May 23, 2023

How to grow your own food with Marjory Wildcraft

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Growing your own food gives you so much back in return, better health, self-sufficiency and happiness. On Episode 591 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Marjory Wildcraft and discuss her book, The Grow System. Marjory shares tips on how to get started in a small spot with a limited time investment.

To learn more, you can sign up for Marjory's free webinar at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grow.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:19.710] – Allan

Hey, Ras. Long time no see.

[00:03:23.870] – Rachel

Right. How's it going, Allan?

[00:03:24.920] – Allan

Yeah, it's going again because I'm taking the trip back to the States and there might be some disruptions of when I can record when I can't. We've decided to record two of our sections at the same time. So we were just talking a few minutes ago and now we're here again. So we're going to go ahead and jump into this episode with Marjory Wildcraft.

[00:03:45.930] – Rachel



[00:04:06.190] – Allan

Marjory, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:09.110] – Marjory

Hi. Thanks Allan. Appreciate you having me on.

[00:04:12.120] – Allan

The name of your book is called The Grow System. True Health, Wealth and Happiness Come From the Ground.

[00:04:18.860] – Marjory

Yeah, I actually have a copy look at that.

[00:04:24.050] – Allan

What was really interesting in it is I've had other people on, we talked about growing our own food and the value, some of the value of doing that, but okay, fine. I do a little bit of herbs in my kitchen window sill and that's great. I can throw that on my food. The step of saying that I'm going to produce a large percentage of what I eat, it can kind of seem a little overwhelming. But I think your book does a really good job of breaking down that process of how we get there.

[00:04:52.690] – Marjory

Yeah, well, there's this prevailing myth. It's almost like a story that kind of like a lot of the other stories that are going around throughout the human population that are just not true. And one is that it's really difficult to grow food or only migrant workers do it or whatever. I actually had a podcast series with several dozen extremely high level, high level executives with divisions of 2000 people or high tech entrepreneurs with 25 and $50 million budgets. And the characteristic was that they all grew some of their own food and every one of them said that was the most pleasurable part of their day, every day. So it's a myth and that you, you know, or you're going to work really hard and all you're going to get is a tomato. You can actually produce about half your own food very easily in a very reasonable amount of time. So we'll talk about that some more.

[00:05:47.300] – Allan

Yeah, we absolutely will. Now, one of the interesting things you put here is you say the five keys to true wealth. And these were interesting to me because I don't think people think of farmers as being wealthy. So if I quit my day job and started farming, I don't know how far that would get me. But you have a great point. Can you talk about the five keys to true wealth?

[00:06:12.860] – Marjory

Sure. When I talk about wealth, most people immediately are thinking or stocks and bonds or gold or financial instruments, the equity in my home. And that's actually one form of wealth, but it's really the least significant form. And the number one, you're going to appreciate this with the Fitness Over 40 podcast. Your number one form of wealth is health. Your health, right? Let's say you've got billions of dollars but you're tied to an oxygen IV thing and you can't move. Like what good is money? So health I would say, is your number one form. Your whole worldview comes through the health of your physical body. So if you're sick, no matter what's going on, that overlays all of your experience. But if you're healthy and vibrant and happy so that, I would say is the number one form of wealth. The second form of wealth and people don't I think people started to realize this during the COVID experience and that is your family having people that you have been involved with all of your life or all of their life. In the case of your kids that know you from up and down and when you were married and from when you were divorced and from when you did this and then can help you through all those years and remember or piece that together or be there for you in the 04:00 in the morning when something happens.

[00:07:33.220] – Marjory

Or to share that graduation, or that you just got a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu or whatever. To share your celebrated wins and your losses. That family is a form of wealth. You can't buy that. You can't buy that anywhere, right? In fact, that is a big problem for people who are extremely wealthy. It's finding someone who can genuinely be in their life for them, right? Another form of wealth is an extension of your family and that's your community. So if you have people in your life, your neighbors one of my favorite stories is about some families that we all really hung out together and we formed a group and I was as comfortable in every one of their kitchens as I was in my own. We spent that much time together and did that much stuff together. And one time I got a big laceration on my leg and I mean it was just one phone call and we had people there to watch the kids while my husband got me to the hospital. Or one time I got a trailer full of tomatoes and I mean it was only 15 minutes and I organized a whole group where we had a bunch of us canning those tomatoes up and everybody went home with two cases of tomato sauce.

[00:08:44.710] – Marjory

And again, it's an extension of family and the birthday parties and the trading of good things. You've got extra eggs, they got extra squash, taking on challenges of like city hall says this but we're like we want that or whatever it is, right? Having community that you deal with, the fourth form of wealth is actually doing meaningful work. And this is even regardless of whether you're retired or not, that's kind of irrelevant. I think all of us want to work. There's no such thing. I think if somebody just sits around and does nothing or I don't think they're going to be alive much longer if that's what they've been reduced to, doing something really meaningful. I've one time had an acquaintance and he was an elder gentleman, and he went to work for the IRS. And I'm like, Ian, you got to be crazy. Like, what are you doing? It's a survival job. And I said, there is no ever any need to do a survival job. You are totally destroying your own dignity by doing that. I said, that's ridiculous. You should never do a survival job, right? Even if it's a job you feel like you have to do for money, there has to be some are you helping your coworkers?

[00:09:57.300] – Marjory

Is it benefiting the world in some way? And the more you have work that's meaningful that you feel you're contributing, then the more fun it is, the less it is work and the more it is why you get up every day. And that is a form of wealth. Again, that's something that just can't be bought. Sometimes that takes a lot of soul searching. Sometimes in our midlife, we lose track of one thing that was real important and then we're in this free period for a while before we find the next thing that is it. But having something that really is me. And again, I really appreciated, regardless of the COVID experience and what that really was, it was a great wake up call for a lot of people. Like my accountant, they got really shorthanded. And I said, what's up, Don? And he says, well, you know, some of our team realized they just didn't really want to be accountants. God bless them. Hopefully they're doing what it is that they truly want to do. So the fourth form of wealth is doing meaningful work. So we have health, your health, your family, your community, doing meaningful work.

[00:11:02.550] – Marjory

And then the fifth one is almost an encompassing of all of it, and that's living a life of purpose. And so, yes, we all go through changes and different things, but knowing why you're here and living purposefully, this also starts after 40 we start looking more at legacy. What are we leaving behind? What have we done? What have we contributed? And more and more we start to live a life of purpose of every day I get up and I'm like, what is my purpose today or in any situation? What can I do here to better this situation? And again, that's not something you can't buy any of those things. And I will note that growing your own food in a backyard space fulfills all the five forms of well, first of all, you're going to get healthy. Growing your own food. And it's not just eating the high quality, high nutrient, vibrant foods, but the process of growing food, I say, is even more health giving than actually eating it. Family, I've been reviewing a lot of baby boomers. I say, what's your favorite memory of your grandparents? And it was never, oh, they took me to the skating rink, or we saw a movie.

[00:12:15.090] – Marjory

It was always something of like, well, I went with Grandma and we collected eggs from the chickens. Or one of my own memories of one of my great aunts was she had an apple tree in her yard, and we made applesauce. It always involves food harvesting and preparing, gathering, collecting food, every single one of them. Community, there is this myth of the lone survivor and the whole survival preparedness movement, of which I happen to be the female leader. Oh, my God. Anyway, guys think they're going to get their guns and head way off in the hills and survive this, and that is a complete disaster. You'll never make it. We need each other. And growing food and sharing food. The holidays, they always center around food, except for a couple of places where they fast and they're not really holidays. Those people are miserable, you know, and meaningful work. I mean, what more meaningful work? When I had my kids at home, we were homeschooling, and I was growing not all, but a significant amount of food for the family. I'm going to tell you, that is some incredibly meaningful work. When I knew that I was producing food that was going to have my children and my husband have the most vibrant and healthy bodies that they could have, incredibly meaningful work.

[00:13:35.560] – Marjory

And then the purpose, it's an incredibly purposeful activity. Also, I think my father in law, Pops, he has a variety of tomatoes. We were in Central Texas. Texas super hot in the summertime. Tomatoes do not grow in the superheat. And Pops had managed to find a variety of porter tomatoes that were very, very heat tolerant that he had actually developed over the years. Now, we won't say they were super tasty, but when it's July and August in Texas and you got any, tomato is better than none. And, you know, that variety of tomato is something that I certainly keep, the rest of the family keeps. We'll be passing that down for generations and generations and talking about pots and telling stories about pops. I mean, that's something you can do in your backyard, and that is a true legacy. There's lots of other ways to achieve those five forms of wealth, but growing food is something you can start doing right now.

[00:14:30.070] – Allan

Now, you've touched on a little bit of this, but I'd like to dive in a little bit deeper about why growing and raising your own food matters.

[00:14:40.210] – Marjory

Yeah, well, the largest destructive force on this planet is commercial agriculture. There are dead zones around every coastline of every continent. The Gulf of Mexico is a gigantic dead zone because of the agricultural runoff. Let's not go into all the soil erosion. Let's not go into all the toxicity. We used to say, be a perimeter, shopper at the grocery store. And now I'm like, just don't even go in the grocery store. There's nothing in there. Over the decades, the nutrition in the food has just been dropping and dropping and dropping and dropping and dropping. Like, for example, my mom lived to 94. She was born in 1920, back in 1920. And when her body was being built, there was real food with real nutrition in it. And she kept to the old ways for most of her life, eating whole foods and sourcing the best quality food. That's why she lived in 93, 94. That's why all these centenarians that they've been interviewing, they live that long. The kids born after 2000, even the CDC is saying, like, one third of them are going to have diabetes. Now, wait a minute. One third of kids are going to have diabetes?

[00:15:49.210] – Marjory

Like, what kind of life are these? Kids are not going to live to a 90. They're not going to live to 70. If they live to 50, they're going to be miserable because they're going to have all that stuff that comes with diabetes, of blindness, swelling legs. See what I'm saying here?

[00:16:02.600] – Allan


[00:16:03.320] – Marjory

You got to be growing it's like, way past time to be growing your own food. If you're interested in your own health, which you should be, because that's the number one form of wealth that you have, you really need to be growing your own food.

[00:16:14.570] – Allan

And just another aside, and I don't want to get political here it happens for why it's happened, but with inflation just in the last few years, and my wife and I go back to the States, it's like, food is so much more expensive than when we left four years ago. And so it's a huge contrast for us. It hasn't been this slow drip, drip, drip that I know a lot of people are experiencing up there. But just to go back and realize, wait, this used to be $25, a grocery store bill. Now it's 50 to buy the same stuff, and you're like, Holy moly. But if you've managed the seeds, you've managed the animals, you've managed the things that you need to manage this next round of crop or all, it doesn't cost you a dime more. It's the same ten minutes that it was. So you're basically giving yourself a raise.

[00:17:11.530] – Marjory

It's an investment. I was telling somebody, like, look, why do you have you have these 50 gallon drums full of beans and rice. Why are you doing that? I'm like, because those beans and rice a year ago cost $300, and now they cost $600. It's an investment. We have a thing called de dollarization coming along, and there will be the inflation is only going to get exacerbated to the point where, I mean, let's talk about Weimar Germany is going to happen in the United States, all the fiat currencies around the world. We're in that time frame, and we don't need to go into that in this podcast. Here the other thing and most people are not watching global crop production because why would we? But global crop production has been down everywhere, and there's not a lot of hope about it coming back around in the foreseeable future. So we have a constraint on supplies happening. And then we also have a financial system that's imploding. I'm here because I love the positive message of it's healthy and it's fun and it's the most rewarding activity you can do. But there is definitely a survival angle to this. Absolutely.

[00:18:26.770] – Allan

My wife has always said she has a black thumb. Can't grow anything. But it's kind of actually easy down here in Panama because you pretty much plant something and it grows. And we usually get plenty of rain, so it grows fast. But how can someone think about it? I've got this little backyard I want to get started. How does someone go about just making those first steps?

[00:18:52.270] – Marjory

So I, too had a black I mean, my first degree is in engineering. Later on got into business. I wasn't exactly, like, born in some hippie commune knowing this stuff. Right? Because I learned it all right. And you can learn it all. I would like to point out people often think about growing food and they immediately think of a garden. And I would like to say that actually animal products. And there are lots of ways for this to do it for the vegans. I don't want to alienate all the vegans, but animal products by far a lot easier and more prolific in terms of calories and nutrition than gardens. So even a backyard flock of six laying hens is what I recommend people start out with. It's 1500 eggs a year, which is basically three egg omelets you have for the entire year. So you have breakfast covered, and then you'll have 33 dozen eggs left over to barter or trade or give away or use in other recipes. And you can get that up and going in just a couple of weeks. So it ends up being about 95,000 calories, which I know historically the calorie has been a bad word, but the calorie is about to become the unit of currency.

[00:19:55.630] – Marjory

But let me go also address the black thumb thing. But I did want to preface that conversation with animal products are another great way to produce food. It doesn't always get outside of the garden bumps. The secret to a green thumb is actually the soil. And I know most of us are used to like, you wipe your feet, get that dirt. I don't want that dirt in my house. It's just dirt, right? It's dirt. Get it off your clothes. We don't normally think about how important soil is and a really vibrant, healthy soil with a lot of minerals and a lot of life, a lot of microbiotics going on there with either bacteria or fungi in it. The plants will be healthy and strong. Insects and disease, just like for animals, are the predators of the plant nations. If you are weak, then you will get sick, right? It's a fundamental thing. And if your plants are weak, they will get sick or have tendencies to have insect outbreaks. The way that plants get nourished is having adequate sunlight and water, but also soil the relationship in the soil of their roots with the microorganisms, the roots of the plant can't break down the rock and get a mineral.

[00:21:13.610] – Marjory

The roots of the plants have these relationships with soil microorganisms that break down and get them the minerals that they need. And in return, the plants will make types of carbohydrates that it exudes out of its roots to feed the microorganism. There's a whole lot more going on in there. So my advice is to get the highest quality soil you can and your garden will be way more forgiving of your erratic watering schedule. It'll be able to hold water better, you'll have way more nutrients and minerals and more life. Your plants will be healthier and stronger. And really having great soil is the secret to a green thumb.

[00:21:53.950] – Allan

And then in the book you do share some other things about how you can get into composting and things like that that are going to help you keep that soil. Because you can't just keep planting and taking you've got to put back in.

[00:22:09.200] – Marjory

One of the other wonderful things about this is it's also circular. And we're used to living linear lives. And when you start growing your own food, you start becoming very much in touch with these circular and relationship, which I think we're talking about relationships with other species, which is a real broadening of your interactions. And your backyard starts to become a whole ecosystem that you're involved with and participating with and helping. That's another thing that makes it so magical and wonderful.

[00:22:39.370] – Allan

Well, right, because just two things that would come out of that. One is if you're composting, you're throwing less away, which means the landfills get less and your food is right there in your backyard. They're not having to truck this stuff in from Mexico and all the fuel and everything that that would take to get the food to you. And you don't have to drive down to the grocery store to get it either. It's like literally walk out there, clip off your greens. It's going to keep growing. Pick some tomatoes, some cucumbers and make yourself a really great salad.

[00:23:10.710] – Marjory

You'll get it at the peak of freshness and the peak of nutritional content and the peak of flavor. By the way, if I could dovetail 1 second for those that go, oh, I got a homeowners, I can, or the rules or whatever. So the city of Austin is a great example. When I moved there 25 years ago, having chickens in your yard, people were like, you just lowered the property values. It was like Bubba Bill, you can't have chickens. Hated it. And there was a group, actually, a gentleman named Selwyn Pollock really said, hey, wait a minute, these things are great. Fast forward 15 20 years, the Austin chick stuff, they go crazy. And they now have a tour called the funky chicken coop tour because people build all these crazy chicken coops and they go nuts with it. But the city of Austin also regularly has classes on how to have a backyard flock of chickens, and they will subsidize you buying a chicken coop, and you might say, why would the city do that? And it's a very practical reason is they found out that people who had chickens had like 34% less waste that they were putting into the landfill.

[00:24:22.150] – Marjory

And they did a big cost benefit analysis, and they found out that if they had everybody in the city owning chickens, they would have this way less. It made more sense to subsidize the chickens in the city than it did to keep trying to fill up the landfill.

[00:24:38.790] – Allan

So, again, we're part of this ecosystem. We just get to choose a little bit about how we approach it. Now, you mentioned earlier that it was in our best interest, if we're looking at doing this for food, is that we're going to get a lot more bang for the buck with animals. And in the book, you got specific on the laying hens, the chickens and how to go about that. And you also talked about rabbits, because, again, I think of a farm or food. I'm thinking a cow and a pig and got to live by a river so I can fish and but let's talk about chickens and rabbits.

[00:25:09.710] – Marjory

Yeah, I want to live there, too, but the truth is most of us don't live there where we can have a pig and a cow and go fishing by the river. So, yeah, the book is really designed for the average American with the resources they have. And I have by the way, I visited Cuba to interview a bunch of the people that went through the government calls it the special period, actually, economic collapse. And they raised pigs in their backyard. What's? One woman this time, she raised a pig in a bathroom, like, oh, my god, the plumbing didn't work anymore, so why not? But, yeah, you don't really want to do that. That's just an extreme case. Rabbits are great. There's a distinction between an herbivore and an omnivore. People like, why don't you raise chickens for me? And actually, my family did that for years. We'd get 100 baby chicks, and we'd raise them up as a three month project, feed them, take care of them, and then the whole family, over a couple of weekends, we process them all, and then we had organic free range chicken in the freezer all year. Wonderful project, but it requires a lot of food.

[00:26:11.420] – Marjory

Chickens are omnivores, and basically they like to eat what you like to eat, right? Grains and vegetables and fruits and they're omnivores. They will eat some greens and things, too. Absolutely, yeah.

[00:26:22.810] – Allan

But I'm not a big fan of mice, rats and insects that they'll eat. But they are going to eat some meat.

[00:26:29.590] – Marjory

Yeah, they will eat that, too. But rabbits are pure herbivores and they're easier to feed. I'm coming from a survival and preparedness background, and when the grocery stores close, the feed stores are going to close too, right? You're not going to be able to buy animal feed. Rabbit, rabbit hoods, when you can grass and landscape trimmings and in the northern climates, bark in the wintertime, so you can much more easily and sustainably feed rabbits. You can basically take a lot of greens and a lot of forage that you can't eat, and the rabbits will turn that into protein and fat for you. They breed like rabbits.

[00:27:12.070] – Allan

Like rabbits.

[00:27:14.010] – Marjory

You get a lot of them, right? You can produce a lot of them in a small space.

[00:27:18.540] – Allan

Yeah, I learned so much in this book. I didn't know you could eat acorns, and I was like, Holy crap, I can't remember how many times. It was just so many acorns. I lived in a house in Massachusetts in the trees, and it was such a pain to rake up the acorns, rake up all the leaves. Leaves are a little easier because the rake works. But the acorns were the ones you just rake, rake, rake, rake, rake. If I'd known I could eat those things, man, that saved me a lot of time.

[00:27:45.450] – Marjory

They're really good and they're not that hard to process, and they're oh, my goodness. That angema pancake stuff is complete awfulness when you've eaten acorn meal pancakes. Oh, my God. So delicious. Real food. Yeah. There's places in Austin the homeowner tell you a funny story. So she had this big five oak tree in her front yard and she had this concrete sloping driveway, and it was perfect because all those acorns would hit that driveway and then roll down to the intersection where the edge where the street was, and I was like, oh, my God, let me just see. All you had to do is shove it in a bag. You didn't even have to rake it up. And I was out jogging one morning. I was actually in Austin on a business trip at some marketing conference or something, early in the morning, out for a run and saw these Acorns, and I had a bag, and I'm like and the woman who was the homeowner comes out on her porch, and she's looking at me, and she's got her hands on her hips. And I thought, oh, no, she's going to be mad because I'm taking her Acorns.

[00:28:48.270] – Marjory

And I said, oh, hi. And she goes, you want those things? Yeah. She says, take them all. Thank you.

[00:29:06.030] – Allan

But it just goes to the fact that how much we've lost touch of food, of what food is and where we can get food and how we can grow our own and raise our own. So that's something I really enjoyed about this book and the things that I was able to learn just with this little introduction.

[00:29:22.070] – Allan

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

[00:29:30.580] – Marjory

Yeah. Well, of course I'm going to tell you to grow your own food because that leads you to all the five forms of wealth. And actually, pretty soon, growing your own food is going to make you money too. Growing your own food is like printing your own money. I also really enjoy being physically fit and active. And then I think for me, the other most important thing for me is just to always be following my heart. If it's time to stop doing something, I'll know, and then I honor that, even though it kind of looks kind of crazy, or if it's time to start something, just following your heart and really trusting, there's a lot of wisdom.

[00:30:05.960] – Allan

Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. The book goes into a lot of detail, but it's kind of one of those things where the more you know, the more you know, you don't know.

[00:30:15.970] – Marjory

Really. I'm not even an expert.

[00:30:18.190] – Allan

Right. But you've put together a webinar called You Can Grow Food. And what I did was I went ahead and just set up a little link for that so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grow. And I'll have a link to that webinar because I think that's a really good first step for folks to get out there. Can you tell us a little bit about what we would learn on that webinar?

[00:30:39.810] – Marjory

Yeah. So I'll go into a very simple three part system that will show you how you can grow half of your own food in the size of three parking spots. Like, oh, you can do this. And I'll show you the calories it generates, what it looks like, what those meals look like. And the time is really less than an hour a day. I'd say about a half an hour a day. So this is something you can easily integrate into your life. You'll come with a plan for getting those three going, which will be getting you producing half of your caloric need, and you'll have a plan of how to get started today, regardless of where you live. And then what are the next steps to take. And once you implement those first three, which are the simplest and easiest to go for anybody, then the whole world opens up to you, and we talk about all other ways to grow food or produce food and just basically go through those introductions, answer a lot of really great questions people have about growing food. And it's just a very empowering class. Again, I do have that whole survival and preparedness background, so I always have this pitch toward, you might be in a grid down situation.

[00:31:46.850] – Marjory

And then a lot of people I really appreciate this audience is probably fitter than most, but this is also targeted for people who maybe they're overweight or out of shape or older, which makes the rest of us he's like, oh, great, that's easy. So they'll come away with a whole plan of action, what to get started with today and empowered on how to grow half of their own food.

[00:32:11.480] – Allan

Awesome. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grow and find that webinar. And it's a free webinar, right?

[00:32:18.800] – Marjory

Yes, it's a free webinar.

[00:32:20.290] – Allan

Awesome. Marjory, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:24.290] – Marjory

Well, thank you, Allan. I really appreciate you. And we'll come on some other time and a lot of other topics. Fun to talk about.

[00:32:30.400] – Allan

There are a lot of other topics. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:33.330] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:32:34.650] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a really fun discussion. I would just start off with health as the first form of wealth. Even when she said it, it caught me by surprise, even though it's something that I think about all the time is how important our health is. We could have all the money in our retirement fund or all the money in the bank account in the world, but if we're not healthy, there's no way to enjoy it.

[00:32:55.960] – Allan

Well, even being on that, if you're spending money on curative health care for chronic diseases. So that's high blood pressure, that's high cholesterol, that's heart, that's blood sugar, that's all of that stuff. Every time you write that check, every time you pull off that credit card to pay a copay, every time the insurance comes out of your paycheck, that is an indication of your investment or payments that you're making to keep yourself alive. And if you don't take care of yourself, you'll be on more medications than you would have otherwise. If you're not doing the right health care things, health style lifestyle things, you'll be spending more money for health care. I think I read that a person with diabetes spends $22,000 more per year on health care than someone who doesn't have diabetes.

[00:33:52.980] – Rachel

Wow, that's a lot.

[00:33:55.240] – Allan

It is a lot. And maybe you don't financially see it coming out of your pocketbook because you have a good insurance program or something like that, but invariably the money is coming from somewhere, and it's going to be coming from us directly or as a pool, but it's still coming out. And if you notice that your premiums go up every year, maybe your employer takes on a big chunk of that that's great. But they still see that as a chunk of your compensation. And so rather than them being able to write you a bigger raise, they're now paying it out in healthcare costs. And so you're getting less of a raise if you're missing a lot of work because you're sick. I was a hiring manager, and I can tell you the person that shows up every day, I like her, I like him. Okay, they're going to get the promotions first, they're going to get the raises first. And you can say, well, that's not fair. I was out sick. I shouldn't be penalized. It's not fair, but it is what it is. You're not there. You're not contributing at that point. And it's just unfortunate, but that's what it is.

[00:34:57.540] – Allan

And so when you start looking at what you could make, what you could do, or what you are spending, your health and lifestyle, they actually are part of that formula. And you want to be healthy when you're older. You don't want to be sickly. You don't want to be put into a home earlier than you need to, right? So the things you do to take care of yourself from a fitness and a health perspective are really, really important. And so what Marjory is talking about is if you're eating good quality food, and you know it's good quality food because you raised those chickens, you raised those rabbits, and you were the one who got the soil together and planted those plants and kept them and fed them and did what was necessary. You know, the quality of what you're eating is good and so much fresher and better than what you would ever get from any store or even a co op. And so it's just this opportunity for you to have complete control over what you eat, what you and your family eat. And granted, she said 50% was a good, steady goal for sustainability, but she's talking about someone who just has a backyard.

[00:36:07.950] – Allan

It's not someone who has acres, because you definitely feed your whole family practically with acres and maybe others, but just in your backyard, because the chickens will take up about a parking space, the rabbits will take up about a parking space overall, and then the plants are just the space that you choose to plant. And the way she looks at it is, she's doing planters that are maybe 8ft long and 4ft wide, which allows her to easily manage them. They're raised beds, and so you can plant as many of those as you want. She recommends one to start and then the second one. And at that point, with just two of these planters and the chickens and the rabbits, you could be growing half of your own food.

[00:36:50.050] – Rachel

That would be so awesome. Now that we're back in Michigan, where we've been for about four years, we've been trying to work on our own gardens here. And I'll tell you, I have a black thumb. I just kill anything I touch. My husband and my daughter, they're the ones with the green thumbs. They're the one that makes it all work. But when we have our own garden, we plant the foods that we want to eat. So we'll have tons of tomatoes and we'll have lots of onions. My daughter's experimenting with different lettuces right now, and sometimes it's a process. We also have rabbits and groundhogs and deer that like to eat our food before we get it. But we have to learn. We're learning how to adapt. And I'll tell you what, when you raise your own tomatoes, there's nothing that tastes better than having your own tomatoes. And that's probably one of the easiest things to grow, too. And then if you have a bumper crop, you can can them and use them in the winter for chilies or soups or whatever else. It's just a wonderful thing to do, and not to mention the chance to be outside during the best time of year.

[00:37:53.900] – Rachel

So it's a wonderful thing to do.

[00:37:56.230] – Allan

And that's the other part of it. She's like, you're going to spend more time outside, but not a huge investment of time. I mean, she's literally talking about ten minutes for your garden. Once you get it going, you're out there for ten minutes tending to it per day. The chicken is kind of the same thing. You're out there checking their food, checking their water, just making up the eggs, and then you're out with the rabbits again, just checking their food, checking their water, making sure they're taken care of, sometimes rotating them around the yard so they're getting different parts of the yard, rotating that around. And then she did the raised beds as a way to help eliminate some of the rabbits and things getting into your garden and cross contaminating your soil. Because if one of your neighbors has been using pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers and stuff on their yard, that runoff could be in your yard over years and years and years. You don't necessarily want to use that for your food. So she encourages you to buy soil, do the raised beds, and then you have complete control over the environment that your plants grow in.

[00:39:04.030] – Allan

And she agrees to start small. Her webinar is going to be a great way for you to get a good exposure to what she's talking about. The book is great, too, but the webinar, I think, is going to be where it really will make a lot more sense, and she'll be able to answer all your questions. So if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grow, that's going to put you into that webinar and you'll be able to go through that and watch that webinar, it's going to be really cool and a lot of value there. So even if you think maybe I want to grow a few things, I'm not necessarily into the rabbits and having to kill them and eat them. And maybe chickens are okay, but she says you don't have to have a rooster to lay eggs. So it's not like you're going to be disturbing your neighbors with this rooster or yourself with this rooster every morning. You don't have to have the rooster. So she talks about that, getting your laying hands, how you'd organize them, how you'd set up. She puts all that together with the resources. But I think the webinar is going to be just a really good concise way for you to get a really good idea of how her growth system works, because it is a full ecosystem, so it's all encompassing.

[00:40:12.760] – Allan

If you're doing all four of these things, basically, plus foraging and maybe hunting, you set yourself up to basically be getting almost all of your own food at some point, and that's kind of cool.

[00:40:26.100] – Rachel

That would be awesome.

[00:40:27.160] – Rachel

I love it. Might have to check out that webinar myself.

[00:40:30.120] – Allan

Again, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grow to sign up for that webinar and learn a lot more about Marjory Wildcraft and then her book, which is called The Grow System: True Health, Wealth and Happiness Come From the Ground.

[00:40:46.370] – Rachel

I love it.

[00:40:47.320] – Allan

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

[00:40:51.080] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:40:52.040] – Allan

You too.

[00:40:53.060] – Rachel


[00:40:53.860] – Allan


[00:40:54.730] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to use your DNA to optimal health with Kashif Khan

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

More and more we are finding the keys that our genetics give us to live a longer, healthier life. In his book, The DNA Way, Kashif Khan gives us a roadmap to look at our health and fitness through our DNA. On episode 590 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book and how you can use your genes to get and stay healthy and fit.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:19.230] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:20.690] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:22.760] – Allan

Well, I'm juggling. Juggling episodes. Juggling traveling. Well, we had a guest, and her episode is supposed to go live when this episode goes live. So probably last week you had heard me say such and such will be on this week, and this ain't that episode. Well, her book got delayed, and so we shifted things around. So we may have a couple of episodes in the near future where there's not a hello episode. Hello part of the episode. And I apologize for that. Well, I may play it anyway, but if you're like well, he's already there, and now he's talking about going there. If that gets confusing, I'm sorry. We're time travelers here, and we're this in the future. It is what it is. I want to make sure that I help the authors the best I can when I can. So this episode was not the one I promised you last week. It's a new one. So that plus, yeah, I'm traveling. We're currently in Ashborough, North Carolina, which was the county I was born in, the city I was born in. My mother lives here. My sister lives here. We're visiting her before we go over to Asheville, which is where my daughter's getting married.

[00:04:27.570] – Allan

So when you're listening to this, our daughter would have gotten married on Saturday, so you're listening to us on Tuesday. Normally we're not that tight. Normally we're two or three weeks out, but right on that. So if the next couple of weeks sound weird, was like, yeah, I'm planning this trip. I'm about to go. I went and I got there.

[00:04:45.850] – Rachel

Time has no meaning.

[00:04:49.210] – Allan

Yeah. Message from future.

[00:04:51.370] – Rachel

Time has no meeting anymore.

[00:04:53.710] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:55.020] – Rachel

Beautiful. We have spring. The trees are budding, and tonight is actually run club night for me. And I cannot wait to get down to the trail because the turtles that we have in the river should be starting to do their nesting. And so I can't wait to see what kind of wildlife we'll have pretty soon. So looking forward to seeing my turtles tonight.

[00:05:14.090] – Allan

Cool, because now they're going to listen to a future episode, and it's like she just said it was freezing a turtle.

[00:05:20.590] – Rachel

Well, today's a spring. You never know. It's Michigan.

[00:05:25.190] – Allan

So are you ready to talk to Kashif?

[00:05:27.880] – Rachel



[00:06:08.700] – Allan

Kashif, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:11.280] – Kashif

Good to be here, man. Very good pleasure. Happy to be here.

[00:06:14.500] – Allan

Yeah. Now your book is called The DNA Way: Unlock the Secrets of Your Genes to Reverse Disease, Slow Aging, and Achieve Optimal wWellness. In reading the book, it was very interesting because as you went, you went through great examples of different people, including yourself, and how their genetics were driving their outcomes, their health outcomes, sometimes without them even knowing it. Obviously mostly without them knowing it. It was there and it was real. By the time you started writing the book, it was about 7000 profiles of people that were out there. So I do have to ask this quick question, is have you figured out the perfect genetic profile yet?

[00:06:54.050] – Kashif

I wouldn't say perfect, but there is one gentleman who we met with who was the founder of a four M, the anti aging conference. And this guy's in the Guinness Book of all the records for like, 13,000 sit ups and some number of thousands of push ups, and his genetics were almost flawless. He's so healthy that he's recovering while he's pushing himself, and that's why he can do the 13,000 sit ups. I think his name was Robert Goldman. But other than that, everybody has a red flag for the most part. He's literally the only person we've seen that's wired like this. He's a genetic freak. But everybody has something, whether they know it or not, that needs support.

[00:07:28.980] – Allan

And that's why we're here, because I know I'm far from perfect and I need support, a whole lot of support. Now, you used a term in the book. It's the first time I've actually seen this term in a book. And that's why it really caught my attention, because it was just one of those it stops you for a second when you're reading. You're like, Wait a minute. That's really important. And the term was informed choice. If we know what the answer is, if we know the right choice, we have a choice. We have the opportunity. Can you talk a little bit about informed choice, what that is and what it means for us?

[00:08:03.800] – Kashif

Yeah. So in this context, what we're saying is we are constantly making choices when it comes to health or wellness, even if we don't think we are. Every time you decide to eat, to breathe, to expose yourself to anything, it's a choice towards health or a choice away from health. Literally every choice you make. And most of the time, we're not even consciously aware of that. It's outside of our awareness. And so once you start to develop the habits of understanding that your choices do equal your health outcome, when it comes to chronic disease, aging, the way you perform, the way you sleep, and it truly is in your control that a lot of these things that we think are, oh, yeah, there's diabetes in my family. There's breast cancer in my family. No, there's some underlying genetics of optimality that drives that thing to thrive. And if you understood what that root cause was and you started to make the right choices, then you can decide whether or not you have disease. You can decide at what pace you actually age. You can decide how much energy you have. And this is one thing I learned about myself.

[00:09:02.480] – Kashif

I sit here in front of you, perfectly healthy. When I used to have five chronic conditions, which I really thought I had, that I didn't realize until later, I developed through the wrong choices.

[00:09:11.060] – Allan

Now, one of the interesting things that we got into this was there's what we would call, I guess people just call common truths. It's like we all believe this is the right way to do this. And if you're doing this, you're doing the right thing. And generally 80 20 rule is probably working out. But there is some counterintuitiveness to this whole genetic makeup. You had a buddy who was golfing four times a week, and I think most people would say, well, that's awesome. That's a good amount of walking. Even if you're in a cart, you're still doing a good amount of walking and exercise and getting outside. But this was actually detrimental to him. Could you explain that?

[00:09:45.320] – Kashif

You nailed it. The reason why he did the golfing was for the walking because he had a cholesterol issue. And this guy, a dear friend of mine, 38 years old when this happened, and he was a pharmacist, so he, on the medical side, understood himself. Right. He had been trained, but that number kept going up and his dosage kept going up, and he couldn't understand, what am I doing wrong? So the walking was part of his therapeutic plan. Let me walk this off. Right. What was actually happening was he was missing some of the key detox genes that instruct Glutathione utilization in the body. So your body's ability to bind onto toxins, send them to deliver, to metabolize and clear and so in missing them when he was walking on that golf course and breathing in. And by the way, this is in Canada, where the regulation on what chemicals are allowed to be used in golf courses are a little lax just because we have a long winter in most provinces. And so they allow more stuff to be used. And he's breathing these things in for three, 4 hours at a time, four days a week, which is not typical human capacity, even with the best detox system.

[00:10:48.670] – Kashif

And he had the worst. So what happens when you have toxins in your body? They cause inflammation. Your cellular structure was not designed to cope with these types of toxic insults. And so when the endothelium or the inner lining of the blood vessel, the wall that the blood actually touches, gets exposed to toxins, it gets inflamed. And your body will then use cholesterol as a hormone to reduce the inflammation. That's why it's actually sent to that location so if you don't deal with the underlying root cause, which is I have no detox system and I'm consistently exposing myself to toxins that are causing inflammation. But instead you wait to treat the disease that comes out of it, which is what we call cholesterolemia. All you're going to ever going to do is it's like a boat with a hole and you're just throwing buckets of cholesterolemia while the water is still coming in. Why not plug the holes? And that's what we were able to do with him. And guess what? He's not on a prescription anymore. No more pills.

[00:11:40.210] – Allan

That's awesome. That's awesome. But so counterintuitive that okay, play golf a little less and choose a different golf course.

[00:11:47.170] – Kashif

Well, it was a couple of dials to turn. It was that it was adopt new habits. But it was also now that we know that your body doesn't do this job well, how can we supplement it? So there's two dials to turn, get rid of the exposure. That's not always easy. Let's also support your body's biological function. We made a cocktail form as a friend. I made him some supplements that supported detoxification of the body cellular resiliency, mitochondrial function. And then his cells started to behave as if he did have the good version of the genes.

[00:12:18.960] – Allan

Awesome. So now you brought up something in the book, I think with onslaught of diabetes and you have some experience in your family and you're up with this. Is that some point everybody's going to have insulin resistance and diabetes even if they not have a genetic preference. But can you talk about how genetics drives insulin resistance?

[00:12:37.850] – Kashif

Yeah. So right now, the United States is presumably 95% metabolically unhealthy. This is coming from the CDC. They're saying only 5% of Americans actually have good metabolic health. And that's mostly driven by our food supply. The high carb, low fat myth that was completely wrong and the road we went down and where we're now at. And so the actual straight out insulin response is genetically driven. There's a gene called TCF seven L two, which determines how efficiently you actually manage your insulin levels and how do you respond to glucose in the bloodstream. And are you bouncing up and down or is it more even keel? And if you're not doing well, there a big red flag. Points to diabetes. AMY1 is a gene that helps you break down starches and metabolize them and use them as fuel. Some people do really well there and we don't tell them you need to go on a low carb diet. They actually thrive on carbs. A lot more people, however, don't do so well there. Then there's also fat metabolism. I can't tell you how many people we have to tell them that the reason they don't feel good is because they're on a keto diet.

[00:13:40.050] – Kashif

And I'm not saying not go on a keto diet for the person who's wired for it. There's nothing that will make them feel better and healthier than that thing. But for the person who's not wired for it, who has the suboptimal version of the ap2 gene, as it's called, they may feel good in the first two or three weeks because ketones start firing. The brain feels good, you're using fat as fuel. But five, six weeks into it, you start to get sluggish. And you don't blame it on the keto because you felt so good in the first two, three weeks. So you start looking for other problems. Right. And a lot of people, we've had to unwind and change their diet. So all of these things equal metabolic dysfunction, which then lead to insulin resistance, which then lead to a whole scope of problems, from cardiovascular disease to cancers, to diabetes to dementia and Alzheimer's. We need metabolic health as a baseline foundation for other chronic diseases to not set in.

[00:14:30.040] – Allan

And I think this kind of speaks to the whole idea that, well, it worked for him, it should work for me. I watched them do this way of eating, and it works, and they're just in brilliant health and I want some of that, and then I eat that way, and my results are just not even close to that. Can you dive a little deeper into how our genotype affects the nutrition that our body needs?

[00:14:54.990] – Kashif

Yeah. So this is a big challenge in today where information is so easy to access. And so you go to YouTube or you go to a podcast like this, for example, and you hear something that the person speaking says, this changed my life. And they're probably correct. But if you ask them how they got there, it was probably five, six, seven years of trial and error. And that's why exactly,

[00:15:20.440] – Allan

you got me eight years.

[00:15:22.550] – Kashif

But, yeah, eight years of like, this sucks, this sucks. I'm like, oh, wow, I feel incredible. And you feel so good that you want to scream for the rooftops and tell everybody, and that's why you have this incredible podcast. Right. But the pain it took to get there, we don't talk about. And all we're saying is that, yes, it works for you. If a genetic you comes along, it will also work for them. If they're not wired like you, they're going to say, this doesn't work. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Right. So all we're saying is, day one, there's an instruction manual in each one of your 50 trillion cells that's telling your cells how to do their jobs. And those manuals are not the same for us. So when it comes to nutrition, like you just asked, if we aren't precise in terms of what our bodies need, yes, you can trial and error it until you figure out what feels good, and then eventually you'll be great. That takes years, typically. Or you can go straight to the genes that direct all these processes, starting with the brain. When it comes to diet, nutrition, the first thing we usually look at is how do you even perceive food?

[00:16:21.900] – Kashif

There's genes around satisfaction of the palate and people that need to binge and snack because they can't get satisfied. I need my doritos, I need my cookies. Right? Then there's genes around satiety of the gut and your ability to actually feel full. And that signal from the gut to the brain is just sometimes slower for people. And so we have to structure their food. Then there's people that can't experience pleasure as efficiently as others. Their dopamine pathway is broken, so they become addictive or they become bingers, and they use food as coping mechanism because their emotional pathways are off. So decoding the brain step one is really important in terms of decoding how to eat the way you want because you may think you're doing it, but depending on the day and what you're exposed to, you probably aren't.

[00:17:02.410] – Allan

Yeah, so this is talking about our relationship with food and satiety and how we approach it. It's talking about how we metabolize the different macronutrients and it even gets as deep as how we deal with the micronutrients and how we balance that out. I haven't done mine. I will. I promise. I'm on it. Back to the States. I'm a spit in the tube, but I have a problem with low sodium and low potassium and I have to kind of manage and make sure that I'm getting a sufficient amount of that in my diet. I only know that from the error that happened.

[00:17:35.920] – Kashif


[00:17:36.280] – Allan

And every time I go get blood test, I have seen that it's low. And I'm guessing there's probably a profile in my genetics that is putting me at a predisposition for that.

[00:17:46.700] – Kashif

Yeah, likely the ability to actually metabolize. So there's different steps to using nutrients. There's getting it in the blood, which is what we measure, but there's also using it. So there's a big difference between understanding how much is in the blood and how much is in the cell where your body actually needs it. And genes that drive those steps are unique and separate. And so we can get really precise, especially when it comes to vitamin D. It's a really complex pathway. But vitamin D is probably the most important micronutrient that you need out of the 22,000 genes that make up your Genome 2000. So almost 10% of your human biology requires vitamin D at the adequate right level to express your genes properly. Meaning that for your genes to do their jobs, whether it's hormones, brain, bone, skin, whatever, if you don't have the right amount of vitamin D, you're not doing those jobs well. And vitamin D has a complex pathway because if you think of our ancestral traits, they were out in the sun. Here's you and me indoors on a zoom call, right. That was not the reality of what worked. Like 200 years ago and then go beyond many thousands of years.

[00:18:52.800] – Kashif

So we now have this ability to mitigate and reduce our vitamin D utilization, which doesn't fit our current lifestyle. Step one, there's a gene that takes vitamin D from D Two from the sun and converts it to D Three. So how efficiently do you do that? Step two, there's a gene that then transports it to the cell where it's actually used. How efficiently do you do that? Step three, there's a gene that binds it and actually gets it into the cell. And how efficiently do you do that? So now not only do we know how much vitamin do you need, but maybe how frequently. If you don't transport and bind it, the first dose, you might only use 20% of what you put in. So you need to take two or three doses in a day. That one thing. I can't tell you how many problems we fix just by fixing this. From anxiety to bone issues to I can't get out of bed with depression and issues. So much get fixed just with this one thing.

[00:19:44.330] – Allan

And I think that's why a lot of people notice when they start eating right, they start feeling better. These feelings and emotions, all this stuff, it's like, well, food is not supposed to help me with depression, but yes, it does if you eat the right food.

[00:19:57.230] – Kashif

Yeah, there was a report that just came out that if you take the best antidepressant drug and then you compare it to exercise, exercise is a 50% better outcome than the number one antidepressant drug, which, by the way, only works 40% of the time because it's just masking the symptom and hiding the fact that there's biological dysfunction. And it usually has to do with gut and body, like not moving your body and not supporting your gut, which both equal brain problems, neural inflammation, disconnect in general. So yeah, food and exercise will resolve most mood issues.

[00:20:34.170] – Allan

So let's do that. Let's jump into fitness and talk about how our genotype drives the type of fitness that we should be doing. Because I know some people sit there and say, well, you can look at this person and they're long and lean and they do yoga. Well, yoga didn't make them long and lean. They're good at yoga because they're long and lean. Or you can look at a sprinter or you can look at a marathoner and say, okay, two totally different body types that make them better at their sport. But when we look at training, though, there's still training that's best for us. How does that all work?

[00:21:05.640] – Kashif

So that's a big thing that we talk to parents about because you can imagine the five, six, seven year old child where it's like, hey, I want my kid to play football. I want my kid to be a hockey player. Do you know what they're going to look like when they're 15 and imagine all the effort you're going to put into this to see them fail because you didn't pick the right path, when guess what? Their hormones tell us exactly what they're going to become. And that's also true for you and me, the 40 plus crowd, right? We understand exactly why we've been challenged and why we hit plateaus. So take me, for example. I produce a lot of testosterone. My genes say that very clear, but I also clear it very quickly. So I have this use it or lose it type hormone profile, where if I do actively go to the gym regularly, which I do, I can fairly easily maintain the physique I want. But as soon as I stop, it all comes crumbling down, right? I can't get big and I can't deadlift 400 pounds because I don't make enough estrogen, which is there's a myth that strength and weight comes from testosterone actually is driven by estrogen.

[00:22:08.340] – Kashif

So I don't make enough estrogen to get the mass. I'm more of a Captain America and less of a Dwayne Johnson, let's say. Right? If I do everything right, there's a certain body type that my hormones are already dictating, and that helps me determine how I need to work out. For example, I used to do four or five sets of everything and I was over training, and my recovery didn't facilitate that. Well, now I do two sets, and every single trainer I talk to says, that's not how you work out. Well, guess what? I'm in the best shape of my life and I'm able to go to the gym more often. And I feel better mentally because that's exactly what my body needed. And yes, it's unique, but great, that's what I need. It doesn't matter to me what works for everyone else, right?

[00:22:50.600] – Allan

Yeah, exactly. And so by getting your genetic profile done, you're going to have some ideas, okay, how's my body going to respond to exercise? What am I going to get the most benefit from? How is my recovery work? Which is going to also then help you understand, okay, what volume should I put on myself? And so many people just think more is better, but that's not the case.

[00:23:11.630] – Kashif

Since I reduced it, I have far better outcome. So recovery, the word you use, is very important. So we're in Toronto and we work with a lot of NHL hockey players. It's like a mecca of hockey training up here, right? So in the offseason, they're all here, and recovery is always a question mark. So we work with a lot of players and we have to show them that their regimen is the problem, it's not the recovery. They're just over training. And when we reduce their training to align with their mitochondrial resilience so we can actually determine how efficiently the mitochondria functions, which then determines how quickly they recover. So, again, we turn both dials, we supplement them to help their mitochondria and to help them recover faster, but we also adjust the load to make it align with what they're designed for. And all of a sudden, again, they thrive. They actually don't need to train as much, but a guy like me, I need to train consistently, meaning every day, but a small load per day, right. There's some guys that we tell them, you got to go three days a week and you got to go heavy.

[00:24:09.460] – Kashif

Right. There's some days people that got to go heavy every single day. So it depends on who you are and how you're wired. And all of a sudden, when it's aligned and personalized, you get the best outcome.

[00:24:18.220] – Allan

Yeah, and that's so hard for people because they just say, okay, well, this person's working so hard, especially a professional athlete, but just everyday people, you go in the gym and you see someone working really hard, and they built this body, and it's like, oh, wow, well, I want that body. Genetically, that body might not be possible, but beyond that, you have to put in the right kind of work, the right amount of work, and at the right times to make this all work out. And a good genetic profile like what your company does, will give us that information to help us understand our fitness and recovery better.

[00:24:50.160] – Kashif

And the other big area is the delineation between male and female training. So most of what we know and understand is based on, how do I take a 20 year old guy and make him a weightlifting champion? Right? That's where everything comes from because that's the industry. It's competitive training is at a youthful age, and it's around men. It's recently become a phenomenon with women, with TikTok and all these videos and everything. So everyone wants to look like everybody else now, right? So women, whereas men have a daily hormone cycle, and your genes will determine sort of little nuances in that cycle for a man. We have a menstrual cycle every day. Men have a hormone cycle, right? Sorry, I should say a Manstrual cycle. Women have a menstrual cycle. They do it every month. So the exact same thing that we do every day, women do it on a monthly basis. So it's stretched, meaning it's not, here's what I do every day, or here's what my week looks like. What does my month look like? Because the hormone levels in week one are here, and then they're down here, and then they're back up here.

[00:25:51.540] – Kashif

It's a roller coaster. So your body whereas in the beginning, for a woman, it's more akin to weight training and putting on muscle. Then in the following week and your estrogens go crazy. You're more prone to injuries. You want to get off the heavy weights. Right? Then in the following week, your body wants to get into recovery mode and start prepping for that lining release. So if you understand the cycle, which we map out a lot. And you understand. Are you more estrogen dominant, more testosterone dominant? Do you make toxic hormones, which then causes inflammation, which you need to reduce? Then you can be really particular on how to make that ideal month. And then women get unstuck, let's say. They really feel stuck all the time.

[00:26:31.840] – Allan

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

[00:26:41.260] – Kashif

So I would say the big sleeper that gets ignored isn't spoken of is environmental health. So the thousands of people that we reviewed, the one thing that consistently was a drip of toxic insult that was outside of their awareness was what's in their environment? What are they breathing? The chemicals on their desk, the pesticides that make their lawn so beautiful, the Teflon coated frying pan could be something that your neighbor sprayed in their garden. So the toxic chemical burden that we have versus what we're wired for, giant misalignment, huge problem and is the root cause of a lot of problems. Right. So I would say that's the number one thing to look out for, number two is to understand that we walking on this planet, have genes, an instruction manual on our body that is approximately 200 to 250,000 years old. We haven't changed since then. Now, our current reality is a post 1950s reality. So compare that to 250,000 years, a tiny, tiny blip in time in terms of food, stress, sleep, chemicals, everything. Right. We are not designed for how we live, which is why we have a $4 trillion health care budget, of which 90% truly is spent on chronic disease, all of which is preventable.

[00:27:54.670] – Kashif

So $3.6 trillion a year the United States spends on treating things that never needed to happen in the first place. Right. So just understand that in order to truly be healthy, this thing that you're walking around in is not ready for the environment you're walking around in and the food you're eating and for the stress you're having and for the lack of sleep and all. So you need to work on all of those things. Try and be more like your cavemen ancestors if you can. Right. Number three thing I would say is consistency. And I've learned this from myself, in myself, trying to be better and eliminating five chronic diseases. I don't have any of them anymore, and I haven't had them for years. When I had five years ago, all five of them at the same time. Things can come back. We get sort of comfortable. Right. And consistency is key. You can never stop doing the work. You have two choices. You either do the work now or you pay for it later. And you can pick one. You cannot do anything. Fine, then, okay. Enjoy the medical system, which is, I will do whatever I want.

[00:28:57.160] – Kashif

And when I break myself, it's the doctor's job to fix me that's one way or I could understand what might break and prevent that from happening and go into my 90s, riding my bicycle and playing with my grandchildren. That's a very different way to live than the American dream right now, which is the last 15 years or spent in treatment. That's actually the average. So that becomes a choice. In order to maintain that choice, you have to be consistent. It's not a task, it's a lifestyle. It's every day you wake up, you're working on your health.

[00:29:24.080] – Allan

Excellent. Now your company, the DNA company, is going to give the listeners of the 40+ Fitness podcast a 10% discount on the DNA workup. You go to thednacompany.com/40plus. So the discount code is 40 P L U S. You can go there and get a 10% discount off of the test. Is there somewhere else that you'd like me to send them, Kashif?

[00:29:46.240] – Kashif

Sure, I mean, anyone that's interested in learning more the book, which was big news for us, is coming out right around the corner. So if you go to thednaway.com, you'll be able to be connected to a retailer that can supply the book. But this was really exciting for us because one of our patients was a CEO of a publishing company and when he heard what we're doing he's like, well, you guys need a book out there because everyone needs to know that this tool should be part of their toolkit. And most people don't. Most people don't know that they can prevent and reverse and read their human instruction manual. And so I spent late nights for a good year writing this book. It wasn't my intention to be an author, but when I started I couldn't stop. It was a really pleasurable thing to do and so it's now finally being released and our mission is that we can bring personalization to health and wellness. Even just by reading the book, you can understand my journey and how I fixed myself, which allows you to start thinking about yourself in a different way. So again, that's thednaway.com, and it's launching May 16.

[00:30:47.790] – Allan

Great. And that was what was really cool was that you took the time to walk us through your DNA and how that's changed your lifestyle choices. So it's a really good practical way to demonstrate the benefits of how this all works, plus lots of opportunities shared with different people that you've worked with and how you've helped them set their course. Thank you for that. Kashif, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:31:10.850] – Kashif

It was a pleasure. Amazing talking to you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:31:14.010] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:31:15.650] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I always love talking about DNA and it is still on my list of things to get done. But now I've got something to think about because my hospital network can do some genetic testing. They also accept genetic testing through another outside platform. But then it sounds like Kashif has a different company, the DNA company, that might be even more thorough. So now I kind of got to compare to see apples to apples what I can get out of this DNA testing.

[00:31:46.570] – Allan

Yeah, it's pretty fascinating, the testing that they do. Everything's a step change as things go, and technology changes, and the costs come down on some things, always going to go up on other things. But as they come down on these technologies, they're able to do more. As they learn things, they're able to do more. One of the interesting things about his company is at this point, they've served 7000 people. And that doesn't maybe not sound like, but that's a nice size sample of looking at people and their situation and then looking at the lifestyle changes that those individuals make and what it means in their life. So when you kind of take it from that context, it's like, this is a pretty cool deal. The 23 AND ME was kind of like the first one out the gate doing this stuff. And when they did it, they tried to tell you things like, you have a propensity for Alzheimer's or not, you're probably going to be lactose intolerant or not, you're going to be bald or not. They could do that, and they could also then start telling you about your heritage and where you're from.

[00:32:54.820] – Allan

Now, they got in a little bit of trouble at the beginning because the FDA is like, you're diagnosing diseases. So there was a whole lot of fighting infighting things that was going on between the government and that company. Fortunately, they got past a lot of that stuff. So while your DNA cannot diagnose an illness, it can tell you a lot about the way that you do things in your body that can give you the information to make better choices. Okay. And where that's valuable is if you say, okay, well, I like fruit, and it's like, great, you like fruit, but your body doesn't process fruit the same way as someone else. So you can have some fruit, but just not as much fruit as you might be eating today. So I know everybody's like, well, it's natural food. Yes, it is natural food, but your body might not process fructose as well as somebody else, and you have to take that into account or not. I mean, it's your choice. That's why I wanted to start I started that conversation with him about informed choice about that, because if you have the information, then you can make those choices.

[00:34:02.450] – Allan

And there are privacy concerns. Who has access to your genetic information, and how can that be used in the future? Right now, nobody knows. But it could be, and it's something to think about, because if someone has your genetic information and decides they don't want to write an insurance policy for you, that could be a big deal. So there are some concerns. There some things for you to think about, but here's a way, and mine's been tested, so if they want to clone me, please go right ahead. Nobody wants to clone me, but if you want some information, some data that's going to help you, this is the way to go.

[00:34:44.680] – Rachel

Well, the interesting thing that you touched on briefly is about cholesterol. I think it was his friend that had high cholesterol and was trying to go golfing and walking and being outside and wasn't helping his cholesterol. And then maybe he got this DNA testing and found out, well, there's other problems to how he was attempting to resolve a high cholesterol. I know that with menopause, my cholesterol is expected to raise. My dad's got high cholesterol. It could be a genetic factor, but it would be interesting to know, well, if I should be on statins, or if statins won't work, it should be nice to know that. Or like when you talked about choosing different diets, maybe I should try a Mediterranean diet or vegan. But I sure would like to know whether my body would respond as well to that or another. I mean, it just would be nice to cut through the chase and instead of experimenting with all these different things to try and control my cholesterol. What can I learn from this data and implement a lot faster?

[00:35:48.110] – Allan

Yeah, well, again, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/dna that'll take you to the page. And they run discounts, they do different things, but it's not out of reach for most people to make this investment and kind of know those things with his friend, kind of the scenario was that his friend was an avid golfer and he was out on the golf course all the time. Now they're up in Toronto, so their golf season is like, over the day it starts. It's pretty short to keep the grass going and to keep everything they used a lot of chemicals and everything to keep the grass growing all the way through the winter and have it ready for the season. And so it was just really that exposures to toxins that this guy was not his body was not equipped to do very well. And so daily, almost daily, like four times a week, exposure to toxins was causing some issues. Now it's one of the weird things of traveling up to North Carolina. Our days down in Panama are twelve and twelve. I mean, like literally 6:30 6:30 daylight period. We're up here now. Last night we're like, walking around at 8:30 and it's still daylight.

[00:36:56.680] – Allan

We're like, this is insane. Up in Toronto, it's even more insane. Like I said, up in Canada, their days, so he can get off work at 05:00 and play a whole round of golf before it even starts to get dark walking. And so this guy's out there playing golf, and he's getting some good walking in. He feels like he's taking care of himself and his body's just not dealing with the toxins, and that's just causing all kinds of problems in his body. And so nobody would know that. They'd be like, this was a healthy guy. He played golf four times a week. Why is he having a heart attack? Nobody would know that. And he thought he was doing everything right and it wasn't working out. So it's just kind of one of those things. This technology right now is available to you, which is what's important to take away from this call. Eventually, this information will be a part of how your doctor cares for you. Your doctor is going to say, Well, I know, okay, there's eight statins on the market right now, and I know you're not going to tolerate any of them.

[00:37:57.930] – Rachel


[00:37:59.530] – Allan

What we're going to do is we're going to prescribe this other medication, and we're not going to make you go through the grief of struggling with the statins. And so you think about that, where instead of a practice with this trial and error stuff, with all the different drugs, they'll literally know this is the drug that's most likely to help you right now, based on what we know about your genetic profile and what will work for you. And when we get to that level of personalized medicine, then our life expectancies can go astronomical, because you're not going to waste a whole lot of time trying to treat something the wrong way.

[00:38:36.200] – Rachel

That would be so wonderful. That's what I love about this DNA, just the science. And like I said, cutting to the chase sure would save a lot of time and money and effort instead of the trial and error things that we do right now.

[00:38:49.600] – Allan

Yeah, if you're interested in all this, you can go to their website, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/DNA, and that'll take you to the website. And I don't think they gave me a discount code, but there are different codes out there you can use if you want to book one of these. Maybe 40plus.

[00:39:06.260] – Rachel


[00:39:07.090] – Allan

40plus. Okay, I wrote it. Okay. Yeah, use the discount. 40plus, they'll give you a discount. They might be offering one. That's better. That's fine. Take the discount if it's better, but get some money off of it. Again, if you want to act on data and you want to kind of go to the next level with how you approach your health and fitness, this is not a bad tool to have.

[00:39:29.260] – Rachel

Yeah, that's really cool. Well, thanks.

[00:39:31.560] – Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:39:34.310] – Rachel

Sounds good. Take care.

[00:39:35.850] – Allan

You too.

[00:39:36.730] – Rachel

Thank you. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


You are not a victim

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Too often, we use a fixed mindset when we approach a challenge and struggle. As long as we have this victimhood frame we won't be successful with change. On episode 589 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss growth and fixed mindset and how you can change the way you think and find success on your health and fitness journey.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:38.130] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:40.310] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:42.480] – Coach Allan

I'm doing okay. We're having a water issue again, so I don't want to get into all that because it's just going to frustrate me again.

[00:02:50.040] – Coach Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:02:50.750] – Coach Allan

But we're working on it. But no, I'm happy to announce that I have a few things that I told last week. I started interviewing on different podcasts, and so some of those podcasts have come out now, and I wanted to share a few of them. I was on Paul Hanton's podcast called The Healthy Fit Life. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/paul.

I was on Natural Health Matters with David Sandstrom. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/david.

And then I was on Jillian Lockditch, which we had her on last week. I was on her podcast. Growing Older, living Younger with Jillian Lockditch. And that's at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/gill. And that's Jill spelled G-I-L-L. Like from Jillian, but Gill and you can find that one.

So Paul, David, and Jill, I was on each of their podcasts. And so 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com and then those names Paul, David or Jill. And you can catch those episodes there.

[00:04:01.180] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. That's exciting. I can't wait to give a listen to those.

[00:04:04.900] – Coach Allan

Yeah, it's interesting to be on the other side of the interview. Sure. Because even if we've discussed kind of what we want to talk about, I don't have a script. I don't go in this like, this is how I say these things. I listen to a question and then I say, okay, this is the best way to answer that. So it's a lot more off the cuff than a lot of the things that I do when I'm interviewing a guest on my podcast. I've read their book and I have specific things I want to discuss here. I go at it not necessarily knowing what they're going to ask me. So it can be kind of interesting. So, yeah, go check those out.

[00:04:46.960] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. That sounds fun.

[00:04:48.730] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:50.180] – Coach Rachel

Good. I just wanted to share with you and our listeners real quick. My doctor just told me some pretty important news the other day. I'm post menopausal. Yay, I made it. I made it. And kind of related to that, my thyroid is finally tanked out, so I'll be starting some thyroid medicine. I'm hypothyroid, which is now the reason why I've been so darn fatigued lately, just because my thyroid has not been functioning quite as well. And it's kind of funny because as an ultra marathoner, fatigue is kind of the name of my game to begin with. But now I really know why I'm actually as tired as I am, so I'll be starting that pretty soon.

[00:05:33.370] – Coach Allan

Man, you're going to be blowing out your PRS like nobody's business.

[00:05:36.350] – Coach Rachel

I'm hoping. I'm hoping to get some of my energy back, but I just wanted to share real quick as I learn more about what this means for me as a woman. And by the way, I'm 51, and I didn't know that 51 is the actual average age that women hit menopause. So yay, I'm textbook.

[00:05:57.890] – Coach Allan

I thought it was closer to 53, but yeah, okay, textbook.

[00:06:02.350] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So as I figure some of this stuff out, I'd be happy to share my story with our listeners. But just for right now, I've got official notice I'm menopausal, and we'll see what happens.

[00:06:15.350] – Coach Allan

Basically, the way that I understand that they diagnose this is if you go without a period for a year, then they consider you in menopause.

[00:06:25.540] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, it gets kind of tricky because I had an Ablation done, so I haven't had a normal period in a couple of years. So that makes it a little difficult to figure that out. And I've had a lot of symptoms. The heat flashes during the day, night sweats at night, a little bit of moodiness. But again, those are kind of normal. And for pretty much any woman that actually either has a period or is going through the perimenopause and apparently now in post menopause. So it's important to know that some of these symptoms can get worse. My thyroid is probably in the mix with all these hormone fluctuations and changes, but it's important to spend time with your doctor as well. I go to my annual physical every year. I see a high risk breast cancer doctor, and now I see a women's health specialist who specializes in menopause and can give me a whole ton of information, but they did the right test at the right time. And now I know for sure what's happening with my hormones. And it's going to be very helpful as I navigate all these symptoms moving forward.

[00:07:38.760] – Coach Allan

We're good. I mean, you know, at least once a year I try to have a woman's health expert on. We're typically going to talk about perimenopause and menopause and that type of thing at least once per year, sometimes more. So I've had several episodes on, so there's lots of material out there. But this is going to be good because I'm going to have a pro on my side next time I do interview. That's right. Yeah. We can approach that one a little bit different, but cool. All right, well, are you ready to get into our episode about victimhood?

[00:08:12.420] – Coach Rachel

Sounds great.


You are not a victim. That's what I'm calling this episode. And it relates to kind of a cultural trend that I've been seeing out there lately where victimhood is being kind of almost touted like a virtue. And I'm here to tell you that if you're trying to improve your health and fitness, if you're trying to lose weight particularly, you're going to really struggle if you have this state of mind, this victimhood state of mind. So I'm going to go through some statements. These are statements that I've heard people say I've heard people or seen people post them on Facebook and or on Twitter. And it's so common that it was easy for me to find several different ways that this shows up. So the first one is I want something I don't have, therefore I'm a victim. So if someone has something you don't have, obviously you're a victim. The next one is, I struggle more than other people, therefore I'm a victim. And so this goes on, the idea that your life is harder than theirs and therefore you're a victim because you have to struggle so much harder to do the basic things that everyone else is doing or that you believe other people are doing to get their success.

Now, this is a very common one, particularly in weight loss areas. I'm addicted to sugar and carbs, therefore I'm a victim. And this one's really, really common. I see it a lot. Now, don't get me wrong, sugar and carb addiction is kind of a thing. But the reality of it is it's not as hard to break as some other addictions might be. And there are steps to take. You are not a victim. You chose to eat sugar and carbs, or at least you ate them when you were given them and you've continued to eat them and buy them. So having sugar and carbs around you is the same thing as maybe sending an alcoholic to a bar. It's just something you wouldn't do if you're trying to beat alcoholism and if you're trying to lose weight, being around sugar and carbs might make that very difficult for you, particularly if you believe you're a victim. I don't have the energy to work out. I love this one, therefore I'm a victim. Okay? I don't have the energy to work out. Now, there's this little known thing in our body that causes us to actually get hormones and endorphins feel good stuff in our brain when we work out, that gives us more energy.

When we build strength and endurance, we have more energy. So the not having energy to work out is really just an excuse to not get started, okay? Other people sabotage me, therefore I'm a victim. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there willing to sabotage you if you let them. But again, you're choosing victimhood. In this case, they're choosing to do what they do. They're choosing to try to take you off track in some cases. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes they actually think they're doing something nice for you. But if you feel like other people are your problem, you are the problem. You are not a victim. But you'll say you're a victim because those other people, well, they're in your way. And then I've tried everything, and nothing works. Therefore, I'm a victim. And again, this is just that concept that you've really given everything the best shot possible. You really worked your way through it, and all these failures have just become an evidence of your limitations. So we're going to talk about that a little bit about what victimhood is. Now, victimhood fits in the mindset frame of being a fixed mindset.

And this is a psychological concept that was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. And so what she talks about in her writings and in her studies is that you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. And guess what? Those aren't fixed. You can have the one that you choose to have. And there's a reason why these fixed mindsets are a problem. And one of the main things is that people with a fixed mindset, people who believe they're victims, they avoid challenges. And anytime there's a failure, even a little failure, you're more likely to see that as evidence of your limitations, okay? And so what that does is that creates fear of failure in yourself and you're not willing to take risks. So the signing up for a gym membership or hiring a coach or buying the food service that's going to be delivered to you, you don't want to take that step because if you fail, it's just more evidence that you're limited, that you're a victim, that you have a problem. And then another tendency that fixed mindset people have is to compare themselves to others. Now, in some cases, this is to seek external achievements so they can say, okay, well, at least I'm not as heavy as that person.

But they also end up with the negative and the limiting beliefs that they see someone else and they don't think they'll ever make it to that same spot. So these external comparisons are really holding them back on both sides. One is, well, I'm actually kind of normal. When I look at everybody else, they're all overweight. I'm overweight, therefore this is just the way it is. We're all victims, okay, and you're not. But that's a fixed mindset. Now, in contrast, a growth mindset refers to your belief in your ability and your intelligence that that can be developed, that you can improve yourself over time with hard work, dedication and perseverance. So the question you have to ask yourself is, do I believe that challenges and failures are opportunities for me to learn and grow rather than an indication that I'm going to fail? And if I fail, therefore I'm broke, therefore I have these limitations. So with a growth mindset, you always give yourself the best opportunity because you're willing to take the risk. You're willing to hire that coach, you're willing to join the gym, you're willing to try a diet or a way of eating or exercise program.

Again, even if you know everything else failed, you're going to go at it again. And you're going to go at it with the idea that these things that happen are teaching you something. They're giving you an opportunity to improve. And that's where the importance of this is. If you feel like you're a victim, you don't have control. But when you take on a growth mindset, you're suddenly taking on this idea that I am not limited by the mistakes and problems I've had in the past. Yes, I had problems with these donuts, and yes, I struggled when these things happened and yeah, with the stress of my job or the amount of time I was traveling, all those things, I could use those as excuses or I could try to find ways to improve my life despite those problems. And that's where the difference in these two come from. So to break away as a victim, there's a few things that you need to ask yourself, and these are important. So if you're not driving or running or doing something and you can get a pen out, this is a good time for you to write down these questions and really spend some time thinking about it.

Okay? This is not something you're just going to answer while you're listening to this podcast. So the first one is, are your actions consistent with your values? And here's what I mean by that. Let's say you want to be the best mother or the best father you can be or the best grandparent you can be. Okay. Are you living in a way that allows you to do that? You may say, I want to make sure that I'm there for my spouse, I'm there for my children. I want to be that person. Are you? Are you living in a way that makes that possible? Are you living in a way where you're going to be there for one and that you're going to be capable of doing the things that you want to do? How do you want to live the rest of your life? What are the values that you want to carry on? I've talked about it several times. I want to be there for my wife. I want to be there for my children. I want to be there for my grandchildren. I want to be there to run the bed and breakfast, to do the things.

I want to be able to physically train people for a long, long time. And I want to be independent my whole life. I do not want someone to have to take care of me. Those are my values. So then looking at your actions, ask yourself, are your actions consistent with your values? Because this can help you break through this. This can help you take that next step I'm going to talk about in a minute. Okay, the next question. Are you able to learn from mistakes or do you see them as evidence you're broken or flawed? So you go out for dinner and they bring around the dessert tray and it all looks awesome. And so you tell yourself, well, I'll just get a little bit of chocolate. I did go to the gym this morning, so I'm just going to go ahead and get a little bit of that chocolate death by chocolate thing. And they bring out this 32 ounce chocolate menagerie on your plate and you go digging into it. Now, the next day, how are you going to look back at that? Are you going to say, oh, my God, I failed, I'm a failure?

Well, no, you're not. That's an opportunity for you to learn. So ask yourself, do you really think you're broken when you do those things? And the short answer has to be no. That's an opportunity for you to see where you made a mistake. So you could just tell the waiter after you've gotten your meal, please do not bring that dessert tray by here. And if you're in the United States and you're listening to this, you can be very clear. If you bring that dessert tray by here, you will not get a tip from me, okay? Guess what that waiter or waitress is not going to do when you say something like that. They are not going to bring that dessert tray because they do not want to jeopardize their tip. So you just tell them, if you bring that dessert tray by here, I will not tip you. And guess what? You're going to get past that. So that's the second question. The third question is, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? And this is a big one because most people want easy. They want the easy button. Tell me the diet.

Tell me what to eat. Tell me what not to eat. Tell me how to move. Tell me how to lose my gut. I just want to lose the belly fat. I don't care about anything else. I just want to lose the belly fat. They want the easy they want the thing that's inside their comfort zone. So they teach us. And when we go to coaching for our business, and they say, tell them that you can do X-Y-Z without them having to do this other thing. So you can tell them lose £20 without exercise or diet. And because people want to stay in their comfort zone, they don't want to exercise. They don't want to change the way they're eating. That sounds very appealing to a victim mindset person, to a fixed mindset person. So if I'm talking to you and you're feeling that way, are you willing to get outside your comfort zone? Because that's where the magic happens. The good things in your life do not happen in your comfort zone. Change does not happen in your comfort zone. You've got to be willing to push outside the comfort zone if you want to grow.

So again, the third question, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? So those are three really important questions that you should be asking yourself over and over again to make sure that you're keeping a growth mindset, that you're not falling into that victimhood virtue thing, okay? So this can be very scary. Don't get me wrong. I know change is hard, okay? It's easier for you to stay in your comfort zone. That's where most people are today. Most people are very comfortable foods everywhere. Good. I'm never hungry. I'll never be hungry. I'll never try to be hungry. I'll never let myself get to a point where I'm hungry because food is readily available. But getting outside your comfort zone, saying, maybe I'm going to let myself get a little hungry from time to time. How about that? I'm going to feel what this feels like. I'm going to get out of it because I'm not starving. The words we say, I'm starving, but you're not starving. Starving takes days. Starving takes weeks. And so if you're a little hungry, you're not starving. And so, so many people are in that comfort zone that that's where we want to be.

The safety was safety with numbers, okay? And that's not where you need to be. You cannot be in your comfort zone and be successful. The other thing that makes change hard is it's so easy to compare yourself with others. I mean, look, 67% of Americans are overweight. Okay? What does that mean? Well, that means if you're overweight, you're in the majority. You're winning that vote. 40% of Americans are approaching obesity. So when you start looking at this, the vast majority of people out there are overweight and obese. And so you just look at that, well, I'm not as heavy as that person is, and, oh, look, I'm at the grocery store, and I'm actually maybe not the weakest person here. Maybe I'm not the fattest person here. And we justify where we are. So that's, again, that's a push against change, because staying where we are means we're just like everybody else, okay? And then change is really, really hard if you just decide that you want to change. And the reason is decision is really not a strong enough way to approach this. See, if you have a growth mindset, you're going to commit to this.

You're going to take that risk, and you're going to go all in. You're going to get outside your comfort zone, and you're going to make sure this happens. But that takes commitment. That takes that step, that daring, that knowing that, okay, I'm going to do this, but I'm not going to die. I'm going to get better, because I'm just going to keep pushing. I'm just going to be persistent. I'm going to do the hard work. I'm going to be dedicated, and I'm going to make this happen. Okay? That takes commitment.

Now, the one thing I'd like to leave you with on this is, yes, change can be scary, and change can be hard, and change is something that is not natural for a lot of us. But you're not alone. We have a wonderful Facebook community. You go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and you can join our Facebook community. I do challenges. We're all there. If you want to share something, you need accountability, whatever you think you need. I have a group environment that's very caring, and we're not doing a bunch of that Flex Friday stuff and not trying to make others feel bad because we look good.

This is an environment where you can feel safe, and it's a private Facebook group, so it's not out on the interwebs for everybody to read. This is just for us to share and to support each other. I'm out there all the time, so I'll be answering questions if you have them. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group to join us there. And if you're really ready to commit to this, I'd encourage you to get in touch with me. I coach people to lose weight. I coach people to get more fit. I only coach people over the age of 40. And I look to help people develop a growth mindset, so they learn from their mistakes. They get better, they get more comfortable being outside their comfort zone, and they change and they grow and they get better. And I know you can, too. It just takes that scary thing. You got to do that scary thing. And if you need help, I'm here to help you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:23:54.000] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:23:56.540] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Alan. Well, that was a lot that was a lot of good information. And as a fellow coach, I have encountered some people with a fixed mindset and just the absolute I can't run because or I can't work out because, I can't lose weight because fill in the blank. I've heard some of those things. And it's hard as a coach to go back to that person and say, well, wait a second, what can we do? If you've got a problem, what do we need to do to solve it?

[00:24:27.510] – Coach Allan

Well, I've definitely had clients that I would say didn't have a growth mindset to start with, but they had to at some point or else they wouldn't succeed. The reality is, if you have a fixed mindset, you're not going to get outside your comfort zone. If you don't get outside your comfort zone, nothing's going to change for you, and you're going to be right where you are. So it's the Harry Ford quote. If you think you can't or think you can, you're right. You have to have the mindset that you're going to get it done. For some of us, that might just be the commitment. For a lot of other people, it's a health scare. And so something has to shake you out of being a victim. Someone comes screaming, and they slap them in the face. I mean, kind of the whole thing is the people are panicking, and you just slap them in the face to get their attention, and it's like, calm down. You're not accomplishing anything. And so I think people sometimes need that slap in the face to make this happen. But if you're listening to this podcast, then you want something to happen, then you just need to transition that over to a commitment, not just a decision.

[00:25:53.810] – Coach Rachel


[00:25:56.050] – Coach Allan

And I can tell you that if you're not willing to deal with setbacks, which this is where the victims really struggle, is that if you do something, maybe you're doing something and it's working, and, you know, okay, well, I've lost this same £20 over and over again. And then you get to the lose the £20, and then something happens. You have a bad day, and you go do something you didn't want to do. You ate some things you didn't want to eat, and now you're going to blow off your whole weekend because, well, it's kind of screwed up Friday night. And then it becomes this thing, and then you start seeing the scale move back up. So you just stop stepping on the scale. And then yeah, you find yourself six weeks later right back where you were, if not heavier. You start running, and you feel a little bit of a tweak in your ankle or a little bit of tweak in your foot. You're like, oh, no, I can't run anymore. Instead of trying to do the things that are necessary to rehabilitate that, so you can start running again, doing the things you can do.

[00:27:02.380] – Coach Allan

So I can pedal a bike, I can get an elliptical, so I can keep my stamina up. But that takes this idea that you have a choice. This is not put on you. You are not a victim, right? And until you get past that, you're not going to be there. And so most of my clients that come in with this growth mindset, they're fed up, and they're like, hey, this is it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it now, okay? And once that light clicks on, it's like, this is too easy. This is actually not that hard. It was scary, and it never worked before, but it's different this time. And it's different because now they're looking at this and saying, okay, I don't have to be perfect, right? I don't have to worry about if I make a mistake. I can always course correct that's, right? And it just keeps them on task, and they're like, okay. And then they get a win, and then they get another one. So just even just this last week or so, one of my clients, he had gone to this thing, it was like a government thing, and he was just really talking about how if you guys, if, you know, is wearing a tie, he couldn't button his top button in his shirt, okay?

[00:28:25.220] – Coach Allan

And so he was like, that was part of what his self and that was affecting his self image, and he was unhappy with it. And then he's three weeks into my program, and he's like, I had to wear that suit again, and I could button the collar, the neck. And he's lost £10. And he's feeling great, and he's doing more and more now. He's getting ready for some exciting things, like 100 miles, bike ride. This is the way it works. Another client was a very similar situation. She got called in for an interview. She wasn't really thinking so much about doing work, but she heard about this position. She puts in her name, and they call her, and then it's this panic. How am I going to look in my clothes when I go in for this interview now? Because we have a kind of a weird self image sometimes of ourselves. She didn't recognize that she had lost a good bit of weight and that she was smaller. So she puts on those clothes and they fit perfect, and that boosts her confidence. And she goes in and. Aces that interview and pretty sure she's going to get that job.

[00:29:39.930] – Coach Allan

Okay. That's growth. That's a growth mindset. And sometimes we're not always 100% behind ourselves or we don't see it happening for ourselves, but we just stick with it.

[00:29:52.900] – Coach Rachel


[00:29:53.490] – Coach Allan

And the good things are happening.

[00:29:55.250] – Coach Rachel

It does. And the benefit to having a coach or like the run club groups that I have is that you get to see these types of examples. It is possible. And maybe when you get to see examples like with your clients, that other people are losing weight at a later age or under these difficult circumstances, it's possible for you, too. And if you just pause for a second and reevaluate your situation, you might be able to think through what you need to do next, whether it's hire a coach or not or join a run club or not. But you do have options, and sometimes you just need to think a little bit outside the box to see what might work for you. But that's the great thing about hearing stories, like with your clients. And as I see my runners develop in the run clubs I participate with, it's totally possible. It just shakes what your norms are.

[00:30:48.110] – Coach Allan

Well, if someone had first told you when you first started running that you were going to be doing ultras oh.

[00:30:53.350] – Coach Rachel

My gosh, I would have laughed.

[00:30:55.870] – Coach Allan


[00:30:56.850] – Coach Rachel

Or running 50 miles right before I turned 50, I would have laughed. It's just inconceivable for me.

[00:31:03.350] – Coach Allan

I remember you sitting up on a couch with your foot in a cast, and you were so upset, and you're like, and I'm losing it, and I'm losing it. And that was a very down time for you.

[00:31:15.520] – Coach Rachel

It was.

[00:31:16.250] – Coach Allan

But as soon as the doctor cleared you, you started working your way back up and way past where you were. You just blew that away after you got yourself healed. And so it's just understanding where we are and saying, okay, I can't make that up in a day.

[00:31:36.080] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:37.010] – Coach Allan

But I'm going to grind it out. I'm going to do it and then see what happens. And that growth mindset that you had going back into your training, training smarter. You don't do it again.

[00:31:49.970] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:51.970] – Coach Allan

That's made all the difference.

[00:31:53.620] – Coach Rachel

All the difference, yeah. For sure.

[00:31:57.030] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[00:32:00.950] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. Take care, Alan.

[00:32:02.620] – Coach Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:32:03.710] – Coach Rachel

Thank you. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


May 2, 2023

How to age gracefully with Gillian Lockitch

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

After dealing with a health setback, Gillian Lockitch made some changes to reclaim the joy of her life, dance. On Episode 588 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how she did it and about her book, Growing Older, Living Younger.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.690] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:44.370] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:46.580] – Allan

I'm good. I've been kind of busy and I know I've kind of come on this show every week. I'm busy, I'm busy.

[00:02:54.400] – Rachel

You are always busy.

[00:02:56.710] – Allan

But it's like, you know, there's just there's all these different things that I want to do for my business, for myself and whatever. And so I did get the level two Master Health Coach with precision nutrition. But another thing that I've been doing on this side when I had time is I've been getting on other podcasts. So I'm being interviewed on other podcasts, and I was recently on one called Fit MIT turo. Now MIT in German means with. So fit with turo is the English translation of fit mit turo.

[00:03:32.070] – Rachel


[00:03:32.900] – Allan

And so I just share a bunch of tips, and I do focus my tips on things that are beneficial to people over 40. I think he just turned 40, but if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/turo, that's T-U-R-O that'll take you to his episode. I was on episode 89 that just went live a week or so ago. And so you can listen to that there as I hear about the other ones, Erin, because I did over been, like twelve to 13 interviews over the last three months, but for one reason or another, a lot of them haven't been published. So, as I hear about one being published, I'll try to let you guys know.

[00:04:10.590] – Rachel


[00:04:11.420] – Allan

And I'll probably start posting this stuff on Facebook, too. So if you're part of our Facebook group, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. You can join our Facebook group, and I'll be posting links and things there as well.

[00:04:23.960] – Rachel

Great. That's awesome. Sounds fun.

[00:04:27.050] – Allan

So, how are things up there?

[00:04:28.710] – Rachel

Good. I think I told you last week it was spring. Now we're back to winter again. I know we had some snow over the weekend, but we just had a lovely weekend. Anyway, we did a lot of outside chores before the snow started, but it's nice to have kind of spring and to be able to spend some time outside. Now I got a break from it.

[00:04:52.030] – Allan

Well, you know, Lucy is going to pull that football away, right?

[00:04:55.170] – Rachel

As you exactly. Yeah, that's exactly what happens up here in Michigan. So hopefully spring will come back pretty soon. But just staying busy, doing things around the house, getting the yard ready. Yeah, it's fun stuff.

[00:05:07.920] – Allan

All right. You ready to have a conversation with Gill?

[00:05:10.700] – Rachel



[00:06:07.990] – Allan

Gill, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:10.960] – Gillian

Thank you. I'm delighted to be here.

[00:06:13.940] – Allan

Now, your book, Growing Older, Living Younger: the Science of Aging Gracefully and the Art of Retiring Comfortably. I love that title because it kind of blends some things that kind of been a theme here, and a lot of books that have come out recently and books that have been around for a while is think all of us look at getting older with some trepidation. There's this aging curve that we're going to fall down and then we're going to end up at the bottom of this thing. And in many cases we're not doing it gracefully, we're not doing it gracefully. And then we're looking at retirement. And what we see is most people who are in retirement age are not living well. Their health span is gone and their lifespan is long. And so they're going through all these health issues. And many of us now, particularly in our forty s and fifty s, are kind of in that middle zone of our parents at that point where we're seeing these things with our parents, or in some cases unfortunately, have seen these things with our parents because they passed and we're still busy raising kids.

[00:07:25.710] – Allan

So we're in this sandwich generation and I think there's some blessings in this because we get to look back, look forward, literally. Our parents are our look into the future if we live the way they live. And so I want to talk about that. And I think that's one of the cool things about this book is your story and then your experience as a doctor and a scientist and how you've pulled this all together to kind of give us the tools to really look at that in a good way.

[00:07:55.620] – Gillian

The premise behind the book is that we do not need to age as our parents and grandparents did because we have tools and mechanisms and strategies. Now that we're aware of that, we can change things. And again, the premise is that instead of going on a steady downhill to old age, we actually keep healthy, active, vibrant right until the end. And then just go clunk. That's my philosophy.

[00:08:27.500] – Allan

Just go clunk. Now to start out this book, if we're going to understand the science, then we have to understand the human body. And to me the science of the human body is probably the most complex science of any of the sciences out there. We keep learning new things. I know when I was in school, all the way up until college, we were learning about genetics. And it was the simple certain genes are going to make your eye color blue, some of they're going to make them brown. And if you have four kids and this parents, then you're going to have three with brown eyes and one with blue eyes. And that's kind of how genetics work. And then we got into Epigenetics and when I first started learning about that, these are like the dip switches on our old computers. I had an Epson, which is a clone of an IBM. It had all these little dip switches in the back. So if you wanted the computer to function a certain way, you had to move the dip switch. So it was either on or off. So we were taught genes were either on or off.

[00:09:30.140] – Allan

Recently though, we've learned that genes are more like a dimmer switch and there's tens of thousands of permutations of each gene, which means there's billions and billions and billions untold billions, maybe trillions of options, if you will, of how our operating system, our genetic genome, is actually going to function. And so you start getting it, it's like, wow, this is so complex. How is someone going to learn what this is? And I've read a few books, a lot of them lose me. But you had this analogy of a corporate factory that I think gives us kind of this gives us enough of a picture of this to really kind of understand how much control we have. So can you talk about your corporate factory analogy of epigenetics?

[00:10:22.070] – Gillian

Well, I thought that the absolute key to understanding our bodies and our metabolism is the realization that we are in fact a factory that operates 24 hours a day, nonstop basically from the time of conception until the time that we die. And so I think about it as if you think about a factory. First of all, it's a business, right? So there is a CEO who is responsible for setting the vision, setting the goals, setting the direction. And I think of our mind as that and I'll go back to that in a bit. Underneath the CEO is somebody who is responsible for actually keeping the factory operating. And I call that the COO. Chief Operating Officer. And it's really fascinating that everything, all our metabolism, all our activities are really controlled by our COO, which is a master clock that is located in the hypothalamus of our brain. And that master clock directs all our circadian rhythms and sends messages to minor little clocks in every single organ that basically regulates how our metabolism works. So the next component, the chief operating officer is responsible for workshops. So I sort of think about the individual organ systems, for example, our heart or tissues, muscles, that sort of thing, as an independent little sub factory or workshop within the overall business.

[00:12:18.750] – Gillian

And in each of those factory workshops there are a number of units where all the business of the factory happens. And those are our cells. Within our cells we have tools that build things, break them down, detoxify. And those all require building blocks and nutrients. They require energy to perform. They require messages and signals to tell them how much they need to make when they need to stop making things. And then finally they need to figure out exactly how much to make. So if you sort of think about the factory, your body is a factory that's working 24 hours a day, nonstop. Every single cell is active. Then you realize that there's a lot of things that your body needs to function efficiently. So you need to be able to generate the energy for all of those cells, you need to supply them with the building blocks, whether it's amino acids to make proteins or micronutrients to make the reactions work well. So that's basically how I sort of conceive the metabolism and the functioning of the body.

[00:13:54.010] – Allan

The reason I like that is because it gives you a picture of how complex this is. Because if one part of the factory keeps making stuff when the other parts of the factory don't need it, you've got a dysfunction there. And when we get dysfunction in the body, it tells us in one area we start feeling bad, our energy levels are low, we start dealing with different problems, chronic diseases, things like that. And so by us doing the right things for ourselves, we're helping with that signaling. Like, an example would be if we don't sleep well, then we don't close down certain factories for them to be cleaned up, like our brain. And so if we don't sleep well, then we don't have time in the brain, which is a pretty important part of this factory, to do the cleaning that's necessary. The cleaning crew can't come in, and if it can't come in, eventually the brain doesn't function as well. The brain is not functioning as well, then it's not doing its job as the CEO and COO of this factory, and therefore the whole factory doesn't function well.

[00:15:04.980] – Gillian

Exactly. Yeah. So it goes even a little bit further. And sleep, obviously, is one of the absolutely critical things, because we know that that whole master clock is essentially controlled by light and dark that sets the circadian rhythms. So if you're not responding to that signal that you need to sleep again, it disrupts the entire system. And this is why people who have sleeping disorders, or why jet lag, for example, affects the way people can perform and basically feel during the day.

[00:15:49.470] – Allan

I'd like to get into your story a little bit because I think it shines a light on how we can kind of approach this. Some of us are younger than you, some of us might be a little older than you, but you found yourself overweight near that Obese line, and you made some pretty hard decisions at that point in your life. I think, similar to my story, I made a decision, but it took me eight years before I really clicked in and actually got it. I think in your story, you said it took ten. So can you tell us a little bit about your story? Because I think it's important for us to see that a lot of us are finding ourselves in our middle age, and we're all in the same place, and there's a way out.

[00:16:38.910] – Gillian

Well, I think it's important to realize that I actually was very conscious of being fit and healthy. I exercised, I ate well, and I didn't realize prior to this catastrophic event that my weight was still creeping up bit by bit by bit. So when I got married, I weighed about 112 lbs. I was in my 20s, and by the time this sort of catastrophic event had occurred, I'd weighed a lot more than that. But what happened was that I experienced a period of extreme sciatic pain as a result of spinal stenosis, which is when your vertebrae, the area through which the nerves run close down through extra bone buildup and compress the nerves. And I had this experience of this catastrophic sciatic episode where literally for four months, I was unable to really do much walking. I was a couch potato and depressed and couldn't do all the things that brought me joy in life. And that was when I really had a major increase in my weight. So I found myself basically 40 lbs over what my ideal weight was and really wasn't sort of I was too depressed, quite honestly, to think about the impact that it was having on my health.

[00:18:14.660] – Gillian

And then I ended up having an emergency spinal surgery. And it was only when I was recovering from that with a determination that I wanted to be able to go on a ballroom dance cruise ten months later, that I really started realizing that I was on a downward trajectory from a health point of view, and that I had to do something about it. And that was the genesis of what is now my roadmap to aging youthfully and keeping well and getting rid of all the what we call age associated disorders. They're not really age associated, they are unhealthy living associated disorders. So that's basically my story of how this all came about.

[00:19:08.510] – Allan

Okay, now, one of the things I think that I read that you was kind of driving you was your parents history of heart disease. Can you talk a little bit about that and what that meant to you?

[00:19:21.090] – Gillian

Right, well, both my parents died of coronary artery disease and then heart attacks. And the experience, particularly of my mother's death was amazingly impactful for me because she literally had a heart attack, died in front of me, and I was unable to resuscitate her. So I had been aware of our family history of heart disease and attending a preventative health program. I've got a lot to say about that because mainly what they were trying to do was get me onto a statin. And also the nutritional advice that I was given at that time I thought was really poor. So basically one of the things that I realized I had to attack as I was creating my roadmap to age well was to figure out what were the things that were putting me at risk for heart disease. And so for me, the primary thing is nutritional obesity, inactivity. And so those were the kind of things that I focused on to create a heart healthy me.

[00:20:43.530] – Allan

Well, you weren't 29 years old when this happened. This was later in your life because a lot of people say, oh, well, of course she lost £40 because she was 20 something years old. And that's when it's easy to lose this weight. You're a wee bit older than that, right?

[00:20:59.860] – Gillian

I was a lot older than that. It was well past I'd been retired from medicine for, gosh, I can't even remember how many years. Probably about ten years at the time. So I was certainly not the I was I was in the age category where it it's almost inevitable if you don't watch it, that you will massively gain weight.

[00:21:24.730] – Allan

Right. The reason I wanted to bring that up is I've had a lot of people say, well, it's impossible to lose weight. It's impossible for a woman after the age of 50 to lose weight. And proof positive, no, it's not. You just have to do the right things for yourself.

[00:21:39.970] – Gillian

Well, I described very clearly how, when I was recovering from the surgery, and I realized I had to lose weight. And I started initially, I had followed all the wrong nutritional information, which professionally and intellectually I knew was wrong, but the recommendations were so pervasive. Eat three meals a day and keep your blood sugar level. My first step was to realize that essentially what I had to do was cut out carbs. And I went on I would call a low carb diet almost keto, but not keto. And immediately the effects that I saw from that was my mood was improved. I didn't have that hangry sort of anger, hunger sensation. Around about 10:00 in the morning, I sort of describe how I was working at one stage when I was trying to lose weight, and I had these amazing muffins that I made, which were brand muffins packed with delicious dried fruits, apricots and everything, and that was my breakfast. So I would head off to before work, I would head off to the exercise class, come back and my breakfast would be this muffin, some yogurt. And by 10:00, I was so hungry again that I sort of make the comment that anybody who sort of dared walk into my office was in danger of being cannibalized because I was so hungry.

[00:23:21.610] – Gillian

And that was the rebound from high carb. Insulin goes up and boom, you crash a little later. But as soon as I started on the low carb diet, basically cutting out potatoes, pizza, rice, anything like that, I found that the first thing that happened was brain fog completely disappeared. I lost all of that hunger and that anger. I just wasn't hungry. And my energy level increased and the weight just started coming off. And then ultimately, I had to go completely keto. And that was when I lost the remaining, I guess, 10 lbs that I wanted to lose in a very short time. And quite honestly, I've adhered to a ketogenic diet, I don't want to call it a diet ketogenic lifestyle ever since, basically eating whole foods, a lot of protein, no carbs other than those that come from certain vegetables and the occasional berries and healthy fats. So I eat all the foods that I love and feel great.

[00:24:37.690] – Allan

Great. Now, your mother had a bout with skin cancer and we really haven't I really haven't talked about skin cancer, but for those of us that were sun lovers when we were younger because it made our young bodies look at least we thought makes our young bodies look nicer, having a nice tan. Many of us are starting to see some of the ramifications of that, be it the age spots, but then of course, every once in a while these things that come up and we have to go see a dermatologist. Your mother had one of those episodes and so as a result you made some changes to the way you care for your skin. Could you tell us about that?

[00:25:20.580] – Gillian

Yes, well, my mom was sort of blonde, blue eyed, and we all grew up in South Africa and I spent a lot of time on the beach slathered with oil, really getting tanned and as you say, brown and feeling it was really cool and sexy. And then we had moved to Canada by the time this episode happened with my mum and she basically said to me jill, there's a funny little sore on my leg and I'm not sure what it is and I didn't know what it is, I'm not a dermatologist. But I thought this is not you're.

[00:26:02.800] – Allan

The doctor in the family, come look at it.

[00:26:05.190] – Gillian

Right. I was an intellectual doctor, all about biochemistry and metabolism. Anyway, it turned out that she had a melanoma and fortunately we got it early, it was removed. But again, my concern because of all these sort of early exposure to sunlight, obviously I am at risk and I've tried to tell my kids to be careful. And there is a dermatologist here who came up with a really interesting slogan and it's on your birthday, check out your birthday suit. To remind people, particularly people who are what we call Fitzpatrick groups, sort of one and two, the blonde, blue, wide, red haired groups of people. But I want to make one interesting point about that. So we haven't really discussed the fact that there is an epigenetic supplement which resets something like 1200 genes throughout your body. And when this particular supplement was introduced, one of the studies that was carried out was a study of 40 people who were in this Fitzpatrick group, one and two, and basically they were looking to see if it could in any way protect against sun damage. And so they basically, on an unexposed part of the body, did three sort of focal areas where they put really small doses, focal doses of UV light in increasing doses and in the one where there was the highest dose, did a little skin biopsy and looked to see count the number of damaged cells.

[00:28:09.170] – Gillian

And then for eight weeks, these 40 people took this one particular supplement that has things like the carotenoids, which like lutein that actually protect against blue light. And at the end of the eight weeks, they repeated the experiment and they found that there was a diminution of the area that looked burnt, the reddish area. But the key thing that was a total surprise and really significant was the fact that in the first biopsy compared to the second biopsy, the number of dead cells were double. So after eight weeks of this particular protection through these carotenoid supplements, the number of dead cells or damaged cells was almost half. So that was really interesting because it was showing that something that one was taking internally had a protective effect on the cells. And I found that really fascinating. So I've been very meticulous about keeping up that particular supplement and touchwood. So far, I'm well older than the age at which my mom's Melanoma was discovered, and so far my skin looks great. So Prevention obviously don't get these huge sunburns. There's recommendations about sun screens. You've got to be really careful because some of them have some toxic ingredients.

[00:29:51.780] – Gillian

They have to be really selective about what you use. And I also think we need sun exposure for vitamin D. I'm not a dermatologist. I'm not practicing medicine. I don't treat or prescribe or anything. I have retired. But I think that that's something preventative things that people should consider.

[00:30:17.910] – Allan

Okay, now I want to spring back a little bit. You were talking about your back surgery, and for a lot of folks, we're going to have an injury. I think your injury you kind of traced back to probably when you were way younger, and then this was just something that progressed from that. That's what I sort of read into the book. I'm not absolutely certain that was the history there, but you always had some aches and pains in your back, but then you had basically a medical emergency, and that's when you had your surgery. Can you talk a little bit about that? And then what's more important, I think, here is to actually talk about your approach towards recovery, because you did a lot of things that I think are very different from the way a lot of people would approach recovery.

[00:31:05.420] – Gillian

Right. I think the first thing is, although I kind of attributed the spinal stenosis to the early back injury that I had when I fell off a horse, I think, in reality, so many people, as a result of osteoarthritis, which is one of the things that sort of happens in the spine, as in all other joints, many people end up with spinal stenosis and severe sciatica. In fact, in the last couple of years, one of my clients and one of my family members has needed to have the exact same surgery for spinal stenosis. So it's far more common whether or not you've fallen off a horse at 17. So for me, I think the key to recovery was mindset because I was bounded and determined that I would not have to give up my ballroom dancing, which was my hobby and passion and my fitness activity. And so I had this surgery in February and to my absolute amazement, it was like a seven hour surgery. I've got metal rods all the way down the right side of my spine still in place. And no, they don't set off anything at airports. But the interesting thing about that was the next morning when I woke up after the seven hour surgery, a physiotherapist came in and said to me, how's the pain?

[00:32:54.200] – Gillian

Do you have any pain? And I thought that was absolutely hilarious because it was the first time in forever that I had absolutely no back pain because I was so doped up on all the intravenous painkillers and things. Anyway, so she says to me, you're going to get out of bed and walk? And I'm thinking, wow, I've just had major spinal surgery. But she got me out of bed and we took the first sort of tentative walks around the ward. So that seemed to me something really important. You don't have to go and sit around and lie around waiting to heal. The most important healing thing is going to be activity. And so when I was discharged after two days from the hospital, having expected to be in there for at least a week to recover, I was really fortunate in that one of my sons had come to be with me for the recovery period. And he said to me, mom, you want to get back on the dance floor? We are going to work at it. And so we started a program of I would go down in the elevator. We have a lovely SeaWalk around the False creek where I live.

[00:34:13.650] – Gillian

And we started off doing 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon and then increasing it gradually so that by the time he left, I was walking very tentatively and very terrified. But walking for I think it was about 20 minutes either way. And then gradually I increased that. I also was very fortunate in that the physiotherapist had recommended a particular type of rehabilitation walking pole, which was actually invented by a local occupational therapist and she's now built this up into a significant program for aiding in rehabilitation. So with the walking poles, I was able to safely and comfortably go out walking by myself. And gradually, basically, my mindset said, I want to be back dancing. And I think it was by 16 weeks I saw the spinal surgeon and he was amazed at the progress and sort of said, yes, everything is in place, kind of go away, I don't need to see you again. So I think the essence of that was I was at a point in a journey I knew where. I wanted to go, I knew where I was. And so it was really the mindset and the determination of how I could get from point A to point B safely.

[00:35:52.530] – Gillian

One of the other aspects to that is I worked out with a trainer. And for me, the most valuable aspect of that was not that he was saying one more, one more, one more kind of thing, but that he helped me understand that I didn't have to be afraid that what I was doing was going to re injure myself. So again, mindset, having a coach is absolutely critical.

[00:36:24.090] – Allan

What I took away from that was that you put a team together and you had your mission, your passion, you knew where you were going and you got a team together. So you had your physio, you had your trainer, you had your doctor, and you were listening to them and doing the right things for yourself to get yourself where you are. And as a result, you're dancing again.

[00:36:46.290] – Gillian

Right. And I had a dance teacher.

[00:36:49.350] – Allan

And you had a dance teacher. Exactly. Cool.

[00:36:53.010] – Allan

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

[00:37:01.930] – Gillian

Well, basically, I sort of encompass all of that in what I call, similarly to you, my roadmap for aging youthfully. And the components for me are sort of mind, body, and for one of the better words, spirit. So from the mind perspective, you need to know where you are and where you want to go. And so initially I get people to really understand what their risks are. What is their genetic blueprint that they've inherited, what among those things are foundational that they can actually change? I mean, none of us can predict being knocked over by a car or developing a particular cancer, but there are a lot of things that we can change through lifestyle. The second important component is body. And you've already mentioned the three things that people need to really consider. Sleep is absolutely essential. Eating well is absolutely essential. And the last thing is keeping mentally and physically active all of the time. The third component is what I call spirit is the recognition that you are actually part of many larger things. So you can make your contribution by being of service to others. You can challenge yourself, you can become part of a community.

[00:38:43.750] – Gillian

So those are sort of the three ways in which I phrase the way in which one can live youthfully and age well. The one thing that with my particular group of people, don't really have a chance to talk about because usually by the time they come to me, they're my age kind of thing. But I realize that most of the problems that present in later life we know have their genesis much earlier, as you say, 40 plus. So one of the things is I didn't really take notice of the fact that how I was basically accumulating body fat bit by bit by bit so that you're not suddenly one day obese, but you're sort of getting there. So really paying attention to nutrition early, early on. The second thing is, we know that osteoporosis, osteopenia and muscle problems, sarcopenia all start early. And had I thought about it, I felt healthy and I was active, I was exercising. I never ever for a minute thought about making sure that my calcium and phosphate are adequate when I was in my 40s and preventing osteoporosis. So those are the kinds of things that I think we all know prevent cancer, don't smoke, don't drink, kind of thing.

[00:40:35.450] – Gillian

I would say don't skydive. But there are preventative things that should become part of our life that we really never talk about until it's kind of too late. That's why I love your whole concept of 40 plus, because that's when it all starts.

[00:40:59.810] – Allan

Yeah, well, I'm going to argue with you there and say it's never too late. Start today. It's never too late. Start today. I don't care if you're in your 40s your 50s your 60s your 70s your 80s your 90s, if you got another breath in you, you can eat the right food, you can move the right way, you can start doing things to improve your health, improve your fitness, and be happier.

[00:41:25.930] – Gillian

But I think the key to all of that is mindset. You have to know what you want and it has to be important enough to you for you to make changes. So most of the when I talk to people about what is their current fear, what is their long term fear, most of them say they want to be able to be mentally and physically active and independent toward the end of life so that they don't have their family and friends worrying about them. They don't have to go into a home. And so it's a decision that, that is important to you, that will make you do things like look at your nutrition, make sure you have adequate sleep, and that you keep active. Because one of the complaints that I get from a lot of people is I can't fast, I would be hungry all the time, I can't give up my sugar. Which tells me that they haven't made the decision to achieve what they say they want to. So I believe it all starts up here with your CEO.

[00:42:46.190] – Allan

I agree. Jill, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Growing Older, Living Younger, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:56.570] – Gillian

Well, to get the book, which is a paperback book at gillianlockitch.com, so just gillianlockitch.com, that is for me to be able to send books directly to people who are anywhere in North America. So the USA or Canada, anybody else at this stage would have to get the digital Kindle edition, which is online.

[00:43:32.690] – Allan

All right, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/588 and I'll be sure to have the links there.

[00:43:40.340] – Gillian

If anybody would like more information from me, I'll just give you my email. It's askdrgill@gmail.com, askdrgill@gmail.com and I will answer you, it may not be immediately because I get a lot of emails, but that's where you can contact me and find out what information there is about my programs, et cetera.

[00:44:09.070] – Allan

Gill, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:44:13.330] – Gillian

I'm honored actually, Allan, that you invited me and it's been delightful talking to you. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:44:30.230] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:44:30.950] – Rachel

hey Allan, that was a really neat discussion. There's so many things I want to ask you about, but you started talking about how genes are like dimmer switches, but I don't think you went fully into the concept of why a gene is like a dimmer switch that you can raise or lower or whatever.

[00:44:50.060] – Allan

Well, if you remember we had Dr. Hood on and he was the one, he's one of the guys, he developed the equipment that they used to sequence the human genome. And prior to all that, there was a strong belief that once we knew the human genome, we would defeat disease entirely because we would know which genes are causing which diseases and as a result we would figure out who was going to get sick long before they ever got sick. Well, it's a lot more complex than that. And so what it is, is they came up with they realized, okay, it's how the genes are expressed. And so initially they thought they were like on off switches. And so if you're really old school and you owned a computer back in the 80s, they used to have dip switches, which are these little on and off switches. And so, depending on how you wanted to run your computer, like if you were going to be doing video games or something that was high in certain video stuff on your screen, high resolution stuff, you had to do the dip switches a certain way, and then it would work better for that.

[00:45:57.090] – Allan

And then you could change it up if you were going to use it for something else. So basically these dip switches helped you kind of manage the computer. Now that's all automated, it does it itself, but the reality of it is that's not how epigenetics works either. It's not an on or off thing, it's a dimmer switch. So it's not zeros and ones like binary. It can be anywhere along that spectrum just based on exposures, based on all kinds of things that are going on in the world. So if you're doing the right things, the five core things, you're exercising, you're eating well, you're sleeping well, you're managing stress, and you're basically being social and enjoying your life, having purpose and people and all those things. If you're doing those five things, you're communicating to your body through epigenetics that you're okay. And then your body functions the way it's supposed to. So to kind of give you an idea. Okay, so someone who smokes all the time yeah, they're putting stuff in their lungs and they're messing up their epithelial cells throughout their blood vessels and everything, but they increase their chances of cancer, particularly lung cancer, esophageal cancer, heart attack and stroke.

[00:47:17.770] – Allan

And it's because they're basically that epigenetics. They have the genes that can allow them to get those cancers. And then they're feeding it. They're basically dimming that switch and saying, no, I don't want you to do your job, buddy. Because if you're over 50, you have cancer cells in your body. You just do. Our cells, particularly as we get a little older, they're going to mutate, they're going to have some problems. So a mutated cell is a cancerous cell. Now, 99.99% of the time your body sees that and you have an immune response and it kills that cell before it can become something worse. But if we're not living right, if we're not doing the right lifestyle things, then we're turning off our ability to heal, our ability to fight that. And that's how this stuff happens, is literally, if you're smoking, if you're doing these other things, you're literally communicating to your body, don't worry about that cancer. We got other things to worry about. Your body doesn't. If you're not eating enough food. So someone who's trying to lose weight and is on this extreme 1200, 1000 calorie or less diet, you're basically telling your body, turn off nonessential functions, which your body assumes the immune system is a nonessential function because it's not something that we used to have to have turned on all the time.

[00:48:45.980] – Allan

You get a little cut. You want your immune system to work. You eat something you're not supposed to eat, your immune system starts to work. But in today's age, when we're eating non food stuff, when we're smoking, when we're doing drinking, when we're not exercising, when we're not getting sun, when we're not doing the things that are necessary, our body shuts off functions and it just doesn't work. And so a lot of the things that she's talking about in here, they were from South Africa, I think, initially. So when you're from the southern hemisphere and you have white skin predominantly, that sun exposure is pretty intense. Apparently the ozone layer is thinner there. And so it just kind of creates an environment where extreme sunburns can happen. And so she was always in the sun wanting to get the tan, wanting to look a certain way when she was younger, which is, again, why she would have such a big concern. Her mother got skin cancer and she wants to do the things that are necessary to make sure her body is able to protect itself. So that's eating certain things. She is taking a certain supplement that the preliminary science on.

[00:50:00.290] – Allan

It says that this would help from an epigenetic perspective. And she wears sunscreen and she doesn't get let herself get burned anymore. So there's things that you can do to reduce risk, particularly if you know when you're at risk. And so we had Dr. Hood on and they strongly believe that within a short amount of time here, we're going to have kind of a huge blueprint at a single person level to be able to catch these things early. And early detection is a key to not letting it get to a really bad disease state. Now he's not talking about you go in for your annual look at your skin birthday suit event and you see something unusual, so you go see a dermatologist. He's talking about catching it before that even happens. Because if we know that you're someone who's predisposed for skin cancer and your history was you got burned several times, extremely badly when you were younger, we just know that you have a higher likelihood. So they can be scanning you for the very first indications of that cell, a mutated cell that has the potential to become skin cancer and can begin doing things then.

[00:51:21.180] – Allan

So it's not like they have to cut a chunk out of you to solve this problem. They can literally do it before it's even that.

[00:51:28.730] – Rachel

Yeah, there's a lot of good science being done right now in terms of melanomas. Even just on the news this week they talked about a custom vaccine where they do a biopsy of these cells and make it into an mRNA vaccine just like what we had recently. And that combined with another immunotherapy product has shown to reduce reoccurrence by, I think in the 40s 40% or so and catastrophic reoccurrences at that. So there's a lot of good science. That's an important one. Skin cancer is something that's really easy to be screened for and pay attention to.

[00:52:09.500] – Allan

Yeah. If you have an unusual mole and it's changing sizes or it's multiple different colors, then that's worth having a conversation with your doctor. That's one of the advantages that all this stuff is going to have is just recognizing that that data and how you manage yourself are all going to be a part of this whole formula. And that's really where she comes off. Is she's like one of the living examples of someone who got to retirement age and realized that her life is probably not over yet. There's things she wants to do. She wants to go dance. And that requires a lot of stamina and strength and capacity and mobility and balance. And so she wanted to do that. And she doesn't just do it like going to the rec center in her town. She goes and gets on a cruise somewhere around the world and then they dance. They dance at night, I guess, when the boat is going where it's supposed to go. So instead of sitting in a casino or whatever else people do on cruises besides she's dancing. And so that was one of her things, and she and her husband had a bucket list, but unfortunately, he passed before she did, before even her retirement.

[00:53:30.440] – Allan

And so all the things that they had planned to do together, she still wants to do. She's going to still do those things. And that's really what this book is about, is someone claiming control of themselves, claiming control of their lives. Using what we know today with science and everything and doing it, she's able to do all the things she wants to do. And I would dare say there's quite a few people out there her age that would never be able to do that because they're just not doing the work. They're not doing the thing, they're not eating the right way, they're not moving the right way, and therefore their retirement is not nearly as nice as what she's able to experience.

[00:54:13.550] – Rachel

Well, I'm glad that she figured out that she had goals, and in order to reach those goals, she needed to make some changes. And it sounds like she'll have a wonderful retirement.

[00:54:23.510] – Allan

Looks like it. Although she already has enough, because it's the same with me. I probably technically could have just retired, get a little bitty place and just retire, but that's not my nature to do that at the 50s. So I'm still working. Tammy's still working. And the same thing here with Gill is she ended up still working, still doing things. She's got her own podcast, which I'm going to be a guest on.

[00:54:50.000] – Rachel


[00:54:50.330] – Allan

I interviewed on her podcast. I don't know when that's going to air, but again, it's one of those things. And so it's just yeah, she's just doing this stuff and keeping herself busy. And basically any money she makes from her new career, which is basically her third career, is going into her buying these cruises.

[00:55:12.770] – Rachel

That's awesome. I find the people that I've known recently to retire, speaking of my parents and some of their friends, they don't sit still. Who can sit still? When you think of retirement, you don't think of just sitting in the lounge chair watching TV all day long. At least my parents and my friends of our family, they don't they stay busy. They got things they need to do, and it's pretty exciting.

[00:55:37.870] – Allan

It is. But you're making that decision today.

[00:55:40.460] – Rachel


[00:55:41.950] – Allan

You're making that decision today. We're going to have Tomas Hine on soon.

[00:55:47.980] – Rachel


[00:55:48.860] – Allan

Or no, he was already on last week, I think. Yeah, last week. Basically, he's a financial planner, but he looks at his clients and says, if you follow what you're doing right now and you're obese in your 50s or overweight in your 50s then you're going to carry that till retirement, you're probably not going to have a long retirement. So having seven figures in your bank account on the retirement date, that's all admirable, but you may not get to spend any of it because he's had clients that passed even before they retired. They work work. They're 60 years old, they have a heart attack, and they're done. And so we're making those decisions every day, and it's our epigenetics in our bodies that's actually making that happen. That's the communication to our genes of how to express themselves. And so the more you do that's good for yourself, the better off your genes are going to be at taking care of you.

[00:56:51.250] – Rachel

Right. And the more you'll enjoy your retirement.

[00:56:55.190] – Allan

There you go. All right, well, Ras, I will talk to you next week.

[00:57:00.570] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:57:02.010] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to live to enjoy your retirement nest egg with Thomas Hine

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Most of us work and save our whole lives to have a comfortable retirement. In his book, The Balanced Wealth Approach, Thomas Hine teaches us how to have the health and fitness to truly enjoy that retirement. On episode 587 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to put your health plan together.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:40.370] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:42.180] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:44.550] – Allan

Well, it's been kind of a rough week. We had to say goodbye to angel. Her nerve issues in her back and then the hip dysplasia. She pretty much declined pretty quickly and was not able to walk on her own, couldn't stand up on her own. So we would stand her up and sometimes she could move around a little, but she was so hobbled, and you could just see it on her face how miserable she was about the fact that she couldn't get out and do things. And seeing Buster go off and run around and do his thing. And Mama's going to walk Buster, and Daddy's going to walk Angel. She wanted to be with them. That's what they did. They go for their walks together. And it just got to a point where she couldn't and she knew it. And she was starting to see you could see it on her face that she just was not where she needed to be. And laying around all day long, it was causing other health issues for her, so we had to help her pass on. First time I've ever had to dig a grave for a pet.

[00:03:45.630] – Rachel

Oh, wow.

[00:03:47.050] – Allan

Well, I can say it's a pretty good workout.

[00:03:49.380] – Rachel

I can imagine.

[00:03:50.450] – Allan

Especially when you have to dig through two and a half feet of clay. So I was a little sore for a couple of days after that. Not just sore outside, but sore all the way through. So it was a tough week, but we're recovering and mourning and moving on.

[00:04:11.720] – Rachel

I'm so sorry. So sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a loved pet. Someone's been in your family for so long. I'm sure the house has been a little bit quiet this week without her there, and my heart goes out to you.

[00:04:27.430] – Allan

Well, Buster is making sure that we stay entertained.

[00:04:31.150] – Rachel


[00:04:32.790] – Allan

He's a good dog.

[00:04:34.200] – Rachel

Good. Well, I'm glad to hear that.

[00:04:36.350] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:37.840] – Rachel

Good. We have spring at least today. The weather has been great. And I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was tapering for my big race, which last week I ran my big race, and now I'm in a reverse taper. I'm just taking my time getting back to running, which is wonderful. Now that the weather is turning, it's really easy just to go out there on a beautiful day like today and just get a mile or two in. I'm just taking my time and enjoying the run and the weather until I feel strong enough to get a few extra miles in at a time.

[00:05:13.680] – Allan

Awesome. Well, congratulations on that run. I know you got a PR and all that. Now you got to do the recovery, right?

[00:05:21.000] – Rachel

That's right. Yeah. Taking my time.

[00:05:23.430] – Allan

All right, well, are you ready to talk to Tom Hine?

[00:05:27.390] – Rachel



[00:06:16.810] – Allan

Tom. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:19.710] – Tom

Thank you, Allan. Welcome. And I'm glad to be here with you and your audience.

[00:06:24.020] – Allan

The book is called The Balanced Wealth Approach: Secrets to Living Long and Living Rich. And I think I was growing up in college and everything. I went to college for accounting, became a CPA, worked in that. And it was always the thing of you don't want to outlive your money. Most of us today don't actually have that problem. We have the other problem of not living long enough to enjoy our money. And so that's kind of what this book talks about, is finding that balance of saying, okay, build wealth so that you have what you need when you're older, but at the same time build health so you're actually able to enjoy those years. It was always kind of, I guess, a trope, if you will, where people would live, they'd work to 65, they would retire and die at 67. And I think now with with longevity happening the way it is, better medical care to keep us alive, not necessarily keep us healthy, we're living longer. And again, from someone from the financial planning, you're basically probably telling your clients you can't expect to die at 67 like people did 40 years ago.

[00:07:30.370] – Allan

You've got to expect to live to 90 or 100, and you want your money to last that long, but you want to be able to enjoy those years as well.

[00:07:37.720] – Tom

Correct. Yeah, it's about values clarification. I like to say these markets will heal, recessions come and go, but when your money recovers, will you be there to enjoy it? And there's a big talk today, as you know, about lifespan versus health span, right? It's how long you live, but how long do you live healthy? And one of my messages to my clients and your audience is you really want your health span to equal your lifespan. Right? We don't want the last ten or 15 years to be hooked to tubes and running from doctor to doctor. Not to say that doctors don't help us, but like you've said, so many other podcasts, we want to be proactive. We want to be CEO of our own health so that we try to do the best we can before the doctors have to intervene with more severe measures. So, yeah, I'd love to have people balance it. And also, more importantly, if you look at longevity and what's going on today, I heard on one of your other podcasts about Alzheimer's is type three diabetes, right? We talked about the MCT oil. We know so many more things today than ten years ago that those of us can take advantage of or at least bounce those ideas off our physicians and medical people to say, is this something I should consider for my own longevity?

[00:08:53.930] – Allan

I was having a conversation with Ras, who is my co host, so we have some conversations around these. And when I said this next statement, I got a visceral response from her, which I think is actually brilliant. It's a seven figure portfolio. Doesn't really matter if you're six foot under but you said a little differently in the book. But it's that concept of, okay, you did this great thing, you built this great portfolio, there's your big chipstack, and then you're out of the game. And the concept I wanted to take out of that was, okay, if you were running a seven figure business, you would want to run it well, meaning that the business is operating well. It's a healthy balance sheet in addition to a healthy business. So your relationships with everything and everybody you work with. And so the concept you brought up in the book was being the CEO of your own health. Could you jump into that concept a little bit? Because I've talked about being an advocate before, but I think the way you put it was really on point.

[00:09:55.040] – Tom

Yeah, thank you, and I will. One of the famous quotes that jumps out to me from doing the research was, and you'll appreciate this is, a healthy man has a thousand dreams, but a sick man only has one. Right? So the idea is, while you're building this seven figure portfolio or business, we like to say and doctors have shared this with me there's what we call acceptable level of optimization. There's an acceptable level, and there's an optimized level. So if you think about it from a business standpoint, you could have the auditors look over your books and records and cash flow and say, hey, things are going well, but these are the things you want to do to optimize your company. Whether it's R and D tax credits from my end, it's helping clients save money, convert to a Roth IRA, whatever it is in the financial planning end, when you make that parallel to health and wellness about being CEO of your own health, it's don't just go once a year to your own primary care. That's a great starting point. But add those extra measures that you would learn from podcasters like yourself.

[00:10:56.560] – Tom

Be proactive. Why? Because we know that diet, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction, those are some of the key pillars that every doctor will tell you we have to manage better. And then you add into that, what are people doing on a daily basis? I wear my oura ring all the time. That's one of the things I talk about, actually. I'm actually wearing the whoops wrap, too. I'm trying to compare one versus the other because they have different metrics. And then in addition to that, what can you do with diet, sleep, exercise? We have a lot more control, as you know, Allan, over what we eat today, right. How we exercise. I just attended a great seminar on grounding and red light therapy and EMF. I mean, that's a whole another generation of research, but we know so much more how to take care of ourselves, and yet some of us get so busy, we actually don't tender the store. And so that's what I want to remind the listener, is you actually have a lot more control today over what you eat, how you sleep, how you track it. And then don't let yourself get so busy building that mega company that you neglect your own health and end up spending all that money to recuperate the very health that you were trying to preserve.

[00:12:06.770] – Allan

Yeah, you may not know a lot about my story, but I had made it up to C suite at 39 years old as a top auditor of the company, had all the trappings of success. I had the money, the stock options, the restricted stock, the 401k, all of it. And I'm going through this process of realizing I'm completely miserable and unhealthy. I spent eight years trying to find balance in all of this, and it finally came about when I was willing to do some of the things you talked about in the book, about your own story, about how I flipped it and said I've got to spend more time on my health. And so at that point, for me, it was diet and exercise. And then once I kind of got that built up, then it was okay. Next thing is sleep, and I kind of got that zeroed in. But I felt as long as I was the C suite executive of a large company, standard Porsche 500, I was never going to hit that fourth pillar of stress management. So by good fortune or bad fortune, however you want to look at it, I got laid off.

[00:13:18.660] – Tom


[00:13:19.500] – Allan

And I made the decision at that point to not go back into corporate because I said this fourth pillar of my health is more important than me adding more to my wealth. And so, in a sense, I did my scorecard and I began to weigh the health side a lot more than the wealth side.

[00:13:44.380] – Tom

And congratulations, Allan. You're exactly right. And the challenge we all have, I just had it happen to a client six months ago. They had saved up all their money without getting the details and doing a review and dies of a heart attack. And now the spouse has all this money and no one to enjoy with the grandkids. It's nice, but not her spouse. And so you're right. But here's the thing. It's often tough. As I said in the book, mine was in the go go 1980s when they told me to quit martial arts and burn the midnight oil. And I said, luckily for me, I can't do that. It would be against the grain and against my values clarification. But it took that moment for me to realize I had to go left or I had to go right. And like you, I said, I'm going to take the turn that enriches and nourishes me. Looking back, I never regret a day. In fact, many of my peers did work themselves, ultimately either to an early grave or more importantly, to unhappiness. And at the end, that wasn't the journey they would have wanted either.

[00:14:44.060] – Tom

So congratulations to you on that.

[00:14:45.920] – Allan

Well, it took me a couple more decades than it took you to draw that conclusion, but I did eventually get there. But you have a tool that you put in your book. It's called the balanced wealth scorecard. And I know you now use this with your clients that you're counseling or advising on their wealth strategies, but you're having this additional conversation with them of what else about your health? How are you going to live well and retire well? Can you talk about your balanced wealth scorecard? Not so much. I mean, we can talk about the financial side a little bit, just so they know what's in it. But obviously this is a health and fitness podcast, so I'm not going to give them financial advice on this show other than they might want to reach out to you if they've got some money they need to manage. But beyond that, can you talk about your balanced wealth scorecard and how that's used?

[00:15:42.260] – Tom

Yeah. Thank you, Alan. And it's a joy for me because the scorecard and first of all, my disclaimer, I always tell even my clients that know me, I say, I'm not a doctor. I play one on TV and they laugh. But nothing is proprietary. Nothing violates HIPAA. They're not sharing any medical information. The scorecard is subjective, so the input comes from the user or the client. What I like to do is ask them. There's four topics on finance, which we don't really have to get into in detail, but the other four are on health, right? Hence the term balance. What I asked them is, if you were looking back over three years from now, one year from now, five years, looking back, what would you like to achieve in that space that would put you further along the line of health and wellness? And a lot of times, the first thing is, nobody's ever asked me that from a financial planning end. But what I just got an email yesterday from a client out in the Midwest, which I love. This client said, I finally got why you kept asking me about an oura ring, which she finally ordered one.

[00:16:41.870] – Tom

She said, I understand now why I said, I don't get any benefit, but it may help you and your journey on tracking, exercise and sleep. So the scorecard is designed to have them input on a score of, let's say, zero to eight or twelve on a scale on where they feel they fall. Obviously, the lower numbers mean they've not spent much time thinking about diet, sleep, exercise. The higher numbers mean, yeah, I've spent some time, but I haven't systematized it. And you and I know, based on all your great work, too, on podcast, once you create a system, it's easier to follow it, and then you can always insert something new. And so typically about twice a year, at the end of a regular review of their portfolio or their tax situation, I'll say, let's take out that scorecard. And what would you I asked them, what would you like to talk about next? One client recently got rated on his life insurance because his A1C is too high. So I said, okay. Great. What's your primary care telling you? And then what are his next steps? So that he knows, as a reminder, I'm there to coach him on, to encourage him on that step if he wants to share that.

[00:17:48.230] – Tom

So we typically use it as an accountability partner. And then for those people, Allan, that really want to do a deep dive, obviously, I have doctors that I've worked with that I can always refer them to. There's no finders fees. They can go right to these doctors and inquire and like many of your great podcasts, these people are experts in a deep dive, whether it's Alzheimer's, brain research, Parkinson's, I mean, you name it, they've all done their homework and they've got peer reviewed work in that area. But that's if somebody needs to do a deep dive more than the traditional. So it's an accountability partner, we like to review it. And more importantly, I love it when the spouses or their partner weighs in, because I like it to be where it can be a couple's thing. And as you know, when couples are both on the same page, the goals, the odds of reaching a goal are multiplied when you've got someone there cheering you on. So that's a big part of it, too.

[00:18:42.260] – Allan

Yeah, well, beyond cheering you on, it's the whole concept of, okay, if this is a lady and her husband doesn't want to eat the foods that she's eating and she's trying to commit to increasing or improving herself in this area, she's going to need his support at some level. Otherwise it's going to be a struggle. And it's not that he has to eat the way that she's eating, but at least at that point, if he's on board to help her reach these goals and understands that these are important to her, which includes she has to communicate these things to him. If you're doing that, if you're doing that, if you're communicating this, look, I've done this scorecard, and these are the things that are now kind of my priorities. They're my values. They're what I want to be. You can take that scorecard to your doctor. You can take that scorecard to your spouse or significant other. You can even share that because most of us are in our 40s. Our kids are going to be old enough 40s and 50s. Our kids are going to be old enough to understand that we want to be healthy and be there for eventually their kids having those conversations,

[00:19:44.500] – Allan

This is a really good tool to say, okay, I want to be financially secure. I want to be healthy. And so these are my priorities going into this next quarter, next year, however we want to approach it. But that gives you a great tool. And you mentioned something else that I think is really important is I don't like to talk bad about doctors. So I'm not talking bad about doctors. Please don't hit me up and say you're not listening to your doctor. Well, look, there are doctors that are in the current process that follow standard of care. They know the basics. They had the education that was necessary for them to be a doctor and do what they do, which is great. There are other doctors and very smart people who are on the other side of this. And look at this more from a well care perspective and they've raised the bar well above the sick care that most of our doctors currently have to practice. There are people out there, there are these experts, if you will, in the way that you can deal with nutrition. There's experts in the way that you can deal with supplementation.

[00:20:50.580] – Allan

There are tests that you can do that only these doctors are going to do. Because your doctor isn't going to necessarily say, just because your A1C is high, we should do a genome test so we understand if there's some genetic predispositions for that, or whether this is just something that's based on the fact that you're eating McDonald's every day and should just cut it out. Your doctor is just going to say eat better. And that's about all they're going to say. And then you got to figure that out. And then again, I'm a nutrition coach, I'm a fitness coach. And so there's people like me. I know what an ETF is, I know what stock is, I know what bonds are, I know about what is it? Diversification. I even know a lot about cryptocurrency and all those other things. Now, a lot of people don't. So they come to someone like you who's an expert to get advice so that they can optimize, so that they can do better than they could do on their own. Can you talk about how someone should go about picking an expert, knowing it, finding an expert, picking an expert and then working with one?

[00:21:55.510] – Tom

Yeah. Thank you. And also I'll give the analogy, which you'll certainly appreciate, health and wellness, just as I say in the book, when you diversify your portfolio, stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, I also mentioned diversify your health care, right. If you've been a good saver, maybe you don't just have primary care. Maybe you have a massage therapist or I say a chiropractor approved by an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe you have these other people in the background because we know that there are many different experts that can weigh in and you don't have to have pay a king's ransom for all this. I mean, a lot of these great health practitioners aren't always at the very highest end, but they have really great knowledge. But to answer the question, we believe the basis of everything should be a financial plan, right? Just the way that Chatbot, GPT and OpenAI have taken the world by storm. A financial planning software that's robust, literally incorporates long term care, Social Security, Medicaid planning, estate planning, roth IRA conversion, all the things that are important. And I often tell clients, ten years ago the software wasn't that advanced or what they call in fintech.

[00:23:04.110] – Tom

Well, now we literally get updates from the companies every week on we've changed this module because Secure Act 2.0 was passed last December, right? Or we've changed it. So number one, the basis of everything should be a financial plan, number two, and that's easy to do. But the second thing is the plan should be reviewed a couple of times a year when life conditions change. And that's where we add that balanced wealth questionnaire at the end or what do they want to do on that. But the third thing to remember is along the way, the government is really forcing people through this Secure Act 2.0. They want people to take more money out and get taxed now because we know the government sadly, is broke, right, the deficits, and I'm not blaming one party over the other, they both contributed to it. So our government is going to be reaching into your pocket, Allan, and your listeners and my pocket. Not that we don't want to help the government to protect us and there's some good things the government can do, but there's also some inefficiencies, right? And I tell my clients, if you don't do the right tax and financial planning, you're volunteering to give more money to the government rather than doing the right amount for your fair share.

[00:24:12.240] – Tom

So financial plan, a review on top of that. And ultimately, even though people are in their 40s and 50s and relatively young, I still want them to get a Will durable power attorney. I've had too many stories and I know you probably have known people who died unexpectedly and all of a sudden their spouse or their kids are left with a situation where you got to go through probate, which is basically salt in the wound of that. So we believe that's part of a traditional financial plan as well.

[00:24:40.560] – Allan

Yeah, well, I live in Panama country on an island. So yeah, when people pass here, it's fun. It's fun. And so one of the things I wanted to bring up, because you are a financial planner and coach, but the health savings accounts, I think what a lot of people think is, well, this is when I go to my doctor and I have to pay the deductible, I can use that against my health savings account. If he gives me a prescription and I have to pay for part of that, that goes against that. Certain other things that I would buy for my health would be in that. But what about things like coaches and nutritionists and things like that? Those are included in that whole model as well, aren't they?

[00:25:25.540] – Tom

They are. And the key thing about it I'm glad you brought that up, a lot of people don't know they've got, I'll never say free money, but money set aside for coaches and people like that, absolutely, it's allowed. And I suspect even more. This is where people really want to get in the nitty gritty of their planning. If you're smart about your own 401k, and we can't get into details here, but what they call Roth conversions and all, you can generate tax free money and retirement that can also be used to pay for these services. So a lot of people, if you're listening and you're over the age of 60, you might think it's too late. No, it's not necessarily too late in your 40s and 50s and still adding the HSA accounts are absolutely one way to do it. To allocate to that. It's a smart move

[00:26:09.910] – Allan

because I had a client and she's like, I need you to do these jump through these little hoops for me, and I can claim this on my HSA. And I was like, cool. And it saves her some tax money, too.

[00:26:22.170] – Tom

Yeah. And I would also share Allan, although I'm not a tax expert, but this is something for your audience, because a lot of times a little bit of research goes a long way. One of the reasons why I enjoyed writing the book for my current and future clients is I am and my accountant blessed that I'm able to expense this healthcare R and D research, because it's not just about me, it is for the benefit of my current and future clients. So I cleared it with him before the book even got published, and he said, it's your line of business. So for your audience, if people love what you do and others, and you can make it part of your business and integrate it, then you have the ability to ethically and legally deduct these expenses as part of R and D and all, whether it's for you or your training clients or your coaching clients. That's certainly within the purview of what's allowable under the IRS law.

[00:27:11.610] – Allan

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

[00:27:21.150] – Tom

So the three that I like to focus on, and the big one is sleep, right? There's no question every book's been written about it. There's some great ones about sleep. And again, whether you use your Apple Watch, I like to use the oura ring. I have no investments in these companies. I'm just sharing what works. But I love to be able to track the deep sleep, the REM sleep, your HRV, all these critical aspects of it. And if. You don't know all the details. There's plenty of websites. I know some of your podcasts have covered that. So number one, and I just listened to, by the way, a very well known military expert give a talk on another webinar and they asked him regarding all of the challenges in school violence and all that stuff like what's the one thing people can do to take advantage of being alert and responsive and healthy every day? And this is a military person. He said sleep. Sleep is the thing that people really need to focus on. So that thought that was fascinating coming from a lieutenant colonel. The second thing, clearly I would add, and I've done more of this work out in the last month, is this idea of circadian rhythm, sunlight, grounding.

[00:28:28.630] – Tom

The fact is, a lot of the way we evolved over 10,000 years and more was a lot of our artificial light. Today we're in buildings a lot. The research has clearly shown that if we get back to nature and where you are is a perfect place to get back to nature, right? And they said the blue zones, a lot of people in the blue zones around the world, guess what? Outside, near the beach, near the ocean, near the sand. So I think a second one is just be mindful of how many hours you spend indoors versus the natural sunlight and the circadian rhythm. I'm learning a lot more about that for me. So when I have my travels and I think the third thing is, for me, it's been again, I'm not a nutritious like you, but clearly the keto diet has been I didn't come into my program a lot of overweight. But I dropped a lot of weight doing the fasting and keto diet, and I realized I could live on a lot less calories and have the energy. The key thing is, as you know, is training your body to burn to that glucose before you get to the ketosis stage.

[00:29:30.960] – Tom

And a lot of people never can get over that hump because there's social challenges. I'm sure you know this, friends and family and people stop in and you're like you can't tell everyone that you're fasting all the time, right, because you got to eat meals. But I found that if you can work around that, those are the three things that have helped me now. A year from now, I may change them up a bit. But those are the three that I found that keep me on a mindset of health and wellness and more importantly, allow me to be CEO of my own health and not sit there and be frustrated by schedule changes, airline delays, or whatever's going on in the world.

[00:30:06.930] – Allan

Well, Tom, the book is called The Balanced Wealth Approach: Secrets to Living Long and Living Rich. If someone wanted to learn more about the book, more about you and what you're doing, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:30:19.100] – Tom

Thank you. Yeah, it's thebalancedwealthapproach.com. It's literally the title of the book.com. And they can learn about the book. There's a questionnaire, there a scorecard they can fill in, and then that can begin their journey, as we like to say, we can bring you to the door of health and wellness. We can open the door, but they have to walk through that door. And the great work that you've done, listen to people and the experts that you have on. And I'll continue to gather information from my clients because I think this is just the first inning of what's going to be a great long term run for all of us.

[00:30:53.730] – Allan

Great. Well, you can find that episode at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/587. Tom, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:31:03.870] – Tom

Thank you, Allan. And thank you very much for sharing some time with me. I enjoyed it immensely.

Post Show/Recap

[00:31:17.370] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:31:19.010] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is a topic that we've talked about a little bit lately. It's so important to just like Tom said, be the CEO of your own health. I mean, when you prepare for retirement, there's more to retirement than just having enough money to live on. You need to have the health to take you through those retirement years.

[00:31:39.330] – Allan

Yeah, that whole live part.

[00:31:41.490] – Rachel

Yes. That's pretty key.

[00:31:46.450] – Allan

Yeah. I think a lot of people look at retirement and they're like, okay, did I save enough money to last? And how long am I going to be here? We started it years ago, probably most of us. Put a little bit away in your 401k, do a little bit here, do a little bit there. And then as you start getting into your forty s and fifty s, you really start thinking about socking away a little bit more, pushing up that amount so that you're kind of building this portfolio. But so few people think about their health and fitness in a similar light of, what am I investing today for my health and fitness? And it's time. It's effort and sometimes money when you need that assistance and accountability. And so few people are doing it, they're sort of just coasting along and it's like, ho hum. And it's sort of like, I guess I'm going to work for the rest of my life kind of mindset. But that won't be nearly as long as you think if you're not taking care of your health and fitness.

[00:32:48.560] – Rachel

Oh, that's so true. Just to play devil's advocate here, I can tell you that in my 20s, I was also focused on my career and didn't have to think too much about my health. In my 30s, when I was having kids and raising young children, my time and attention was focused on them, and my husband Mike was focused on his career. So it's like years tick by before we really even needed to think too hard about our health. And then before it's too late, you want to get into that. It's just important to maintain that focus. And it's better in your younger years. It's easier to start a running regimen or a weightlifting regimen or any sort of program when you're younger and healthier and you can bounce back faster.

[00:33:37.040] – Allan

It is easier to be fit and stay fit. So maintenance is an easier way than starting later in life. But the point being is you can. It's the whole point. They'll tell you it's like, don't think you've lost it. You can still be putting money away for your retirement now, whatever you can. And it's sort of the same thing with fitness. It's like what you can with what you have right now, because every little thing you do, every little investment chips away and puts a little bit in that bank to make you healthier and make you more fit. And so as you start looking at not just how you want to live that other part of your life, the second half or the rest of it, however you want to line that up, basically, what quality of life do you want to have? What do you want to do and enjoy? You know, I've talked about my grandfather, 80 years old, had to quit playing golf because he couldn't. And he kept living. He kept living, and he lost the most important thing in his life, which was golf, and he lost it, and he lived for another 15 years.

[00:34:45.610] – Allan

As you kind of look at this and say, I want the life and I want my retirement money to last as long as I live. But you should also want your health span to last as long as you live.

[00:34:57.920] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, yeah.

[00:34:59.220] – Allan

Because I can't even imagine sitting there and withering away.

[00:35:06.320] – Rachel

Oh, yeah.

[00:35:07.250] – Allan

As an older, frail person losing independence, looking at that jar of pickles I bought that I can't open and waiting for someone to come by and open it for me, not being able to take care of myself. I can't even imagine spending years, potentially years and years of my life in that state. But if you're not doing something today, you're setting yourself up for stuff just like that.

[00:35:35.040] – Rachel

Oh, for sure. It's so easy to get busy and focus on our careers. But what's going to happen when you don't work anymore, when you actually quit work to be retired, and you've got all this time on your hands, and what are you going to do?

[00:35:50.510] – Allan

We're going to go to the Mediterranean and do these hikes, and we're going to go to Machu Picchu and do that thing, and we're going to do all those things right, but then we're not doing anything now. So it's like you get to 65 and it's like, wow, I can't walk up the stairs without getting winded. There's no way. And then, yeah, you go on that cruise. But leaving the cruise ship. Someone's got to drive me to the top of the volcano because I can't walk there. So now it's not the same experience, it's not the same as what you thought. And it just becomes harder and harder because you're just not doing the things necessary to be ready for those. So if there's something about your retirement that excites you, start working on it right now. Yeah, it's the whole thing. It's like, yeah, I'd love to do these cruises and do this thing. Well, you got to save the money for it, right? Well, it's the same way you've got to build your stamina and your energy and your strength to be able to do those things and enjoy the life that you are meant to enjoy.

[00:36:49.760] – Allan

You worked hard, you worked hard your whole life to save for that retirement. And as you said, seven figure portfolio and you're 6ft under is not the plan. So you got to start doing things on both sides. But health and fitness is probably an area where many of us might have be falling short. We're probably saving plenty of money in our 40s and 50s because we know it's coming. We a little bit behind the curve on this stuff, but we're doing it. And this is the same way. Start investing the time and the effort and in some cases money to get where you want to be.

[00:37:24.880] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure. That sounds great.

[00:37:27.630] – Allan

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

[00:37:31.410] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:37:32.950] – Allan

You too.

[00:37:33.880] – Rachel

Thank you.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How scientific wellness is changing medicine | Dr. Leroy Hood and Nathan Price

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Dr. Leroy Hood and Nathan Price believe we're at a watershed moment in medicine. After reading their book, The Age of Scientific Wellness: Why the Future of Medicine is Personalized, Predictive, Data-Rich, and in Your Hands and this interview, I'm inclined to agree with them.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.870] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:50.700] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.810] – Allan

I'm doing okay. Got some news. I've been really quiet about this over the last 20 plus weeks. In my meantime, when I'm not doing anything else

[00:03:06.090] – Rachel

when is that, by the way?

[00:03:08.910] – Allan

I set up to take the Precision nutrition level two on my way to being a Master Health coach. But I I passed my final last week for my level two.

[00:03:20.100] – Rachel


[00:03:21.160] – Allan

I basically been so I was for the last 21 weeks, I've been spending about 8 hours per week on this course. It's pretty intense. I would basically kind of put it up there and say I was taking multiple college courses at the same time to do this because it was pretty deep. I printed out their text just from the lectures. It was 180,000 words.

[00:03:48.490] – Rachel

My gosh.

[00:03:50.650] – Allan

Just to kind of give you an idea of how much content was in this. And then it was a final 100 multiple choice questions that you go through. So I passed that test, and by the time you're listening to this episode, I'll have my level two and be working towards my Master health coach with precision nutrition. So I'm pretty excited that that's over.

[00:04:15.410] – Rachel

Yeah. Wow. Well, that's fantastic. Congratulations. That's really huge.

[00:04:20.600] – Allan

Thank you. And it basically ups my game a lot, because from that coaching perspective, it kind of gives me the it's not so much the credentials, it's just the things I learned during that 20 weeks and how I can apply that for my clients and get them even better results. That's what I'm excited about. I know when I'm doing my coaching that I'm doing kind of that highest level of coaching that I can possibly do, because there's nothing harder. I mean, there's nothing higher, like getting to that point where it's okay, I'm the most credentialed I can be as a health coach, so health and fitness coach. So that's pretty exciting. Put all the tools in place for me.

[00:05:06.370] – Rachel

That's wonderful. Congratulations.

[00:05:08.550] – Allan

All right. How are things up there?

[00:05:10.370] – Rachel

Good. I mentioned last week that I was going to be running an ultra, and I did. It was 34 miles, and I had a great run. Earned first place in my age group. Set a two minute thank you. Got myself a two minute PR on this course. This is my fourth time running this course, and it was a great day with really terrible conditions. We got rained on at the beginning, and then it only got colder from there. You had snow in the afternoon, so it was kind of a muddy mess, but it was wonderful. Painful, but wonderful. It was a good run.

[00:05:49.870] – Allan

Yeah. You add the poor weather and the PR, that's pretty impressive. You you must have trained really hard for this one.

[00:06:00.070] – Rachel

You would think so, but not nearly as hard as when I trained to run this the first time. But it's been four or five years since my initial PR on this course, so it's not so much the training as the wisdom from the last few years. I really know what I'm doing, so I can persist through some uncomfortable conditions. And truthfully, this kind of gets me a little bit fired up for pushing my limits on a good weather day. I mean, if everything went better, then how much faster could I have been? There's just a lot of room there to ponder that, so I'm pretty excited about whatever might come next. I have no plans, but I am definitely thinking about something.

[00:06:48.660] – Allan

Good. I saw Mike had post a picture of your prep and then his prep. I think he had a PR too.

[00:06:58.600] – Rachel

Yeah, that was a good picture. Yeah. I've got a lot of gear to run 34 miles. I need quite a bit of food. And I had a couple of wardrobe changes because I knew that it was going to get rained on and they provide drop bags. So I had a change of clothes as needed on the course and everything. And Mike had all the celebratory beer ready, so his prep was a little different than mine.

[00:07:24.370] – Allan

Some of it was left when you got done.

[00:07:26.370] – Rachel

At least I got a beer out of it. Yeah.

[00:07:28.160] – Allan


[00:07:30.370] – Rachel

Well deserved.

[00:07:31.850] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have this conversation with Dr. Hood and Dr. Price?

[00:07:37.860] – Rachel



[00:08:29.570] – Allan

Lee, Nathan. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:33.100] – Dr. Price

Thanks, Allan.

[00:08:33.740] – Dr. Hood

Great to be here.

[00:08:35.000] – Allan

Yeah. Your book is called The Age of Scientific Wellness. And as I was going through the book, I just had a whole lot of thoughts. And what I liked about it was I would be thinking something like, well, what about what about what? And then here you guys go and answer that question. So you answered a lot of my questions about health care and well care and kind of the direction some of this stuff is going or very much could go. And even though it sometimes has a feel of science fiction, I see enough around me otherwise to say that you guys are probably spot on. That change is coming fast, and it's going to be kind of interesting how the next, I would say one or two decades shapes up as far as how our visits to our doctors go and how we personally can step in and make some changes for ourselves. So I appreciate this book because it's a lot of food for thought and it covers a few things that I really want to get deeper on. But this is a really good book.

[00:09:42.170] – Dr. Hood

Thank you.

[00:09:44.570] – Allan

Now, in the book, you compared and contrasted health care, which is what we have pretty much today, which is get sick, have a symptom, go to the doctor, take a medication, usually for the symptom, not always for the cure, and then rest and repeat. Literally, we just keep going back and then for a lot of us over the age of 40, it's counting how many pills you have to take in a day. And then we sit down and start having those conversations. Well, I'm on seven, I'm on eight. My doctor changed this one and put me on these two, and this one gave me that, so I took that. And it just seems like a case of whack a mole, if you will, and you go into that and then the look forward of what we could have is what you call wellness care, which speaks to wellness, the transition, and then disease. Can you kind of talk through that and why that different paradigm can completely flip the way we look at medicine?

[00:10:52.990] – Dr. Hood

I think the fundamental idea is that health care in the future is going to be data driven. And the idea that we will follow each individual on a regular basis every three months or every six months, and we'll assess blood analytes and the gut microbiome and do digital health measurements. And these measurements will let us assess the three different features of health. So I see your health trajectory as made up of three components. So most of us start in wellness, whatever that means. Then often we will go through a transition to disease that will progress and then reverse itself and take us back to wellness. So the data driven transitions we can assess are wellness are the transitions and disease itself. And what's exciting about data driven approaches is they let us optimize health for each of those three phases. For wellness, typically, we would guess that ordinary person, even appearing well, would have maybe 30% of the potential wellness. And there are many actionable possibilities that come from data driven wellness that can further optimize that. And a very interesting question is it's up to you and how far are you going to go in being well?

[00:12:36.770] – Dr. Hood

The second point that's really fascinating is because we can detect in the blood transitions that occur years before you get the clinical disease, there is now the opportunity to think about reversing disease when it's simple at its earliest stage, so that you never get to the disease. And a really attractive idea of data driven wellness is we can deal with many, if not most, chronic diseases in this fashion. And then, of course, for disease itself, the enormous data density gives us fundamental new insights into how to deal with disease more effectively. And many people are doing that. But the whole idea is, in the future we will follow you, whether it be with fitbits and aura rings and things like that, and or with blood and your microbiome analyses. And they will give us the power to optimize your health.

[00:13:47.190] – Allan

So, Lee, on a simple basis, just to kind of walk us through this, can you go at a high level and say, okay, we know that there's a transition that occurs that puts us into diabetes. We've identified it now as prediabetes. But can you kind of talk through that line of how that would work for someone who's maybe going in that direction and how that transition would appear?

[00:14:09.320] – Dr. Hood

Nathan, do you want to take that one?

[00:14:11.390] – Dr. Price

Sure, I'd be happy to. One of the ways that diabetes is a great example because it's probably where we've worked this out the best just in medicine today, because there is at least a diagnosis that you can make or an evaluation of prediabetes and that relates to the ability for us to control insulin. So to look at controlling sugar via the secretion of insulin primarily. And so when you look at that, you can transition from waiting to some late stage disease and late stage diabetes care is pretty horrific, right? It's foot amputations. They're up like 40% in the United States over the last decade or something like that, which is just terrible. But if you're looking at prevention and earliest on, you can deploy new kinds of devices. So continuous glucose monitors, for example. You can wear a device on your arm, you can go in it's painless for a course of two weeks, and you can monitor how your body's response to sugar is being managed. You can get a sense for how good are you at that. You can actually look at exercises and changing your diet or even some supplements or drugs or different things like that that can have an effect on trying to blunt or get yourself to be better at controlling glucose.

[00:15:29.010] – Dr. Price

And as you improve that metabolic health, as you focus on wellness, that then reduces the likelihood that you would transition to diabetes. Now, if you want to broaden out from that and this is some of the things that we get into in the book. So we did a paper for the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences a few years ago, and we looked at the genetic risk for 54 different diseases and conditions. And what you find is that even if you look in asymptomatic people, you can identify differences that manifest themselves as a function of being at high or low risk for a disease decades before the disease manifests. And in many of these cases, they relate to mechanisms that are happening early in the process that might be reversible. Just to give one example, we looked in the blood of people and stratified them by risk for coronary artery disease. Turned out there was only one protein whose concentration of the blood was correlated with that strength of genetic risk. In this case, that was PCSK nine. Well antipcsk nine drugs are the biggest that's the biggest blockbuster drug in that space in the last decade.

[00:16:37.810] – Dr. Price

And you could see that, and it's the only signal when you look early. And traditionally in medical research, we're always looking late. And you have these hundreds of changes, maybe thousands of changes that you're trying to suss through to figure out what matters but you're seeing a very complex picture at the end when you look early and you have more of a movie where you're starting from wellness to the early transition. The number of signals is small and the interventions are easy. So going back to diabetes, late stage can be loss of pain sensitivity, and all the problems that come with that early is fixing your diet, eating more fiber, things that are very simple. And that's kind of the whole paradigm, which is to shift healthcare much more towards understanding these fundamental processes and how good we are at them, like the control of glucose. But it could be combating oxidative radicals. How good are you at how well is your DNA repair happening? Are your telomeres shortening faster than they should, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, aimed towards how do you live as long and healthy a life as possible?

[00:17:43.910] – Allan

Now, the term scientific wellness actually appeals to me a lot because we've seen a lot of things, I think, over the last few years and through nutrition my whole life. That really wasn't science. It was marketing, if you will. But that said, in looking at scientific wellness and you talked about data driven, which I think is important, there are three bits that you got into. One being the genome, which is just basically our genetic makeup. The phenome, which is the first time I've heard that term, actually. My spell check on my computer doesn't even know that word. I guess I'm not that dumb. And then digital measurements of health, which I think you brought up a little bit, was the fitbit or the continuous glucose monitor, those types of things. Can you go into those and how that data is going to because it sounds like a lot of data.

[00:18:45.910] – Dr. Hood

Sure, I can start on scientific wellness. The idea there is that humans are terribly complicated. And if you want to be able to assess that complexity, the best single approach is this belief that blood is a window into health and disease. Because blood bathes all your organs. They secrete molecules, be they proteins, or metabolites into the blood. And if you can learn to read the quantification of those analytes, you can assess the health of at least 25 different organs in the human being. So the idea then, with scientific wellness is we can look at proteins and we can look at metabolites that give us deep insights into how biological networks in different organs and for different physiologic functions actually operate in what state they're in. And we can begin in a scientific fashion to ask, are there ways that we can cure this kind of deficiency? And simple example of that was when I had my analytes analyzed. I found I was incredibly low on vitamin D. And vitamin D is really an essential vitamin for preventing diabetes and cancer and cardiovascular disease and aging, a whole variety of things. And what I was shocked at is when I used the normal doses on a regular basis of 1000 international units to bring me back to normal, it didn't phase my blood levels at all.

[00:20:45.620] – Dr. Hood

And it turned out that in addition to low vitamin D in the blood, I had two genetic variants that blocked the uptake of vitamin D. And the one effective way of getting around that was to use very large doses, 15,000 international units. And that brought me up to normal. And then I had to use more than normal to maintain that kind of level. And those are all beautiful examples of how we assess assay blood analytes and could change the dimension of wellness in a single individual. And in fact, in our initial studies for scientific wellness, we were able to correlate six different types of data and come up with 2500 correlations. And going to the literature with some of the correlations between those various combinations led to actionable possibilities that could be then given to individuals. And if they did them, they improve wellness in a voided disease. But the ability to quantitatively assess the blood and draw inferences about general functions and specific organ states, I think is a very important idea. Nathan, did you want to continue with the rest of the question?

[00:22:20.110] – Dr. Price

Sure. So there's many things that you can get into that I think really guide a person as they're trying to implement something like this in their life or have an impact. So one of the really interesting elements that came out of analyzing these data and it does bring together genetics and the blood measures was when we looked at people who were going through a program aimed at improving their wellness, this scientific wellness program that we were running as we did that, what we found was that you can take a genetic prediction, let's say, of something like LDL cholesterol in your blood. Right.

[00:22:54.730] – Dr. Price

Millions of people are on statins to control this. And so when we looked at that, it turned out that you could predict in advance who was able to lower, for example, their LDL cholesterol by lifestyle interventions. And the key variable turned out to be that if your genome predicted that you could be low but you were high. In other words, if there was a gap, you could change it. And if your genome predicted high and you were high, there wasn't a gap, you couldn't. Now, one of the things that's really fascinating is that if you think about medicine, and something as common as that is in our healthcare system today, essentially no doctor uses the genetic information about what the genes say about your level of LDL cholesterol. It's everyone is treated the same, and it turns out that their responses are totally different. That's also true for HDL cholesterol, so called good cholesterol you're trying to raise. It's true for things like hemoglobin, A1C, for the transition to diabetes, because there are genes that predict the residence time of red blood cells, for example. So the average is 120 days. But some people will be more at 110 or 130.

[00:24:05.460] – Dr. Price

Totally predictable by genetics. So the main diabetes marker is hemoglobin, A1C, which is a molecule that's circulating, and it accumulates these sugars, essentially, that go onto the edges. And the amount of time you have makes a difference in how long that accumulates. So based on different genetics, a person could have the same readout and be at high risk for transition to diabetes, and another person could have the same readout and be at relatively low risk for transition to diabetes. Totally predictable by genetics and so forth. So there's many, many things that you could get into.

[00:24:38.810] – Allan

Now, Lee, you came up with the concept of 4 P medicine. Could you walk us through that? Because I think this is where the rubber hits the road. This is where we actually start getting this stuff done.

[00:24:53.390] – Dr. Hood

I agree with you completely. Back in the early 2000s, when we were just starting the Institute for Systems Biology, and the mission of that institute was to take a systems or global holistic approach toward both wellness and toward disease. We also took a systems approach to thinking about health care in what are the most fundamental elements of health care we need that are absolutely necessary. And we came up with the four P's. So prediction, the ability to predict whether or not you might be susceptible to a disease, and if so, the second P was prevention. How can we deal with that disease and maybe deal with it before it ever manifests itself as a clinical entity? The third one was personalization because it was clear from day one that humans are a unit of biological organization and health had to be focused at individuals because different individuals differ in every way, and their genetic and their genetics, their behavior, their environment and so forth. So these first three PS, prediction, prevention and personalization, really are the scientific meat of what this data driven health care is all about. We think after the Air Veil program, where we, over a four year period, brought 5000 people to scientific wellness and accumulated data clouds, we think we understand very well how to approach the science end of things.

[00:26:48.500] – Dr. Hood

But the fourth P is participatory, and the question there is, how do you get the system to change? How do you persuade patients to actually have the initiative to participate in scientific wellness? How do you persuade physicians to take advantage of it? Many have skepticism about it, they don't see it as real science or I think others are actually intimidated by the fact, namely genetics, that it entails a lot of things they don't understand and they're very hesitant to get involved. How do we persuade the physicians, how do we persuade the healthcare leaders? How do we persuade pharma and the technology companies that this is going to be the future and get them to focus on wellness and prevention rather than just on disease by itself. How do we get those that are the FDA, that are Adjudicating drugs and all of these things? And how do we get the whole educational system? The training of MD's has to change in a really radical way. When I went to medical school many, many years ago, I was appalled later to learn I never had a course in genetics. Fortunately, I was an undergraduate at Caltech and I had a good background, but I never had a course on diet or the gut or any of these kinds of things, or I never had any kind of course that ever mentioned the word wellness.

[00:28:28.860] – Dr. Hood

And frankly, I think a lot of things I was taught then is what our students are getting taught today. And there is enormous resistance in the medical schools to say, well, we're all filled up. We have all these courses because we have all these requirements and we don't have time to think about anything new. So anyway, how do we get the senators, representatives, the executive to realize that if you spend money today on prevention and wellness, tomorrow you'll have enormous savings and strikingly increased quality of health care? So those are the challenges of the four P, science on the one hand, but sociology and economics and psychology and so forth, on the other hand. So how do you get a system that's embedded in paying doctors according to how many times they touch the patient to change to one that's value based, where the doctors get paid on how well they keep all of their patients? And these are the challenges that come with data driven health.

[00:29:49.950] – Allan

Well, kind of. One of the things I took away from it was this is proactive rather than reactive. This is an opportunity to get out in front of everything and just tap it out before it becomes a fire. There's a hot spot and just tap it out now. Don't let it become a wildfire later. And I think the last P is really the answer. And the thing is, we have to participate. We have to be our own advocates in the way that we're taking care of ourselves and the things we're doing. And I think as tools become available to the patient, then the patient is really the one that has the best opportunity to drive a lot of this because generation before mine would have gone and the doctor says, okay, we're going to have to amputate your foot. It's like, okay, which one? And then you weren't going to say no. You were going to say, can I get a second opinion? You weren't going to question it. It's like, well, the doctor said so, therefore we are. And it's the jump, how high kind of mindset. And now we are a lot more likely to question things and do that.

[00:31:06.540] – Allan

But it goes back to the doing because if your doctor does come to you and says, okay, look, you have these analytes and this biology, this genome that's going to basically says that if you don't do something you're going to get diabetes. And for most of us that that's happening to, we know someone in our family that went down that aging curve and it's not pretty.

[00:31:36.510] – Dr. Hood

No, the other thing I would say, I think a big part of fourth P is education and we have really focused on that in very important ways. One, Nathan and I with others have written a textbook on systems biology and systems medicine and it's an ideal textbook for medical students and graduate students of various kinds to take up. It's written for someone who doesn't understand all the intricacies of biology. A second thing we've done with an education group I started more than 20 years ago at ISB now is we've created from the systems biology text on the systems Medicine chapter, a 20 module course for high school students that gives them deep insight into systems medicine and P four, healthcare. And I'll argue that and we'll be starting to use that course this year and be able to distribute it to many schools. I'll argue that that course will train students who will know more than 95% of physicians about the future of medicine and really where it's going to go. A third thing that we've done is the book that we're here talking about. And a fourth thing is that I've persuaded an Italian film director to make a 90-minute documentary on wellness over the last 5000 years.

[00:33:18.030] – Dr. Hood

That in a general sense talk about how our perceptions of wellness has evolved and where we are today with data driven health and what it means for you and in an artistic fashion try to appeal to people to activate this fourth P. That is I will participate in this kind of process. So we have lots of things going on that I think will be important in the educational process. But diving in and getting done these transformations is what we're all about. And I'm doing it from an academic side and Nathan obviously is doing it from the side of a wonderful company that's trying to bring health and wellness and prevention to people in small bits and pieces, which is one very effective way of doing it.

[00:34:24.290] – Allan

I want to thank you guys as I was going through your stories and what you guys have done to date is exceptional. But when that video comes out, when that's a documentary, when they get that done and they're ready to publish, that get me back in the loop. I'd love to have everyone back on the podcast and we can talk about that documentary because I think that's going to be extremely valuable and I'd like to help spread the word.

[00:34:53.310] – Dr. Hood

Okay, we'll take advantage of it. Thank you very much.

[00:34:58.590] – Dr. Price

Yeah, maybe if I can just add a little bit on that participatory piece, then, because one of the things that I could imagine listeners may be thinking, or if you start to encounter scientific wellness, I think you can see a lot of promise in it. But there might be questions of how do I easily implement this right? How do I make that something that's real in my life, that affects my wellness, my health, all those kind of things? And I think that so much of the onus of dealing with complexity of the kind we're talking about, really has to fall on the side of those of us who are working on the algorithms, the products, so forth, to try to make this as simple as possible. And so that's one of the areas that I think we're really focused on, on trying to deliver that out to people. And so some of the elements can also just be very minor, practical. I'll just share one example. So microbiome testing, lee and I are both big believers in microbiome and its future, and it's turning out to be important for so many health issues that people are getting into.

[00:36:04.980] – Dr. Price

But the process of getting a sample, for example, is not typically the greatest, right? So listeners that aren't thinking, what do. You have to do?

[00:36:16.710] – Dr. Price

You get a bucket or a piece of paper, poop on the bucket,

[00:36:20.510] – Allan

plastic bag,

[00:36:21.890] – Dr. Price

take a little shovel. You got to dig it up. You got to put it in a little bile. You got to close it. Some of the tests require freezing. I don't know what you keep in your freezer, but I tend to keep food there, so it's not like the greatest spot, et cetera. So just to give an example, then. So that's an issue. So one of the things that we sat around and this was some work that we did at Thorne but basically to just say, well, what's the easiest way we could do a microbiome sample? Which led to the invention of something that we call the microbiome wipe, which is basically what it sounds like. It's basically toilet paper made out of a special polymer. So you wipe like normal. You throw it in a vial, you shake the vial, within 10 seconds, it dissolves away. So what that was was a way to get, like, the easiest way we could possibly think of to get a sample. Now, what that does is that lowers the barrier to people doing it. And we saw a big uptake. In fact, on another podcast, Sarah Godfrey was interviewed. She's a prominent physician and she's treating a bunch of NBA players.

[00:37:24.260] – Dr. Price

And she shared this anecdote that the NBA players would never do the microbiome samples for the reason we just talked about. Because it's gross, I guess. Or they didn't want to do it, but when switching to the wipe, they all did it and it was like, not a problem. So, anyway, not to get too bogged down by that, but ways that we can make the blood sampling easier so we can do this now, fairly painlessly at home. You can get your microbiome sample. You can wear a CGM, you can wear your wearables of all the various kinds you've got. There's so much of an ecosystem that's growing up around this where a person has to take ownership of their own health. But the number of companies and groups that are working to try to take so much of this science and make it available to people and give them things that are science backed and easily accessible is just growing immensely. So there's a whole enterprise on the discovery side that we're talking about. And also on the delivery side in.

[00:38:32.390] – Allan

The book you brought up Flexner's report, and this was a report basically on the medical system way back when. Nathan, what would your thoughts be of something like that actually happening today? That there be someone just sit down and say, okay, we're going to look at this holistically to make a change because I just see so much opportunity for pushback. And you even mentioned that in the book. Pharmaceutical companies are not going to want to make 24 different types of medication for an item when they know, okay, this is only going to work for one of 24 people, and each of those other 24 people are going to need a different medication. They'd rather just sell 24 and then have those people that it didn't work, switch to something else and work their way through it.

[00:39:19.010] – Dr. Hood

The simple extrapolation from that is just to say we have to fundamentally change how pharma discovers drugs and we have to do it at a different scale and with different selective processes that can generate drugs extremely rapidly and make it well within the cost structure of the rare disease genes, which is one in 200,000 people. We want to be able to treat them. So I think that's one really important thing that we have to think about.

[00:39:54.750] – Dr. Price

Yeah, and the point you bring up is really important because there are so many entrenched interests that are centered around our current healthcare system, which is totally focused on disease. And I was on a panel right before the pandemic with former chair of Harvard Medical School and I really like the way he said this and he said that healthcare is the only industry that does not study its own gold standard, which is wellness. And that's really what we're talking about. But because that has been set up the way that it is, you do, you have billions and well, it's healthcare, right? You have $4 trillion in the US alone set up around that kind of process. So trying to change it is an incredible enterprise and undertaking. So we have to do both. Try to advocate because as individuals, there's no doubt that a healthcare system centered on wellness is better. Like if anyone could make the trade off between a drug that slightly improves your decline during Alzheimer's versus never getting it as a person. Any of us would take never getting it right. I mean, the value prop there is incredibly simple, but getting there is very hard.

[00:41:11.100] – Dr. Price

So there are certain things you can do within the context of the certain system. Lee was alluding to this in terms of you can help drug companies have much higher hit rates on getting favorable drugs. One interesting thing that people are waking up to now is the microbiome metabolizes away about 13% of drugs. So you could be taking a drug and it's never even getting to you. Your microbiome changes, it eats it, and it doesn't get to you. And it depends on the kind of species you have in your microbiome. That's like one small example. There's all the others that we've gone through in genetics and so forth. So it does help the drug companies upstream if they have drugs that are failing for these unknown causes. You're exactly right on the market segmentation, which segments their market, so they're not financially incentivized towards that. And so we get into a number of these things in the book. But this was also partly the point of writing this book, honestly from Lee and my perspective, where we're trying to advocate for a lot of this change in how medicine is done. Part of that is that we have to create a movement of individuals, of the patients and individuals themselves that basically demand a health care system that does much better for them.

[00:42:31.360] – Dr. Price

And we're so much in the situation in healthcare of a very uneven power dynamic between, say, the physician and you as a patient, and there's an element of trust there, and there's an element that's happening. But it does put you in this situation of if you really want to take advantage of the revolutions that are happening right now in medical science, in delivery, in ways that we can optimize our health spans and all these things, you do have to be an active participant and sort of seek that out. And then as more and more people are seeking that out and demanding that, that changes the underlying economics, and then that is what will really drive the top, so to speak, of the medical hierarchy to have to pay attention to this. I don't think it's going to be a top down driven revolution. It really has to be bottom up. I don't see there's any other way.

[00:43:24.690] – Dr. Hood

You know, the other thing I'd add to this, Nathan, is another way of looking at it is data driven health really is going to achieve two things. One is enormous increase in quality of individual health care, and we need it as the top 20 developed nations, we're right near the bottom, even though we spend much more than anyone else. But the second really important point for converting the system to a health and prevention mantra is the idea that we can save the health care system enormous amounts of money. And I would say if you take the five major cost driving things that we have to deal with today, they are one, the quality of health care. Two, the aging population. Three, the explosion of chronic diseases for the inequity that arises from data being generated only in the Caucasian race for the most part so far. And then five, this impossibly escalating crease of cost. But on the quality, scientific wellness is going to be transformational. On the aging, we now have a metric for aging that not only tells you your biological age, the age your body says you are, its metrics actually tell you how you can optimize your aging process.

[00:45:02.930] – Dr. Hood

And more than that, the ability to prevent chronic diseases before they get started could be a transformational event in cutting down the frequency of those kind of things. And of course, with big new programs, we're going to balance up the equity equation, which is utterly critical because different races have really strikingly different genetic consequences for disease and so forth. And our feeling is, with these things together, you're talking about saving trillions of dollars, especially because chronic diseases alone cost 86% of our health care dollars. And suppose we cut to very small fractions of major chronic diseases and things like that. So that's going to appeal to the payers. And in many ways, the payers could really be the catalyst for driving a transformation from a sick health care to a wellness and prevention health care.

[00:46:08.310] – Allan

So a relatively small investment today is going to pay off big time for us in the future.

[00:46:13.380] – Dr. Hood

Big time for us. Absolutely.

[00:46:16.410] – Allan

Now, I have this question I ask all of my guests after reading your book. I'm so super excited to ask you gentlemen these questions because you've seen the data, you've seen more data than just about anybody else that I've ever asked this question. So, Lee, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:46:46.450] – Dr. Hood

Well, I would say that one strategy to go after wellness is scientific wellness. We now have what will be an exponentially increasing analysis of wellness trajectories and they'll lead to actionable possibilities. From the era Fail 5000, we had perhaps 200 actionable possibilities that we validated by taking correlations and going to the literature and verifying them with the data that we're proposing to do. We're putting forth the idea that we should do a million person project with a genome phenome analysis, and in a sense, it's a second genome project. Do it over ten years, we'd have all the validation we need for everything I said about quality improvement and decrease in cost and things like that. I'm arguing that we'll have tens of thousands of new actionable possibilities that will have to be delivered by AI to do two things to physicians. One, explain what it is and what's necessary. But two, give the validation in a simple way they can understand and of course they then can bring these things to their patients. I think a second thing that's absolutely key is aging is absolutely the strongest correlation with all chronic diseases. If we can cut down aging, we can cut down strikingly the transition to chronic diseases.

[00:48:30.170] – Dr. Hood

So, I mean, not only will you keep yourself younger and healthy, you can begin to imagine that many people could go into their 90s or hundreds and be mentally agile and physically active. And we'll have to redefine what retirement means. We'll have to redefine how many jobs you have during your lifetime and so forth. And of course, the data driven part will deal with the racial inequalities and data that exist out there. And the million person project could formally prove in very powerful ways literally trillions of dollars we could imagine saving in health care. I think scientific wellness, I think optimizing aging process. I think avoiding the chronic diseases and dealing with the racial diversity. Because to give you a simple example, japanese are three to four times as likely to get Alzheimer's if they have two copies of a bad gene called ApoA four than Caucasians do. If you look at Latinos, they have almost no probability of getting Alzheimer's from two bad copies of that gene. So that shows you the striking differences that we must take into account for health for individuals of different origins.

[00:50:07.170] – Allan

Nathan, I'll ask you the same question. I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:50:20.150] – Dr. Price

Yeah, so I'm just going to put aside at the moment like the three big obvious ones that we all know about physical exercise pretty much every day, sleep 8 hours every night and eat a nutritious diet. But then I want to give three that are more focused towards the kind of things we're talking about. So one is get a genetic profile so that you understand the probabilities of what are the most likely factors that might inhibit your health. The second is to measure the dynamics around especially blood and the microbiome that can be interpreted in the context of those genetics. And then by those comparisons, we've got to make this easier for people. But those comparisons make a huge difference in understanding where you're at relative to your potential and where you're at in the manifestation of the things that are likely to be the biggest problems for you. That gives you a personalized map for a return on your health effort investment, roughly. So where do you put your time and effort? That kind of a map lets you navigate around the most likely issues that would end in you're not having the long healthy life that you really want to.

[00:51:41.400] – Dr. Price

And then finally, I'm going to reiterate something that Lee talked about, which is do everything you can to reduce the pace of aging. And there's a lot of interest in this right now. And this involves both things like the various lifestyle things that we've talked about, but also there's a lot of interesting compounds that are available now that have the kind of evidence that they extend lifespan in a bunch of different animals. And we know they functionally hit very conserved pathways in humans. We're not far enough along to where we know for sure that this is going to have an impact on human longevity, but we won't know that until it's sort of too late to be useful for some of us because it just takes a while. But there are a lot of these that are coming out. And so if you look at all these different hallmarks of aging, if you want to try to control senescent cells, well, there's data that shows that quercetin and dosatinib can kill senescent cells. Like, that's an interesting one. NAD right. There's different molecules. NR disclosure Thorn sells that one, or NMN or things like this that you can use to try to increase NAD well, that's an important element of aging.

[00:52:57.670] – Dr. Price

Metformin is an interesting one because there's a big trial going on, the Tame trial nerve. Barcelona at New York is leading that to look at its effects on aging. So if I'm in this space, you want to keep yourself educated and look at the data as it emerges. But there are a lot of possibilities, including things like intermittent fasting and so forth, to think about how do I slow down that clock. And because of different biological age measures, and there are multiple of those, there's the epigenetic ages that are probably the most famous now. We do one based on clinical labs that I think just gives more actionable possibilities right now. But there's a lot of these abilities to monitor that and just track that over time and try to stay biologically as young as you can as that science is moving quickly, and it's not there to where we kind of where we would like to get to in a Sci-Fi type future. But you can do things that materially reduce your risk of dying. And that's the definition of aging that I'm using here, which is just what's the likelihood and give any given year that you will die.

[00:54:06.050] – Dr. Price

And that goes up as you get older. And so if you can just flatten that curve, it makes the likelihood of a long, healthy life much higher. And so those are the three things I'd focus on.

[00:54:17.170] – Allan

Well, gentlemen, I agree with your conclusion and your book The Age of Scientific Wellness that we're right on the cusp of something exceptional happening. You've convinced me. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book The Age of Scientific Wellness, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:39.610] – Dr. Price

Yeah, so for me, obviously, just pick up a copy of The Age of Scientific Wellness wherever you get books. In terms of my work on trying to drive product development to make scientific wellness accessible, thorne.com thorne.com is where you'd find that.

[00:54:59.150] – Dr. Hood

For me, I would just say that I think our book really is the best place to see what we've done in the last 15 years in terms of pushing this idea of scientific wellness and so forth. But I can be reached at lhood@phenomehealth.com.

[00:55:22.230] – Allan

Gentlemen, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:55:27.370] – Dr. Price

Thanks so much, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:55:28.990] – Dr. Hood

It was a pleasure. Enjoyed your questions.

Post Show/Recap

[00:55:33.850] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:35.490] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a great interview. And I probably could have listened for another 20 30 minutes. I love listening about genetics and the potential that it could deliver in our existing health care system. I actually prefer the word wellness care, like they had mentioned in the beginning. I mean, there's just so much potential for getting patients healthier earlier with a personalized insight into their genetics and other data.

[00:56:06.070] – Allan

Yeah, I actually had another question on the plan, but we've gone so far. It would have probably gone another 20 30 minutes if I'd ask my final question. So it was what it was. But, yeah, this was really interesting because the technology with AI and data and knowing the genome and all the other data points that we can collect now relatively inexpensively with a watch or a phone or ring, there's a ton of opportunity here for us to do something. And kind of what was really interesting we didn't go deep on this, but Flexner's report was back before there were really good medical schools, there were medical schools. And for the time they were what they were. He did a tour around the country looking at all of our medical schools, and he tore them a big one. He ripped them up in some bad situations. Like, he went into one and he asked to see their lab. See what lab? The lab. And the guy says, Well, I can bring it to you. And he carried in one piece of equipment. This is for a major medical school. Not like a no name medical school either.

[00:57:22.820] – Allan

Like one of the better ones. People thought it was the better one at the time, and they didn't have a medical lab, which means all of the doctors that they were graduating had no idea how these labs were run. They had no idea how to read the results because they had not been trained to do these things. So he wrote this report, and it changed the way medicine worked across the country and the way medical schools were set up. But like most things, you solve one problem, you kind of create another one. And so now we have standard of care and we have all these rules, and so our doctors have to follow these things. And it really kind of hand holds them to say they see a problem, the symptom solve the problem. The symptom it's the symptom based sick care. That's binary. Are you sick or are you well? And it never really looks at as a continuum to say you're well, but you're moving maybe towards getting sick. If we catch it early, we can reverse this. So it's the difference between catching it when it's stage one cancer or even before that.

[00:58:27.810] – Allan

I mean, once there's like, the environment for cancer to form and they know that's happening, reversing that environment versus catching it when it's stage three or four when symptoms finally start showing up.

[00:58:43.620] – Rachel

I love that concept. Early detection, especially in terms of cancer, is so important. Everybody knows that. But they also mentioned we know pre diabetes. That's the exact same thing. And we're trending towards pre not we, you and I, but people are trending towards pre diabetes. But what if we could even go earlier than that to make some other assessments of our blood sugar levels? And not even just diabetes. There's the cholesterol situation.

[00:59:15.800] – Allan

Well, I picked diabetes because it was the perfect example that everybody can understand. You go into your doctor and you're like, okay, you're watching your A1C tick up each time you get this blood test. And the doctor is like, don't worry about it. Don't worry. It's ticking up. Don't worry about it. Until it hits 5.2, we don't care. Well, the fact that it went from four six to five, you should care. Something's going on. Your blood sugar is not being cleared as effectively as it was before. Something's changing. That's that thing, that's that transition where your body is starting to get to a disease state.

[00:59:54.910] – Rachel

But I want to sit on that for a second because I think I only have I'm 51, and I think I only have two, maybe three years of an A1C, because I don't remember how early you can be for them to take that test or to test for that. What if I could have had it when I was 40? What if I could have had it when I was in my 30s? And it's not even that. It's the cholesterol numbers and iron numbers and my thyroid situation. And there's just so much information if I had known it earlier.

[01:00:27.280] – Allan

That's the cool thing, is that data and the ability to get those tests is becoming more and more available. And so someone in their 30s can have this test. If you have children in their 20s, you can say, hey, for Christmas or for your birthday, I'm going to pay for this blood panel. And they're like, oh, thanks.

[01:00:50.190] – Rachel


[01:00:51.710] – Allan

But the whole point is to say, yeah, I'm going to pay for this blood panel because I want you to have what you need to be next. I'm interviewing this guy now, and he's actually a financial planner, but he's looking at health and he's saying, a lot of my clients, they build up a seven figure portfolio, and then they drop dead before they even retire. He's like, so they care about the return on their investment every year. And so he's talking about in terms of what we talk about, generational wealth, how can I give this money to my children? Well, how can I give health to my children? How can I find health for myself and give health to others in my family, people I care about? And it's like, give them a blood panel. At least at that point they have data, and it's like, well, what does this data mean? Well, your A1C is already over five, and you're 31 years old or you're 40 years old. It's like, okay, we don't know what it was before, but that's a number to look out for and to tell your doctor the next time you see them, which should be soon, my A1C is already over five.

[01:01:53.940] – Allan

It's like, okay, you're approaching pre-diabetes. Don't worry about it. That's what the doctor is going to say, because the standard care says that's not a problem. It's not a problem until it gets over 5.6, then you're in pre-diabetes, and now we have a problem.

[01:02:08.650] – Rachel

That's the frustrating part, right? It is

[01:02:12.750] – Allan

but I don't think there's going to be a Flexner's report now, just based on the way culture of medicine is done, there won't be someone to step back and say, let's redo all this. What this has to happen. And the reason I kind of press down on the participatory part of the four P medicine is this is on you. This is on you to make decisions for yourself and to say, I would really like to know what my genome says. I would really like to know what my blood panel says and if my doctor is not asking for it. But I kind of know there's a family history of diabetes or I kind of know there's a family history of kidney problems or heart disease or this or that. Go get your calcium score. Go check out your cholesterol. Check out your blood pressure on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be perfect, but finding the data points that you think are important based on what you know about your family history. And unfortunately, I have a friend that was adopted. He didn't know any of that at the time, and so he went and got a genetic test and went on ancestry and things like that and found family has found his siblings and his mother.

[01:03:27.880] – Allan

And so not that that's what it's for, but I guess it is what it's for because that's what they're using it for. I have all these fourth cousins all over the world, everybody's my fourth cousin, I guess, thousands of them, hundreds, millions of them. But anyway, the point being is this data can be your friend, and there are some ethical concerns about how the data is going to be used by businesses and this and that. But right now I would just poo poo that. And I'd say, look, being afraid and cowering and not doing something for yourself just doesn't make sense in my mind. Take a moment. Get the data that you know might be important to you based on what you know. It doesn't have to be everything. You don't have to go do the genetics things if you don't want to, but at least go get a blood test, check your blood pressure, have a blood pressure monitor at home, almost nothing. A blood sugar monitor at home, almost nothing to invest in these little pieces of equipment. Test your blood sugar. If it's over 100 much after a meal, after you had some cake, it's going to go over 100.

[01:04:38.170] – Allan

But if it doesn't fall right back down, that's a warning flag. If your blood sugar, you wake up in the morning and you haven't had anything to eat and it's over 100, that's a problem. That's the transition to disease.

[01:04:51.910] – Rachel

Yeah. And it sure would be good to know that catching it early. I mean, we talked about early detection. The earlier you can figure this out, the better you can make the changes in your lifestyle to adapt or get earlier medical care, if that was really necessary.

[01:05:08.460] – Allan

And for some of these, we just know, okay, yes, if I exercised more, I am because I'm sedentary, or if I stop eating the crap and drinking the beer and doing all the things I'm doing, smoking or whatever else, you know, quitting, that is going to improve your blood panel. You just know it. So get the low hanging fruit out of the way. But then if you really want to start optimizing your health so you're here for your grandchildren and maybe your great grandchildren and you want to live the last half of your life well, then start working on making the easy changes, the ones you know about.

[01:05:48.740] – Rachel


[01:05:49.200] – Allan

Get the blood panels, get the data, and then really start working on refining this. And it's not that you're going to be running ultramarathons or working out 6 hours every day, but it's just knowing the little things that you can do that are going to improve your health outcome. And I'm not going to say it's not medicine because there are some medications like metformin that have shown real promise. Vitamin D supplementation. Again, like our guest said, sometimes just a little bit of a supplement isn't enough. But you don't know if you need vitamin D until you get a blood test and you check, you see your blood levels are low, your iron level is low, your vitamin D is low, then supplementation might be the right thing to do.

[01:06:34.030] – Rachel


[01:06:34.740] – Allan

And I mean, I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you that it is the right thing to do. But I can say it might be. The right thing to do. Get the blood work to check, the blood work to check, and then talk to your doctor, and your doctor can say, yeah, supplement, and then we'll get it checked again in about three months. And then you might find, yeah, there's a reason why that supplement is not absorbing the way that it should. I need to maybe do more or look at this from a different perspective. And so having the data lets you make better decisions.

[01:07:04.480] – Rachel

It does. At the very end of your conversation, you talked about being more proactive than reactive. And if you can act early and faster to the results of your blood work, then it will save you a lot of time and money in the outcome. Later on in life, you don't have to sit and wait for heart disease or diabetes to come get you. You can be more proactive and make changes right now so that you don't have to get there.

[01:07:30.560] – Allan

And I would say every single one of us knows what that low hanging fruit is in front of us. Yeah, if you need help doing that, get help doing that for sure. Get the low hanging fruit out of the way. Movement, nutrition, it's not rocket science. It's simple, simple stuff that's hard to do. But once you start doing it, you feel better. Once you start feeling better, you have more energy. Everything feeds on itself. It's a self fulfilling loop that just gets better and better if you're doing it right. And then the fine tuning and the knowing that, okay, I can be super healthy, but still drop of a heart attack. Well, get your calcium score, talk. If your family has a history, then understand that history. Get your genetics. If you need to look at your blood work, do those things so you have the data to make the right decisions for yourself.

[01:08:26.480] – Rachel

Yeah. Allan, I've been wanting to do genetic testing for a long time. It's been a little bit expensive, and no doctor, I think would give me a calcium score at this point. But paying for that out of pocket might actually be worth the investment just to have this data at this particular age that I'm at. So I mean, I know that insurance doesn't cover all this stuff for sure, and even doctors may not be willing to write up a prescription for certain blood work, but if you're willing to pay out of pocket for it, I bet different labs can help you with that.

[01:09:03.170] – Allan

They can. They absolutely can. And there are labs. I have some relationships with one or two. So if you're thinking about you want some labs, just message me and I can hook you up with one. They have doctors on site. Doctors will write up the lab request. Sometimes you can just go to your local Quest drawing center or some of them actually, they ship it and you have the test at home. If you want for some of these tests, not all of them, but if you want a panel, you can get a panel. If you want a calcium test, you can pay for one. You just have to go out there and get one done, something I'm going to be doing. And so the question I asked is, okay, so you have $1,000 in your bank. Great. And then you have a heart attack. Guess how much that's going to cost? And so it's an investment now to basically say, I'm not paying my deductibles and my 20% of everything for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills ten years from now. What they call it? Pennywise, pound foolish.

[01:10:02.260] – Rachel


[01:10:03.330] – Allan

In many cases it is. If you're not willing to make the investment in your health, then you won't keep it. And that's time, money and effort, all those if you're not doing the work, if you're not putting in the time, and in many cases, getting the things done that you need it done and spending the money where you need to spend it, then you could be pennywise and pound foolish.

[01:10:25.500] – Rachel


[01:10:26.150] – Allan

And that's kind of sad, but nobody's going to do it for you.

[01:10:30.720] – Rachel

Right. It's definitely a hard decision, but I think that it's worth it in the long run, especially if you have plans to live long.

[01:10:40.270] – Allan

I do 105 wiping my own butt. I'm there.

[01:10:45.470] – Rachel

Yeah. I got goals.

[01:10:47.670] – Allan

I got goals. All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:10:55.200] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:10:56.440] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[01:10:57.260] – Rachel

Thank you. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 11, 2023

Get functionally fit to live a life you love

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Everybody wants to be healthy and fit, but what does that really look like and how do we get there? On episode 585 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get functionally fit so you can live the life you love.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.440] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:45.420] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:48.220] – Coach Allan

Busy, as always, but enjoying it. Bringing on some clients for my new program, and I'm actually doing a little bit of in person stuff. One of the reasons I wanted to do the retreat was I kind of missed having someone in the gym lifting and doing the thing, so I went ahead and brought on some local clients, working with them. They're all over 40, so I'm not breaking any rules, so I'm kind of doing that. And then our daughter Summer is getting married in really just a few short weeks. So also planning a trip back to the United States for a few weeks, see family do the wedding thing. Second and final, daughter married off. All kids married off. Done. Scratch that.

[00:03:39.180] – Coach Rachel

Nice. That's fantastic.

[00:03:43.250] – Coach Allan

And enjoy some time with Tammy while we're up there traveling.

[00:03:48.150] – Coach Rachel

That sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.760] – Coach Allan

How are things up north? Way up north

[00:03:52.870] – Coach Rachel

Good. Yeah, way up north. I'm the exact opposite of you. I am doing my best to relax and rest this week. I'm kind of in taper. I've got a big race this weekend, so I'm doing my best to get a few miles in, but not too hard, and to do all my recovery and rest tricks and tips that I tell all my athletes. So I'll be ready and ready to go this weekend.

[00:04:18.420] – Coach Allan

So for folks that really haven't done a whole lot of training for running but are interested, can you explain what taper is?

[00:04:27.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So the taper would be the few weeks between your last big week of training and the run, your actual race, and it depends on how much time you need to taper, depending on the run. So if you're doing maybe a five K or something a week, taper would be plenty of time. You kind of taper down the amount of running and the intensity, and you rest. You focus on fueling, you focus on nutrition, you focus on getting your head right, strong and confident and ready to go. And I'm actually tapering for an Ultramarathon, so I've been tapering for a couple of weeks now, but my big race is this weekend, so same thing. I'm still running, but fewer miles and less intensity, and I'm pounding in all the best nutrition and hydration I can so that my body is ready for this weekend, for the miles.

[00:05:21.900] – Coach Allan

How far is this ultra?

[00:05:24.860] – Coach Rachel

This one is about 34 miles, so a little over 50K.

[00:05:29.630] – Coach Allan

Cool. I know you got this.

[00:05:32.290] – Coach Rachel

Looking forward to it.

[00:05:33.280] – Coach Allan

We'll talk about it.

[00:05:33.950] – Coach Rachel

Oh, I know it'll be fun. Yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

[00:05:38.590] – Coach Allan

All right, great. Are you ready to talk about functional fitness?

[00:05:44.260] – Coach Rachel


Episode – Get functionally fit to live the life you love.

What I'm going to do on this episode is I'm kind of kind of wrap up a whole lot of different topics around fitness and mindset that I've discussed over the years. I just haven't really ever done it in a full wraparound thing, and so we're going to be bouncing to a lot of different things. But if some of this resonates with you, I definitely want you to check out the quiz that I'm going to talk about at the end, because that'll kind of help start you on this journey or get you further down the line on it anyway. So now a lot of times the reason that I'm talking to a potential client or a new client is that they really struggle to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. In some cases, they hate exercise at all. They don't like working out. And even some say, I just don't want to get sweaty. I don't like being sweaty, or I don't like the gym, or I don't like. There's a lot of things that they're using as these barriers that are keeping them from being fit.

And some of that's real and some of that is imaginary. But we're going to talk about these in a way that you can explore this thought, this process, and find a way to stay motivated to work out and get fit. So one of the core attributes for the way I approached training, it's the way I fixed myself, was commitment. Getting away from the levels of decision and resolution and willpower and all of that and really just drilling down into commitment. Now, commitment has two parts. There's the why. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to be more fit? And the why kind of usually has about two aspects to it. Sometimes it's a little bit more, there might be something exciting in your future that you want to be ready for. But in general, the why relates to people. Almost always relates to people. We don't do this typically for ourselves, although sometimes we do, but there's usually other people involved, the people we care about. We want to be fit so we can be there for them and so that they don't have to take care of us. The second aspect of that is what we want to be able to do.

And that gets a little bit overlapped into the vision. But sometimes just having that big goal is reason enough. I wanted to do a tough mudder and I wanted to do it with my daughter. I wanted to be fit and be able to participate in her life. And so that was my why. That was a very compelling why for me. And so it pushed me to do more. Now, before I got started on the journey, though, I had to understand my vision. What does that mean? What does it mean for me to be fit? And so initially there were some capabilities that I needed to have. I needed to be stronger, I needed to weigh a little less, I needed to have more grip strength. So there were these capability, things that I wanted to have related to that race. My capabilities that I need now are actually much the same. I'm the guy who lifts things at Lula's. I have to be there when I'm working out with my clients in person. I also have to be able to move the equipment around and I need to be able to be strong enough to protect them if they were to drop a weight or make a mistake.

So there are certain capabilities that I need to have in my life also. Your vision can be driven around lifestyle. We've talked a lot about things that our parents used to do or grandparents used to do that they no longer do, and their lifestyle changed. My grandfather loved to play tennis, and then at the age of 80, he couldn't play tennis anymore. And that changed his lifestyle significantly. Not being able to take care of himself changed his lifestyle significantly. So thinking about the capabilities and the lifestyle that you want to have kind of starts to give you a clear picture of what your vision is. And then the final bit is about values. And this is where we tie the vision to the why. The values are who you are. They're how you want to be seen in the world. So you don't want to be seen as someone who's dependent. You don't want to be seen as someone who's not capable. You don't want to be seen as someone who's weak. And so those values of you wanting to be a contributor, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to be independent, those values that you hold dear are the wraparound.

That's how we form this commitment, because it ties the vision to the why. Okay, so now when you think about that vision and you think about what you need to be able to do, the lifestyle you want, the values you have, now, this is not so much about working out. Working out doesn't sound fun. It sounds like a job. It sounds like another thing to do. Exercise. That word sometimes even sounds worse. Sometimes exercise just sounds like we're doing something for no apparent reason at all, like running on a treadmill, going nowhere. I'd like you to introduce the term training. When you're doing something that's improving your fitness, you're training. You're training to be the person that has the capabilities that you want to have. You're training to be the person that has the lifestyle you want to have. So you see how now it changes the complexion of exercise, working out, movement in general, because now it's done on purpose. You have a purpose. And so for us to meet that purpose, for us to accomplish this vision, we need to start training in a way that builds just that. So no longer are we just going into the gym for half an hour and piddling on that and doing a bit of this.

We literally go in with a mission. We go in working on what we call functional fitness. And functional fitness is where we're able to build a fit for Task body. It's where we're able to get ourselves in the condition we need to be to do the things we want to do. And that could be something special. Like, I did a tough mudder. I've talked to people who want to do Mitchell pushu and other hikes and other things, races and whatnot. And so you're training for those things, and you're also training to have what you need to succeed in all of your life, to have the lifestyle and the capabilities that you want. So let's break that down. What does that look like when you start training for your vision, when you start training to be functional fit for task? Well, first it's important for you to consider this from three different optics, okay? There's a short, a middle and a long. Now, initially, we need to be playing this from the long term perspective, okay? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 80s? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 90s?

What am I going to be like when I'm over 100? And so we don't want to do short term things that break us too far away from our long term goals. So I know some people want to have six pack ABS. It sounds cool and all, but a lot of times when you see the actors or you see the bodybuilders with the six pack ABS, they're doing unhealthy things. They're doing things that are actually messing with them in the short run to have those ABS, to do that movie or win that show. So when you're thinking about this from a long term perspective, first priority, it changes things a little bit. Now you're doing things to maintain health. Now you're doing things to maintain this over time. We're not damaging joints. We're not doing things that are silly for the sake of a short term thing. And then you can start looking at the short term things. So you may want to run a five K. You might want to lose a little bit of weight, whatever it is. Those short term things, being able to pick up a tennis racket again, being able to play volleyball again, those short term things are the quick wins.

They're built in such a way that you should use them to know you're moving forward and help build confidence. So the Couch to Five K program tends to be a really good approach for someone that wants to build stamina so they can keep up with their grandkids. And they use that as a training mechanism to start building that stamina. The Couch to five K. You can go in and start a basic strength program initially for the short term of putting on some muscle so you look a little better for the summer coming up really quick here. But you're looking at your long term and you're going to be able to do more. And so as you watch the weights go up, as you get stronger, there's some confidence building there. You know you can get stronger. You see yourself getting stronger. So your long term drives the whole thing. The short term are these little stepping stones that are going to show you how you're moving forward. So they're basically mile markers. And I'll talk about goals in a minute. But this is a way that you build a program that works for you because you get the short term wins building towards the long term.

And then there's sort of this midterm. And this is where when I said I want to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, that's where this comes in. So the midterm things are where you look at life tasks. When you look at bucket list items, you look at things that you want to be able to do ten years, 15 years, 20 years. You're looking at the midterm of your life and saying, if I'm going to be on this planet for another 50 years, I don't need to be training the whole time just to be stronger, stronger, stronger. I need to have some things that I'm going to enjoy. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement. I want to be able to enjoy grandchildren. I want to be able to enjoy a lot of things in my life. So I'll have these midterm goals that are basically where I expect to be on the aging curve at any given point. Because we have control over our aging curve, we're still going to age, but we can do it quickly and peter out, or we can slow that down, stay strong, keep our stamina, and be able to do things for the rest of our life.

There's zero reason my grandfather should not have been able to play tennis in his eighty s, I mean, golf in his 80s. There's zero reason if he had started training in his thirty s and forty s and fifty s, he would have been able to play golf. But he played golf, and that's all he did, and then he lost golf. So training would have helped keep him in the game much, much longer. Okay? When we look at the long term, we're looking at healthy aging. We're looking at maintaining our health and our independence. We're looking at being able to do the things that are necessary. So I make the joke I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but that's on purpose. That's my long term. I vision the long term. And I've heard I'm kind of weird for doing this, but vision the long term and build your programming to think in terms of the long term first, then the short term, and then we break out the midterm and say, how does that look? And we manage that, and we have training programs, and we take those steps, and there's always the short term.

We keep looking at building towards the midterm and then the long term, but we got to keep that all in mind so we're not sacrificing one for the sake of the other. Now, a few weeks back, I guess maybe a couple of months back, I talked about smart goals, where we add the extra A, making it smart goals. Now, if you've worked in business, in a corporate environment, I know you know what smart goals are, and they're typically listed out as specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Okay? I added action based, because if an outcome is your true goal, which it's a vision is an outcome, if your outcome is the goal, it's really hard to measure, it's really hard to achieve, it's really hard to make it time bound because the outcome isn't 100% in your control. You could have an outcome goal of wanting a PR on your next half marathon or your next five K, but if you twist an ankle that's out, it's not going to happen. So smart goals are about actions. Smart goals are things about actions, things you can control. So the way I want you to think about it is to have what I want, what do I need to do to get there?

So if I want to get a PR on a five K, well, I need to work on my running, not just running the five K, maybe running a little further than a five K in some of my training runs, maybe running a lot faster on some of my training runs or running hills. So the actions are certain training mechanisms that I want to do in a given week and the weeks leading up to that five K. So if the five K is eight weeks from now, I might have a training program that says, okay, week one, I'm running two to 3 miles a day, five days a week. And then I say, okay, the next two weeks, maybe I go ahead and take one of those days and I bump it up to a three mile, I mean to a five mile run, and I take one of those days and I turn it into a speed on the Hills speed and Hills Day. So now I'm building more endurance so that the five K, which is 3.1 mile, is actually easier for me because I can run further and I can go faster because I've worked on my speed.

And so my smart goal would be, here's my training program. I'm going to do this training program for the next eight weeks. It'll include these runs these days and here's why I know I can do it. Now, this is relevant to my short term goal of being able to get a PR on my five K. So it works. And I'm running these five KS just as a measure of building stamina so I can keep up with my grandkids when I take them to the zoo this summer. So you can kind of see how you can break all this down and build these smart goals. And then each of those workouts, you click them off. It's like, I did my five miler, I did my Speed hills day, I did my runs for the week. And so each of these is that little step. The training you're doing is the step, it's the next thing. And so that becomes more motivating because you're seeing it happen. Some people even like Tony Horton was on the show a while back, and he pulls out a paper map and just basically says, let's start checking off workouts. So if five runs happens to also correlate with your five days of the week for the weekdays.

Then literally, you should see an X or check mark on every one of those days during the calendar. And maybe you have a couple where you see, if I miss it, I'm going to do it, make it up on Saturday or Sunday. You can do that too. But you see the check marks, you see them happening, you're getting a streak going. You're getting it going, and you're seeing the results. And so that's where this all kind of comes together. Now, all that said, this sounds practical and easy when I say it right. And you've probably gone down this line a few times of setting goals and starting the workouts, and then something happens along the way that derails you, okay? And that something is us. It's our own mindset. And so that's where the rubber hits the road on. A lot of this is going through that self awareness practice. So we know what our tendencies are. We know what's going to go on. I wake up in the morning and I'm supposed to do my run, and it's raining, and then I don't do my run. What happens? Well, maybe I miss the next run too, or I eat like crap that day because I messed up.

I didn't do my run. I should have got on the treadmill and done my run, or I should have run in the rain or whatever, but I didn't. And so a lot of times we get in our own way now in doing that self awareness work. And this is really work you'll do for the rest of your life. We don't really ever solve ourselves. We just learn more and learn more, and that makes us better at being ourselves. And so as you go through your self awareness work, and you keep going through your self awareness work, it's worth going back and kind of relooking at it and reanalyzing it. So as I've worked with clients over the years, I basically come up to about five different mindsets as people approach fitness. And each of these mindsets, if they're not worked toward and understood, tend to get in the way. So they can block you from being more fit. But many of them are also superpowers. If you know them, you can lean in. You can lean in and figure out how that mindset can make you stronger, how that mindset can make you faster, how that mindset can help you build stamina so you can go longer.

So all the fitness things that you want, once you know your fitness mindset, it makes it a lot easier to stay on course and get where you want to go. And so if you want to learn about this and you want to learn what your primary blocker is, you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. This is a free quiz. It won't cost you anything. It takes about 60 seconds. So quite literally, if you started right now doing the quiz online at 40 plusfitness. COMFIT, you'll finish that quiz before we finish this episode, okay? And now this will tell you what your primary blocker is and then you'll know what you need to do to get past it and use it to move forward. I don't run all my clients through this, but I have a good conversation with them at the very beginning of our sessions, and we talk about what they are and how they work. And nine times out of ten, I could just call out their primary mindset at the beginning because the words they use and how they approach it and what they've done in the past, it becomes apparent to me.

So this quiz is going to help you a lot, figure out what your fitness blockers are so you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. So let's take a step back and kind of recap what we've talked about today, okay? You need to be a certain person. You need to be a certain person today, tomorrow, and maybe 50 years from now. And to be that person, you need to train. And so when you train for a purpose, a function of who you're going to be, that's functional fitness. So you should look at your training, not exercise or workouts or sweat sessions or whatever they are. You doing something to train yourself to be something else. Like we went to high school, to graduate high school, to be adults and live in the society and know how to speak and write and read and everything else, right? This is training. It's the same thing, okay? Now when you're looking at your training, you want to focus on all of your needs across your entire lifespan, your aging, span. Start looking at the long term so you have a good picture, mental picture of where you're going overall.

Then you can start working on the short ones that are going to give you kind of that quick hit, confidence boost, easy win, quick win. So that's the thing you can do that's going to happen this month. So not this huge long term thing, but what can I do this month? What's important to me this month that I know is also kind of moving me in the right direction for my long term goals. And then you can start peppering in the medium one. So maybe you are retiring at 65 and you want to go do Mitsubishu. And so you want to be fit from a stamina and strength perspective to be able to do that at 65. So your medium term goal is to make sure that you build and maintain stamina and strength and balance and that you're ready for when that day comes. So you see how you can take your long term. You can mix in in short term wins and then build out your medium term to make this all fit together into a long term program that serves you your whole life. Now, the way we get these short term ones done and that just builds the blocks going forward is the mile markers to keep us moving forward are the smart goals.

So we're specific measurable attainable or achievable and action based relevant. So they tie back to who you want to be long term, medium term and short term. And they're timely. So again, most goals need to be a month or maybe a quarter, but usually a month. And when you're doing the month to month, it allows you to adjust. As your life changes, you can adjust them. So timeliness needs to be in your face, it needs to be now. And so if you're writing your goals for your short terms that are driving towards your medium and long terms, you've got everything set out in front of you. And the only thing left to do beyond that is to look for those blockers and do some self awareness work so that you know what could get in your way and what could prevent you from reaching those goals and therefore hitting your short, medium and long term visions for who you need to be. So I hope this was helpful for you. If it was, go ahead and email me or message me on Facebook and let's have a conversation. I'd be interested to know what your long term vision looks like and how you want to build a program for yourself that's going to take you there.

So message me on Facebook or you can email me. Coach at 40plusfitness.com.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:22.010] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:29:33.900] – Coach Rachel

Hey Alan. I always love talking about functional fitness and being fit for task. And the other thing I like to talk about, especially something I've been reflecting on lately myself, is having this level of fitness later in life. We spend a lot of time planning our careers, our families. We plan, we know we're going to retire, we put money away in the account for that, but we don't spend quite as much attention to detail or planning on planning a healthy retirement. Like, I want to travel, mike and I want to be busy when we do get the chance to retire. And we want to be healthy enough to hike mountains and do all sorts of fun stuff in our retirement. So we kind of need to start planning now so that we're active and healthy and good to go today. So that a decade or two decades from now, we still have maintained a level of fitness so that we can be as active as we want later in life.

[00:30:32.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, way I kind of equate that is, is your fitness paycheck to paycheck or is your fitness are you investing in a 401? So there's going to be something there later, right?

[00:30:43.620] – Coach Rachel

Sure, yeah, that's a great way to look at it.

[00:30:47.140] – Coach Allan

And your fitness should never be paycheck to paycheck because that just means that. You're going to age and you're going to dwindle and you're going to lose. You're going to lose in this thing because you've got to put something in the tank and you got to be consistent about it. You got to be doing it now and a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It's not like you got to kill yourself. And it's not like you have to train for a 34 miles ultra, but just a little bit. And thinking, what do I need? What am I going to need? What kind of stamina will I need to keep up with my grandkids? What kind of things will I need to be able to be there for my family, be there for my wife when she needs me? And so it's making a small investment now that, you know, will pay off and being consistent about making that every single time, the same way you do your 401, it just becomes automatic. You just do it and you don't think about it anymore. You just do it. And there are times where you step it up a little because you can, and it makes sense.

[00:31:42.970] – Coach Allan

And there's times you back it up a little bit because you just can't. But you're always putting something in and you're always on it and not looking at this like, well, I'll do that tomorrow. It's paycheck to paycheck kind of fitness.

[00:31:57.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, you also mentioned the word exercise. And who likes to exercise? Nobody likes that word. It's a terrible word. Well, you know, we do, but we're not really exercising, like you said. We're training. We're doing something that we love. And I love to run. You love to lift, heavy things other people might like. Tennis or pickleball is a really growing sport right now, and there's all sorts of things that are out there. And when you're doing something you love, pickleball is not exercise. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is not exercise. You're training to do these things, and it just gives it a whole different connotation. And I'm sure that there's something out there that somebody would love to do, maybe not running like I do, but there's got to be something out there.

[00:32:46.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And if you find that there's just something holding you back and you're just really not wanting to do this, then I would definitely look at that quiz I talked about, the 40 plusfitness COMFIT. So 40 plusfitness COMFIT, it'll take you 60 seconds, and you'll learn something about what might be keeping you from making that investment perfect.

[00:33:09.640] – Coach Rachel

That sounds like a great thing to do.

[00:33:11.670] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:33:15.780] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:33:17.400] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Thank you!

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