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October 19, 2020

How to thrive during menopause with Amanda Thebe

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

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

Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:32:10.500] – Allan
Whackable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:38:40.680] – Allan
I don't know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:49:45.480] – Ras
Yeah.

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

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

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

[00:50:38.990] – Allan
Or lift with.

[00:50:39.960] – Ras
Yeah. Yeah.

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

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

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Another episode you may enjoy

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

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

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

Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:03:45.990] – Ras
Yep.

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

[00:03:50.690] – Ras
That's true.

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

[00:03:52.880] – Ras
That's true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You watch some of the shows where they depict people and they live by the moon, the moon and the seasons give them the information they need to survive. Now, if they faced a threat and then they had a stressor, which, you know, basically what a threat would do is the stress response. It would be acute, immediate, it'd be life or death. So they would have that cortisol hit. They'd have, you know, that adrenal hit and then it would be gone. It wouldn't be this long, drawn out months and months and months of things that we do to ourselves now.

So we would have a very low stress life in a general sense, as long as we were able to successfully hunt and move and do the things we needed to do. Our stress levels were much lower. We also did risk management. And that sounds kind of weird talking about our ancestors.

But the way you stay alive, the way longevity happens, is understanding the risks associated with your life is a primal living being. We weren't worried about calories, blood sugar, vitamin C, processed meat, dietary fiber, or if we had a healthy microbiome, those concepts weren't even in our head. But what we did was we followed a path that was set by our ancestors.

My ancestors would go and they'd say, we know we go this direction. This is the way we have to go this month at the moon. And then we would go, but we would have to also understand what we're facing. If another tribe moved in to the area, we might have to change the plan, but we would do it. We had risk management. We were paying attention. So the biggest risks to us at that time was infant mortality and tribal warfare.

And the only biohacking that we would have done was just making sure that we were aware of the risks and then figuring out ways to avoid them or deal with them. And then relationship would be very important to us. We worked and moved as a tribe. And in a tribe, it works to our benefit because it helps everyone's survival. We hunted in packs and were hard coded in our DNA to be socially engaged. So that relationship, that closeness is really, really important to the nature of ancestral living.

And then finally within ancestral living. I want to talk about curiosity. You know, we did tend to follow the same basic patterns, seasonal patterns, year in and year out. But we were constantly engaged with what was going on. In the world around us, because our survival depended on it. You know, we couldn't go in and ask Google or Facebook what the weather was going to be like or if we were going to have an early summer or a late winter or whatever.

There was no groundhog to do it for us either. We looked to our elders to advise us and then the tribe had to learn and adapt, and that's how we would survive hard times. Now, I recently started a blog to dive into these issues in more detail. But full disclosure, I'm a terrible blogger. I can brag about this being episode 455 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. But you know, I've done several blogs over the years and I don't think I've ever gotten more than maybe 15 blog posts in any one blog I've ever started.

So they blog fade pretty quickly. You know, I hope that doesn't happen with this blog. But what I plan to do with that blog is explore a lot of these topics that I've talked about so far. So if you're interested in any of those, you might want to check out the blog. I'll do the best I can, but. What's probably gonna end up happening is I'll probably end up bringing some of those topics here to the podcast, so check out the blog as I get going on it. Probably not anything else on there now. But check it out. And that's where a lot of these topics are going to be discussed in more detail. And if you have any questions, feel free to join us on the Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Group. And just ask I'm there. I mean, I'm there to participate and help you in any way I can. So if you're interested in this topic, I would like to carry on that conversation.

So for today's discussion and then I'll be gone already for quite a while. But I really want to dive into seasonal ketosis and share why I do it and the reasons that it may or may not be right for you. The first question I kind of have in my mind when I'm thinking about this is seasonal ketosis. The same thing is cyclical keto diet? You know, and technically it is it's you know, you're cycling in and out of keto. So it is a cyclical keto diet. However, when you talk to most people about this cyclical keto diet, it's a six days on, one day off, and they call that a refeed day. And I'm metabolically capable of doing that kind of keto diet, but I'm not a really good moderation type person.

[00:22:02.340] – Allan
You know, I'm either all on or all off. So if I took a weekly cheat day, you know, or carb up day, I just don't know what that day after that might be like. And I might just go ahead and have a second cheat day. So when I start my famine season, you know, in my ketogenic diet, I start dropping weight relatively quickly and then I'll get to my set point and I'm good, you know.

I like seeing two to five pounds come off in a week. What I wouldn't be a fan of is seeing like four pounds down, then two pounds up. And I'm pretty sure that's how the cyclical keto diet would work for me. And I don't really like that. It's progress, don't get me wrong, it's progress. But that's just not me. I'm happy knowing that I can have a few more carbs on my high activity days without going out of ketosis.

So if I'm going to have more carbs, I'm just going to work out a hell of a lot harder that week to make sure that I can keep myself in ketosis and have the carbs too. So if I want some fruit, I got to earn it from a from a carb, blood sugar, muscle and liver glycogen model. Now, there are some positives to the cyclical keto over full time keto. In many cases, athletic performance can be better and muscle growth is better.

I'm not a bodybuilder and I perform fine without the refits. I can I can do as much as I want to do. I need to do so again, cyclical keto is just not for me. But if you're someone who's looking for a way to do keto and then have that kind of that refeed that break, you might want to check that out. Now, why does seasonal ketosis make sense to me from an ancestral perspective?

And I've gone into some of this already. You know, I when I started this and I was learning about the paleo diet, I came across Mark Sissons primal blueprint. And now Mark laid out a very reasoned case for how our ancestors lived and ate. I used to character I think he named Duroc. So rather, you believe in human evolution, creationism or intelligent design, I don't think you can argue that we we're not doing things right now.

We've got to change something. The standard American diet is killing us. You know, back then we didn't eat refined grains and we didn't have junk food. You know, we were hunters and gatherers. We were, like I said, opportunistic eaters. And we ate the nutrition that our body required, essential amino acids and essential fats. They came from animals, primarily red meat and fish. That's where we got our food. Most of our food was going to come in that form.

And then based on the seasons, you know, we had short periods of the year where it was either cold or dry. We were in ketosis because there just might not be any vegetables or fruits available to us during periods of time. And then, of course, because, you know, food availability and everything, we would spend a good bit of time fasting or intermittent fasting or maybe some extended fasting, depending on the nature of what's going on in the world.

You know, if if we got a good, cold, hard freeze and all the animals are moving and there's no, you know, no vegetation at all, we got to go with the animals. We got to catch up to them. And then we got to do the hunting. So just recognize that our diet would have been very keto for much of the year. OK, now I started doing this for weight loss. That was my my core reason. And I was very much drawn to the primal paleo diet because it made intuitive sense.

Mark did a really good job, because it was maybe the first article I read, that you can't eat what you don't have access to. So you wouldn't eat processed foods at all, ever. OK, everything we would have eaten. Would have been whole food. It would have been locally and sustainably sourced and the human body was designed to be a hunter. I mean, there's no doubt whatsoever when you look at our features, look at what we can do. We were designed to be hunters, but when there are fruits and vegetables available, we're probably going to eat those. But we would not have eaten a high carbohydrate diet year-round. It's just impossible for any of our ancestors short of just some very small areas, you know, in the tropical zones where people would have eaten primarily carbohydrate diets that just wouldn't have anyone from northern Europe, anyone pretty much if you're from Northern Europe or Europe at all, your ancestors probably didn't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

That's just that's just part of it. Now, you can look at the current chronic diseases, obesity, heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And the health problems are associated with our food. There's something seriously wrong. In our modern world, most people have insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. And it's it's so epidemic that it's just weird to me that this has become politicized. That, you know, we have the food companies telling our government what to tell us what to eat is kind of crazy. It's not animal products and saturated fat that are making us sick as much as those food companies want the government to tell us that it is. It's just not true. It's the fast food. It's the processed foods.

It's high, refined carbs and sugar. We're eating too much sugar. We're eating too many refined carbs. We're not eating whole food. So if the government was in our favor doing the things that it was supposed to do, they'd be focused on food quality. They would not be telling us to eat cereal and grains and refined carbs. They would be telling us to eat meat, fruits and vegetables, Whole Foods.

Now, I've interviewed experts across all spectrums of nutrition. I've had vegans on I've had carnivores on paleo, keto, everywhere in between. The interesting thing is, is every single one of them will tell you that their way of eating is the best because it is based on high quality whole food. And they'll be able to pull out the studies that show people eating their diet. Whole Foods are crushing it. They're doing great. But what's hard is that they ignore Whole Food studies that say the exact same thing about a different type of diet, because it doesn't fit their world view, it doesn't fit their paradigm.

They have a cognitive bias. So, I just really struggle when someone tells me that the quality of your vegetable matters, but the quality of your meat doesn't. It's just all meat is bad. Or and people say the same thing you know, the other way. Is the quality of the meat matters, but all vegetables are bad. You know, that doesn't make sense to me. Our bodies were designed to eat both. Quality is what matters.

That's why the paleo diet makes sense to me. I think everybody should be trying to eat more whole food. You know, the debates out about whether we would have eaten potatoes or, you know, and I don't think we would have eaten much dairy, to be honest with you, because we didn't have cows. You know, we didn't have goats.

We hunted them or something similar to them. But we didn't we didn't have any animal product like that. We weren't domesticating the animals, so we weren't doing dairy. Beans, you know, those are a little weird because yeah, there are some issues there where we have to be careful with them. But, you know, I like the primal experience of having a big, juicy steak. I just do. I love having a cup of blueberries or blackberries and the sweetness and the tartness and just, I love that.

I'm not going to give up either one of them, I'm just not. My diet is comprised of meat, fish, vegetables and some fruit. I did try the Carnivore diet for a few weeks and I started missing vegetables. I tried the vegetarian diet and then I adapted it into the pescaterian and diet to try to get my protein. And I couldn't do it. I gained weight because I was eating too many fruits and vegetables and grains, so I just started putting on weight. So there's not something that I enjoy. And, you know, when I when I do these did these little experiments, you know, I was typically doing them during my my feasting season. So, you know, was not a period of time when I had to worry about being in ketosis. I just did what I did.

I think it's important for you to understand that whole food is the answer. However, you choose to put that in a way of eating is really about you. But I will say this. If you're going to try seasonal ketosis, you do need to think about a few things. OK, one, I don't. Have any insulin resistance or diabetes or, you know, I don't have any of the the diseases or any of the issues that that people would would be suffering from, that they might be using this as a protocol. So if you have insulin resistance or diabetes, you know, or you're using the ketogenic diet for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, PCOS, or an autoimmune auto immune issue, I wouldn't necessarily cycle off of the ketogenic diet.

Those protocols are specific about staying in keto the whole time. And so that's not something where you would want to cycle out because you're just setting yourself up. If you're way above a healthy body composition and you want to use keto to lose weight, seasonal ketosis is also probably not something for you because your weight is going to fluctuate. I fluctuate 10 to 15 pounds each year as I go through these cycles. So that is, and then, of course, if you're prone to eating disorders, you know, you need to find a way of eating that you're comfortable with.

If it's sustainable for you, the cycling in and out is probably not in your best interest, you know, except for this slip up. I had recently did a covid-19 I've been able to manage my seasons stably for the last eight years. You know, going into my feasting season in late August, early September, and then coming out of it right after the Super Bowl or my birthday at the first week of February. That's my feasting season.

And then my fasting season or famine season, as I call it, will run the rest of the year. And as I said I might put on 10 to 15 pounds during the feasting season, but I ditch that weight pretty quickly and spend my famine season at my lower, lower range of my set point. Now, I love the metabolic flexibility that I have to be able to spend part of the time in ketosis and part of the time having a little bit more carbs.

When I say more carbs, I'm talking about beer and some simple carbs. You know, it's like I'll have a hotdog, I'll have a hamburger. Someone offers me a piece of pie at a tailgate, I'll eat it. So that's kind of that thing. You know, to me, the weight loss is relatively easy. Once I'm in ketosis, my body just naturally says, OK, you don't you don't need this. And some of what I'm flushing out from a weight perspective is water.

But a lot of it is body fat and it goes pretty quickly. And I'm pretty happy with that. Now, if you're interested in diving deeper into this topic, there's two ways that you can do this. I talked about the group earlier, you know, 40+ Fitness Podcast, dotcom focus group, or you can go to the Web site – 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/455. And there's a comment section under this post.

I put a post with the transcripts each week and that's why I tell you the full show notes are there. If you go there, there's a comment section, you can leave a comment there. I'm pretty passionate about the benefits that I get and the flexibility I get and the freedom I get with seasonal ketosis and my style of ancestral living. So I love talking about it. If you want to go into more detail with this, I encourage you to go check out one of those two places and let's continue the conversation there.

[00:34:12.300] Allan
All right, Ras welcome back.

[00:34:15.510] Ras
This is great. A lot of good stuff in the episode.

[00:34:19.320] Allan
Yeah, you know, most people that will talk about ketosis, they talk about in terms of it being a permanent lifestyle. And it can be. But I think it's it's kind of easy for people to get roped into measurements or things and not necessarily doing it for the right reason. I knew that I was going to roll up on football season and want to go tailgating. You know, since I finished my Tough Mudder, I was like having a beer and I was out of ketosis that afternoon, that evening.

[00:34:50.880] Allan
So, you know, just for my life style perspective, it just didn't make sense. They're going to be periods of time that I was not. But I found a manageable way that I could spend some of the year in ketosis and get the benefits that I wanted to get, but at the same time, spent some time doing some things that I enjoy.

[00:35:11.220] Ras
That sounds great, I'm glad that you found this new way to work keto into your normal lifestyle. That sounds like it's flexible enough to work with the way that you like to live.

[00:35:23.000] Allan
It does. You know, of course, you know, this year I had a little bit of difficulty getting out of the beast mode just with everything that was going on. I did put on a good bit more weight than I normally would have. But I've dropped almost all of that now and I'm back down to near a low for the last five years, I've been running at about two hundred and seven pounds.

And I'm right about there right now. I think I'm going to push it down a little lower because my muscle mass is a little lower than it was five years ago. So I'm probably going to push my weight down below two hundred before I kind of level things out again. So I do see some fluctuations with my weight and I know that can be challenging for a lot of people.

[00:36:11.350] Ras
Yeah. That's what I wanted to ask you about that. As you watch the scale go up and down, how does that impact mostly how you feel? Because to me a few extra pounds can feel kind of yucky and sluggish for me. But for you, how does that feel when you're in the fisting mode versus the famine mode?

[00:36:31.660] Allan
Yeah, well, first off, I'm but I'm about five foot 11, so I can I think I can carry 200 pounds pretty well and I can carry up to two fifteen I would say. I don't actually worry about the scale as much. I mean occasionally I'll step on it during my fisting mode just to kind of see where I am. I can usually just guess by looking at how my pants fit.

I before we move down here to Panama, I found a pair of cargo shorts that I liked. So I bought like four or five different pair and different colors of the same cargo shorts. And so they all fit me the same way. And so I can just pretty much tell when I put those cargo shorts on how I'm doing and where I am. And as I mentioned, I eat relatively low carb during my feasting season. So I'm not crazy on carbs.

It's just I don't really worry about it. If, you know, if I'm out with folks, we want to have some beers. I don't think about it. You know, if someone offers me something that I wouldn't normally eat like a hamburger with a bun, I'm going to eat it. I'm not going to worry too much about it, but I do pay attention to my size. You know, if I didn't start noticing that I'm getting bigger, then I'll I'll tap it down a little bit.

I won't I won't go as crazy. Well, except during COVID. But…

[00:37:54.320] Ras
Yes, totally different rules for covid.

[00:37:58.930] Allan
And so, you know, if you're someone that's really stuck on the scale and you just know there's this weight, your magical weight you're supposed to wear, your head tells you, this is my no, you're not going to like this. You know, the interesting thing is, like, you know, like I said, I'll put on ten, fifteen pounds in a swing. So from my feasting to that, I will put on up to fifteen pounds.

You have to recognize that about about five or seven of that is water weight. And I flush that the first week I go back into ketosis. Right. You know, so I'll literally sit there and say, OK, I'm going to go in ketosis, you know, drop five to seven pounds in a week or two. And then it then it tapers down and I'll lose a few pounds a week and then one pound a week and then my body will get to that homeostasis, its happy weight and I just go by how I feel.

Now I've mentioned this before on another episode I was talking about this a little bit. I don't feel as good during the feasting season, you know, because the foods I'm eating or not is healthy. You know, the beer is not a health food.

[00:39:11.260] Ras
That's true. Sadly, sadly true.

[00:39:13.260] Allan
As much as they'll try to tell you it's okay. It's really good. No, it's not actually really good for you at all. That's fake science. Someone wanted that to be true. They made the hypothesis and then they just said, well, it doesn't kill you, so it's got to be good for you.

[00:39:27.730] Ras
Great. Great science.

[00:39:29.450] Allan
Yeah. So, you know, don't if you're someone who's going to freak out about the scale, if you're someone who has issues with your eating, this is not that kind of thing. You know, find one way that works and stick with that would be my recommendation for that. If you really worried about the scale, stay in ketosis.

But I also want to preface it. You know, I notice I do feel better in ketosis. It's just a better state for me to be in. But I'm not all that tight end up being that way all the time. You know, I'm okay to have a couple bad, you know, days where my energy level is not as high or, you know, I feel a little frumpy. I'm cool with that. It's the price I pay for the detour I took, and I just accept that.

If you're someone who's doing it as a protocol for cancer, for diabetes, insulin resistance, any other metabolic issue, then it's something you're probably going to want to stay on. It's not something that I want to cycle through.

[00:40:31.030] Ras
That's a good point.

[00:40:31.030] Allan
You know, even the people that do cyclical, where they're taking one day off per week, I said that that would actually drive me bonkers because I would feel like I was making all this progress dropping, like I said, seven pounds in a week, only to pick four of them back up. Yeah, it would be like that's all I'm doing is flushing water. I'm not really losing any weight.

And so I would struggle with that kind of cycle. Whereas if I'm off, I'm off. If I'm on, I'm on. And that's another thing about my personality, you know, and I talk about in the wellness chips, you've got to know yourself. You got to be self-aware. And it's one of the things I know is I don't have a dimmer switch, the light switch, maybe I'm on or I'm off.

And so it's just easier for me to say, okay, flip the switch and I just do it.

[00:41:24.010] Ras
Yeah, it's a good point. I think that the cyclical, you know, one day a week where you can have a cheat day or cheat meal or whatever, it's a slippery slope because food can be a trigger. And if you have that one serving of chips, that might become the bag of chips and then it might be one more serving the next day, in the next day. And it is a slippery slope. And if you're not confident in your ability to put it away and get back to it, then that can be dangerous.

[00:41:52.180] Allan
Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that I would like to mention is that, you know, we're starting to get anecdotal evidence and maybe some studies where we're looking at performance of someone who's in complete ketosis versus someone who uses carbs as a fuel along with ketones versus someone who's just a sugar burner. And, you know, I'm not going to say one fueling mechanism is best for everybody, but I would put this out there for anyone that is trying to do in terms sport, the heavier you are, the more weight you have to carry for the miles that you're traveling, the more wear and tear you have on your body.

And if you're eating refined carbs specifically and sugar, you're going to have inflammation and that inflammation is going to cause problems in your joints. And so from a health perspective, I would I would be the one that would air on the side of using ketones for for energy.

If I were doing endurance athletics, an occasional carb up here and there before a race might help your performance. But, you know, I'm not sure how much additional glycogen your body is going to be able to carry for that particular event. And you're always going to want to practice what you're going to race. So you would be eating carbs as a regular probably thing each week to carb up for your long runs if you're following the standard training protocol. So you would still be eating a good bit of carbs as a part of that.

So I'm not saying one is better than the other from a performance perspective. I'm just thinking in terms of wear and tear on your body inflammation and you just weigh a little bit less, you know, in carrying less water. So, you know, yeah. All of that's going to probably, in the end, help your performance. But I don't they don't have enough evidence right now where I would say there's one superior fueling way.

[00:43:55.510] Ras
Yeah. And I think as an endurance athlete, that's what kind of attracted me to keto in the first place, was I needed to lose a few extra pounds that I was carrying around. Every time we've moved and and we've moved several times as a family, we set up the house. We have projects I can't get in the runs. I gained a few pounds and so I looked to keto for just something different, a way to just get those pounds off. And it actually worked for me.

The one or two times that I've actually ate something non kaido. It impacted me greatly. I was very sick so I can't really do too much cheating. I know I've got a limit. I probably can eat something that's bread or sugar, but not very much more than a bite of cake or something small because it will impact me. But as far as the endurance part of it, it has helped a lot in my running.

I'm not winning races or anything. I've never been fast either in the first place. But yeah, keto has been a real big help for me in the endurance field. But like we like you mentioned earlier and just a little while ago is that you really need to find what works for you as an individual and there's just a wide range of eating, I could give you a couple of names of some impressive vegan ultra runners. Scott Drake is probably one of the most famous vegan ultra runners.

And then to the exact opposite, Michael McKnight, just this summer or spring, actually ran a hundred miles and no calories, nothing, no food. One hundred miles. I want to say, he did it in 18 hours, if I remember right. But so he's he's definitely keto. But like you were mentioning, he is also carving up a little bit in the week leading up. So his body was fueled with carbs, but then he goes straight kitto so that his body is prepared with fat as well.

And I think that's probably how he survived it. But he's also a pretty famous keto ultra athlete.

[00:46:05.330] Allan
Yeah, I as over the years I found I can get into keto pretty easy. I don't really do the of flu thing anymore since I go in and out, you know, each year I don't really have a kid, I feel a little less energetic for a day or two, but the switch over for me is pretty quick. So that's one of the things I like about doing it the way I do it. But that said, not everybody would you might not have the same experience that I had.

So, you know, the what's that they say in the ad is the results you see might not be your results right into it. So I'm not going to say everybody would have as easy of a time going back and forth. I don't have any insulin resistance. I don't have any blood sugar issues. You know, my awarenesses always been fine. So for me to switch back and forth seems relatively easy, you know, but like I said, most of the year, I'm eating this way anyway.

The difference is just not paying attention to my carbs, are not being worried about the carbs. And so that's why it works. And the other side of it is I don't stress about rather on that point five or point to five as far as what my ketone levels are, as long as I'm in ketosis, I'm cool. But a lot of people are like, no, I want to see that. No, I want to be one point five or better.

And I bought a Keto Mojo not long ago to replace my other ketone meter that I lost. I guess I can't find it after I moved. I'll probably find it when I go get the rest of my stuff. But anyway, so I bought it and they introduced this new where they measure your glucose and you measure your ketones at the same time. And we do that. It gives you a different measure relative so ketones relative to glucose. And so it's an index that they've created.

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And so again, it's just one of those. But again, it's that competitiveness of seeing a higher number that it seems to be pushing toward. And I'm not a big fan of that. You're either in ketosis or you're not. You're not. You know, you can say you're more in ketosis. I mean, there's just more ketones circulating in your blood. So I don't think you're in more ketosis. You just can't be more perfect.

You can't be more pregnant as you are. There are the days you might feel more pregnant than you did the day before. But you know that you're not in you know, you're not in more ketosis. You're in ketosis, you're not. And so it's for me, it's a good protocol. But I'm a little bit different in that I don't have a health issue. I do it to thin out, to lean out a bit, because if I did the feasting all year round, if I ate that way out of control, I would blow up, you know, so I know I can't do that and I have to be very cognizant of it.

I wasn't this year. I went and I stayed with it and just kind of proved my point of once I broke that that that barrier that I had my set point for my body, it said, oh, good, we'll just throw in a lot more weight. We don't have a problem with that. You gave us the fat cells years ago. We know how to use them. Just keep feeding us. And it did. So, you know, you got to turn that around.

And for me, it's when I said no dimmer switch just flipped the switch and let's go.

[00:49:25.580] Ras
That's awesome. You must be very metabolically flexible then to be able to go on and off and in and out of ketosis. And your body doesn't give you the pain that a lot of people get with people it doesn't know, you know.

[00:49:38.780] Allan
I'm very fortunate. I know a lot of people are not like that. They struggle to get into ketosis. And once they're there, like, I love this, I'm never going back. And, you know, that's cool. But, you know, you eat something bad like you said, you don't maybe you don't even know it has sugar in it or as many carbs in it as it does. And you eat it and you fall out of ketosis.

Now, people do that all the time and go right back into ketosis and never even know they were out of ketosis. So it's not this magical state. Where you're going to have to go through keto flu every time you go in and out, because people are going in and in some levels, most people are in a mild state of ketosis almost every morning they wake up because you've gone, you know, eight or 12 hours without eating. So your body is starting to produce ketones.

Now, is it using them efficiently as a fuel? No, because you're immediately going to put some more glucose in the system. You know, if you're very active, like you do your endurance sport and you're burning down some glycogen in your muscles and your liver. So when you do have additional carbs, some additional carbs, your body's going to use this insulin to restore that. So if you need it in the liver, if you need it in the muscles, then insulin is going to do its thing to do that.

If you didn't do any work and you're already topped up with glycogen, then it's only got one other choice and it's going to start making fat. So if that's something you're trying to avoid, you want a better body composition. I can't think of a better way to do it than keto.

[00:51:09.910] Ras
Yeah, that sounds about right. That's what I've experienced as well.



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On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we sit down with Dr. John Jaquish and discuss his book, Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time.

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Transcript

[00:02:48.530] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing?

[00:02:50.250] – Rachel
Good, how are you, Allan?

[00:02:51.500] – Allan
I'm doing really good, doing really good. This is an exciting week for us here in Panama. You know, up until this point, we've been on a curfew and a weekend quarantine. And so what that means is from 7:00 at night till 5:00 in the morning, you're not allowed out. And if you get caught out, they arrest you. And then over the weekend, it's complete quarantine. So you're supposed to stay home and not go out on Saturday and Sunday. So from seven o'clock Friday night until Monday morning at five o'clock, you're not supposed to be out.

[00:03:24.840] – Allan
And so, yeah, they will arrest you, but they're giving us back our Saturdays and they're raising the curfew from seven o'clock to 11 o'clock. So now the curfew will be 11 to five, which I'm already, I'm asleep then. Anyway, I do wake up sometimes before 5:00 but I'm not rushing out the door. Then I'm having some coffee,

[00:03:48.210] – Rachel
Oh good.

[00:03:48.290] – Allan
But I'm happy I got the Saturdays. It's going to make hitting my goal of 100 miles a month a little easier.

[00:03:54.990] – Rachel
Oh yeah.

[00:03:56.010] – Allan
When you add a whole extra day and it's a 20 percent increase in days and I'm pretty excited about that, I don't have to spend my Saturdays in my apartment.

[00:04:06.300] – Rachel
Oh, that's fantastic.

[00:04:07.940] – Allan
So what's going on in your world?

[00:04:10.770] – Rachel
Same old. I don't have quite the strict curfew as you guys have, but not a whole lot new here, trying out some new planks or with your traditional planks. So I've tried some new variations this week. I've done the the walk down where you get up kind of in a push up position and put your forearms down and get back up and couple of reaching ones and side planks and yeah, it's been entertaining.

[00:04:38.590] – Allan
OK, let me give you a couple more.

[00:04:40.630] – Rachel
Ok.

[00:04:41.460] – Allan
OK, so this one is called a three tap plank.

[00:04:45.320] – Rachel
OK.

[00:04:45.540] – Allan
OK. And so you get into the regular plank with your arms extended. So it's the push up style position. OK, and what you're going to do is you're going to take your you're going to take your right hand off the floor and you're going to touch your left shoulder.

[00:04:59.610] – Rachel
Oh…

[00:04:59.910] – Allan
Then you're going to touch your right shoulder

[00:05:02.050] – Rachel
Oh…

[00:05:02.140] – Allan
And then you're going to put your arm back on the ground.

[00:05:04.220] – Rachel
OK

[00:05:04.670] – Allan
And you take your left arm, reach up and you touch your right shoulder and then touch your left shoulder and put your hand on the ground. That's one repetition.

[00:05:13.880] – Rachel
That's fantastic.

[00:05:15.260] – Allan
OK, so that's a good one. And then if you're struggling with the standard plank, you know, some people will do them on their elbows, which is fine. Are you do it with your hands up, whichever works better, your shoulder strength, your upper body strength, both of them are fine.

[00:05:33.900] – Allan
But if you struggle with both of those, or you just you just don't feel like you have the abdominal strength to do that. I recommend people do. And it's basically a yoga move. It's called the bird dog. Are you familiar with the bird dog?

[00:05:46.150] – Rachel
I don't think so.

[00:05:47.290] – Allan
OK, with the bird dog, you get on your hands and knees.

[00:05:50.430] – Rachel
OK.

[00:05:51.040] – Allan
OK. And then you want to raise your right arm and point it straight forward.

[00:05:55.110] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:05:55.560] – Allan
And then you want to raise your left leg. You try to hold that position. Now, once you get really good at it, you should be able to hold that position for a full minute.

[00:06:04.730] – Rachel
Oh, boy.

[00:06:05.430] – Allan
You'll shake. You'll shake. It happened. I was I was using this in a class and the shake, shake, shake song came on and they were all kind of laughing because it's like this is appropriate. And then after you get on the right side, then, of course, you switch sides. So left arm out and then your right leg up and you hold that. So that's called the bird dog. So those are two planks that you can add to your repertoire.

[00:06:25.740] – Rachel
I absolutely will give that a try. Thank you.

[00:06:28.170] – Allan
Good deal. All right. So let's introduce our guest.

[00:06:31.770] – Rachel
All right.

[00:06:32.750] – Allan
Our guest today approaches health and fitness problems as a scientist and inventor, he invented the Osteo Strong to help fight osteoporosis, the X3 bar to help optimize strength training, along with several other products to help you optimize your health and fitness. With no further ado, here's Dr. John Jaquish.

[00:06:52.160] – Allan
Dr. Jaquish, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:55.160] – Dr. Jaquish
Hey, thanks for having me.

[00:06:56.960] – Allan
You know, when you write a book, Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time, so is cardio. But there's a better way to have the body you want. You're going to get some personal trainers, hating at first until they actually take the time to read the book, which I did. And I agree. When I first saw it, I was like, wait, wait a minute, wait a minute. That's not, that's not entirely true until you actually start looking at some of the science behind what you're talking about and why you're saying the way we're doing weightlifting today is a mistake, the way we're doing cardio and what we're doing it for is a mistake. There are better ways to get the same results. And that's really what your…

[00:07:34.880] – Dr. Jaquish
Better results.

[00:07:36.100] – Allan
Yes. Yes, absolutely. You know, it's it's sometimes it's really hard. I'll talk to a woman. I'll say, OK, look, I want you to do some strength training because you want to get stronger. And their initial response is, but I don't want to get big and bulky and, you know, I just want to lose weight. I just want to lose weight. And in the book, you cite some studies which I think are critical, but you also go a little bit deeper to why doing strength training is important for weight loss and waist circumference and things like that, better so maybe than even cardio. Can you get into that?

[00:08:10.940] – Dr. Jaquish
So. cardio, like your central nervous system, is going to make changes to your body to a degree based on your environment. Now if the environment you're putting your body in is to go long distances, run long distances or bike long distances. It's going to try and find a homeostasis that's going to give you some advantages and it's going to adapt to that environment. Well, if you adapt to that environment, you have to think about and let's just use the analogy of an economy car versus a Formula One car.

[00:08:51.910] – Dr. Jaquish
So let's say you're a weightlifter, so you're more like a Formula One car. You're built for short distance speed explosiveness. So what do you have? You have a powerful chassis, very high bone density. Now, weight training is actually not heavy enough ever for bone density, but that's beside the point. And that has to do with a lot of its drawbacks. But so powerful, Chassy, bigger engine, more muscle, that bigger engine is going to draw more fuel and it's going to disable you from going as far even burning the same energy. When I run up a flight of stairs and like I was in the Munich airport recently out of the Munich airport, but it's up and down, running up. You run down, running up you run down, especially if you're like you have a tight connection because you've got to go through immigration.

[00:09:50.610] – Dr. Jaquish
Like, I'm winded. And then my friend a guy I do some work with we're going to Moscow and and he says oh your, cardiovascular is terrible and I'm like, no it's not. It's better than yours. I just one hundred pounds more than you in that weight is muscle. I'm not just like taller and bigger. Like so my quadriceps are probably three times bigger than yours. And when they contract they draw a lot of blood.

[00:10:16.590] – Dr. Jaquish
So I am not efficient for distance. It doesn't mean I have bad cardio health. The health of the heart and the distance you're able to run are two totally different subjects. So when when you look at what the body is going to do, when you start running long distances, it thinks that it needs to give you that output with the least amount of fuel used. So you lose bone density. Plenty of research on this. You lose muscle, cortisol gets up regulated, cortisol does two things. It lessens your muscle, it gets rid of muscle, and it protects your body fat so that you don't metabolize body fat, so cardio in essence, keeps you fatter longer.

[00:11:05.050] – Dr. Jaquish
And sacrifices muscle tissue. So last I checked, unless you want to be a distance runner, it's giving you the opposite of what you think you're getting. Completely the opposite, and then you can look at marathon runners versus sprinters, the marathon runners are what's called skinny fat. So yeah, they don't weigh a lot, but you can't see much visible musculature. You see kind of slumped shoulders, exaggerated kyphosis, because they don't even have the muscle to keep their bodies upright. They've lost so much of the muscle, but then they're still soft like still kind of mushy, you can see cellulite in various places and then on these athletes. So cardio is just not the answer unless you just want to be a distance runner.

[00:12:00.380] – Dr. Jaquish
And that's the thing. And that's fine. But if you're not going to be that, you got to know what that activity will do to you is not what you want at all, it'll do the opposite. So when it comes to strength training, muscle is an engine that's running all the time and influences your metabolic rate. So, you know, as I have gained muscle, I'm burning more calories all the time. And and so that's big. But also, as I lift I up regulate growth hormone. I up regulate testosterone, so to ensure that I have the building blocks for muscle growth and the growth hormone, is anti catabolic.

[00:12:51.760] – Dr. Jaquish
So even if I go on a caloric deficit, which I frequently do, I'm not losing the muscle at all. And so when you do weight training and like I do push the point, variable resistance is more powerful in the weight room, but weight training in the most efficient way. Let's call it resistance training because it's not really weight training.

[00:13:14.590] – Allan
That's the word I use.

[00:13:16.590] – Dr. Jaquish
Right, right. Like I didn't say, resistance training is a waste of time. But weight training is a waste of time. So so when when you apply the resistance in the most scientifically proven way, you will have all kinds of anabolic effects, build muscle. And if you have your nutrition right, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

[00:13:42.220] – Allan
Yeah, now you were working on a problem. It's kind of what started you down this whole path your mother was dealing with with bone density issues. And so you started saying, what can I do to help her improve her life? And so you started working on a product to basically work on bone density that's been quite successful. And while you were doing that work, you not stumbled upon, but you started noticing the strength curve and you started noticing some things about the strength curve that I think we're missing in the past.

[00:14:16.930] – Allan
So, for example, you know, novelists back in the 70s put these cans on their equipment so that you got a variable style of resistance as you worked. If we work with most of the resistance bands that are out there today or even like a Bowflex in the old days, I assume they're still using some form of band. As the band got longer, the resistance was variable. So I think that the concept of variable training has been out there for quite some time.

[00:14:44.290] – Allan
But you've kind of come across something that says, look, we don't understand. We didn't understand the strength curve well enough to design that equipment well enough. Can you talk about the strength curve and why it's so important for resistance training?

[00:14:59.050] – Dr. Jaquish
So what I what I documented in in some research that I ended up doing in a London hospital and this was for the bone density was going to be able to hear me a little bit better if I do this. But you have when you're back here, you have X amount of weight you can hold. When you're out here, you have seven X. So why would we ever work out with weight that's the same when we have different capacity?

[00:15:31.460] – Dr. Jaquish
So the weights heavy and the weakest range of motion and then it's really not that heavy at all in the other range of motion. So I just. You know, like I said to myself, wow, weightlifting is so inefficient as a muscular stimulus. And then the next question was, well, maybe, maybe I should just train with bands, but then once you look at a band and what a band can do to you, once you get to a band that will deliver load that's relevant to strength.

[00:16:09.200] – Dr. Jaquish
This happens, your wrists get twisted. And when the wrists and ankles, most specifically wrists and ankles get twisted. So now you're just causing a different type of injury than you would normally get from weight training. So the band's by themselves are totally useless. There is a couple of hucksters out there who see the success of my product and then they launched a different one. That's just like a bag of bands and it's like, OK, you can't get a workout from that, but you can certainly charge people money for it, but you're just not going stimulating growth.

[00:16:45.350] – Dr. Jaquish
So what I did was I developed an Olympic bar that can hold as much or more than a regular bar. Solid steel on the inside connected, I'll show you this. So, you know, there's a solid steel core and you can see both hooks rotating. So the risk is always kept neutral, and then the exterior is anodized aluminum mill to the million like an iPhone, because I want people to grab it and realize that this is not just some other fitness product made out of cheap plastic or whatever like this is this is it. This is like the iPhone of fitness equipment.

[00:17:29.450] – Dr. Jaquish
And now I have over 40 professional athletes using X3 as their main main strength development tool and a joint protection tool. Now, of course, professional athletes, they have to do like their drills and stuff like like skill training has become a lot more important with athletes. I was just on a podcast talking about this with a former NFL guy. And so, like they do their skill training but then X3 is their strength.

[00:18:00.380] – Allan
And I think some of the things that you went into are really, really important is, one understanding, yes. I think anyone that's done just something as simple as a push up, they notice that as they go down and get to the bottom position, it's a lot harder than it was when they were up at the top because they can't recruit as much muscle. So they're much weaker there. And that's why a lot of people that that struggle with push ups just do half pushups.

[00:18:24.560] – Allan
You mentioned that in the book, that that's the strength curve. That's our recognition of the strength curve and thinking if we go down any further, we're probably not going to come back up. That's just our mind turning off because it says you can't do this. So, you know, that's the one thing. The other thing I think that's really important is you've taken the time to think about how band work can be improved by making sure that the bar does what Olympic bars do, which is rotate. If you've ever had one of those screw cap kinds and they don't rotate, you feel it when you're trying to move that bar because the weights are static.

[00:18:57.860] – Dr. Jaquish
You can't really lift, you have neural inhibition. It makes the joints very uncomfortable and muscles start to shut off. So your body's protecting yourself. Yeah. So it's you can't you can't exercise in any serious manner.

[00:19:12.590] – Allan
Yeah, and then you have the footplate, which I think is also critical because that's going to keep the ankles from feeling that resistance, whereas a normal band set, you know it just like the handles. Someone's going to stand on the band and use their ankles and try to press overhead. Well, as they start getting stronger with that, that's that's basically going to start turning their ankles. So this gives them the capacity to work as hard as they want to and I think I saw the bands go up to 600 pounds. So there's there's not anyone I can think of that's not going to get a good workout with up to 600 pounds of resistance.

[00:19:48.110] – Dr. Jaquish
Anything you do is high reps. So it's like six hundred pounds with, you know, thirty repetitions. Like, you're not going to bump into anyone, in fact, the NFL guys of the NFL guys, not a single one, uses the heaviest band. And it's not and it's really funny because there are fans of the product who do like you're supposed to do 15 reps minimum, but then they get the heavy band and they'll do maybe like 10 sloppy kind of reps or they're like twisting their body and stuff like that.

[00:20:22.190] – Dr. Jaquish
And then they're like, oh, I'm stronger than guys in the NFL. That's a lot of attitudes online is it's not really about. How you perform, it's about how you look on or how you think you look on the video you post on Facebook.

[00:20:41.200] – Allan
Yeah, and that's just that's just ego. And I'd say if you're over 40 and you're doing strength training, you're doing resistance training, you need to leave the ego at the door. You need to do work that's efficient and effective. You need to make sure that you don't enjoy yourself, because once you enjoy yourself, you're out of the game until you recover. And when you're over the age of 40, that's just much more difficult to do. So this checks off a lot of really good boxes. So I'm pretty excited about this product.

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[00:22:39.850] – Allan
Now, you also got into the topic, which I think is really important, because I think when a lot of people want to build mass, they're thinking, oh, I've got to, you know, I've got to hit the carbs, I've got to hit the protein. And, you know, I go low fat. So, you know, I'm eating chicken and I'm eating rice and I'm just, you know, tuna and pasta and I'm just going after it. But you actually follow a plan of ketosis and intermittent fasting. Would you talk a little bit about your protocols and how you're able to build the mass that you have. Because I'm looking at your massive build, the mass that you have while still practicing ketosis and intermittent fasting.

[00:23:20.380] – Dr. Jaquish
So the conclusion I came to had mostly to do with realizing protein recommendations and understanding protein quality. So like whey protein, it's easy to get your protein if you count whey protein. But the problem is only 18 percent of the whey protein is of the proper amino acid ratios. So, you know. 82% goes through you as waste. So it's really not worth it to just even bother with whey protein.

[00:23:55.000] – Dr. Jaquish
People get so upset, probably because they have six months of whey protein in their in their pantry.

[00:24:04.720] – Allan
Yeah, it's cheap, it's the most, it's the most cost less product you could have relative to actually eating some whole food. It's actually a little cheaper. Like if I look at and say oh I can get 30 grams of protein with this two dollar scoop of protein powder or I can go buy, you know, a steak and pay, you know, maybe four or five, six dollars for that at the store, you know, so, yeah, it's it appears cost effective.

[00:24:34.630] – Dr. Jaquish
Well, whey used to be the byproduct of well, so it is the byproduct of pasteurizing processing milk and then it was thrown away. It was garbage. And so it was Dandi Shane who started buying it. And say, hey, can I have that trash of yours and I get like a buck every chemical drum or whatever, and then that's where that's really where protein whey protein supplements came from. It was garbage.

[00:25:12.170] – Allan
There you go. But but you do follow ketosis, but you're just making sure that the quality of your protein is such that you're able to get the protein you need and that helps you maintain your muscle mass and continue to maintain strength.

[00:25:26.720] – Dr. Jaquish
Right. I don't use the word I mean, I'm in ketosis all the time. But what's interesting is I don't use the word much because there's a lot of confusion around it. Like people think to get in ketosis, you need to eat fat. That is 100 percent not true. To get into ketosis, you need to not eat carbohydrates. Now your body turns to fat for fuel, but it could get that fat through what you're eating. This is true.

[00:26:07.060] – Dr. Jaquish
But it could also get the fat from the Krispy Kreme donut you had when you were eight years old, which is in your gut. So let's get it from there. So that that's that's really where I want people to focus.

[00:26:25.950] – Allan
Well, you definitely do a lot of research, and when you want to solve a problem, by God, you solve it.

[00:26:34.700] – Dr. Jaquish
And then I document it because I tell people, people, and sometimes they get like a DM or something. And it says, what's your opinion on this or what's your opinion? And then I'm like, I don't have any opinions. I'll tell you, there's research on that. And what and how we could view that research and what the weaknesses and strengths of that research are, but there are no opinions. Like I wont volunteer my opinion on really anything from a biological standpoint.

[00:27:06.150] – Dr. Jaquish
Like I can say, there's no research. Hearing things that might be happening. But I won't wait those one way or the other because, you know. So I guess my point is I'm always trying to be is referenced or I'm trying to reference other research as much as possible. So because I'm saying so many controversial things, nobody would believe it if it were just like this is what I think. If I can I can site a bunch of studies and go, well, you know, these researchers that Dr. Jaquish doesn't know. You know, and years before he launched his products came to these conclusions so they can kick and scream about it. Unfortunately, people are dogmatic about it. I actually get trolled for nutrition even more so than my product.

[00:27:58.720] – Allan
I mean, I can understand that because and I was actually thinking about this, I'm working on another book, a little e-book that I'm going to put out. And I was actually thinking about, you know, why why does someone get so mad when you you have a food approach or a way of eating approach that is so different than theirs that, you know, they literally almost like politics, want to come to blows about how wrong you are. And it is just dogma.

[00:28:26.470] – Allan
It's just they're tied married to their idea. You know, sometimes when you're looking at research even, which is cool because, you know, you made the comment that most of the research you're following, these guys just never figured out how to productize what they were finding. You have so, you know, boo-hoo on them if they feel bad about it. But you did. You're taking the time to think about it and come up with solutions, which is huge because that's what we need.

[00:28:54.520] – Allan
We don't you know, science is great, but if it sits in a journal unread for 20 years, it's not really doing us a ton of good.

[00:29:02.570] – Dr. Jaquish
Right.

[00:29:03.340] – Allan
Occasionally something will come up, you know, like like Louis Simms at West Side, you know, put bands and cable and chains over the bars and his athletes got really freaking strong and everybody's like, what's he doing? And a few people went in there and basically spied on what is what he was doing, this conjugating method. And it got out. It's like, yeah, this is what he's doing. This is how his athletes are getting really, really strong. And all you've really done is take some of that same. You figured out exactly what the optimal strength curve is and said, OK, if we have an appliance that allows them to work out with this kind of strength curve, or at least as close to it as we can approximate with what technology we have today.

[00:29:45.210] – Dr. Jaquish
Oh, I'm dead on. I measured.

[00:29:47.920] – Allan
Yeah, I saw the curves online. I was like, yeah, he's right there. You know, it's not there's not much, much, little bit to get in there, but it's there. And so, you know, and you took the time to think about what are the other problems we're going to have with a piece of kit like this if we one, don't think about turning ankles and we don't think about the wrists and we don't think about the bio mechanics of how this is all going to work so that we're, you know, in a way optimizing without the injury. So, again, I'm really I'm really pleased with your product. I think it's I think it's really, really cool.

[00:30:20.980] – Dr. Jaquish
Thank you.

[00:30:22.150] – Allan
Now, if someone I'm sorry I jumped ahead. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:30:33.400] – Dr. Jaquish
Well, so the easiest one is you grow when you sleep. You repair cells when you sleep. So don't compromise your sleep, which really means don't drink alcohol. Thats not the answer a lot of people want to hear or, you know, drink it at the minimum, but it really affects your sleep if you sleep monitor like a motion detector next to you in the bed and like you can use your phone to do this. There's a couple different sleep analysis apps and you'll notice you thrash around all night when you have a lot of alcohol in your system. When you don't, you don't. And you sleep much better and you can have a much better repair of damaged cells.

[00:31:25.290] – Dr. Jaquish
And then, you know, the growth, just the muscle protein synthesis that comes with proper strategic strength training. Yeah, so like, that's the easiest one getting getting better sleep by cutting, cutting down or out alcohol. So the other two really have to do the two pieces of information we have that lead to long life, so the two greatest drivers of long life, despite what you read on, you know, nutritional facts.com, which should really be called nutritional lies.com, the two greatest drivers are high levels of strength and low levels of body fat.

[00:32:15.050] – Dr. Jaquish
So if you want to live a long time, focus on those two things. So that means strength training or cardio. That means focusing on things like ketosis if you want a low body fat. Animal protein, because it's going to make you leaner, like a vegan nutrition plant based nutrition. From a vegan perspective, you know, there's not a lot of data on the pure vegan, but you notice their weak with a lot of body fat, so they have two things going on that are going to cause them to live shorter lives, longer lives.

[00:32:55.130] – Dr. Jaquish
And then and then, you know, when you when you look at the Western diet, like right now, people are practically vegan. 70% of the Western diet is plant based because remember, vegans are not necessarily eating vegetables. Bread is vegan, right? So they're having all kinds of pastries and little nut bars that have nuts from every continent in the world that, by the way, if you want to talk about destroying the environment. There we go, sourcing ingredients from every corner of the world to make some little fake health bar. Like that's a stupid decision, so like some of the vegans I know, they brag about how Oreos are vegan and they eat like sleeves of Oreos for dinner or at dinner time, I'm sure they would call it dinner.

[00:33:56.830] – Dr. Jaquish
But like, you're just getting fatter, like you're just getting fatter. That's all you're doing. And you're worsening your cellular health, your metabolic health, your hemoglobin A1C score all the things that they're saying on the news to do the opposite of. But then, of course, like the American Diabetes Association gives out cookies at their events. Like, that's like going to an AA meeting in pouring free shots. It doesn't make any sense at all.

[00:34:31.790] – Dr. Jaquish
But, you know, like you can tell somebody they smoke too much, you can tell somebody, they drink too much, you tell somebody they eat too much, and it's like you insulted their ancestors. So unfortunately, that's the situation we live in.

[00:34:45.000] – Allan
I've been doing I've been doing this for five years. And I can just tell you, it's like I have a guest on and we don't exactly see eye to eye on the nutrition front. It's never a pleasant conversation for either of us. So, you know, I don't push my own out there. You know, I'm like I'm agnostic generally. I say eat what I'm going to eat because it doesn't matter what I tell you to eat, you're going to still eat what you eat. But I'm just saying, you're right. If we're not paying attention to the quality of our food quality of our protein, we're not paying attention what we're putting in our mouths. It really doesn't matter what else we try to do for our health. It's just not going to happen.

[00:35:20.510] – Allan
Dr. Jaquiss, thank you for being on the show. If someone wants to learn more about you, the X3 and the protein supplements and things that you have (Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time), where would you like for me to send them?

[00:35:31.660] – Dr. Jaquish
Yeah, I made a landing page with all the links to everything, you know, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. So go to doctorj.com.

[00:35:45.780] – Allan
Cool, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/454 and I'll be sure to have a link there. So Dr. Jaquish, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:35:56.120] – Dr. Jaquish
Allan, thanks for having me. This was great.

[00:36:03.340] – Allan
Well, Rachel, that was that was a really interesting talk. It's kind of interesting to see John on video. I took some videos and I'll be posting those promos for this episode. So I encourage you guys to go check those out on our Facebook group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and that'll take you to a Facebook group. I'll have a couple of videos posted there of John and we're having this conversation.

[00:36:27.650] – Allan
Now, the interesting thing is that when you see John, he looks like a bouncer. You quite literally looks like a guy. If you walked up to the club, you got the guy who's got his arms crossed in front of his chest. And you're kind of like, I'm not going to mess with that guy. He also is bald, but he just looks like a bouncer. But he's a really, really smart guy. He's an inventor. He's a scientist. He looks at data and he solves problems. And so his piece of equipment X3, I'm not I'm not joking. You know, right now, I'm not getting any money from John to say this, but I'm going to buy one and I'm going to check it out because I think it is important to optimize what you can get if if you're not lifting weights at all, or you're not doing any resistance training at all. Shame on you.

[00:37:13.510] – Allan
Your bones and your muscles are not happy. I can tell you right now. And you're missing a big pillar of our health and fitness by not doing resistance training. But to start with something, you know, the resistance bands that you can buy on Amazon and I'll have a link in the show notes to some. Those are really great little tool for you to get some exercise at home and they fit in your in your suitcase so you can carry them anywhere you are.

[00:37:40.780] – Allan
You can get your resistance workout done. And resistance bands are just a great adjunct to body weight movement because it just gives you an opportunity to do things you can't do, with just body weight. So but he has a specialized process, specialized tool. And I like gadgets and I like playing with stuff. So I'm going to I'm going to probably buy his equipment. So understanding that we can we can do better with science. I mean, in a lot of times I pooh-pooh supplements.

[00:38:09.640] – Allan
I pooh-pooh. It's Arjuna's ketones last week. Forgive me, Dr. Lori and I pooh-pooh a lot of other stuff, but there's a time and place when those things matter. You know, I talked about the guys that were lifting at West Side and how they were using chains and bands to maximize their effort. They had a specific task to get really freaking strong. And you might not want to get that strong. But if you if you want your deadlift to get heavier or you want your squat, get heavier, training your body the right way will help that happen.

[00:38:45.850] – Allan
And so what's going to happen for someone that does both. You're going to you're going to fatigue your muscles to the full range of motion a lot better than you would if you just did the exercise itself. So I see the tool as a great tool. And again, these were a tool and I like to use the same word twice in a sentence, but it is a tool and it's a tool for allowing you to get stronger. He put a lot of thought into how it's designed and how it's built.

[00:39:13.150] – Allan
So it's it's a pretty cool thing and it's something that weighs like seventeen pounds. So it's something you can actually carry around with you. And like I said, just the same convenience you kind of have with bands, although these are probably and likely much better, is going to give you a gym in your hotel room and give you a gym at your house in a time when people don't necessarily want to get out and about around a lot of people and like in the gym, because our gym still closed here.

[00:39:41.770] – Allan
Yeah, they basically lumped us in with discos and casinos and concerts and movie theaters. So, you know, we're just that important. But no gyms here. So if I want to do something at home, this is a pretty cool piece of kit to have.

[00:39:57.130] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm actually really intrigued by his results with bands. Usually when I think of a big bulky guy, a bouncer type guy, I'm thinking big heavy weights, big Olympic bars, big fat plates. Yeah, serious weight lifting. And I'm pretty intrigued that he can get some really good results with this program or this tool.

[00:40:19.140] – Allan
Yeah. And the interesting thing is he's got he's even got professional athletes working with it. So, you know, it's it's not a toy and it's not the little bands that you're buying on Amazon.

[00:40:28.130] – Rachel
Right.

[00:40:28.300] – Allan
Again, if you're not doing anything there is the start, that's where you go. You get those bands, you do body weight movement. And if you have any questions about it, email me. I'm here. You know, I'm here to help you figure that out. But if you're getting into the training and, you know, scary to get under a lot of weight when you're doing a bench press, it's scary to get under a lot of weight when you're doing squats and there's opportunities for you to injure yourself when you're moving a lot of weight.

[00:40:56.710] – Allan
So here's a band that's going to work within your strength curve so that you're getting stronger through the full range of motion and he's built it to be generally safe. So again, I think it's really cool toy.

[00:41:09.930] – Rachel
That's something I can see having in our gym, too, especially when if I'm working out by myself, I don't want to be crushed by some heavy Olympic bar.

[00:41:19.320] – Rachel
But I'm also interested in the strength curve and the kind of the specificity behind using bands to get kind of a different workout than your basic dumbbell, barbell type move?

[00:41:33.450] – Allan
Well, the the equivalent, because, you know, I'm kind of been in this lifting mode for a long time in my life. But one of the core things that comes out is when you do push ups, you can watch someone doing push ups or watch someone doing pull ups and you'll notice how they don't go all the way down.

[00:41:50.850] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:41:51.330] – Allan
And the reason they don't go all the way down is because it's so hard.

[00:41:54.120] – Rachel
It is.

[00:41:54.870] – Allan
You know, it's like I go to the bottom. I might not make it back up to the top. You know, I'm not going to take a deep squat like I'm supposed to. I'm going to take those little half squats and risk my knees because it's hard to get back up. Whereas with this piece of equipment, you're working that weak part hard enough for that weak part and you're working your strong parts as hard as your strong parts can work. So you can find that equilibrium where you're getting the best work.

[00:42:23.340] – Allan
So, you know, understanding that having that variable resistance is going to help you get a better workout is, like I said, really, really cool. And there are, the way we used to do it as bodybuilders would be this. Is we knew that we could lift a lot more weight within that strong zone. So we would do partial reps there. And we knew we couldn't lift as much in those weak ranges. So when we found our sticking points, we would work lightweights through heavier, heavier but lightweights there.

[00:42:53.060] – Allan
You know, lightweights, but not as heavy as our strong. So you would do these partial reps, you know, and that's cool if you're trying to build muscle. And, you know, look, Buff, you know, once when I was doing it was kind of the goal. But, you know, that's not practical for a lot of people to say, OK, I'm going to do, you know, partial reps in this zone and then I'm going to go change the weights and do more reps in this zone, and then I'm going to do more weight in this zone.

[00:43:22.890] – Allan
That's not a practical workout for most people. And it's not strength training. It's that's bodybuilding. It's very different kind of lifting approach. But what he's allowing to do is within the strength area for you to use that same concept and just work the whole range of motion. And you don't even have to change bars or change weights. Just just do the work. So I think it's a great adjunct to a normal weight lifting program. I'm not going to go as far as as John went as to say lifting weights is a waste of time, cardio too. I'm sorry John.

[00:43:58.930] – Rachel
Bold. It's a bold statement.

[00:44:00.780] – Allan
As I told him. I said, you know, of course I'm getting you on this podcast because I've got something to say to you. But he's a big guy, so I probably wouldn't say it. I would just say good job. But anyway, it's you know, I feel good moving weight, you know, and I don't get the exact same satisfaction moving band. So, you know, there is a motivational factor for me to to get under a bar to to pick up a bar from the ground.

[00:44:31.190] – Allan
I love deadlifts, love, love, love, love, love, love deadlifts. It is my favorite thing. But besides steak and oysters and a couple of other things. But it's it's up there anyway. So yeah. I love I love moving way. I love about the feeling of being able to functionally do something and so bands can be a great adjunct if I, you know, maybe I, I don't want to move that much weight or want to know, maybe I'm sticking in my tall, you know, sticking at the right and, you know, sticking at the bottom and I'm just not getting a good start on my left.

[00:45:04.940] – Allan
I'm like, OK, I know I can get this weight, but I just got to be able to build strength in that zone. Now, there's ways I could do that. You know, I could put it on rack and I could lift partials. I could do boxes and I could elevate my feet and I could do some things to kind of change those angles and change that weight within those angles. But again, not my favorite thing and too much time dedicated to something like that.

[00:45:27.650] – Allan
And it means not adding a tremendous amount of value to my life other than just feeling good about what I'm doing. Bands are going to be a great adjunct to what I'm doing.

[00:45:36.550] – Rachel
Yeah, I think so. I think it'll keep things interesting in the gym and give you something different to do and you won't be stuck in a rut or doing get bored doing the same thing all the time.

[00:45:46.990] – Allan
All right. Well let's go ahead and call it a day and we'll see you next week.

[00:45:53.700] – Rachel
All right. Take care.



Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to use keto for optimal wellness and longevity – Lori Shemek

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In her book The Ketogenic Key: Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease, Lori Shemek shows us how to use the ketogenic diet for optimal wellness. Most of the health issues we deal with today are caused by poor nutrition choices. With all of the health and fitness information available, it can get really confusing. Lori helps us understand how to make keto an everyday lifestyle that gives us better health.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Reel paper sells toilet paper made from 100% bamboo, which grows faster, requires less water, creates more oxygen, a.k.a. less greenhouse gases, and doesn't require replanting after harvesting. Yes, sustainable toilet paper is available for you now, conveniently shipped for free to your home. We must begin treating the earth better and you can do it by going to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and get 25% off with the discount code. 40plus.

[00:02:55.110] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing?

[00:02:57.160] – Rachael
Great, how are you, Allan?

[00:02:58.430] – Allan
I'm doing really good. How's your week been?

[00:03:01.710] – Rachael
Good. Had a good week, got in a couple of good runs. One was in total rain, but it was awesome. Yeah.

[00:03:09.360] – Allan
Good. Good. Yeah. I actually on Monday put in 13 miles walking. So it was a little over three and a half hours of walking.

[00:03:21.470] – Rachael
Wow.

[00:03:21.750] – Allan
I loved it. Almost got hit by a truck. A friend of mine was coming around the corner. You know, I think he was going a little too fast and I was wiping the sweat off my forehead because I was somewhere around mile 11 and I was just a little tired. I wasn't quite paying attention and I had my headphones on and just about, smack. But, you know, other than the initial cortisol hit that I got, that gave me a little bit more energy to finish that about walk. It was a really good walk.

[00:03:49.800] – Rachel
Good, Glad you're OK.

[00:03:51.840] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead introduce today's guest. Our guest today is a doctor in psychology with a certification as a nutritional consultant and a life coach. She's written several books, including the book we're going to talk about today, the Ketogenic Key. And she's been featured on TV, on the Doctors, on various radio shows, speaking and helping clients, companies, and others optimize their health, reversed inflammation, and create weight loss success. With no further ado. Here's Dr. Lori Shemek.

Transcript

[00:04:22.230] – Allan
Dr. Lori, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:25.080] – Dr. Shemek
Hey, Allan, thank you so much for having me. You know, it's an honor.

[00:04:29.160] – Allan
Well, I'm really excited to talk to you because it's actually been a while since we we talked. I was on your podcast, I think it was about three, three years ago. Maybe. I don't know.

[00:04:41.290] – Dr. Shemek
Wow, a lot has changed in three years, hasn't it?

[00:04:43.770] – Allan
It absolutely has. A whole different world.

[00:04:46.830] – Allan
Now, your book is called The Ketogenic Key, Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease.

[00:04:56.730] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:04:57.420] – Allan
That's a pretty big key.

[00:04:59.380] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it is. And, you know, it's it's actually ketosis, which promotes all of those wonderful benefits. And so, like you and I were discussing earlier, I should have named the book The Ketosis Key, because it is the driving factor in all of these wonderful things like weight loss, you know, slower aging, longevity, inflammation, reduction, et cetera, et cetera. So, yeah, it's it's definitely the key ketosis. So it's not just the ketogenic diet either. It's the ketogenic diet. It's intermittent fasting, it's exogenous ketones or supplementation and exercise. And the great thing is you can do them separately or together. And if you do even two of them together, it's very powerful.

[00:05:48.420] – Allan
Yeah, I guess I'd sit there and say I do what I call seasonal ketosis. And so I'll spend a year in ketosis, which I am right now, and then I'll spend a good part of the year out of ketosis because I like tailgating and drinking beer and eating crap food and just watch a football game and then, you know, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas come around and my birthday's in February and so that's my feasting season.

[00:06:16.650] – Dr. Shemek
Clean up month.

[00:06:17.200] – Allan
Just let it go.

[00:06:18.020] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:06:18.250] – Allan
Just let it go. And then after after my birthday in February, then I'll say, OK, now I'm going to hit by my fasting season. So my famine season like ancestors would have had when it was colder weather and there wasn't access to any vegetation to eat. And so now they're having to eat more fatty foods to get the sustenance and they're going into ketosis. In many cases they're fasting because you can't keep meat without a refrigerator and other means so they had to eat what they kill pretty quickly.

[00:06:54.440] – Allan
But they'd wake up in the morning some mornings and there would not be any food there. So they'd get up and they go, you know, do their hunts and they find their food and then they have maybe a pretty nice lunch, then a really good dinner. And so they're in a natural, you know, intermittent fasting mode. And I found every time I get into ketosis, I just naturally fall into intermittent fasting it's just a natural thing.

[00:07:19.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. And that's what's so beneficial about all of these is that, you know, you do enter a state of ketosis and it's even more powerful if you do intermittent fasting, in fact. So if you can tag on intermittent fasting to any of the other options that we list in the book, then you're even, it's even more powerful. So it's all out there, all powerful in and of themselves, which is a really wonderful way to look at your health.

[00:07:50.460] – Dr. Shemek
But when you combine, like I was saying earlier, just even two of them, you're doing incredible, power stuff.

[00:07:59.850] – Allan
I'm doing three of your four right now, ‘m eating really low carb. And so that's putting me into nutritional ketosis. And I measured it the other day. I'm also doing exercise. So I do these long haul walks almost every morning that I can. I'll walk for two, three hours and then, you know, that puts me a little deeper into ketosis and I'll do that fasted. So, you know, waking up in the morning.

[00:08:24.760] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, perfect.

[00:08:25.430] – Allan
My last dinner was at seven o'clock, six thirty seven o'clock. We tend to eat a little early and then, you know, so it's then I got at least two, two and a half hours before I go to bed. So I go to bed then.

[00:08:37.320] – Dr. Shemek
Thats even better.

[00:08:38.370] – Allan
I wake up in the morning. I wait until, you know, about eight o'clock and that's when it's a little warmer than I think most people want to walk, but I don't care. I'll Honey badger that and do a good long walk. And so by the time I get…

[00:08:52.740] – Dr. Shemek
Well that's a good…The heat is a good hormetic stressor as well. So another powerful factor.

[00:09:01.900] – Allan
Well, there was definitely some heat today, but so so, you know, here I am. I guess I'm sitting here at 12:30 as we're recording this. And I haven't eaten a thing today. I had some I had some coffee in the morning, but nothing in it. Just black coffee and did my long walk. And I'm going to do this and do a couple other things. And I'll probably be about two o'clock and I'll go ahead and have my first meal of the day.

[00:09:25.540] – Allan
So I'm putting all three of them together, which really works well for me. I had a kind of a setback and I'm going to I talked about this in an episode a couple of weeks ago about, you know, I think everybody talks about the covid 15. And I was a victim of it, too, you know, just being locked in our house because it was we were not allowed to go out at all. And so being locked in the house, I just really tapped my motivation and I was down. So I wasn't moving. I wasn't eating well. And, you know, I was taking in a little bit more alcohol than I should have and so I put on…

[00:10:01.510] – Dr. Shemek
You're not alone.

[00:10:02.530] – Allan
Yeah, I know.

[00:10:03.490] – Dr. Shemek
It's rampant right now. Yeah. And it's better in the States. It's better. You know, I think the world at large is getting a little bit better with covid, but yeah, it's, it's, it's rougher in some areas. But nonetheless many people have paid the price in one way or another with this horrible virus. So. Yeah, and it's and that's the, well the irony of the thing is that in order to get through it in a healthful way, we want to be you know, we want our immune to be stronger.

[00:10:39.070] – Dr. Shemek
And we do have that innate immunity. But with the, I guess, emotional eating and the lack of exercise, it puts us down a notch in terms of our immune strength. So, yeah, it's it's a tough road.

[00:10:53.320] – Allan
Yeah. So enter into the picture nutritional ketosis. And I'm happy to say that I started so really eating low carb in May, May 1st and since May 1st, I have lost all of that and more. So now I'm into my…

[00:11:09.940] – Dr. Shemek
Wow!

[00:11:10.600] – Allan
Because I kind of pushed off. I didn't do my famine season when I had planned to because of everything that was going on with, you know, issues and, you know, all that and then getting locked in. I was like, so that just didn't happen the way it would have normally happened for me when I got around to February. So I stepped up and said, OK, here I am in May, I need to start now. And I started and I've been generally in and out of ketosis for the last couple of months. And then this this last Monday or so I said, OK, that's it, I'm going deep. And that's when I started, you know, putting together those three.

[00:11:45.940] – Allan
But one of the things I wanted to get into, because I know the benefit of nutritional ketosis, because I can I can drop twenty pounds in three months really easy when I'm in ketosis. So the weight loss is that's a no brainer. That's going to happen for all of us. If we if we have the fat to lose, we will lose it. But I tried exogenous ketones when they first started coming out. They were nasty.

[00:12:15.360] – Dr. Shemek
Yes, I know. Right. Oh, I've heard some names you don't want to hear.

[00:12:20.930] – Allan
Oh yeah, I was like…

[00:12:20.960] – Dr. Shemek
It's like, oh thank God I've never had to try it and the delicious ones. Right.

[00:12:27.940] – Allan
OK, yeah well so I tried one, I tried them when I first, started coming out and I was like, oh my God. And I said, well I need to do this. I want to try. It's an experiment. You know, I'm on the podcast and I want to be able to talk about them. And, you know, I was thinking, OK, that really, the concern I had was if you go into if you start doing a ketogenic diet and your body's not used to using ketones, then you're peeing them out. And that's why we're able to measure them with the urine stick.

[00:12:57.500] – Allan
So my concern was if I just throw exogenous ketones on my body as a sugar burner, aren't I going to do the same thing? So I was really concerned about whether I was, I had spent,because they were expensive also.

[00:13:10.620] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:13:11.610] – Allan
So I spent a lot of money on something that was really nasty. And I didn't, you know, other than saying maybe it would help me transition to keto or if I were doing a long distance endurance sport, then exogenous ketones would seem to make sense. But in the book, you put forward a case that it's even better than that, that there's a lot of use cases for them. Can you can you talk about that?

[00:13:35.860] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah. You know, and that's the thing when you use supplemental ketones, it really does put you into a state of ketosis within 30 minutes. That's the advantage. The problem is, is it doesn't stick around as long as if you were to be, say, on a ketogenic diet. Right. And so this is really one of the wonderful things about ketones in terms of a beta-hydroxybutyrate BHB, as it's referred to often. This ketone is powerful and that it can really mitigate all sorts of inflammatory conditions and other areas in terms of optimizing your health.

[00:14:14.230] – Dr. Shemek
So what we want to do is we want to up level our, you know, our physical fitness, our ability to to utilize these ketones. And when you become metabolically flexible and even if you're not, you're still utilizing them. Right. Your body really loves ketones. And it's just that it's just not equipped at that moment to say when you're, you first embark on a ketogenic diet to use them. And so, you know, the reason that people are feeling so good and wonderful and athletes do so well on it is because you're up leveling, you're boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:14:59.680] – Dr. Shemek
There's more ATP going on. There's less glucose machinations, if you will, within the cell, which produces a whole lot of oxidation ROS. And that means it's similar to like a a car, an electric car which burns clean versus gasoline powered car, which burns dirty exhaust. Right. That's what happens when you burn glucose. But when you burn ketones for fuel, you have a better form of energy, a more therapeutic, if you will, form of energy that really optimizes every part of your health, including brain health.

[00:15:39.770] – Allan
So, yeah, so I guess as I look at exogenous ketones, I still go back to I think, you know, they're good, if you're when you're first trying to get in to ketosis, they're probably a pretty good thing to help you through the keto flu a little bit.

[00:15:53.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it will.

[00:15:54.470] – Allan
Making sure you're getting your electrolytes and plenty of water.

[00:15:58.790] – Dr. Shemek
Your potassium, right. Magnesium.

[00:16:01.310] – Allan
So I have the I have the the supplements and all that to try to make sure that particular as I go into this, losing my water, I'm going to be cool. I also, like I said, if you're an endurance athlete, there's some I think there's a lot of benefit to having them because at some level.

[00:16:17.010] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, yeah Allan.

[00:16:17.610] – Allan
And as a long distance thing.

[00:16:19.730] – Dr. Shemek
But you have to be careful because you know and now if it's if it's a for example, it's a high energy sport, one that, you know, say high intensity interval training or something. You have to be careful in terms of, you know, hitting that wall, if you will. But if it's an endurance sport, you're really good to go. Part of the reason is the steady state of energy that we have when we're using the supplemental ketones.

[00:16:47.690] – Dr. Shemek
We don't have that spike in blood sugar. So it keeps our glucose stable. And I'm not sure if you're aware that the Tour de France, the team there was one team that used exogenous ketones and they did, it was an incredible win using these ketones. And so that was in 2018. And then in 2019, a large number of these teams were using them. So there's still the competitive factor. But nonetheless, that first 28 go round, that team won simply with the exogenous ketones.

[00:17:26.510] – Allan
And that's what I'm saying, you know, when I when I was when I was training heavy, I was trying to get ready for a Spartan. I had hired a coach. And, you know, I go in there and the cool thing was, you know, of course he's a fitness geek and I'm a fitness geek and I'm going to be working out and he's training me and is like, you don't really need, he says you don't really need a trainer, and I'm I like absolutely need a trainer.

[00:17:46.040] – Allan
And he says, well, you know you know more about this stuff than I do. And I said, well, so. Give me a program. Let's talk about the programming. Let's talk about what's going on. And so, you know, he's trying to…

[00:17:55.690] – Dr. Shemek
Let me tweak it for you.

[00:17:57.320] – Allan
Well, I did very little tweaking. I actually did his program. It was built it was built a little bit more towards the being a 20 year old than I would normally have done. But it was still cool. And but we were talking about me being in ketosis and he was like, well, why are you doing that? You need the carbs to be able to get through the workout. I'm like, I can get through the workout just fine. I said, you know, I'm going to probably, and I did, when I, if I do a heavy deadlift session because I'm not relying on APT for energy, I huff and puff, I get exhausted because it's, you know, that exertion that I go through and a good set of ten on the deadlift is going to take me past thirty seconds.

[00:18:36.590] – Allan
And so that is a struggle. Even exogenous ketones would not push me past that struggle.

[00:18:42.710] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:18:43.060] – Allan
With the weight lifting, the way I was doing it, very heavy and I because it was very heavy, very slow. So you know, I understood that being in ketosis kind of put me at a disadvantage for that. But I could still push through every set. And I got really, really strong anyway because I also didn't have to deal with inflammation or any other things that were going on.

[00:19:02.870] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, and that's exactly true. You know, it's it really is. The bottom line is that Ketones really offer the average athlete, right, a lot of benefit. And like, you know, you just mentioned the inflammation, which we can get into in a little while if you want. It just but it gives you these these exogenous ketones, give you more energy, it mental clarity, focus, and we make our own. If you're on the ketogenic diet, we have endogenous ketones, meaning they come from within. Right. And so when you combine the two, it's really amazing what the amount of energy you have.

[00:19:42.630] – Dr. Shemek
But I would venture to say that even though even if you were taking ketones with your power lifting, it helps you in some way because they really do help create more ATP within the mitochondria.

[00:19:55.010] – Allan
Yeah, you know, and I would say if it was helping me with anything, it was the fact that my my total workout time was an hour and while it might had been in sprints. You know, dead lift and go, dead lift and go, you know, and then I'm breathing heavy. When I got into the lighter lifts later, I still had the energy and those were less like that. And so, yeah, I absolutely agree that it helped.

[00:20:17.780] – Allan
But I actually think probably the best benefit and we'll get like I said, I do want to get into it is inflammation. Because every time we talk about a chronic disease, heart disease, cancer, you know, diabetes, you just, you know, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, you just keep going on and on and. They take you back to the beginning, in the beginning is chronic inflammation, and you called it silent inflammation and I actually like that because it's scarier.

[00:20:52.880] – Dr. Shemek
It is, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:20:54.620] – Allan
What what causes silent inflammation and how does the ketogenic diet help us address it?

[00:21:01.160] – Dr. Shemek
So we have, I'll just start off by talking about the two different types of inflammation. And the first type is called acute inflammation. And it's not so cute because it hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's that sprang, black and blue swollen ankle. It's that cut on the finger. It's that terrible sunburn or awful head cold. Right? So that is acute inflammation. We need it in order to heal. Without it, we're sitting ducks. Really. So let's take that cut on the finger.

[00:21:31.910] – Dr. Shemek
When you cut your finger, an enormous amount of inflammatory molecules are released. And soldiers, if you will, rush to the site to repair the wound. They repair the wound, the wound heals, the soldiers go away, the inflammation goes away and all is well. So that's acute inflammation. And, yes, we need it, even though it seems unreasonable because it doesn't feel good. But but we need it.

[00:21:56.970] – Dr. Shemek
So then the next type of inflammation is silent or chronic inflammation. And the name silent really suggests danger, doesn't it, because we don't know it's there until the symptoms start to occur. And so 75 percent of all Americans are walking around with silent inflammation and don't even know it. It is really such a sad situation, really, but it is the core underlying cause of most illness, disease, faster aging and weight gain. And you can look at silent inflammation is like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals unless you intervene.

[00:22:38.540] – Dr. Shemek
And unlike acute inflammation, which emits just a trickle of inflammatory molecules, silent inflammation emits just acute inflammation emits an enormous amount. Silent inflammation emits just a trickle. Okay. And so you would think, well, this is better, right? And it isn't because it goes on 24/7 every single day, unbeknownst to you, where acute inflammation goes away. Once you're healed, it's gone. But sometimes the immune system goes, it becomes haywire. And this is what causes this over abundance, this overstimulation of the inflammatory pathways. And why it's called chronic inflammation is because it never goes away.

[00:23:31.830] – Allan
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[00:24:06.750] – Allan
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[00:24:33.330] – Allan
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[00:24:56.390] – Allan
Now, whenever you bring up the ketogenic diet around someone that really hasn't heard about it or they've heard about it, but they've heard it's deadly, it's going to kill you, you shouldn't be doing that because that's the worst way to eat, because it doesn't buy into the fat is bad mantra. But the reality of it is that when we eat a ketogenic diet, it actually can help improve the ratios and the things that we should be most concerned about when we're talking about fat and cholesterol. Can you get into that?

[00:25:31.250] – Dr. Shemek
Yes. And I'd also like to address the inflammation factor that at the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation in the body. It actually reverses inflammation. And that's because we are we are signaling NFR2, that is the master regulator of antioxidants signalling within the body. Right? And the ketogenic diet prevents the NLRP3 inflammasome from doing its dirty work within the cell. So it's just a very, very important way to eat. And a lot of people have misunderstood its benefits.

[00:26:16.250] – Dr. Shemek
They hear the word ketosis and they think it's keto-acidosis, which is a very harmful effect that happens to people who have diabetes and go into a state of ketoacidosis. So it's much different. But yes. So the the fat and the cholesterol, all of that has really been misunderstood. In fact, the ketogenic diet improves HDL and triglycerides. And this, you know, this is due, the improved HDL is due to a reduction in triglycerides that are created within the liver, which is a really good thing.

[00:26:59.930] – Dr. Shemek
You want a low triglyceride level for heart health. Right? Triglycerides really, really alert you to inflammation in your body. And if it's high, then you know that you need to do something different. And so they're an indication of your heart health as well. And there's the HDL triglyceride ratio that you can do to if it's one or under, you're good to go. If it's higher than than one, you need to do some work.

[00:27:34.850] – Dr. Shemek
But there's also an increase in LDL, which happens to some people on the ketogenic diet. And it's but generally it's not the LPa form which is or can be the most harmful. So it's the big fluffy cholesterol that's roaming around versus the little ones, the little dense lipoproteins. So that that is part of the the reason that the ketogenic diet is so great for your heart health. And, you know, there's also the misunderstanding about people think the ketogenic diet is a high protein diet when in fact it's a moderate protein diet. And, you know, they're afraid of of eating eggs. They're afraid of saturated fat. And it's really sad because we've, you know, really, you found out that there was a researcher's, his name was Ancel Keys, and he did a seven country study and cherry picked the data.

[00:28:36.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. So blamed everything on saturated fat versus what really is causing the heart conditions. Heart disease with people we now know is the overconsumption of carbohydrates, especially refined sugar. And you know me, Allan, I really recommend people stop eating sugar. Eliminate it from your diet. And so it's the sugar, the process, simple carbohydrates, but it is not the saturated fat. In fact, there was a study I don't know if you recall, it was called a pure study.

[00:29:12.770] – Dr. Shemek
It was published in The Lancet in 2017 and it studied over 135,000 people across 18 different countries. And it turned out that those who ate the least saturated fat had the highest amount of heart disease and mortality. And those who ate the most saturated fat, of course, then had the lowest rates of stroke and heart disease.

[00:29:37.370] – Dr. Shemek
So right there, you know, you see it's a large study and you see the the correlation or the the amount of health with saturated fat. And so eggs were demonized and still are demonized, saturated fat is still demonized, but I think they're starting to come into their own. People are starting to understand and even reputable high ranking health experts in cardiology are saying, yep, you know, saturated fat is necessary for heart health, in fact. And and we do know that every time you take a bite of an inflammatory food, sugar, refined flours, etc, processed junk foods, crackers, cakes, cookies that you are eating, creating inflammation.

[00:30:30.720] – Dr. Shemek
And that's unfortunately sad because what's happening is up from a cellular level, you are harming the mitochondria within the cell. The more mitochondria you have, the healthier they are, the healthier you are in every way. And so you see people who are older and frail. They have very little mitochondria going on, OK, they're not really healthy mitochondria. And so if you're tired all the time, that's a sign that maybe you need to start boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:31:08.130] – Allan
Yeah, unfortunately, the signal of fatigue is go eat some more sugar.

[00:31:14.950] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, exactly.

[00:31:15.160] – Allan
So they actually get the opposite message out of that. Oh, if I, if I have some sugar I'll feel better, you know, and they yeah. They get the dopamine and they feel good but it's not really helping. And you know, I'm, I'm a perfect example of you know, when I check my cholesterol and triglycerides is when I'm in ketosis my HDL triglyceride ratio is off the charts. Good, even though my total cholesterol is high. So I'm one of those responders that, yes, my LDL goes up, but it only goes up about 30 points.

[00:31:50.950]
But my triglycerides can can I can get them down to 50. But if I'm you know, when I'm in my low feasting mode and I'm drinking beer and eating what I want to eat, they'll usually pop up to 150, maybe even 200 if I'm not careful. And I can actually get my HDL higher than my triglycerides when I'm eating a strict ketogenic diet. So it really can help you improve your lipid profile if you're if your doctor doesn't lose their mind about what the total number and the the LDL number is, because that that seems to be their focus more so than than triglycerides and the HDL.

[00:32:33.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it's true and you know, and a lot of people panic when, you know, I have family members calling me up and saying, Lori, my LDL is really high, it's 250 and they want to put me on statins. And, you know, it's that's it's really important for the patient to look at the numbers, the breakdown of the type of cholesterol. And that has been a big myth as well. So we're learning so much about heart health and what what produces a healthy heart. And so if you take anything away from this show, it should be that, you know that saturated fat is not going to hurt you. Now, if you are in, if you're 10% of the population who has a genetic condition that doesn't clear cholesterol from the body and cannot, then that's another issue.

[00:33:29.590] – Dr. Shemek
But that's 10 percent. So it's really important to make sure you're not you will you will know when you get your blood test if you are or not, it will be sky high. I mean, it won't be your typical high number. But again, if you take anything away from this show, make sure that you stop eating sugar, eliminate added sugars from your diet and refined junk foods that we spoke about earlier, because that is the key to optimal health in many cases.

[00:34:00.860] – Allan
One of the areas that, and I'm going to admit I'm confused when it comes to ketosis, because there's two there's two concepts, OK, so on one hand, a lot of people are looking at ketosis as a potential protocol to help with cancer treatment. They're not saying it can cure cancer or perhaps even prevent cancer, but particularly the cancers that rely on glucose. If you're keeping your overall blood sugar, you know, in control and you're doing ketosis, that will slow the growth of the cancer.

[00:34:37.130] – Allan
And then I go on the other side of the conversation and I say, OK, an individual that's trying to perform long distance athletic performance. Is this still going to be burning glucose and glycogen, so like where I went on a trip, you know, went on a run or a walk and I'm you know, I'm a 1000 calories in now, the human body can carry about 2000 calories.

[00:35:02.360] – Allan
But for my body to keep going, maybe even further, which people do you know they go hundreds of miles, it's crazy, but they do. And that but their body and they do it while they're in ketosis. So there's something happening there where our body is taking what it gets out of fat and it's turning it into blood sugar. And ketones, because we still kind of need both, your blood sugar is not going to zero is staying fairly stable, so we are producing some glycogen from somewhere, some glucose from somewhere, because at some point it burns out, it would burn out the muscles.

[00:35:40.230] – Allan
And so Ketones are producing the APT, but I guess I'm losing it as is if our if our body can produce with, say, zero carb, our body could still produce and keep our blood sugar stable. So when we're breaking down fat, we create the glysol, I guess its a black hole and we produce the ketone. So I guess I'm trying I'm having a hard time balancing those two things out to say that, yes, you're going to have enough sugar in your blood and in your muscles and in your liver for the athletic performance. But then it's also going to slow the growth of cancer because you're going to have less sugar. You understand what I'm saying?

[00:36:22.680] – Dr. Shemek
I do. I understand exactly what you're saying. And so what happens a lot of times is that the body is able we always have some glucose in storage in the liver. We always have it, you know, for those emergency situations and also to, the body can break down muscle for glucose as needed if it wants it. Right? So that's that. And then in terms of the the you know, the cancer and the sugar, you know, one theory is that cancer feeds on the sugar that you eat and a high fat diet, like the ketogenic diet starves as tumors.

[00:37:01.720] – Dr. Shemek
OK, and but one thing is for sure that you are with ketones in the mix, you are definitely balancing you're creating cellular homeostasis. Right? You're balancing your blood sugar. The insulin is low. And but yet you still have the the ability to make glucose within the body and it stores, glycogen within the liver and can be can be used for any type of situation necessary. Does that help?

[00:37:34.380] – Allan
Yeah, it does. I guess the question is it sounds bad whenever you say burn muscle for energy. I always thought that the ketogenic diet was muscle sparing. Well, so this, it has the ability to do it, whether no matter, you know, whether you're on a ketogenic diet or not, so it's called Gluconeogenesis and the body is able to utilize glucose by breaking down muscle, if that makes sense.

[00:38:04.600] – Allan
Yeah. OK.

[00:38:05.380] – Dr. Shemek
So, yeah no matter what.

[00:38:06.850] – Allan
If I chose to do these long distance things, I'm going to probably sacrifice some muscle along the way.

[00:38:16.180] – Dr. Shemek
Gluconeogenesis occurs.

[00:38:17.260] – Allan
And when I get past that point where, you know, I've used up my liver and muscle glycogen and my brain's going to still want a steady supply of blood sugar, at some level, it's not going to let you.

[00:38:31.390] – Dr. Shemek
And if you're fat adapted your metabolic metabolically flexible, then you can do either, OK. You can use your body can utilize glycogen, it can utilize fat for fuel, your own fat stores for fuel, dietary fat. So that's what, you know, we didn't mention. But that's what ketosis is, is your body takes dietary fat and your own fat stores breaks them down in the liver and it produces ketones. And one main ketone that I mentioned early on is called beta hydroxybutyrate BHB that produces all the magic, if you will, of the ketogenic diet. So, yeah.

[00:39:17.050] – Allan
Those are those are the ketones you're going to measure in your blood. So they're the ones that we used.

[00:39:22.330] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:39:22.390] – Allan
We're breathing out, you know, in our breath, you can you can measure those out of the breath and then of course. And I forget the other one, but there's urine strips that pick up that that third one, I'm forgetting, I'm drawing a blank on the name of the third. But, you know, so that's how we're measuring those. And yeah, the one what's in the blood is what gets you. So.

[00:39:42.030] – Dr. Shemek
That's right. The BHB is the most important one. Yeah.

[00:39:47.560] – Dr. Shemek
Now, you talked about intermittent fasting, and as I said earlier, I, you know, just I just fall into these things. I did paleo and because I was eating relatively low carb, I didn't realize that I fell into ketosis the first time and realized what was happening. It was wonderful because in Paleo I lost 25 pounds and then in keto, I lost another 35.

[00:40:09.290] – Dr. Shemek
Wow.

[00:40:10.020] – Allan
So it was, you know, so boom. Yeah, it's just awesome. Over 11 months, you know, I knew something was going on. My breath was stinking and I was losing a lot of weight. And I was like, this is interesting. So I found out what ketosis was. That's how I actually discovered ketosis. And then, you know, I just naturally started getting into intermittent fasting because I wake up in the morning and I forget to eat because my body was using my body fat to keep me going.

[00:40:37.450] – Dr. Shemek
And you were satiated.

[00:40:39.310] – Allan
Oh, completely. Completely. And I tell the story, I, I got up one morning and I went out to my property to do some work. I had this, had some acreage in Florida and I had some ponds on it. So I went out there to clear and do some work and I worked out there pretty, pretty hard clearing the land work with, you know, what a sling blade is to cut down weeds and grass and such. I was using the sling blade and going for a few hours.

[00:41:02.250] – Dr. Shemek
Wow.

[00:41:02.680] – Allan
I said, OK, I'm going to go ahead. I did have a tractor out there to mow it down after I beat it down. And so then I get on the tractor and I cut a few things down. Then I take the tractor back up on my trailer and I still came to haul this thing home to my actual house. And I say I'm going to haul this out of here and my truck got stuck in my front yard of my property.

[00:41:23.000] – Allan
And I was like, this is ridiculous. I can't get out. So I had to call AAA. Well, AAA shows up and they the truck breaks while they're trying to pull me out. And so it was four hours later when they got the part, got everything fixed and got me out of the mud. So there's like I'm rolling on about six o'clock and I'm realizing I haven't eaten in 24 hours.

[00:41:44.680] – Dr. Shemek
Oh my goodness.

[00:41:45.760] – Allan
I didn't even think about it. You know, while he was out at his truck, I went fishing and I just sat there.

[00:41:51.070] – Dr. Shemek
Isn't that amazing? That's a really great example.

[00:41:52.790] – Allan
Yeah, I didn't catch anything but.

[00:41:53.530] – Dr. Shemek
A lot of people mean a lot of people are afraid not to eat. And that's that's it's really a it's a headset, it's a mindset, if you will. Because, you know, we've all not eaten. Intermittent fasting is simply not eating for a period of time. However long you want that time to be is is just fine. But the problem is most Americans are eating 24/7. We eat breakfast. We have snacks sometimes all the time.

[00:42:24.190] – Dr. Shemek
We have lunch, snacks, dinner, snacks, dessert until we go to bed. Right. That's not the way the human body was designed to evolve. The human body was designed on intermittent fasting, actually. So during those periods of time when you're not eating is when all the magic happens because this gives the body time to do the things, the cellular clean up, if you will, that it normally can't do while it's processing your food. It's the digestive process takes up a lot of energy, most of the energy outside of brain function in the body.

[00:43:01.480] – Dr. Shemek
And so when we don't eat this, this allows ourselves to go into cleanup mode. And it's called autophagy, and that's cellular housekeeping, essentially. It breaks down things, it's autophagy really mean self-heating, meaning that it can, you know, get rid of dying cells, it can remodel cellular parts. It can just really improve mitochondrial health, which we talked about before. And for those of you that don't know what mitochondria are or don't remember, they're little tiny organelles in the cells of our body that are crucial and vital not only to keep us alive, but to keep us healthy as well.

[00:43:45.670] – Dr. Shemek
So as we age these little organelles, these mitochondria, they begin to falter. They begin to lose their robustness, their health, and we lose a number of them. This just happens naturally as we age, right? Unless we intervene and do something about it. Well, intermittent fasting does this. The healthier you are, the better mitochondrial health you have. An intermittent fasting does is the ketogenic diet does this. Exogenous ketones, supplemental ketones do this. And exercise does this very effectively as well.

[00:44:21.900] – Dr. Shemek
So those are the four options you have and that I talk about in my book, the Ketogenic Key to get into ketosis, and that's what you want. So intermittent fasting is an easy way because if you don't like the ketogenic diet and you don't like to go very low carb, which, by the way, is 50 grams or less, 25 grams or less for even deeper ketosis, you don't have to. You can do intermittent fasting and then eat your your carbs later. OK, so that's what is so wonderful about intermittent fasting. Why I'm such a big fan of it.

[00:44:57.160] – Allan
Yeah. Now one of the things I did have a question about is because I was interviewing someone else and he mentioned fasting and autophagy and we got into it and his his opinion, I guess I haven't really seen any science on it is that intermittent fasting wasn't long enough to actually create autophagy that you had to really kind of be fasting two or more days before you'd really start to see those benefits. But so does intermittent fasting really get us that far?

[00:45:30.910] – Dr. Shemek
Intermittent fasting does. And so you're you are, you go into some autophagy while you sleep for eight hours. There's some. You do if you if you desire to fast for you know, you extend your breakfast, say by two hours, you're still you're going to incorporate more of it. But the sweet spot is really about 16 to 18 hours is when autophagy kicks in. But he's talking about deep autophagy. When you get into deep autophagy, this literally resets your metabolism.

[00:46:04.990] – Dr. Shemek
It resets your cellular health. So if you fast for 24 hours or longer, then you're really doing a great benefit for your body. But I don't recommend doing it more, you know, 48 hours or more, very often, once a month, maybe at the most, because you don't want to stress your body too much. It is a hormedic stressor, as it's referred to. And so you, you know, having a daily 12 hour, 16 hour fast is just fine. And then once in a while, doing the longer fasting.

[00:46:42.970] – Allan
Yeah. You know, I'm a big fan of intermittent fasting, but I always, always tell people if you're wanting to do something more extended, you need to you need to be talking to a doctor, particularly if you're on meds.

[00:46:53.680] – Dr. Shemek
Agree completely!

[00:46:53.720] – Allan
And if you're going to try the ketogenic diet and you're on metformin to control your blood sugar. You're on insulin. You know, this is going to help with your metabolic syndrome and your insulin resistance. But at the same time, you have to let your doctor know this is going on because this is going to change your blood sugar.

[00:47:13.950] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:47:14.860] – Allan
Your medications are going to they're going to have to change and you have to be able to adjust to that. So when you're going to do something like this, the health benefits are huge. And when you're cutting inflammation down, when you're getting your blood sugar under control, you know, a lot of my clients, I'll get them down to start to start lowering their sugars. Let's just cut the sugar down. Nothing crazy. Just a little bit here, a little bit there.

[00:47:38.160] – Allan
And they're you know, they're watching their their overall blood sugar go down. They're like, oh, I need to call my doctor and get my metformin dose changed. And then, sure enough, they get on the doctor's like, what are you doing? I just changing what I'm eating, keep doing it, you know, because it's working.

[00:47:53.740] – Dr. Shemek
And that's part of intermittent fasting as you are, you're creating ketones. And it really is a superior fuel compared to glucose. And once you start using this fuel and your body becomes used to eating and using glucose and using your own fat or creating ketones, you will markedly you will feel the difference big time. So many people were relying on the toxic Western diet, which again is is highly processed with refined food, which is really an inflammatory diet. The keto diet focuses on eating very few grams of carbohydrates and eating more healthy fat. Right? And some protein.

[00:48:40.470] – Dr. Shemek
And intermittent fasting, which keeps, by the way, keeps insulin low and glucose low. But intermittent fasting flattens insulin and flattens glucose. And again, when there are no digestive processes essentially going on that the cells have to worry about, then the cellular inflammation begins to heal. It begins, the tissues begin to heal. You, you know, you have there's something called cell danger response that happens to people. If this inflammation becomes overwhelming to the body and the brain senses it. The mitochondria senses it, the cells around the in the body sense it.

[00:49:25.950] – Dr. Shemek
So when the brain gets the message that you've turned off this type of inflammation, the cell danger response or CDR, then things heal within the body. So it's really a wonderful tool to actually heal yourself.

[00:49:44.340] – Allan
Dr. Lori, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:49:54.150] – Dr. Shemek
Just three. OK.

[00:49:58.550] – Allan
Just give them something until they get the book, OK?

[00:50:00.860] – Dr. Shemek
OK. So I think it's crucial to keep inflammation low, as we've been talking about throughout. And we do this by being very proactive and mindful of every single choice we have the opportunity to make. Right. And I underscore the word opportunity. So I would say living in antiinflammatory lifestyle, whether it's with the ketogenic diet or a Mediterranean type diet, will boost your health span and your life span, which in and of itself generates a really a better quality of life for you.

[00:50:36.680] – Dr. Shemek
And so I think that is, you know, when you are living without excess inflammation, we want a little bit because we want to be protected. Right. We want ourselves to be on guard. But we we don't want it to be an excess, which, as I mentioned earlier, 75 percent of our population is walking around with. And so it affects your mindset, your mental well-being, your fitness, your ability to move and and function freely and easily, and your health span, your immune system is all up regulated.

[00:51:10.010] – Dr. Shemek
So it's a really I think it's really important. So you want to remove excess carb intake, you want to use nutrients as well for to target specific situations, such as increasing mitochondrial density, like the supplement P2Q with your doctor's approval and you want to keep inflammation low. So exercise is another is another option, which is one of the most underutilized ways to increase mitochondrial health and uses as an antidepressant even. My two cents.

[00:51:49.410] – Allan
Thank you, Dr. Lori.

[00:51:50.730] – Dr. Shemek
You're very welcome.

[00:51:50.820] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, the Ketogenic Key, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:51:58.830] – Dr. Shemek
I would love for your listeners to go to Amazon. On Amazon, you'll find all my books there, including this last one called the Ketogenic Key, and I think you'll find it a wonderful tool to help optimize your health and life as well.

[00:52:15.890] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/453, and I'll be sure to have the links to the books there. Dr. Lori, thank you for being a part of 40+ fitness.

[00:52:25.900] – Dr. Shemek
Thank you so much. Really. It's been fun.

[00:52:32.110] – Allan
All right, Rachel, now you're one of the neat people that does endurance running and you do keto, that used to not be a thing. We used to carb up the night before, you know, how much pasta can you shove in your mouth. You get up in the morning and you make sure you're still eating carbs and you carry carbs with you in these little packets. Or when it first came out it was these bars that were really hard to chew when your mouth was dry.

[00:53:02.950] – Rachael
So true.

[00:53:03.910] – Allan
But you're able to do endurance work and not have to worry so much with fuel.

[00:53:11.590] – Rachael
That's true. I've been keto for about two years now, a little over two years now, and it's helped my endurance quite a bit. I can tell you I could probably run 15 miles, fasted, well just on a cup of coffee. I drink coffee every morning no matter what, but I think the longest I've gone without needing any fuel has been 15 miles. But I don't do that on a regular basis. On a long run day I will eat something before I go out. But that's been one of the huge benefits of keto is not relying on a constant sugar load throughout a long day.

[00:53:51.930] – Allan
Yeah. And, you know, we talked about exogenous ketones and other things that you can use. So there are some strategies that you can put into it. But and I think I've said this before, if you're if you're going to try a strategy for a race, do it on your long runs practices, practice.

[00:54:08.550] – Rachael
That's right. Absolutely.

[00:54:09.930] – Allan
Make sure your body is going to react the way you want to. Yeah, I'm good to go for a good long time with without fuel. That fasted walk I did on Monday. I mean, the 13 mile walk on Monday. I did it completely fasted.

[00:54:23.800] – Rachael
Wow.

[00:54:25.270] – Allan
You know, when I came home, I took a nap because I was, you know, roughly I was going from about eight o'clock in the morning until close to noon by the time I stopped sweating and got a shower. And then I just went ahead and took a little nap about an hour or so, got a good sleep cycle in, and then, boom, I'm bouncing up, ready to eat and feeling like I earned it.

[00:54:47.140] – Rachael
Fantastic. Isn't that incredible?

[00:54:49.720] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:54:49.900] – Rachael
That is something.

[00:54:51.250] – Allan
And so, you know, I had I had kind of fallen off of the the wagon, I guess, as you will. I Normally do, a seasonal ketosis. And I'm just going to have an episode on that coming up in a couple of weeks. A few weeks, a couple of weeks, I guess. And, you know, I will normally go into a famine mode for this time of year around February. So I would have started around February. But with the pandemic and the stress and everything that was going on around that time, you know, like closing my gym and hoping I'd get to reopen it, just not knowing a lot of things, I didn't I kept feasting and put on the covid 15, you know.

[00:55:29.410] – Allan
So now we're going into the period of time when I would normally go into a feasting season, but I'm not ready to do that right now. I have lost all the weight and some. I'm back down to my fighting weight, what I normally run at during my my famine season. But I want to I want to push it a little bit further. And so I'm actually not going to to do what I normally do. I'm actually going to try to go through this next period and stay in ketosis.

[00:55:57.070] – Allan
And it'll be a challenge and probably a podcast episode about how to travel in keto, because I'm going to be traveling back to the States. It looks like they're going to be opening things up here to let us travel home and back, but they keep changing the rules so we won't really know till we get on the plane what we're supposed to do and hope that we did it right. But, yeah, I mean, I try to do the holiday season in the United States traveling around and try to make sure I stay in ketosis that time.

[00:56:26.050] – Allan
So food choices will be a tough selection, you know, just because there's a lot of foods that come out in the fall that we just really, really tend to enjoy and want. And many times they don't really fit our eating style.

[00:56:42.150] – Rachael
That's right. And it's hard to eat out unless you know the menu really well. It would be a good experiment. And looking forward to hearing what you experience with that.

[00:56:51.640] – Allan
Well, like everything it comes down to being prepared, you know, plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Have strategies. You know, if there's a food that you just love and it's the fall food and, you know, you're just going to want some of it, you have a strategy for it. So, you know, I'm going to make sure I carry some food with me. You know, when I go into a restaurant, there'll be a certain way that I'll order.

[00:57:16.680] – Allan
Sticking to the protein and, you know, vegetables that aren't coated in sugar, you know, and then and then with my mom, you know, it's like we do a meal. It's like I'll just go ahead and do some of the cooking. So I'll make a keto cranberry sauce because I love cranberry sauce and I'll do the chicken. I mean, the turkey and make sure it's a little bit more fatty cut the way I cook it. So it's going to be a little bit more fat added to it, which will make it juicy and delicious. And then you were saying, you know, we're getting into, I guess, the pumpkin spice season. I'm not I'm not that kind of person. I'm a black drinker. I just trained myself that way as when I was getting off of the diet sodas. But you found a recipe that you're pretty eager to give a shot.

[00:58:06.060] – Rachael
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the pumpkin spice, but I do love cinnamon and nutmeg. And this fall season, when the weather gets crisp, I actually do like to add a dash of cinnamon to my coffee, but I will be making some keto snickerdoodle muffins later on this afternoon. I found this recipe from Kirbie's Cravings and I've tried it several times and even my non-keto family members enjoy it as well. So it's a really nice fall treat.

[00:58:35.280] – Allan
Well, good. Well, we'll have a link in the show notes so you can find that. Just scan to the back of the show notes section and we will be sure to make sure that a link to that recipe is there.

[00:58:46.290] – Rachael
Absolutely. Yep.

[00:58:47.650] – Allan
Cool. All right. So Dr. Lori is a really cool person. I've known her for a while. I was actually on her podcast years ago. And, you know, so glad to see her out and writing this book because it was I think it was an awesome book. And I really enjoyed the conversation with her because I think, you know. We don't equate keto with much in the athletic field, we think of it in terms of, oh, I want to lose weight or oh, I've got diabetes and therefore I need to cut my sugar and then keto gets the bad rap, you know? And it's partially I think it's partially deserved because the initial people that were pushing keto kept talking about bacon.

[00:59:31.450] – Rachael
Yes.

[00:59:32.400] – Allan
You know, and I'm like, it's not the bacon diet. Stop the bacon. You know, it's not the bacon. Bacon's fine, it's a condiment. It's something you have with your eggs. Eggs is the main entree. And then the bacon just happens to be something you have on the side. Don't fill your plate up with bacon and then have a couple, a little bit of egg. It's that's not the way this is supposed to work. That's wrong. But, you know, I think people are upset with, you know, they don't know because they've been told for decades to stay away from the saturated fat that it's going to kill you. But the science is coming out now is un-refutable. It's the sugar that's killing it.

[01:00:09.700] – Rachael
Yes. And that was part of your discussion with Lori that I really enjoyed, was that it's not the bacon and egg diet, but that's getting into ketosis involves a little bit of diet and exercise, some intermittent fasting and the Exogenous ketones. So it's not just the bacon diet and there's a lot more to it and it has a lot of benefits.

[01:00:36.130] – Allan
Yeah. And I'd say if you're looking at it as a protocol. So first we're talking about diabetes or we're talking about Alzheimer's or epilepsy and those types of things then I do think there's a good place for the endogenous ketones. But just like I'll say with supplements, just like I'll say with medications, same thing with this. That's not food. You know, it's not what your body needs. We don't have a ketone deficiency because our body is going to make the ketones and eventually our body is going to learn how to use the ketones.

[01:01:09.760] – Allan
So if you're giving it more ketones than you use and you need, you're just going to pee them out. So, yes, you can spend thirty dollars to get the high end ketone little drinks that you can get on Amazon. They're little over thirty dollars for a two or three ounce bottle. You can get the ones that clear the salts that aren't quite as high octane and you can pay seven or eight bucks for about a two or three ounce thing of that, and they make them delicious.

[01:01:37.510] – Allan
So that tastes great. Now, they were horrible, horrible in the beginning, but they taste better now. You don't have a deficiency now if you're in an extreme endurance athlete. So you're looking at saying, OK, I need to make sure that I have fuel for this marathon or this ultra. And you're concerned that, you know, yeah, your body's not going to be able to burn enough body fat because maybe you just don't feel like you have that much body fat to burn. Then there's a place for them and you can factor that in.

[01:02:06.950] – Allan
But just recognize that you're investing in your performance and you need to know that they're working for you and then you're not just wasting your money. So I know there's people who are huge fans of them. It was interesting that Dr. Lori was a fan because she's not selling them, you know.

[01:02:26.910] – Rachael
Yes.

[01:02:27.260] – Allan
The fans, most of the big touting fans are the ones that are actually making them and they'll tell you how wonderful they are. But that's that's anything. Any supplement, anything. But the guy making it loves it.

[01:02:40.000] – Rachael
Yeah. For you. But there's a time and a place and as an endurance athlete myself, you know, if I have a rest day, my nutritional needs are going to be far different from when I'm on my long run day. So if I'm running 20 or 30 miles, I need way more nutrition and fuel as well as hydration that I would maybe on a rest day or just a day at the gym or something. So, yeah, there's a time and a place for all these different things.

[01:03:08.910] – Allan
Yeah. And I again, I look at exogenous ketones and I can't help but kind of lump them in with the term biohacking, you know, how do we hack this, how do we had that. And the human body was not meant to be hacked. It was it was meant to be treated well, nurtured and babied and given what it actually needs on a regular basis. When you're doing that, you've made up 95 percent of you being optimal.

[01:03:34.790] – Allan
And then these other little things you can do, you know, be at Infra-Red, be it taking glutathione or exigence ketones or any of those things. They're a little incremental steps past that now. Yes. If you're trying to take a minute off your marathon time. Yeah. Something like that might help, but you've got to be doing that other 95 percent first.

[01:03:56.420] – Rachael
For sure, yeah, we got to put the work in, get the muscles ready. Yeah, there's a lot to it than just what you're going to eat or drink that day.

[01:04:03.550] – Allan
Yeah it's not like I'm just going to go and take some endogenous ketones and run a marathon, you know. It's just not going to happen. I can definitely walk a half right now, but I could probably jog or run a half if I put my mind to it. But

[01:04:17.680] – Rachael
I'm sure.

[01:04:18.620] – Allan
But you know, I'm not going to just sit there and start taking a supplement or taking something like this and becoming a super athlete.

[01:04:25.590] – Rachael
Right.

[01:04:26.120] – Allan
But, you know, just the cool thing about keto and it's just something to pay attention to is the science is coming out and there's more and more of it that you can use ketosis as a protocol to cut down the inflammation. And I think that's the core of it. What is getting us sick is the food and the things we're doing to our body. It's creating inflammation.

[01:04:49.350] – Rachael
Absolutely.

[01:04:50.810] – Allan
The more we can heal our body by getting the proper rest, stress management, diet, exercise, the more we can get ourselves in balance in pretty much those four areas. And then relationships and family and everything else just, you know, get all of that balanced out and working for you and you're going to make up that 95 percent.

[01:05:09.920] – Allan
And then at that point, you can make some decisions if you want to do the tweaking and and twisting of knobs and just, you know, play mad scientist with your body. And then that's when it makes sense.

[01:05:20.480] – Rachael
Yeah, absolutely. I was resistant to try the ketogenic diet initially, but about three years ago I had a pretty bad ankle injury and I had a tendonosis. I had this inflamed tendon, and I was researching everything I could do to get my ankle back in the shape and the more I read about the ketogenic diet and reducing that inflammation, I thought, well, what's the what's the harm? I give it a try and see how it goes. And two years later, I'm still doing it and feeling better.

[01:05:56.600] – Allan
Yeah. And you know, the core reason I do seasonal ketosis is the reason a lot of people don't do ketosis at all. Those of them say, oh, it's unsustainable. You know, I like beer. You know, and if I have a beer or two beers, I'm going to fall out of ketosis. And if I'm doing that, you know, a few times a week as I'm, you know, going to football games and watching football, because, you know, of course, there's a football game on Sunday, there's a football game on Monday, there's a football game on Thursday, then there's another one on Friday, then there's one on Saturday.

[01:06:29.510] – Allan
And let's start the week all over again. I'm going to have a few beers during the season. Well, I guess I'm not this season, but normally I would. And then we roll right on into Thanksgiving or, you know, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the parties in between New Year's Eve. And then my birthday is right around the same week as the Super Bowl. So we just roll and, you know, roll into that part of the year.

[01:06:54.770] Allan
That's just too much for me to sit there and constantly tell myself, no, no, it's it just feels restricted. And that's the reason a lot of people fail at diets as diets are restrictive. But if you have a program like ketosis and you know how you're going to manage it and when you're in it and you're not completely tied in the fact that you're ketones, have to measure one measure, one point five every time you do it, then it becomes a really good, easy, sustainable way to eat and you get this huge amount of freedom.

[01:07:25.290] Allan
Because like you said, you go on a long training run, you don't have to carry three pack packets of Guu with you.

[01:07:31.440]
That's right. You can just go do the run, you know, have a little bit before and just go do the run. And when you get done, all you have to really worry about on the run was hydration.

[01:07:41.440]
Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

[01:07:42.440]
They don't have to do all this extra stuff, you know, stop at a fast-food restaurant along the way just to get it right.

[01:07:51.270] Rachel
It does give me a lot of freedom, but it's also for me, it's still an easy way of eating. And and you mentioned Thanksgiving. It's it's my favorite eating day of the year. I love everything having to do with Thanksgiving. And my parents and my husband, they're always they're fantastic cooks. But we have had Thanksgiving the last two years and it's been just as delicious as as any other Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. So, I mean, it's totally possible to still eat the foods you love, just making them a little bit more healthier than normal.

[01:08:27.390] Allan
Cool. Well, I'm going to I'm going to challenge you. OK, we're coming up. You know, this is we're going into this this fall season and we're coming up on the Thanksgiving season soon. So why don't we do an episode where we where we're at the end of an episode where we do keto recipes, we drop a couple Thanksgiving keto recipes on folks so they'll have some things they can fall back on.

[01:08:50.740] Rachel
Absolutely. That would. Great.

[01:08:52.740] Allan
So that's my challenge. Get your favorite Keto recipe together for Thanksgiving or one or two of them. And then once we get into October, November, we'll start sharing some of those recipes.

[01:09:53.820] Rachel
Sounds great. I'm on it.

[01:09:06.300] Allan
Well, let's just say goodbye and we'll talk next week.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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

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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.

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[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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– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
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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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The Slip-to-Success Cheat Sheet

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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.

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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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Another episode you may enjoy

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