November 15, 2018

KJ Landis – Being happy and healthy

In Happy Healthy You, KJ Landis shares us how to break free of the constraints we have today and be happy and healthy.

Allan (1:10): K. J., welcome to 40+ Fitness.

J. Landis (1:14): Thank you kindly. Happy to be here.

Allan (1:16): Your book is called Happy Healthy You. I actually think this is the perfect time for folks to be writing books about being happy. One of the big things I’ve put forward in the whole wellness journey was that if you don’t have the trifecta of health, fitness and happiness, then you’re missing a big part of this thing if you think that health and fitness is all that’s really there. You’ve got to enjoy what’s going on, you’ve got to have some joy in your life. There’s so much negativity, and I want to relate a quick little story. I’m a fan of a college football team called Southern Miss and we’re having a particularly bad season. As I go onto Facebook or whatever, already we’ve got the political negativity, we’ve got the violence negativity, and now I have the college football negativity. So, it was actually refreshing to have a book like yours that I could just turn all that stuff off for a little while and enjoy Happy Healthy You.

J. Landis (2:21): Thank you. So grateful that people read it and get it. And words of wisdom don’t have to come from the greats; they can come from everyday people – the person on the bus next to you, the cashier at the coffee shop.

Allan (2:39): You had a previous book, so you brought up the concept of “superior self”. I like that, because it’s not comparing yourself to someone else or really worrying about anything else; just saying, “I want to be the best me I can be.” You have nine steps that you use to lead us to being our superior self. Could you talk about those nine steps?

J. Landis (3:05): Yes. Superior Self: Reaching Superior Health For A Superior Self was my first book, and in it I describe a protocol that I had created after reading tons of different food protocols. It’s really important for me to take your time when you want something, to do your best at each step of the way. And there’s no time in the beginning or end. So, step one for me was increasing water to a gallon a day. I’ve experimented on these with my fat loss coaching clients. If we increase our water slowly to a gallon a day, we give ourselves the opportunity to realize when we’re hungry and when we’re just socially and emotionally hungry. I lost 50 pounds six years ago before I wrote the book, and that was for me a big issue. When I started losing the weight, I maintained my water, and even now I have to get my gallon of water in a day. I will be upset with my husband or my boss or a coworker and I would eat a $40 piece of cheese. I would put my thumb at work in a piece of cake and be like, “I can’t serve that, so I’m just going to nibble on it.” We add electrolytes – either as powder or adding a little bit of electrolyte, like a diet Gatorade or something. Just a little bit, and that way you don’t ruin the balance. Or you could put pink Himalayan salt. I also add lemon for the awake feeling that citrus gives us.

Allan (4:47): I want to take one little detour real quick because we didn’t actually explain necessarily that you work in the restaurant business. So, when you talk about putting your thumb in the cake, it’s not someone else’s cake. Here’s a cake that’s ruined and therefore free food for the staff.

J. Landis (5:04): I have to eat it. In the evenings I work at a restaurant; in the daytime I do my wellness coaching, my writing, my blogging, my YouTube videos, my research. I go to universities because I’m always trying to up my game on my certifications and the latest science of nutrition. And I take care of kids – I’ve got two kids. Life is a blessing every day I wake up, but I like it to be busy.

Allan (5:30): Good. So the first one is water, and I’ll let you continue.

J. Landis (5:36): I think that our fat cells decrease or increase in size, but we always have the same number of fat cells, and the way our body releases the fat cells is through urine and sweat. So as you’re changing your life and shifting, and you increase the water, you’re exercising more, you’re eating healthy and you’re getting your water in – that’s how the fat leaves our body. You don’t want it to be stuck and we don’t want to be socially and emotionally attached to the food. If I’m not really sure if I’m hungry, I’ll drink a couple of glasses of water and then I’ll be like, “I was just thirsty.” Also, increasing our water helps with headaches. The number one cause of headache is dehydration, and if you drink a few cups of water, you’ll realize in 20 minutes that most headaches go away. Do you want me to go to step two?

Allan (6:25): Please, yes.

J. Landis (6:27): Step two was used to be called “week two”, but now I realize it can take people a month or six months in order to master step one. So I call it “steps”. We give up all wheat products and all gluten-containing products while still maintaining that gallon of water a day. Gluten is a protein and it’s found in wheat, rye, barley and some oats. Ancient wheat is not really the way wheat is grown now. There’s a lot of hybridization, and it’s GMO, and it’s found in everything that is processed and packaged. So, the best opportunity for us in step two is to give up wheat because it causes inflammation. Not inflammation like it hurts my arm, my arm is sore, but inflammation systemically. And that’s where diseases come in. Dis-ease – your body is at ease, or it is at dis-ease. If you’re not comfortable with what’s going on inside the body systemically, that’s inflammation. A lot of it is caused by gluten, and people don’t even know that they have a sensitivity to gluten. I’m not saying an allergy, which is celiac disease, but you can see the difference in your body, your health, your skin and your sleep when you give up gluten-containing products. That’s step two.

Step three – giving up all grains. And remember, these are just for a period of time until you master it. Step three – give up all grains, and that is to shift into a grain-free lifestyle. Once you’ve given up the wheat and you’ve mastered it, however long that takes, then you can keep on experimenting. So now I will make sugar-free cakes. I’ll use coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour, tapioca flour. I’ll even make a southern dish like fried green tomatoes or fried pickles by rolling them in tapioca flour and egg, and it tastes just as delicious as the wheat ones. And onion rings. Foods that you think you’re going to miss – once you practice and have fun experimenting, you won’t miss it.

Week four – reduce fruits to one to two times a day, always keeping your previous changes. And that can be week four or month four. And the reason is that there’s a lot of sugar in fruits and fruits are not grown the way they were years ago. There’s so much sugar in an apricot – about seven times as much as there was 70 years ago. The growers do it on purpose, so we’ll buy more delicious, sweet fruit. And they’re all uniform. Typically the smaller and bruised fruit used to be the most delicious in the old days, but now our fruit has to look perfect, feel perfect, have the wax on the outside. There are so many grams of sugar in fruit. All plant matter turns into starch in the bloodstream, glucose, and it goes to the brain for power. But I can get just as much glucose from a bag of spinach, which has much less sugar. So this is just to teach us to get off that sugar wagon, because most of us love sweets, especially females. It’s part of our hormonal system.

Then once you do that, week five or step five – reduce fruits to one to two servings a week. So you can have that as your dessert. Once you’re able to conquer that you don’t have to have sweet at every meal, then we can reduce it even more.

Step six – change the oils to only healthy fats. People think canola oil is healthy. The reason why canola oil got its name, because the plant that it comes from is called rapeseed and Canada did not want the word “rape” on their largest export. So years ago they changed it to Canada oil, which then became canola oil. They have to spin these tiny seeds so fast to get the oil out, that it heats up the seeds and the oil and changes the level of the molecules from a healthy oil to a toxic oil. I’m not saying you’re going to get sick, because we don’t drink gallons of canola oil, but it is one of the most used oils in the United States.

Allan (11:08): What you’re talking about is oxidation, which effectively means that when you get this into your body, it’s going to cause inflammation.

J. Landis (11:19): Yes. So if you’re having your gluten and canola oil or partially hydrogenated oils, which make oils more shelf-stable, that means Crisco, those sorts of things. Oils that naturally are liquid, they’re turning into a solid in order to have a longer shelf life in packaged products. I stay away from those and I opt for grape seed oil, which is molecularly even small enough to use on the skin. I use butter and coconut oil for my frying in the pan, and I use olive oil after the vegetables are done or on my salads. And the reason being that there’s a low temperature that olive oil should be kept at in comparison to the other oils. All these oils have smoke points and when it starts to fume, that’s when you should stop using it, because that’s when the molecules change and oxidize. And dairy – raw cheeses, we can have that. That’s a good fat – raw butter, raw cheeses, raw dairy – if you do eat dairy, if you’re not allergic to the casein in milk proteins. The raw fats in those are so good for the body and there’s so much vitamin K in raw, unpasteurized cheeses.

Week seven or step seven – no more added sugar in any products. So, no honey, no agave. I have a bone to pick with agave. Once again, the process to get agave out of the plant and make it very sweet is, the heat element to extract it changes it, and also the amount of sugar that it adds to the bloodstream is very high. So when you’re using it as an alternative, it’s not very healthy if you have diabetes or prediabetes, or you’re just watching your glucose levels. I recommend something, and I don’t work for this company – Lakanto. I use the Golden brown variety. It’s the only natural sweetener made from monk fruit, coming from Japan and now it’s important in the United States. It looks, tastes and smells like brown sugar, but it is cool on the tongue. It’s amazing. It’s zero calories, zero on the glycemic index. In Asia they have been using it for centuries, because the monks would sit under the tree and the monk fruit would fall and be super hot and crack, and they would boil it and make it into a sweet tea that they would use for lung issues, joint issues, colds, flues. It’s very amazing. I really enjoy it and I use it when I have my tea or when I’m baking. And it’s very reasonable. Of course it’s very expensive compared to sugar, but it’s very reasonable compared to what it was a few years ago. It was $44.95 for one pound; now it’s $24 for three pounds. For the white sugar substitute, I recommend Xyla, because it’s less expensive than the Lakanto white. It’s $14.99 for two pounds at your local health food store or a high-end store like Whole Foods. So it’s just to give you the opportunity to release yourself from the indulgence, but you can still sweeten with dates or figs or dried fruit.

Step eight – try to purchase unpasteurized raw dairy and pastured eggs. People always mix up the two words, pasteurized and pastured. Pasteurized means the product is heat-treated to kill germs and bacteria that were seen as harmful back in the late 1800s. Pastured names an animal was kept outside freely, with no cages, and they were not given food that’s not natural to their habitat. For example, if I buy pastured eggs at Whole Foods, they’re $8.99 a dozen – very expensive, but the chicken that laid them were not kept in cages, they were not kept in a free-range area, which is usually just a few feet more. They’re actually roaming the woods and they’re eating bugs, berries and insects. So when you see eggs that say “Omega-3”, that’s not in their natural habitat. Or vegetarian-fed – chickens aren’t vegetarians; they eat birds, worms and insects. So those are words that are branding words, but those aren’t words that will actually help you enjoy the pastured chicken or the pastured eggs, which are the most healthful. They’re smaller, but they’re more beautiful in color and they’re way more flavorful. I think raw dairy is important, because our government has told us we need pasteurized dairy, pasteurized milk. But once again, the amount of fat and natural healing properties of unpasteurized dairy is so helpful to our body, especially the vitamin K. I no longer suffer from constipation or rashes when I eat raw milk, raw cream and raw cheeses. I’ve never had a sensitivity to eggs, but my skin is so much better if I have the pastured eggs. And yes, it’s more expensive, but I want to compare this to the health issue in America. If you spend a little more money and you have these sorts of healthy foods in your home on a regular basis, you will save so much money in doctor’s visits, in medication, in hospitalization, in obesity and the chronic conditions caused by that.

Allan (17:26): I’ll even take that one step further. One of the conversation points that I’ve come across with my clients and with different people over the years is, people who eat real whole food eat less, because we’re getting the nutrition our body needs, so we don’t have the cravings. I think when they factor in their total food cost, they’re saying, “I can get eggs for two thirds of the price if I just buy the middle-of-the-road eggs and not the pastured eggs.” So their breakfast is $2 cheaper, but they’re not counting the fact that they’re also then going to spend $3 on a box of Twinkies that they’re going to kill later that evening, because their body is not getting the nutrition it needs. They’re going on binges because their body’s saying, “You need to eat more because we’re just not getting what we need.” If you’re getting good nutrition, you’re very likely to eat a lot less.

J. Landis (18:22): Absolutely. And you’re full faster.

Allan (18:26): Especially the way you put it together there. We’re focusing on getting good, healthy fats. We’re moving the simple carbs and the processed foods out of our diet, and it’s not, “Let’s do it all today.” It’s in a very methodical stage. Let’s focus on one thing first – the easiest and first one being water, and then you’re factoring in these other things. And as you start feeling better and getting comfortable with that, you step into that next one.

J. Landis (18:54): Yes, because to be honest, the first three weeks that you increase your water and you get that gallon in, you will be using the restroom a lot more, especially at night. But then in the fourth week, when you don’t get that gallon of water in, by 10:00 in the evening, you’ll be like, “I’m going to hit somebody if I don’t get a glass of water right now.” Your body will crave what it needs. It’s amazing. That’s a great shift.

Allan (19:20): I think that’s why so many people really struggle with the food thing, is that they’re not getting proper nutrition. And that’s their body basically yelling at them, “Hey, feed me, Seymour. Feed me!” I do think it’s a symptom of us not getting good quality food. If you do these nine steps and think through the quality of your food, actually in the end, medical conditions aside, I think I spend less on food now than I did before I started eating healthy.

J. Landis (19:57): Yes, because you’re not craving more and more of the junk stuff, so you’re not running to the 7-Eleven at 2:00 a.m. for a quart of ice cream that has a lot of crap in it.

Allan (20:07): Or I’m driving home late – I’m not going to have to pull off to Whataburger or into McDonald’s and say, “I just need something.” Or I’m not going to stop when the girl scouts are selling the cookies; I’ll just give them a $5 donation and say, “Keep the cookies”, that kind of thing. Now, one of the things I really liked in the book was – and I’ve talked about the endocrine system here, but I think you put it down really, really well. It’s very simple, sustained – this is our endocrine system and this is what it’s doing to us or against us, for us. We have to figure that out based on how we treat our endocrine system. Can you take a little bit of time to walk us through the basics of the endocrine system?

J. Landis (20:50): Yes. But I’d like to start with step nine, which is giving up beans and legumes.

Allan (20:56): I’m sorry, I cut you off. Go ahead.

J. Landis (20:58): That’s okay. So, beans and legumes are a high source of protein, but they’re only a high source of protein if your body can absorb the nutrition. When you absorb nutrition from foods you eat, it is called bioavailability. I suggest giving up beans and legumes because they have antinutrients in them which cause us to have gas. The outside covering on all beans is called the “endosperm”, and in order to be able to absorb the nutrition from it, we have to cook it. It’s better to actually soak it overnight before you cook it, and certain nuts also. Therefore as a practice – I’m not saying give these up forever. I’m saying, build on this and have your beans and legumes once in a while, once you stop that craving. People who are vegetarian can switch to other sorts of proteins, like nuts and seeds, and vegetables that are high protein. And then you can live on the 80 / 20, which is 80% eat clean and green and 20% party like a rock star. That’s what I practice in my life and I’ve maintained the 50-pound weight loss since I was 46, and I just turned 53 last week. And people think I’m 30.

Allan (22:09): Cool.

J. Landis (22:10): Alright, now let’s talk about the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the system of hormones that run our body. It rules everything, from your growth to your sexuality to your food cravings, and it also rules your sleep. When we go to sleep, our body is releasing right before you go to bed, with the sunset actually, it starts releasing melatonin. With the onset of electricity in the past 100 and some years, we have so much less melatonin that our brain is producing and releasing. That’s why we have melatonin capsules. But if you practice certain prevention, you won’t need the melatonin and you’ll sleep better. You can put all the shades down, you can wear computer blocker glasses that make everything very yellow and warm. You can also have f.lux – it’s an app, and your computer and your phone will turn to that warm, amber light. And just getting rid of the electronics in your bedroom, so that your natural hormone system can do its job.

In relation to food, the endocrine system, the system of the hormones, allows us to eat well, and when we’re full, the hormones tell us to stop eating. When we eat tons of food that our government has said is great for us, like these processed, packaged foods that claim to be heart-healthy and whole grain – because of all the additives and chemicals, and the deliciousness of those additives and chemicals, the hormones get mixed up and they don’t know when to say “Stop”. It’s a vicious cycle until you break that cycle, and then your endocrine system can begin to act normal again, and you’ll get full when you’re supposed to, and you will be hungry when you’re supposed to. I also am against the government and the Dietary Association of America and the AMA, who are being paid for by the government telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Once you get healthy, you will learn to live by your own hunger signals, and sometimes you have a natural fasting that goes on for part of the day. For example, in my personal history, I never was a breakfast eater, but because of all the TV commercials saying breakfast is the most important meal of the day, my mother wanted me to eat breakfast. So, I would be kind and I would have something, but not much. And then when I became a grownup, I stopped eating breakfast and I listened to my own hunger signals. Naturally, now that I’m healthy and eating real food, typically I’ll have a non-caffeinated tea with breakfast. I won’t eat breakfast. I’ll have my gallon of water when I’m training clients or when I’m exercising myself, and then I’m not hungry until dinner. It’s amazing.

So, the different glands in our body rule our hormones. The brain is the master planner, and the pituitary gland, which is in the back of the brain at the base of the hypothalamus, sends out a lot of hormones as well. One hormone that’s really important is the thyroid gland and the parathyroid gland. We have a thyroid-stimulating hormone that everyone has that is running throughout the body, but some of them are active and some are non-active, so they call it active T3, active T4, and non-active T3. You want them to become active, because if you have a lot of the thyroid-stimulating hormone and it’s not active, you will feel sluggish, you will gain weight, you will be cross with your family. It also touches upon the emotion. The intestinal, the adrenal gland, even the placenta when a woman is pregnant, is a temporary endocrine gland. And during pregnancy this gland makes hormones that are important for the growth and development of the fetus. The sexual glands, which are the balls or the testes in gentleman, and in women the ovaries and uterus also release hormones. In men it keeps them muscular and desiring to procreate, and in women it creates that beautiful softness of no matter how strong and fit a woman gets, she’s never going to be as muscular as a gentleman. That’s just the way it is. And it also helps with puberty and growth. It’s inherited as well. Some of the hormones running through our body, we inherit in the same style as our parents and grandparents. For example, my mother, who just passed away recently, didn’t have her period until 18, and she had her period until 70. I said to her, “Gosh, I wish you’d have a baby at 70 so you could get on the Oprah Show.” Because I wanted to hug Oprah – that’s on my bucket list. I want to hug Oprah before I die. I don’t have to be on her show; I just want to hug her. And the same thing with me – I hit puberty very late, so I’m also probably going to go into perimenopause and menopause late. The hormone system can physically and emotionally heal us as well. So the food we eat affects the hormone system, and then the hormone system affects our overall happiness and wellness. It’s really, really important to participate in our own health, because of our hormones.

Allan (28:15): There was a concept you had in the book that I actually think is brilliant. People can really wrap their head around this. I tend to be sometimes a little bit more of a realist, and when I get into my head, I think I can take a negative thought and just beat it out of me. I’m going to sometimes use that negative talk in a sense to prove it wrong, in effect. I guess it goes back to my military upbringing and being in the military myself. If someone yells at me, I’ll actually move faster. Now, I don’t really want them to be mean about it, but in a general sense if someone’s pushing me, that actually helps me. I like aggressive trainers, I like that kind of thing. I was a football player, and again, maybe it’s the testosterone, I don’t know. But you have this concept for folks that need a little bit more self-empathy when they’re not that kind of person, when their internal dialogue can be bad self-talk and can actually hold them back. You have a concept called the “negative thought pot”. Can you talk about that?

J. Landis (29:23): Yes. I bring it to every workshop and I start every workshop. Even if I’m doing a chocolate workshop or an essential oil workshop, I bring the negative thought pot. I picked up a flower pot at the dollar store, and it spontaneously came to me one day because I left the front door open when my daughter and I to the mall. She was about nine. When we came home, she believed somebody had broken into the house and was hiding in the house and was going to kill us. And I told her, “It’s just your mother’s forgetful. It’s okay. We’re fine. Come with me and look everywhere.” And she was so afraid. So I took a permanent magic marker, I took that dollar store flower pot, and I wrote “negative thought pot”. And then I told her, “Let’s tear up strips of notebook paper, and let us write down our negative thoughts.” Whatever fears, whatever self-doubt. I don’t care if it’s about food. “I’m never going to be smart in math”, “I’m never going to get that career I want”, “I’ll never be a millionaire”, “My whole family is fat. We’re Italian. It’s just the way it is.” Write whatever negative self-thoughts you have now, and you put it on that strip of paper. It could be current or it could be a long-term negative. I call it the “Negative Nancy” in my head. And we scroll it up into a little scroll, and we throw it in the pot and we light it on fire. You do that anytime you have a negative thought that’s blocking you and keeping you from being your most amazing superior self. I do this over and over with myself and my kids, and the next time that negative thought comes into your head, you remember that moment of burning it up, and mentally or out loud I say, “You no longer have power over me. I destroyed you, remember?” And it dissipates. I’m the winner. I’m the superwoman. You’re the superman. It’s magic. It’s more than magic, because you’re creating an energy that is more powerful than the negativity, which we need in our lives every day because we all have challenges. We’re busier than ever.

Allan (31:32): I like how it sort of puts a line in the sand, for a lack of a better word, to say, “I’m stepping away from this thought pattern because it’s not serving me.”

J. Landis (31:43): Yes. And if you can’t meditate, if you don’t have time for this or that, everybody has time to burn a little piece of paper.

Allan (31:52): Just make sure that the flame goes out before you leave the house.

J. Landis (31:56): Oh yeah. Or do it outside, in the back yard.

Allan (32:01): So, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

J. Landis (32:14): For me the number one strategy to get well and stay well is increasing your water. Everybody needs to drink water. And it doesn’t have to be expensive or bottled. You can always put a filter in. Increase your water and you will see life-changing health. One tactic is, I always fill up my water in the morning, and on the water bottle – I have a giant one that’s eight cups – I will write the word “eight cups” and I’ll put little lines in it so I can see as it’s going down. It’s a reward to see the water go down and hit that lower line and hit that lower line. It’s a gift to myself. It’s like I get a gold star in the middle of my forehead. The second tactic or strategy that I enjoy is movement. We must move. Our bodies were meant to move. Our ancient ancestors, the hunters and gatherers moved about 12 to 14 hours a day; we’re not doing that anymore. So, move as much as possible. Have a standing desk – they’re inexpensive, or have a desk and then you put the desk extension up if you have a desk job. I’m lucky I move six hours a day as a server, and then I train people so I’m exercising for myself and with my clients. Movement is so powerful. The way to add that into your day when you’re super busy is to set your clock 10 minutes early. I have a fault. My biggest fault, or my biggest flaw is, I’m always paranoid about being late, so I try and get everywhere early. If you do that, you have time to do quiet movement, whether it’s in the car, outside, take the stairs. Give yourself that time. Get everywhere early and give yourself that time to have some sort of movement. And movement in nature is even more powerful because you enhance all five senses. The third strategy that I use is silence. Recently I learned how to meditate at a free 12-day meditation retreat. It was very, very meaningful for me to learn how not to react as much as I had been. The power of silence is so healing. Whether you are in nature, whether you’re sitting in your car, whether you’re sitting in the bathroom – shutting up is beautiful, and we all need it because most of us talk too much.

Allan (34:40): Well, I’m a podcaster; I have to talk. Those were wonderful. I really enjoyed those, so thank you for that. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about the book, where would you like for them to go?

J. Landis (34:52): SuperiorSelfWithKJLandis.com.

Allan (34:58): Okay. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/352, and I’ll be sure to have a link to that in the show notes of this podcast. K.J., thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

J. Landis (35:13): Thank you for having me. I’m so grateful. It’s a beautiful day inside and outside when we share this sort of knowledge and our own discoveries. And it’s exponential – the more you learn, the more you’ve got to share. Thank you.

Allan (35:32): Isn’t K.J. pretty cool? Yeah, I really did enjoy that conversation and I hope you did too. This week I want to announce to the podcast listener – you – that my book, The Wellness Roadmap is now available on Amazon. You can go to Amazon and you can get the ebook at a really good discounted price. I’m marking it down because I want to make sure that this is not something that’s out of the reach of people on a budget. So I’ve marked it down and all I ask is while it’s on this discounted price, which is only going to last a little after the book goes live – while it’s on this discounted price, please go back to Amazon when you get the book and you’ve read it, and please leave an honest rating and review of the book. That’s extremely important. Of all the services out there, Amazon cares about ratings and reviews. They will not show my book anywhere on their pages if they don’t feel like I’ve provided a substantive work, so they need to see those ratings and reviews. So, it is out there. You can go out to Amazon and get the book. You can also buy it through the website once it goes live, but going out to Amazon and buying the electronic version now, it will be available to you December 4th. You can download it to your Kindle Reader any time after that, but it will be available to you. Read the book, leave me an honest rating and review – tremendous help to the show. Please, please. Tremendous help to the book and helping me get it out there. So, go out to Amazon, get the book today.

And there’s still time for you to get onto the launch team. I’m still providing bonus information and bonus support and extra little goodies out there for the launch team. You don’t want to miss this because I want to put the information where people want it. I’m not going to spend a ton of time on the show talking about where we are with the book. That’s why you’re just now hearing about the ebook, because the ebook’s been out for a little while now. So, the ebook’s out there, the other books are going to start to populate soon, as soon as people can start talking to each other, which they don’t want to do, but that’s a whole another story. You’d know more of that story if you were actually a part of the launch team. You can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and there you’ll find a signup form to be on the launch team. Roughly, I’m sending them one email a week, so this is not inundating you with all kinds of stuff. This is important, telling you what’s going on with the book so you’re in the know; giving you some goodies and some extras, things like that. So please do go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and join the launch team. And if you just don’t want to be a part of the launch team, I get it – it’s another responsibility, right? But please do go out to Amazon, search for the book under my name, Allan Misner, or The Wellness Roadmap. You’ll find the book, buy the ebook on pre-order. It’ll be available to you first thing December 4th. You’ll be able to download it to your Kindle. And then you got it for a discount – please go out to Amazon and leave me an honest rating and review. Thank you.

 

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Allan (1:47): Christine, Jimmy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Christine Moore (1:55): Thank you.

Jimmy Moore (1:55): Hey, hey, man. What’s up?

Allan (1:58): Jimmy, you are the guest that I’ve had on the most. For pretty much every book that you’ve written, I’ve had this opportunity to have wonderful conversations with you. I truly appreciate and honor what you’ve done to educate people. And I’m really glad that you’ve now brought on Christine with her education and what she’s doing. This was an excellent book, it’s called Real Food Keto. And I love the title, which we’ll get into in a minute.

Jimmy Moore (2:26): Thank you. When we’re 90, I’m going to be, “This is my 67th book, Allan. We’re going to talk about it today.”

Allan (2:36): I am working on my own book, so I’m doing a lot of reading into how to market a book and all the different things you’re supposed to do. And I’m reading out there, some authors are putting out a book a month, and I’m thinking, “Oh my God.”

Jimmy Moore (2:47): That’s crazy.

Allan (2:49): But they’re managing to make money, because they constantly have this flow. Someone reads their first book and they’re hooked, so now they’re buying every book. Insatiable appetite’s for fiction – it works really, really well. Non-fiction – I think you’ve got to do a little bit more research and work to put out something really, really good.

Jimmy Moore (3:07): Yeah, I think it would be overwhelming as non-fiction. I don’t think the product would be very good if you put out a book a month. I know a lot of stuff. I don’t think I could do a book a month. I thought I was doing well with a book a year, Christine.

Allan (3:22): Having gone through the process now myself, it’s quite… I never really got it when people said when they were done they were just exhausted. But I get it, because it is such a draining experience.

Jimmy Moore (3:33): Allan gets it too.

Christine Moore (3:35): Yeah, I’m sure.

Allan (3:36): I think that’s the cool thing though. This is not a flimsy little pamphlet or manual. You did some really deep research for this book and it goes deep, deep, deep into nutrition, I think further than any other keto book I’ve read has done. It’s very deep, but you explain things in a really cool way. So, it’s deep but good. You know what I mean?

Jimmy Moore (4:01): Yeah, thanks for that. And that was one of the things when Christine was going through the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program – I was like, “Wow, why don’t I know this stuff? This is really relevant information for a keto dieter that’s not out there in the mainstream.” So when I approached my publisher about collaborating on this book with Christine, they were like, “Absolutely.” And now it is our publisher’s favorite keto book, which is saying a lot because they do all the big keto books.

Allan (4:30): They do. I’ve talked to them. I’ve been talking to Victory Belt for quite some time. The books that are coming out in keto are really center and front of the market. So, really enjoy working with them to get wonderful guests like you.

Jimmy Moore (4:47): Thank you.

Christine Moore (4:48): And they do such a good job with the books; they’re beautiful. When we received our author copy of Real Food Keto, we were flipping through it, and just the time that the design team put into the charts and the graphs and everything – it’s so easy to understand and it flows so well. So, great job, Victory Belt design team, for putting together such a good book.

Allan (5:11): It is, all the way across. The content and the quality of the book are, bar none, great. I want to turn the conversation about the book a little bit, because this is something I’ve really been struggling with over the course of the last couple of years as I’ve done these different interviews. I’m approaching 200 interviews, so I think I’m picking up a few things here. It’s the fact that we have to use the term “real food”, because if our grandmothers, our great grandmothers walked into a grocery store today, they wouldn’t even know what it was, they wouldn’t call most of what’s in their food. What is real food and why is it so hard for people to understand what real food is?

Jimmy Moore (5:50): Allan, you and I are blood brothers, because this is the exact reason I wanted this book to get out there, because I was noticing the trend in the keto world was that people weren’t putting an emphasis on real food. It’s disgusting that we have to put a qualifier in front of the word food. They used to just call it food, but we have to qualify it these days because there’s a whole lot of food like disease agents out there, that’s not real food, that we have to call it real food. That was the heart of what we wanted to do. What would you say would be the definition of real food, Chris?

Christine Moore (6:24): Really anything that doesn’t have a label on it that has ingredients on it that you can’t pronounce. I mean things that you grow in your garden. We have 26 backyard chickens that lay us wonderful free-range eggs every day. So, things that aren’t chemically processed, that are natural.

Jimmy Moore (6:47): It doesn’t get realer than that, Allan.

Allan (6:50): But it’s getting harder and harder I think to find real food, because I walk in the grocery store and probably 100 years ago, someone on keto could eat an apple and the amount of sweetness from an apple wouldn’t take them out of ketosis. Today they’re so sweet. They’ve been bred to be something else, so the nutrition’s not there. I think you even said something about an orange – that everybody equates an orange to vitamin C.

Jimmy Moore (7:20): Yeah. And bananas to potassium.

Christine Moore (7:24): Here’s the thing. Back 100 years ago, what was the prevalence of obesity? People weren’t as metabolically damaged as they are today. For a lot of people today, eating an apple will kick them out of ketosis, not only because of its extra sweetness, but just because a lot of us are metabolically damaged through poor diet choices early in life. That’s why when I look at a client, if they can handle a sweet potato here and there, then I will recommend that. Most of those people tend to be athletes or more active, but for the majority of my clients, they can’t have even what would be considered real food. A sweet potato is real food, but not all of us can handle that.

Jimmy Moore (8:11): To your point, you’re right, the food has changed. And because the food has changed, so have our metabolisms. My last book we talked about the prevalence of insulin resistance, and it’s higher than people think it is. Upwards of 70% of the population are walking around with some level of insulin resistance, where their bodies aren’t responding to carbohydrates anymore in the same way, which is why restricting them is the answer.

Allan (8:41): I completely agree. I always encourage folks to just go down to their farmers market. There you’re going to meet the guy who’s raising the chickens when you get the eggs, you’re going to meet the lady who runs the farm where they picked that produce that morning. This is not industrial, fertilizers and all this stuff, and that’s why the tomatoes aren’t as pretty or as firm or able to take things, because they’re just the way tomatoes are supposed to be.

Jimmy Moore (9:10): I love ugly produce.

Christine Moore (9:12): I do too.

Jimmy Moore (9:13): It’s got character. We grew a bunch of different kinds of vegetables in our garden this year. The heirloom tomatoes grow off the charts. They’re amazing.

Allan (9:24): That’s why I think, get to know your food and what real food is, and then start putting more and more of that into your diet, and you’re going to feel better.

Christine Moore (9:34): I agree.

Allan (9:36): I was really interested when we started talking about gallbladder as I got into this stuff. My mother was not feeling well and her health was starting to fail her and I was like, “Mom, I think you should check out this low-carb, high-fat diet.” And she’s like, “They took out my gallbladder so I can’t eat that way.” But you’ve done something, because you’re keto, you’re low-carb, and you don’t have a gallbladder. Let’s talk about the process for how you managed that transition. I know what keto flu is for me, but for you it must have been an entirely different experience.

Christine Moore (10:17): Yeah. I had my gallbladder taken out in 2006. Usually gallbladder problems happen because you do a low-fat diet, you’re not consuming enough fat, so the bile becomes thick, sludgy and there’s no movement of the bile. That’s what causes the stones and the sludge to form in the gallbladder, and that’s what happened with me. So after I had my gallbladder taken out, what I had to do was at first stick with butter, coconut oil, things like that, because they don’t require the bile to break them down. When I see my clients, I tell them that I want to have them have a healthy mix of fats. We need that to have a healthy immune system, and for other reasons. What I tell my clients is 60% monounsaturated fats, 30% saturated fats and 10% polyunsaturated fats. When I had my gallbladder taken out, I had to stick with mostly the butter and coconut oil, which are your saturated fats. But I did include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated in small amounts. Over time my liver learned how much bile to produce, so I could add more and more of those things. Once I graduated from the NTP program, while going through it, I learned the importance of digestive enzymes and even HCl supplementation. So that’s what I do now as well – I take digestive enzymes and bile salts to aid in the digestion of those fats, because it can be difficult. It took me about a year before I was able to get my fat to where I like to have it in my diet.

Jimmy Moore (12:03): And now she eats more than I do.

Allan (12:06): And you had all that detailed in the book, at least as far as saying you knew you needed the stomach acid problem. But you had ulcers, so you had to heal the whole ulcers first. I think a lot of times people get ahead of themselves and they want to solve the problem, but they’ve got to look at the whole underlying structure of what got us here and maybe even the order with which we find those little healthy steps. I really liked that you shared that part of your story. It wasn’t just an “A to B” step. You had to go through a lot of incremental steps to get to a point where you could fix your health.

Jimmy Moore (12:42): And Allan, what happens too often is people start keto and then they experience some of these digestive health problems and they go, “Man, that keto thing sucks”, not realizing they had an underlying issue that needed to be resolved for keto to work well. So, hopefully this book helps clear up some of those misconceptions about keto not working. Maybe keto worked fine; it was just that they didn’t fix their digestion first.

Christine Moore (13:09): One thing that I like to tell my clients too is, when we’re making changes, specifically in the keto diet, often times they will experience these things, but these are reactions that your body’s going to have. It’s perfectly normal for some of these things to happen. You just have to get past those things. Like Jimmy said, a lot of times there are underlying conditions, and most of the time it’s a digestive disorder that needs to be addressed before they can properly absorb and digest these fats that they’re eating.

Allan (13:42): Okay. And like I said, you had all this in the book. It’s really cool I think to use this book as the start of your research, to understand your digestion, understand how you can go about getting into keto if you have issues like this. So, really, really cool. I loved all of that.

Christine Moore (14:00): Thank you.

Allan (14:01): Now, one of the things you had in the book, and as I went through it, I was like, “I want to print this out and post this on my wall” – it was the 17 ways to optimize your diet and lifestyle right now. Would you mind going through those?

Christine Moore (14:15): I’ll go through some, because I think there’s quite a few here. One of them is to eat seasonally. We don’t think about eating our food in season. I’m a big strawberry lover, and those strawberries are not usually available in the wintertime; they naturally grow in warmer time. So, eat your food seasonally. Our bodies were not meant to have certain foods year round. So, that’s a big one. And then we like to tell people to purchase their food from local sources. So, support your local farmers. That will help get the word out about real food and it supports these people that are growing real food. So many micronutrients are in these real whole foods, and we need to be eating more of this to get our bodies to be more healthy, get the nutrients that it needs. Include some raw veggies in your diet. Now, if you have digestive issues, this may be a problem because raw vegetables can be a little bit harder on the digestive system. If you do have digestive issues, then what I suggest you do is cook your vegetables in a slow cooker, so that way it’s not as hard on the digestive system. But once you heal your digestive system, try to incorporate some raw vegetables in your diet.

Jimmy Moore (15:45): By the way, we made this list of 17 things, Allan, because we know some people’s personality is, “I don’t want to get through the whole book before I figure out what I have to do, so give me some things I can start working on now, and then maybe I’ll learn about why I’m doing those things later.”

Christine Moore (16:01): Yep. So, another one, if you have it available in your state like we do – we live in South Carolina, so we’re very fortunate to have access to raw dairy. Raw dairy is much easier on the system. There’s a lot of misinformation about raw dairy out there, saying that you might get sick from it, but in actuality raw dairy is the best for you. I have heard from other people that their blood sugars don’t respond the same way to raw dairy as it does to the dairy that’s been pasteurized.

Jimmy Moore (16:35): Mine was flatline. It’s thicker than heavy whipping cream, raw dairy. It’s pretty amazing. Have you ever had raw dairy?

Allan (16:42): I have, yeah. We’ve gone to the farmers market. Of course they half market it for dogs. I’m like, “Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to give this to the dog. No.”

Christine Moore (16:58): Oh, goodness. You want to hear a few more?

Allan (17:01): Yeah, please.

Christine Moore (17:03): Okay. So, another thing that we like to recommend is, switch from manmade salt to sea salt. This salt that you get with the little girl with the umbrella on the packaging – that isn’t salt. Sorry. Because there’s an iodine deficiency running rampant, that’s why a lot of people get this salt. But what I tell people to do is get the kelp drops that you can put in your water and supplement with iodine that way, or to eat more sea vegetables. We like to use the sea salt instead, especially if you can find the different color ones because each one of those salts has a different preponderance of a certain mineral in it that gives it its color. These sea salts are really rich in micronutrients. Fermented foods is another big thing. For most people probably fermented food seems very intimidating, and that’s why when we teamed up with Maria Emmerich, we wanted her to include a couple of recipes on how to make fermented foods in this book, because it can be really easy and you only need a small amount with each meal to help improve your gut health. If you have gut health issues, I would recommend starting out very slowly, because this can increase some of the symptoms that you have, like bloating and extra gas, things like that. If you know you have digestive issues, then start out slow with these things. These things are not just involving food, so we like to implement exercise into our routine. We have a very good friend, Darryl Edwards, who does the Primal Play movement and he basically teaches you to get outside and play like you did when you were a kid.

Jimmy Moore (18:56): Have you ever interviewed him, Allan?

Allan (18:58): I have not, but he’s now on my list.

Jimmy Moore (19:01): Okay. Let me know how I can help connect you, because he is an amazing guy. Amazing interview.

Christine Moore (19:06): Yes. He doesn’t like the word “exercise”.

Jimmy Moore (19:09): He’s British, so he sounds cool.

Allan (19:14): I actually don’t like the word “exercise” either. I’m a personal trainer. I tell people exercise sounds like when we were kids and we had to get underneath our desks because there was a nuclear attack. “Get under your desks! Nuclear attack!” I’m like, “This is pointless. I’ve seen videos of what this does to buildings, and we’re not going to be safe under our desks.”

Christine Moore (19:34): Right, exactly.

Jimmy Moore (19:36): I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.

Allan (19:41): That’s what exercise sounds like to me. Whereas if I say “training”, then at least at that point it has some purpose. You want to keep your strength, your agility, your speed, your endurance, all those different things. That’s the purpose. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I’m 105. I’m going to have to do some training if I want that to happen. To me it’s more purpose-driven training, rather than calling it “exercise” or a “workout”.

Christine Moore (20:10): Right. And the moment that it becomes not fun, then you need to switch things up.

Allan (20:15): Yes, absolutely.

Christine Moore (20:20): I guess one other one would be sleep; making sure you get adequate sleep. We kind of give tips in there – wearing blue blockers and taking melatonin or magnesium to help you sleep. Keep the temperature of your room colder, because that tends to be better for you. As I said, these tips deal more than just with diet. It’s lifestyle things as well.

Allan (20:44): That’s what I really liked about it. This is a book about food, real food, but you went a little bit further and giving someone an overall basis of how to live a more healthy life and deal with your health issues. Before I let you go though, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Christine Moore (21:11): I can let Jimmy give you a couple too, but one of them I think is to take your health back into your own hands. We rely too much on doctors to tell us how to be healthy. Jimmy and I have experienced this in our own lives, where I was having symptoms of thyroid issues, so I went to my doctor and I asked him to run a full panel. He didn’t see the need with a full panel, so Jimmy and I did that on our own and we found out that my reverse T4 was off and my antibodies were elevated. These things wouldn’t have been found out had they just run the typical panel that they do – TSH, T3 and T4. So, one big one for me is taking your health back into your own hands. Do you have one that you think?

Jimmy Moore (22:01): That’s my favorite one, the one you took. I call that being an empowered patient. I think one thing that’s been impressed on me more and more, Allan, in the last few years, watching the way our culture has shifted over to this ugliness, the contentiousness that’s out there, be it in the nutrition world, even politics, wherever you are in your facets of life – people are unkind to each other, and that bleeds over into being unkind to themselves. I’m becoming more and more convinced that this stress that’s coming on from all of that contentiousness is having a negative effect on people’s lives. So, my tip would be to start loving yourself and to start being overly kind to your fellow neighbors. I find that when I do this and I make a conscious effort – and trust me, it is so hard, especially online where people are being really, really ugly towards each other – it’s really hard to take the higher road, but in the end your stress level will come down and you’ll be healthier as a result.

Christine Moore (23:05): And I guess one final one would kind of go along with what you said, Jimmy, is be kind to yourself. Because of this ugliness that is on social media nowadays, people are so quick to say if you’re not eating grass-fed, grass-finished beef, or free-range eggs, or organic this, organic that, then you’re doing keto wrong and you’re a failure. No. We understand, and this is one thing that we stress big time in Real Food Keto – do the best you can in the situation that you’re in. If you cannot afford grass-fed, grass-finished beef – no sweat. Just do best you can and try not to listen to these people online that are being ugly, because they just don’t have a sense of reality. They’re not in the real world. We understand that life happens. Jimmy and I use keto products out there, but we read the label and make sure that they are up to standard, like these DropAnFBomb nut butter packets. It’s great for traveling. And Paleovalley beef sticks; Pili Nuts. They come in a package, but it’s still real food at its core. So, just do your research and be kind to yourself.

Allan (24:21): Excellent. I declared myself a diet agnostic, and what I mean by that is that I’m going to let everybody eat the way they feel like they need to eat, and I’ll tell you my experiences and we’ll have conversations like this, which is wonderful. But the one thing that I’ve noticed from all sides of this battle, that people are throwing all this stuff around, like, “That’s wrong. This is wrong.” Every single one of them comes down to one core fact – just eat real food. It doesn’t matter if you go keto or you decide to go the entire different direction and go completely vegetarian or vegan, or actually combine both of them, which is something that’s happening. Dr. Will Cole wrote his book Ketotarian, and I’ve had him on. And it’s that same thing – just eat real food. What you’ve done here with Real Food Keto is give us this great resource to learn about the food, learn what it’s doing in our bodies, and make better choices and decisions for ourselves. So, thank you so much for that, Christine and Jimmy.

Christine Moore (25:27): Thank you.

Jimmy Moore (25:28): Dude, you are in my head, because I have hammered this message over the past few years, that we have more in common – Paleo, Primal, locavore, vegan, vegetarian, and keto – we all have more in common than we have disagreement. And yet, who argues the most about which diet is better. Meanwhile, all of these sad diet eaters just sit back and go, “Yeah, I’m going to eat my popcorn watching the show, you guys. This is not interesting to me at all.” I think if we coalesced around the real food message and brought people in, it would be so much more attractive. Then we could make people more healthy in the end.

Allan (26:06): Absolutely. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, they wanted to learn more about what you’re doing over there, where would you guys want me to send them?

Christine Moore (26:15): I have a website – RebootingYourNutrition.com. You can send me a message there and I’ll write back to you. And Jimmy has lots of places.

Jimmy Moore (26:26): We have a website for the book – RealFoodKeto.com, where we’re going to update various interviews we’re doing, like this one. And a book tour that we hope to do in early 2019. And of course I’m at LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com, or you could Google Jimmy Moore. The first three pages is all my stuff.

Allan (26:44): They can also go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/351, and I’ll be sure to have all of those links there. Christine, Jimmy, again, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Christine Moore (26:56): Thank you for having us.

Jimmy Moore (26:58): Thanks, Allan. I’ll see you at the next book.

Allan (27:00): Absolutely.

Now, wasn’t that great? I really enjoy having conversations with Jimmy. He’s extremely knowledgeable, and his wife, Christine, is just off the charts with this stuff, her education with the Nutritional Therapy Association. Really, she knows her stuff. And this is a really, really deep book; really cool book. It is a keto book, but you’ll learn so much about nutrition in this book. It’s like a college class in and of itself. So, really well done book, and I hope you’ll check it out.

If you enjoyed today’s show, would you do me a big favor? Would you become a patron of the show through our Patreon page? Basically works like this: you pledge whatever – $1, $2, $4, whatever. I’ve got other tiers up there where I’m offering little perks. So you get something for being a part of this thing; it’s not just a, “Thank you for your money, see you later” thing. There are some perks to this thing that I really want you to check out. If you’ll go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, and just pledge what you can – a dollar, a couple of dollars. I put $4 as a base level because that works out to a dollar or less per show. And I hope you do think that the value of this show is there. The money I’m getting off this is not going to make me rich. Obviously, you can see it’s not a huge amount of money anyway. It’s enough money to help me pay the people that help me do this show. I do pay an audio processor a monthly fee, I pay for the transcripts to be done, and that’s on a per hour basis. I pay for hosting of both the media files and the website. I pay for email services and a lot of other things. A lot of what’s built around this is all a part of the funding of this show, and it adds up. It really isn’t as cheap as I thought it was when I was going to get into this. But I love doing it, I’m going to keep doing it, but I really would like to have you as a part of the team to support the show and help it keep getting better and better. Again, that’s 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon. Thank you.

 

 

Another episode you may enjoy

Fasting for weight loss with Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore

November 8, 2018

Gillian Goerzen – Elephant in the Gym

In her book, The Elephant in the Gym, Gillian Goerzen helps us understand how our mindset can make or break our fitness goals.

Allan (1:14): Gillian, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Gillian Goerzen (1:18): Hello. Thank you so much for having me. What a delight.

Allan (1:23): Your book is called The Elephant in the Gym, and I had two thoughts when I first saw the title. One of these, I don’t like the connotation, and the other one I was like, “That would actually be a good book.” I’m glad you went with the good book route.

Gillian Goerzen (1:42): Yay! That was one of my biggest concerns when I came up with the title. I was trail running actually and I came up with this title. We were having this conversation and it’s like, “The elephant in the room that nobody’s talking about. Hey, it’s the elephant in the gym!” I was with my running mates, and the first thing that comes up was, “Am I the elephant in the gym?” Of course I was like, “No, no. Oh gosh, the subtitle’s going to have to be really clear that they are not the elephant in the gym.”

Allan (2:12): I do want to talk to that for a moment, because I think a lot of people are going to find this podcast probably in January when they’re making these decisions, and they’re going to go into the gym and feel a little uncomfortable with it. The people in the gym – other than the fact the gym gets really crowded in in January, so the people that are there all the time might be a little frustrated that they have to wait on a machine they’ve never had to wait on – but they want you in the gym. They want the gym to be successful, the gym owner to be doing what they’re doing and changing lives. And more than likely that person you see over there by the weight rack that somewhat intimidates you – at one point, they either walked in there as a scrawny 14-year-old kid, or they came in there feeling like they were an elephant. And now they’ve done this hard work over a period of time and they’ve changed. So I would look at that. I would hope people going into the gym for the first time – I know you feel intimidated and I know you want to run over and get on that treadmill – fight that urge. Get into the culture of the gym. It’s a culture of change. It’s actually a culture of comradery. The gym is a wonderful place to be once you get over that hurdle and you start getting comfortable in your own skin.

Gillian Goerzen (3:30): Really finding the right gym for you. You might come into one facility and think… We’re all so caught up in our own stories, in our own head, we make up these stories about what we think other people are thinking about us, but they’re 99.9% of the time wrong, because we actually are perceiving things that aren’t there. Most people, when they see other people just getting started, they think, “Gosh, way to go! Good for them. I’m so glad to see more people coming in.” So one is, get past that idea that we have in our head, but secondly, finding a facility that really resonates with you and has a similar philosophy to you, that you feel really welcomed in. I always like to say that we want to find that Cheers experience. You come in and everybody knows your name, and you feel really welcomed. It’s that community and collaboration that you were talking about.

Allan (4:27): And that happens; it’s just going to take a little bit of time, because when you first walk in the gym, we kind of expect that you’re only going to be there for three weeks and then you’re going to be gone. A lot of people aren’t going to invest. And people are not staring at you. They’re just watching to make sure you don’t do something to hurt yourself, because they’ve been there and done that. Fortunately though, that’s not what this book is about.

Gillian Goerzen (4:51): No, it’s not.

Allan (4:53): This is about the conversations that you have with yourself, and how we actually get in our own way.

Gillian Goerzen (5:02): Amen. Sure do.

Allan (5:07): You start out in the early part in the book and you told this story of the two wolves. Would you mind sharing that? I really think that if people can wrap their head around this story and remind themselves of this story on a regular basis, this is going to solve a lot of problems.

Gillian Goerzen (5:27): I agree. It’s a beautiful story. It’s a First Nations story, for those who aren’t familiar with it. And as the story goes, a grandfather is telling his grandson about a battle he has going on within himself. So there are two wolves – there’s one good and there’s one evil. And the grandson asks, “Which one will win, Grandfather?” And he replies, “The one I feed.” As the story goes, it’s not really about eliminating the evil wolf; it’s about nourishing the wolf you want to thrive. So if we take that metaphor into the health conversation, into how we treat ourselves, it’s not about getting rid of the struggle; it’s about nourishing the ways that we’re being successful. It’s about nourishing the ways we are building ourselves up. It’s about nourishing what we need to grow, shift and develop. So instead of fighting against the things that aren’t working, focusing on the things that are working, the wonderful things that we are already doing, because there’s always some. When I talk to clients, it’s always that we tend to focus on the things we aren’t doing instead of the things we are doing. And when reframe and turn people around to the, “But tell me about what you are doing. What did you do this past week to help yourself, to move yourself forward to health?” – there are always way more things than they even realized. And once they see those, they’re like, “I actually did quite a bit for myself this week. Awesome. Let’s build from there.” And that’s what creates more momentum. That magical motivation that we all seek is seeing that we’re actually already doing things. And you get to develop belief in yourself, the self-efficacy, the self-confidence in your capabilities.

Allan (7:18): I think when you’re going through something, you need to take that slight step back and say, “Is this a good wolf or a bad wolf?” More than likely, if you have a negative feeling, if you’re feeling down, if you’re not feeling good about yourself, you’re probably feeding the bad wolf, and it’s time to stop. So, take that step back and say, “There’s a reason why I’m not satisfied with what’s going on with my life, or my health, or my fitness.” You’ve got to take that step back and figure out what’s the wolf you need to feed to move this thing forward.

Gillian Goerzen (7:52): Absolutely.

Allan (7:54): You have a concept in the book that I really, really liked and I think a lot of people will. Again, we’re getting close to January, so people are probably getting into that premise of thinking, “I’ve got to set a resolution. I’m going to go to the gym five days a week and I’m going to cut out processed foods and try to sleep eight hours a night.” They set these standards of what they’re going to do, and actually some of them work for about three weeks, and then they miss a day at the gym. And that missing the day at the gym, they feed the bad wolf and they say, “Well, I missed Thursday. I may as well just skip Friday.” So, you have this concept called the “health zone”, which I think is going to set people into a really good state of mind, to constantly be feeding the good wolf. Can you talk about the health zone?

Gillian Goerzen (9:01): Totally. You really hit it on the head. Why I developed the health zone was that I kept having these conversations with my clients about, they’d map out this criteria for themselves, this very black-and-white, very binary relationship with what they needed to do to, in their heads, be successful with their health – whether that was going to the gym three times a week, whether that was not eating processed foods, whatever. It’s similar examples to what you were mentioning. What I noticed was when they made one choice that took them out of that very black-and-white, very binary criteria, they decided that they’d failed. And when they decided that they failed and fed that evil wolf, what ends up happening is this domino effect, but not in the direction we want. We skipped the gym, so then we think, “Today’s kind of a write-off. I’m going to have an indulgent lunch.” And then indulgent lunch leads to mid-afternoon coffee with a special treat, it leads to drive-through for dinner, it leads to not getting to bed on time, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And then start fresh tomorrow. That domino effect leads us down a path that’s not really conducive to our health, when all it was was that we maybe needed to sleep in a little bit that morning and skip the gym. One workout off doesn’t negate the two workouts that person had already done in the week.

So the idea of the health zone was to get people out of that binary, black-and-white thinking, was to really look at our lives and give ourselves more flexibility, more room, more grace to live in a range of activities. For example, instead of having a quota of, “I’m going to exercise three days per week for this much time”, or whenever I’m going to do – saying instead, “I’m going to move my body two to four days per week for a minimum of 15 minutes, and I’m going to be happy no matter where I fall in that range. No matter where I fall in that range, I’m actually still being successful.” So, it comes down to looking at that whole health range and thinking what are our, I call them, “non-negotiables”. The bottom of the range is this idea of, what are the non-negotiable health habits I’m going to maintain no matter what? Think brushing your teeth. No matter how busy we get, most of us, 90% of the time, brush our teeth twice a day. We don’t even really think about it. It’s a health habit we maintain because we see the value in doing that. So, what are the other health habits we can maintain at the bottom end of that health zone no matter what, and engage and feeling successful, and feeding the good wolf? And then at the other end of the range would be your optimal habits. Not like the sunshine and rainbows optimal habits, where it’s not going to work with your actual real life, but what’s going to work with your real life if things were swimming along in a reasonable fashion – no major bumps in life, but regular life. What would you be doing on the other end of that spectrum? And so, finding that kind of range and no matter where you fall in that, feeling really successful about the choices you’ve made.

Allan (12:31): The thing I like about this is, if you’re doing anything positive, even a small step in the right direction can make a huge difference over time. We don’t realize we were potentially living very, very unhealthy lives, and now we’re not doing that anymore. We’re better. But if you set this bar and say, “I have to be at this level” and you don’t reach that, is that going to be the thing that knocks you off permanently? And so, it’s just a function of setting that bottom level and that top level, and then trying to make sure that you have strategies in your life that keep you accountable and successful within that range.

Gillian Goerzen (13:12): Totally. I always tell my clients, something is better than nothing. If you can even do 10 minutes of a workout and just go for a 10 minute walk, isn’t that better than doing nothing? If we actually step back and objectively look at it, we’re all going to go, “Of course.” Isn’t two servings of vegetables better than none? Yeah, absolutely it is. One glass of water is better than no glasses of water, or three is better than two. All of these steps in the right direction help us, and again, doing them consistently, of course, is what is the big, big clincher.

Allan (13:52): With the book, The Elephant in the Gym, you set 10, what you call “Super You” principles, and you have a chapter about each one. We have a lot of information about each one of these so we can’t dive deep into each one. But I would like, if you don’t mind sharing the ten, and just giving us a general overview of what that means in context to our health and fitness.

Gillian Goerzen (14:15): Absolutely. I really wanted a way to wrap up each chapter, and the key message I want you to walk away from the chapter with. It becomes, in essence, a summary of the book. The first one is really about, be you. You’re unique, and so is your health, is the principle. The big thing I always want people to take away is, there’s no other person on the planet that’s exactly like you. There’s no one right way to be healthy either, because everybody is different. We all have different genetics, interests, priorities, values. We need to find the way that works for us and our lives. That’s the first one. The second one is to really embrace our humanity. There’s unfortunately this misconception that there’s a “perfect” out there, that if I just follow this program perfectly and I will do this, then I will be healthy. But it doesn’t work that way. It’s about really focusing on being human, embracing the fact that you are human, and that you will ebb and flow and you will make mistakes. It’s about learning to give yourself some compassion in those moments and learning from those changes. The third one is to show up, to really trust the process, whatever process you choose, and actually take action and move yourself forward. The fourth one is to unlock your potential. That one’s really about knowing and acknowledging that you are both your loudest critic and your biggest cheerleader. Again, that’s that evil wolf, good wolf. You can feed the loudest critic or you can be your biggest cheerleader. But part of that is that mindfulness, becoming aware of where you’re being very hard on yourself, and then how you shift that tide. And I talk about some really tangible strategies in that chapter. Number five is practicing patience and perseverance. One of guiding things in the fitness industry and the health industry is, everybody wants that quick fix, but quick doesn’t usually equal sustainable, unfortunately. We all want that dramatic result, but the dramatic result usually requires extreme measures, and those are rarely sustainable in anybody’s real life. So, understanding that things will take time, change isn’t easy. Be willing to put the work in and acknowledge that it will be tough, that there will be a struggle, and it’s very human to struggle and that’s okay.

The next one is to really explore the science and practice the art. I come from a background of a degree in Kinesiology, and I’ve done a lot of work and study over the years of the science, the physiology of exercise and how do we be healthy. There’s a tremendous amount of science to all of this – to health and to fitness. And how you apply it in your life is an art. So I say, “Explore the science, practice the art.” It’s about acknowledging what the actual science is – not the pseudo-science, the actual science. And then understanding how you apply it to your life is an art. The next one is to reclaim your relationship with food. Of course, I couldn’t have a health book without an acknowledgement around the nutrition piece. Again, nutrition science – super complex topic, but I think we’ve overcomplicated it in a lot of ways. I have 10 tips that I offer in that chapter to really reconnect to our relationship with food. We talk about, “Fly the white flag.” Let’s stop having this really intense battle with food. Food is what we need to nourish our bodies, but also to nourish our souls. And then, yawning your way to success. The other piece that we often don’t talk about in this health conversation is sleep. I call it the “unsung hero of health”. We need to be as a culture shifting our conversation and really putting more value back to sleep, because it’s really huge. And I talk about the science behind that as well. And the final one is, own it – your health, your fitness, and your life. Own that you’re going to have a unique vision, and then create that for yourself. Create a plan and an approach to health and fitness that really feels good and grounded in your life right now as it is, so that you can evolve and grow your health and wellness throughout the course of your life. Because what my health and wellness looked like when I was 20 is different than it looks like at 40.

Allan (18:56): Absolutely. I think anyone that’s hearing these “Super You” principles that you have, that resonates with us. That’s the message that I’ve had on this podcast since the beginning, almost three years ago, and this is episode 350. We’ve been having this conversation, so these principles are not new to us, but the base point is, we have to take that step back and remind ourselves why we’re doing this and what’s going on. Each of these principles is addressing a different part of both our mental reflection of our lives, and then the actions we take after we have made these decisions and we’re making these choices.

Gillian Goerzen (19:44): Absolutely. I would say the first part of the book is really addressing what you’ve been up against – all the struggle that we’ve been facing and what’s actually holding you back. And then the second half of the book is really about, where do we go from here? Where do we go now that we’ve become aware of this? We see the elephant in the gym; now, how do we address it? How do we move forward in a powerful and empowered way, so that we feel we are in the driver’s seat in our own life? And not feeling like we’re looking outside of ourselves to someone else to tell us this magic solution, that if we just follow this magic solution that this individual with lots of likes on Facebook is going to tell me what to do; and really putting the power back on ourselves. It’s like, “I get to choose. Actually, it’s up to me to choose what’s going to work for me.”

Allan (20:34): Yes, absolutely. I do want to take one step backwards. You have all kinds of actionable tips, so I don’t want anyone to think that this book is just principles-based. The principles are important, but you follow up each of the principles with some homework, action items, some things we need to do. Again, I’m very action-oriented. Give me something and then tell me what to do. You can pick and choose how you apply these things in your life. But you’ve got to take it back to this one seed, and the one seed is that you have to have a desire to change, because if you don’t truly have the desire to change, then when you actually start going up against the work ahead of you… I know this might sound strange, but getting better sleep is hard work. You’ve got to say “No” to some things that you probably don’t want to say “No” to, like Words With Friends or Netflix. It’s time to go to bed. So, it’s not going to be easy. I would love to say that it’s easy, but it’s never going to be completely easy. It gets easier, but it’s never going to be easy. So, with that hard work in front of us, can you talk a little bit about that thing we need, the desire to change and how we can embrace that?

Gillian Goerzen (21:59): I think one of the pieces around that that I really want people to hear is that we have to choose our “hard”. When you’re feeling uncomfortable in your skin, when you’re not happy with the level of health you currently have, when you feel like there are things you can’t do with your body that you’d really like to do – the example I give in the book is, you watch your child on a ride at Disneyland that you’d really liked to be in, but you don’t fit in the seat – my gosh, that is hard. So, It’s really embracing the fact that that work is worth it, because the alternative is hard too. It’s about choosing which hard do you want to live with. Do you want to live with the hard of feeling uncomfortable in your skin, not feeling like your body is in its best shape for you, not being able to do the things you want to do, not feeling vibrant, vital and alive and able to live your life the way you want to live it? Or do you want to make the other hard decision, which is to make a few sacrifices, to have to say “No” sometimes, to put yourself first, to say “Yes” to yourself and say “No” to others? I think that is hard too, but understanding that the thing that’s going to push you through is really that reverence for the alternative, which is also hard, and knowing what’s in it for you on the other side of hard.

What I talk about a lot is really connecting to, not the, “How I want to look in my body”; “How do I want to feel in my body?” What’s the “Why”? What’s in it for me to do this work and get past the hard? And that’s connecting to a really powerful, really deep, meaningful “Why”? What’s in it for you? Why do you want to do this? Not just because I know I’ll fit in my clothes. That’s nice, to fit in your clothes, if it’s about weight loss, or to be able to run a 10K – that’s also great. But what’s in it for you to be able to do those things? I talk to a lot of moms and a lot of parents. For a lot of them it’s, “I want to be a great role model for my kids. I don’t want my kids to feel like this in their body.” Okay, now we’re talking. That’s a more powerful and more motivating “Why”. So when that alarm goes off in the morning and you want to stay in bed, but you know you should get up and go and do your workout, or go for your walk, or make time to make a healthy lunch – you’re going to think of that reason and it’s going to give you the impetus you need to get out of bed and go and do it.

Allan (24:26): Yes. Part of what you’re talking here, like I said, does resonate with us. I’ve always talked about it in terms of what I call “commitment”, and that commitment is the combination of your vision – what does a healthy, fit and happy person mean to you personally? Because what it means to me is something entirely different. And when I get older, I’ve used the phrase, “When I’m 105, I want to be able to wipe my own butt.” I say that because I know how many people get into their 70s, 80s and 90s and they lose their independence, and I don’t want to be that person. I know I don’t have to be that person, because I have role models I see that are 80s, 90s, 100, well into their 100s, still living active lifestyles. I just know I need to do the things to do that. Today, my vision is, I not only want to enjoy time with my kids or grandkids, when they come around. It’s if one of them tells me they want to go do a Tough Mudder, I want to be able to go do that with them. It’s not that I want to do a Tough Mudder for the sake of saying I did a Tough Mudder. I was like that when I was young and competitive. Now it’s just I don’t want my daughter to be waiting on me. I want to finish the race with her, and I want to enjoy myself and not hurt myself while I’m doing it. So, I train that way. That’s your vision. And then the “Why” part is the quality time with my family. It’s knowing that if I want to be around, I’ve got to take care of myself. I put it in slightly different terms, but it was funny as I went through the book, I kept seeing my words in your book.

Gillian Goerzen (26:13): You’ve got to love it when find that, which gives me so much hope, because I think the more of us that are having these conversations, I see the shift in the tides of the conversation around health and fitness. I see things shifting and it gives me a lot of hope because I think for a lot of years it was the blood, sweat and tears, and look a certain way. There’s still a tremendous amount of that; and still, I’m hearing more and more people having these conversations, more and more people saying, “I just want to be able to wipe my butt when I’m 90.” One of the common ones I hear from my clients with grandkids: “I want to get down on the floor and play with my grandkids, or I want to be able to take them to the park and actively play with them.” That’s really empowering, when you start talking about that vision, as opposed to being able to look good in a bikini, which is neither here nor there at the end of the day. What did you do in your bikini? That’s what I want to talk about. Did you go surfing? Did you go play with your kids in the sand and feel fantastic? Because that’s what the people in your life are going to remember. Nobody gets to their deathbed and thinks, “Gosh, I wish I’d looked better in a bikini.” They think of all the things they did; they think of all the relationships they had. Again, it’s that step back – what’s important to me, what do I value? At the end of the day, what do I hold close to my heart? That’s the core message here.

Allan (27:42): Cool. Now, I’m introducing a new, I guess I’ll call it a “segment”, for lack of better words, to this show. I’d like to ask you, what are three strategies or tactics to get healthy, fit, and happy, which is what I define “wellness”? What are three of your strategies or tactics for wellness?

Gillian Goerzen (28:06): Okay. So number one – before you embark on anything, the first thing that always comes to mind – are you willing to do this for the rest of your life? I just got a message from a client earlier today and she was curious about a supplement. And I said, “From a scientific perspective, here’s some information about it. But I want you to take a step back. If you take this supplement, are you willing to take it for the rest of your life? Is this something that resonates with you and feels like it connects to you?” Trust your instincts around, is this something you want to do for the rest of your life? If the answer to that is “No”, what’s the point of doing it short-term? Is this a sustainable thing I can do? So, trusting your instincts, really asking the questions before you jump all in. So that’s number one, is really listening to that. Number two – I really, truly believe whatever you choose to do around your health and fitness – do it, and do it consistently. There is no magic pill, there is no magic solution or program. It’s just the things we do with consistency that really add up to creating more impact in our lives and more change in our health. And the third thing is to not judge failure. So when you fall off that blessed wagon, to not look at it as you failing. If you fell off the wagon or you keep falling off the wagon, maybe you’re just on the wrong track. Maybe you just need to find a different wagon to be on and find a different way of doing things. The other analogy I like to use is, before you wipe the slate clean, take a look at the chalk marks. What can you learn from what you tried there? Get up and try again. It’s the whole, “Failure isn’t falling. Failure is choosing not to get back up.” So, get back up, try again, learn from what didn’t work. Those are higher level mental strategies, not tactical strategies, but there you have it.

Allan (30:10): That’s totally cool. That’s exactly what I think we needed to hear. If you haven’t caught it from me, I love your message.

Gillian Goerzen (30:18): Thank you.

Allan (30:18): If someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?

Gillian Goerzen (30:25): There are two places they could go. They could go to ElephantInTheGym.com, all one word; or they can head to SuperYou.ca. I have those two places that they could head, and they’ll be able to find me in one of those.

Allan (30:40): Excellent. This is going to be episode 350, so you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/350, and I’ll be sure to have those links in the show notes. Gillian, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Gillian Goerzen (30:54): Oh, such a delight. I’m brand new to the 40+ club, and I’m really happy to be here.

Allan (31:01): Welcome! We’re glad to have you.

Gillian Goerzen (31:04): So many of my friends were nervous about turning 40 and I’m like, “Bring it on. I just feel like this is going to be the best decades of our lives. It’s great.”

Allan (31:13): Cool.

I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I enjoyed having it. Gillian’s a pretty special person, and her book, The Elephant in the Gym, is a really cool book. I love the cover, I love the concepts in the book. As I was reading the book, it pretty much mirrored what we’re doing here on this podcast and what I’ve done with The Wellness Roadmap. It was really nice to see that this conversation is starting to make a good role, that more and more people are starting to recognize that the mindset we take into the gym, the mindset we take into the food choices, the mindset we take into all of our health choices, really does drive how successful we’re going to be. So, The Elephant in the Gym is a great book. I do encourage you to step out and get that.

If you do enjoy the podcast, I want to ask you, if you don’t mind, helping to support the podcast. A lot goes into making a podcast and putting it together. I pay for audio processing, so I can get the most decent quality my voice will let me have. I pay for someone to do the transcripts and put them out for show notes so you have that available to you. If you thought you misheard something, you can always go out to the show notes and read it for yourself. It’s always going to be there on the website. I pay for hosting of that website, so again, that content is always available to you. All the back episodes are available to you through the website. I pay for audio files to be stored, so there’s a host for that. And then all the other costs that go into the making of a podcast; it’s a lot more than I thought when I first got started. I thought this would be a pretty cheap endeavor. You start looking at those $5 here, $10 there, $100 there, and after a while you realize this a lot more expensive, and each of these episodes does cost a good bit to put out. I want to keep doing that and I’m just asking for a little support. A few dollars a month is going to go a long way towards helping me cover the cost of the show and continue to work to improve it and invest in it and make it better. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon. There are multiple levels of support you can provide there, some with really, really cool add-ons, some pluses that you’ll get for being a part of the podcast, for being on the team and helping us get this podcast produced. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, and that will take you to the Patreon page, where you’ll be able to read about the benefits and the different things you can get by being a part of the team. I really do want you on my team. I think this podcast is a team sport. Fitness and health are a team sport and we need to be in this together, trying to get our message out there. I want you to be a part of that. So go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon. Thank you.

 

Another episode you may enjoy

Tips for longevity with Karen Salmansohn

November 5, 2018

Health and fitness lessons I learned from crabbing

 

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Today’s episode is a solo episode. When I was a kid going crabbing, I learned a lot of things that I now apply to my health and wellness. There are lessons about patience and perseverance, and also how to deal with people that aren’t in your corner. I got a lot of health lessons out of crabbing and I want to share those with you today. With no further ado, here we go.

I know you might be asking yourself, what on earth can crabbing have to do with being healthy? And it’s a lot more than just the fact that it’s actually a very, very healthy meat to eat. Crab meat’s delicious, by the way. If you haven’t tried it, I highly, highly recommended it. In South Mississippi and Louisiana in particular, catching blue crabs is kind of a cool thing. I’ve done crabbing up in Maryland when we lived there. But we were in Manchac, Louisiana, which is a little bitty town, I guess about halfway between McComb, Mississippi, and New Orleans. I know that probably doesn’t help a lot of you; just realize it’s way, way down there. Anyway, we would go crabbing. Our parents would take the traps out with the boat; and the kids – I was 15 – we would hang out on the dock and we would go crabbing from the dock. Now, we didn’t have traps, so we had a different way of catching crabs that took a lot more patience and a lot more time. But it kept us entertained and we did our thing. What you do is you take a turkey neck, a string, a net, and a bucket, and that’s all you need. You tie one end of the string to the turkey neck and then you toss the turkey neck into the water and you wait anywhere from three to five minutes or so. Then you slowly, slowly, slowly bring that turkey neck up to the surface. Now, I’d practiced with all kinds of little different ways of how I would bring it up, but basically finger over finger, slowly inching the turkey neck off the bottom, up to the surface of the water. And many, many times you would find a crab on that turkey neck. You see the crab as you get it close to the surface, you try to get it as close to the surface as you can, and then with the net you just scoop them up. And if they’re big enough to keep, you drop them in the bucket and you get going again.

So, what on earth would a turkey neck and standing on a pier, fishing for crabs and catching them one at a time like that – what on Earth could that teach me? The first thing it taught me was patience. You had to be extremely patient pulling the turkey neck to the surface, because you basically had to have the crabs so enveloped in the turkey, eating the turkey, that he or she didn’t know that they were being moved. They didn’t realize that there was a movement upward. So this was a very, very slow, methodical process to get the crab to the surface. And then you couldn’t get them too far to the surface, or else they would recognize what was going on and you wouldn’t get a chance to scoop them. So, very, very heavy on the patience, to make sure that you have patience to get the things that you want, which was the crabs.

The second thing it taught me was perseverance, meaning there were times when you’re out there and you’re just not getting any crabs to bite onto your turkey neck. So you just keep trying. You might move to a different part of the pier, you might go into the deeper water, you might go into the more shallow water. You just tested around to figure out what was going to work for you for that day. Crabs were finicky and sometimes there was a whole bunch of them there, and sometimes there weren’t.

The third thing it taught me was that you’re going to be dealing with a lot of adversity in your life. Where you would see this adversity when you’re crabbing is, you’d put the crabs in the bucket, and obviously the crab now wants to get out of the bucket. We had a little wet towel in there to keep them moist, but other than that, they knew they weren’t where they were supposed to be. So these crabs are trying to climb out of this bucket. The problem came in that the other crabs that were in the bucket also wanted to get out, and rather than perhaps working together, each of the crabs was trying to climb on the back of another crab to get where they wanted to go, to get out. So you could pretty much fill this bucket almost all the way to the top and the crabs very seldom were able to get out of the bucket, because by the time they got to the lip, another crab would pull them down to climb up on top of them. Because these crabs were fighting each other, these crabs in a bucket – almost none of the crabs ever got out of the bucket. You were safe to let the crabs stay in the bucket, and most of the time not have to worry about anything other than getting the next crab.

Those are three basic lessons, and I want to relate those to health and wellness and where those come to play in your health and wellness. We all are being brought up in this environment of, “I want it now”, instant gratification. And I can tell you that health and wellness are not instant gratification kind of things. I mean, seriously not. The reality is, it took us many, many decades in some cases to get out of good health, we lost our fitness over a series of years; and to get back to a state of fitness, to get back to a state of health is going to take some time. We have to be patient and keep at it, or we’re not going to get what we want. We may make a mistake and that sets us back. So, I’ve been sitting there for five minutes, I’m trying to bring this crab up and I make a mistake. In making that mistake, that crab gets away. Now I have to toss the net back down and wait a little while again. The process of getting healthy and well is going to take you time and you need to put in that time to make that happen. That means staying consistent as well.

The other one is perseverance that I talked about. Now, just because something isn’t working for you, you have to understand whether it’s your method or whether it’s just situational. When I talked about crabbing, we’re looking at maybe the place on the dock where I’m at – they’re not schooling down below there and I need to move to another place on the dock. I changed my tactics; I moved from one location to another. I didn’t change my approach. I’m still using the string, still using the turkey neck and the net, but I’ve moved to a new location. So sometimes when you’re training for something or you’re working on a diet and you’ve plateaued, you just need to have the perseverance to keep going. You may change your tactics to mix things up a little bit, but in a general sense, you just keep going. When you marry those two things together – patience and persistence, you have an excellent formula for getting whatever you want in your health and fitness. But you have to have both. Having both and applying both allows you to be successful. It allows you to get more crabs when you’re crabbing as well.

The final thing is the crabs in the bucket. If you’ve listened to the podcast before when I was doing a lot more solo shows, you’ve probably heard the episode when I talk about saboteurs. The saboteurs are just like those crabs. As you’re trying to climb out of that bucket, you’re trying to get healthy, they’re the ones that are doing things to pull you back down. And they’re doing it for the same exact reason that the crabs are – they want to be on top. They don’t want you to change, because it belittles them, it makes them feel bad about themselves. But I want you to listen to that statement – it makes them feel bad about themselves. That’s nothing that you’ve done. That’s all on them. That’s how they feel, how they are. Rather than cooperating with you and both of you working towards your health and wellness – them being a part of your accountability team, and you for them – they’ve decided to be the crab in the bucket that’s trying to pull you down to make themselves feel better.

So, don’t be like the crabs in a bucket. You can get out of the bucket. You know how to get out of the bucket – you get out of the bucket with patience and persistence. If you’re using patience and persistence in your health and wellness, you’re going to be outside the bucket and then you don’t have to worry about the other crabs in the bucket. They can just be crabs in a bucket.

I know this was a short episode, but I did want to take the time to share that lesson with you. Parts of this lesson are actually in The Wellness Roadmap book, so I’d encourage you to go out. It’s on presale at a discounted price right now, so I hope you will go out there and get the book. And again, please do leave me a review on Amazon. It’s really, really important to get the book noticed to have those reviews. Thank you very much, and I’ll talk to you next time.

I really need you on the launch team. If you could go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com, there you’ll find a signup form to be on the launch team. The launch team is going to get a lot more information about the book. They’re going to get some bonus material that I’m not going to be showing or giving out anywhere else. You’ve got to be on the launch team if you want these extras and these bonuses and some special things I’m going to be doing for them. All I’m asking are very small things from them to help me promote the book. So, I really do need you on the launch team. Go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and you can sign up there.

Now, I am going to do something special for that week of the launch. I’m going to have a bonus episode on December 6th. That date actually happens to be the anniversary date of when I launched the podcast three years ago. So, that date holds some significance for the podcast and I want to make that a very special show. It’s going to celebrate the launch of the book and it’s going to celebrate you. And the way it’s going to celebrate you is I want you to submit your questions to me that I can then answer on the podcast. There’s going to be two ways that you can do this. You can go to the Contact page at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com and record your question directly there, and then I can play that. That’ll be you asking your question, and then I’ll answer it. Or if you feel more comfortable, you can email me at allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. There I’ll have your written out question and I’ll organize those in a way that makes sense for the show. I’ll read your question or I’ll play your question, depending on how you choose to respond. We’ll make it a really cool Q&A session, celebrating you – the podcast listener, and the podcast, and the book. So it’s going to be a special celebration week for us, having a special episode on that Thursday, December 6th. Please do get your questions in because this is going to be a lot harder podcast for me to get organized and recorded, so I’m going to need plenty of time and at some point I’ll just have to cut off the questions. So the sooner you get your question in to me, the more likely you are to be featured on the show. I do want to hear from you, so please do send in your questions either via the SpeakPipe, which you can get at the Contact page on 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com. Or you can go ahead and email me – allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. I look forward to getting your questions, I look forward to helping you out on your journey, and I really look forward to sending off this book in the best way possible. So, please do join me on December 6th for the launch party, effectively the online launch party for the book. I’m really excited for you to be a part of this. I’m looking forward to your questions, I’m looking forward to having you on the launch team. Thank you.

Another episode you may enjoy

Wellness Roadmap Part 1

November 1, 2018

Liz MacDowell – Can a vegan go keto?

 

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Can a vegan go keto? In her book, Vegan Keto, Liz MacDowell explains exactly how to do it and she provides some wonderful recipes to help you on your journey. On this episode, we discuss her book.

Allan (1:25): Liz, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Liz MacDowell (1:30): Hi Allan. Thank you. It’s so nice to be here.

Allan (1:34): When I saw your book I was like, “I’ve got to get her on my show”, because it’s Vegan Keto, and I’ve had this conversation with various people over the years. I’m one of those folks right now that’s kind of the backlash against bacon. I’m like, “Please, let’s stop talking about bacon. This is not the bacon diet.” Unfortunately, most people that are vegetarian and vegan, that’s all they hear.

Liz MacDowell (2:02): Exactly.

Allan (2:04): I know they’re saying I can eat bacon, but they’re hearing you eat bacon. It’s a really hard message to explain to folks that we need to get away from the bacon.

Liz MacDowell (2:17): It’s so true. It’s almost like keto has a bit of a PR problem. It was so enticing at first to everyone to hear, “You can eat bacon”, because bacon is that food that’s always kind of tossed back and forth by doctors as either going to kill you now or going to kill you in two years. So people were excited to hear they could have a healthy diet with bacon, but I think it became the overarching message that it’s burgers and bacon and cheese and eggs.

Allan (2:43): We could’ve said the same thing about mayonnaise. You can have all the mayonnaise you want. It’s the perfect fat, if you get the right kind of fat in your mayonnaise. So if it’s an avocado-based mayonnaise, you can just eat as much mayonnaise as you want. That’s not the message of the keto diet, but unfortunately I think that’s where a lot of folks have kind of taken it.

Liz MacDowell (3:05): Exactly. It definitely seems incompatible at first when you think vegan diet and then you think ketogenic diet.

Allan (3:12): Right, but the other side of it is, I’ll be the first to admit that when you’re doing ketosis and the ketogenic diet, you are being restrictive in your food choices. When you’re being vegan, you’re being restrictive in your food choices. Putting the two together is now a compound of, you have to be very, very selective about every bit of morsel of food that goes into your body to meet both of those requirements.

Liz MacDowell (3:47): That is very true. It’s funny, I’ve been doing this for so long and I just kind of eat what I want now, but you’re practiced at it, you know what you can eat. So I don’t feel as though I’m being restricted at all. But then you think about it. When you go to a restaurant and the waitress asks if you have any dietary concerns, it’s almost embarrassing. I just don’t say anything at this point; I just order a salad.

Allan (4:11): Yeah. It’s like, “Don’t even give me the menu.”

Liz MacDowell (4:18): “I will just be ordering vegetables sides, thank you.”

Allan (4:23): And then just say, “Bring me some olive oil to spice it up a little.” And that was one of the interesting things – I’m starting to see this trend in the conversation. I had Dr. Will Cole on not long ago. His book is Ketotarian. He does show you in the book how you can be vegan and do this, how you can be vegetarian or pescatarian. He kind of blends it out there to say you can find an eating style and you can still make it work for keto. But I’m just now starting to hear this message come out, despite my telling people you can. It’s restrictive and it’ll take a lot of work, especially at the front, as you said. But you’ve been doing this for a while. That kind of surprised me, because I really have never heard of anyone sustainably doing this. And so, I’d like to share your story if you don’t mind.

Liz MacDowell (5:23): Yeah, absolutely. I first stumbled upon keto I think through reddit, where I stumble upon most things, in 2012 over the summer. And it was a period of my life where I hadn’t really been eating that well, I’d put on some weight, I was feeling lethargic, tired and sick all the time, and was really looking for a way to feel better both physically and emotionally, really. Because when you’re not feeling your best physically, you get really depressed. I don’t really know how I stumbled upon keto, but at some point in time someone directed me to this keto page where I started learning about all these blood sugar regulation issues, which hit home for me, because I had been hypoglycemic my entire life. And then you just read more and more. And the more I read about it, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try a high fat diet. I’d tried a super high carb diet, as I think most vegans go through the high carb phase, and that was disastrous for me. I know that works for some people. I’m not at all maligning that way of eating. I think that if it works for you, awesome. I just am not a person who can pound 300 grams of carbs a day and feel okay.

Allan (6:44): That was one of the struggles I had. I kind of stumbled into ketosis myself. I was eating Paleo, effectively, but I was keeping my protein at more of a moderate level, which by nature means I was eating more fat. So, with that I started noticing some physical changes – my breath, my energy level, that I just couldn’t explain. I know I’m eating high quality food, but I’ve eaten high quality food before and I didn’t feel like this, and my breath didn’t smell like this. Then I started doing some research and that’s where I came upon ketosis and I’m like, “Okay, let’s figure this out.” I went and got some stuff, and sure enough I’m in ketosis. And then I started reading up on it and understanding some of the other health benefits of it. There are so many studies out there that show that the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, way of eating are also excellent ways to protect your health. I tried the pescatarian. I knew I couldn’t just play the figuring out the proteins thing. I know there are vegetarian bodybuilders and vegan bodybuilders out there. I know it can be done; it’s just I don’t have the mental energy to do it week in, week out. I know once I got past the dip, it would’ve been fine, but it was that first thing. So I said I’m going to do pescatarian and allow myself to eat fish, and I’m going to eat vegetables and grains and the whole bit.

And what I found was that I was hungry all the time, which caused me to binge on fruit and nuts. And I had to have food with me everywhere I went. I had food in my truck, food at my desk. I was pretty much eating all day, every day, just to keep my energy level. And I would do steel-cut oats in the morning for breakfast, but still by 10:00 I was starving. So I brought myself three servings of walnuts, and I had other food in my office. I just would sit there and binge for the rest of the day. So, there are ways that are going to help us be more healthful and we have to know ourselves, which is what I really appreciated about your story. You’ve now found that balance. You said, “Okay, I know what I can eat. I know how to eat this way.” Now, to do this, I think where most of us think that the vegan aspects of this would make it extremely difficult to hit your micronutrients. I had trouble thinking I could do it with the protein. But we also now have this consideration on, how do I get enough fat into my diet without just drinking olive oil? Can you talk a little bit about the macronutrients? But then I think the bigger story in the end is going to be the micronutrients, because we’re excluding so many foods. There are two layers of complexity here – the macros, which already seem challenging, and the micros, which add a whole another level of depth. Can you go through those a bit?

Liz MacDowell (9:46): Yeah, absolutely. I think part of what makes keto a little bit less intimidating than I would say a Paleo diet for vegans is the moderate protein aspect of it, because you don’t have to worry about hitting 100 grams of protein or 120 grams of protein, which honestly on a keto diet would be totally impossible to do without supplementing. Obviously depending on factors, but for most people I think you would really need to consume a lot of protein powder in order to achieve that 100 grams, 120 grams.

Allan (10:23): And the reality is, most of us don’t need that. When you look at what our output is and our muscle-building capacities, particularly those of us over the age of 40, we just need that maintenance level of protein, which is really a moderate protein. It’s not as high as Atkins or some Paleo paths would have you believe.

Liz MacDowell (10:42): Absolutely. I think that’s another thing where keto is actually less intimidating, because you really don’t need as much protein as people tell you you need. I think we’re all very afraid of not getting enough protein in our culture, which is crazy because we don’t have protein deficiencies all that often. But to hit those macros, I rely on things like hemp seeds, which provide omega three fatty acids, just fats in general; and a good dose of protein for very few carbohydrates. Olives are a great source of fat. I like coconut. I prefer to eat whole food sources as opposed to pouring oil on things. This is so silly, but I feel like I’m getting more food if it’s a whole food source, which volume-wise is true. And also because the olive obviously has a more rounded profile of nutrients than pure olive oil. But I think it’s mostly that I just like eating.

Allan (11:43): There are things that we’re getting from plants that we don’t necessarily get if we’re eating what would effectively be a fortified or processed food. And even if it’s cold pressed, olive oil did go through a process.

Liz MacDowell (11:59): Exactly. And heating it to cook your food, you lose a few more nutrients. Less so with the minerals, but still there is some nutrient loss. Again, I really enjoy eating food. I think you get a whole slew of other benefits. There are so many phytochemicals in plants that we don’t even understand their purpose, but you see studies over and over that show supplementing with the vitamin is okay, although sometimes deleterious to your health, but consuming the whole foods provides added benefits that are greater than the sum of its parts.

Allan (12:36): You hit on a couple of things as you were going through there. There is a higher likelihood with the restrictiveness of trying to be vegan and keto. There are some supplements that you’re going to have to figure out. The big one I know of is the B12. You’re only going to get that from meat and eggs, but if you’re not eating meat and eggs, which you wouldn’t be in vegan, you have to find out your B12. You can measure B12 when you go in and get a blood test, so you can see if you’re deficient, which most vegans probably are. But you supplement. And there are other micronutrients you talked about in the book that I’d really like to spend a little bit of time on.

Liz MacDowell (13:29): Absolutely. So you definitely hit on the big one, B12. What’s sneaky about B12 is your liver can store up to seven years of it. You might not know that you’re slowly becoming deficient year after year because your blood work is showing that you still have enough B12, but eventually it runs out. I read a lot of studies while writing this book, and one of them I was reading showed that a surprising number of meat eaters are also deficient in B12. I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that B12 isn’t really in the food, but rather it’s synthesized by gut bacteria. And so, if we have unhealthy gut flora, it could potentially lead to… I’m kind of spitballing here, but it could potentially lead to a B12 deficiency. I recommend B12 for vegans across the board, keto or not, because as you said, if you’re not eating these animal foods, and even if you are eating these animals foods, sometimes people are deficient. So, testing is important and just keep in mind that if your test shows you’re fine, you should still be aware of your B12 intake.

Vitamin D is another one. I take a vitamin D supplement as well. I’m very pale, so the sun just scorches me, so I don’t like to rely on endogenous production. I think vitamin D is another really important one for vegans because most of the food products that contain it are eggs or dairy milk. Those are things we’re just not consuming. B vitamins are obviously very important for energy production. They’re most commonly found in meat, really. You can find them in grains as well, but the ketogenic diet would not have grains typically.

Allan (15:24): Or at least very little of them, because you would hit your threshold pretty quickly.

Liz MacDowell (15:29): Right, exactly. Not a substantial amount or a significant amount. I actually don’t supplement B vitamins because I put nutritional yeast on of all my food. Not all of it, but you know what I mean. I try to get nutritional yeast in every day, which is a fantastic source of protein. It’s low in carbs and it contains a spectrum of B vitamins. You can even buy nutritional yeast that’s fortified with B12, which would eliminate the need to purchase a separate supplement for that.

Allan (16:01): Okay, cool. I didn’t realize until I read your book how fundamentally good yeast can be. It has a cheesy taste, so I’ve got to figure that out. You had a recipe in the book about these flax seeds that were sort of like fake Doritos. I’m going to try those. We’re recording this ahead of time, but I’m planning Ketofest, a Minifest here. I don’t know if you know Carl Franklin of 2 Keto Dudes, but he wants people to do these keto Minifests, and I agreed to host one. So Carl’s coming down here to Pensacola for us to do this thing. When you’re listening to this, it’s already passed. But I’m planning on making those for that event. I’ve got the recipe, I’ve got the ingredients on my phone, ready to walk to the grocery store later and pick up those things. So, I will be introducing the world to your recipe tomorrow.

Liz MacDowell (17:09): Amazing, thank you! I’m so excited! You’ll have to let me know how they turn out.

Allan (17:13): Absolutely. Now, you had some other items in there that I guess vegans don’t have to so much worry about, and that was the zinc and iodine.

Liz MacDowell (17:29): And magnesium and calcium, I think I list in there too. Exactly, these are minerals which are obtainable by eating whole foods. And in the book, as you know, I list out all the sources. Hemp seeds actually appear on a lot of those lists. I really love them. I’m going to keep telling people to eat them because I think they’re fantastic. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of zinc, magnesium as well. A lot of these foods also overlap. It can be overwhelming at first to look at a list and say, “Oh no, I have to eat an ounce of that, an ounce of that, and an ounce of that.” But really, a lot of the times you can get double duty out of some of these foods.

Allan (18:10): That takes me to the next topic. When we go on what’s perceived as a restrictive diet… It’s funny, I’ll read a study about keto or about at least the high fat, low carb. And a lot of times the researchers will go through and I don’t think they like the conclusion. And so, they’re going to make a statement in their conclusion that, “This is unsustainable, therefore we should throw it out.”

Liz MacDowell (18:41): We have read similar studies, I see.

Allan (18:45): They basically poopoo their whole study. They still need to get it published because they’re looking for a university and they have to get published, and they’ve done all this work. They just don’t like the answer, so they say, “It’s unsustainable, so just do it the way we’ve been telling you to do it.” I can say for a lot of people that really are wanting to get into keto, but there’s this fear factor of, “I’m eliminating all the foods” – I can tell you when I first went Paleo, I had dreams about bread. I mean literal dreams, like I used to dream about women. But this was bread. Kind of an interesting dream to wake up from and say, “Do I smell bread cooking?” You put some guidance in your book about stress-free ways to get into keto, and I really appreciated the tips that you had in there. Would you mind sharing those?

Liz MacDowell (19:46): Thank you. Absolutely. I think my biggest thing is – and I mention this in the book too – my favorite adage is the best diet, or the best exercise routine, or the best supplement routine, or insert a thing here, is the one you can stick to. If you start right out of the gate with this tiny list of acceptable foods and this super strict schedule for eating and all of your apps and all this madness, it’s kind of like a second job to try and achieve this diet. It’s probably not going to work unless you’re already doing that with a different diet. I always think that you should ease into it and do what’s best for your body. And if that’s going cold turkey and diving in and hitting that 20 grams a day and giving up everything you’ve ever loved food-wise – if that works for you, that’s awesome. But it doesn’t really work for everyone. So, I often advocate just easing your way into it and picking a reasonable number of carbs to stick with, or even ignoring tracking altogether for their first little bit. Just focusing on eating low carb foods and seeing how you feel.

Allan (21:01): I completely agree and I think that’s one of the cool things. When I first saw your book listed, I thought it was a cookbook, just a cookbook. I was pleased to see that it wasn’t, that it had this other stuff in it to help someone. To me that is one way if you want to ease into this – to buy a book that has some recipes in it, and try the recipes, using them as a substitute for the meal you would have had otherwise. So if normally you would have had a dinner with an animal product, and potentially you would have had some starches and probably even some high glycemic vegetables, like carrots or whatnot – now you’re going in and saying, “Here’s an entree and here’s a side from this book. I’m going to have a ketogenic meal.”

Liz MacDowell (21:54): Exactly. And that’s one of my favorite ways, is just one meal at a time, or even one food group at a time. If you rely heavily on rice, maybe try switching out for cauliflower rice and see how that feels. I guess the most that you can do for yourself is be kind and listen to your body and understand that you are not like everyone else. You might not function all that well if you go from eating 250 grams of carbs a day down to 20 grams a day. I think most of us struggle with that at the beginning.

Allan (22:27): Absolutely.

Liz MacDowell (22:29): I think that when people take this “all or nothing” approach, some are great at it. Some people need that, but for others it can be really intimidating and kind of scare them off.

Allan (22:39): Okay. Other tips that you had?

Liz MacDowell (22:47): Don’t necessarily listen to people on the Internet – that’s a big one.

Allan (22:51): But they’re so sure of themselves.

Liz MacDowell (22:54): I know. They’re so angry about it too. I didn’t realize my breakfast impacted your day that much. I see this all the time. Someone posts a picture of their meal and then the comments on Facebook in the group, or on Instagram are like, “That’s not keto” or, “I can’t believe you’re eating this” or, “Who told you you could eat that?” Calm down, don’t listen to that. If that’s what makes your body feel good, then eat that food. Sometimes it’s genuinely people wanting to help someone else and saying, “I don’t know if you realize, but this has this much sugar in it”, or whatever. But you do see a little bit of unnecessary food policing, and I think that a big factor is to tune that out for a little while.

Allan (23:37): I’ll admit, there’ve been times when I saw something on a forum or something that was out there, and it was really more I didn’t want other people doing this.

Liz MacDowell (23:49): For sure.

Allan (23:53): She probably listens to the show; I’m calling her out again. But she would go to McDonald’s and tell them she wanted the McDouble, and give her two McDoubles but only give her the meat and the cheese. Basically she’s got four beef patties and the cheese that’s on each one. So, four slices of cheese and four beef patties, and she would eat that as a meal. I said I think that’s far too much protein. That would probably knock me out of ketosis because of the amount of protein. And she came back and says, “No, I tested. I’m staying in ketosis. It’s great. And I’m lifting heavy.” It works for her and it’s great. At that point I said, “Okay, I’m glad it works for you.” We’re all very, very different in the way that food affects us. I wish it was that simple – one size fits all, and then life would be beautiful. But unfortunately, there are foods I can’t eat because they adversely affect my health. And so, I do agree. Taking what you’re saying, someone is probably coming from a good place, but they’re not recognizing that what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, the motivations of what you have and the limitations of what you have are all there. So, I completely agree with you on that one.

Liz MacDowell (25:24): You also raise a good point though, in that I see a lot of things tagged on social media, I think to get more views, saying, “This is a keto recipe”, when in no universe it’s keto. Like the main ingredient is banana or something. So I think that’s another one.

Allan (25:38): And they’re not always that bad. But there are some of them where it’s like, “Okay, fine, but we don’t need keto cookies. We just don’t.”

Liz MacDowell (25:53): I think there are a lot of products out there that we don’t really need, that we’re kind of being told we do need.

Allan (25:59): Yeah. And I knew it was coming when keto started building up and everything. Now they’re selling fat bombs, now there are all these exogenous ketones.

Liz MacDowell (26:11): They’re everywhere. There’s an MLM for them.

Allan (26:14): Right. It’s cool to occasionally have some kind of treat from the past. It’s cool to say, “I would love to have a keto pizza.” And it’s cool – have a keto pizza. But everything you’re eating shouldn’t be the same kind of foods you were eating before. We’re in this to be healthy, so you start transitioning over to whole foods.

Liz MacDowell (26:46): I have a rule with myself where if I want that kind of junk food thing, I have to make it myself. If you really want it, then yes, you’ll go through the effort to spend an hour, an hour and a half in the kitchen, making the cookie or the donut. I guess it’s not really that long, but you know what I mean. You’ll go through the effort, and then it’s kind of worth it.

Allan (27:08): And as a special treat, because you’re saying, “I really do want this.” So when we were talking about your mock Doritos, they’re made with flax seeds. Everything that’s going to go in there is ground flax seeds and yeast. I’m going to lay them out and I’m going to put them in the pan and cook them. I think the total cooking time, all in, is 30 minutes.

Liz MacDowell (27:32): Yeah, it’s pretty simple.

Allan (27:34): So, I’m going to get two cookie sheets and make enough that everybody can try some. I’m going to have your book open to that page, printed out sitting right there and say, “If you guys want to take this home, there you go. Go get the book, because there’s a lot more in there.” There are 60 recipes in the book.

Liz MacDowell (27:52): That’s awesome, thank you.

Allan (27:55): This is a treat. I’m having people over to my house and we’re all keto. So I’m like, “Let’s try this treat.” But that shouldn’t be the staples of your everyday eating.

Liz MacDowell (28:04): Right, exactly. And I think it’s so easy to forget that. Although I’ll admit while I was writing that book, they became the staples of my everyday eating, because I was so hesitant to waste anything.

Allan (28:17): It’s both. I’ve tried to develop different types of recipes and tried to experiment with the food to try to get different effects and see what things are doing. And as you’re doing that experimentation, you eat what you made, and sometimes it’s not good, but you’re not going to throw that food out.

Liz MacDowell (28:37): That’s so true.

Allan (28:39): But I stumbled across something – I call it “Allan’s fluff”. It’s the weirdest thing. Again, it’s not vegan, so anyone that’s looking at vegan, this does not fit your profile at all. It fits mine.

Liz MacDowell (28:51): I’ll just ignore the parts that don’t apply to me.

Allan (28:53): All of it doesn’t apply, but I guess you could make it part of it. But it’s sour cream, and it’s vanilla-flavored, but unsweetened – basically it’s sweetened with Stevia – protein powder. Now, I’m using a whey protein, but you can use a pea protein. Again, it’s vanilla-flavored. When you mix those two things together – basically about a cup of the sour cream, so eight ounces of sour cream, and a scoop of the protein powder, so about 27 grams of protein – it fluffs up like whipped cream. Vanilla-flavored whipped cream. Yes, it’s delicious. So yesterday – again, we’re planning something coming up, and I was thinking, what if I put pumpkin spice in that? What would that be like? I was testing that, and of course I had to eat my creation. It was good. I stirred it too much, so now I know I need to put the pumpkin spice in while I’m stirring it together, so I don’t break it down, because it will break down if you keep stirring it. So, you’re experimenting; you’re learning new ways to make food or make things interesting. For me it’s a great dessert or just a little afternoon snack if I want something like that, but it’s not something that I’m eating on a daily basis.

Liz MacDowell (30:15): Right. Something I do in the summer actually is really similar to that. In the summer I say because my kitchen’s like 96 degrees and I just can’t be bothered sometimes. But I’ll take full fat coconut milk, and mix it with some protein powder and toss in a couple of frozen berries, like a quarter cup, and mix all that up and it becomes very fluffy and delicious.

Allan (30:35): Cool, awesome. And that’s all I’m saying – experiment and have fun with your food, because too many times when we stress out about food are the things that we can’t eat. And instead, start exploring the things that you can and the flavors and the textures and the different things that you want out of your food to make it that much more enjoyable, and quite frankly, delicious.

Liz MacDowell (31:00): Absolutely. And nutritious. The more variety you eat, the more nutrients your body is taking in. That’s always good. It’s funny too – I think since going keto, the foods that I eat on a regular basis have actually expanded. I feel like I get more variety in now because you’re paying so close attention at the very beginning to the foods you can eat, that you realize there’s a whole section of the supermarket or there are whole types of foods or vegetables that you never really thought about before that are great for keto, like so many different types of greens that I’d never tried before. Now I try to regularly eat mustard greens and dandelion greens – all the stuff that I never thought about before.

Allan (31:49): I snuck some dandelion greens in with some kale and spinach. My wife doesn’t know the difference. She just knows, “It tastes good. He made it.” But I knew it had a different nutrition profile than what we would normally eat, because I took the time to experiment with something else.

Liz MacDowell (32:07): I do that to my husband too – I sneak little bits of all the vegetables into food. You have to sometimes.

Allan (32:15): If I’m doing the cooking, you’re subject to what you get.

Liz MacDowell (32:18): Exactly. Cook’s rules.

Allan (32:21): Yeah. Now, you also told a personal story about some struggles you had when you first got started in exercise. Of course as a personal trainer I want to delve into that a little bit, because people will come to me and they’re like, “I’m keto, but I was told I shouldn’t exercise.” And I’m like, “No, that’s the exact opposite. You have to exercise.” As you put in the book, in the very beginning of this, while you’re going through adaptation, it can be a struggle. You’re going to feel much more fatigued and not have the performance. So I would say, don’t start keto one week before you’re going to do a 5K which you’ve been training for for months, because your performance is going to be off the charts bad. So, can you tell a little bit about your story and then how you would encourage folks to work towards exercising appropriately?

Liz MacDowell (33:21): Absolutely. And I’m laughing at that situation, but really with it, because I’ve been there. Not with a 5K, but as you mentioned, I talk in the book about when I first started keto, I thought I could just do exercise as normal and continue on my merry way, running on the treadmill or outside or whatever. And it turned out to not at all be the case for me. I hit a wall so hard. At the very beginning your body feels like lead, your muscles have nothing to give you. I was holding on to the sides of the treadmill; it was amateur hour. I listened to what was right for my body, which was I slowed the pace down and I realized that something had to give, and for me that was the speed at which I was doing things, or I guess the intensity. I know this isn’t right for everyone, because everyone’s body is different, but for me what I had to do was kind of dial it back, slow down, lay off the intense exercising and be a little more gentle with myself, and then ease back into it. But for some people they can eventually push through the first few terrible workout.

Allan (34:32): Yeah, and a lot of it’s going to depend on the type of work that we’re doing. In my example, I was lifting heavy, but that’s very anaerobic-type work. I just do a quick set and I’m done. The energy that I need is all coming from APT, so it’s there. For that set, I don’t need to go to muscle and liver glycogen. I have all the energy I need to get that done. I take my two-minute break and everything is reset and I go in again. When you’re running, or any kind of aerobic exercise, that’s where I see most people will have the most difficulty. If they haven’t set their mindset to understand that there’s going to be that decline in performance, it really can be disheartening.

Liz MacDowell (35:23): For sure. There are ways to improve your performance though. I’ve seen really great results with a lot of people that I’ve worked with them and I just know. Simply adding in a few extra carbs before their workout – just make a smoothie, put some berries in it, and then give yourself that sort of bridge, like the bridge energy to get yourself through that workout.

Allan (35:46): You’re timing your carbs in such a way that they’re optimal at the time you’re going to most need them. And the other side of it is because of the aerobic work that you’re doing and burning off the muscle glycogen, when that hits your system, your body’s not going to initially need to have a huge insulin spike to protect you from it, protect your brain from it. It’s going to say, “The muscles are working and they’re going to need this.” Insulin not only shuttles the blood sugar to fat cells, it also shuttles it to the muscle. Even that little spike of insulin is not a bad thing, if you have the energy expenditure to make up for it. So I agree – meal-timing is really key. And then the other side of it is, just sticking with it.

Liz MacDowell (36:37): And insulin is anabolic too, so it can help you to help those gains.

Allan (36:43): It does. So you can time the meals if you need to. My trainer at the time, we would have conversations about this, because he really didn’t understand what I was doing when I first started talking to him about it. He knew what ketosis was, but he was like, “No, no, no. I don’t want you coming into the gym in the morning having not eaten. You need to eat before you come here.” I said, “No, I’m coming in. I’m completely fasted. That’s how I’m going to train. I don’t really want to lift weights in the morning, but that’s when you can train me, so that’s when I’m going to do it.” And I would go in completely fasted and have the energy to do it. That said, it was expenditure and then rest, expenditure and rest. So that was very different. I have a friend that runs distance and she puts on well over 100 miles a month. Her husband’s gone keto and he said he did 11 miles. So, a lot of people see performance improvement after they get through to that adaptation, which can take several months. But once you get to full adaptation, your body learns how to manage the glycogen stores to allow you to do. Now, anything over, say, 90 minutes, you might need to refeed a little bit of carbs, but for anything less than 90 minutes, unless you’re really, really busting your butt, your body will adapt.

Liz MacDowell (38:16): Yeah. And along those lines, I think you just learn how much you need to refeed and when you need to refeed. I love hiking. I love hiking mountains. The White Mountains in New Hampshire are so much fun, and some of them are fairly sizable. You’ll have 5K, 6K feet of elevation gain, which is super fun. But it also is very intense and takes a little more than an hour. I tend to find that on those days I need to bring along carrots with me as a snack, or even an apple, which feels like such a weird treat, but there you go. At the end of the day I’m still in ketosis, because over the course of that day, you’ve used up all of that sugar.

Allan (38:55): Yeah. It never really had an opportunity to impact your metabolism, because it was immediately being shuttled into the work that you were doing.

Liz MacDowell (39:05): Right.

Allan (39:06): Cool. Liz, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about this book… I’m interested to try some of the other recipes as well, but it’s not just a cookbook. There are 60 plus recipes in here and a lot of great information to help someone get into ketosis, but beyond that to understand how you can be vegan and keto. Where would you like for me to send them?

Liz MacDowell (39:34): MeatFreeKeto.com is my blog, where everything is, and that will have links to Vegan Keto, which is my cookbook – vegan keto book, and all that information.

Allan (39:46): So you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/348, and I’ll be sure to have links to the book and to Liz’s website MeatFreeKeto. Liz, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Liz MacDowell (40:00): Thank you so much for having me. This was such a fun chat.

Allan (40:09): If you enjoyed today’s episode, would you please take just one moment and leave us a rating and review on the application that you’re listening to this podcast right now? I’d really appreciate it, and it does help other people find the podcast, because it tells the people that are hosting these podcast episodes out there on their apps that you’re interested and they know that other people like you might be interested. So please do that. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your app, you can email me directly and I’ll try to figure it out for you. Or you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, and that’ll take you to the iTunes where you can launch that and leave a review there. I really appreciate the ratings and reviews. It does help the podcast, it helps me, so thank you very much for that.

Also, I’d really like to continue this conversation a little bit further, so if you haven’t already, why don’t you go ahead and join our Facebook group? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group, and that’ll take you to our Facebook group where you can request entry. It’s a really cool group of people, likeminded, all in our 40s, all trying to get healthy and fit. I’d really love to have you out there and have you a part of that conversation. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group.

 

 

 

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