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Why you should treat aging like a competitive sport – Sharkie Zartman

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SPONSOR
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and use the discount code 40plus to get 25% off.

Sharkie Zartman is a former volleyball athlete and champion competitor, UCLA, where her jersey was retired. She was a member of the USA Women's National Volleyball Team, USA all-American, and also competed in the Women's Professional Volleyball Association for five years and is a member of the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. As a coach, she led El Camino College to nine conference championships and two state titles. With her husband Pat she helped the South Bay Spoilers Club team win three national youth titles. She holds degrees in kinesiology and instructional technology. She teaches health and fitness at the community college level and hosts Sharkie's pep talk on Healthy Life radio, where she motivates people to take charge of their health and wellness.

Transcript

[00:02:53.190] – Allan
Hey Ras how you doing.

[00:02:55.170] – Ras
Great. How are you today Allan.

[00:02:56.790] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. Feeling really good. You know life has it, things are really, really good and things are opening up here in Panama so it looks like my wife and I are going to get an opportunity to come back to the states for a little while, visit family. We've been storing all of our crap what crap we have left. You know, you say you sold everything, but we didn't sell everything. We ended up with a whole garage full of stuff that's in our daughter's garage feeling kind of bad that it's been there for as long as it's been there because we moved it all in there over a year ago. And so she's like, you know, she's really cool about it, actually cooler than I would be.

[00:03:38.690] – Allan
But it's like I've got to get there and get that. Plus some of the equipment, some of the stuff that's in there. I went for the gym. Now, the gym is not going to open any time soon. Panama looks at gyms and things. We're just like disco tecs and, you know, that kind of thing. So, yeah, they haven't opened the schools. They're not going to open the discotheques and they're not going to let us open the gym. So we take advantage of the time that the gyms closed to go ahead and take a trip to the United States, get that equipment, get it in there. So when people do come back. It's going to be a pretty cool place.

[00:04:07.750] – Ras
Awesome, that sounds great.

[00:04:10.200] – Allan
So let's go ahead introduce today's guest.

[00:04:13.250] – Ras
All right.

[00:05:03.320] – Allan
Sharkie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:06.110] – Sharkie
Thank you, Allan. Happy to be here.

[00:05:08.220] – Allan
You know, as someone who kind of grew up being an athlete, I just have to say I love the title of your book, When at Aging How to Stay Fit Free and Love Your Retirement. I just like that whole concept of winning this thing is just really, really uplifting.

[00:05:24.000] – Sharkie
Well, thank you. We all want to win. Right. So it's an empowered approach to life and aging.

[00:05:31.890] – Allan
And I think it's just one of those things where not many people approach this from the perspective of as a manageable thing like you're managing a game or you're managing a sport. And there are strategies and there are rules and there are things you can do and you have to play the game right or you age faster than you should.

[00:05:52.270] – Sharkie
Right, exactly. And that's what I'm trying to get out there because I see a lot of people that hit a certain age. I think 50 is probably the age where most people kind of go, oh, my gosh, what's going on? This is crummy. What can I do? And so, yeah, this is meant to help.

[00:06:12.810] – Allan
Good, good. And I think it will because some of the things you share in here, I think are just classic. There are things that we all should be doing. Rather we're fifteen or eighty-five, you know, because we want to live a long, healthy life here. And it's not about longevity, it's about having a quality of life, which is part of what winning is about. We've got to do the right things.

[00:06:36.240] – Sharkie
Exactly. It takes work.

[00:06:39.870] – Allan
Everything worth while does. So in the book, you share what you call some rules of aging, because we're approaching this like a game. And if we want to win, we need to know the rules. Can you go through some of the rules of aging so anyone getting ready to age knows how to play the game?

[00:06:58.910] – Sharkie
Sure. Well, I came up with these, so you probably won't find them any place else. But as I was going through studying the process and comparing it to sports, I thought, well, as an athlete, you need to know the rules of the game. So here are the ones I came up with. And the first thing is every living thing ages. And so it's not something that we can avoid, but we can control it. So that's the good news.

[00:07:27.420] – Sharkie
But we're all going to go through some kind of process with aging. It's not, and you know, the only alternative is actually leaving the planet. So it's something we're all going to do. And if we're lucky. Right. And also, I want to make sure that people know that you can live a healthy, fulfilling life at any age, but it does take work. We can't just do nothing. Like we were younger, don't remember getting away with stuff like partying all night or and feeling great the next day.

[00:08:00.180] – Sharkie
But that's not going to happen as we get older. So we have to realize that it does take work if we want to have a positive, vibrant life as we get older. And here's one that I want people to know. We are responsible for how we handle the aging process. Our doctors can only do so much. And I think a lot of times we just sort of, oh, I don't feel good, my doctor will take care of me.

[00:08:28.770] – Sharkie
Well, that's not the way it is and winning at aging. We have to be responsible for our lifestyle and how we feel as we get older. Because the doctor is just going to bring us back from disease. Right. That's what they do. So but another thing that I think is really cool is the rate of aging is actually related to our lifestyle, our attitude, and genetics. And the cool thing is that we can control two out of those three things.

[00:09:00.360] – Sharkie
Obviously, we can't control genetics, but we can control our lifestyle and our attitudes. And so that's what we need to focus on. And then the physiological and psychological conditions are really more important than our chronological age. So in other words, don't you know people that are 80, that are vibrant and healthy and other people have all sorts of physical and mental problems. So it's not really the age. So it's again, a lot of these things are controllable.

[00:09:34.440] – Sharkie
We don't get older at the same rate and have the same conditions. It's an individualized process. And when it comes to aging, it doesn't matter who you are, it matters what you do. And also we have to respect aging. I call aging in the book a bitch. So respect study and understand the beast or she will take away your quality of life. And again, how we age is up to us. We need to get in the driver's seat. We need to get behind the wheel. We need to stop being a passenger and a back seat driver. So that's the rules of aging and understanding those things. That's how we're going to win.

[00:10:20.100] – Allan
Awesome. Awesome. Now, in the book, when you talk about getting healthy, I guess, or dealing with our aging, you used an acronym and I'm like one of these. I go crazy for acronyms. I love them, but your acronym is RAP. Can you tell us about what the pieces are of RAP and why each is important?

[00:10:40.850] – Sharkie
Right. I call it the power of rap. And it's really getting your mind on board because most people focus on their bodies. But if your mind isn't on board, you're not going to get the results that you want. So the mind and body have to be working together. And the three characteristics as an athlete that I think all top athletes share are: Resiliency. That's R. Accountability and Purpose. So did you want me to go through those three and explain them to you?

[00:11:13.880] – Allan
Yes, please.

[00:11:15.590] – Sharkie
OK, so Resiliency, agings a challenge. And so we have to, if we're going to take this path, which most of us are going to do. We have to toughen up. And as an athlete, when, if you played a sport, you didn't probably moan and groan or quit when you lost a game or something happened. You stepped up, you went back to practice and you did it again and you tried again. And so that's what we have to have resiliency. If we get knocked down, we need to brush it off, get back up, and keep going.

[00:11:53.920] – Sharkie
So winning and aging is tough. It's not for wimps, that's for sure. So we have to quit complaining and just say, OK, this is the way it is and I can do this and I'm going to control what I can control. So the Rocky movies are a great example of how many times did that guy get knocked down and get back up.

[00:12:18.710] – Sharkie
So and the second one is accountability. And I think we have a serious problem with accountability in our society today. It's like nobody wants to take responsibility for their choices.

[00:12:31.030] – Allan
Right.

[00:12:31.790] – Sharkie
So, but as we get older, we have to start doing that. We have to take a look at what got us where we are today, and we have to accept the responsibility for that. So we really have to say, hey, you know, I made these choices because of that. Maybe that's why I'm dealing with this and I can change those choices. Too often people blame other people or blame the conditions. And as an athlete, you probably know, that that never got you better at your sport. So that's the accountability factor.

[00:13:10.880] – Sharkie
And I use a fun story in the book about this guy at this conference I went to with all these trainers and they were trying to say the coolest things that are out there in terms of supplements and gimmicks. And this guy came up when it goes, I don't know everything about it goes, but I have something that works just tell your client to stand in front of the mirror with no clothes on and say, I am responsible for this and I am the only person that can fix it. That was a powerful message.

[00:13:40.490] – Allan
There you go.

[00:13:43.040] – Sharkie
And the last one is purpose. And I know that that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But basically, it's knowing what you want and start being excited about getting it. I think too often early in our lives, we're trying to make ends meet. We're taking care of our family. We're concerned about our careers. But a lot of times after 50, now's the time for us to kind of go, hey, what do I really want?

[00:14:13.940] – Sharkie
We've never really asked ourselves that question before. And once we find out and it's different for everybody and that can be more than one purpose, it gets you excited about life. It gets you excited about getting up in the morning and getting going. And a lot of times when people retire and they lose some self-worth because they're not doing this what they've done for so many years. And but they still have their gifts. They still have their energy. And so they just need to find a way to channel that. And so those are the three things that I think are really, really important. The three characteristics that you need to win at aging.

[00:14:56.120] – Allan
Yeah, I completely agree because things are going to happen. You had a knee replacement, I think you said, that was that required rehab, required some really hard work to work through that you easily could have just quit and said, OK, well, now I'm just going to sit here and start doing something like reading because I can't get back in the gym. I can't go do my exercises. I can't do the things I was doing. But you did the rehab, so now you can.

[00:15:26.530] – Sharkie
Right, and I got to tell you, anybody that's considering a knee replacement, it's not an easy surgery to recover from. I was six hours on this machine every day that took my leg through different ranges of motion. And I had to do that to get back to one 120 degrees in flexion and extension. And it was hard and it was painful. But I went, there's no way I'm going to have gone through that surgery and not come out better. So, yeah, I got to do it.

[00:16:02.740] – Allan
I tore a rotator cuff and, you know, went through and I had the surgery on a Thursday and I was in rehab on Monday. And I was like, I'm not playing around with this. I'm going to get this shoulder back as quickly as I possibly can.

[00:16:17.590] – Sharkie
Good for you.

[00:16:18.580] – Allan
And then and then the other two, I think we can look at the Blue Zones and some of the other books that are out there, and they kind of make it clear if we don't have a purpose, we don't have a fire. And if we don't have a fire, then that's not really the life we want to live anyway.

[00:16:34.240] – Sharkie
Right.

[00:16:34.860] – Allan
And then after that, it's like, OK, so here you are and you have this self-awareness. What are you going to do about it? And, you know, we don't have necessarily, unless you hire someone, you don't have a coach out on the field telling you, OK, run this play, do that play, do this thing. You've got to figure some of that out for yourself.

[00:16:52.660] – Allan
But the reality is that information's there. It's not rocket science, even though the body's a really complex organism, we know the things we're supposed to be doing, eating whole food, moving, meditating, sleeping. You know, we all know those things. So I think it's really important for folks to really wrap their head around all three of these in your RAP, because it is each and every one of them is important. You can't get there without all three of them.

[00:17:20.980] – Allan
Yes. Yes.

[00:17:23.230] – Allan
Now, you brought another concept into this thing and again, goes back to your sports and athletic days, the concept of playing offense and defense, because I think most of us are thinking and just thinking in terms of, well, we're going to play this game and play defense. I'm going to try to avoid getting older. I'm going to try to avoid hurting myself. I'm going to, you know, try to avoid some of the things that maybe I did in my 20s and 30s. You know, we're thinking of it from a defensive perspective, but you say we have to do both. If we're going to win this game.

[00:17:54.090] – Sharkie
We really do offense, obviously scoring. So if you're in a team sport, you want to score. And defense is preventing the other team from scoring. And actually, when when you're in sports, I think a lot of times people focus more on offense. Right. So like a coach that wants to run and gun and just in basketball and get down and shoot within eight seconds. And, you know, basically, if if you're successful, you're going to win, right. Because you get more opportunities at shooting.

[00:18:28.900] – Sharkie
But a lot of times sports, they actually don't work enough on defense. And defense, if two teams are similar defense is preventing the other team from scoring. Right. So you need them both. You need them both. And so you need to be proactive in terms of offense. You need to go after a healthy lifestyle. It's on you. It's your responsibility. You need to do this. The doctor is not going to make you do it.

[00:19:03.910] – Sharkie
So but defense, I think, is what I'm looking at defense in terms of what aging is, prevention. And, you know, taking a look at something like COVID, which hopefully will go away soon. You know, we all hear the prevention. Wash your hands, social distancing, masks, don't go to large gatherings, eventually have a vaccine. So COVID doesn't win. And so I think that we need to have both. And there's a lot of overlap between the two. But we can't just focus on one. We can't just focus on defense. We can't just focus on offense.

[00:19:48.170] – Allan
Yeah. And I completely agree with you. There is one thing I'd like to say is, you know, with COVID and again, I agree with you, I hope this is something we get rid of and don't have to deal with again, for a long, long time. But I hate the term social distancing because to me, it's a horrible, horrible choice of words.

[00:20:11.310] – Sharkie
It is!

[00:20:12.270] – Allan
We want physical distancing.

[00:20:14.070] – Sharkie
Exactly!

[00:20:15.150] – Allan
So we need social you know, that's part of purpose. That's part of why I'm doing what I'm doing, you know, so I don't want to socially distance myself from the people that I care about. I want to be, you know, not necessarily physically around them, because that's you know, that's part of the issue. I have to be smart about it. But I think the core of this is that defense isn't all that sexy. You know, it's just washing your hands, doesn't seem like, you know, a big, sexy thing to do, whereas, you know, get on the bike and go for a ride and you know, and you're enjoying the outdoors and you get at the same time, feeling the wind on your face.

[00:20:51.750] – Allan
And, you know, you break a record because you went faster this time than you've gone in a long, long time. So you have a new PR and that's exciting. That's fun. That scoring is fun. Sometimes it's just, you know, brush your teeth, wash your hair. You know.

[00:21:07.200] – Sharkie
I know, prevention is not fun.

[00:21:11.430] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:14.830] – Sharkie
Offense is fun.

[00:21:14.870] – Allan
But you still have you still have to do both.

[00:21:17.490] – Sharkie
Right.

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[00:22:46.740] – Allan
Now, in the book, you went through the components of fitness, and I always like to, if I see someone who's written about this, I really, I like to come back to this, because I think it's, you know, will typically if we start working on fitness, there will be something that we're going to be really, really good at. Like you might be really good at cardio and you can ride your bike forever and you can go, go, go, go, go. But you lack upper body strength or you don't have much mobility or balance. Can you go through the components of fitness and why each one, what we should be doing for each one of those, particularly as we start getting older.

[00:23:22.080] – Sharkie
Right. Right. Well, first of all, we need to know that they are all important and so you can't just be healthy and when at aging, just doing one thing. And so the one that gets the most attention usually is cardiorespiratory endurance because it's systematic, which means that affects all the systems of the body. And the definition of that just scientific is the ability of the heart and lungs to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells and eliminate waste products so the cells can do their jobs.

[00:23:56.490] – Sharkie
And so that's basically what it is. And as most of us know, that's prolonged, sustained large muscle movements. Like riding your bike, like walking, jogging. And so usually the timeline on this is to do so at least for 30 minutes a day. And yet it used to be that that was the main guideline. But now we know that we can cut it into chunks. It doesn't have to be non-stop for 30 minutes. And so we can cut it into chunks and still get the benefits from it.

[00:24:33.780] – Sharkie
And there are so many things that we can do with cardiorespiratory endurance. And I think especially now people need to get creative, because a lot of the things that they've done in the past, they can't do anymore because of everything shutting down. So, yeah, and getting outside is a great way to get your cardiorespiratory endurance. Writing an exercise bike indoors is very different than riding it outdoors, right?

[00:25:05.160] – Allan
Yes.

[00:25:06.670] – Sharkie
Yes. And so that's the one that gets the most attention, but one that I think is especially important, especially as we age, is the muscle fitness, which is muscle strength and muscle endurance because as we age, we lose muscle mass if we don't work on keeping it. And as you know, a lot of people, as they get older in their 80s, a lot of times they lose their mobility and nobody wants to lose that. And so we have to keep our muscles strong and active. And there are two components. Again, muscle strength, muscle endurance, we can work on them together or we can work them separately. Most people work them together, and that's just lifting weights or doing resistance training. And the reps would be somewhere between 8 and 12 reps.

[00:26:02.400] – Sharkie
And you can do a whole muscle resistance training workout in 20 minutes and so it doesn't take that much time. And you can do it at home with weight machines, you can get strap's I have a TRX machine at home that really works. So there's a lot of different ways to do that. Resistance training. It's not just on the machines that you have at the gym. And so those two are very important. But flexibility is too, that range of motion present at a joint. I mean, we want to be able to move our bodies so we can get up off the floor. Right.

[00:26:44.470] – Sharkie
And that involves stretching, making sure that we do work the joints through their full range of motion each and every day. And one of the best ways that I like to do it is through yoga. There are so many different yoga practices out there. Some of them are physical. Some bring in other components like meditation. But combining flexibility with your other workouts for cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle strength is very doable. So there's a lot of hybrid workouts out there that do all three.

[00:27:19.770] – Sharkie
And the last one I would like to talk about his body composition because and that's the proportion of body fat to the fat-free mass. And people need to understand body composition is, because otherwise a lot of times people start a resistance training program and then they stand on the scale and they go, oh my God, I've gained weight, especially for women. And a lot of times that's muscle mass. That's. Good. So getting a body composition test is really, really important to know what that mass is.

[00:27:54.990] – Sharkie
Obviously muscle. We want muscle and if we have too much body fat, we'd like to get rid of that. But what happens as we get older, especially when we get to be over 40 with losing that muscle mass, ok, and a lot of times we don't notice it happening. We start to put on body fat, ok, and we're doing the same things. It's kind of like we haven't changed our lifestyle, but we start gaining weight. And I think especially this happens to women and so. So we need to be aware of body composition. So those are the components, muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, and body composition. We need them all to win it aging. Yes.

[00:28:39.770] – Allan
Yes, I agree. That's why I wanted you to go over them because I do think it's really, really important. And the cool thing about all of them is that you mentioned yoga for flexibility and mobility. You mentioned different ways that we can get cardiovascular fitness. You mentioned different ways that we can do resistance training. And even with body composition, we can try different things. So it should never be stale. It should never get old. It should be something where you're excited to do it. You know, and particularly, I think when people want to continue sports into their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, that's an excellent opportunity because it clearly demonstrates that you're keeping yourself fit and capable.

[00:29:30.690] – Sharkie
Yeah, sports are great because they combine all of these components. I mean, you're you have to work on muscle strength, you have to have the endurance in order to go the distance, you have to have the flexibility. So, yeah, you're right. So sports are a great alternative. And people who play sports a lot of times don't realize they're working out because they're having so much fun. Right.

[00:29:56.610] – Allan
Until you're sore the next day and you're like, hey, I did something.

[00:30:03.000] – Sharkie
I earned that soreness.

[00:30:05.030] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:30:05.550] – Sharkie
No, we won.

[00:30:08.670] – Allan
Or we scored!

[00:30:09.300] – Sharkie
We scored

[00:30:10.020] – Allan
Yeah, the offense scored. Now we got to play some defense and get ourselves recovered and ready to go again. But, you know, in the book you talked about meditation and meditation used to be one of those things we would say woo-woo. And occasionally you would do it with yoga, you know, with a little less of a spiritual backing to it. But I think now if you didn't know meditation, I mean, they've been in a rock, if they don't know. But meditation has become a little bit more mainstream. But you mentioned three breakdowns. And I just kind of want to go through them because it's three types of meditation. So just like we talked about with fitness, there are different modalities of how you can do and accomplish that task. And it's no different with meditation. Can you talk about the three sections or approaches to meditation and what he does?

[00:31:03.450] – Sharkie
Sure, sure. The first one, I think, is the most common. It's called exclusive meditation. The reason that works a lot of times because your brain has something to focus on. Your brain likes to have something to do. Otherwise it's going to just, you're going to have the monkey mind. Right. You've got it all different times. And I think probably the one that I like the most and I've taught my yoga students is a primordial sound, exclusive meditation, where they focus on saying to themselves, SO, s o on the inhale. HUM h u m on the exhale.

[00:31:47.850] – Sharkie
And it's real easy. But for some people, it's hard because the mind likes to wander. And I tell my students, just go back when your mind starts to wander, just go back. So on the inhale hum on the exhale. Because what that's doing is it's giving your whole rest of your body a chance to relax, because if the mind is always running amok, it's yourselves are listening to your mind. So if finally, your mind has something to do that's just repetitive with just one thought, one thing, then your whole rest of your body gets to relax.

[00:32:26.340] – Sharkie
And it's an easy exercise, meditative exercise to do. And a lot of my students just really enjoy it. So they feel so much better afterward and you don't have to do it for very long. I learned this at the Show Presenter, Depok Chopra. And when I first went into that meditation room, I couldn't sit still for five minutes. After learning this technique, I could be there for 30 minutes and it felt like two minutes.

[00:32:56.180] – Sharkie
And so it's it's very powerful and it's very easy. The Inclusive one is a little harder. And so this one, you're kind of letting in the thoughts and but you sit quietly and you just let your brain do the thoughts. But the key here is to not attach any judgment or any emotion to the thoughts. So it's like you're watching them from a distance. It's like you're sitting there watching logs go down a stream one at a time. And I've done this also in my class.

[00:33:29.620] – Sharkie
Some of my students really like it because what ends up happening, you're watching yourself think and the thoughts start to slow down and eventually sometimes the thoughts stop. And you're just there totally relaxed in a meditative state. Isn't that cool? So that takes, that's a little harder than the exclusive. The mindfulness we can do every day doing anything. We don't have to sit down or lie down to do mindfulness. It's just being totally aware in the present moment.

[00:34:06.520] – Sharkie
And sometimes I'll use a mindfulness technique in terms of just doing a body awareness exercise with my students. I'll have them start at the top of their body and just send their awareness up to their forehead, or to their mouth. They become very aware of the present moment as to what's going on there. But we can do this at like when we're washing the dishes instead of thinking about everything else going on in the past or future. We're just washing the dishes and just be right in that present moment.

[00:34:42.580] – Sharkie
So the mindfulness, I think, is really cool because we can do that anywhere, any time. And it's very, very relaxing and soothing. Most of us spend our time either in the past thinking about what we did and obsessing over what we did wrong or we're worried about the future. So mindfulness is a technique on how to stay in the present moment.

[00:35:06.910] – Allan
Yeah, and guys washing the dishes counts as washing your hands so use that as some mindfulness time.

[00:35:14.560] – Sharkie
That good. That's good.

[00:35:20.620] – Allan
And I've done all three of these. And you're right, the inclusive one is kind of the hardest one because invariably I would think of something that I needed to do and I was really afraid to let that thought go. And it took me a while to say, OK, it's going to come back around. I'll remember it. I know I will. But yeah, you get something that is big and you're like, oh, I got to get that done. And yeah, now I'm sitting here not doing it. And so it's a little harder to balance. All of these are easier, particularly.

[00:35:49.990] – Allan
I mean, other than the mindfulness, I think all of the other ones are much easier if you have some guidance. So, you know, you might get some apps or go on YouTube and get some videos, you know, to listen to. But when they're guided, it makes it just a little bit easier to get into it. And you start out five minutes and you get comfortable with that. You stretch it out to a little bit longer. And yeah, before you know what you're capable of doing a lot more than you would have thought.

[00:36:15.810] – Sharkie
Right. Have you ever done a guided meditation where they actually the audio takes you to a place and describes the place and you're actually using your mind to be there? Have you ever done that?

[00:36:27.890] – Allan
Yeah. I've done one of those. I was I subscribed to the Headspace app and it had all kinds of stuff in there. And it was, part of that was the stress relief app so I spent a lot of time with that. But yeah, they had the others. I've gone on YouTube as well and listened to a few where they're like, OK, you're going to leave your body and try to imagine yourself floating above you. You see yourself there?

[00:36:51.680] – Sharkie
Yeah.

[00:36:52.450] – Allan
You go up to this place where you don't feel any pain, you don't feel any regret, you don't feel anywhere.

[00:36:57.980] – Sharkie
Right, that's right. Yeah. Very cool.

[00:37:01.690] – Allan
Right. So Sharkie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:37:11.380] – Sharkie
Well, OK, I'm going to take a holistic approach to this, if you don't mind. So, yeah, I'm a health professor and I teach holistic health. So I think we need to and I'm going to talk about three that basically is most of that. But, the fourth one, if we have time, some people will find it harder. The first one people will identify with that, because that is talking about your body, that your body in terms of what you can do to make your body healthier. And that's the wellness.

[00:37:45.550] – Sharkie
So one area that I think a lot of us, the nutrition and all of us want to know what's the best way to eat, and there is an idea called bio-individuality, which actually means we're all different. There's not one diet that is for all of us. So we need to spend some time figuring out the kinds of foods that feel good in our bodies and help us live our lives. And because there are some foods out there that are deemed healthy, but they're not healthy for some people. Some people have food allergies. Right.

[00:38:26.030] – Sharkie
So it takes time and motivation to really explore foods in terms of what we enjoy, what feels good inside of our bodies. And one thing I would say to everyone is to try to stay away from processed foods. You mentioned that eating whole foods because of all the toxins, the toxins put us at risk for autoimmune disease and everything else. And so if we can just stay away from those kinds of foods and add more whole foods, more fruits, and vegetables, fresh, more whole grains, more protein that is clean, we would notice a difference. And so that's the physical part.

[00:39:14.240] – Sharkie
The next one is, I think, even more important, and that's the mental-emotional components of wellness. And like I said, the mind and body are connected. So you can't just work on the body and not have the mind on board. And I think one thing that all of us can do as we age is start having a more positive mindset. You know, the paradigm for aging is it's an eventual period of decline. And that's pretty depressing. I like to say it's a challenge, it's an opportunity and it's a privilege. And so just doing that kind of changes the feeling of what aging is about. And so we need to look for the good instead of always what's wrong. It's hard to do in this day and age, but we can do it if we focus on what's good today.

[00:40:05.830] – Sharkie
We can have a journal. We can basically do this. We can look for the good and focus more on what can I do not what can't I do. What can I do that I want to do? And then I just had a person on my show, his name is Ted Larkins. He wrote the Get to Principle. He goes instead of saying, you have to do this, I get to do this. And so this is all mind-shifting towards positivity, which I think we need to do. We need to stop complaining about everything.

[00:40:40.810] – Sharkie
And the last one is social, social wellness. We need to put together our own change. We probably have a lot of people out there that draw our energy away that are negative. All they do is complain we need to get people in our lives that are positive and have the same goals as us. When I was doing a lecture once this woman raised her hand and because I told I identified those people as social vampires and she goes, What if you're married to one? And I said, well, you need to crowd him out with other people in your lives that are positive. And so and we get to choose our own team. So it's not like we're back in the days where we had tryouts and stuff to be on teams. We get to choose our own teams now, and that includes our doctors and our health providers. And so, yeah, so we need to get our team together.

[00:41:37.310] – Sharkie
And the last component is spirituality. And I tell my students, I give them one phrase, and have them think about it. Imagine that you are spiritual being having a physical experience. And when I tell them that some of them just kind of go, oh, I mean, isn't that a cool thing to think about?

[00:41:59.770] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:42:00.730] – Sharkie
Yeah. And so so those are the approaches, the three strategies that I use with that last one thrown in for fun.

[00:42:08.980] – Allan
Thank you, Sharkie. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, When it Aging, How to Stay Fit, Free, and Love Your Retirement, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:42:20.500] – Sharkie
My website. It's my name SharkieZartman.com. And they can also go to Amazon and the book is up and there'll be some reviews up there and some information. And also my other books can, are up on. Amazon and Barnes Noble and but basically my website has pretty much mostly what I do and my background.

[00:42:53.330] – Allan
Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/452 and I'll be sure to have links there in the show notes. Sharkie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:04.880] – Sharkie
Well, thank you for having me, Allan. It was fun.

[00:43:07.370] – Allan
Well Ras, that was a pretty cool episode, don't you think?

[00:43:15.170] – Ras
Oh, it was. Lots of good information here.

[00:43:18.380] – Allan
Yeah, she was just a spitball of fire. I really enjoyed the conversation with her. And, you know, while we were recording her, I think her husband was in the background, Pat. And it was funny because in the book he and I don't even know that I got into this in the interview so much as I did afterward. Sometimes I have better conversations afterward sometimes than I do during the actual episode. But her husband, Pat, you know, one of the things she said about him was that he wants to live until at least 200. And so I wanted her to know that I'm in Pat's corner there. I hope Pat makes it and leads the way for the rest of us to live longer, healthier lives. So it was a really cool conversation.

[00:43:53.150] – Allan
And I promise, guys, we're past that point of talking about aging. I've had three or four episodes in a row. So we will move on and will talk about some other things next week and I'll let you know what's going on. But so what were some key things that you took away from this episode Ras?

[00:44:07.760] – Ras
Well, she's got the point right on the head here is that we all want to win at aging, don't we? We want to have a really good quality of life as we get older. And sometimes that's hard to get to unless you put in the effort.

[00:44:23.700] – Allan
Yeah, I think so many times people look at the aging curve and they just think, OK, that's my path. That's what I'm going to follow. You know, my grandfather lived till he was in his 60s. My father died in his 60s. So, that's my path. They both had diabetes. Therefore, that's my path. My whole family has obesity problems and the issues that come along with that, that's my path.

[00:44:45.870] – Allan
But the reality of it is if you approach your life with the mindset that it's not your path, you decide your path, then you can change that trajectory. It doesn't have to follow the standard path where you're living the standard life expectancy of, you know, your family or your history. You can rewrite that second part. You can go on a different path and live longer, live better. And I like that she looks at it as a competition, as winning something, because if you go in with a losing mindset, then that's where you are. You know, it's the Ford quote, if you think you can. You're right. If you think you can't, you're also right. You lead a lot of what goes on with your life, with your mindset.

[00:45:34.140] – Ras
Absolutely. I like how she mentions you can't change your genetics, but you can change your attitude and you can change your lifestyle. It's so true.

[00:45:45.480] – Allan
Yeah, and so many things that we're facing today, you know, obesity, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, a lot of these things we're learning are lifestyle diseases. We, unfortunately, we're doing it to ourselves and we've got to fix that.

[00:46:04.960] – Ras
That's so true. She mentions about being proactive with the offense, about taking the lead and leading a healthy lifestyle, making the changes to lose weight, gets healthier, get stronger, and do what you can. I mean, you just don't have to sit there and age. You can do what you can to enjoy it and improve the quality of your living as you age.

[00:46:26.590] – Allan
Yeah, I liked that she had that offensive approach along with the defense. You don't win a game without having both. But, you know, most people don't think about the offensive part of this. And one thing that I like when I'm working with clients, and they'll invariably want to use the scale as a measurement of success. And so I'll be working with them and then they'll step on the scale. And they've gained a pound. And it's like a tragedy, you know, they want to they just basically want to quit and if you look at it from the perspective of a football player. And I don't know how much you know about football, but in general, you have four downs to get 10 yards. So you have four plays to get the ten yards that you want to get.

[00:47:10.650] – Allan
And if a team goes out there on their first down and maybe they lose three yards, you know, they ran the wrong, they ran to the left and the guys on the left on their side wanted it more than our guys did. And we lost you know, we lost three yards on that play. We don't punt the ball. We don't stop. We don't quit the game and say, well, I'm just going to stop doing this. What we do is we know we have three more downs. We learn from that play. We say, hey, let's not run that play again, you know, maybe later in the game we'll open things up. But let's not run that play right now because it's not going to work. It's not working for us the way we want it to. We've got to get positive yards.

[00:47:49.070] – Allan
So now we're looking at throwing the ball or we're looking to run to the right, or we're going to do some kind of misdirection to take care of those aggressive players over there. But we do something different because we know we have more downs in us. We know we have more opportunities. So I agree with that. We can win this. We have to think of it as a total game. You know, aging is not a thing that happens to you today and something that's happening every day. So you're in the game every day whether you want to or not. You just have to choose if you're going to continue to lose those three yards, every single play, or if you're going to make some positive yardage here and there where the game lets you. And that being offensive-minded gives you that opportunity to take advantage of things.

[00:48:31.940] – Ras
That's absolutely right. And in the world of running, we, when you're out there running miles, things happen. It always does. You feel a hot spot and a blister comes on. So you stop and tend to it. You're feeling hungry. You stop and have something to eat. The whole point is, is that you're listening to what your body is telling you and you do something about it. Again, you just don't have to wait around and see what happens next. You take control and if you encounter a problem, you learn what it takes to fix it and get after it.

[00:49:03.900] – Allan
Absolutely. All right, so anything special going on for you coming up?

[00:49:12.030] – Ras
No, just running miles. It's a cut back week for me, so I'm just taking the miles a little light this week. But next week I'll be ramping back up again and I'll have some double-digit days

[00:49:23.100] – Allan
Double digits, love it.

[00:49:24.870] – Ras
My favorite!

[00:49:26.900] – Allan
A lot of me time, a lot of me time.

[00:49:29.100] – Ras
You bet ya!

[00:49:29.440] – Allan
Getting those miles, good for you.

[00:49:30.420] – Ras
For sure. Thanks.

[00:49:32.250] – Allan
Now me, the cool thing is things are slightly opening up here in Panama, so it looks like I'm going to get a chance to come back to the States for about a month to see some family take care of a few things that I left undone in Pensacola. So we're looking at taking a trip there in October. So about a month from now, I'll be in Pensacola, where we're flying into Miami, and I'll spend a few days there.

[00:49:58.980] – Allan
Then we're going to drive up to Pensacola and we'll spend about a week there. Then we're going to drive up to Indiana, near Chicago and spend about a week there and then to Asheboro, North Carolina, which if you look at North, can I just point your finger right in the very middle of it? That's where Aspro is. I'll go there for about a week and then we'll come back down and we think we think we might have to get one of those little speed tests, you know, just to know that we're not infected before we get on the plane.

[00:50:25.680] – Allan
Right now, they're charging about two hundred fifty dollars for those COVID tests. So we have about right now the way the rules are. We have to have that within 40, 48 hours of getting on an airplane. So we'll go down into the Miami area, get that test, wait out the results. I think it's supposed to be immediate now, but we'll see. See, we have to get one that we get an answer for relatively quickly.

[00:50:48.420] – Allan
And I think they're like 250 bucks. Maybe the price will come down before then. We'll have yeah, well, we'll have the test. But yeah, we're driving all this other than we are going to fly into Miami. So we've got a couple of flights and then we'll be in Miami and then we're going to drive. So my wife and I will get a lot of car time, a lot podcast's audience.

[00:51:07.480] – Allan
That sounds awesome. Well, it is awesome. You start looking well. OK, that's a four and a half-hour drive. That's a six and a half-hour drive, but an eight-hour drive. That's twelve, which.

[00:51:16.920] – Allan
So lots of time in the car sitting. But if you're anywhere in between all those things, just reach out to me: allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, I'd love to hook up. We can get a coffee or have a cocktail, depending on what time of day or night it is and how much further I've got to drive. But you know, so you do reach out and you know, again, I'm around. So I do want to meet you if you're there.

[00:51:40.740] – Allan
So so do that. That sounds great. All right. Well, Rachel, you have a great week.

[00:51:47.200] – Ras
Thanks. You too.



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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to approach getting older as pro-aging – Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank

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SPONSOR

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and use the discount code 40plus to get 25% off. Thank you for supporting the show by checking out this wonderful company.

Let's Say Hello

On this episode, we're introducing a co-host for the 40+ Fitness Podcast. 

Rachel Everett is joining the wellness industry as a newly minted NASM Certified Personal Trainer. So, you'll find a preamble at the beginning of each episode and a wrap up at the end. With 450 episodes done, I felt this would be a great way to freshen things up.

Please join us on the 40+ Fitness Facebook Group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group to welcome her to the podcast.

[00:02:53.360] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing.

[00:02:56.130] – Rachel
Great! How are you Allan.

[00:02:57.160] – Allan
Doing really good. I'm excited to have you on as a new co-host to the show. So everybody say welcome to Rachel.

[00:03:04.670] – Rachel
Well, Hi and thank you so much. It's an honor. I've been your biggest fan for quite a while, so it's a real treat for me. Thanks for inviting me on.

[00:03:12.740] – Allan
Yeah, Rachel and I have been friends for a good long time. We met through my wife and one of the cool facts about Rachel and her husband Mike is that their birthdays are exactly one day apart. So they're celebrating for a full 48 hours every year. It's pretty cool to be at one of those celebrations, especially when you're there at midnight with them. When it crosses over.

[00:03:36.110] – Allan
I forget you're you're actually one day your birthday is the one day before.

[00:03:41.180] – Rachel
I'm the after.

[00:03:43.190] – Allan
Oh, okay. Oh yeah.

[00:03:44.410] – Rachel
Mike is the old man.

[00:03:45.350] – Allan
Okay, yeah, Mike is the old man, although he's lost a lot of weight and he looks years younger. Well cutting off the beard health too.

[00:03:54.250] – Rachel
Yes it did. Yeah.

[00:03:58.160] – Allan
Well, go ahead.

[00:03:59.590] – Rachel
Oh, he's been working real hard this year. He's been putting in a ton of miles, his running has been epic. And he's and it's led to a ton of weight loss. He's been doing real great.

[00:04:10.160] – Allan
So how's your week been?

[00:04:12.660] – Rachel
Good. Little nutty. The kids are back to college, so I've got one in college and staying at college and my other one is home doing the online classes. So it's just it's been kind of crazy, although they do their own thing, they're getting set up for what you know, in class and online learning. It's just been kind of nutty with all the covid procedures that the school has in place. But they're doing great.

[00:04:38.270] – Allan
Well, good. Well, I've been focused on my miles. You know, I talked about in an earlier episode that I'm doing my famine season. And I started actually June 1st. I think in the episode I may have said May 1st, but I've actually lost twenty-five pounds as we record this since that start June 1st. And it's basically, you know, using ketosis, intermittent fasting and just enjoying good long walks, getting sunshine, looking at the beach, and listening to some audiobooks and podcasts.

[00:05:10.490] – Allan
So, you know, I think I've done twenty-seven miles this week.

[00:05:15.490] – Rachel
Wow.

[00:05:15.860] – Allan
You know, and unfortunately, I RunKeeper fell out on me apparently when I stopped to take a picture or selfie, it decides, oh, he stopped and I just paused this here. And if I don't remember to reset and start it. So you get down the road and you're like, I don't hear my little lady telling me how I'm doing.

[00:05:31.160] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:05:31.610] – Allan
And then I realized I just walked two miles without her telling me anything. So now that's not going to show up. So my winning my championship or my fastest ten-mile walk or whatever is just not going to be on that app. So that's the frustration. So now I started a spreadsheet, so I'll keep up with myself, dammit.

[00:05:50.700] – Rachel
Yeah, technology, it's so awesome, but it can also be just as frustrating.

[00:05:54.710] – Allan
It can be. So let me introduce our guest today.

Interview

Our guest today is one of the most famous and successful cosmetic dermatologists in the world. Often called the beauty guru by his celebrity and international patients, renowned for his minimally invasive techniques and holistic approach to cosmetic rejuvenation and age management. He is regularly featured as a skin and aging expert in local and international media. As a board-certified dermatologist, he has lectured around the world and has authored several articles on both consumer and professional literature. He is a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

With no further ado, here's Dr Paul Jarrod Frank.

Transcript

[00:06:38.530] – Allan
Dr. Frank, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:41.190] – Dr. Frank
Hey, how are you?

[00:06:42.810] – Allan
So I got your book and I was really glad to have an opportunity to read it, because as I get into my mid 50s, aging has become this this thing that I pay a lot more attention to these days. The book is called The Pro Aging Playbook: Embracing a Lifestyle of Beauty and Wellness Inside and Out. And I have to say that your approach to this is really refreshing because sometimes, you think, okay, this guy makes his living by making people look and feel younger.

That's what this book is going to really be about, is just let's sell some more plastic surgery. But it was absolutely not. And I was really, really glad to see that.

[00:07:26.050] – Dr. Frank
Well, I mean, listen, I've been doing this 20 years now, and I find the greatest way to predict the greatest cosmetic result has to do before you even do the procedure. It's just in the talk and gaining a feel of someone's perspective and feeling about aging and all the other things they do. So to me, what I've learned most in 20 years is not how to use the syringes and the lasers and all the things, but the most impactful thing is to learn how people think about aging and how I could help them think about it and then give them all the wonderful options we have now. It's not a bad thing aging, is it?

[00:08:01.030] – Allan
Well, no, but if you do it right.

[00:08:03.890] – Dr. Frank
If you do it right. I mean, listen, we weren't meant to live probably past the average age of 30 up until the last 50 to 100 years. So I think if we start with the idea that aging is a blessing, I think that's a good way to find ways to become the best version of yourself.

[00:08:25.030] – Allan
And this is you pulling out your psychology degree and using it, because it really does help here. And one of the things that I think is as I've gotten older, I've become much more aware of the words that we use and how that impacts our feelings, our lives, our emotions, our successes and failures. You prefer to use the term pro aging versus anti aging.

[00:08:48.640] – Dr. Frank
Yeah, and you know, anti aging, that's a word that immediately has a negative connotation. And it was created as a marketing tool. Right, this is started back decades, generations ago with selling creams and lotions and potions and things that are anti as if aging is a bad thing. And I think starting out from that that type of perspective is that type of negative thinking that we were just talking about. I think pro aging makes people feel more positive. It makes it look like less of a chore and more of something that you can embrace.

[00:09:27.130] – Dr. Frank
And hopefully I could teach people how to live a lifestyle, a pro aging lifestyle to bring all those things together. And we're lucky now. We live in a world where we have so many options, not just to keep us alive, but to make us look and feel good.

[00:09:39.760] – Allan
And so go a little deeper into when you say pro-aging, exactly what that means.

[00:09:45.640] – Dr. Frank
Well, I think it's a culmination of a lot of different things. Again, people think of the word anti aging. They think of like creams and procedures and all these things. But when I think of pro aging, I'm thinking of a lifestyle that involves a lot of forms of grooming. And to me, grooming can be exercise, the way you choose your meals, the way you choose your friends and the people who are positive and negative in your world, and how you choose lasers to get rid of sun damage if you choose lasers or other surgical procedures or things like that.

[00:10:18.070] – Dr. Frank
Pro aging is really a combination of grooming techniques. And I think one of the things I'm noticing more since when I started in the late 90s, is that because of technology and the access across socioeconomic groups and because of the technology, there's less and less. but basically these things are becoming so much more acceptable. When I was a kid, rich, only rich people had gym memberships, let alone had facial plastic surgery. And now the younger generation looks at joining a gym, having a nutritionist, having a life coach, getting a little Botox.

[00:10:53.090] – Dr. Frank
These are all forms of grooming. They're accepted. And to me, this is all part of the kind of pro aging lifestyle that I think people are now embracing and breaking those anti aging stigmas that they used to have. The ladies at lunch do procedures or vain people do these type of things.

[00:11:13.520] – Allan
Now, you use this title for for the bad things we do to ourselves that involve aging maybe faster or at least looking older than we are. When you use it, I immediately in my head had this concept of this Legion of doom, you know, these these these evil-doers, these these terrible the anti-heroes, you know, the villains. And you called it the extrinsic evildoer of aging, evildoers of aging, and I was like I say, when I when I read that, I was just thinking, you know, these are the bad guys. These are the guys, the villains that we have in our lives. Can you talk about who these extrinsic evildoers of aging are?

[00:11:53.400] – Dr. Frank
Well, listen, smoking, drinking, excessive sun exposure, all these type of things, not moving, not eating right. Fatty foods. These are like the evil do's of aging. We all know that these things are bad for us. But I try and relate to my personal story. I'm 50. I'm in my 50 years old. I wasn't an angel. I was young once. I used to lay in the sun and drink more and do all these different types of things and you change your ways if you want to feel good as you age. Otherwise, if you act like a 20 year old at 50, you're not going to come out too well.

[00:12:27.750] – Dr. Frank
I always say if I want to look and feel my best, I act like an old person. When I want when I try and act too much like a young person, I don't feel or look that good. But these evil doers of aging, let's say drinking and smoking, for example, we know they're bad from us. And I want to teach people how to moderate them. I give my personal story. I think a life of total restriction is a very boring life, not eating good foods, not not having a martini every once in a while.

[00:12:56.400] – Dr. Frank
But I do believe that you could feel good and look good by finding a healthy balance. And as we get older, obviously those limitations may be coming a little restrictive. What society tells you is that there's always a pill, a cream, a shot, a coach or something that's going to be an antidote to all those things. And the fact of the matter is, the best way to treat yourself is just to learn how to moderate those evildoers. To not bake yourself in the sun doesn't mean you have to hide from the sun.

[00:13:24.000] – Dr. Frank
So I think this balance, instead of selling people what they have to buy teaching people how to moderate and minimize these things and teaching them about the science and how it makes aging, I think works in teaching people how to live a better lifestyle.

SPONSOR

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic. Before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today. Because we're opportunistic eaters, most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight.

Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption, steps and a lot of other things.

You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcasts/ifastic. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast/afastic. If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone. Or 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic for an Android phone.

[00:15:08.280] – Allan
One of the things that you got into and I thought was was really interesting was, you know, we we want to rule and I think people like simple stuff. And I can give them one rule out of this. No smoking. Just just don't do it.

[00:15:22.160] – Dr. Frank
There is no moderation in that.

[00:15:23.610] – Allan
There's no moderation in that one. But when we start talking about sun exposure, I'm like, a little bit of sun exposure is good for almost all of us and for other people. Even a little more is even OK. How does someone decide for themselves the right way that, OK, this is this is my line. This is where this makes sense for me and this doesn't.

[00:15:47.910] – Dr. Frank
Well I get it. And I try and talk to a lot of dermatologists, but they are just like no sun, wear sun protective clothing. I can't do that. Dermatology is one of the few fields in medicine where we really have to judge people by the color of their skin and certainly anyone with a family history of skin cancer. I'm going to be more restrictive about. But people who tan easier, what we call type three skin, type six skin are like African American, Type four or five is like Hispanic, you know, type one and two skin are the fairest of people, like the blonde haired, blue eyed type.

[00:16:18.450] – Dr. Frank
And those are the people that have to be more restrictive. But by the way, those people don't ever tan well, and they never look good that way. You know, the darker skin types, the J-Los, you know, they kind of tan well. So, again, sitting people down and giving them a realistic. And by the way, anyone with sunscreen used appropriately can enjoy the outside. There's no reason why they have to hide. I feel that way about martinis and beers, too, by the way. You know what I mean, not all people have the same tolerance level of alcohol.

[00:16:47.250] – Dr. Frank
And by the way, smoking is bad as it is. The studies show people like, oh, I've been smoking my whole life. There's no point to quitting now. By the way, as a person who's been smoking a pack a day for most of their life, if they quit smoking in ten years, the risk of cancer goes down to almost that of a non smoker. So, you know, there's hope that's a positive thing for people to make changes in their lives. And that's kind of what I want to help people do.

[00:17:10.860] – Allan
Yeah, absolutely. Now, you said something in the book that made my heart sing as a personal trainer. He said, the number one thing you can do for pro aging, longevity and beauty is to get moving.

[00:17:24.490] – Dr. Frank
No question.

[00:17:25.380] – Allan
OK, and I love that, obviously. So can you give us some tips so that we can put some more movement into our life?

[00:17:33.030] – Dr. Frank
And my examples for myself and I like to work out four to six times a week. But you know what? It's not that forty five minutes a day that makes all the difference. It's taking the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the opportunity. It's like taking that walk instead of jumping into Uber, which by the way, functions as meditation, which functions as exercise, which functions on catching up on phone calls with friends and communication to your environment. It's just it's choosing sometimes the path that involves movement. And, you know, in a world where everyone is looking for a convenience, quick time, I think the best time you could spend is just moving your body.

[00:18:11.280] – Allan
So in the book, you did share some fairly specific tips as far as you know, as we're going through how we can make this, I guess, a little bit more regular.

[00:18:21.210] – Dr. Frank
Yeah.

[00:18:21.390] – Allan
And I think a couple of them that you shared that I really like and you you actually got into this a good bit in the book is about negative self talk.

[00:18:30.710] – Dr. Frank
Oh, yeah. I mean, listen, when we're younger, we look to make as many friends as we're getting older. We're looking to make as many professional social connections as we build our life and career. We all start off very naive and potentially influenced by people. And that's why our mothers, they want us hanging out with the good friends, not the bad friends. And we have to realize I have two children. I'm constantly trying to screen who they spend time with. Do I know their parents? Do I know the kids? Do I think it's a good kid. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror.

[00:18:59.820] – Dr. Frank
Every day is our lives and we have to learn how to filter people. The content. And that's not just on our social media feed, it's on the people we spend our time with trying to spend our time around positive people because negative thinking breeds negative thinking, so do negative people. And I find myself I started doing transcendental meditation seven years ago with my wife and really taught me how to filter things in my own mind and try and surround myself with things that are going to be, they're going to promote positive things in my life. I think that's the most important tool that we that we can constantly think of.

[00:19:35.490] – Allan
Yeah. With, you know, one of the things you brought up when you were talking about movement was you were being very clear that it doesn't have to be a gym. But, you know, in a lot of cases, I kind of compare and contrast that against what you just said is surrounding yourself around other people that are positive and into it. You know, if you can find a group class of pilates or something like that that you enjoy doing, by all means, do it.

[00:20:00.030] – Allan
And as we're recording this, obviously a lot of gyms are not open. A lot of classes aren't happening. But they will reopen, they will come back and as they do, finding that thing that works for you, be it surfing, be it running, be it lifting, be it going and doing a pilates class, I think that's all very, very important.

[00:20:20.030] – Dr. Frank
There's something out there for everybody. And that's kind of what I tried to say. You know, I try and tell people it's great getting word of mouth like, oh, I just tried this new workout app or I tried soul cycle. I did this. It's nice to get word of mouth to kind of get you to try new things. But people need to realize there's no one thing that works for everybody. And your expectation, sure. We like the communal aspect because it pushes us. I Was always a big soul cycle person, it just works for me. And it's nice to be pushed by your environment, but you have to realize you have to find your own way. And this is all about balance. And this is true in every aspect.

[00:20:58.010] – Allan
And I think just just to go deeper into that, one of the things you said in the book is you really didn't consider yourself an athlete as a child, but as soon as you strapped roller skates because you're parents took you to roller skate rinks, boom, there you were every weekend.

[00:21:14.530] – Dr. Frank
And, you know, and again, that's probably one of the reasons why I like Soul Cycle too, because it involves dancing in a form of exercise. My club days aren't so strong these days. You know, being on the dance floor until two o'clock in the morning is not that much of an option for me. But being around music, being inspired by other people, sweating around other people and feeling that that endorphin rush, that's what we all want.

[00:21:38.030] – Dr. Frank
That's pro aging. What's great about you want to find things that you can age with. Swimming, tennis, walking up and down stairs, taking walks, cycling, you know, not everybody could box until their 70. Some people can. And I think I have yet to find a laser or device that works for aging like exercise does.

[00:22:01.610] – Allan
And that's important. That's important here. So you're 50 and obviously someone that is in this profession. So looking your best, age in your best, that's kind of a part of who you are now. It's ingrained in you 20 years in the career. What is your pro aging regimen was what does your day look like?

[00:22:23.090] – Dr. Frank
Well, my day starts with meditation. Got to reset. You know, I'm a person. I do sleep eight hours a night. And it's mostly because if I get less than six, I'm not fun to be around. Like, you know, I'm not I'm not one of those people who can get by in four hours of sleep like some people claim. I like to sleep well. I meditate. I usually spend a little time with the family because it's the only time I get when my head is clear, is really the morning. And then after that, I exercise every day because again, after a busy day, it's I'm not going to get to do that at night.

[00:22:56.380] – Dr. Frank
And then I hit the pavement and I'm kind of on stage all day. I could see anywhere from 20 to 40 people go through my office every day and I obviously got to be on point for a lot of different people and a lot of different personalities. I try and have as much fun as possible, that's kind of my rule as I've done this 20 years. Is to keep it fun, keep it light. And and usually at the end of the day, I don't got that much left into me if I do have a work dinner or something like that or I go home to the family. But the meditation, the exercise are the prerequisite in terms of food. Again, I don't tell everyone to follow my technique, but I'm kind of not by choice a daytime faster I graze.

[00:23:40.730] – Dr. Frank
I have a little things I maybe have like an avocado or I have some nuts or I take a bite, my sister runs my entire professional life so I could I can dip into her salad or take a few bites of a sandwich if I want to, without offending her. And then I really I have my meal, whatever I want at night. And on the weekends, I love to cook and I love to eat and I like to indulge. And that's really it. And before you know it you're turning 50.

[00:24:07.670] – Allan
Yeah. And then 60 and 70 and then on.

[00:24:11.270] – Dr. Frank
And that's it. I try and you know, my life I fortunately have a very successful career with a lot of challenges and a lot of rapid growth. So I'm constantly trying to remind myself about the people and the things, like keep it positive, keep it simple. Because the world wants to complicate things, wants to sell you more, wants to do more. And a lot of things seem exciting, like growing your business. Right. It's an exciting thing.

[00:24:34.310] – Dr. Frank
But guess what? You constantly have to keep it in check. Is it going to give me more pleasure or is it going to give me more headaches? You know, and it's not easy. You know, I'm not always great at it. Catching covid and having 13 days of 103 fever and having problems breathing and having to be on home oxygen, that kind of put things a little bit more in perspective for me to check myself before I wreck myself. So I was very nervous about the pro aging playbook coming out about of course I started writing this way before covid.

[00:25:04.220] – Dr. Frank
I was nervous about, oh my God, I'm doing a wellness book. But I actually reread it from beginning to end right before the book came out with a covid mind, and I'm excited that it came out now because a lot of it is just about the psychology of life.

[00:25:19.810] – Allan
Well beyond that, I mean, one of the things that we're finding with regards to covid and the risk is just how well you've managed your fitness, your health, your, all of it. And if you're suffering from some health issues, obviously you're not you're not pro aging at this point. You're in decline. And this is a wake up call to all of us that taking care of our health is really the only thing that's in our control. We can't control what goes on at work. We can't control what's going on in the street. We can't control a killer virus that ravages the country. What we can do is control ourselves.

[00:25:59.890] – Dr. Frank
And a lot of people said to me they were so shocked because of my social media. I kind of became this poster person for Covid. Cosmetic dermatologist has become the poster person for information for Covid. They said, I don't understand, you're so young and healthy. I said, well, I'm glad everyone thinks 50 is young that's a great start. But I said, well, I don't think of it like that. Like, oh, my God, I can't believe I got it. I do such things to take care of me.

[00:26:24.220] – Dr. Frank
Maybe if I didn't take such good care of myself, I would have needed hospitalization or intubation or been one of those young people that died, you know what I mean? So I look at it the other way, like, thank God I was in good shape. So again, we've got to keep taking care of yourself. And along the way we might as well look good.

[00:26:42.090] – Allan
Yeah, absolutely. I don't know if you know who Tony Horton is, the guy who did P90X.

[00:26:47.030] – Dr. Frank
Yeah, of course.

[00:26:48.010] – Allan
I had him on the show and he went through shingles at the age of like sixty, sixty one. And it would have for what it does to a lot of people, you know, him being generally fit and healthy. He's weathered it really well. But, you know, it really does kind of speak to me. Again, we don't know what's going to happen and if we're not taking care of our health, then we're setting ourselves up for something worse.

[00:27:15.550] – Dr. Frank
Listen, you can invest money in the stock market, invest money in your own business. You can invest your time and energy and money in a lot of things. But there's one thing that is a guaranteed return on investment, and that is yourself. And that is whether you're exercising, eating right, doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. When you look in the mirror, everyone has a good hair day. I don't care how,

[00:27:39.370] – Allan
You haven't seen a picture of me.

[00:27:41.350] – Dr. Frank
But I do want to make fun of himself over another one. You don't have to be, you know, just having a little sense of vanity doesn't mean you're narcissistic. And I think any investment in yourself, in yourself, not for other people in yourself, is is is a 100% return on that investment.

[00:28:00.040] – Allan
Yeah. Just just for the record, I shaved my head when I started receding. Rather than do anything about it, i just went with it. Yeah. It's the best decision I could have made. It really is.

[00:28:11.980] – Dr. Frank
Thats good man. Is that that's keeping it simple stupid. That's the rule of kiss right there.

[00:28:16.180] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah. Dr. Frank, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well.

[00:28:25.870] – Dr. Frank
Well. And we talked about we talked about a couple of these. we talked about movement, moving your body for me, also meditation, and then investing in family and friends. Those are the three starts. All the other stuff comes once you have those three things in check.

[00:28:51.480] – Allan
Absolutely so, Dr. Frank, thank you for being on the show. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, The Pro Aging Playbook, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:29:02.090] – Dr. Frank
Well, you could send them to my website at pfrankmd.com or they could check me out social media, Instagram, and Tic-Toc and Facebook, which is at Dr. Paul Jerod Frank.

[00:29:12.840] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/451, and I'll be sure to have a link there. Dr. Frank, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:29:23.240] – Dr. Frank
Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:29.770] – Allan
All right, I hope you enjoyed that episode as much as I did. Dr. Frank was a really cool conversation, and I know we've been talking about aging a lot, but, you know, with me being approaching my mid 50s, it's a topic I think about a lot. So maybe I've seen too many books about aging. We'll go off on to some different topics in a bit, although I think our next week's episode is also going to be about aging, but it's kind of a different approach.

[00:29:55.780] – Allan
So we'll talk about that later. So, Rachel, Ras, why don't you take just a few minutes to introduce yourself, let folks know who you are and why you're here.

[00:30:05.740] – Rachel
All right. Well, hi, Allen. Nice to talk to you again. My name is Rachel, and most of my friends call me Ras. That's a childhood nickname that I've had. And once you get to know me, it just seems fitting. But most people call me Ras and I'm forty nine, which is why I've always been a big fan of your podcast lately. I'm over 40 and I like to be fit. And I've recently finished my NASM certification. I just got my certificate to be a personal trainer, so I'm pretty excited about that.

[00:30:38.770] – Rachel
Like I said, I'm forty nine. My husband Mike and I have been married for 25 years and we just celebrated our anniversary this last summer, which is great. And we both have we have two kids that are in college just starting off this next semester. One's at home and online learning and the others moved to campus. And so we're just hoping they stay safe in this covid era.

[00:31:02.470] – Allan
Now, one of the reasons I thought that Rachel would be a great guest for the show is she is a huge advocate of running. In fact, anywhere Rachel goes, if there's not already a run club, there will be one.

[00:31:15.730] – Rachel
Yes, yes, yes. Running has been a huge part of my life. I've been running consistently for over twenty years, actually. And it's served a different purpose at different times in my life. But everywhere I have traveled and we have traveled quite a bit, we've been in contact with different run clubs in different areas. And it's really a great way to meet friends especially when you move as often as we have. And I have some amazing friends that we've met down in Florida, including you and Tammy, your wonderful wife.

[00:31:49.000] – Rachel
And it's it's always a great way to get to know the city as well while also staying healthy and fit. So, yeah, I've got a pretty big running background. I've run too many 5 and 10 Ks to count. I'm up to over thirty closing in on forty half marathons. I've done Four fulls, 2 Ultra's and this year I was supposed to be running another Ultra as well as my first 50 miler. But covid shut those races down pretty early. So this year it's just about running miles and enjoying the time outdoors.

[00:32:27.370] – Allan
Yeah, I've been trying to put on some more mileage just but I'm not running right now. No one's chasing me and so I enjoy the walk. Plus, you know, for me it's not a function of time. I set my own schedule pretty much here. So if I want to get out, walk for three, three and a half hours, I'll go do it. And we have some beautiful beaches here. So kind of the cool thing is the further I walk, the more the better beaches I see.

[00:32:53.140] – Allan
So it's like I start out the public beach is not all the all that pretty with the seaweed and everything in the water. It's just not all that pretty. Once I get to two miles, I start seeing prettier beaches and I get the four miles, I start seeing awesome beaches. And so by the sixth and seventh mile, it's just breathtaking, the Bluff Beach and things that are here for me to see. So it really kind of pushes me when you're walking in one direction that far and, you know, OK, well, I've got to walk back.

[00:33:19.510] – Allan
So it's nothing for me to put on ten miles on a day just to get out and do a long walk. Three hours, nothing major, just listening to podcasts or audio books or things like that. And then when the batteries die on my headphones. I just now I get to listen to the surf.

[00:33:36.510] – Rachel
It sounds wonderful.

[00:33:38.340] – Allan
Yeah. So you did go for the NASM certified personal trainer. And I can tell folks, having done it myself, actually took that test twice, not because I failed it, but because I messed up on my recertification. I had to take it again. It's not a joke. It's not this is easy, go study for a week or weekend, and then go take a test. It's like a college-level course with a comprehensive final. So congratulations on that.

[00:34:07.420] – Rachel
Thank you so much. Yeah, it was a little bit more intense than I thought it would be. And even even after twenty years of running and believe me, I do a ton of reading and researching on all things fitness related. I still learned so much from this class. It was it was really in-depth. And I can't wait to put what I've learned to good use.

[00:34:31.610] – Allan
So, as you can see, Ras is the runner is also female and I am neither of those. So, you know, I think we're going to have a good rounded conversation as we go forward. So I invite you to come back, catch Ras and me as we discuss the different things that we're getting into with the podcast with life. So if you have questions, you know, feel free to send them to us. You can send them to Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and Ras and I will take a round of responding to some of those in this final section of each podcast.

[00:35:05.240] – Allan
So Ras, thank you for being here today. Thank you for being a part of the podcast. I'm really excited for the direction we're going and just really excited to be working with you.

[00:35:14.420] – Rachel
Thanks, Allan. Thanks for inviting me. I'm looking forward to this new opportunity. I really appreciate it.



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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to turn each and every slip-up into success

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Due to recent events, I found myself in a very bad place. COVID-19 had drastically changed my everyday life, pulling out of my seasonal ketosis, decimating my exercise plan, and triggering me into several unhealthy eating habits. In fact, all of my healthy habits seemed to fall by the wayside. It was a major lifestyle change for the worse.

I knew I needed to change something. I went back to the simple things that had turned things around for me years ago. It started with a recommitment and positive self-talk. If I didn't want the fat bastard to come back (he was bearing down on me), I had to do what all successful people do. I had to pull myself up to my feet and do the simple things that were within my control.

I'm going to get a little raw during this discussion. Think of like a support group talk where I'm admitting my weaknesses, sharing my mental process, and showing you the small steps I took in a bit of a case study/success story. I hope to give you some tools to use that will give you a better chance of recovery, should you slip as I did.

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is brought to you by Usual Wines, available in convenient single serve bottles. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/wine and use the coupon code fitness for $8 off.

Transcript

Hello and welcome to Episode 450 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. I'm really glad you're here and I hope that you're someone that's actually gone back and checked out the other 449 episodes we've done, which include over 275 interviews. It's kind of crazy how many people I've talked to over the years about health and fitness. And today I want to talk about something that's really, really important to me because it's a personal experience.

It's something that happened to me recently. And I'm talking to a lot of people and it's happening to them, too. And I want to give you the tools to get past this. And so I'm going to call this episode, “How to Turn Each and Every Slip Up Into Success.” And yes, even the best of us, the best personal trainers, the best fitness people out there. Every once while we make a mistake, every once in a while we slip, it just happens.

We're human and you're human, too. And so a lot's been going on in the world. And I want to kind of talk about my perspective of going through all of this with COVID, with the racial strife in the United States and obviously an upcoming election. Things are really, really crazy in the United States. And it's really hard to be on social media and do those types of things, because, quite frankly, it's just it's scary and it's frightening and it's hurtful and, you know, just all these emotions that are coming out.

I want to talk about this a little bit and give you some of my perspectives. And then after that, I want to give you some tools, some tools to help you the next time you slip. This is a process that I developed to work with my clients because like myself, many of them were struggling. And as I was finding my way out of the dark, I laid some bread crumbs to help them along the way as well. And it's been beneficial to everybody that I've talked to using this method. So I want to share it with you now.

COVID-19 hit the United States in January. I think the first case was registered up in the State of Washington around January 20th. And since then, it grew and grew and grew and obviously has grown into something much bigger, but not quite as big as they projected. So that's the good news. But the reality of it is COVID affected just about every single human being on this earth.

It's changed the way we live. It's changed the way we do almost everything we do and it's changed what we can and can't do. I'm in Panama and I can tell you Panama did not treat COVID like a joke at all. In fact, once they started getting cases in Panama and they were concerned about the medical system being able to keep up, they shut us down. And when I say shut us down, I mean, they shut down all the businesses, every single one of them, except grocery stores and pharmacies.

There was nothing else, just the pharmacy. You could go to the ATM if you needed some money and the pharmacy. And that was it. And they shut us down to a point where I was allotted two hours, two days a week to go do my shopping and that was only for necessities. I wasn't to be out there walking around, getting exercise. I was out there to shop. And so this was my Tuesday morning and Thursday morning from 7:30 – 9:30am were the only times I was allowed outside of my apartment.

Women were allotted 3 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday again, all these times were based on your personal ID card. So your passport depending on whether you were a citizen or resident. Since I'm a resident, I went with my passport. So my time was set. If I was caught outside, they would you know, sometimes they're checking your ID if you're outside of those times or you're somewhere where there's obviously not a grocery store or pharmacy they would arrest you, take you in, and they were doing that for a lot of people.

They really locked us down and that went on for nearly six weeks. So they did slowly start kind of opening things up. And as I'm recording this, you know, sort of the last week of September, I mean, August I'm sorry, you know, they still we still are locked down on weekends. And that means from 7:00 pm on Friday afternoon and evening until 5:00 am Monday morning, we're not to be out and about.

So the police are patrolling. If they catch you out, they'll arrest you. We're required to wear masks. So the whole argument that a lot of people are having about masks or not to mask. They'll arrest you. So you wear a mask. So that's been Panama. We're still on a curfew, so I can't go out at night. So from 7pm to 5am, you can't be out. That's every day.

We're still in this general lockdown. We're trying to slow the spread of the disease in the hopes that a vaccine will come. And that's been my life. You know, my gym's closed down. I was locked in my apartment for four months or more, unable to go out more than a couple hours, twice a week. And quite frankly, I melted down. You know, it was a hugely stressful situation, just reading what was going on.

Even though I could focus a little bit on my clients and I could focus a little bit on my business, I wasn't able to really put my all into that because I was just really struggling with this huge trigger event in my life that scared the crap out of me when I first heard about it. And as a result, I did what most people do. I spent all my days reading articles.

And in fact, you know, because I'm a data geek. I'm an information geek. I was reading every single article I could get my hands on in my search criteria. I just basically would say COVID-19 coronavirus, but not anything that mentions President Trump. And so I removed all of that political garble that was going on because it removed all of, you know, the opinion and stuff that was out there. And it gave me the medical information, the studies, the things that were actually going on in the medical community. The discussions they were having, the treatments and the, you know, the discussions of how they were going to do you know, virus, I mean a vaccine.

I was reading up on this every single day. And the reality of that has hit me that it just really, it pushed me further down. It kept me depressed. It kept me just addled. I didn't have a solution in my own head how I was going to handle this and what it was going to mean to me, to my wife, to my family. You know, our parents are up there in ages. They're all in their 70s. And quite frankly, they're not in the condition to handle something like this.

It was just really, really devastating for me to be sitting here in Panama and think about the things I couldn't do. And even if I had gone up to the United States to be around family, I really wouldn't have been any help to them to protect them. It just would have been the same. So we decided to stay in Panama and we're stuck in our houses and our apartment.

As a result of the stress and everything that was going on, I kind of slipped. So my slip and it involved alcohol. It involved almost no movement. I did bring some equipment from the gym over to my apartment and it sat and gathered dust in the corner. The whole time, I didn't really even have any desire to work out, which was really, really strange for me. But the impact of what was going on in the world, the stress that I was feeling and just feeling incapable of doing anything about it really, really bothered me.

So the no movement, the alcohol, the eating crazy stuff, you know, here and there, the cumulative impact was huge and it was weight gain. You know, the COVID 15 is a real thing. I did my part. I gained my fifteen pounds and I felt terrible about it. But it was, you know, it was just a reaction to what was going on in my life. And it was a major slip for me health-wise. It was not something that I wanted. It was not something that I planned. Sometimes I do plan to gain some weight and enjoy myself and go have a couple of weeks of, you know, fun and crazy at an all-inclusive resort or at a football game or just on some vacation. But this was not that social media.

It was just driving me batty and, you know, as I was going through it. And then, of course, the violence and stuff that was starting to happen in the United States particularly, and all of that coming through, it was just huge. Now, with that, I did slowly start to come out of it and think about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

So in a sense, this was very much a wake up call for me. I was sitting around thinking, you know. Why am I so bothered by this and what is really driving my behavior? What's the lesson out of all of this? And the reality of it was a few things. One is, you know, I'm watching videos of kind of crazy violent stuff happening. And I'm you know, I'm watching a woman or a man and they're in their 50s around my age and they're getting beat up and they're not able to defend themselves, are not able to help themselves.

And I'm watching people die, not necessarily watching them die, but hearing about the deaths and realizing that they're dying. Not necessarily because they got COVID because a lot of people were getting COVID and just moving on with their lives, recovering and moving on. But there are people just that couldn't recover and they couldn't recover because they just basically weren't taking care of themselves. So, you know, the first realization that came out of this was that COVID-19 is not the Spanish flu.

You know, that we want to compare it to the last pandemic. But the reality is this is apples and oranges. We know how germs pass now. They didn't know as much back then when Spanish flu was going on. And really the only reason that we're having to deal with COVID as much as we are, because in a real sense, it wouldn't be much worse than a flu if we were all healthy. But that's the point. Our health is crap in the United States.

You know, two-thirds of people are overweight, one third are obese, pre-diabetes, diabetes is just rampant. Heart disease is the number one killer. And, you know, as I'm recording this, I was thinking, you know, people aren't taking care of themselves. And right now and like I said, as I'm recording this, you know, there have been 180,000 deaths in the United States, which is tragic. But what we don't think about is there's 480,000 tobacco-related deaths every year.

So if you count the 7 months that COVID's been around as of this point in the United States, it's killed 180,000 and 280,000 have died of tobacco-related illness. Now, I know there's an overlap there. And so what COVID is actually doing, rather, we want to admit it to ourselves or not, is it's just accelerating our death.

SPONSOR
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today because we're opportunistic eaters. Most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight. Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting, right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption, steps and a lot of other things.

You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic. If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

Now, we talked about aging last week and a little heads up the next couple episodes are also about aging because as I was going through my moments, I was just thinking, you know, we're aging and we need to be healthy. And so how do I teach people how to age better? How do I teach them to be healthy longer? Because we don't want to go out that way. And, you know, so, you know, we have to take responsibility for our own health.

You know, I had to take responsibility for my health and my fitness. So, you know, when I see some 50-year-old guy getting pummeled or some 50-year-old woman getting pummeled, I have to think in terms of if I were in the United States walking around and got into that situation, am I the victim that they're going to be looking to mess with or am I someone who basically looks like I can take care of myself because I'm in good health and I'm reasonably fit.

It's not that you have to look like Mike Tyson to survive in this world, but the reality is they're much less likely to victimize you, to bully you, to attack you if it looks like you might be able to hurt them back. And so I don't want to throw this out there and really upset a lot of people, but, hey, if this is you, get a little upset, you know, that's OK. This was my wake up call.

If I'm going to take care of my loved ones, I've got to be there for them. I've got to be able to do the things that are necessary, you know, and it goes beyond being able to help my wife out of a wheelchair 30 years from now. It goes to the fact that if someone sees me walking with my wife, they just see me as someone to just pass on because they don't want to attack me.

If a COVID virus or something like that, something similar to this comes again, like I am generally now, I want to be healthy. I want my vitamin D to be where it's supposed to be. I want my B vitamins and zinc. I want all those things in my food so that I'm already healthy. In fact, I stepped up my supplementation because I was locked in an apartment. I've got vitamin D, I've got zinc, you know, like it's almost like a medicine cabinet kind of thing, which I normally wouldn't do, but I just didn't want to take chances.

Being locked in an apartment, limited access to the food. I mean, I have access to food, but it's the same food. So just making sure that the varieties there I've started supplementing. And so I was able to kind of turn this around and I turned it around and I started thinking, you know what I'm doing? All I'm doing is the basic thing that successful people do. The way you get success in this world is you learn from your failures and you do that by doing three things, and that's what I want to share with you.

This is my three-step plan for recovery when you slip. So pay particular attention to this one.

OK, so the first thing is to forgive yourself. And this is the most important thing if you don't really forgive yourself and I mean really like self-love deep. I made a mistake. I screwed up. I shouldn't have sat there and drank myself silly and ate myself silly and sat on my couch reading about COVID virus, things that really weren't going to impact my life or improve my life.

And I did those things for six solid weeks. I can't do that again, but I need to recognize that there were triggers, there were things that made me do that that were out of my control, and I didn't take the moment to stop myself and stay in control. So that's on me. But I have to forgive myself. So I accept responsibility and I forgive. And from that forgive. Now you're ready to move to the second step.

The second step is what did you take away from that moment? What was the learning experience of that moment? So for me, it's when I hit a really stressful period of time, I need to move. I need to move one way or another. Rather, they lock me in an apartment where they really lock me in a room or they lock me in a bathroom. I need to move and I'm going to move next time. If something like this happens and they lock us down, I'm still going to move. I'm going to keep moving as long as I possibly can because that's really helped me.

Since I got out of this, I've been walking regularly. I've been lifting regularly when they started letting me out to do other things besides shop. So I've been doing those things. And it's meant a world of difference, having that movement in my life, doing the meditations, doing the things that are going to relieve the stress, that will keep me from the actions that are detrimental to me. So I learned a lot out of this about myself.

You know, your trainer is not perfect. I'm human and I have to accept that and I have to act on that when something bad is happening, I have to recognize the symptoms and I've got to do something about it. So I've I've changed up a few things in my morning rituals. I've gone through some training. I've done some extra work on myself, mentally, physically. And that's helped me a whole lot. Moved way past where I was.

Now the third. And again, I'm not going to say this is the most important because really the forgiving is. But if you don't act on what you're supposed to do, you set that plan. You're like, OK, I'm going to meditate every morning. I'm going to go for long walks. I'm going to commune with nature. I'm going to get as much vitamin D as I can possibly get by supplementing and getting out in the sun. I'm going to do these actions to protect myself, to make myself stronger, to make sure that I'm the person my loved ones deserve. Then that's the action and that's when you have to do it. Now, what I did as a part of my action was, you know, I stepped up and said, you know, I'm going to go ahead and launch and do a round of what I call eight weeks to WOW.

And unfortunately, as you're hearing this, we've closed out on the third round, which might actually be the last time I do this in 2020. But I went through eight weeks to WOW with the first group that went through and we were all seeing great success, which was really up-lifting. And I, basically going through that program, lost 12 pounds. And then I went through my Strong, Lean Over 40 program, which, you know, I sell it as a program which is a strongly energetic program and then basically lifting part, which would be the coaching part.

And I've been doing that now for about three or four weeks. And I'm down below my pre COVID weight. So the fifteen pounds that I gained, I've lost more than that since May 1st. And I did that because I went through that three-step recovery plan. You know, the three-step plan is to forgive, to learn and plan and then act. OK, so you've got to do those three steps before you're going to get past this, because if you don't forgive, you won't recover.

If you don't set a plan, learn something and set a plan, then you won't step in the right direction. And if you don't actually act, then you're not stepping at all. So it takes all three of these in that order for you to be successful at recovering from a slip. So if you want to go from slip to success, you take those three steps. Now, I'm going to offer you a free gift.

If you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip. I'm going to have a little cheat sheet. I call it the slip to success cheat sheet and it's going to kind of walk you through those three steps and give you a little bit of insight into each one and how to apply it in your life. So go ahead and go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and you can download the plan, the cheat sheet and it'll be like I said, it will kind of walk you through.

So if you're finding yourself right now sitting there saying I'm a victim of the COVID 15, you're not a victim, stop being a victim, take action, forgive yourself, set a plan and take action. And this little gift, this little cheat sheet is going to help you get on that track. So you are not a victim. We are not victims. We are in control of our future. We write our own next chapter. Our next chapter hasn't happened.

Now, we have an option right now to take out the pen that we've been writing our life with, and we get to write a new story starting today, so if you're ready to do that, to get this cheat sheet and then reach out to me and let me know what I can do to help you be successful in your journey forward. So I appreciate you being on the podcast today.

The next couple of episodes are going to be about aging. They're really good conversations. I was in kind of an aging mindset as I was going through the last month. And this is what came out of it. We ended up with a theme like that. But, you know, the world is not always positive and it's really, really hard for us to keep moving forward when things just seem to be falling.

You know, at some point, Sharknado is probably going to happen in 2020 because, you know, it's been that kind of year. We kind of laugh about, you know, we're going. But there are two hurricanes coming into the Gulf of Mexico as I'm recording this. So, yeah, it's just a really, really strange year with a lot of stressors in front of us. And having a plan is going to help. Now, the core of all of this, and I want you to start this today, is I need you to start using positive self taught and using positive thinking, have a positive outlook.

I know it's hard, but you're currently healthy. You're currently in good shape, at least more in better shape than being on the other side of the grass. You're listening to this. So just recognize that you do have control in rewriting your future and you can start today. So make that conscious decision to start and then recommit.

Go back to your why and your vision. As we talked about in the Wellness GPS, if you have those two things, they're always going to be that rock, that foundation that keeps you solid and on your feet ready to move forward. OK, so when you take that recommit, you get into it, boom, I'm in. And then you go through and you go through that three-step plan. You're going to make this happen for yourself. I have no doubt whatsoever.



Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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August 31, 2020

How to improve your wellness and age later – Dr. Nir Barzilai

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Dr. Nir Barzilai has always been fascinated by the aging process. Most of us know if we don't treat our body well, we will likely succumb to one or more chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative disease. 

Dr. Barzilai has been studying the genes of SuperAgers, the people who have no just a longer life span, but a healthy lifespan. We're beginning to identify the longevity genes and crack the code on human aging. 

We get into the science during this discussion, but Dr. Barzilai also shares some practical tips so you can Age Later.

Transcript

[00:04:17.010] – Allan
Dr. Barzilai, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:20.060] – Dr. Barzilai
Nice being with you.

[00:04:21.740] – Allan
Now your book, Age Later: Healthspan, Life Span and the New Science of Longevity is obviously a topic that I think more and more as I age it just kind of one of those things that just sticks out like, you know, I see people living to their 90s to one hundred. And plus, I was watching a show on Netflix the other day called Old Guard, and they were effectively immortal until for some reason they weren't. But you're talking about people in this book that are almost immortal.

[00:04:52.910] – Allan
I mean, they're living 40 percent longer than the average. And that's that's incredible. And if we're going to live that long, obviously, we also want to have the health span to go along with that. So a lot of good stuff. I want to pull out of your book, and I really appreciate the opportunity to review it with you.

[00:05:09.080] – Dr. Barzilai
Sure.

[00:05:10.260] – Allan
OK, so you got interested in aging. You're talking about meeting up with your father. You're walking with your father.

[00:05:18.200] – Dr. Barzilai
Grandfather.

[00:05:19.980] – Allan
Grandfather. And he got really he got really tired walking up a hill and that kind of got you at an early age thinking about aging. And in your study, as you got older, you know, you're actually studying this topic. You identified a term you call super agers. Can you can you define super agers and some of the traits that you found in people that live for a really long time?

[00:05:41.390] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, let me just go back and say that in the field of aging, we call it Gero science. We made really great strides because we kind of ignored the fact that it's really very complicated when you look at the components. But it's less complicated when you look at models that seems to age longer, to age slower, I mean. And to have an increased health span. And there are models like that in nature. And once they were discovered, once you could do it, imitate some of the findings in genetic ways, it became much, much more achievable.

[00:06:27.680] – Dr. Barzilai
And we understand now that aging is flexible and we can target it. And the reason I went to the centenarians at the same time where those genetic component have been discovered and very exciting models, was because I thought, you know, let's go to humans who live 100 years old because they lived, as you say, they lived 40 percent longer than their cohort. You know, now people are living longer anyhow, but we're not living to age of 100 and ask, what are the reasons for their slow aging, and that's why we got them. And in order to be in my study, basically you have to be healthy at age 95. Now, if you're one hundred and twelve and in coma, you still make it because it's the genetics that we were after. OK, and we wanted to find the genetics component of exceptional longevity, but being healthy and living independently at 95 showed that no matter what, they've exceeded their health span by a lot compared to other people. And that that's our definition of the super agers.

[00:07:49.530] – Allan
OK, now you found a few traits that are fairly common amongst the super agers dealing with cholesterol, growth hormone. And I'll be honest with you, the last part of that, you got a little over my head in the science.

[00:08:06.810] – Dr. Barzilai
Yeah.

[00:08:07.350] – Allan
But can you talk about those traits, what they are and what they mean?

[00:08:11.400] – Dr. Barzilai
Yeah. So, for example, when we started looking at the centenarians and doing just kind of routine tests, initially routine tests, one thing that was really remarkable is that they had a high level of the good cholesterol of HDL cholesterol. It actually ran in the family. It's kind of complicated because the good cholesterol goes down when you look at this certain individual longitudinally, OK, you take the same person. The HDL every year, every eight years will go by five fold by five points.

[00:08:46.890] – Dr. Barzilai
So basically 100 years old, their HDL should be like 20. But it wasn't it was normal. When you, when you look at those data cross-sectional, when you look at population, it doesn't change with age. It's forty five for men. Fifty five for women. So how can you explain that in individual it goes down and as it's the same. Well if this is a longevity factor, if this protects you against dying, then the people where it goes low, they die and the people with high level maintain the high level up.

[00:09:22.410] – Dr. Barzilai
And this is kind of what we've discovered in our centenarians. So they did have high level of HDL, which made us ask, well, what is the genetics of that? What are the changes in genes that they have and others do not have that explain this high level of HDL in their families. And we found a couple of them that proved to be not only interesting, but they're, it was kind of realizing the promise because in each case, a drug was created for them. One by Merck and one by another pharmaceutical called Ionis. So it really was a proof of concept that was really interesting and important.

[00:10:12.420] – Allan
OK, and now the second trait you talked about was human growth factor.

[00:10:17.530] – Dr. Barzilai
Right.

[00:10:18.310] – Allan
Particularly the IGF one.

[00:10:20.410] – Dr. Barzilai
So, again, one of the first thing that was discovered in nature, in genetics is that the animal models that the animal dwarfs in many models, they live long. Even the nematode, when you take out the nematode warm, when you take out the growth gene, they live much longer than the little dogs live longer, the ponies live longer. And when you mutate many of those growth genes, you get an extension of health span and lifespan.

[00:10:59.320] – Dr. Barzilai
And I actually thought that that's probably not going to be the case in humans. But, you know, when you write a grant, you come up with hypotheses. You don't care if it's true or not. And my belief had nothing to do here. I was convincing that I should get the money to do it then. And we found out that it is very important. In fact, more than 60 percent of our subjects have mutations or changes in the growth hormone pathway, the growth hormone pathway.

[00:11:31.930] – Dr. Barzilai
There's more than one gene. There's about growth hormone, but there's another gene that's very important. That's called IGF1. And that's what growth hormone does when it binds to the liver, it increased growth IGF1 and then IGF1 has this receptor and growth hormone as receptors, there's a whole pathway. And this pathway is impaired in our centenarians. And so we think that actually look, it's to explain simply the theory here is that at a certain point you have to change your energy from growth to defense.

[00:12:13.900] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, now you're playing defense. You have to stop this growing and you stop you have to start like pointing the energy to do something else, like stop the genetic breakdown, stop the breakdown, basically. And so people who are already tuned like that are aging just just later.

[00:12:39.340] – Allan
OK, so the big anti aging movement has people taking testosterone and in some cases they're also taking growth hormone, but in fact, that might actually be shortening their lives.

[00:12:53.950] – Allan
Right. And I would add estrogen for women in this case. Look, we were rushing and by the way, I was there at this camp initially, when I came to aging, there was no aging, not much of aging. There are several people who had apostasies, but there is no really big signs of aging. And I thought, well, I should be an endocrinologist because one thing is clear, all those hormones are going down, which means let's just replace them. And that's how we'll do aging.

[00:13:35.780] – Dr. Barzilai
And it turns out that it's almost the opposite, because, look, when you have the breakdown of aging and you're seeing lots of things, some of them can cause aging. There's no doubt some of them maybe don't play any role, at least in our lifespan. But some of them may be protective. After all, when you start to have this break down, just like you have an infection, you have inflammatory response. When you have a breakdown of aging, you have a response. By the way, some of this is inflammation too.

[00:14:12.860] – Dr. Barzilai
So it's it's not as simple as to say, oh, it's high, we lower that or it's low and will increase it. It's not like that. And I think the best, and all the examples that you gave are really good. But, you know, the estrogen was such a controversy. I mean, some people say why the Women's Health Initiative even went to estrogen. We knew it's going to be good.

[00:14:42.050]
And now that it's bad, people are saying, well, maybe, you know, maybe no, it's not what it is. Maybe there's other explanation. And they basically focusing on the fact that if you give estrogen between 50 and 60, maybe at that point you get some benefits. But still, the women who are older than 60 didn't do well in estrogen. So it's going to it's going to get to them, OK? And it's kind of the same with testosterone.

[00:15:09.360] – Dr. Barzilai
And I mean, no matter how we looked at testosterone, the risks outweigh the benefits. And growth hormone is a really open area because there is a lot of business in growth hormone and lots of elderly people are getting growth hormone.

[00:15:29.930] – Dr. Barzilai
And in the meanwhile, I'm discovering by totally unbiased way that probably this is not a good idea to give growth hormone OK, because it's the opposite. If you have low growth hormone, you're much more protected. You can live healthier and longer.

[00:15:47.180] – Dr. Barzilai
I would say just one thing to be aware of, this effect of growth hormone is huge in females and not as much in males, both in animals and humans. In other words, growth hormone injections might not be as risky for men as they are for women, but we are not sure of how risky it is. What is the magnitude of this effect? So there's a little openness here, but be careful.

[00:16:22.240] – Allan
Yes, and then when you get into the mitochondria, I think you did lose me a little bit there only because it got pretty, pretty detailed. But can you kind of go into, you know, the mitochondria does a little bit more than just provide energy in the cell. And the things you're finding is that that's part of what's causing the aging or the slower aging.

[00:16:44.080] – Dr. Barzilai
Right, so yet so let me let me describe the evolution of that, OK? Once upon a time, many hundreds of million years ago, there was the initial cell. And the cell had a real problem, the cell had a lack of energy could do only glycolysis. There's not that many calories from glycolysis. And the cell was also exposed to oxygen, which is very toxic. So there was the cell, but next by the mitochondria was walking. And the mitochondria is really a bacteria that can do two things, can harness the oxygen and also make energy out of that.

[00:17:38.180] – Dr. Barzilai
So that's how the cell got the mitochondria. OK, so these mitochondria is a collaboration of bacteria and and the cell to make it better. And it was felt that in this marriage the cell really was calling the shots because a lot of the messages came from the nuclear genome, OK, for the from the nucleus of the cell. Right. And what we kind of discovered is a new biology that really showed that this mitochondria has hundreds of its own messages.

[00:18:20.480] – Dr. Barzilai
And so there's a crosstalk not only between the nucleus and the mitochondria, but those peptides that are being manufactured by the mitochondria are exiting and they're influencing other effects across the body. And they are known as mitochondrial derived peptides. So, yeah, you know, about the mitochondria and the powerhouse and the fact that mitochondria declines with aging and that is associated with lots of diseases. And we really need to make sure our mitochondria is OK.

[00:18:54.890] – Dr. Barzilai
But there's another aspect of the mitochondria, which is the messages they have. And I have a company that I founded with my co-founder, Hossy Cohen, who is the dean of USC School of Gerontology. It's CohBar where we are actually making therapy out of those peptides that are basically offering resiliency against many of the diseases of aging.

[00:19:25.940] – Allan
OK, so so these are traits that we would have. You know, if we're looking at our own aging, there's seven what they call, I guess, Hallmark's. You didn't identify these, but you mentioned them in the book. So kind of like the areas where your field looks, a couple of them that I was really I was obviously familiar with and you've gotten into already is the epigenetics, but also inflammation and a few others. Can you kind of go through those and why looking at all seven of those is important.

[00:19:57.380] – Dr. Barzilai
By the way, I have eight there, but, you know, we had seven initially, the Europeans had nine, then Brexit happened, you know. You know, those those hallmarks we we initially thought to call them the pillars of aging. And then we said, you know what, we still are gathering data. It's going to change. And if you all of a sudden take a pillar, the whole building would collapse. So let's not call them pillar, let's call them Hallmark. But in fact, I'm using much more another term, which is knob's, because what makes a hallmark hallmark is the fact that there's a good research that shows that if you intervene then you change health span and lifespan.

[00:20:47.930] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, that's really the evidence. Another thing interesting, those hallmarks are interconnected in the sense that you can target one of the knobs and it's going to influence the others. So I'll give you an example. One of those hallmarks is called Purtill Stars. What is Protostar? We are manufacturing and with aging, we're manufacturing in increase amounts of proteins that are just wrong. They're not folding right, they're not accumulating. They're doing traffic jams and they're causing lots of problems.

[00:21:33.120] – Dr. Barzilai
Now, there is a way to deal with it. There are several ways to deal with it. But one is called autophagy. Autophagy is the garbage disposal of the cells. OK, there is the ability to garbage disposal that is decrease with aging. But by the way, it's a green energy garbage disposal because it gets those proteins or whatever garbage takes them to little components that are, that can be recirculated for energy again. And autophagy, by the way, is eating yourself, but it's not really eating yourself, it's cleaning yourself and making available better, better body.

[00:22:11.430] – Dr. Barzilai
So when you turn on autophagy, which you can do genetically or by drug, you get the effect on the mitochondria. You get the effect on the metabolism and you get the effect on immunity. OK, and other things. Another thing, two of the hallmarks are decline in immunology, in immune function and also inflammation or as we call it, inflam-aging. Those are the really two things that are relevant now to COVID. And let me make a point out of here, COVID.

[00:22:51.840] – Dr. Barzilai
So I'm telling you how we went from Hope to promise. Right. And we're going to realize the promise. And then COVID landed on us. And it's it must be an opportunity to but COVID landed on us and really showed ages. It showed that if you're 80 years old, you're two hundred times more likely to die if you're 20 years old. OK, it's really the major risk for dying.

[00:23:16.800] – Dr. Barzilai
And by the way, multi morbidity, lots of diseases for me they're just how old. But you are biologically, you know, at age 65, half of the people in Europe have less than two diseases and the other half have more than two diseases. So they're they're not super agers. They're aging really quicker. Aging is the major risk factor for COVID. And this is because of something that happened to those Hallmark's the immunity declines so the virus is more likely to attack you.

[00:23:50.550] – Dr. Barzilai
And second, what the people die from within few days of the infection, they get a very big inflammatory response uncontrol that is destructive, that is destroying the lung, and that is really causing the death. Those are two of the hallmarks of aging that can be targeted. Actually, both of them can be targeted. And we're trying to find a way for the public to know that, know what to do about it. But this is just, I think, important insights on the hallmark. If you want something more specific, you can ask.

SPONSOR
This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Fastic before we had refrigeration, processing, and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today because we're opportunistic eaters. Most of us consistently eat more than we should and our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight.

Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption steps and a lot of other things. You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. For Android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone or for an Android go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

[00:25:58.080] – Allan
That was wonderful because, you know, I think that really when I when I saw that picture, because you had a graphic in the book, you could see that interrelation, you know, and you did an excellent job there with Covid as an example of, you know, you've got two things. You've got the immune response and then you've got the inflammation in the body and how they're interrelated. So now that's really good.

[00:26:19.380] – Allan
You got into one topic that I thought I thought was a little interesting. You know, being in the health space, I have a lot of friends that are in the health space. And I have one friend that was on metformin while he was he was diabetic. He reversed his diabetes and he got off of metformin. But he decided for personal reasons, longevity reasons, to start taking metformin again. Now, he exercised he rides his bike. He does a lot of different things. So he was already exercising, which was a benefit. But then when he started talking about metformin, I was like, OK, well, until I saw it in your book. So can you kind of talk about the benefits we get from something like metformin or exercise?

[00:27:00.810] – Dr. Barzilai
Sure, really interesting topic. And in fact, let me say, I have many interest in metformin, but it's all because of overwhelming interest. We're trying to do a study that will demonstrate to the FDA that aging can be targeted and then variety of age related diseases, not only one, but few can be delayed substantially. OK, that aging is a preventable condition from age related disease perspective. To thread this needle, we had to find a drug that does it, a drug that is available, a drug that doesn't have pharmaceutical about it because we were just scientists and a drug that really will serve as a tool to pave the road.

[00:28:00.780] – Dr. Barzilai
Because because the point is, if the FDA doesn't have indication to target aging, then health care providers don't have to pay for it. If health care providers are not paying for that, the pharmaceuticals are not going to jump in because they need a business plan. I realize that. So we needed to break that. And that's the Gero-science effort and American Federation of Aging Research. And the NIH now are all partners in the study.

[00:28:29.850] – Dr. Barzilai
That's called TAM, targeting aging with metformin in order to show that aging can be targeted. OK, so that's the big picture. OK, of course you have to understand that because of that I'm not selling metformin to anyone. OK, that's not the purpose. But I need to do the study in order to show that. But why why metformin? Well, first of all, if you give metformin to almost all animals. Most recently a fish, one of the fish that is in the lab now investigated. It's called killing fish, killing fish, all other animals. You give them metformin, they live healthier and longer.

[00:29:11.000] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, but in in people, because and by the way, metformin, just from historical perspective, it's a drug that initially in the forties of last century. OK, so 80 years ago was used to prevent flu and malaria. In other words, somebody discovered the fact that it has some strong effects. While doing that, people also demonstrated that people who got metformin and in high glucose level, their glucose level normalized. And in fact, then it all became about diabetes. And it's the first drug of choice to treat Type two diabetes, which is the major form of diabetes.

[00:30:02.160] – Dr. Barzilai
So metformin is out there for more than 60 years. So everything you want to do, you know about metformin, we know about metformin, OK? It's been around there currently almost two hundred million people around the world that are on metformin. So it's generic. There's no pharmaceutical beyond it. It's cheap. It's safe.

[00:30:26.230] – Dr. Barzilai
Perfect tool for us. What is the evidence from humans, Will? If you take non diabetic and give them metformin, you'll prevent diabetes in them. OK, a big clinical study, it's called the DPP. Another big clinical studies were to look at the effects of metformin versus other drugs on prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, metformin prevented cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

[00:30:57.820] – Dr. Barzilai
There's many association studies, hundreds of association studies, all showing that people in metformin have less cancers, all all kinds of cancers. There's both clinical studies and association studies that there is less cognitive impairment and less Alzheimer's in people with metformin. And maybe the most fascinating to me is a huge study that was done in the UK, where in the UK you can go into the pharmacies and get data, you know, not the name of the person, but other medical information on those on those subjects.

[00:31:43.070] – Dr. Barzilai
So they took like 170,000 people and took this 78,000 that are on metformin data control with age match people, you know, in the treated by the same doctors getting subscriptions from from the same pharmacies. And basically they showed that compared to non diabetic people with diabetes and metformin had much less mortality, 17 percent less mortality over five years of follow up. Now, the people with more mortality had no diabetes and the people on metformin had diabetes, they had they were more obese and more sick to start with, and yet they live longer.

[00:32:36.000] – Dr. Barzilai
So take everything I told you about metformin and you see that it's a real drug that has real effect on many diseases in a composite of diseases. And that's why we use it as a tool to get permission from the FDA to target aging with it.

[00:32:58.840] – Allan
OK, now we can get we can get a similar effect with exercise, but in the book you kind of talked about using both of them together.

[00:33:06.260] – Dr. Barzilai
So, you know, so one of our challenges is we have all those hallmarks. Let's say we have a drug for all the hallmarks. Can we use all the combination together?Will it be additive? And the answer is it's specific. So we collaborated with a group that done the following study. They took elderly and they exercise them. A half of them were exercise with metformin and half of them without. And they actually that was an NIH grant. And they predicted that metformin will be editive to the effect of exercise. But to their surprise and by the way, there are other groups that showed the same.

[00:33:58.750] – Dr. Barzilai
All the people that exercised did better, but the muscle of the ones that exercised was bigger than the muscle of those that exercised and were on metformin. So it looked like metformin was actually inhibiting the growth of the muscle. OK, we were interested in that because in one of the supplements that you don't read, they also show something fascinating that although the muscle was a smaller, the strength was the same between two groups.

[00:34:37.820] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, so for me it means per gram of muscle. The one on metformin is better. OK, why is that? And what we did with this group we got, they did biopsies before and after treatment of the people. And we looked at the transcript of those biopsies and we showed exactly the mechanism by which muscle growth with exercise and why and how it wasn't growing as much with mitochondria, it was totally fitting. But metformin increased 516 other transcripts that are more of the aging protected transcripts.

[00:35:23.080] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, so they affected autophagy, as I said before, some other things they decrease and or some other things. And so at the end, you can choose if you want to exercise because you want big muscle, don't take metformin. But what the metformin did is it didn't affect the force but affected the aging of the muscles. So at the end it had the similar functional effect but you can choose what you want to do.

[00:35:58.890] – Allan
Yeah. And that kind of falls in line if you think about it. When we first started this conversation and we were we were talking about the growth factor in the hormones and people will often take those hormones because they want to get a little bit more muscular even as they age. And then here we are saying, you know, if you can build the quality strength of muscle without building that extra size, metformin will help you do that. And I guess the final one is…

[00:36:26.270] – Dr. Barzilai
Can I just say something about that. Look, a lot of what growth hormone is doing and for which you say it is quite expensive. Right. So how people, why people are buying it. Because they see something. What they see growth hormone melts fat under the skin. OK, that's why people seeing that something is happening when it melts fat around your muscle, your muscles look bulgier, OK? There's very few studies that shows any effect on strength. OK, maybe there's a little bit, but it's not much at all.

[00:37:08.370] – Allan
Yeah, that's going to come with the testosterone where you're recovering a little faster, therefore you're working out more often and that's typically where, you know, bodybuilders, they use either testosterone or steroid. That's where they see the size come from is they're just able to train harder and longer and more often. And that's what they get.

[00:37:26.820] – Dr. Barzilai
But, you know, what you said is very important. So I want I want to use this opportunity. We're talking about 70 years old. We're not talking about bodybuilders below 40. OK, so what I'm telling you is true for aging, OK? I'm not saying it's untrue for the others, but I'm not saying it's true either. OK, so let's say let's just build a Chinese wall.

[00:37:56.810] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's where I was going with this is to say, you know, a lot of the things that we would be doing to build muscle and look more aesthetically pleasing are not necessarily going to be good for aging.

[00:38:16.310] – Dr. Barzilai
Exactly.

[00:38:16.950] – Allan
OK, and one that I wanted to get into is I saw this on this show. It's been years ago. And you name them you call them chronies. But they're basically people that significantly under eat. And there's some science behind how under eating can and calorie restriction can allow you to to live longer. We see that. We've seen a lot of that. But you talked about in the book ways that we can use things like intermittent fasting and ketosis to mimic that effect.

[00:38:46.680] – Dr. Barzilai
Right. So I want to say something about this paradigm. When we started caloric restriction, we knew another fact that if you give zero calories they all die in a few days, right, so we know that there are limits. OK. The question is how much how much calories, right?

[00:39:10.520] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:39:10.770] – Dr. Barzilai
And I'm not sure that the chronies took the right amount of calories. I think they took less calories than what they should have. But for me, one of the things that I, that we've done that always has to go back to the science. Yeah, we did those caloric restriction everywhere all the time, and it was always successful. OK, and whenever I test a drug that might affect aging, one of the control groups is the caloric restricted animal. Right. But what we did with the caloric restricted animal is the following. We would come in the morning. They were hungry. We would put all the food in the morning so they would eat all the food in the morning and will fast for twenty three hours more. OK, we really OK, because we said, oh, you know what caloric restriction means, it means that less for breakfast, less for lunch, less for dinner.

[00:40:07.490] – Dr. Barzilai
But that's not what we did to the animal. When we started actually doing the caloric restriction throughout the day, they were thinner, but they didn't live longer, which means something is in these. Fasting is important for the benefits of caloric restriction.

[00:40:26.160] – Allan
Do you think that has something to do with, you know, with cell death and the bodies reusing of materials a bit a bit more efficiently?

[00:40:35.750] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, we are looking we're looking now and it really we're looking at it what happens in this time course of fasting. So we're taking young and old people, men and women, and we're trying to look what happens to the biology of aging. We're going to take their cells and see at which time they become younger. Right. We are going to see in the plasma, when are the ketones starting to go up? When is the insulin going down and all that and and really determine. Because, look, first of all, if all it takes is 12 hours, then more people will be able to do 12 hours.

[00:41:13.820] – Dr. Barzilai
They'll they'll just skip lunch right? The 16, eight hours, which is what I'm doing is just surprisingly easy. All you do is skip breakfast. And you know that in 16 hours you can have whatever you want and you're not limited, although you find out that you eat less, but you're not limited. And I think this is a big advantage. If you gave me a diet for three months, I could fail any day. I could break any day. But I'm not going to break if I have two hours to go. I'm just not going to break. OK, so that's easy. And another thing, you lose weight quite rapidly initially, then it's stabilized, but you lose weight, so good diet.

[00:42:00.230] – Allan
And I think that's kind of the point. You know, when I get into ketosis, which I'm approaching right now, I naturally stop wanting to eat breakfast. I just when I wake up I'm not hungry. That's a very productive period of time for me. So even stopping the eating because it's quiet. You know I get up about four or five o'clock in the morning. And so I have about four hours before any emails are coming in or anything else is going on.

[00:42:25.610] – Allan
And those are the most productive hours of my day. So I don't want to stop and eat. Then I want to wait till the email start coming and then I can eat my breakfast while I'm reading email. But, you know, I think there's a lot to this and I appreciate that you're taking the time to to study how all these different protocols and in some cases now we're going to say medications can target aging because again, we don't want to just get older. We want to we want to have a long health, healthy life, too. So try to get that biological age lower than our chronological age.

[00:43:01.970] – Allan
Doctor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:43:11.700] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, first of all, I agree with this definition and, you know, with my book, I'm not trying to sell any medication, although I have a lot of comments on many of those and not on medication, on stress, on society on interaction.

[00:43:33.480] – Dr. Barzilai
I mean, boy, the older people are so lonely with this covid-19. They are just so lonely. There's so many things that are part of health span. And it's not only medical, it's emotional, it's everything. What I'm what I'm trying to do is really to say something else. So I'm sorry. I'm not you can ask me specifically, but I'm trying to do something else in my book. I'm trying to say there's a lot of information out there. OK, here, we're going to have information out there.

[00:44:11.250] – Dr. Barzilai
How how do you know what's real, what's marketing, what was proven, what was hope, what is totally fake? OK, it's very difficult. And I'm saying, look. I'm going, I'm basically I'm impressed only when I see a clinical study, a clinical study means we take a population. Half of them are on a drug, half of them are in placebo. They don't know. The doctors don't know. And we have an outcome that we calculated. We know how many people we need and how much time we need. And this is a clinical study. And that's the only way that you can be sure that you're doing the right thing.

[00:44:56.470] – Dr. Barzilai
And unfortunately, there are not that many of them. I brought as an example, vitamin D. Vitamin D is associated with every disaster in the world. OK, but just the same, except women with osteoporosis. Every time you give vitamin D to people in risk, almost nothing happens or very little happens that the effect of vitamin D seems huge and when you give vitamin D, almost nothing happens or very little happens.

[00:45:30.020] – Dr. Barzilai
So there's no compelling reason. By the way, I have low vitamin D level. My doctor wanted me to take the vitamin D and I said show me to me. And he said, well, maybe if you have osteoporosis, said, let's do a scan. I did a scan. I actually have bones that are five sizes thicker than the average. And I'm thinking, you know what, maybe that's why I have low vitamin D level, because we might not know all the direction. Maybe the fact that my bone is like that, it decreases the conversion of vitamin D because it needs protection. So I don't need to be all bone. OK, so so for me, vitamin D is not a is not an issue because the clinical studies have not supported it.

[00:46:24.340] – Dr. Barzilai
There is another part of vitamin D, though, that I would give us an example. If you want to take vitamins, at least vitamin D didn't show to be harmful. So that's also good. So, you know, we can go one by one. And so but then there's another category. There's a category of drugs that have promise, OK, based on lots of data, maybe animals data. But there is no clinical study and maybe there won't be clinical study, you know, there are nutraceuticals. OK, so in that play, in one of the examples, anime and ad supplements and a man. So I don't have anything against taking in a man.

[00:47:13.130] – Dr. Barzilai
I think I don't understand everything. We don't understand everything we need to know about any men, but it probably has strong anti-aging properties. And I don't see really that it's doing harm, although I'm not in absolute way sure of that either. OK, are they good people who have cancer? Maybe it's not good in people with cancer. OK, there are lots of safety issues that we could deal. But the point really that I'm trying to stress is we have to do better than just reading something in the Internet and taking it much better than that. And there's a way to make progress in that.

[00:47:52.510] – Allan
Yes. Well, Doctor, thank you so much. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Age Later, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:48:00.650] – Dr. Barzilai
So Age Later can be bought on Amazon. And if you want to have more information about the book and about health, the American Federation of Aging Research, AFAR.org is where you can find more about the book.

[00:48:21.810] – Allan
You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.Com/449 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Barzilai, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:48:33.950] – Dr. Barzilai
A pleasure. Good luck to you and and nice mission to have.

[00:48:38.150] – Allan
Thank you.



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Another episode you may enjoy

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Is the carnivore diet good for you? – Dr. Paul Saladino

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On episode 448 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we ask the question: “Is the Carnivore Diet good for you?

Dr. Saladino is the leading authority on the Carnivore Diet. He has used this diet to reverse autoimmune issues, chronic inflammation, and mental health issues in hundreds of patients. He is board-certified in psychiatry and completed his residency at the University of Washington. He is also a certified functional medicine practitioner through the Institute for Functional Medicine. He attended medical school at the University of Arizona, focusing on integrative medicine and nutritional biochemistry.

SPONSOR
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Usual Wines. These single-serve 6.3-ounce bottles are perfect when you just want a glass of wine without opening a whole bottle. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/wine and use coupon code FITNESS to get $8 off your order.

SPONSOR
This episode is also sponsored by Fastic. This is a wonderful app that teaches you how to do intermittent fasting right. If you have an iPhone, you can access the free at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. Get the Android version at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

You may or may not know that I am a fan of the ketogenic diet. I regularly make bone broth to get collagen and minerals from the bone and bone marrow. And I'm definitely not someone to discard the egg yolk. Ketosis is an excellent way to improve your body composition and fight chronic disease. 

I've always dismissed the Carnivore Diet as an extreme elimination diet, which it is since it limits you to just animal products. But after reading The Carnivore Code, I decided to give it a try. I went three weeks with this way of eating and it's not so bad. I got off of it for two reasons:

1) I could get enough liver and kidneys and I don't feel like buying supplements was the way to go.

2) I missed vegetables. As the doctor mentioned in the show, if how you're eating is working, then maybe carnivore isn't for you.

With all of the scientific evidence Dr. Saladino presented in the book and during this interview, I'm less concerned about eating meat regularly and a little less enamored with vegetables overall, but I'm glad I tried it for a bit.

Transcript

Allan
Dr. Saladino, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Saladino
Thanks for having me on. It's good to be here.

Allan
I have had someone on about the carnivore of diet before. His name is Craig Emmerich, Maria's husband, you might know him. And it was really fascinating. I've been interested in the diet, but honestly, it seems pretty extreme to me to just eat meat and organs. I've read a lot about it. I've heard a lot about it. But I think your book, The Carnivore Code, is really kind of the first book I've seen that basically power drives any other way you'd want to eat, I mean, for lack of a better word, it's like, boy, you just pulverized all the vegetables I like and you did it with science.

Dr. Saladino
Well, I tried. And the goal of writing the book and we can get into what I do and why I do it, my goal is not to convince everyone to stop eating all plants for the rest of eternity. The idea with the book and I'll tell the listeners a little of my story as well in a moment, but there are really two main thesis in the book. There are two things that I'm hoping to achieve and the first is to exonerate, red meat to undo the bad science that's been done around red meat and ruminant animals, cows, bison, lamb.

Dr. Saladino
These kinds of foods are some of the most vilified foods on the planet. And yet I strongly believe and I think that the medical literature strongly supports the fact that they are the most nutritious foods on the planet for humans. So what we have is this completely upside down ideology this completely reversed mainstream idea around fear of red meat. And that doesn't need to be that way. And I talk about in the book why that is and evidence for red meat being essential in the human diet.

Dr. Saladino
And we can get to both of those things. The second point of the book is to explain and to suggest to offer that plants exists on a toxicity spectrum. They're rooted in the ground. They've been co-evolving with animals for four hundred and fifty million years. And so in order for plants and animals to co-exist in an ecosystem, they have had to develop defense chemicals. This is really not conjecture or opinion. This is botanical science. And these defense chemicals can harm humans. And so plants exist on a toxicity spectrum and understanding which plants are the most toxic in the least toxic is crucial for every human to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Saladino
It's really just it's another tool in the toolbox for people. If people are listening to this and they are thriving, they're just crushing it, kicking, butt, don't change a thing. I respect anyone who's crushing it. And I will give anyone an electronic high five for making an intentional choice with their diet. Whatever that choice is, that's the first step, is making an intentional choice of diet, thinking about your food.

Dr. Saladino
But there's a lot of people that are suffering and no one has really gone to these lengths. No one has uncovered these questions. Nobody has turned these stones over and said maybe some of these plants are harming us. Maybe this is the reason that some of us suffer with eczema like I did, or asthma or psoriasis or depression or mood issues or libido issues or weight gain that won't reverse or tons of other autoimmune issues.

Dr. Saladino
And it's just exciting to be able to do to try and do those two things to say, hey, this red meat don't fear this. Very valuable for you, very critical for you, your family, your children, for their health, for your parents health, everyone. Wrongly vilified based on bad science, which is epidemiology. And the second part is you're not thriving, realize that plants exist on a toxicity spectrum.

Allan
Yeah. Now in my book, The Wellness Roadmap, I brought up a concept that I call opportunistic eaters. And what it is, is as humans, you know, if we're hungry, we're going to go for food. I think I got a little backward and so I got opportunistic eating today is pulling up to the McDonald's drive-thru. It's easy. It's quick, low cost for me from an energy perspective, I don't even have to get out of my car and there it is. Not good for me, but it gives me the energy it did what it was supposed to do, I guess. But then when I thought back to our ancestors and the way that they would look at the opportunity, I think I had it backward. And you rightfully said something in your book that that made me turn that around. You call it the Carnivore Code Hypothesis. And that would be where we would effectively favor meat, particularly red meat, over other sources of food for the nutritional value of them.

Allan
Whereas I thought it's easier for me to pick blueberries in the blueberries, not actually attacking me back. Well, we're going to find out later. Maybe that blueberry is but, you know, I feel safer picking blueberries than I would hunting a water buffalo. Now, even if you and I and a few other guys together with spears and went out there and started working, it would be a little safer, but still risk. We take every time we wanted this food. But what you brought up in the book. There's a good reason why we would take that risk.

Dr. Saladino
There's a very good reason why we would take that risk and why we have taken that risk. The beginning part of the book is really about where we've come from in humans and looking at fossilized evidence of human cranial vault size, the growth of the brain. And there's pretty good evidence that one of the key, if not the critical factor in the massive growth of the human brain, was the advent of hunting in our ancestors and the procurement of meat and these unique nutrients that occur in meat.

Dr. Saladino
So if you look at what's in meat and this goes back to the idea of exonerating red meat and understanding how valuable these foods are for humans. There are many nutrients in red meat specifically, but in all animals really that only occur in animal foods.

Dr. Saladino
So often we're told, of these phytonutrients, quote-unquote. And I really think that's a fairy tale, that's not true when we can talk about that as well. But there are unique nutrients. There are unique nutrients that only occur in appreciable biologically available quantities in animal foods.

Dr. Saladino
But we've never heard about these. So you kind of allude to this in your description. And I think most people and our ancestors were really after the calories, but it worked out when they were seeking the most calories in the largest animals and the largest repository of food, they were solving this energetics equation. Per energy invested, the return on a water buffalo is much better than a blueberry. And it just so happens that when you get that water buffalo, you are getting so many more unique nutrients that are so much more bioavailable. Because we know that in order for humans to be optimal, we need micronutrients. These are things like vitamins and minerals, and I'll talk about those in a moment. In order for our ancestors, or you or I to survive until tomorrow, we need calories.

Dr. Saladino
And you can get those calories from a Slurpee or a Big Mac or a Frosty or french fries. You'll survive till tomorrow. But if you want to survive decades from now and have vital health and healthy children and multiple generations and play with your grandkids, you need micronutrients. And that is the real difference. But by seeking out the highest sources and the most efficient sources of calories, our ancestors also sought out the unique micronutrients. So what am I talking about here?

Dr. Saladino
I'm talking about things like creatine, carnitine, choline, carnitine, vitamin K and B12. The list goes on and on. These are nutrients that really only occur in animal foods in any appreciable quantity. And they are necessary. They are absolutely essential for optimal human health.

Dr. Saladino
But you really can't get creatine from plants. We know that it makes builder stronger, but we also know that it makes us smarter. There have been interventional experiments where they'll do trials without giving vegetarians and vegans creatine. And they get smarter. They do better on memory tasks and card sorting tasks and cognitive processing tasks.

Dr. Saladino
And then there's choline, an essential nutrient for the formation of the brain to make new baby brains to make our brain strong. It really doesn't occur in appreciable quantities and plant foods, but it's absolutely abundant and very biologically available in animal foods. Carnitine, carnitine, these are unique amino acid forms that are used in the antioxidant process in the human body. Vitamin K2 is a form of vitamin K that's absolutely essential for proper calcium partitioning in the human body and higher intakes of vitamin K2, which is a series of Menaquinones, have been associated with much better cardiovascular outcomes.

Dr. Saladino
But where's the vitamin K2 In-plant Foods? It doesn't exist. You can't get vitamin K2 from Plant Foods. You can vitamin K1, which is Phylloquinone. But humans are really, really bad at converting Phylloquinone to medical quinone and an intake of Phylloquinone in Plants is not associated with any of these improved outcomes from heart disease or calcification or sclerosis. So the list goes on, right? Vitamin B 12. Most people know about that, but these are all critical nutrients, trust to be optimal and they were critical for our ancestors brains to grow.

Dr. Saladino
And the statement I make in the book is that I strongly believe and I think the evidence absolutely corroborates the notion that eating meat made us human. It's essential for humans to eat this. And so the investment is slightly higher danger hunting a water buffalo is going to be repaid in spades, it's going to be repaid over and over. As you get that hunt, you get that kill graciously, thankfully, and you share it with your tribe and you are nourished so deeply also by eating organs, if we can talk about.

Dr. Saladino
But that's really what allowed our ancestors to thrive, that it was so easy to get the nutrition from animals. And you can survive on plant foods, but they've got these toxins and you have to detoxify them. They're good for survival. But our ancestors really would have sought out animals first. And if they had to, they would use these plant foods as a fallback. If you can't get a buffalo, you might gather some blueberries.

Dr. Saladino
Now, fruit is kind of a specific thing that I'll talk about. I think our ancestors would have eaten fruit in season, but blueberries aren't available year-round. And you don't make a baby out of blueberries, you know, but you can't just you can't make a human out of the nutrients in blueberries, but you can make a human out of the nutrients in water buffalo that's got almost that's got basically everything you need.

Dr. Saladino
Blueberries, It's got some calories and a few things that we can use, but not great. Now, the fruit stems, leaves, roots and seeds of plants are much more highly defended with these defense chemicals. And that, I think, would have been absolutely way down on the list for humans. If you cannot get you cannot get an animal, then you're going to eat those things to survive. But our ancestors favored animal foods. They made us who we are. And by really forgetting that wisdom today, we are forsaking our ancestral birthright to much, much deeper levels of human health.

Allan
Yeah, and kind of following along with that as we develop and you start thinking about, OK, why is a human-like a human? Because we do have some teeth that allow us to eat some vegetables, but they're not all of our teeth are animal or plant teeth. So it's obvious that we have a little bit of diversity opportunity there. But there are other things about the human body that makes it clear that we're hunters, we're meant to be carnivores. Can you talk about some of those changes physiologically that have happened as humans have evolved?

Dr. Saladino
Yeah, so this is quite a fascinating story and it starts in the mouth. And really, as you go, as you said, the teeth argument always gets brought up a lot. But we clearly have teeth for both chewing fibrous material. Probably we held on to those because we needed that during times of scarcity of animals. And we have lots of teeth for biting into meat and eating animals. The digestive system of the digestive tract is one of the more fascinating parts of our physiology that distinguishes us from plant-eating herbivores.

Dr. Saladino
The acidity of our stomach is much more. It's much greater. So we have a lower PH, which means a more acidic stomach than many other species, many other primates, many other herbivorous or even omnivorous species. That's a strong suggestion that as we begin eating meat, we were eating rotting meat. So we were eating carrion just to prevent our guts from being damaged by bacteria that might have been growing on the meat. We don't have to eat rotting meat today, but there's a clear evolutionary blueprint there of our ancestors eating meat that was rotting or eating meat in general and the stomach acid protecting us from it and the stomach acid also breaking down that meat.

Dr. Saladino
The shape and distribution of gut regions is also very different in humans. And this is one of the other things called the expensive tissue hypothesis that probably allowed the human brain to grow so big. And we see this in other animals and other species as well. But energetically there is a ceiling on how an animal can change throughout its evolution and as a species.

Dr. Saladino
And so if you want to grow a bigger brain, which uses a lot of your energy, you're going to have to trim the fat, so to speak, from somewhere else. And it looks like the tradeoff for humans was in the gut. We have a much smaller, large intestine. So there's a stomach, a small intestine and a large intestine. The small intestine is 20 plus feet, goes from the end of your stomach to the ileocecal valve, which is where your colon starts. And your colon is your large bowel and these these parts of the intestine serve different purposes. But humans have a slightly larger small bowel and a much smaller, large bowel than primates.[00:17:48.710] – Dr. Saladino
So what appears to have happened in the very compelling hypothesis is that as we were able to eat more nutrient rich foods, we were able to shrink the size of our colons because we didn't need the colons to do the massive fermentation that primates do. So if you look at a gorilla or an ape, they have both a very protuberance stomach. They have a rib angle, which is much more pointed outward than humans. Our ribs kind of go straight down and an ape goes way out to accommodate this very large colon.

Dr. Saladino
The colon now for humans is really just to reabsorb the last bits of water from our stool as it passes through the small intestine. And the small intestine is where we do most of the absorption of nutrients. So there's this real change and that allowed our brains to grow big because we have smaller energy needs in our gut. We can then redistribute the caloric availability to growing a big brain in a very metabolically expensive brain. There's a fascinating fish in Africa that I talk about in the book called The Peters' Elephant Nose Fish.

Dr. Saladino
People can Google this. It's a really cool looking fish. But you see the same thing here. The expensive tissue hypothesis plays out in this fish as well. It has the biggest brain of any species or fish relative to body size. So it's a pretty smart fish. And in order to do that, it has the smallest gut. So it has this trade-off between gut and brain. Again, not surprisingly, that fish is a carnivore as well. And in the fish world, Carnivore is a little different than in the human or land mammal world. But that fish doesn't eat plants, that fish eats other fish or smaller, smaller animals that it's consuming.

Dr. Saladino
So that allows it to consume higher nutrient density food and have a smaller gut. And so it gets a bigger brain energetically in the trade-off. So there's all sorts of other things that suggest that we're hunters. We've got these shoulders that allow us to pitch, and no other species on the planet can throw a fastball like a human can throw a spear.

Dr. Saladino
Primates can't do this. Nobody else can do this. We have these articulated fingers. We're very agile on our feet. And even the whites of our eyes are fascinating. I should have, the book is it wouldn't have shown this picture very well, but I should have put a picture in the book about this. If you look at a chimp's eyes, I didn't know this until I was researching the book The Sclera. So the part of the eye outside of the iris is brown.

Dr. Saladino
And a human, it's white, and so if people look in the mirror, you'll see that center part of your eye, that's the iris and the white stuff to the side. That's the sclera. And a chimp sclera is brown. So if you look at the chimp eye, versus a human eye, it looks very different. And the hypothesis here, advanced by Bill von Hippel and others, is that humans became cooperative rather than competitive. That if I'm in the tribe with you and I'm looking to the right, you can tell which direction I'm looking because you can see the contrast between the iris and the sclera.

Dr. Saladino
But if you look at a chimp, you can't really see which direction they're looking because it's all the same color. So it was advantageous for them to not signal their intentions, what they were looking at, potential mate, prey, escape route to other chimps. But humans became cooperative.

Dr. Saladino
So we were hunting in groups. We were signaling danger and we were becoming this cooperative species. Well, you don't need a whole lot of cooperation to pick blueberries, but if you're hunting a water buffalo, you probably want to cooperate, right?

Allan
Yeah, let's send Derrick in there.

Dr. Saladino
If you've been in the military, or you've seen these adventure movies, you know, you can communicate with somebody across the room with your eyes without saying anything. Or if someone sees danger, you can see where that person is looking immediately.

Dr. Saladino
So there's all these adaptations that make us look a whole lot like hunters. There's also fossil evidence that we've been hunting. I mean, two million years ago when the human brain began to grow is when we see these fossilized remains of Shuli and tools, these by facial by facial stones, which look kind of like big arrowheads. They were used for spears and for butchering. And we start to see bones that are dated to two million years with cut marks on the bone from the butchering.

Dr. Saladino
And we see hunting injuries to animals and we see mass graves where our ancestors apparently herded animals into blind corridors or drove them off cliffs to harvest them in mass. So right at the time we see the human brain start to grow. We then begin to see evidence for hunting and looking at the fossil record, we can see these changes in the human physiology, suggesting, humans are hunters. First and foremost, we're hunters.

Dr. Saladino
Everybody says we're hunter-gatherers. Well, we're like hunter-gatherer. You know, we're like mostly hunting a little bit of gathering if you can't get an animal. And then the question is, what are the foods our ancestors were really gathering? It wasn't kale, I'll tell you that. You can get into it.

Allan
So since the 70s, you know, you don't eat fat, don't eat fat, don't eat fat, low fat, low fat, everything, and with paleo coming up, I guess mid two thousands and so and it was growing and then that went to Keto. So I was I was into ketosis. I was was feeling better than I've felt in forever. And then this news report comes out, you know, that red meat you're eating is going to cause colon cancer. Your chance of dying just went up dramatically. You know, I'm reading the article and I'm like this can't be true. But, you know, well, there's a study and everybody took off with that study. Can you tell us a little bit about that whole story of how that happened and why it's wrong?

Dr. Saladino
Yeah. So based on what you already laid out, I'm sure the listener can imagine how evolutionarily inconsistent it would be for a food that was at the center of the human diet for the last three to four million years would be bad for us. That doesn't make any sense. OK, but there's, quote, science. So let's talk about why this is so misleading.

Dr. Saladino
So what you are referring to is a 2015 IARC report from the International Association for Research on Cancer, which is a WHO/FAO type of committee on cancer. And they met to review all of the studies that they could find connecting red meat and cancer. So it wasn't an actual experiment. It was a consensus decision by a group of scientists, which can also be valuable. But, and they came out in 2015 and said red meat is a class to a carcinogen, which means that we're pretty sure it's a or maybe it was 2B, 2A or 2B.

Dr. Saladino
They give gradings to the recommendations based on the strength of the evidence. And so then they said that processed meat was a 2A carcinogen and red meat was a 2B carcinogen, meaning there was a little bit less evidence that unprocessed red meat was a carcinogen and there was more evidence that processed meat was a carcinogen. So they're making these recommendations.

Dr. Saladino
And you said, OK, well, how do they get these recommendations? They didn't do an experiment. They're reviewing the data. Well, they're super smart scientists, right? We should trust them. Well, in 2018 and this caused a huge hubbub in 2015. In 2018, the actual explanation of how they arrived at those decisions came out.

Dr. Saladino
And when you read that, it paints a very different story. So these, there were many scientists, I think over 20 scientists that sat down and I think it was in France and they had over four hundred studies to review and they excluded all the studies except 14. So that decision is based on 14 studies. They just took everything else. They said that's not valid. It's not that experiment wasn't done well enough. It doesn't it's not an appropriate model.

Dr. Saladino
They excluded all the animal studies. So there were no animal models. Right. And every single one of the studies they looked at was epidemiology. So in that consensus report, they used 14 epidemiology studies. Now, this is worth diving into because it causes so much confusion and consternation. Epidemiology is observational research. There is no experiments done. Most of us from science class imagine that all the studies we hear about on the news are interventional. You combine two chemicals, you get a color change, you take a group of rats, you give them more sugar or more fat, and you see what happens.

Dr. Saladino
You take a group of humans and you give them a drug and you see what happens. This isn't what this IRC report is referring to. There have been studies done in which people have replaced carbohydrates with red meat. And in fact, those studies do not show any harm for red meat. They show decreasing CRP and no changes in other markers of inflammation. But was that an interventional study included in this decision? No. No interventional studies were included in this decision.

Dr. Saladino
They were all epidemiology, which is survey-based research. And so what these researchers did was look at 14 different types of, 14 different studies. And all of these studies were either prospective or retrospective cohort study. So they take a group of people and they give them a survey. And they say, how much red meat did you eat over the last 10 or 15 years? And then they looked to see how healthy these people are and they try and correlate those two. Or they'll take a cohort of people and say how much red meat you eat now and then follow them moving forward for 10 or 15 years and see how many of them develop health problems. And at first glance, that sounds reasonable, right?

Dr. Saladino
Except here's the problem. Epidemiology, observational studies can only tell us about correlation. You can't make a causative inference from that because just because somebody eats more red meat, it doesn't mean that the red meat caused the problems.

Allan
I think you had a really good example. You had a really good example in the book about divorce rate in Maine.

Dr. Saladino
Yeah, there's a great website called SpuriousCorrelations.com, where people can see these sort of the hilarity that ensues when you try and connect correlation with causation. Many things correlate. The divorce rate in Maine correlates with the per capita margarine consumption over the last eight or nine years to a very, very high degree. Does that mean that as people ate less margarine, they got divorced less? No, but it makes absolutely no sense. But you can correlate these two things.

Dr. Saladino
You can also correlate things like deaths by getting tangled in the bedsheets with per capita cheese consumption and the number of movies Nicolas Cage has appeared in with, I think something with pool drownings or something. You know. You can correlate all kinds of things that don't have any connection. And in the case of red meat, you've already really alluded to the problem that for the last 70 years the narrative has been fat is bad for you, red meat is bad for you. So who eats red meat over the last 70 years?

Dr. Saladino
People that are rebels people that also probably are less likely to go in the sun, less likely to play tennis on a Tuesday morning, less likely go to their doctor to get a colonoscopy or mammograms, less likely to get pap smears, less likely to do other types of health behaviors. Exercise, meditate. These are just these are the types of things more likely to smoke, more likely to drink alcohol.

Dr. Saladino
These are the type of things that are very hard for epidemiology to control for. But the people who eat red meat consistently do worse in the United States because they are the people who are rebels. In the book, I call them the James Dean types. And the converse is also true. Who has eaten more vegetables over the last 70 years?

Dr. Saladino
Well, it's the people that I gave a high five to at the beginning of this podcast who are making intentional choices with regard to their diet. Now, they're also doing other healthy things. You don't just listen to health advice on diet, you also listen to health advice on exercise and go out in the sun and you do other things that are good for you. You're more likely to be of a higher socioeconomic status because you have the ability to do those things.

Dr. Saladino
So it creates this really confounded story regarding what are these studies actually telling us. But really the narrative doesn't end here. If you look at those 14 studies considered by the IARC, are you ready for this, only 8 of the 14 to start with, 8 of the 14 did not show any association between red meat and cancer. And if people are just kind of like scratching their head right now, OK, so 8 of the 14 studies showed no association between red meat and cancer. Granted, these are epidemiology. But 8 of the 14 association, the majority of the studies, no association between red meat and cancer.

Dr. Saladino
6 of the 14 showed association between red meat and cancer. But of that six, five of them, that's association was not statistically significant. So not only is epidemiology confounded by these biases and does it not allow us to make a causative inference from correlation if we do the math and the correlation is not even statistically significant, we can't even actually say that it's a real correlation.

Dr. Saladino
It could be due to other errors. It's not a big enough difference. So what I'm saying is that 1 of the 14 studies, 1, showed a statistically significant correlation between red meat and cancer. And we can dig into that one study even further and say, what was that one study done? That one study was done in a population of Seventh Day Adventists, which is a religious group that shuns meat. So in that group, the people that eat meat are really going to be rebels because the rebels not only at a social level, the rebels at a religious level, and the whole Zygi, the whole environment of a Seventh Day Adventist community is a group that's mainly vegetarian.

Dr. Saladino
And if you're eating meat in that community, you are definitely an outlier and definitely sort of bucking other health norms. Likely they found that the people who ate more red meat in that study were also much more likely to be obese. This is the problem with epidemiology studies. Was it the obesity that led to more cancer or was it the red meat? Well, the study can't say, which is why you have to do interventional research. And as I said, there are many studies that have been done with red meat that are interventional.

Dr. Saladino
Take a group of people, give them more red meat, see what happens. They don't show any problems, no inflammation. It's very hard to study people at an international level for cancer. You'd have to give people more red meat for years and years. The epidemiologist is done for years. But at a molecular level, we can see that giving people more red meat does not. Lead to increases in inflammatory markers, which is what you would expect if it were going to trigger a cancer, it was going to do something bad if it's going to trigger a cancer.

Dr. Saladino
But this is really what the notion that red meat is bad for humans is based on. Badly done epidemiology in which 8 of 14 studies showed no correlation, 5 of 6 not statistically significant. Only 1 of 14 showed a statistically significant correlation between red meat and cancer. And in that study, it was badly confounded by unhealthy user bias. The last thing I'll say here to really drive this point home is if you look at epidemiology, again it's all flawed, none of it's perfect. But you can look at epidemiology from other countries like Asia, and you don't see the same correlation that you do in the West because the narrative is different there.

Dr. Saladino
There's very large epidemiology studies from Asia looking at over 180,000. Another one is 220,000 individuals followed for 5 to 15 years. And where they find the men who ate more red meat had less cardiovascular disease, the women who ate more red meat had less cancer. But they didn't think about that study at the IRC. and no one can explain that the only way then you could say is what? Red meat is good for Asians but bad for Westerners. That makes absolutely no sense. That's silly. It's possible. But that's not even that's really not a hypothesis anyone is going to entertain.

Dr. Saladino
The more plausible explanation is that the narrative is different. In Asia, We know this red meat is associated with athletes. So who eats more red meat? The same people that eat more vegetables in the US, the people that are more likely to exercise, they have more financial resources. The more people, people that are more likely to do things, go see their doctor, less likely to smoke, less likely to be obese because they have more of an investment in their health.

Dr. Saladino
So this is really how we get misled about red meat and cancer, red meat and heart disease, red meat and longevity. It's all the same story over and over. And I go through all of these in the book and debunk these myths one by one and give tons of references. The book has over 650 references. And I show, hey these things you've been told you've been misled. These are based on observational epidemiology. And when I have it, which is most of the time I share interventional studies with argue, which argue completely against it and say, hey, look, this is much more valid.

Dr. Saladino
Very savvy listeners will know that in 2019, another study came out in the Annals of Internal Medicine that was super controversial. A separate group of researchers looked at the IARCs findings in 2018 and said, that's hogwash. You guys excluded all these studies. You didn't weigh them properly. You didn't use any interventional studies. In the Animals of Internal Medicine. Two studies came out in 2019 saying red meat is not bad for humans. We're going to look at this evidence again. Red meat is not bad for humans, but we get this like propaganda in our heads. And now we're so scared. We're fearful as humans.

Dr. Saladino
Nobody wants to die early. Everybody wants to see their grandkids grow up. We don't know what to do. And I think as humans, it's been part of our consciousness for 70 years. And we suddenly are just it's very hard to get it out of our out of our out of our paradigm, out of our perspective and really look at the data. And we have Ancel Keys and originally very bad epidemiology from the 1970s to think that that's a whole separate story.

Allan
Yes, it is. Now, one of the other things I found kind of fascinating, frustrating, terrifying, was that the advice at one time was to tear your kale and let it sit for about 10 minutes. So the toxicity that would happen would be at the highest level. So we would get this hormesis this effect from the kale, and it makes it that much better for us. I can't tell you how many times I tore the kale and let it sit for 10 minutes before I ate it. Can we talk a little bit about plant toxins and why you know, that kind of hormesis might not be what we actually really need.

Dr. Saladino
Yeah, so this is a little bit of a complex point, but I'll try and break it down in the simplest terms for me. Hormesis is a word that basically means what doesn't kill you makes you stronger up to a point until it kills you. Hopefully most of your listeners have seen The Princess Bride where Dread Pirate Roberts is talking to the Sicilian and they're having this battle with iocane powder and maybe people haven't. But he says, you know, he give he says he gives them two cups of water to put iocane powder in one of these cups. And it's a poison. It's obviously a fictitious poison. And I'm going to, you get to choose, you know, the Dread Pirate Roberts is talking to the Sicilian and saying, you choose which one.

Dr. Saladino
And he puts it in both, right, and they both drink, and so the Sicilian dies and he goes, Oh, how did you you tricked me. He said, Yeah, I tricked you. I put it in both. I've been slowly developing this this the strength to iocane powder over the years. That's how hormones this is supposed to work. But it doesn't quite work like that. You know, a little bit of poison is supposed to make you a little stronger. But it does and it doesn't. So here's the problem. The concept of hormesis, I believe, conflated between what I call in the book environmental hormesis and molecular hormesis.

Dr. Saladino
Environmental hormesis, this is a pretty well-established concept. It's the idea that a little bit of sunlight, a little bit of heat stress, like a sauna, cold plunge, ketosis. These are environmental hermetic, so not molecules, they're experiences. I could have also called it experimental hormesis, but these are things that we encounter in our life that our ancestors always encountered fasting, starvation for a short amount of time, leading to ketosis.

Dr. Saladino
These are things that we've always encountered evolutionarily that cause our body of stress going to the gym and lifting weights, going for a walk, going for a jog. These are hormesis. Exercise is a experiential or environmental hermetic. A little bit of that makes you it gets a little bit of a toxin. You know, that if you lift weights too much, you're going to be sore. If you go out in the sun too much, it's going to you're going to feel it. You go in the sauna, you're like, whoa, that was intense, right?

Dr. Saladino
You feel it. It causes a little stress, but what is your body do in response to that stress? It gets stronger. Anyone who's ever exercised to lose weight or lifting weights and seen their muscles grow, will realize the stress makes you stronger. Now, at a certain point, it's going to break you. If you lift too much weight, you're just going to tear the muscle or break a bone. If you run too much, you're going to stress fracture, etc. But there is a concept that a little bit of a poison makes you stronger when it comes to experience or environment.

Dr. Saladino
Now we have applied this concept to plant molecules incorrectly, I believe. And the reason it's incorrect is we've forgotten that molecules come with side effects. If you look at the research on Sulforaphane for instance, which is the glucose scintillate, which becomes an Isothiocyanate, in kale when you when you rip it up, it has been shown to increase glutathione in the human body. But it's also been shown to do many other negative things that we're never told about. It's just like when any of the listeners go to the pharmacy and you get a prescription for a medication. That medication comes with a package insert, in the package insert tells you, hey, this medicine is metoprolol or lisinopril or a statin. And I hope that, I don't prescribe those medications much at all in my practice anymore. And I hope that most of your listeners are healthy enough to have avoided them.

Dr. Saladino
But we all know this. If you go to a pharmacy and get a medication that comes with side effects, antibiotic, whatever, all the molecules that are foreign to human biology have this. They all have it. sulforaphane has it, curcumin has it, resveratrol has it. All of these plant molecules, we've been told are so good for us also have package inserts, but we're never handed them because they're not considered to be pharmaceuticals. But they are.

Dr. Saladino
They are definitely pharmaceuticals. And many plant molecules are used and developed into drugs. Most of the chemotherapy that we use for cancer is from plants, paclitaxel, etc. There's lots of chemotherapy from plants. Well. In the case of chemotherapy, it's pretty clear the chemotherapy might kill some cancer cells, but it's also going to kill your cells and chemotherapy has very clear bad side effects. But it's the same with other plant molecules.

Dr. Saladino
So if the plant molecules have a bad side effect in the case of sulforaphane that Isothiocyanate in the kale you're eating, that one has a side effect of inhibiting the absorption of iodine at the level of your thyroid and causing damage to cellular membranes and oxidizing your DNA, which can also lead to problems and cancers. And people who have eaten too much kale may also get GI effects, you know, gas bloating or other issues. And so it's pretty clear that sulforaphane or other compounds in these vegetables are also harming our gut.

Dr. Saladino
But we're never told about those things. We're only told these are good for you. Eat more of this. Well, it's pretty clear those are plant toxins. We're told they're antioxidants, but they're not. They're pro-oxidants. And they cause our body to increase its own endogenous antioxidants.

Dr. Saladino
But here's the kicker. You don't need any more antioxidants if you are doing the environmental hormesis, if you are doing experiential hormesis, exercise, cold plumbing, sauna, being in the sun at a healthy level, fasting occasionally. There are many good studies that I show in the book that suggest vegetables don't do anything extra for you from an antioxidant perspective. There are many studies in the book that I share in reference that show inclusion of massive amounts of fruits and vegetables don't improve markers of oxidative stress, inflammation or DNA damage.

Dr. Saladino
And what they do do is cause you all these harm on the back end. They cause all this collateral damage because of the side effects. So when you're ripping that kale, you're thinking I'm getting, quote, antioxidants. Well, no. Sulforaphane is a pro-oxidant and it's very clearly a plant defense molecule. It doesn't participate directly in any human biochemistry. Sulforaphane causes free radical production, Sulforaphane causes oxidative stress. You can get it to bump up your glutathione a little bit, which is this endogenous antioxidant.

Dr. Saladino
But you can also bump your glutathione, this molecular policeman in the human body by doing cold plunge, by doing sauna, by doing exercise. And then you won't have any of the side effects from the so forth thing and you'll probably have a lot less gas and your thyroid will be much healthier in the long run. So this is essentially what I'm saying here. There's a real difference between molecular hormesis and environmental hormesis, and we don't need plant molecules to be optimal.

Dr. Saladino
That's been demonstrated over and over and over. And we must not forget the side effects that these molecules have in human physiology. And that, I fear, is where many people are suffering unnecessarily.

Allan
Yeah, I think one of the points I had early on when the Carnivore diet started getting a little bit more popular is just like ketosis. They come forward with an idea. And everybody thinks of the keto diet now as the bacon diet, people that are going to keep the “bacon! bacon!” And yes, you can have bacon, but not just bacon. Something else, please. A lot of people that are in carnivore are doing something very similar, like 30 days, just eating rib-eye steaks or they'll go 30 days just eating bacon. And yeah, they lose weight. They say they feel great because they do get into ketosis, but they're not getting everything they need either. There's a right way and a wrong way to do Carnivore.

Dr. Saladino
Yeah. And I think it goes back to what we spoke about earlier. Just how did our ancestors do it, both out of respect for the animal and just from an environmental sort of caloric perspective. They ate the animal nose to tail. So I'm a really big advocate for this. This is understanding that you cannot just eat steaks and be on a carnivore diet in a healthy way that's going to cause a folate deficiency.

Dr. Saladino
So I talked about all these micronutrients earlier in the podcast and they are found throughout the animal. A cow is not just animal meat all through the cow. A cow has a liver and a stomach and a spleen and heart and a kidney and intestines. And you know what most of us will think of it is gross. And that's one of the reasons that I'm so interested in developing some adjuncts to help people get more organs in their diet, which I'll talk about in a moment, but it's something that our ancestors have always done. And so anyone that's listening to this, that's from an ethnic background, your family probably ate heart or liver or kidney or spleen.

Dr. Saladino
And, you know, maybe as a kid, you were like, I don't know about that, but it's relished by indigenous people. Liver is sacred. It's not even touched by human hands in a lot of cultures. It's the first thing you eat. If we look at the way animals who are carnivorous eat other animals, they always go for the viscera first, they'll eat the liver. And it sounds morbid, but it's like, hey, look, we're just trying to appreciate the sacrifice that animal has made for us and get all the nutrients we can. I've seen video of ORCA's eating sharks and they just eat the liver. They don't eat the animal meat. They just eat the liver out of the shark. All these animals realize the liver and these other organs are super beneficial for nutrients.

Dr. Saladino
The liver is a very rich place for folate, choline, vitamin K2, Riboflavin. If listeners are unsure of this, I'll ask them the question, where do you get your riboflavin? I think riboflavin is the most commonly deficient nutrient in human populations in 2020 that no one knows about. Vitamin B2, you really can't get it from plants and you can't get it from muscle meat in enough quantity, but you can get it from the heart or liver.

Dr. Saladino
So and I realize this is a very hard thing. This is probably the biggest piece for people that's challenging is how do I eat organ meats. So it's so exciting to be able to I wanted to build a company to help people do this. This company is it launched at the beginning of August and this podcast is coming out later in August. It's called Heart and Soil, HeartandSoilSupplements.com. What we do is we take organs from grass-fed grass, finished animals in New Zealand, and we desiccate them with low temperature, dehydrate them and we encapsulate them into a pill. We're basically making organ meat pills to help people get the organs. If they don't want to eat the liver.

Dr. Saladino
I think the best thing is to eat real liver or not even. It's not that the pills aren't real liver. Just the best thing is to eat fresh liver or fresh heart. But if you can't do that, that's one of the reasons I'm so excited about being able to do this for people in this business at Heart and Soil is to get them desiccated organ pills. But there's a real option for people now because you can take them in a pill that's been low temperature hydrated to get the organs.

Dr. Saladino
But if you're not eating the organs, whether you're eating plants or not, you're missing out on nutrients. It's not just for carnivores. They're for everyone. It's for you and your grandma and your kids. My sister has a two and a half-year-old and an eight-month-old, and both of them get these organ meat pills. She just opens them up and sprinkles them on the food, mixes it with hamburger. Neither of them can swallow a pill, but she can open the pill and sprinkle the powder onto something and put it mixed in with ground beef for Luke, my nephew and Michaela.

Dr. Saladino
And it works great. And they get these nutrients. But that's what kids need and that's what adults need. Even if you're eating plants, you still are not getting enough choline. You're still not getting enough folate. You're still not getting enough riboflavin. What about zinc? What about copper? What about selenium? What about manganese or about boron? What about K2? There's so rich in the organ meats.

Dr. Saladino
The other piece of this equation is methionine and Glycine. And this comes in with collagen. Collagen is thankfully specifically kind of quote, an organ meat that has become much more in vogue recently. People are all about bone broth. They understand the incredible benefits of this for skin, hair and nails health. But a lot of people in the Carnivore world don't even do bone broth. They just eat steak and you need to get the connective tissue.

Dr. Saladino
So one of my favorite things to do every day is to make bone broth. I don't make it every day, but I eat it every day and I make it just by putting bones and tendons in an instant pot and then drinking that it gets collagenous and kind of jelly in the fridge. And then you're getting tendons. Well, the tendons are rich in glycine, it's an amino acid that complements with thymine and which is rich in muscle meat.

Dr. Saladino
And so together these helper biochemistry run in the best way to get too much thiamine without enough glycine. And there's a real problem in human biochemistry. So but again, it all works when you eat like your ancestors. If you eat the animal nose to tail, there are no nutrient deficiencies that will develop in humans. So I will repeat that, because that's a very important statement. Eating animals nose to tail provides humans with all of the nutrients they need to thrive. End of story, full stop, period. That's it. That's why it was so easy for our ancestors if they had to go hunt and gather a blueberry, a little bit of this route, a little bit of that plant to get all their nutrients. It's really hard. I don't know if anyone's done a plant based diet, but I was vegan for seven months. I was Rovi for seven months. About fifteen years ago. I had to work so hard to get all the nutrients I needed.

Dr. Saladino
Where do you get your zinc, pumpkin seeds? Well, I don't really like pumpkin seeds. Like that's the only source of zinc I could find in any appreciable quantity on a plant-based diet. So to get adequacy on a plant-based diet, you have to eat 37 different foods that are never all in season at the same time that never would have grown together at one time. You can't get all the nutrition you need from eating plants, period.

Dr. Saladino
All the nutrients I mentioned earlier and even just to get basic nutrients, you have to eat twenty-five different plants that never occurred together on the face of the earth. Evolutionarily it's really hard. You want to get all the nutrients you need eating animals, eat a steak, add some liver, you're pretty much done. Add some bone broth steak and liver. Now you can add other things for variety, but you'll get everything you need. The first thing people think about is vitamin C, and I address this in the book.

Dr. Saladino
There's plenty of vitamin C in animal foods that are fresh. We know that animal meat has vitamin C, animal organs have more vitamin C than the muscle meat. No one has gotten scurvy eating animal foods when they're fresh. This doesn't happen. There are thousands of people doing this. I don't believe vitamin C, I don't have scurvy, but vitamin C level is just fine. You can get vitamin C in whole foods. That's a whole other rabbit hole.

Dr. Saladino
But even beyond vitamin C, you don't need fiber. I address that myth in the book. You can definitely poop without fiber and multiple poop, even better without fiber. So again, this leads us to so many of these rabbit hole, whichever one you want, but eating from the nose to tail is so critical, and that's why I think the supplements can be helpful at heart and soil or just eating the organ meats that you get from a good farm is critical along with bone broth. And the only other thing I'll say here is that a carnivore diet also doesn't have to be ketotic. I think that low carbohydrate states would have happened. I think humans would have been in ketosis absolutely frequently, but I don't think we were in ketosis all the time.

Dr. Saladino
And so if ketosis is a stumbling block for you know, that in the book I talk about tier one through five carnivore diets and have a stepping stone. And in the Tier 1 diet, I outline which plant foods are the most toxic and which plant foods are the least toxic. And I think the least toxic plant foods are the fruit. They're the part of the plant that the plant wants you to eat. So things like squash or avocado or olives or berries or even apples and oranges, I think these are reasonable for most people.

Dr. Saladino
And you can get carbohydrates in your diet on a, quote, animal-based diet on a Carnivore ish type diet. So don't fear this. If ketosis is scary, if you want to do a ketogenic diet, you absolutely can. I found for myself and most people, cycling in carbohydrates in the form of low toxicity fruit works best. It's probably what our ancestors would have done and things like Honey, so raw, organic honey is a great adjunct that people think about all the sugar.

Dr. Saladino
I have a podcast. It's called Fundamental Health. I've addressed all this on the podcast. We talk about it in the book. You don't want to overeat fructose and fruit, but reasonable amounts look pretty darn safe for humans. You know, if you're eating less than seventy-five grams of fructose a day, which is a lot of fruit, your liver can handle it just fine. You'll be fine. That's even a very large amount. Most people don't get more than twenty or thirty grams of fructose a day.

Dr. Saladino
And so reasonable intakes of fruit and honey, totally safe for humans, not type of naturally occurring sugar is not bad for us. You don't have to fear it in any way, shape or form.

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

Dr. Saladino
So I think that you need to understand food. Food is a big lever, right? So that's what we've been talking about this whole time. Understand what foods nourish your body and understand what foods harm your body or are causing problems for your body.

Dr. Saladino
So that's what the book is about. And again, it's not it's not about convincing the world to stop eating plants. It's about helping people understand that animal foods, red meat critically vital for humans, very nutritious, not harmful, wrongly vilified, plant foods exist on a toxicity spectrum, can be harmful for a lot of people. Eat the least toxic ones if you need variety, color, flavor. But understanding which foods help your body thrive will be the first step.

Dr. Saladino
That's critical. And then at the end of the book, I also talk about how to live like our ancestors. And we've hinted at this previously with our discussions of environmental hormesis. It's also sunlight, community, cold plunging, sauna, exercise outside, occasional fasting. These are all normal things. I think if you do those things. And then the third piece for me would be doing something that you care about finding meaning in your own life.

Dr. Saladino
And I'm so grateful to be able to do this work. It's it's been a challenging road for me because so many of these ideas are so controversial. But I really believe that this knowledge needs to be out there. There are a lot of people who are being misled and their lives are suffering because of it. And so doing something that you find meaningful in your life is probably the third critical piece.

Allan
Cool. Well, thank you. And if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Carnivore Code and that supplement company you were talking about, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Saladino
So the book is TheCarnivorecodebook.com. That's the website. You can check it out. It's out now. It's, I imagine I really think it's going to sell really well and hopefully we're going to affect a lot of lives positively. The website for my company, HeartandSoilSupplements.com. So heartandsoilsupplements.com, you can find all those organ pills if you want to include more liver or bone marrow or heart or spleen, any of the organs in your diet. We've got them on there for you. And my website is Carnivoremd.com.

Allan
So you could go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/448 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Saladino, thank you for being a part of 40+ fitness.

Dr. Saladino
It's my pleasure.



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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to train your brain for a better life with John Assaraf

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On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we're going to have a conversation with John Assaraf author of the book, Innercise: The New Science to Unlock the Brain's Hidden Power, and creator of the free online workshop Brain-a-Thon. We will learn about how you can train your brain for a better life, including positive changes in body composition, fitness, relationships, and career. 

SPONSOR
This episode is sponsored by Usual Wine. There are times you don't want to open a whole bottle of wine. Usual Wine solves this problem with single-serve, “heavy pour” bottles. Use the discount code FITNESS for $8 your first order.

Innercise is also available in audiobook format at Audible.

Brain Experts used to believe that by the time you turned 40, you were hardwired to be who you are, but brain research is showing that when you train your brain you can change it. The term for this is neuroplasticity. John shows us that you can even train your brain for greater success in health and fitness, and any other aspect of your life. And he does it without getting you all buried in all these complex neuroscience concepts. 

Since recording our conversation, I've gone on to attend John's Brain-a-Thon and it was fantastic. I've also signed up for a couple of his other programs and I've gotten so much from them. He's really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I'm creating better daily habits, such as doing Innercises every day now to train my brain and the positive changes I've gotten have been awesome. The book and the workshop are fantastic resources.

John Assaraf is one of the leading experts on creating a positive mindset and a calmer brain. He has appeared numerous times on Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

John has built 5 multimillion-dollar companies, written 2 New York Times Bestselling books (Innercise is now his third), and has been featured in 8 movies, including the blockbuster hit “The Secret”. 

Today, he is the founder and CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced technologies and evidence-based brain training methods to help individuals and corporations unlock and ignite their fullest potential. And if you didn't know he was nearly 60, you'd swear he was in his late 40s, early 50s.

You can listen to the podcast on the player above or read the transcript below. If you hear/read something that resonates with you, please share it on social media. Thank you!

Transcript

00:03:07.080] – Allan
John, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:10.780] – John
Thanks, Allan, great to be with you

[00:03:12.700] – Allan
Now I got your book, Innercise: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain's Hidden Power, and, you know, I've read a lot of books and I've read a lot of books about the brain and about neuroplasticity. This was probably the most practical book on neuroplasticity that I've ever read.

It was not just the theory of this is how the brain should work or should fire, this was set Innercise, exercise for your brain that actually makes this stuff happen. And, you know, you said in the book, don't do all of them at one sitting because it's too much. But I found myself as I was reading, trying to do them.

Yeah, it was exhausting when you got to the beach one, it's funny because I um, that was just a meditation I started doing for myself to fall asleep if I woke up and I was feeling anxiety and I would just imagine myself walking down a beach. And so it was just it was interesting. You started going through that. And I was watching it and reading and it was like, oh, goodness, I had to go take a nap.

I was like, so relaxing and so awesome. So, again, I really enjoyed the book. And then I went on to even go do the Brain-a-Thon, which again, was awesome. So thank you for that. I appreciate sharing that. I really appreciate you being here today.

[00:04:41.960] – John
Thank you. The book Innercise was all around when I came to the realization that I have and everybody who is with us today has a trillion dollar brain, but we weren't given the user's manual for it. And, you know, everybody knows that I could exercise to build up my cardiovascular system and to build up my lung capacity and to strengthen my muscles if I want to exercise. But what about our brain, the greatest neuro muscle and bio-computer in the whole universe?

[00:05:18.320] – John
What are some techniques that we can use to get our brain to work better and to get us to focus more, to create empowering habits, to let go of stress or anxiety or uncertainty or fears that hold us back? What about that? And for many, many years, I've been practicing the mental and emotional techniques that I laid out in Innercise and actually give people the audio, enjoyed it and have a great dialogue about it.

[00:05:49.160] – Allan
Perfect. So in the book and I think this is where it clicked for me to understand this, is that I work with a lot of clients and they're trying to lose weight and they're trying to get fit and trying to get healthy. And for some of them, it just seems so hard.

[00:06:08.340] – Allan
And, you know, they struggle and they struggle and I'm like, you know, I know you want this. I know you're committed to this, but it's not happening for you and we've got to break that down. And you use this term cohesion and dissident's kind of talk about one of those kind of things that holds us back that we're not even necessarily aware is happening. Can you talk about that?

[00:06:30.130] – John
Sure. So, listen, we all develop our habits, right? We have habits the way we think on a regular basis. We have a habitual way of feeling. We have behaviors that lead to our results. So when we understand our brain just a little bit better and we understand that every one of us is already one hundred percent disciplined to our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings and our behaviors. And so changing is hard if you don't have the right process. So whenever we're looking to change our eating patterns, when ever we're looking to change how much activity we get in the day, whenever we want to change, how much sleep we get when ever we're looking to change our own self image of ourselves, which is something we've had for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, that requires understanding.

[00:07:32.140] – John
How do I make change easier not easy, but easier. And this is where most people have an issue. It's not in the intention or the goal that's the problem. It's what happens after that that's the problem. And so when we understand that our brains all work identically, every human beings brain works identically and our brain works on a couple of principles. So let me give you a couple of these principles.

[00:08:04.570] – John
Number one is any time that our brain experiences a change, a change in our behavior, a change in our diet, a change in our exercise, our brain goes, hey, what's going on? You're using energy and our brain wants to conserve energy. So anything that is going to use up more energy the way I think or behave, our brain is going to go what's going on here? And it's going to resist. So that resistance is our brain wanting to move back into its comfort zone. Right. Just like a thermostat is meant to keep temperature in a room at a certain temperature that's set in the thermostat. Our brain wants to have you keep the same settings. You're awake, you're eating your exercise energy expenditure. That's one.

[00:08:55.320]
Number two, whenever our brain feels that there might be real or potential pain or discomfort, it says, hold on a second here. I don't want to feel any pain or discomfort. Well, guess what? Changing our diet is considered uncomfortable to our brain, starting to exercise, even though it feels good to do it, it also means we might have muscle soreness. It also means that we might have aches and pains, etc.

[00:09:23.170] – John
So our brain is trying to resist anything that's going to cause us pain or discomfort or having less than what we had before. So understanding that these are natural mechanisms of our brain, we can start saying, OK, are there some techniques that I can use to make this easier versus easy? And the answer is yeah, there's a lot of techniques that we can use to re-commit to reframe things. So first thing that I share with people who want to lose weight, first and foremost, stop thinking of what you need to do is losing weight.

[00:10:05.680] – John
As soon as our brain thinks of losing anything, it resists it. Why? We're always taught to find what we lose, find what you forget. So what if we instead said, OK, what do I really, really want? Is that weight that I want to lose or is it fat that I want to release? Right. So if we think about body weight as extra calories, extra energy, what we want to do is we want to release that energy and use it.

[00:10:34.390] – John
But that's really not what we're looking to do. You know, the reason we want to, I'm going to use a term that I don't like to use is lose weight, is not for the losing the weight. It's for how we're going to feel about ourselves. It's for the love where we're seeking. It's for the self belief about ourself that we want is for the lifestyle that we want its for the energy that we want. And so what if we instead of focused on losing weight, we focused on what's the lifestyle that I want?

[00:11:09.830] – John
What are the benefits of that lifestyle, instead of focusing on what I'm going to have to give up, what am I here to gain by doing this? Instead of focusing on a diet, why not focus on a new way of eating as a new way of being. The very fact that, you know, the word diet, the first three letters are die? OK, dieting is hard, but figuring out a meal plan, a way to eat that sustains me that I could that I could keep doing past one week or three weeks or six weeks, that's a totally different focus.

Instead of focusing on what I'm going to have to give up, what am I here to gain by doing this? Instead of focusing on a diet, why not focus on a new way of eating as a new way of being. @johnassaraf Click To Tweet [00:11:52.970] – John
Now, most people try to lose weight and they say, OK, I'm going to lose 10 pounds with 20 pounds or thirty pounds or fifty pounds or whatever the amount is, and they alter their behavior until the point of reaching their goal, and then they revert back to all of the old behaviors that got them to gain all the weight. So instead of having their brain focusing on the behaviors and the way to be for losing weight, why not say, nope, let me make a lifestyle change that will empower me or make me feel better for the rest of my life instead of for a week or two or three.

[00:12:30.530] – Allan
And so what you're basically doing is you're kind of getting cohesion between what the body wants, which is to be what the subconscious brain wants it wants to be able, wants to have adequate energy. It doesn't want the knees to hurt when you're walking up and down the stairs and losing weight as it will, we would think about that logically. The words we use is doing that. But you're using the term release, which is a very different thing than the losing.

[00:12:56.300] – John
And the other thing that we need to understand is water is weight. Muscle is weight, we don't want to lose weight, you could lose two, three, four, five, six pounds of water and weight in a week. But you're going to get it all back. You can have one dish of pasta or rice and it retains two and a half times its own weight and water and gain it all back. So what we want to do is we want to activate fat release so that we use our fat stores as energy. And that's really what we want to do.

[00:13:33.130] – John
We want to create an environment within us so that the food that we're eating gives us energy and what it is that we're doing for basic survival needs but then through hopefully a little bit of exercise, we are using fat as fuel for the energy requirements that we need. And we create initially a slight imbalance between how much we're consuming and how much we're using.

[00:13:58.340] – John
And in doing it slowly instead of fast and really focusing on fat release and sustainable weight release or weight loss, if that's what we want to call it. Now, we're looking at a totally different game and we're not looking at going on a diet which is is really detrimental to a lot of people's heads and hearts because they suffer these, or they gain these high wins and then they suffer these lows by gaining all the weight, which happens for ninety seven percent of people.

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[00:16:03.350] – Allan
Now, when you're talking about exercises, I mean Innercise excuse me, know, one of the things that you brought up there was there's lots and lots of different ways to Innercise, much like with exercise. So I could I could decide to go ahead and do an aerobics class where I can go lift weights or I can go for a run or I could go skiing or I could go hiking.

[00:16:22.220] – Allan
There's so many different ways that I could exercise to affect different things balance, mobility, strength, endurance. It's much the same way with innercise. But there's about seven key areas that you identified in the book that we can innercise to benefit ourselves. Can you talk about those?

[00:16:38.670] – John
Sure. So let's just take the, you know, the self-image side of our brain. Everybody knows that they have a self-image of themselves. And so if I was to ask you to draw yourself out or to write down what you feel you look like, would that either visual or written description match the way you want to look? And for most people who are maybe overweight, there's a mismatch. What if I said that if you, for example, went to some magazines where they had people with your type of physique that you want to have, those realistic. What if you cut out a picture of a physique that you wanted and you took your own face and you put it on top of that picture.

[00:17:35.730] – John
And what if every day you looked at that picture and you started to see yourself moving towards that over a period of time, whether it's one month, three months, six months or one year? You said this is the body that I'm going to have. This is the body that's giving me energy. This is the body and physique that's going to make me feel the way I want to, look the way I want to. What if you start to just visualize that every day?

[00:18:01.650] – John
What if you started to emotionalize what would it feel like to actually be in that body? What would happen is you would start to develop a new self-image that would override your old self image. It's almost like recoding software on a computer. Your self image is nothing more than cells in your brain of recognition of what you have seen in the mirror ten thousand times and what you have thought about a hundred thousand times.

[00:18:34.000] – John
And so when we start to use, for example, visualization, visualization is a simulation. When we start to simulate in our mind's eye on a new body, the new energy, how we will feel, the complements we might get, the things we might start seeing to ourselves about ourselves, we start to rewrite our own hidden self image and overlay a new self image around that.

[00:18:59.830] – John
And when we start using innercises, whether it's verbal analyses or emotional innercises or mental innercises to activate cells in our brain and then reinforce those cells and patterns in our brain, we know that whatever we do consciously, repetitively over time becomes an unconscious pattern. And so we can use a variety of different innercises to rescript, reshape imprint what it is that we want instead of what is.

[00:19:36.410] – Allan
Yeah, so, you know, the way I kind of look at it and you said something really important that I want to go back to is realistic, you know, don't don't sit there. I can't pull out, you know, you know, say Arnold Schwarzenegger and put my face on his body and say, you know, when he was at his prime and say, that's what I'm going to look like in a year or two, that's not realistic. But if I do find, you know, a body body style, I think that's going to fit me, and I begin to think of myself in those terms that's going to affect my subconscious, which is going to then affect my behavior. And make me start doing the things that are necessary to have that body type.

[00:20:13.650] – John
Absolutely. There's a visual that I like to share with everybody just to show them how this can work. I'm going to ask everybody who's listening right now a question. And the question is this. Can you slowly jog a marathon right now?

[00:20:32.300] – John
And I work out almost every day, and I cannot right now. Like I'm not in shape to jog a marathon 26.2 miles. Now, here's the second question for everybody who's listening, as if we agreed today that a year from now or 18 months from now or even two years from now, we're going to jog slowly and healthy and a healthy way, a marathon, 26.2 miles. And today all we did is we got from a seated position and stood up and then sat back down.

[00:21:07.640] – John
That's all we did today, maybe five times during the day. And then tomorrow we did it five times and the next day we did it five times. And we figured out what would be a really good eating plan for energy. What would be a good little movement plan for flexibility and some balance. Could we maybe in a week, if we were sedentary for the last five years, could we maybe walk in our apartment from the sofa to the kitchen? And the answer is probably yes.

[00:21:35.640] – John
And then once we did that five or 10 times, could we walk outside maybe a tenth of a mile slowly. And then could we walk two tenths of a mile, then can we walk five tenths of a mile, then can we walk one mile, if we did it in a healthy way? The answer for almost every single person is if I started off that slow, yes, I could do it.

[00:21:57.850] – John
Well, let's take it out to three months. Could we get faster, stronger, better in three months and build a foundation? Yes. Well, what about three months later? What if we hired a professional to help us get in better shape? And then we started to slowly once we release the weight, once we felt more comfortable, we started having more energy. Maybe at a certain point we needed to do a slight, very easy job. Could we do it? The answer is, of course we could.

[00:22:29.880] – John
Well, then guess what? If we could do that, could we build up the muscle and the endurance as we got stronger, as we release the weight? Could we possibly in a year or a year and a half or two years slowly jog a marathon? And the answer is yes, and how do we know that we know that because millions and millions and millions of people start off just that way.

[00:22:54.350] – John
So even though we may not see the end outcome right now and even though we don't have the knowledge or the skills or even the resources to do it, could we gain the mental and the emotional and the physical fortitude to be able to do it if we committed to it? And the answer is yes. We have all the knowledge, the skills of how to do it right now.

[00:23:19.460] – Allan
Yeah, you've just described how I trained for a Tough Mudder. I was in no shape to even consider doing a Tough Mudder. I could do a 5K obstacle course, I couldn't do a 13 mile one. And so I was I was watching the videos of the people that were completing it and they were doing it. And I was like, OK, that guy has a grip strength. That's how he's able to do what he's doing, that person stronger.

[00:23:41.990] – Allan
That person isn't carrying as much body fat. And so the visuals I had in my head was a person is doing that. That's not me today but that will be the day that I do that race and I committed by signing up for it. I wrote my check, you know, give my credit card number. I got the ticket for my daughter and I. And so the commitment was there.

[00:24:02.110] – Allan
And what that meant was each day was, OK, I've got to get my grip strength a little stronger. If it's just hanging from a pole, you know, a pull up bar, that's how I'm going to start getting my grip stronger. And then I was doing pull ups and then I was doing, so it's just a progressive thing over time. And it's those little bitty things like if you put a penny in a jar every day and then and then after two weeks, double it and put two pennies and after two weeks double it and put four pennies. After a while, you realize you basically have your retirement taken care of. It's that kind of building that you get out of all of this.

[00:24:35.320] – John
Yeah, and whenever you're looking to, you know, to change from one habit to another, from a destructive to constructive, from disempowering to empowering, there's something that I teach all my students and that is reduce it to the ridiculous. So reduce whatever it is that you need to do or want to do to the ridiculously small. Right, and so one minute a day, two minutes a day, three minutes a day, five minutes a day for 100 straight days builds the habit.

[00:25:09.270] – John
Once we have the habit, we can build the intensity and the duration. And so instead of trying to do everything in the first week or two weeks, why not focus on I'm going to develop empowering, constructive habits that I'm going to stick to instead of something that's not sustainable. And so when we're thinking about our brain. Let's understand how it works and our brain resists big changes, our brain resists anything that takes a lot of time and energy.

[00:25:44.790] – John
And so when we want to develop a habit of this is what I would like and I'd like to sustain it, let's reduce it to the ridiculously small so that I can develop the habit that I can add layers afterwards.

[00:26:03.750] – Allan
Now, one of the things you went into the book, and I think it's it's really important, is that if you don't set a goal the right way, your likelihood of accomplishing that goal goes way, way down. But you talked about a function of something called brain friendly goals. Could you go into that briefly?

[00:26:20.910] – John
Sure. So it actually piggybacks on. What I just said is there's different parts of our brain. If you think of your brain almost like an orchestra or a band, you know, there's different musicians who play different instruments. Well, there's different parts of our brain that does different things and when we can get our brains, different parts to work together in synchronicity and harmony, it works a lot better. So, for example, there's a part of our brain I called the Einstein part of the brain.

[00:26:52.320] – John
That's really good for imagination. What I would like, what it would feel like and be like and how can I achieve it. All right. There's another part of our brain which I call is the Frankenstein part of the brain that is analyzable. What can go wrong here? What if you start and you don't continue? What if you get hurt? What if you embarrass yourself? Or what if you're ashamed or ridiculed or judged because you give it your best and you fail?

[00:27:18.810] – John
So our brain, in order to make brain friendly goals, works like this. What do you want to achieve? Write that down. Why is it really important for you to achieve it? Write that down. How can you get started? OK. Write that down. When are you going to do it? Put it on your calendar. What are the tools or resources or people that you need in order to help you get that all together? That's a brain friendly goal because now I have the what, the why, the how, the who, and the when, and our brain goes, OK, are you committed to doing this or are you interested?

[00:28:02.400] – John
And this is the question of all questions I have, because when somebody says, here's what I want, I always ask them, well, are you committed to that or are you interested? And many people say to me, what's the difference? I tell them, what if your answer is going to cover stories or reasons or excuses, why you can't or why you won't if you're interested, you know, when it's time to do it, you're going to come up with a story, reason or excuse.

[00:28:26.370] – John
But if you're committed, you will overcome the story, the reason, or the excuse. If you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. If you're committed, you will override the “I don't feel like it.”

If you're committed, you will overcome the story, the reason, or the excuse. If you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. If you're committed, you will override the "I don't feel like it." @johnassaraf Click To Tweet [00:28:39.540] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be? What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:28:47.220] – John
Well, number one is, what does it mean for you to be well? Right? How are you thinking? How are you feeling? What are you doing? Whose life or whose whose life is impacted other than just yours? And so whenever we think about wellness and well-being, define it for yourself. Define it for yourself. For me. Tell me, how do you define success? For me success is harmony between health, wealth, relationships, career, business, fun experiences, charity, spirituality. For me, it's that harmony. That's success. It doesn't make sense for me to have so much health, but not wealth, so much wealth, but not health. So for me, it's that harmony. So that could feel like my life is in flow.

[00:29:43.520] – Allan
OK, thank you, John. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Innercise: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain's Hidden Power and all the wonderful things you're doing over there with your company, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:29:56.420] – John
Thank you. I think they can hop onto Amazon to take a look at my book Innercise or my other book Having It All, which is also New York Times Bestseller (also available on Audible). They can if they want to go deeper into the brain around making more money and to financial success. They can go to brainathon123.com. I'm on Instagram. I'm on my Facebook fan page. I'm on Twitter. And then obviously our websites JohnAssaraf.com or myneurogym.com, which is my company.

[00:30:31.220] – Allan
Yeah, I did the Brain-a-Thon this weekend. I made it about three quarters through and I just a lot it was wonderful. And then I just joined your Exceptional Life Program, so I decided I'm seeing a lot of you lately, but yeah some really cool stuff. Thank you so much for being a part of Forty Plus Fitness.

[00:30:51.660] – John
Thank you my friend. Thank you so much for doing this.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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August 10, 2020

P90X and beyond with Tony Horton

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Tony Horton, creator of the hugely successful P90X series as a part of Beach Body shows us how to stay fit as we age. His fitness lifestyle allowed him to overcome a horrific bout of Shingles.

Transcript

[00:02:19.240] – Allan
Tony, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:21.860] – Tony
Allan, my pleasure to be here, man.

[00:02:24.590] – Allan
No, actually, it's my pleasure. You've been a big part of my life early on anyway. I had gotten out of out of college, and in college I was a gym rat. I was the guy who was always in the gym every day from 2-3:00. The guy that owned the gym knew I was going to be there.

[00:02:42.210] – Allan
So I actually started spelling him for his lunches each day is like, Allan, just make sure nobody kills anybody while I'm gone. And he would he would go get some lunch. And the only bad day we had was when he got food poisoning for eating bad fish and he didn't come back. I didn't know what to do. But after I got out, I had this supposed to have this great job. You go to college, get a great job.

[00:03:01.120] – Allan
But my income was actually less. And so I was like, OK, I can't afford a gym membership, but I need to stay in shape. I like where I am. I like what I'm doing and I want to stay in shape. And so I happened upon an infomercial for P90X and there you are, smiling and active and energetic and a little bit a little bit intimidating, but in a cool way. In a cool way.

[00:03:29.370] – Tony
I like the way you put that. I like that.

[00:03:31.830] – Allan
Well, you know, you have a certain persona and you bring that out and you talk in one of the videos that I watched about, you know, how when you first started, someone said, just be Tony. And you did. And it clicked. And I think that's the thing about you is that you were just this genuine cool guy that everybody wants to hang out.

[00:03:53.350] – Allan
I want to come work out in your backyard with you because your gym in your backyard are just so cool. Now, I wouldn't I wouldn't necessarily be able to keep up with you. And you're nine years older than me. But damn, it looks like you have a fun, fun time. We do.

[00:04:08.220] – Tony
We do. The whole property is a gym, pretty much. You could work out in the bathroom. Dang it. There's so many other places to do it. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's been an amazing ride for me. It's hard to believe I'm 62. I don't know what the heck that's supposed to feel like. It feels kind of better than twenty two or thirty or forty two, you know what I mean. And that's just because I, because I've learned a lot along the way.

[00:04:30.930] – Tony
I mean and I'm always making adjustments along the way. and P90X was sort of one one phase, one stage of my learning process. Prior to that. I was a gym rat too. I was just going to the gym and I was doing cardio and weights and that was it. Sometimes I would do both the same day and sometimes I would alter them. But I had a very sort of limited, myopic view of what fitness was. And I just I was very fortunate.

[00:04:53.190] – Tony
I had a lot of kismet in my life. And I ran into some really interesting people and I put myself in situations where I was uncomfortable and I wasn't very good. I mean, right now I'm in the middle of a handstand challenge with my sister, her and her daughter, my niece and some friends, and only because I can't do them. So, I mean, if I can't do something, then it's interesting, then I will I'll spend months trying to get good at handstands, you know what I mean.

[00:05:15.960] – Tony
So just being curious, man, that's all I've ever been. I know there wasn't really a question there, but know that your comments kind of leave me in my path at this point.

[00:05:25.860] – Allan
So absolutely. And I think we all can actually talk in our lifetimes about how we we have these stages. And so you had your beachbody stage and now you've got these kind of these new cool things happen, your power life supplement brand and your Tony Talks podcast. It's a video podcast that comes out. I saw it on YouTube. At least the first one was out a couple of weeks ago. And, man, it's like I said, you just you just doing so much good for so many people that I'm I'm proud to have you on the show.

[00:05:56.280] – Tony
Oh, wow. Well, thank you, man. Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

[00:05:59.970] – Allan
So what are the things that that you shared in one of the interviews I saw, and, you know, there's a lot of them, but I've kind of pulled together because you you have this really cool keys to success concept in your head and applies to fitness. It applies to your business side. It applies to probably everything you do in your life, including your relationship with your wife, Shawna, can you talk about your keys to success and particularly as it relates to fitness?

[00:06:29.280] – Tony
Well, gosh, you know, I mean, I have these paragon events here at my home. We've had four so far. And we invite people from around the world. We had a couple come in from Kuwait City. You know what I mean, most folks are coming in from Canada and other places in the US. And the seminar that I'm doing right now is is really way outside of the box of things that we're in In my book, The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life. You know variety, consistency, intensity, accountability, different kinds of things.

[00:06:55.350] – Tony
But if you really kind of pull back from sixty five thousand feet and you look down, you know, what is the foundation of who you are? And so this is just my story. But whenever I disseminate my story to different people in interviews or or live events or whatever it is or a paragon, I've been here at my home. You know, I always tell people I was a C- student with a speech impediment who was the most lazy procrastinator you ever met your life.

[00:07:19.380] – Tony
You know what I mean, I just I didn't really see that I had much of a future, you know what I mean? And then I started getting into some in some personal development. And that really changed my life, you know. And then when I moved out to California in 1980, you know, I had worked out in the gym here and there, I took a weightlifting class in college. It kind of helped build my confidence. And miraculously my GPA went up that semester because I was working out.

[00:07:42.360] – Tony
So I didn't understand the exercise, the science behind exercise. In fact you at least norepinephrine and dopamine and serotonin and brain derived neurotrophic factor inside the temporal lobe area in the brain, it's teeny it's called the dentate gyrus. So whenever you exercise and breathe heavily, the molecules and the proteins inside of your brain come together. It's like Miracle-Gro for your brain. So everything improves. Sex, drive, memory, cognition, ambition. I mean, it's an amazing process.

[00:08:09.660] – Tony
And a lot of people cheat their way there through sex, drugs and rock and roll. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, you know what I mean I mean, there's always payback. You know, short term solutions, temporary solutions can lead to long term problems. You know what I mean, type two diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, you know what I mean, Parkinson's disease, all these different things. You know what I mean. So so I kept the rock and roll and the sex, but I got rid of the drugs in the alcohol and the poor eating habits and the lack of movement.

[00:08:39.620] – Tony
So, you know what I mean, there are there are three things that are really under your control. And a lot of things aren't traffic, whether other people, work, you know what I mean? The stress is one of these kind of amorphous energies that are sort of hard to put your fingers on. So if you do these three things and this is I'm giving you the long term answer here, because we have time.

[00:09:03.920] – Tony
Its fitness, food and mindfulness. I used to say it was fitness and food, but the mindfulness thing is really become an important thing for me. And I got really sick back in twenty seventeen. I ended up with Ramsey Hunt syndrome, which was basically shingles in your ear, which means shingles in your brain, which means shingles in your brain or frying nerves in your brain, which really affects everything.

[00:09:25.460] – Tony
Smell, taste, balance, creating tons of inflammation, tons of fatigue, constantly vomiting, being noxious all the time. Right. So the mindfulness practice kind of came into play there for me, it was really, really important. I mean, I you know, I meditated once in a while and I would play with my dogs and I would take a nap. I mean, whatever forms of mindfulness you want to call those types of things.

[00:09:46.400] – Tony
But for me, it was full-blown meditation. That's the only thing. All the tinctures and doctors and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put me back together again, you know what I mean?

[00:09:55.020] – Tony
So all I had was my breath. I can't work out. I can't drive, I can't eat. I got to take some deep breaths because most of us all use the top part of our lungs, especially now with covid, you know what I mean. Like that that virus lives at the bottom. So I may not do a cardio and plyo three times a week just to flush that out, make them strong in case I get this thing I'm ready to rock, you know.

[00:10:16.430] – Tony
So when I was a struggling kid, a young kid who was really not doing very well, not very happy financially, in big trouble, in debt, no relationship, really. You know whenever I would exercise, I was just more productive. I mean, I read John Rateys book years later, Spark the effects of physical activity on the brain.

[00:10:36.200] – Tony
And and I was oh, this is why when I'm really consistent with my fitness, when I work out five, six, seven days a week because five is the minimum, like, you know what I mean, you go to work five days a week, you go to sleep every night, you eat every day. We do a lot of these things so that we can survive on planet Earth. But I wanted to thrive. I didn't like where I was.

[00:10:57.690] – Tony
So when I exercised often, I was releasing all these chemicals in my head and I was just a better man. I was about a human being. I was more productive. I was happier. I was getting stuff done. I was checking boxes, you know what I mean. And then later the food thing came into play, you know what I mean. I was just I love double cheese, chimichangas and bacon cheeseburgers with Dr. Pepper. I mean, come on, it's yummy.

[00:11:17.780] – Tony
But it didn't serve me, man, you know what I mean. So and I was Keto and paleo and vegan and blah blah. But now I'm all those things, you know what I mean, I don't I don't limit myself from anything. I just eat really healthy versions of all these different types of food philosophies, which is really what my book is going to be about, probably come out in 2021, you know what I mean and and taking all the pressure off.

[00:11:37.890] – Tony
Because so often when we're trying to figure out the food element, there's always some form of restriction. Right. You can do this, but you can't do that. And if you do that, it's going to lead you down that bad path again. Where you are going to be right back where you were. And so I just thought, you know, and this is this is kind of an anomaly, really.

[00:11:56.730] – Tony
I mean, I eat keto and vegan and paleo and vegetarian and Mediterranean, Vietnamese and Chinese and French. You know what I mean, like, wow, the world is my oyster. I just eat versions that my great, great great grandparents probably ate. And it wasn't Dr. Pepper or Red Bull and Doritos in a Twinkie.

[00:12:17.120] – Tony
I mean, like, you have to get you have to eliminate certain types of foods and you have to figure out how to make all these other foods taste good enough that you want to eat them all the time. Hello. Like, what's so hard about that? Like, people are still scratching their head, trying to figure it out. So I exercise five to seven days a week. I really healthy. I have cheap snacks because snacks are calorically smaller.

[00:12:37.490] – Tony
I mean, like there's these little chocolate chip cookies that are kind of gluten free. They're chocolate chip and screw it, I'm going to eat them. But once in a while it satisfies and it quills my my cravings. And then I'm rockin. And then I meditate in the car. I meditate when I first thing I get up in the morning, I meditate before I go to bed and I'm talking five minutes.

[00:12:55.520] – Tony
I'm talking sometimes two minutes. I'm not sitting there in Lotus in a dark room with a candle meditating for 90 minutes. I don't have the time or patience for that, but I have to like if I know if I'm in distress (taking a breathe) All I need is about ten of those men, and I'm going to go and yoga and Pilates and other types of mindful fitness. There you go, man. You got the whole cabana.

[00:13:28.570] – Allan
That's a lot to wrap. But no, really, there's a lot in there. And one of the things I wanted to I wanted to really dive in with you on is, you know, in your training, because even even when I was doing P90X wasn't the same workout. Every week, every day there were different workouts or different things. And they were all the right thing to do at the right time. And I was looking as you went through, you have a ninja course in your backyard, you have a hatchet throwing. And if you miss, you do push ups.

[00:13:59.740] – Tony
Doesn't everybody Allan?

[00:14:01.510] – Allan
And you have a balance what they call the balance line. The taut line. And so it's like you you know, you train for life, you train a lot of different variety. Why do you why do you put so much variety into your training?

[00:14:20.800] – Tony
Well, you know, I mean, if you look at the original P90X, I had about a year of research for that program and prior to that we did something called power 90. And power 90 was kind of fitness one to one as far as far as I was concerned at that stage of my my career. I mean, I've been training Tom Petty and Billy Idol and Annie Lennox from Eurythmics and Sean Connery.

[00:14:45.320] – Tony
Every time I do Sean Connery, I'm going to do that. But I was training The Boss, Bruce Springsteen and different kinds of people. And so, you know, you've got these really. These icons in fitness and acting, Allison Janney and Bryce Dallas Howard and I mean, the list was pretty long for a long, long time.

[00:15:03.500] – Tony
And so, you know, there's a lot that was a lot of pressure for me to make sure that they got good results in a relatively short period of time. And so it was up to me to kind of dive into different types of area to prevent boredom, injuries and plateaus or lack of results over time. And so, you know, when my first client was Tom Petty and Tom was not an athletic guy at all. I mean, the first day I met him, he was smoking a cigarette and put that down.

[00:15:31.130] – Tony
Hey, Tony, I'm not really a fitness guy. You know, I'm I'm a rocker. So I just I got to increase my stamina. Nobody likes a fat rocker. I mean, so it's like, OK, I got four months, man. I got him on the bench pass. I had him hitting the heavy bag. We were on the stationary bike and we started from scratch. And so I knew even back then that I had to give Tom as many different things to kind of keep him entertained.

[00:15:57.470] – Tony
And I noticed where his weaknesses were. And almost all of his stuff was weaknesses early on. And but it was that variety, right? It was that variety. It was the heavy bag. It was it was the it was the core work. It was the cardio work. It was the resistance work. It was all that kind of stuff. And so I was laying the foundation of what eventually would be power 90 and then would be P90X which was, you know, the coup de gras of fitness at that time. And so we had long debates about how much variety there should be. Do you really need? Martial arts? Do you really need yoga? Do you really need classes? Do you really need more specific stuff? Like you're working on balance, too, you know?

[00:16:32.570] – Tony
I mean, is it necessary? Let's just get these people looking good. And for me, it wasn't about looking good. It was about health and wellness. It was always about how I mean, when I was younger and when most people are young, you know, I mean, they want to they want a six pack and they want big arms and they want all these different things. I understand that. But that's not a very good objective. I mean, if your purpose is locked into the quality of your life, which affects the quality of other people's lives, that's a bigger picture kind of look at me.

[00:17:00.260] – Tony
If it's just so you could walk down the beach so girls could talk about your six pack. Well, you better form a personality while you're at it because you're six pack is only going to to take you so far. Like what's your sense of humor? Like, what kind of job do you have? What kind of person are you in the world? Because your arms and your six pack and your booty, that's an ephemeral thing. That's not it to me. It's not important.

[00:17:19.520] – Allan
Well, it gets you into the party but to stay you're going to have to do a lot more.

[00:17:24.880] – Tony
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so still to this day, I mean, why don't I have a ninja course, and a slack line. Because I'm always learning. I'm always growing. I like working on my my weaknesses. And that's what P90X was. I mean if you look at the way I train now, I spend as much or more time on speed, balance and flexibility as I do cardio and resistance. Right. Because the world still is about cardio and resistance, like, oh, fine, that's better than sit on the couch and smoking pot, you know, I'm saying but you might want to try to delve into some other area.

[00:17:55.590] – Tony
That's why I go to a track man at 62 and I and I do hundreds and two hundreds and four hundreds. Right. Because I'm teaching my body to move quickly. That's why there's martial arts in all my stuff. Right. Because old folks, old fit folks, people who exercise to go to the gym often. Right. They reached sideways to grab the shampoo on the shelf and they're jacked up for a month because the range of motion sucks.

[00:18:18.650] – Tony
Or, you know, you've got to hustle down the down the terminal to catch the catch your airplane and you blowout the hamstring because you haven't run fast since softball in ninth grade. I mean, so these are these are other really important elements. And and so that's that's why I train that way that I mean, it keeps me young. I mean I'm sixty two things that I can think of.

[00:18:39.040] – Tony
I mean, I have a routine in the backyard. We go up a pegboard about 12 feet off the ground from top to bottom. Then we grab this being that basically supports my patio up to the top of 17 feet off the ground where if you fall, you're going to break your leg and then we ring a bell up there, which means you have to hold on to the beam with one hand, ring a bell, come down the rope, go back up the rope, ring the bell, go down the beam across the pegboard and then do maximum pull ups in my 20s, 30s, 40s. Couldn't do that. No, no way. I would have been scared to death to climb up this beam.

[00:19:10.750] – Tony
And it's about always challenging yourself. Does it mean that I mean, I heli ski. I mean, I've been heli skiing a couple of dozen times, you know what I mean, like pull up land on the top of a mountain with guides in front of me and behind me, just skiing with snow going over my shoulders. I could I would have been scared to death to do that as a kid, you know what I mean? So, I mean, life is short. It's such a short, ridiculous ride. The fact that I just turned 62, I'm going to turn 72 and I'm going to be 82.

[00:19:38.840] – Tony
And so this is the part of my life where I can enjoy it. Like I finally have enough bread in the bank that I can go and do things. Like when I was young I was poor. I mean like I had like really work I had to couch surf friends places when I a ski hill, you know what I mean. And you know, and I was getting by eating Cheerios and yogurt three meals you know, those were those are fun days and days of exploration. But you know, it's too bad a lot of people finally get to a point in their life because most people are retiring about now, by sixty five and they're not physically fit and strong enough and flexible enough to to go and do things.

[00:20:18.190]
So, you know, so they fish or they or they play shuffleboard, sorry man.

[00:20:23.710] – Allan
Or they crochet.

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[00:22:10.360] – Allan
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This episode of 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Let's Get Checked. Use code Allan20 and get 20% Off! [00:22:36.140] – Allan
So, yeah, I mean, I get it. It's easy to get locked into things you're good at. I'm I'm pretty decent when it comes to strength and for endurance, if I'm slow, I can go. When it comes to just doing sprints and I hate them like that. Hundred yards or two hundred yards or four hundred yards. That would be the worst day of my life. But I see value in it and understand that it needs to be the worst day of my life because that's the weak spot and that's where I'm actually changing.

[00:23:04.790] – Tony
There's so many lessons there, though. I think if you warm up properly, you got a good coach. You know me. Understand that you're not going to be. You know, Usain Bolt or anything, or just go out there and you're just learning the technique and driving the knees and leaning forward and doing all the thing and breathing properly, this, you know, I mean, it's know I'm not saying everybody needs to do all the crazy stuff that I'm doing, but you need to do something.

[00:23:30.040] – Tony
You need to if you really want to be. Because to me, it's about joy and happiness. It's joy and happiness. Right. And when you know, you're releasing all these chemicals and you're taking care of yourself and you're leaning up and you feel you're just you just lighter on your feet, you know what I mean? You just feel like, oh, wow. And I get thousands and I'm talking thousands of stories from people who say who I was as a human being, above and beyond the physical and who I am now, mentally and emotionally and spiritually is day and night purely because I ate right. And I moved my butt and I got quiet once in a while. I mean, how powerful is that?

[00:24:04.560] – Tony
And you control those things like you you can pick what time to do it. I mean, I get at work and I got kids. Fine. I got ten minute workouts, man. You know what? If you can make as many excuses as you want, but the fact of the matter is, you just don't care. You're not prioritizing. And so you can continue to survive, yea surviving, taking care of me, paying my bills, going to work, watching the game, having some beers and then maybe you'll live to seventy five, maybe, maybe you want or you want to thrive and you just you just learn what you need to do to do it and and then it's a whole different ballgame.

[00:24:36.310] – Allan
Yeah. Now you went through shingles and that's kind of one of the topics my mother suffered from shingles about two and a half years ago or so. And so I started doing some research on it, thinking, OK, is this something I you know, I need to go ahead and get the vaccine or do something with. And I opted not to do the vaccine at the time. But now reading it, hearing your story with Ramsey Hunt, I guess there is the new light shined on it by me.

[00:25:04.510] – Allan
So I'd like to understand your experience and your recovery as you went through that, because you went into it extremely healthy and then lost twenty five pounds. And, you know, but it's still recovery for you was a chore. It was a task. And so what did you do to recover? What are your what are your thoughts on someone that just hasn't had it yet. I'm nine years younger than you are at this point. What would what would your advice be on just getting fit, getting happy, getting healthy, eating right foods? What would what should we do as a protocol to make sure that we're we're staying healthy and not falling prey to things like this?

[00:25:42.400] – Tony
Well, yeah, it's a great question. Man it just kind of came out of nowhere. I mean, if you've had chicken pox, it's in there. It's sitting there waiting for you to get too stressed out in the wrong moment, the wrong time to rear its ugly head and make your life a living hell. Now, it really depends on where you get a lot of people get it across their shoulder or on their neck or their mid back or top of their butt.

[00:26:04.120] – Tony
There's all kinds of crazy places that'll get it. It just it lives at the end of these nerves. And at that time, I was going through some contractual stuff with Beachbody and it wasn't going very well. And it's one of the reasons why I'm not with the organization anymore. I still have a great relationship with them. And I mean, we're just they were moving in one direction. I was moving in another and it was freaking me out. I mean, I'm not going to lie to you when you're with the same company for 20 years. Yeah. You just assume that, you know, hey, I got twenty more in me, you know what I mean? So, you know, whatever.

[00:26:31.620] – Allan
The same guys that bought the P90X are going to buy your P100X.

[00:26:36.610] – Tony
Yeah yeah yeah. I mean everyone's like, where's P90X4. I can't make that one sadly because I'm not with them anymore. So that was, that was really weighing on me. That was sort of the main thing, it was really weighing on me because you know, you're riding this amazing wave for so long and then and then you go, OK, well then I would assume that you guys, based on my track record, would continue to want to do X, Y and Z, and they didn't want to do X, Y and Z.

[00:27:01.840] – Tony
And I was like, wow, really? OK, well, and then, you know, then, you know, that that was coming to a close. And at that same time there was that shooting in Vegas. And I had friends that were there and a good friend of mine was just sitting there listening to the concert. And the gentleman right next to her, she was just sitting and they were just talking and he catches a bullet right here in front of her and dies, you know? I mean, I had other friends that were there as well.

[00:27:29.530] – Tony
I don't know, man. That really was heavy duty for me. I just I just I thought, where do we live? Like, what is going on in this country? And then and then Tom Petty died the next day, and I've been training Tom for 30 years and he was a friend. I mean, he was just a client initially. But I went on tour with Tom and it was I knew his ex-wife. I knew his new wife. I knew his mother in law. I knew his kids, you know what I mean, you know, and my history with him was was just phenomenal.

[00:27:59.290] – Tony
I mean, he was just an amazing, talented, super cool. And he was gone and for all the wrong reasons, you know, I'm like, golly. And then I always I kind of blame myself a little bit for that because his manager called me the summer before and said, you've got to work with Tom. He really needs it badly, but I wasn't getting all the intel. I didn't realize that he was struggling with some things that I wasn't aware he was struggling with. And if I had known that, you know, maybe I could have had, you know, because he he trusted me more than almost anybody.

[00:28:28.800] – Tony
His wife he trust his management he trust. But he really was like, OK, what am I going to do? What are we got to eat? And I wasn't getting all the intel. So when contract stuff, the shooting, Tom, and then all of a sudden I had a workout crew here, had about 50 people here, and everybody was acting like everything was normal. I mean, like two days before 50 plus people were killed in Vegas.

[00:28:50.910] – Tony
And we just chat and they're kind of goofing off. And I invite them to come to my house for free to train, and I snapped. I mean, I went ballistic. I went because if I even reenact that, I'll probably get Ramsey right now. And I was just really upset that everybody was just dogging it. And then life is too important and you have to be strong and durable in life, because if you're not, you could be a victim as well, or you could die before your time.

[00:29:13.840] – Tony
And then within a week, I had this rockin headache on the right side of my head. I told Sean, I go when I feel a little bit off, my equilibrium is weird, and then it got so bad that I started throwing up and then I thought, well, maybe maybe I had a stroke or a mini stroke or something. So I went to a couple of doctors and they didn't know and then so the rash was all in my right ear. It didn't appear yet, but it was happening. I mean, yeah. And if I had known and I take any antiviral medication, I could have beat it. Aan, it was tough.

[00:29:47.250] – Tony
It was really tough. And it lasted for weeks and weeks and weeks and months and months and months. And it took about a year before I was able to recover. And I remember the first time I attempted to work out, I got on the treadmill, walked on the treadmill for five minutes. I forced myself. I was in such pain and I got off the treadmill and I threw up and I laid down for almost two hours. And it was that very slow.

[00:30:09.000] – Tony
Took months and months, man. And so then I hooked up with these folks, created power life because they knew my story. I was posting about it and stuff. And, you know, I lost twenty five pounds and as weak as a chicken. I remember trying to do push ups for the first time.

[00:30:22.680] – Tony
I knocked out, like I can usually do like seventy push ups if I had to, if there was a contest and there was money on it and I can do like 30 pull ups pretty pretty much and I could do like eight pull ups and I was dying and I could do maybe 15 push ups. It was huge for me, no cardiovascular strength but but you know, it was it was getting back in the game. And I had the foundation right.

[00:30:43.530] – Tony
I had that original foundation. I knew what to do. I knew what to eat once I could. But I needed supplements, man. I needed a decent supplements that I wasn't getting, you know? I mean, the cool thing about what we're doing at Power Life is we're making these really unique formulas. I mean, there's whey proteins and there's plant based proteins, but we're putting in chromium and vitamin D and and HMV and, you know, probiotics, prebiotics and sun fiber and all these really, really interesting combinations of different things based on tons and tons of research.

[00:31:11.100] – Tony
And really, they were making it for me, you know, I mean, like, hey, you guys and people our age, we we're all going to suffer from Sarcopenia at some point. I mean, some people sooner than later. But Sarcopenia is age related muscle loss. And I had I had accelerated Age-Related muscle loss as a result of my illness. And so, you know, I mean, that's a sixty two year old arm, that thing's doing OK.

[00:31:32.250] – Tony
And, you know, the six pack is back and my quads are strong and and it feels good. I mean it took a year to come back man and it wasn't easy, but thank God I ran into the right people the right time to make these supplements for me, you know, I mean to help because I wasn't getting it from, you know, what I was taking. I just wasn't getting enough. And I could it was just a struggle. And I was still dealing with with pain and fatigue. You know, I talk about this in my latest seminar.

[00:32:01.460] – Tony
If there's two things that really slow people down, it's those two. It's pain and fatigue. And if you've got if you're exhausted and you've got joint pain, back pain or neck pain and knee pain or ankle pain or whatever, hip pain, then you just there's no enthusiasm to kind of attack life. But if you can find the right, the right kind of foods, that brings inflammation down, getting regular blood work done. I get blood work done every every six months.

[00:32:25.020] – Tony
Yeah, but every six months, twice a year. And I look at my panel and I mean they take 12 vials on my arm. It's like it's like a vampire comes in here. Right. And but I learned about it all. You know what I mean. I mean this. What's my hormone stuff. What's my thyroid stuff. What's my testosterone estrogen. Vitamin D, vitamin C, like all these different things. Chromium like what are all these where are my high or my low.

[00:32:45.730] – Tony
And we make those adjustments every time. And then once I started taking my own stuff, you know, my last blood work was she's like, oh my God, your testosterones to the roof, you supplement your testosterone. I go, No, no, I just I don't have the joint pain.

[00:33:02.190] – Tony
So when I lift or I do stuff, I'm not fighting pain. It prevents me from doing the amount of repetitions, the amount of weight that I want to do. I can just really go, you know what I mean? Like my right shoulder. I have bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis in two bonesetter's and a three percent torn labrum in his arm. But I can do handstands.

[00:33:19.110] – Tony
And I was doing I was doing military before when my shoulder ached, I had to stop here. Right. But it was awesome to come all the way down without that searing pain in my shoulder and full range of motion. That was just awesome, you know. I mean, I'm not Hercules, but I'm, I'm pushing 50's, one hundred pounds and I felt good man.

[00:33:40.320] – Tony
So it's just for me it's just. Always researching, always, you know, staying curious, knowing when to take downtime, when I have to and this is thirty, thirty seven years of playing with this stuff, man.

[00:33:53.870] – Tony
So, yeah, that was a brutal period. And and I would recommend anybody, because the old vaccine for shingles was kind of the hair of the dog that bites you, right? I mean, so it can actually give you shingles. I mean, it's terrible. But the new one is is a completely different formula. I think it's the GlaxoSmithKline new vaccine. And so when I got this thing, I can't tell you how many thousand people ran out and got the vaccine after they heard my story.

[00:34:20.680] – Allan
Yeah, I can imagine. Well, Tony, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:34:31.100] – Tony
Well, without repeating myself, it's finding an exercise program that you can stick with. And then when that program is over, you find another one and another one and another one. And if you want to do the first one five times in a row, fine. But then you want to I mean, that's why I made Power Ninety, P90X, P90X2, X3, 22 minute hard core. I've given people enough variety so they don't get bored, they don't get hurt, they don't plateau. Right. So the foundation of who I am and I would recommend that to anybody is figure out a way to be consistent with your fitness.

[00:35:06.070] – Tony
Intensity is important. You want to you want to always up the ante over the course of time because that helps with improvement. You don't want to lift the same ten pound weights and the same exercise for 10 years. It's a waste of time, you know what I mean, so, so intense consistency is everything. Fitness is the first thing. But on top of that is being consistent with your fitness. Right.

[00:35:26.840] – Tony
And then accountability is everything. A lot of people can't. I'm talking just the fitness category right now. I'm not talking about all the other aspects of your life, but when it comes to fitness, you've got to be accountable. You've got to be accountable somehow. And some people who live in Minnesota in the middle of winter, who go down into the basement and do yoga for an hour and a half or plyo and fifty seven degrees down there, and then they get up in the dark and go make breakfast for their kids before school superheros like they should get medals every time they go down there and do that.

[00:35:53.910] – Tony
Me, I need other people. So they're either in my house, they're online, they're somewhere. Right. I mean the all the days that I work out, I've got somebody here. And even during the quarantine, we're doing it on Zoom call just like this. All right. It's your turn to do pull ups.

[00:36:08.990] – Tony
How many are you going to do? Fifteen. All right. You mean the number is really sixteen? OK, well, all right. And there's all this back and forth and on Zoom. It's easy. I mean, there's always solutions when there's a problem, right?

[00:36:17.610] – Tony
So and then you need a plan. I mean, without a plan, like what do you figure out what you're going to do, what time you're going to do it and write it down in advance, like predict the future. Get a calendar. Right. So here's an example. Here's my wall calendar. I started a wall calander. I got two calendars on my computer, but I don't do this any more.

[00:36:37.670] – Allan
Yeah, they still they still sell those.

[00:36:39.410] – Tony
They still sell these man. And you can go to they're called a stationery store and you write down playo yoga, chest and back cardio, but you write them all down and you hang. I don't have a red one here. I did wait here it is just like this. I get to go. I'm so lucky right now.

[00:36:56.600] – Tony
You hang this. That's a red Sharpie, you tie a red Sharpie on your calendar, so I got them all written down here and you should have about twenty five workouts written on your calendar. And every time you do that, you take your red magic marker and you make Xs at the bottom of the calendar on the last day you write how many you did you count Xs and you write and if it says 15 you lost or you're tied because 15 workouts in the course of one month means you took 15 days off.

[00:37:25.730] – Tony
Try doing that with food. Try doing that with work. Try doing that with sleep. Forget it. Not a shot. You're a dead man. All right. So but if you have 22 Xs more days than not, then you have succeeded, then you're going to see results. Then you're going to feel better. Then you're going to get stronger. Then you're going to be more flexible. Then you're going to be happier. All right.

[00:37:44.630] – Tony
Because the more you do, the better you get. The less you do, the more you're going to struggle, period. All right. So purpose why why are you doing this thing? I'm giving you 4. But you've got to decide why and if it's to be sexy. Well, you better be a swimsuit model or a bodybuilder or whatever. But if you're if your goal is to improve the quality of your life physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually for some people, and to start to really make an impact in other people's lives because you've gotten your act together, that's powerful.

[00:38:15.560] – Tony
I workout today. I'm going to plyo today at 5:30pm. Do I want to? No, but I know who I'm going to be after I'm done. I mean, I mean, you know, my legs. People look at my legs. I mean, they're super striated. Here you go. I'm going to show you right now Allan. Look at these pythons. Man, can you see that thing? Hold on.

[00:38:32.230] – Allan
Awesome.

[00:38:33.380] – Tony
Right. That's all. There it is.

[00:38:36.680] – Allan
That does not look like that does not look like a 62 year old leg.

[00:38:40.390] – Tony
And all I do is jump. Jump up and down, jump up and down and do squats and lunges, you know what I mean? And so my purpose is that I know I'm going to feel afterward and I just repeat day after day after day, purpose, plan, accountability, consistency. That's the foundation of really being the person that you want. And then from there, the world is your oyster man, I'm telling you..

[00:39:01.490] – Allan
Very cool. Very cool. Well, Tony, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about Power Life, the supplement line and then again, Tony talks and all the other cool things you're doing, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:39:16.060] – Tony
Go to TonyHortonlife.com. It's all right there. We're in the process of actually upgrading the website. There's a lot of really cool new things that we're doing above and beyond. Tony Talks and Power Life. And I've got a brand new fitness equipment line called TH Fitness. You know, a lot of the factories now all across the world are trying to catch up because they were closed. So we're sort of the last in line. But we hope that within about three months we're going to have jump ropes and mats, med balls and stability ball, different things on the website.

[00:39:43.310] – Tony
So TonyHortonlife.com, you learn about everything you need to know about your T. Horton right here. So check it out.

[00:39:49.470] – Allan
Awesome. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/446 and I'll be sure to have a link there for you if you're driving or can't write that down right now. But Episode four four six. So Tony, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:02.490] – Tony
Allan. My pleasure, man. Thanks for having me on today. Appreciate it.

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