked about a lifestyle, how that impacts our genetics. And just because we may be prone to certain things, like he had mentioned the BRCA gene, which is on my radar, if we lived a healthy lifestyle with good food, good nutrition, good exercise, maybe that gene won't be activated.

[00:52:03.890] – Allan
Yeah. And then the other side of it is you have to think about these things as far as what's the cumulative thing that's going on with your body. And so if we're throwing chemicals at our body and we're eating crappy food and we're not getting good sleep and we don't have good stress management protocols and we're not moving enough, all of those are basically signals to your body your information, food is information, movement is information, and if you think about it from that perspective, the coding that's there is going to kick off and say, OK, this person doesn't need to be around any longer. Let's go ahead and do these bad things because, you know, they they want it. I mean, not to say you're asking for it, you know, in a sense. So we know that movement. We know that lifestyle. We know that what we eat or sleep, all of it impacts our health. And the more that we can do step by step, just little increments, one, cutting out the toxins Two, looking and getting higher quality food.

[00:53:04.130] – Allan
So you're getting the nutrition, reading another just even another study today that showed that vitamin D deficiency is a big, big deal with covid. And so, you know, if you're not getting the requisite sunshine, 15, 20 minutes out in sun with a good bit of your skin exposed. So, you know, you're getting some sun, you're getting some vitamin D. If you can't get it, then consider supplementation. But if you're not getting your vitamin D, you're putting yourself at risk for complications from covid, that would be worse than it would otherwise be.

[00:53:40.280] – Allan
So, again, these things are cumulative about our lifestyle and other things you can do today to improve all of it, to give your body a fighting chance. Just little incremental things.

[00:53:51.980] – Rachel
Yeah, it all adds up to these little steps really do make a difference in the long run.

[00:53:57.380] – Allan
All right. So we challenged ourselves to start helping you come up with a Keto Thanksgiving, hopefully can roll in to maybe even a Keto Christmas by giving you a few recipes. And the recipe I'm going to bring on is not so much a recipe as a as a style of a way of getting something done. The turkey is the hallmark for most people to to have. Now, if you really want to go, Keto, then I'd say go with ham. Ham is going to be more Keto than a turkey.

[00:54:29.270] – Allan
But if is the thing which for us, Thanksgiving is definitely for me it's the thing. I love cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. It's a gift I do for the family for Thanksgiving every year. And we're going to do it a little early this year because of covid. We're having to change our travel, but I'm still going to cook a turkey for my family about a week early. But anyway, here's how you do it. It's pretty simple.

[00:54:52.220] – Allan
Go find a good quality turkey, you know, get going, get an organic, humanely raised, pastured turkey. You know, just wild out there about their turkey. Better if you can hunt for it. You know, I don't know. I think they have turkeys up there in Michigan.

[00:55:08.530] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:55:09.200] – Allan
Maybe Mike can go get you one. I just think hardest thing to hunt, but you get a good quality turkey. OK, that's the first bit.

[00:55:16.880] – Allan
Second bit is that I'm going to tell you to cook it the exact opposite way. Everybody else tells you to cook it, OK? You don't want to put it on rack. You want to put it down on the pan and you want to put it breast down. OK, everybody else cooks their turkey breast up, and that's why the breast milk gets really, really dry, because the moisture falls down and it falls out of the breast, which one to do is flip the script on this and cook it for the first bit breast down.

OK, so what I'm going to do with my turkey is I'm going to clean it, wash it off real good upon the giblets out. I'm just going to lay them down in the pan. OK, those are a treat for me about three hours from now. OK, I'm a preheat the oven to 325. So the ovens warming up. I clean the turkey out. Got it ready. Sometimes they stuff the giblets in the next base, in the neck, in the bottom space.

And I don't know why that juxtaposition that's backwards from where it came from. And maybe, you know, if someone knows why they do giblets the way they do, message me, let me know why that happens.

But anyway, you clean out all that stuff, and then I'm basically going to take a complete stick of butter and I'm going to put it in in the cavity. I'm going to take a cup of chicken broth. I put that in the cavity, I'm going to I'm a dice up some celery with dice up some mushrooms and dice up some onions and we'll put that all in the cavity, OK. Close the legs up. They usually don't have some kind of little strap if they don't just use some string and tie the title legs back together at the bottom.

[00:56:56.410] – Allan
So that kind of stays closed. Oh I forgot one thing. Oh I've got almost the most important thing. There's two things. OK, I guess I forgot. One is a beer, a dark beer. So get yourself a dark beer. You know, if you can find a dark, dark beer and you pour that in there along with everything else, and then you want to put some spice in there. And what I usually use is I use Tony Chachere's.

[00:57:20.230] – Allan
It's a Cajun spice. You can usually find it just about anywhere I've never had trouble finding. And if you can't find that, just get a Cajun spice and you want to put a good bit of Cajun spice in the center. OK, so now all that's in there, it's bubbled around, the spices in there, the beers in there, the butter is in there. And then you just, like I say, close the legs up and you lay it breast down in your baking pan in the pan dip and make sure it's deep because the moisture is going to come out and your breast is literally going to sit in that moisture as it cooks cover it all up with tin foil and put it in the oven.

Now, depending on the size of your turkey. What you want to do is cook the turkey until it has like an internal temperature of about 165, maybe just a little bit more. OK, and that can take anywhere from three to four hours from most of the turkeys that you're going to buy, get it to about 165 internal temperature once it gets to 165 to pull it out and carefully turn the turkey over. I always make a mess doing this, but you turn the turkey over and then you carefully peel all the tinfoil away, carefully turn the turkey over and you put it back in the oven and you let it go for probably about another half hour to 45 minutes.

[00:58:37.970] – Allan
So you get an internal temperature of 185. You always want to cook any kind of poultry, chicken or turkey. You want to get it to internal temperature of 165. That's when it's done. I mean, 185. So once you get it to 185, you're done. Pull it out. Now, when I do the turn over, I talked about the giblets. That's when I go fish them out. And I put them on a plate and I put the turkey back in and I go sit watch football and I eat the gibblets.

[00:59:09.300] – Rachel

Nobody else. Nobody else wants them. I love them. So I sit there and just eat them. And I was like, What are you eating the turkey? Like you started the turkey. Yeah, but not the kind of turkey you want but the kind I want it. And so that's my little treat to myself. And I'm cooking the turkey is to have the giblets while I'm watching it and waiting for that last, you know, half hour to 45 minutes for the turkey to come out.

[00:59:33.800] – Allan
And so that's it. What you've done with the with the drippings and all that, you can use it in something else, a gravy or something. But it basically because the turkey cooked almost all the way through with the breast down in that moisture, it retains the moisture and you'll have a very juicy recipe bird. And it was butter and other stuff that was drifting down through there. So it just adds a little bit more fat. Not a lot, because you only put one stick for the whole turkey, but there's just a little bit more fat there than you would have otherwise had.

[01:00:09.050] – Allan
So that's that's the turkey.

[01:00:11.910] – Rachel
Sounds delicious. It sounds awesome.

[01:00:14.490] – Allan
And it because you've cooked it breast down, it might not be as pretty as Martha Stewart, but it's still going to have that golden brown. It's still going to look nice enough. And is to me, it's that's the taste. You're going to slice it needed anyway. So that's that's my recipe for Thanksgiving. How to make your turkey a little bit more Ketofied.

[01:00:36.630] – Rachel
Oh, that sounds so good. Well, you can't have turkey without mashed potatoes, am I right?

[01:00:42.940] – Allan

[01:00:43.870] – Rachel
Except for, if you're Keto potatoes are not part of your day to day from normal diet. So I have a creamy mash cauliflower recipe that I got from the ketoconnect.com. Matt and Megha are great cooks and I have tried this recipe several times and I've modified it to different tastes. But yes, you can turn cauliflower into basically a replacement for mashed potatoes. You just boil the cauliflower to get them soft.

[01:01:14.290] – Rachel
You drain them, you put them in a food processor and you process them until you get them to the creamier consistency that you like. And then the Keto Connect recipe suggests adding heavy whipping cream, butter, garlic, rosemary, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste to the recipe. But the great thing about potatoes or mashed potatoes is that you could do it however you want. So if you want more garlic, add that if you want more butter.

[01:01:45.460] – Rachel
I've made mashed potatoes with cauliflower, with parmesan and garlic, which is wonderful. But I've also used cheddar cheese and bacon bits to make it a little bit more like a baked potato kind of a meal. So it's just a really wonderful creative recipe that you can modify to suit whatever tastes of the people that you have coming to your party or your Thanksgiving dinner. So it's a nice recipe, very easy, doesn't take much time and you can absolutely practice it in advance to get it to the way you like it.

[01:02:20.140] – Rachel
But I'll send you the correct version of the recipe and then your listeners can try and modify it to their own tastes, OK.

[01:02:28.540] – Allan
Did that come with a gravy of any sort or have you tried any Keto gravys.

[01:02:33.460] – Allan
It does come the gravy. I have not made the Keto Connect version of it, but what Mike and I have done in the past is with all those wonderful juices that you get off of your turkey, we just add a little bit of xantum gum to kind of thicken it up a little bit. And that's just perfect the way it is. But you can absolutely modify that again with adding more rosemary or other fall spices to give it the flavor you like.

[01:02:59.590] – Allan
OK, and you'll have plenty of drippings. That's one of the things when you're cooking the turkey, the way that I cooked the turkey, there's a lot of fluid in the pan when you're done. So you'll have tons of drippings that you can use for gravy this time and or you can freeze some of it. And when you want to have that going on later, then yeah, just mixing in some xanthum gum, which is fairly innocuous. You know, it's not not something, but it's not something you really have to be that concerned about.

[01:03:26.650] – Allan
So perfect. Well, thanks, Rachel.

[01:03:30.020] – Rachel

[01:03:30.120] – Allan
Next week we'll be sure at the end. Stick around to the end and we'll be sure to have another recipe for a Ketofied Thanksgiving.


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

– Anne Lynch– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 19, 2020

How to thrive during menopause with Amanda Thebe

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Perimenopause is a time when a woman's hormones are going amuck and it can literally ruin her life. Amanda Thebe's book, Menopocalypse, takes you through her journey and the journeys of 1000s of other women so you can know what to expect and thrive during menopause.

Also, Amanda wants to send you a signed copy of the book. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/menopocalypse for more details.


[00:03:29.210] – Allan
Amanda, welcome to Forty Plus Fitness.

[00:03:31.230] – Amanda
Thank you for having me on the show. I'm happy to be here.

[00:03:34.860] – Allan
You know, the interesting thing is, you know, when you see a book about menopause and your book is called Menopocalypse.

[00:03:46.950] – Amanda
Think of the zombie apocalypse, this is similar to that only with menopause. Menopocalypse.

[00:03:51.610] – Allan
Yes. And the subtitle on that was How I Learned to Thrive during Menopause and How You Can Too. And so, you know, the book is basically addressed to women. But I'm going to be very honest with you as a man, with a woman, with a wife or anybody around you that's aged anywhere from sometimes as early as thirty-five, all the way up to mid 50s.

[00:04:14.250] – Allan
This is good stuff to know. You know, this is a playbook to understand what could be going on in their lives and your relationship and everything else. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you because even though it doesn't apply to my health, it does apply to my life because I have a wife that is going through some of these changes right now.

[00:04:33.900] – Amanda
I think it's that was one of the ways I approached writing this book is obviously I'm knee deep in the fitness industry. I've been in it for decades. And this is new information for me. I couldn't find this information on our usual fitness sources. I was really quite frustrated how fitness information went from like pre postnatal pardon, you call it pre postpartum fitness and health to the over fifty health. And it was like this big chunk in the middle that was missing.

[00:05:04.590] – Amanda
And it wasn't until I had my own personal experience of struggling through this time that I realized that if I could get information out there, it would be really helpful not just to women, but male trainers and husbands and partners and fathers of daughters. And my husband obviously has read the book. And as just as well, we had conversations during my time through perimenopause and menopause.

[00:05:32.760] – Amanda
And he just said, I think all men should read this because it just makes us feel like we understand what's happening and we can support, you know, and help. And the male trainer has been able to support your female client is really important if you have that empathy and understanding, it goes a long way.

[00:05:52.230] – Allan
It does. And because I've got I've got clients all across that spectrum and I think many of them think I'm not going to get this till I'm in my 50s. This is something that happens in the fifties, but it can start happening a lot earlier and in fact, run longer than I thought. You know, like I said, I learned a lot from the book, and I really appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation with you.

[00:06:12.190] – Allan
Now when we're talking about menopause, I think I just kind of thinks it's just this this day or as a guy I would relate it to say, OK, I went through puberty and it was an awkward two years, you know, where my voice was cracking and I was growing and hair started showing up where it was supposed to show up.

[00:06:32.610] – Amanda
We could stop there. I know.

[00:06:36.100] – Allan
Yeah. You know, and so it's just a couple of awkward years for most of us that we go through. But menopause is very, very different because you have the different stages, the perimenopause before and then the post menopause after. Can you kind of just walk us through that cycle of what's going on when it happens, why it happens and, you know, just kind of so we can lay the groundwork.

[00:06:58.920] – Amanda
Absolutely. And I really like the analogy to puberty. So, you know, I sometimes hear people saying, well, isn't menopause essentially like reverse puberty? Isn't it that type of thing? I mean, it's a life transition. Every every woman, if she's lucky enough, is going to go through it and go into old age. And essentially that is what it is. But it just comes with a lot of nuances and it comes and it doesn't just feel like a life transition because it can go on for a long time.

[00:07:27.790] – Amanda
It can start late thirties and I'll go through the three different stages. But essentially, once you've reached menopause, you're in menopause until you die. So it's half your life potentially that you're in this different state where you need to have an awareness about what's happening. So the three common stages that you will hear talked about through menopause is perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. Perimenopause typically lasts between eight and 10 years on average, depending on which data source you look at. Can start any time from late 30s into into your 50s.

[00:08:08.290] – Amanda
It's a time when your sexual hormones will start to decline, which are estrogen and progesterone. And what happens is they don't just stop. You know, they don't you don't just stop producing them. The end result is that you don't produce any you can't produce anymore babies. Right. Like you, you cease to reproduce. But the hormones don't just want to say, OK, that's it, you're done. Time to tie up your tubes and then move on into old age. You have an eight to ten year period where these hormones decline, but not always in a linear fashion. Progesterone tends to fall in a more finite, linear fashion but estrogen just goes crazy. It jumps all over the place.

[00:08:52.600] – Amanda
And these wildly fluctuating hormones can cause a horrendous amount of symptoms for women that are often unassociated with hormones, hormones often not recognized by the medical community, and often can impede a woman's quality of life. And I don't just mean so she feels crap. I mean, so that it ruins it can ruin her life. And we'll talk about that later. And it can be managed. But not many people talk about it or are aware of how it can be managed.

[00:09:26.230] – Amanda
Then we move on to menopause, which is supposedly like a line in the sand, like a timestamp of when a woman hasn't had a menstrual cycle for twelve months and she is considered to be in menopause, and then she would that day forward, she is then postmenopausal or menopausal.

[00:09:45.550] – Amanda
I mean, they're words and interchangeable, but essentially you have a period of time before your periods stops and then the time after your periods stop. And that's what happens. When a woman goes into post menopause, we typically see a lot of those crazy erratic symptoms die down, but a woman can still have symptoms that impede her quality of life and will stay with all of her life after that. And then she is then also at considerable risk because of the lack of the protective hormone estrogen for major diseases that will kill her, that can kill us. And so we need to be aware of the symptomatic side of perimenopause and then the health protective side of post menopause.

[00:10:33.010] – Allan
Yeah, and I think that's the thing. You know, this is this is the rest of your life. And once it's kind of starts down the perimenopause, there's a period here you've got to manage. And then after that, there's going to be a period afterwards that you then have more of a steady state. So, you know, I think one of the things that was surprising as I went through the book was how many types of symptoms there are that are associated with this, because I just thought, you know, from my wife's perspective, having the conversation is like, I'll be glad when I don't have periods anymore, you know, because she's not going to have any more children.

[00:11:06.340] – Allan
So she's. It's no use for the periods in her mind, but losing your period or sporadic or erratic periods is not really the end all be all this is this is massive, the conditions that you can suffer through. Can you talk about the most common symptoms?

[00:11:24.620] – Amanda
Yeah, and actually, I'm referring to my book as I talk to you, because there is so many I often can't remember to quote them all. And it's interesting because I also had the same, I might add, the same sort of viewpoint. I can't wait till this is all over. I don't need my periods. And I also assume that menopause really was just a case of you stop having your periods and you might have a few hot flashes.

[00:11:47.150] – Amanda
And we know it's so much more than that. And interesting enough is that the symptoms are very individual to every woman. It's a common journey that we all share, but no one woman is going to have the same experience as another. And so these symptoms are broad scope. You may have them, you may not have them, but these are some of the more common things that women talk about during especially perimenopause.

[00:12:16.330] – Amanda
So the regular periods may or may not happen. And some women lose their periods for months and months. Some have them continually. And so there's no rhyme or reason to when a woman's period can well, come on. And some continue to have regular periods right up until they reach menopause.

[00:12:35.450] – Amanda
But some other things they can happen to them are things like depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue. And it's a fatigue that you just can't sleep off. It never goes away. Migrans, hot flashes, weight gain, which is like a bit of a you know, I touch on this in the book and it's not really a symptom, but it's something that seems to happen to women and when they put weight on, it definitely doesn't help with their feelings of low self-esteem and depression.

[00:13:06.230] – Amanda
And sleep problems are huge. Insomnia, which is often exacerbated by night sweats, which are essentially hot flashes during the night. And women can have multiple like twenty, thirty of those a night. And losing sleep, as we know, is just terrible for our overall health and cognitive issues like short term memory loss. Even just remembering words. I mean, I've literally changed the sentence I was going to say because I can't remember a word that I was going to use.

[00:13:38.120] – Amanda
And I know that that's part of aging as well. But these things are really exacerbated when our estrogen levels start to fluctuate because we have estrogen receptors all over the body. And so they're in our blood brain barrier. They're in our joints. So many women have aching, sore joints that feels like a rheumatoid arthritis. And that's essentially from the estrogen fluctuations. Sex drive is another thing. It can, it usually falls off the edge of the planet. But sometimes you can crawl the wall, but not very often.

[00:14:14.270] – Amanda
But I mean, that's something that can impact relationships. And women put a lot of, you know, stress and fault on themselves. And GI issues are also another thing that women complain about. They can not get food, food, sensitivities and bloating, some irritable bowel, those type of things. And and then some of the things that, like lesser known things that women experience and I think are really relevant to the fitness crowd, are things that impact their self belief, their self-esteem and their confidence.

[00:14:46.220] – Amanda
We see a real decline in that in women and that sort of lack of belief in their athletic ability. And I think that's really sad because we know women are very strong and very capable, but we see it presented to us in the gym that I can't do that. I don't think I can do that anymore. And so and that's really not a symptom, but it's definitely something that happens through menopause as well. And it's something you can work on with your clients.

[00:15:15.310] – Allan
Yeah, you know, I think as we went through the book and I went through a lot of those, one that really hit me is that there's this relationship between estrogen and oxytocin. And those that don't know oxytocin is basically the love hormone. It's the feeling close and and connected. And so if you're if you're if you're dealing with some of the physical changes because, you know, when your estrogen goes down, you're more apt to store fat in your belly.

[00:15:45.010] – Allan
So you're going to notice some changes in your body shape. As you mentioned in the book, I think people tend to put on about 10 pounds during that period of time. Men do it, too. So just so you know, it's not it's not just a woman thing, but 10 pounds. And even if you don't gain or lose weight during that period of time, you're storing it differently. And so it's going to be it's going to pick up from the places where you liked it and it's going to set down on some places that you might not like it so much. But all these changes to your body, all these changes in your emotions, you know, sometimes, you know, I'm not going to use the word, but women can get a little abrupt, a little stressed and a little crazy.

[00:16:28.240] – Amanda
The abruptness is actually one of the positive aspects of menopause because we just don't want to stand for your crap anymore. So, you know, as far as weapons thats a good thing.

[00:16:35.680] – Allan
And that's perfect. Yeah, that's a good thing. But during that transition, it's you're feeling like you're a different person. You're looking like a different person in many senses. But then now you also have this hormone change where you're just not feeling as close to people and that can really impact relationships.

[00:16:56.020] – Amanda
You know, it's one of those really interesting things that I never even thought about. But I have a community on Facebook and we often talk about just how we are feeling and how we're doing. And women just kept saying all the time, I just don't feel like as close to my husband as I used to. I just I just don't I just want to be on my own more.

[00:17:15.850] – Amanda
I really I really feel like I need to start looking after myself more. And it often happens at a time, you know, just statistically that our teenage children also may be sort of like being more independent and they don't need us as much. And it all sort of links together.

[00:17:33.700] – Amanda
And so I dug deep into the research and I found the genuine connection between the lowering of our estrogen levels and the lowering of our oxytocin too and as you said, it's like our love hormone. And it's the thing that bonds us. And it's at our highest when we have children, when we're breastfeeding. It's the thing that sort of connects us to our partners and helps with orgasms. I don't know if that's OK. It's still on the show, but it does and and also helps, you know, with anxieties and our ability to thrive and sort of take chances.

[00:18:07.270] – Amanda
And we see all of that sort of ultimately shift. But what happens is at the same time like menopause is happening. There's so many things that are changing Allan. Like you say, we are the ultimate shape shifter. We we can shape our fat deposits where they land change. We feel different about ourself. The change is happening and we're not really in control of it. And then we start to pull away from our partners and maybe our children and we start to feel as though, well, what about me?

[00:18:38.410] – Amanda
And they often call it the like the we to me transition for women. And while that might seem like a little bit selfish, hearing me say this, I actually think it's a good thing. Because as mothers and as wives and as just women who are nurturers, we give, give, give all the time and we put ourselves on the back burner often. And one of the things that menopause made me realize is that.

[00:19:04.800] – Amanda
Well, actually, I have to start taking care of myself now because I'm really important to their whole puzzle of my family, and if I'm not functioning properly, then the rest of it just goes to pot. Nothing works. And that's often the keystone of a like a relationship or a family. And so even though all of these changes are happening and relationships may feel different or strained or unusual, I think it's just a really good time for reflection and for us to sit down and say whats important to me right now? What makes me thrive? How can I make this situation work for me and my family and my partner?

[00:19:46.770] – Amanda
And so, like for me, I went through something very, very similar to the analogy you've said, and I am with my husband at one point, like I didn't realize, but his mind was wander and he had no idea what I was going through. I was riddled with depression. And migraines that sent me to bed for days on end with no help from the medical community and I know we're going to touch on that. I eventually went to my annual gynecological checkup I suppose, like, you know, the tune up that you take in your car and follow.

[00:20:19.530] – Amanda
Well, I went in for mine and the doctor recognized that something wasn't right. And he said, I think you're going to perimenopause. These are very typical symptoms and you don't need to suffer needlessly. I can help you. And I just felt this massive relief and I felt, oh, there's an answer to why this is happening. And I went to see my husband afterwards for dinner, for lunch, sorry. And I said to him, yes, I've got perimenopause and I've got depression and, you know, migraines and. Oh, my God. So you're not going to leave me then?

[00:20:54.440] – Amanda
Because the poor guy the whole time had been thinking that I hated his guts, that I couldn't stand to be around him and all those things were true. But I don't feel like it was what I was feeling. I feel like if they were being masked by these horrendous symptoms that were just consuming me. So we are also good by the way.

[00:21:15.180] – Allan
That's good to hear. You know, again, going through some of your story, going through some of the things that you've talked about in the book, I was like, OK, my main problem getting older is that hair is growing out of places I don't want it to grow out of. So I think I've got it pretty easy. I can figure out how to get along with my wife. But that said, there are ways that you can improve your chances, improve and thrive through this period of time.

[00:21:40.370] – Allan
But you have to take a proactive approach. You can't just sit back because this is not going to just go away in a couple of days or a couple of weeks. And, you know, it's not like just getting through one migraine or saying, oh, I'm a little depressed, I'll take an antidepressant and we'll just we'll just move on.

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[00:23:25.590] – Allan
Now, in the book, you talked about hormone replacement therapy, hormone therapy and bioidentical hormones, but there are also some natural remedies like black cohosh and natural Ashwagandha. Yeah, and so but there's some, you know, I think when we start talking about some of these things, because there was a study, of course, there was a study that tied breast cancer to estrogen. And while the study might not have been the best in the world at the way it was done, there's still lingering effect.

[00:23:57.150] – Allan
People think that they can't do these hormone therapies or do these things because of the potential problems. Can you talk about what's available and how how someone can kind of evaluate what's right for them?

[00:24:09.750] – Amanda
Yeah, it's a bit of a minefield out there. And I have to admit, I was one of those people, too. When my mom went through menopause, I was like, you are not going on any hormone therapy. I knew about this study. And I was like, that's not for you. And it was about that time for my own mom. When I went to the gynecologist and he sort of said, yeah, this is perimenopause. I can get you on hormone replacement therapy, it will help you.

[00:24:30.960] – Amanda
And I was like, no way. No, I mean, this is nine years ago almost nine. And I said, I don't trust it, I don't feel good about it. So I actually opted to go on an antidepressant and the antidepressant helped with both my migraines and my depression. But when other symptoms started to come up, because they do they come and go, they you know, they fluctuate like your hormones. It wasn't enough. And by this time I'd spoken to lots of experts and I dug deep into the research and I felt very confident with my choice.

[00:25:04.520] – Amanda
And I just thought it was so difficult to get this information and I didn't understand why. And so that's sort of why I wrote a whole chapter on this, because women and well, humans sorry. We hold on to the fear. It's just what we do. And so in 2002, the WHI, which is the Women's Health Institute, published a report and the report said that there was an increased risk of the following diseases. Cardiovascular disease, stroke and breast cancer by using estrogen therapy.

[00:25:38.840] – Amanda
And so what their advice was right then in 2002, they said the risks are too grave to issue estrogen as a treatment and it should be stopped immediately. And so that's what happened. Doctors all over the world just stop prescribing estrogen. What happened, though, since that date is the WHI. Some of the researchers in that study came up and stood up and said we didn't even research their findings properly. We didn't actually have the chance to. It was as soon as there was an inkling there was a risk, it was published and we didn't actually analyze the data properly.

[00:26:19.010] – Amanda
And so some of them have come out post hoc and analyzed it again and come up with completely different, a completely different viewpoint. And it's the viewpoint now that's shared by all of the medical bodies, including the North American Menopause Society and the British Menopause Society. And they have categorically stated that there is no increased risk for any of those diseases.

[00:26:42.320] – Amanda
Specifically, breast cancer is the one that women talk about by taking estrogen therapy. No more so than lifestyle choices. And, you know, like if we drink or heavy drinkers, smoker, if we do carry extra weight, if we're on the up on the obesity, I don't really like talking about obesity like it is, but it's considered a risk factor that there is no significant statistically significantly different risk. And and in science, the statistical significance is something that they talk about. And it's it was minuit and it was so small it wasn't worth considering.

[00:27:22.820] – Amanda
And so they now, all of the medical bodies, like I say, have agreed that estrogen therapy is safe and estrogen is not a carcinogenic substance. We know that. Right. So then but what happened in the meantime is during that period of 2002 and recently, I think probably in the last 10 years, I don't actually know when when people started using HRT more confidently.

[00:27:50.270] – Amanda
But there was a period of time when doctors refused to prescribe estrogen therapy. And the compounding pharmacies then were like, this is our chance to like to help women out. And they did. So they were prescribing uncompounded hormones that weren't regulated. And that's just the difference, right? They were issuing women hormones that the FDA had not approved. And so there was a there was a concern about the efficacy, the safety, and also the fact that when you take an estrogen, you have to take a progesterone with it.

[00:28:27.920] – Amanda
The progesterone protects your uterus. There's the compounding pharmacies were issuing a progesterone cream to women that wasn't providing enough protection to the uterus and was put women at high risk of uterine cancer. So it was an opportune moment for them. They made millions and billions and trillions probably.

[00:28:47.900] – Amanda
I actually don't have never looked at the numbers, but but now we're in a situation where if a woman wants to go on a hormone therapy and she is a candidate and there's parameters that women have got to fall within, a doctor can safely prescribe FDA approved hormones for a woman to take.

[00:29:08.210] – Amanda
Now, I just want to touch on bioidentical hormones because what happened, the compounding pharmacies use the word bioidentical because they said that the only hormones you could get from your doctor was synthetic and they weren't natural and they could give you natural hormones. And it's a false equivalency because it's it's just not true. The FDA have bioidentical hormones. And all that means is that the hormones are produced to match the molecular structure of the hormones in your body. And they're derived from plant sources.

[00:29:45.680] – Amanda
And you can get them and have been tested for efficacy and safety and they usually covered on insurance for a couple of dollars a month, whereas the unregulated ones can cost women hundreds and hundreds every month, and it doesn't make sense to me when you're talking about cost safety against safety and lower costs. So that's where we are with bioidentical. So my advice to women and I'm not a doctor and so I'm not telling you what to do, but I've talked to experts and I've done my research is that if you want to go on hormones, you go and speak to your doctor.

[00:30:18.460] – Amanda
If your doctor is not informed because many aren't asked to speak to a referral to a menopause specialist and get regulated hormones. Now, when it comes to doing things outside of medical intervention, and I have no problem with medical intervention and I just don't see why it should be a problem for people. I hear the idea that menopause is medicalized. And I'm like, yes, so what? It's a micro dose of hormones that literally gives the woman back her quality of life.

[00:30:49.570] – Amanda
It can help with the symptoms. And we know it's protective against some of these major diseases that kill us in post menopause. But things, other things that a woman could do to support her journey. Like you said, the black cohosh and Ashwagandha, there have been some studies on this. But the problem is, is none of those medications are regulated. So you just don't know the quality or the efficacy of the supplements like all supplements.

[00:31:17.860] – Amanda
You know that, right? So and for women with really bad symptoms, sometimes it's not enough for some women with some mild symptoms, it can be enough. But neither of those natural things will replace the estrogen that your body's lost. Neither will food. You can eat as much phytoestrogen based food as you want, which is like soy, tofu. And it will help you and it will support your body, but it will not replace the estrogen that you are losing.

[00:31:45.430] – Amanda
So you can do things to add the journey and smooth the journey. And I definitely recommend that women speak to a specialist, talk about different options and see what works for them. And then also know that you may need to change it, because as your hormones change, you may not need to do everything you've been doing all along. It's like literally I don't even know how to describe it.

[00:32:10.500] – Allan

[00:32:13.630] – Amanda
Something like, yeah whackable. But the upshot of it is that women do not need to needlessly suffer. There is help available for them. They should grab it and they should advocate for it and actually give women ideas on how to advocate in the medical profession, because it can be hard. We've got to we've got to be tough in there. But honestly, we deserve to be helped.

[00:32:38.120] – Allan
Absolutely. Now, one of the things you got into in the book, which I thought was was really important, was one, you kind of went through some things with the healthy diet, you know, to avoid processed foods, limit your alcohol intake, those types of things that people should be just doing anyway. But you got into something I thought is critically important when it comes to food because it's not talked about enough is not just what you eat, but how to eat.

[00:33:05.650] – Allan
Would you would you take us through that? Because I think this is important. We forget this. We forget this a lot. And as a result, we end up not getting the results we want or getting the health outcome we want. And I just think it's really important for people to recognize that it's not just when, it's not just how much, or what kinds of foods, but actually how we eat.

[00:33:27.710] – Amanda
Psychological process around. Right. It's really important. And so like the nutrition part of my book. So the essentially the second part of the book is broke down into four areas. We have a strength training component. We have nutrition component. We have a stress management component. And we have a mind set component as well.

[00:33:47.290] – Amanda
And then the nutrition component, there is no menopause specific diet. So this nutrition component is actually valid for most people. Like there's nothing in there that's rocket science, right? Like I tell you what the micronutrients do, how they respond in the body. There are some nuances when it comes to menopause for sure. And I talk about those, but essentially the whole how we, the what we eat shouldn't really change much from what we know from nutrition science.

[00:34:16.630] – Amanda
But the how we eat is so important because, you know, I always think that, like menopausal women are targets. Like, you know, we are lion's share of the like the fitness world, whether with a desperate women, we have probably a bit more disposable income.

[00:34:31.900] – Amanda
And so they see our vulnerability and go try this keto green diet, try this, try that supplement. And it's just, stop. Please stop doing that because it is unethical also. It's not necessary. And I think that what I've tried to do in the nutrition component is simplify everything so that a woman can just go into this with valid choices. And so I talk about like the how to eat, right?

[00:35:00.120] – Amanda
So we're a nation of people that eat too quickly. We don't consider what hunger feels like. We don't know when to stop. And we eat mindlessly. We don't eat mindfully. And so don't sound like a bloody hippie, but like it really matters how you approach eating. And so I try and break that down. And so, you know, I try and explain to people that, you know, hunger won't kill you. It's OK to feel hungry. And that where we can become like robots. We can say, oh, it's noon, I better eat my lunch instead of like like sitting there and saying, I'm hungry. Am I am I ready to eat? Is it appropriate?

[00:35:43.790] – Amanda
Like because sometimes we eat because it's what's expected and not what our body needs. And so the cues that I talk about help you try and understand your body signals. And these are things that can stay with you for life. And it's amazing. So some of the key things are, recognizing true hunger. Is it true hunger or is it boredom? And so I always, even just take a simple pause, even just by your tummy starts to rumble a little bit.

[00:36:13.220] – Amanda
I want I ask people to sit and just think about it and say, OK, am I actually bored? Like, am I eating because I'm bored. I'm eating because I'm like, thirsty. Should I take a drink or is this true hunger and then sit for 30 minutes and just see if that hunger dies away. If it dies away, then you probably weren't hungry. If it doesn't, then eat. Right. You actually recognize what true hunger feels like.

[00:36:39.320] – Amanda
And I give like a scale in the book to sort of like try and pinpoint because we boredom eaters and we will have chips on the desk and we'll eat them without even thinking and wonder why we've consumed an extra eight hundred calories a day. And so my family, no electronics at the table ever.

[00:36:59.390] – Amanda
We put our electronics off, we all sit down and we converse and we actually make family meal times again where we sit down and we appreciate the food I've made because I make sure they do, that when they appreciate the food that they're eating and they enjoy food and that they appreciate like all of the cultural stuff that goes around it. Instead of just wolfing it down, watching the telly and, you know, not actually focusing on what you're doing.

[00:37:26.840] – Amanda
And then specifically in menopause, the estrogen has an impact on our ghrelin and leptin hormones, which are our hunger and satiation hormones. And so if you if your body's a bit screwed up and it doesn't know if you are really hungry or if you're really full by slowing down and sort of recognizing what true hunger feels like, slowing down the eating process and stopping before you are full, you know, like stopping when you're satisfied instead of like opening the button of your jeans type full.

[00:38:03.730] – Amanda
Like those are really good ways to suck you back in and recognize what real hunger and what real satisfied feeling feels like when you're eating. And I talk about that a lot in the book because it personally has worked for me and others, you know. But I truly believe in building up those type of habits.

[00:38:23.530] – Allan
Now, and one of the strategies they had in the book that I thought was pretty cool was you said one of, leaving just a little bit of food on your on your plate. You know, we were taught as kids, clean your plate, clean your plate. You know, kids in India are starving, so you have to clean your plate.

[00:38:38.820] – Amanda
Why did we say that?

[00:38:40.680] – Allan
I don't know.

[00:38:41.620] – Amanda
It's so true. It's always India.

[00:38:41.650] – Allan
I don't know, but we did. And so it's just you just clean your plate. And yeah, we want to multitask so we're on the social media or we're watching the television and we're not paying attention to eating. And, you know, before you know it, you've cleaned your plate. And so kind of having those strategies in place, you know, serving yourself a good a good portion a plate, you know, knowing your portions, getting it all on your plate and sitting down at the table and and really focusing on that food.

[00:39:16.580] – Allan
Putting your fork down between bites, having a conversation, you know, actual face to face conversation with your family. You know, those are those are the moments where you're taking care of your food, you're taking care of your body and you're building social connections and relationships that you know, we need.

[00:39:35.610] – Amanda
And you know, they're valid ways and they're proven ways to show how to stop overeating. I mean, clearly, it matters what you put in your mouth, but I think the two things go hand in hand. You can eat the best food in the world and have all of these plans in place on what to eat. But if it feels like restriction and it feels like it's a job or it feels like this is limiting you in some way, then you're just going to fall straight back to where you were.

[00:40:02.240] – Amanda
But if you approach this with a mindset that this is doing you good and that you're actually supporting your body and understanding what the body needs, then when you eat the food that you've chosen because of your knowledge that, you know will support your body, it just makes it such a smoother ride. And the chances of you stick and adhering to this long term are increased.

[00:40:25.520] – Allan
Amanda, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:34.540] – Amanda
You know, I think the hardest question, you know, I know I had this coming and, I was like, oh, God, you make it sound so easy. And I was like, how can I give you three when I have like, a hundred?

[00:40:44.500] – Amanda
And so but I think if we're talking about menopause, the first thing I would do, the first thing I would say is that you should control the things that you can control. Because it's the time of a lot of change and things are out of your control and so the certain parameters within your life that you actually can take a handle on. And I encourage women to do that. So whether that's like actively moving every day or choosing the food that they eat or the company that surrounds them, I would suggest that that's the first thing. So take control of those things that you can control.

[00:41:20.360] – Amanda
The second thing is for a menopausal woman is build a community and that community can be just your sister or your aunt or a group of friends. It's a bit more difficult in a pandemic. But like I have an online community where women exchange stories, where talk about their problems and lessen the burden.

[00:41:42.190] – Amanda
When you know that you have something that's eating away at you and literally you can't get out of this hole that you're in when you share that story with someone and get somebody else's opinion, even if they just say, hey, I hear you and I'm listening, that can just make you feel so much happier.

[00:42:00.220] – Amanda
And then the last thing is do exercise that brings you joy. I'm a big believer in moving every day. And sometimes in perimenopause and menopause, you're exhausted and you don't feel like you can move. But even if it's just a patrol around the kitchen, consider that to be active movement. And so while I'm a big pusher of strength training for women and as we age, it's so important if you want to do them three times a week because it just makes you laugh and brings you joy, then do it. Like do some type of movement that makes you smile and makes you feel better about yourself when you're finished.

[00:42:39.680] – Allan
Well, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Menopocalypse, where would you like…

[00:42:48.860] – Amanda
It will fall off the tongue soon, don't worry.

[00:42:50.810] – Allan
Soon enough, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:54.710] – Amanda
Yeah, you know, everything is off if you go to my website everything there are links to my social media page, links to purchase in the book. The book came out yesterday, October 18th, which was, well, menopause day. But everything is on www.fitnchips.com. You can find everything there.

[00:43:20.400] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/456 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Amanda, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:31.160] – Amanda
I'm so happy to have been on the show and thanks for having me.

[00:43:39.300] – Allan
Where Ras. Pretty good episode, you know, women's health is the highlight of October, you know, breast breast cancer awareness and things like that. And, you know, I like getting on some guests where we can talk about a single issue. But again, I hope men, you're still listening because if your significant other is going through this, you're going to have some experiences, too.

[00:44:02.960] – Ras
Thanks for doing this episode on menopause. I know. I appreciate it. And it's pretty timely for a lot of women. And in October, this is perfect, perfect timing for this topic.

[00:44:15.330] – Allan
You know, I think a lot of people are concerned. You know, when you start talking about hormone replacement and some of the science that was out there before talking about how it could cause cancer. And, you know, obviously that's been refuted. So if you're not on an estrogen because you're afraid of cancer, go back and do your research again, because I think you're going to find what's written out there is very different than even maybe what your doctor knows.

[00:44:39.950] – Ras
That's a really good point. And menopause itself is really a scary topic for a lot of women. It kind of seems like a homeless or hopeless part of our lives that we just have to suffer through. And then when you add hormone replacement therapy to that, that's another huge red flag for us, because we've always heard that estrogen replacement is a danger. And personally, I actually have a higher propensity for breast cancer, it runs in my family. So that's always been a huge red flag for me as well. So it was really refreshing to hear from Amanda that that may not be what I had always thought it was.

[00:45:16.850] – Allan
Yeah. And if you if you resonated with this episode, I just want to let you know, I try to do a menopause episode about once a year. So I've actually had a few other episodes about menopause. And if you'll go to the show notes for this episode, I believe this is episode 456. So if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/456, I'll be sure to have links to all of the other episodes where we've discussed menopause, because there's a lot of, a lot of new information out there and a lot of authors, you know, they don't write about this very often.

[00:45:52.070] – Allan
So, you know, get a book about once a year. I do try to get them on because I think it's a really important topic. But even men, you know, I again, we are going to start talking about men's health over the course of the next couple episodes. But, you know, for you to recognize that you're struggling with andropause, you know, you're watching your testosterone and growth hormone and all those, those men feel good things going on. Your wife's going through complete chaos.

[00:46:21.470] – Allan
And, you know, the link between estrogen and oxytocin is just scary because, you know, that's the empathy that's that's that's her giving a crap about what you're going through. And she might be struggling with that. So just recognizing that that hormones not only impact what our body physically does but impact what's going on in our brain. And that can actually change our mood and behavior and make someone seem like an entirely different person. So I think that's just worth paying attention to. If you value your relationship, just recognize that as a symptom. That is an issue and something that can be addressed if you take the time to do it.

[00:47:06.260] – Ras
That's a really good point. That was actually a kind of a light bulb moment for me in your interview with her. The connection between estrogen and the ocytocin. Is Yeah. And and how that changes our emotions and how we cope or react to certain situations, I'm 49, so I'm right in the middle of this whole perimenopause program. And as she was checking off all these symptoms, I'm like, yeah, I felt that. Yeah, I've noticed that as well. But that that estrogen oxytocin, that's a huge light bulb moment for me. And I think this is a perfect storm situation. Allan, you mentioned that men's hormones are fluctuating as well, right along with ours.

[00:47:54.550] – Ras
And then in my family, I've got another situation where my kids are in college. So my role as a mother has changed greatly. And so there's kind of like a perfect storm of situations that happen. And and how to get through all of these challenging moments is just difficult.

[00:48:14.280] – Allan
Well, that's why you run.

[00:48:15.890] – Ras
Yes, it is no doubt about it. it's why I run. And that's a good point, because for me, getting through all of these kinds of perimenopausal symptoms that I experience, running actually does make a huge difference.

[00:48:30.330] – Ras
And I notice on the days where I have too many rest days in a row or just can't get out to run because life gets busy, I can feel it. I can feel the change happening with my emotions. And I get tired and irritable for sure.

[00:48:45.210] – Allan
And so that's why you need to experiment with a lot of different things. Exercise, nutrition, in some cases, even hormone replacement might be something that's a fit for you. You've got to you've got to study this. You've got to do that N equals 1 experiment, and you've got to make some decisions. Your health care provider is a provider. They're not there to to make you do something. You have to be a part of that team. And so recognizing that if you're not exercising and you're not eating right and you're not feeling well, there might be a correlation there.

[00:49:17.430] – Allan
And you've got to solve those two problems. And even when I talk about men's health with guys are like, you know, yeah, you could you could do all this stuff. You could take all these hormone replacements. But they're not going to fix you if you're not doing the other things or other things have to come first. So if you get joy out of running, run. If you get joy out of lifting heavy things, lift heavy things, you should probably do a little bit of both, to be honest with yourself.

[00:49:45.480] – Ras

[00:49:46.050] – Allan
You're given your body, all of it needs. But, you know, just find the things that give you joy, find the things that make you feel good. And particularly during this period of time, if you know is do them together. If you can, you know, you and Mike run together. We do. Which, you know, that again is beautiful, you know, because that's that's where relationships are kept. That's where you have that in common.

[00:50:06.630] – Allan
And much like we talked about running clubs and how close you get to people, even when you're not running close to people these days, you know, it's just something, a bond that you have between you that that just keeps going. And so.

[00:50:20.220] – Ras
So true. AManda mentioned having a support group and that that community tie, whether it's with a run club or your spouse, it can be really helpful. And the tougher days, those days when your hormones are really out of control or you're just feeling emotional, it's good to have somebody to talk to or run with or whatever it might be.

[00:50:38.990] – Allan
Or lift with.

[00:50:39.960] – Ras
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:50:42.090] – Allan
All right, Ras, well it's good to see you again. And we'll talk next week.

[00:50:45.240] – Ras
You bet, take care.


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Another episode you may enjoy


How to use seasonal ketosis in an ancestral-based healthy lifestyle

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Over the past eight years, I've followed a ketogenic diet (low carb diet) for much of the year in a way of eating I call, Seasonal Ketosis. It is a part of my ancestral-based lifestyle to promote health, fitness, longevity, and joy. Seasonal Ketosis is a form of cyclic ketogenic diet based on seasons, where I'll have a season of feasting and a season of famine each year.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Let's Get Checked. Let's Get Checked makes it easy for anyone to get professional testing and consultation from the comfort of their home. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/LGC and use the code Allan20 to get 20% off.


[00:02:48.920] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing.

[00:02:50.130] – Ras
Great Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.570] – Allan
A little frustrated. The Panamanian government reneged on giving us our Saturdays back. So now it's the last time I thought I was going to get a Saturday off. And it appears that they decided that Bocas del Toro doesn't. And part of it is, you know, at least at this point, they're thinking in terms of states or provinces as we are. And we just happen to be associated with Bocas del Toro province, which includes the mainland. And so they are having some major outbreaks in on the mainland. But last we heard, there was less than twelve cases here on the island.

So, you know, it's under control here. But we, you know, living under more stringent rules. So they didn't open our curfew and they didn't give us the Saturday back. So,

[00:03:38.880] – Ras
Wow, it's so sorry to hear that. That's awful.

[00:03:41.850] – Allan
Well, it is what it is. It's just, you know, this, too, will pass.

[00:03:45.990] – Ras

[00:03:46.410] – Allan
It just means I'm going to get more miles in during my five days I can walk then.

[00:03:50.690] – Ras
That's true.

[00:03:51.390] – Allan
Than I normally would.

[00:03:52.880] – Ras
That's true.

[00:03:53.630] – Allan
So how's your week been.

[00:03:55.340] – Ras
Good. Good. Got a good run in this morning. Our weather's cooling off a little bit so running was great this morning and I've got a run club tonight so I'll be getting a few more miles with some friends tonight too. So that'll be fun.

[00:04:09.030] – Allan
Cool. Yeah. All right. So let's go ahead and get into today's episode. I'm going to be talking about seasonal ketosis, and it's a term that, I coined the phrase and I talked about a little bit in my book, and I recognized that I've mentioned it a few times on a few podcasts and I briefly describe it. But I wanted to go into a little bit more detail because I was talking to somebody about ketosis and they're like, oh, I could never eat like that year round.

[00:04:36.420] – Allan
You know, every once in a while I want some cake or bread or something like that. And so I said, well, you can have your cake and eat it too, with some stipulations. So let's go ahead and get into that episode.

Hello and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast, I'm really glad to have you here today. Today's show is going to be a little different. I have talked about seasonal ketosis as the way that I eat a few times on this show and on some other podcasts, but I've never really broken down how it works and why it works and what it is, specifically for me and how it fits within my overall ancestral based lifestyle.

Now, when I started this effort to go from a fat bastard to healthy and fit. I was introduced to Paleo by a dietitian and she brought up the paleo diet, explained what it was, what I could eat, what I couldn't eat, and I loved it. So I stepped away from my high carb diet and started just eating meat, fish and vegetables. I'd never heard of the ketogenic diet or the keto diet, as it's often called, but because I was on such a low carb version of the paleo diet, it actually put me into ketosis.

So I had to figure out what ketosis was because something different was happening to me and, you know, my breath and other things you hear about. But the weight loss was dramatic. So I enjoyed a lot of benefits out of the ketogenic diet. My blood sugar got steady, I had higher energy, I had less brain fog and it felt great.

Now, over the past eight years, I've continued to follow the ketogenic diet for most of the year, and I call that seasonal ketosis. Now, most people that adopt the ketogenic diet, they do it full time and they start eating low carb and they stay low carb and they try to keep their body in ketosis all the time and they see the benefits.

They would ask, why would I ever go off the keto diet if I enjoy how I feel when I'm on it? And to answer that question, for me, it's really about balance. I enjoy beer, I enjoy wine, I enjoy fruit, I enjoy yeast rolls. And occasionally I want to have a hamburger with a bun. So I pick a specific part of the year where I would allow myself to go off of ketosis. Now, I mentioned a few shows back that I had not started my famine season on time and really kind of blew it for a while. But I am back into my famine season and I've lost 25 pounds plus and still going.

But that's, that's not all this is really about. So I use seasonal ketosis as a way to stay generally healthy, to keep my health in good check, to keep my weight in a healthy body composition range. It improves my fitness, longevity, and the joy I have in my life. So I've developed an ancestral based lifestyle. And I'm not going to get into the argument about what our ancestors would or would not have eaten. I'm not going to get into the argument of, you know, how long they lived and all that. I'll talk a little bit about that. But that science doesn't interest me. I know that there were no fruits available to my ancestors in the northern part of Europe. I know that they would not have been able to transport food all around the world, so I would not have been eating nutrients from different continents all at one time.

I would not always have access to vegetables and fruits and all this other gobbledygook. I just wouldn't there'd be periods of time when I wouldn't. So but before I really get into seasonal ketosis, I do want to talk about a few key things just so we're all on the same base. When I'm talking about ancestral living, there's a few just core tenets that I'm going to throw out there. One is understanding what ketosis is now. Ketosis is when your body is burning fat.

So that can either be the fat that you're eating or it can be body fat. And in doing so, you create ketone bodies. Now, these ketone bodies are something that your brain and your body can use as fuel. Most of the time people are running on glucose. OK, there's glucose in your blood, there's glucose, you know, in the form of glycogen, in your muscles and liver. And we use that for energy most of the time.

At least that's how it's been for at least the last probably six to seven years here in the United States now. And we've also got a lot fatter. Ketones, on the other hand, can do all of that fueling. And in many cases it's more efficient and it's cleaner. It doesn't cause as many problems for us. So our bodies actually perform better, operate better and are in better health when we're in ketosis. So that's just ketosis. Now, the ketogenic diet is also called keto or the keto Diet.

It is a low carb, high fat diet that forces your body to go into nutritional ketosis. Now you can induce ketosis with exogenous ketone bodies or MCT oil, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. But that's not what I'm after here. We want healthy food. We want a healthy diet of real food that puts us into ketosis naturally. And it's not that hard to do. You just got to get the macros right and push through. Now with me, seasonal ketosis is a cyclical ketogenic diet. Now, instead of doing just a week, I do my cycles running over months, OK.

And in fact, seasons. So I'll have a season where I'll go into famine and then I'm in a strict ketogenic diet at that point. I stay in ketosis almost the whole time and then I'll have some feasting seasons when, you know, I'll go ahead and allow myself to eat what I want. I don't have any no, no's. Now I do tend to continue to eat a little bit high fat, low carb at that time, but the rules are gone. I just eat what I feel compelled to eat and enjoy the food that I have.

Now, my approach to health, a healthy ancestral lifestyle really is about health and longevity, even though we may never actually answer that question how long our ancestors would have lived. What we do know is that child mortality was much higher. We know that they didn't have the medical Know-How of modern times and they had less access to food. And we didn't have access to what, you know, most of the experts would call healthy Whole Foods. I mean, we had what was there that was all that was there. So what we didn't how we did. That's all we had.

There were no McDonald's. There was none of that stuff. And we did a lot more physical activity every day. So whatever the evidence says, you know, if people weren't living as long, it was probably for different reasons. OK, now, during those times, there would be periods, particularly in the north, where we would have feast and famine. When we would spend part of the year eating a ketogenic diet and even some periods of fasting. We didn't have food preservation. So we would have to wake up in the morning and maybe not have any food around. So we would have to go get it. We could be traveling and walking for hours and not find that.

But what we would do is if you think about it from a seasonal perspective, we would have access to more food in the spring, through the fall. So there would be fruits, there'd be vegetables, there'd be things like that. And so we would probably put on some weight between spring and fall. We'd just be a normal thing. And it was good because body fat helps protect us from the cold, keep us warmer, and it also gives us food. I mean, when we don't have food, it provides us the energy we need.

Okay, now as we go into the winter, weight loss would be the norm as we started using that fat on our bodies to keep us alive. So if we didn't have access to food, our bodies adapted to stay alive, our bodies adapted to be able to continue to do what we needed to do. I also believe that we were opportunistic eaters and we didn't have a McDonald's or a Tim Hortons or whatever it is that you have on every corner.

We didn't drink sweetened beverages. We just had water. We ate whole foods. When we killed an animal, we ate it hoof to nose. As hunter gatherers, we ate well as we could and we fasted when we had to. So we were on the land. And I think that's one of the core tenets of this is that we knew what we should eat, what we shouldn't eat, and we got that through the tribal knowledge. So, you know, I think it's really important to understand that the things that we call food today are not food. You know, groceries, as they are today, are not as nutritious as what we had been. And we've got to fix that as a people. That's got to be a priority somewhere along the lines.

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Now, another big tenant I want to talk about is fitness. Now, we were not sedentary. You cannot survive as a hunter gatherer if you're going to sit and not do anything, you just don't. So we would have to be fit. We wouldn't be able to go to a gym for cardio and strength training, but we would have regular exposure to three primary movement modalities that were really, really important for us. We would do low intensity, steady-state or LISS, as I like to call it where we had to migrate.

So, you know, food's not always where we want it to be. And the animals were moving with migration patterns. We would have to move with them if we want to be successful hunters. So this would require sometimes days of us to walk and travel, hiking, basically, and we'd have to carry our stuff with us. So if we had shelter and coats and in different clothing and blankets and all the different things, we needed tools and weapons, we would be carrying those with us. So we would go on these long, low intensity, steady state movements.

Now occasionally we would have high-intensity interval training. And you could think of that in terms of if we were hunting or we were fending off other tribes, it would require us to have some power and some skill. So working with weapons, moving for short periods of time, quickly resting, moving again, that would be normal regular activity for us. So, yes, more movement. And then finally a strength in mobility when we killed a large animal or we stumbled across a berry patch, we would feast.

Now, that would also require, in some cases, for us to lift parts of the animal and carry it back to camp, or we'd have to squat down to pick the berries that we were going to be eating. So, again, more movement. And so you can see through this, just the lifestyle of a hunter gatherer is filled with tons and tons of movement. Now, we also would have work life balance. We would be putting in long commutes. We wouldn't be doing a lot of the things we do now.

But while we're working to survive, we would also understand that we needed to rest. We would understand that, you know, we would need flow. And what I mean by flow is, you know, flow is kind of fitting in with what's there. You know, we would know that there's ways to hunt. There's ways to to move. There's there's times that we need to go. And so we would start following a natural pattern of days, months, seasons.

You watch some of the shows where they depict people and they live by the moon, the moon and the seasons give them the information they need to survive. Now, if they faced a threat and then they had a stressor, which, you know, basically what a threat would do is the stress response. It would be acute, immediate, it'd be life or death. So they would have that cortisol hit. They'd have, you know, that adrenal hit and then it would be gone. It wouldn't be this long, drawn out months and months and months of things that we do to ourselves now.

So we would have a very low stress life in a general sense, as long as we were able to successfully hunt and move and do the things we needed to do. Our stress levels were much lower. We also did risk management. And that sounds kind of weird talking about our ancestors.

But the way you stay alive, the way longevity happens, is understanding the risks associated with your life is a primal living being. We weren't worried about calories, blood sugar, vitamin C, processed meat, dietary fiber, or if we had a healthy microbiome, those concepts weren't even in our head. But what we did was we followed a path that was set by our ancestors.

My ancestors would go and they'd say, we know we go this direction. This is the way we have to go this month at the moon. And then we would go, but we would have to also understand what we're facing. If another tribe moved in to the area, we might have to change the plan, but we would do it. We had risk management. We were paying attention. So the biggest risks to us at that time was infant mortality and tribal warfare.

And the only biohacking that we would have done was just making sure that we were aware of the risks and then figuring out ways to avoid them or deal with them. And then relationship would be very important to us. We worked and moved as a tribe. And in a tribe, it works to our benefit because it helps everyone's survival. We hunted in packs and were hard coded in our DNA to be socially engaged. So that relationship, that closeness is really, really important to the nature of ancestral living.

And then finally within ancestral living. I want to talk about curiosity. You know, we did tend to follow the same basic patterns, seasonal patterns, year in and year out. But we were constantly engaged with what was going on. In the world around us, because our survival depended on it. You know, we couldn't go in and ask Google or Facebook what the weather was going to be like or if we were going to have an early summer or a late winter or whatever.

There was no groundhog to do it for us either. We looked to our elders to advise us and then the tribe had to learn and adapt, and that's how we would survive hard times. Now, I recently started a blog to dive into these issues in more detail. But full disclosure, I'm a terrible blogger. I can brag about this being episode 455 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. But you know, I've done several blogs over the years and I don't think I've ever gotten more than maybe 15 blog posts in any one blog I've ever started.

So they blog fade pretty quickly. You know, I hope that doesn't happen with this blog. But what I plan to do with that blog is explore a lot of these topics that I've talked about so far. So if you're interested in any of those, you might want to check out the blog. I'll do the best I can, but. What's probably gonna end up happening is I'll probably end up bringing some of those topics here to the podcast, so check out the blog as I get going on it. Probably not anything else on there now. But check it out. And that's where a lot of these topics are going to be discussed in more detail. And if you have any questions, feel free to join us on the Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Group. And just ask I'm there. I mean, I'm there to participate and help you in any way I can. So if you're interested in this topic, I would like to carry on that conversation.

So for today's discussion and then I'll be gone already for quite a while. But I really want to dive into seasonal ketosis and share why I do it and the reasons that it may or may not be right for you. The first question I kind of have in my mind when I'm thinking about this is seasonal ketosis. The same thing is cyclical keto diet? You know, and technically it is it's you know, you're cycling in and out of keto. So it is a cyclical keto diet. However, when you talk to most people about this cyclical keto diet, it's a six days on, one day off, and they call that a refeed day. And I'm metabolically capable of doing that kind of keto diet, but I'm not a really good moderation type person.

[00:22:02.340] – Allan
You know, I'm either all on or all off. So if I took a weekly cheat day, you know, or carb up day, I just don't know what that day after that might be like. And I might just go ahead and have a second cheat day. So when I start my famine season, you know, in my ketogenic diet, I start dropping weight relatively quickly and then I'll get to my set point and I'm good, you know.

I like seeing two to five pounds come off in a week. What I wouldn't be a fan of is seeing like four pounds down, then two pounds up. And I'm pretty sure that's how the cyclical keto diet would work for me. And I don't really like that. It's progress, don't get me wrong, it's progress. But that's just not me. I'm happy knowing that I can have a few more carbs on my high activity days without going out of ketosis.

So if I'm going to have more carbs, I'm just going to work out a hell of a lot harder that week to make sure that I can keep myself in ketosis and have the carbs too. So if I want some fruit, I got to earn it from a from a carb, blood sugar, muscle and liver glycogen model. Now, there are some positives to the cyclical keto over full time keto. In many cases, athletic performance can be better and muscle growth is better.

I'm not a bodybuilder and I perform fine without the refits. I can I can do as much as I want to do. I need to do so again, cyclical keto is just not for me. But if you're someone who's looking for a way to do keto and then have that kind of that refeed that break, you might want to check that out. Now, why does seasonal ketosis make sense to me from an ancestral perspective?

And I've gone into some of this already. You know, I when I started this and I was learning about the paleo diet, I came across Mark Sissons primal blueprint. And now Mark laid out a very reasoned case for how our ancestors lived and ate. I used to character I think he named Duroc. So rather, you believe in human evolution, creationism or intelligent design, I don't think you can argue that we we're not doing things right now.

We've got to change something. The standard American diet is killing us. You know, back then we didn't eat refined grains and we didn't have junk food. You know, we were hunters and gatherers. We were, like I said, opportunistic eaters. And we ate the nutrition that our body required, essential amino acids and essential fats. They came from animals, primarily red meat and fish. That's where we got our food. Most of our food was going to come in that form.

And then based on the seasons, you know, we had short periods of the year where it was either cold or dry. We were in ketosis because there just might not be any vegetables or fruits available to us during periods of time. And then, of course, because, you know, food availability and everything, we would spend a good bit of time fasting or intermittent fasting or maybe some extended fasting, depending on the nature of what's going on in the world.

You know, if if we got a good, cold, hard freeze and all the animals are moving and there's no, you know, no vegetation at all, we got to go with the animals. We got to catch up to them. And then we got to do the hunting. So just recognize that our diet would have been very keto for much of the year. OK, now I started doing this for weight loss. That was my my core reason. And I was very much drawn to the primal paleo diet because it made intuitive sense.

Mark did a really good job, because it was maybe the first article I read, that you can't eat what you don't have access to. So you wouldn't eat processed foods at all, ever. OK, everything we would have eaten. Would have been whole food. It would have been locally and sustainably sourced and the human body was designed to be a hunter. I mean, there's no doubt whatsoever when you look at our features, look at what we can do. We were designed to be hunters, but when there are fruits and vegetables available, we're probably going to eat those. But we would not have eaten a high carbohydrate diet year-round. It's just impossible for any of our ancestors short of just some very small areas, you know, in the tropical zones where people would have eaten primarily carbohydrate diets that just wouldn't have anyone from northern Europe, anyone pretty much if you're from Northern Europe or Europe at all, your ancestors probably didn't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

That's just that's just part of it. Now, you can look at the current chronic diseases, obesity, heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And the health problems are associated with our food. There's something seriously wrong. In our modern world, most people have insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. And it's it's so epidemic that it's just weird to me that this has become politicized. That, you know, we have the food companies telling our government what to tell us what to eat is kind of crazy. It's not animal products and saturated fat that are making us sick as much as those food companies want the government to tell us that it is. It's just not true. It's the fast food. It's the processed foods.

It's high, refined carbs and sugar. We're eating too much sugar. We're eating too many refined carbs. We're not eating whole food. So if the government was in our favor doing the things that it was supposed to do, they'd be focused on food quality. They would not be telling us to eat cereal and grains and refined carbs. They would be telling us to eat meat, fruits and vegetables, Whole Foods.

Now, I've interviewed experts across all spectrums of nutrition. I've had vegans on I've had carnivores on paleo, keto, everywhere in between. The interesting thing is, is every single one of them will tell you that their way of eating is the best because it is based on high quality whole food. And they'll be able to pull out the studies that show people eating their diet. Whole Foods are crushing it. They're doing great. But what's hard is that they ignore Whole Food studies that say the exact same thing about a different type of diet, because it doesn't fit their world view, it doesn't fit their paradigm.

They have a cognitive bias. So, I just really struggle when someone tells me that the quality of your vegetable matters, but the quality of your meat doesn't. It's just all meat is bad. Or and people say the same thing you know, the other way. Is the quality of the meat matters, but all vegetables are bad. You know, that doesn't make sense to me. Our bodies were designed to eat both. Quality is what matters.

That's why the paleo diet makes sense to me. I think everybody should be trying to eat more whole food. You know, the debates out about whether we would have eaten potatoes or, you know, and I don't think we would have eaten much dairy, to be honest with you, because we didn't have cows. You know, we didn't have goats.

We hunted them or something similar to them. But we didn't we didn't have any animal product like that. We weren't domesticating the animals, so we weren't doing dairy. Beans, you know, those are a little weird because yeah, there are some issues there where we have to be careful with them. But, you know, I like the primal experience of having a big, juicy steak. I just do. I love having a cup of blueberries or blackberries and the sweetness and the tartness and just, I love that.

I'm not going to give up either one of them, I'm just not. My diet is comprised of meat, fish, vegetables and some fruit. I did try the Carnivore diet for a few weeks and I started missing vegetables. I tried the vegetarian diet and then I adapted it into the pescaterian and diet to try to get my protein. And I couldn't do it. I gained weight because I was eating too many fruits and vegetables and grains, so I just started putting on weight. So there's not something that I enjoy. And, you know, when I when I do these did these little experiments, you know, I was typically doing them during my my feasting season. So, you know, was not a period of time when I had to worry about being in ketosis. I just did what I did.

I think it's important for you to understand that whole food is the answer. However, you choose to put that in a way of eating is really about you. But I will say this. If you're going to try seasonal ketosis, you do need to think about a few things. OK, one, I don't. Have any insulin resistance or diabetes or, you know, I don't have any of the the diseases or any of the issues that that people would would be suffering from, that they might be using this as a protocol. So if you have insulin resistance or diabetes, you know, or you're using the ketogenic diet for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, PCOS, or an autoimmune auto immune issue, I wouldn't necessarily cycle off of the ketogenic diet.

Those protocols are specific about staying in keto the whole time. And so that's not something where you would want to cycle out because you're just setting yourself up. If you're way above a healthy body composition and you want to use keto to lose weight, seasonal ketosis is also probably not something for you because your weight is going to fluctuate. I fluctuate 10 to 15 pounds each year as I go through these cycles. So that is, and then, of course, if you're prone to eating disorders, you know, you need to find a way of eating that you're comfortable with.

If it's sustainable for you, the cycling in and out is probably not in your best interest, you know, except for this slip up. I had recently did a covid-19 I've been able to manage my seasons stably for the last eight years. You know, going into my feasting season in late August, early September, and then coming out of it right after the Super Bowl or my birthday at the first week of February. That's my feasting season.

And then my fasting season or famine season, as I call it, will run the rest of the year. And as I said I might put on 10 to 15 pounds during the feasting season, but I ditch that weight pretty quickly and spend my famine season at my lower, lower range of my set point. Now, I love the metabolic flexibility that I have to be able to spend part of the time in ketosis and part of the time having a little bit more carbs.

When I say more carbs, I'm talking about beer and some simple carbs. You know, it's like I'll have a hotdog, I'll have a hamburger. Someone offers me a piece of pie at a tailgate, I'll eat it. So that's kind of that thing. You know, to me, the weight loss is relatively easy. Once I'm in ketosis, my body just naturally says, OK, you don't you don't need this. And some of what I'm flushing out from a weight perspective is water.

But a lot of it is body fat and it goes pretty quickly. And I'm pretty happy with that. Now, if you're interested in diving deeper into this topic, there's two ways that you can do this. I talked about the group earlier, you know, 40+ Fitness Podcast, dotcom focus group, or you can go to the Web site – 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/455. And there's a comment section under this post.

I put a post with the transcripts each week and that's why I tell you the full show notes are there. If you go there, there's a comment section, you can leave a comment there. I'm pretty passionate about the benefits that I get and the flexibility I get and the freedom I get with seasonal ketosis and my style of ancestral living. So I love talking about it. If you want to go into more detail with this, I encourage you to go check out one of those two places and let's continue the conversation there.

[00:34:12.300] Allan
All right, Ras welcome back.

[00:34:15.510] Ras
This is great. A lot of good stuff in the episode.

[00:34:19.320] Allan
Yeah, you know, most people that will talk about ketosis, they talk about in terms of it being a permanent lifestyle. And it can be. But I think it's it's kind of easy for people to get roped into measurements or things and not necessarily doing it for the right reason. I knew that I was going to roll up on football season and want to go tailgating. You know, since I finished my Tough Mudder, I was like having a beer and I was out of ketosis that afternoon, that evening.

[00:34:50.880] Allan
So, you know, just for my life style perspective, it just didn't make sense. They're going to be periods of time that I was not. But I found a manageable way that I could spend some of the year in ketosis and get the benefits that I wanted to get, but at the same time, spent some time doing some things that I enjoy.

[00:35:11.220] Ras
That sounds great, I'm glad that you found this new way to work keto into your normal lifestyle. That sounds like it's flexible enough to work with the way that you like to live.

[00:35:23.000] Allan
It does. You know, of course, you know, this year I had a little bit of difficulty getting out of the beast mode just with everything that was going on. I did put on a good bit more weight than I normally would have. But I've dropped almost all of that now and I'm back down to near a low for the last five years, I've been running at about two hundred and seven pounds.

And I'm right about there right now. I think I'm going to push it down a little lower because my muscle mass is a little lower than it was five years ago. So I'm probably going to push my weight down below two hundred before I kind of level things out again. So I do see some fluctuations with my weight and I know that can be challenging for a lot of people.

[00:36:11.350] Ras
Yeah. That's what I wanted to ask you about that. As you watch the scale go up and down, how does that impact mostly how you feel? Because to me a few extra pounds can feel kind of yucky and sluggish for me. But for you, how does that feel when you're in the fisting mode versus the famine mode?

[00:36:31.660] Allan
Yeah, well, first off, I'm but I'm about five foot 11, so I can I think I can carry 200 pounds pretty well and I can carry up to two fifteen I would say. I don't actually worry about the scale as much. I mean occasionally I'll step on it during my fisting mode just to kind of see where I am. I can usually just guess by looking at how my pants fit.

I before we move down here to Panama, I found a pair of cargo shorts that I liked. So I bought like four or five different pair and different colors of the same cargo shorts. And so they all fit me the same way. And so I can just pretty much tell when I put those cargo shorts on how I'm doing and where I am. And as I mentioned, I eat relatively low carb during my feasting season. So I'm not crazy on carbs.

It's just I don't really worry about it. If, you know, if I'm out with folks, we want to have some beers. I don't think about it. You know, if someone offers me something that I wouldn't normally eat like a hamburger with a bun, I'm going to eat it. I'm not going to worry too much about it, but I do pay attention to my size. You know, if I didn't start noticing that I'm getting bigger, then I'll I'll tap it down a little bit.

I won't I won't go as crazy. Well, except during COVID. But…

[00:37:54.320] Ras
Yes, totally different rules for covid.

[00:37:58.930] Allan
And so, you know, if you're someone that's really stuck on the scale and you just know there's this weight, your magical weight you're supposed to wear, your head tells you, this is my no, you're not going to like this. You know, the interesting thing is, like, you know, like I said, I'll put on ten, fifteen pounds in a swing. So from my feasting to that, I will put on up to fifteen pounds.

You have to recognize that about about five or seven of that is water weight. And I flush that the first week I go back into ketosis. Right. You know, so I'll literally sit there and say, OK, I'm going to go in ketosis, you know, drop five to seven pounds in a week or two. And then it then it tapers down and I'll lose a few pounds a week and then one pound a week and then my body will get to that homeostasis, its happy weight and I just go by how I feel.

Now I've mentioned this before on another episode I was talking about this a little bit. I don't feel as good during the feasting season, you know, because the foods I'm eating or not is healthy. You know, the beer is not a health food.

[00:39:11.260] Ras
That's true. Sadly, sadly true.

[00:39:13.260] Allan
As much as they'll try to tell you it's okay. It's really good. No, it's not actually really good for you at all. That's fake science. Someone wanted that to be true. They made the hypothesis and then they just said, well, it doesn't kill you, so it's got to be good for you.

[00:39:27.730] Ras
Great. Great science.

[00:39:29.450] Allan
Yeah. So, you know, don't if you're someone who's going to freak out about the scale, if you're someone who has issues with your eating, this is not that kind of thing. You know, find one way that works and stick with that would be my recommendation for that. If you really worried about the scale, stay in ketosis.

But I also want to preface it. You know, I notice I do feel better in ketosis. It's just a better state for me to be in. But I'm not all that tight end up being that way all the time. You know, I'm okay to have a couple bad, you know, days where my energy level is not as high or, you know, I feel a little frumpy. I'm cool with that. It's the price I pay for the detour I took, and I just accept that.

If you're someone who's doing it as a protocol for cancer, for diabetes, insulin resistance, any other metabolic issue, then it's something you're probably going to want to stay on. It's not something that I want to cycle through.

[00:40:31.030] Ras
That's a good point.

[00:40:31.030] Allan
You know, even the people that do cyclical, where they're taking one day off per week, I said that that would actually drive me bonkers because I would feel like I was making all this progress dropping, like I said, seven pounds in a week, only to pick four of them back up. Yeah, it would be like that's all I'm doing is flushing water. I'm not really losing any weight.

And so I would struggle with that kind of cycle. Whereas if I'm off, I'm off. If I'm on, I'm on. And that's another thing about my personality, you know, and I talk about in the wellness chips, you've got to know yourself. You got to be self-aware. And it's one of the things I know is I don't have a dimmer switch, the light switch, maybe I'm on or I'm off.

And so it's just easier for me to say, okay, flip the switch and I just do it.

[00:41:24.010] Ras
Yeah, it's a good point. I think that the cyclical, you know, one day a week where you can have a cheat day or cheat meal or whatever, it's a slippery slope because food can be a trigger. And if you have that one serving of chips, that might become the bag of chips and then it might be one more serving the next day, in the next day. And it is a slippery slope. And if you're not confident in your ability to put it away and get back to it, then that can be dangerous.

[00:41:52.180] Allan
Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that I would like to mention is that, you know, we're starting to get anecdotal evidence and maybe some studies where we're looking at performance of someone who's in complete ketosis versus someone who uses carbs as a fuel along with ketones versus someone who's just a sugar burner. And, you know, I'm not going to say one fueling mechanism is best for everybody, but I would put this out there for anyone that is trying to do in terms sport, the heavier you are, the more weight you have to carry for the miles that you're traveling, the more wear and tear you have on your body.

And if you're eating refined carbs specifically and sugar, you're going to have inflammation and that inflammation is going to cause problems in your joints. And so from a health perspective, I would I would be the one that would air on the side of using ketones for for energy.

If I were doing endurance athletics, an occasional carb up here and there before a race might help your performance. But, you know, I'm not sure how much additional glycogen your body is going to be able to carry for that particular event. And you're always going to want to practice what you're going to race. So you would be eating carbs as a regular probably thing each week to carb up for your long runs if you're following the standard training protocol. So you would still be eating a good bit of carbs as a part of that.

So I'm not saying one is better than the other from a performance perspective. I'm just thinking in terms of wear and tear on your body inflammation and you just weigh a little bit less, you know, in carrying less water. So, you know, yeah. All of that's going to probably, in the end, help your performance. But I don't they don't have enough evidence right now where I would say there's one superior fueling way.

[00:43:55.510] Ras
Yeah. And I think as an endurance athlete, that's what kind of attracted me to keto in the first place, was I needed to lose a few extra pounds that I was carrying around. Every time we've moved and and we've moved several times as a family, we set up the house. We have projects I can't get in the runs. I gained a few pounds and so I looked to keto for just something different, a way to just get those pounds off. And it actually worked for me.

The one or two times that I've actually ate something non kaido. It impacted me greatly. I was very sick so I can't really do too much cheating. I know I've got a limit. I probably can eat something that's bread or sugar, but not very much more than a bite of cake or something small because it will impact me. But as far as the endurance part of it, it has helped a lot in my running.

I'm not winning races or anything. I've never been fast either in the first place. But yeah, keto has been a real big help for me in the endurance field. But like we like you mentioned earlier and just a little while ago is that you really need to find what works for you as an individual and there's just a wide range of eating, I could give you a couple of names of some impressive vegan ultra runners. Scott Drake is probably one of the most famous vegan ultra runners.

And then to the exact opposite, Michael McKnight, just this summer or spring, actually ran a hundred miles and no calories, nothing, no food. One hundred miles. I want to say, he did it in 18 hours, if I remember right. But so he's he's definitely keto. But like you were mentioning, he is also carving up a little bit in the week leading up. So his body was fueled with carbs, but then he goes straight kitto so that his body is prepared with fat as well.

And I think that's probably how he survived it. But he's also a pretty famous keto ultra athlete.

[00:46:05.330] Allan
Yeah, I as over the years I found I can get into keto pretty easy. I don't really do the of flu thing anymore since I go in and out, you know, each year I don't really have a kid, I feel a little less energetic for a day or two, but the switch over for me is pretty quick. So that's one of the things I like about doing it the way I do it. But that said, not everybody would you might not have the same experience that I had.

So, you know, the what's that they say in the ad is the results you see might not be your results right into it. So I'm not going to say everybody would have as easy of a time going back and forth. I don't have any insulin resistance. I don't have any blood sugar issues. You know, my awarenesses always been fine. So for me to switch back and forth seems relatively easy, you know, but like I said, most of the year, I'm eating this way anyway.

The difference is just not paying attention to my carbs, are not being worried about the carbs. And so that's why it works. And the other side of it is I don't stress about rather on that point five or point to five as far as what my ketone levels are, as long as I'm in ketosis, I'm cool. But a lot of people are like, no, I want to see that. No, I want to be one point five or better.

And I bought a Keto Mojo not long ago to replace my other ketone meter that I lost. I guess I can't find it after I moved. I'll probably find it when I go get the rest of my stuff. But anyway, so I bought it and they introduced this new where they measure your glucose and you measure your ketones at the same time. And we do that. It gives you a different measure relative so ketones relative to glucose. And so it's an index that they've created.

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And so again, it's just one of those. But again, it's that competitiveness of seeing a higher number that it seems to be pushing toward. And I'm not a big fan of that. You're either in ketosis or you're not. You're not. You know, you can say you're more in ketosis. I mean, there's just more ketones circulating in your blood. So I don't think you're in more ketosis. You just can't be more perfect.

You can't be more pregnant as you are. There are the days you might feel more pregnant than you did the day before. But you know that you're not in you know, you're not in more ketosis. You're in ketosis, you're not. And so it's for me, it's a good protocol. But I'm a little bit different in that I don't have a health issue. I do it to thin out, to lean out a bit, because if I did the feasting all year round, if I ate that way out of control, I would blow up, you know, so I know I can't do that and I have to be very cognizant of it.

I wasn't this year. I went and I stayed with it and just kind of proved my point of once I broke that that that barrier that I had my set point for my body, it said, oh, good, we'll just throw in a lot more weight. We don't have a problem with that. You gave us the fat cells years ago. We know how to use them. Just keep feeding us. And it did. So, you know, you got to turn that around.

And for me, it's when I said no dimmer switch just flipped the switch and let's go.

[00:49:25.580] Ras
That's awesome. You must be very metabolically flexible then to be able to go on and off and in and out of ketosis. And your body doesn't give you the pain that a lot of people get with people it doesn't know, you know.

[00:49:38.780] Allan
I'm very fortunate. I know a lot of people are not like that. They struggle to get into ketosis. And once they're there, like, I love this, I'm never going back. And, you know, that's cool. But, you know, you eat something bad like you said, you don't maybe you don't even know it has sugar in it or as many carbs in it as it does. And you eat it and you fall out of ketosis.

Now, people do that all the time and go right back into ketosis and never even know they were out of ketosis. So it's not this magical state. Where you're going to have to go through keto flu every time you go in and out, because people are going in and in some levels, most people are in a mild state of ketosis almost every morning they wake up because you've gone, you know, eight or 12 hours without eating. So your body is starting to produce ketones.

Now, is it using them efficiently as a fuel? No, because you're immediately going to put some more glucose in the system. You know, if you're very active, like you do your endurance sport and you're burning down some glycogen in your muscles and your liver. So when you do have additional carbs, some additional carbs, your body's going to use this insulin to restore that. So if you need it in the liver, if you need it in the muscles, then insulin is going to do its thing to do that.

If you didn't do any work and you're already topped up with glycogen, then it's only got one other choice and it's going to start making fat. So if that's something you're trying to avoid, you want a better body composition. I can't think of a better way to do it than keto.

[00:51:09.910] Ras
Yeah, that sounds about right. That's what I've experienced as well.


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