June 1, 2020

Cancer is curable now with Marcus Freudenmann

In the documentary, Cancer is Curable Now, Marcus Freudenmann shows us some alternative treatments for cancer that are showing great promise with less damage.

To learn more about some of the equipment we discussed on this episode, please go to Healthy To Be.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is also sponsored by Lumen.


Allan (00:56):
Marcus. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Marcus (00:59):
Thank you for inviting me. I'm very excited to be here.

Allan (01:03):
You know, most of the time when I have a guest on, it's a book and that book, you know, will take me anywhere from six to 12 hours to read depending on how long the book is. You took all the information. I think I would have gotten from a book and you put it into a documentary that was less than two hours long. Congratulations for that. That was pretty insane.

Marcus (01:24):
Well, we live in a fast paced world and most people don't have that endless time to go through, but let's face it that way. Once you are intrigued, there is a workbook that comes with the movie and that is 460 pages. You can go much deeper.

Allan (01:48):
Okay. Yes. Okay. I did not read the workbook. I promise I didn't do that homework. But I did watch the documentary and had Dr. Gerson on to talk about her method. And I've had someone on this speak about that before. So I'm basically familiar with a lot of this and you know, we're over 40, I'm over 50. The C word, is one of those words that just kind of, every time he goes to see your doctor, every time you have a lab test you kinda expect it. It's going to come up at some point.

Marcus (02:20):
Hi. Yeah, I know that feeling. I'm over 60.

Allan (02:25):
And so, right now we're like, okay, what's going on in my body is there's this, there's just these things happening. I obviously have no, yeah, I don't feel like I have control over. But we're going to talk about that a little bit later because I actually do, but can we talk about what is cancer when someone gets a diagnosis of cancer from their doctor, what exactly is the doctor telling them?

Marcus (02:46):
Oh, well there's many different, well, it most of all shows that there is an imbalance in your system that your body can't control anymore. Or some would call it the final breakdown of the immune system. It's definitely immune system related disease and I would just simply call it an overwhelm. There's too many things your immune system should be doing and fixing and repairing and getting rid of. And it's overworked, it's tired, and it's like an army that slowly disintegrates and doesn't do what it's supposed to do because some of the soldiers are stopped then others are living in very unfavorable conditions. And I like to make those, you know, images, because when we think about you have a complete army of soldiers that defend you and repair and fix your white blood cells and they have just too much to do. And that's usually the reason why we move with age into a cancer state. But until you get the lump bump state, as they call it, it takes six to seven years. So it's not something that happens overnight. It's something that slowly grows. And there is many components that we know that support growth and many that stop growth. So it's something that we can control quite easily.

Allan (04:13):
Okay. So I'm gonna take your war battle and I'm going to carry that out. Now we're going to keep going with that one. Okay. So I see cancer and you, talked about this a little bit in the documentary, or a lot of people talked about this documentary and this was really one of the cooler parts of it was okay, so cancer's going to get in, for lack of a better word, a battle front formation. It's going to clump together. And so it's all going to, you know, the cancer cells are all gonna accumulate and they're gonna all be in one locate location. And then, you know, they'll tell you, you know, in the old, particularly in old times, supply chain supply line, if you're not getting the things that you need for your forces and your cutoff, that forces, it's just going to lay there and die. But cancer can actually develop its own supply line from our own blood system. Can you kind of explain how that process works? Because like I said, it was, for me, it was fascinating to say, okay, here's something that my body should just be beating out and saying, get out of here. You don't belong here. But it's clumped up, set a formation and now it's, getting its supply line set up.

Marcus (05:20):
Well it cancer has many attributes to defend itself and it's more or less a cell in complete survival mode. They don't need the environment anymore. And this is where the biggest discovery has been. A cancer cell has stopped dying so it tries to survive in unfavorable conditions. There was a study in Switzerland done which was quite significant. They took when they did surgery and removed a tumor, whether that prostate or the breast or any tumor that they removed, they always cut out a little bit more tumor tissue around so that they get it all, you know, like the, the typical sentence so that we get it all. And then there was a toxicological report done on tumor tissue and unhealthy tissue and the level of heavy metals, the level of bacteria, mold, candida, fungal overgrowth was tested in tumor tissue compared to the healthy tissue.

Marcus (06:28):
And the results were really significant. Tumor tissue usually had up to 40,000 times higher concentration of heavy metals of bacteria overgrowth. It's been, it's like the body collects toxins and puts them all together into a package, you know, to prevent it if you can't detoxify, and a lot of us have impaired detox pathways so the body doesn't know what to do with those toxins. So it stores it in a place and packages. And that's why usually cancer grows in fat tissue. That's well, what do you store those toxins? So when you look at brain tumors, for example, cholesterol, it's pure fat tissue. So there is many places that your body just starts to hog up toxins. And then within that environment, bacteria and heavy metals in combination get very close together. It's like a root canal filled teeth with a metal pin that is breeding bacteria.

Marcus (07:37):
And these bacteria transform, for example, mercury into dimethylmercury mercury, which is deadly in a very short time. In the same way you have heavy metal accumulation of arsenic or mercury or cadmium or whatever in tissue with that high load of bacteria, which then transform the metal into arsenic, for example. And that is where they end. Those breeding places of mutated cells happen. Cancer cell is just simply mutated and the mutation, the change that it stops dying and that's the apoptosis effect is more or less a survival mechanism of that cell, which is either in high inflamed areas or in areas of low oxygen or is an area that are totally poisoned and polluted and these cells then survive and become mutated cells, which is a cancer cell. So all of us, you, me at the age of five years old, up to the age of 80 years old, you know, we all have every single day many cancer cells that produced in our body based on the, that we are surrounded with based on the toxins in the air and the fish, you know, like mercury heavy metals, we know coal mining, all of those things.

Marcus (09:04):
They throw out a lot of pollutants and we all develop cancer cells. Now our normal immune system, our army would then clean up, and they would clean up in many different areas. So they eat mutated cells, they eat cells that are or destroy cells that are just intermediate. We always say there is like a progression state from a healthy cell to a cancer cell. There's many steps in between. And so those immune cells clean up and tidy up if they are working properly. But now imagine you have leaky gut for example. It's one of those prime examples. Leaky gut means when you eat, there is little perforations, little holes in your colon and in your small intestine where food particles and bacteria and undigested proteins are squeezed out into the bloodstream. So it's like a garden hose that is too old and gets little holes and sprinkles in all directions like a water fountain.

Marcus (10:12):
And that's the same that happens in our body. We have a few added components why leaky gut happens. For example, any kind of Roundup use that we have in all our normal sprayed vegetables, they cause leaky gut. Heavy metals cause leaky gut stress causes leaky gut. So there's many things. So when somebody has leaky gut, every meal, they eat huge amounts of bacteria and undigested proteins are squeezed into the bloodstream. That's an imminent threat to your body, an imminent threat to your whole health. So your body will use all the soldiers, all the army to clean up that leaky gut, the mess that is created and will ignore cancer cells, ignore infections, ignores bacteria, and Hheavy metals because that's not relevant right now. And that's how we occupy our soldiers instead of letting them do the right work. And there's so many, I would call leaky gut phenomenons, you know, food sensitivities, allergies, creams that we put on externally that are absorbed into the bloodstream that then go to the liver. There's so many components, how we suppress our immune system every single day. That it's just overworked. And that's when the cancer cells start to center, start to build clusters and start to grow. And once they are connected to the blood supply and good glucose sugar, then they are perfect in fermenting that sugar. And that's creating a belt around them so that the cancer cells are protected. So it's a very sophisticated survival mechanism that kills us.

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Allan (13:21):
Now, most of the time we go into the doctor and they're going to give us a diagnosis. They're going to say, okay, you have prostate cancer or you know you have breast cancer and they have a protocol and their protocol is, is typically nuclear war. We're going to do chemo, radiation, removable or all of the above. Can you talk about those standard treatments because, you know, I've had a few people on, we've talked about prostate cancer, we've talked about some other cancers and there's always a downside to almost every treatment protocol that's currently out there in Western medicine.

Marcus (14:00):
Yeah, it's, this is often the philosophical question, because what we believe in what helps. See if people believe in conventional medicine can do incredible things. I, I always, I'm very cautious to say doesn't work or it's not the right way to do because for some people it does. I think there is a strong belief pattern. If I know chemotherapy will poison me or that radiation is like and terminal and stops everything healthy from growing, then that will happen. So we have a lot of discrepancy here based on belief. But in general using poison to kill in a body that is already overburdened usually with poison or with toxins or with heavy metals or with bacteria, you know, bacteria, poop and pee. As I always say, they create neurotoxins as a waste product. So there is a lot that is already overburdened and if I didn't use more chemicals, it's sometimes a miracle how patients survive.

Marcus (15:13):
Even with that extra on-slaughter instead of cleaning up. See the biggest problem that we have and what you just mentioned, you have prostate cancer, you have breast cancer. We look at the disease and we focus on the disease. When I made the documentary and traveled around the world there was like always which treatments do we do? Which treatments are most effective? That was my main concern and I was focusing on that. And until I came to Dr. Rao in Switzerland, he said, Marcus, you're asking really stupid questions. Who cares about treatments. I was like 10 years of research. I thought I had it. I was freaking shocked when he just put me on the spot and said, you're really off the plot. And then he explained, he pulled three charts out and said, look at those three breast cancer patients. They all have breast cancer they are all around the 42-48 mark. The first client has cancer because of self-loathing, a series of trauma from childhood being abused.

Marcus (16:21):
She doesn't care for herself. Very high, acidic, very low oxygen, slightly obese, but no care for herself. That would constitute into already enough reason for her to have cancer. The other patient has a viral infection, Epstein Barr virus infection combined with mold toxicity and she lives in a very high EMF environment in a high rise where pretty much everybody has an EMF router plus the telephone pole is not far away. So she was really exposed and we know that mold in combination with EMF is very toxic. And then having EBV on top, plenty sufficient reason to develop breast cancer while the third client had actually really dental problems. She had three different metals in her mouth, which causes a galvanic reaction and released huge amounts of mercury into her system. Plus she had detox pathways in there that, you know, she couldn't get rid of toxins no matter what.

Marcus (17:27):
They all just reoccurred in her body but couldn't, couldn't be eliminated. So seeing that three identical cancers had three completely different reasons, was already like a big awakening. And then we looked at the treatment protocols and all three had a completely different approach to getting rid of those causes. And once we did, all three patients recovered. And that's, I think it was about 10 years ago when that happened. I never forget, I sit in that office and it was first time clear to me that we are not treating disease. We need to treat the patient who has the disease and remove all those things that surprised the immune system overburdened system that was clear. And I followed through with, we had, oh God over 50,000 people who watched the documentary and studied with us and I reported back and that's when it became clear that we need to completely go away from looking at the cancer. Just, you know, some people get cancer, those get fibromyalgia and another one gets depression. It just depends on where those toxins settle and where the problem establishes.

Allan (18:48):
Okay. Now in the documentary you talked about some alternatives. So if we realize, okay, if we're, we're not talking about just trying to remove a tumor or reduce a tumor or those types of things. We're actually talking about taking care of our health as a functional, you know, it's kind of a more of a functional medicine approach. You talked about a few different things in that documented like ozone treatment. Hyperthermia and PEMF. Could you kind of talk about those?

Marcus (19:21):
Yeah, there is many treatments that support the immune system. There's many treatments that remove some of the main causes. For example, when you look at ozone, ozone is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. It removes all of the biome and balances it out if you have an overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori or Klebsiella. All of those bacteria that we, we need, but we need a very small quantity in our body. And when they overgrow because the menu is wrong, then ozone will correct that. And it's been, you know, 30 years in Europe as a standard treatment for every kind of infection. And it's proven. In fact there's hundreds of studies, but it's not allowed in most of the world. So in Australia, doctors lose their license if they offer ozone, even in Germany, they are clamping down on it. So it's a treatment that is not welcome yet it is super effective.

Marcus (20:31):
And because it is so easy to do, we teach patients and clients how to use it at home. So it's a standard treatment that you can do at home. And you more or less help your body to get rid of infections, local infections, skin infections, bacterial infections. It helps healing with leaky gut. It's an amazing treatment and because you couldn't do it daily at home effects are really, really fast. So we have now since probably about two years, a lot of medical professionals, clinics and doctors that work with patients, sell them bundles or sell them equipment so that they can continue the treatment at home. If you go to a $30,000, $50,000 clinic in Germany and you go through a three week treatment, they give you a device home afterwards because they know that your chances of success are massively increased just by doing those treatments at home.

Marcus (21:33):
And that's the same with hypothermia. You know hypothermia is the natural healing response of your body. If you have a cold, a viral infection, a bacterial infection, what is the first response of your body?

Allan (21:49):

Marcus (21:50):
A fever. Exactly. And the body stops the reproduction of the virus at 39 Celsius. I think that's 1.2 or 1.8 or something like that. So it stops the reproduction. The virus is just a string of RNA and that goes into a cell, and then that RNA or DNA will then tell your cell to replicate out of amino acids, a virus. So all of a sudden that one string goes into a cell and then replicates thousands of clones. Now that process is stopped immediately at 39 Celsius fever, which means your body says, Oh, we have a virus that shouldn't be in my body. It starts affecting cells.

Marcus (22:45):
Let's upregulate the temperature, and then we stop reproduction. That's the first step. Then you go into the next step, which is think about, you know Darth Vader and the soldiers. We all know them, the ones in white uniform, they're sitting on a long production line in your bone marrow and all of a sudden as soon as the temperature goes up, that's a signal that those new soldiers that are built in your bone marrow are released into the bloodstream. So as soon as you go into a fever, your body releases out of the bone marrow, thousands of white blood cells, killer cells, that are then cleaning up with that virus. And the infected cells. And that is usually a process that takes two days. And that's why when children get a cold or when you have your spring cold, it's coming for two or three days, then you have a short period of time and then it disappears again after you had your fever.

Marcus (23:51):
And that is the normal response of your body. And we recreate that with the hypothermia dome. So it's the same thing. We heat the body up in about 30 to 45 minutes to fever temperature. We stop all reproduction of virus and bacteria and then we heat the body further up so that it releases all those white blood cells. And there is another super effect that has been documented a thousand times and that's why it's used in conventional clinics now as well. It flags pathogens and floating cancer STEM cells with heat shock proteins. And I always say it's like when a cancer cell floats in our blood, it's invisible because it's a cell from our body. But if I heat the body up, then all of a sudden the cells that can't handle heat very well, which are cancer cells, they create heat shock proteins, they grow green hair and all of a sudden your immune system, all those new soldiers that are available look around and see all the guys with green hair need to be eliminated and they start attacking.

Marcus (25:01):
So it's triple effect that you get with hypothermia. And that's why it's the fourth pillar of conventional treatments in Germany and it's now used in so many university clinics to bring back a patient. Let's say you have chemotherapy and your white blood cell count goes down, well then they do hypothermia to bring your white blood cell count back up and then they continue chemotherapy. It also reduces the side effects. You need less chemotherapy to have the same effect because your cells are better supplied its an incredible system. So they use that and because it's illegal in America and Australia and New Zealand and England, well we teach people how to do it at home.

Allan (25:51):
And the cool thing documentary was that you can do this. There's localized and then there's a whole body. And so the treatment home I assume is more localized versus the whole body.

Marcus (26:04):
The other way around, the whole body is very easy to do at home, whereas the local hypothermia device is about $500,000. And they are not something people choose to do.

Allan (26:19):
Yeah, that's a little outside my budget. Okay, and then last one we talked about was PEMF.

Marcus (26:29):
I always say it's like a toothbrush. When you use it too long, it gets tired and then it stops, you know, those electric toothbrush. And then you put them into a dock, into a little stand and they recharge and there is no cable connected. It's just induced energy through magnetic waves. And that's pretty much the same thing. We live in a world that has a magnetic field around. And by moving through that magnetic field and moving through different forms of magnetic field, we are alive. Ourselves, have energy. It's an energy field that keeps us strong and alive. Now we can replicate this energy field and this recharge station with a pulsing magnetic field and those pulsing magnetic fields, they act in very similar ways. Like a recharge. All of your cells slowly lose, you know, that membrane potential.

Marcus (27:36):
They get tired, like we all do. Lack of nutrients, toxicity, exhaustion, all of those things contribute. Now, if I sit myself on a PMF device while watching, you know, a movie on a lazy boy, it doesn't really matter. It's like recharging every single cell. And if you keep doing the treatment for two, three, four days, you will find that your inflammation goes down, your gut starts healing, your energy levels goes up, your healing expedites, if you have open wounds, they start healing faster. It's a massive energy boost that we can give ourselves. And that's why most clinics in Europe and in America use PMF as a reach out full patients. When you think about having a cold, how exhausting that is. And we all know when you, when you have just a simple problem, how much it drains the body. Now think about you have tumors or you have infections or you have large inflamed areas. That is draining you of energy and the less energy you have, the less you can heal because the body needs tremendous amounts to detoxify, of energy, to detoxify, to heal, to repair.

Marcus (29:00):
And that's what we give it with that PMF machine. So it makes, I've sold one, I have to tell you, that was my biggest transformation. I sold one to a retirement village and after a few weeks the nurses called and said, Marcus, we do have a problem with the device. Would you mind coming by and I went there and she said, we exchanged the problem. Before we had moaning and grumpy and pain and tired. And you know, now we have parties in the corridor. We have people sneaking out at nights and going out for adventures. The whole dynamic change, dancing in the corridor, we would like to order four more machines. That was a very sweet, you know, testimony of how, especially elderly people really reach out with that device. And if you look at the demographic of people in hospitals and clinics that are run down, it's the same for them. It just gives them a massive boost.

Allan (30:04):
Now, one of the things that kind of resonated with me as we start talking about these other protocols is that, they are, I want to say life building versus destroying. So it's not the nuclear bomb, it's the how do we provide more resources for our troops, if you will. But there's a way for us to avoid the war in the first place, or at least while we're fighting the war for us to make sure we have a really good battle plan and a really good battle field position. And that's our lifestyle. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Marcus (30:40):
Yes. Let me very shortly say when you get diagnosed, and I think everybody stumbles upon that learning curve in a very similar way. We don't know before it's too late. There is a small demographic of people you know who care for mom and dad or who look after a relative who has been diagnosed with cancer. So they are what I call early status. They witnessed and do the learning curve at an early stage and they are also the ones that usually learn how to prevent. The normal general demographic needs to hit their nose on the world before they start waking up.

Allan (31:21):
Well, in all fairness, Marcus, that they're listening to this podcast, they're woke, they're ready, they're ready to have this conversation. They're there, they're looking after our health. So we're ready. So what are those things we can do?

Marcus (31:34):
The most important is in regards to you are set up, there is five main components. Number one is stress. Constant stress suppresses your immune system and that is really important. The second one is toxicity that we absorb and consume. And it starts from, you know, sprayed vegetables to Monsanto grown grain and corn and all of those things which just, you know, they are designed to keep bugs away. Then they also do that in your gut. So the, the affects of sprayed food and toxic food and preservatives and colors and flavors, they really make a massive impact. Then it's also what medication you take and the side effects of those medications. There is so many components. And for me that was actually always the most irritating part of the whole lot. You know, healthy lifestyle, doing exercise, eating right food and having the right nutrients and having enough oxygen.

Marcus (32:43):
It all is one big part. And what we've done is we created a mind map and that mind map takes you through all of those individual steps. You know, how are you teeth connected? How are they related to certain organs? How is your mind connected to the whole thing? What are different exercises that you can do during the day? How is oxygen connected to cancer? Oxygen is one of the key proponents for spreading angiogenesis for the building of cause. Cancer cells don't need oxygen, they ferment the food, whereas your healthy cells need oxygen. So how can we implement more oxygen into our life, feed all cells with more oxygen? And that mind map is actually very, very detailed. There's so many different components and you will have a very different set of combination of things that you miss out on as someone else. And that's why we made that mind map. And God, we had over 50,000 people go through that training and it really shows that everyone has a different set of reasons to be sick and out of their environment, out of their habits, how they grew up, and to look through that mind map and look through all the different departments. That's where it really becomes obvious, Oh, that's one of my blind spots or this is one of the reasons that triggered my disease.

Allan (34:11):
Marcus, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Marcus (34:21):
Three out of my many oxygen would be number one. Trusting the body that it knows what it's doing and not interfering with medication. I think that's one of the key factors, especially in present times where a lot of people don't trust their body and suppress fever with any kind of fever suppressing medication that is always very, very challenging. That's what we know, increases cytokine storms and causes a lot of havoc. So trusting in the body and allowing the body to really do the work it's designed to do and supporting it in ways that are very natural like exercise, outdoor sweating, sweat lodges. We've seen tremendous change by doing that and becoming aware of what surrounds you, becoming aware of how toxic your intake, your food intake, your surrounding your environment is. And that starts with EMF all the way to the food that you eat.

Allan (35:33):
Cool. So Marcus, if someone wanted to more about you, more about the documentary, Cancer is Curable Now or your truly healthy stuff. You're doin tons of stuff. Your site is really big, you know, spend a lot of time out there. If someone wanted to learn more about all that, where would you like for me to send them?

Marcus (35:57):
Trulyheal.com so it's trulyheal.com/40plusfitness. And I've put a page together where you have access to training that we provide internally to our students. So it's a six-part video training that takes you through every single thing that is important to look at. And you have access to the documentary, you have access to the research. It's all on those pages. It's quite a massive load of information. I always say it's the shortcut that I've been looking for. When my friend was diagnosed and we started to look, you know, you run into a thousand different information streams and you don't know which one is the right one. And what we've done in that training is actually give clarity to all the different things that we know and that we can combine into a very, very effective healing program.

Healthy To Be

Allan (37:02):
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary, so I know this is a really good site. So if you want to learn more about this, if you can't write this down right now, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/436. This is episode 436 or just go to the main podcast website and you can find the link there. Okay, Marcus, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Marcus (37:25):
Thank you so much for inviting me.

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Another episode you may enjoy


May 25, 2020

Get fitter, faster, and stronger with Krista Stryker

Krista Stryker shows us how to get fitter, faster, and stronger with her book, The 12-Minute Athlete. You can find the full show notes for this episode at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/435.

This episode is sponsored by Lumen. This handheld device will tell you if you're burning carbs or fat for fuel. Learn more at: 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/lumen and use the code 40fitnesspodcast25 to get $25 off


Allan (02:18):
Krista, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Krista (02:20):
Thank you so much for having me.

Allan (02:23):
Now your book is called the 12 Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster and Stronger using HIIT and Your Body Weight. And you said something at the very beginning of the book that I need to start adapting to, adopting, I guess for lack of a better word is calling people athletes. And I think too many times we think of athletes as guys, guys and gals we see on TV and we don't often think of ourselves as athletes.

Krista (02:51):
It's true. I definitely never considered myself an athlete, until you know, five years ago or so. It's just this kind of belief in our society that we look at these people on TV and we think they're the athletes and they can train hard and do these amazing, impossible seeming things, but you know, we're more mere mortals and we could never do hard things like that. And I really like to kind of help bring out everyone's inner athlete because I really do believe that everyone can have some sort of movement that gives them joy and that we all really are athletes.

Allan (03:36):
Yeah. When I first got started into all of this, it was, it was actually a tough Mudder that I wanted to do with my daughter because she was getting into the CrossFit and doing, you know, these mud obstacle races and really enjoying herself. And I was thinking, you know, I don't want to be the father that when my daughter says, Hey, I'm going to go do this thing, that I'm the spectator. I'm like, no, I want to be there with her. I want to cross the finish line with her, I want to do those things. And at the point where I made the decision and then the commitment that that's what I was going to do. I was nowhere near being able to do a tough Mudder. Eight months later, because I had that mindset of getting there and being there with my daughter. I did it! Now that was fairly athletic. When I was younger I did a lot of athletic things, but it doesn't have to be tough Mudder. You know, as you put in the book, it's like you just be an awesome grandmother that keeps up with the grandkids when they run from the monkeys to the lions, you know, being an athlete just means performing very well at the things that you want to do in your life.

Krista (04:39):
Exactly. So well said.

Allan (04:42):
Now, many of us don't have access to a gym or periods of time when we don't have access to a gym. You know, and when I was traveling a good bit for work, you know, sometimes you staying in a hotel and the gym they have isn't really equipped to do the things that I wanted to do. So we, we go to using body weight and I think a lot of people miss out on how effective body weight can be. Can you talk about some of the benefits of body weight exercises?

Krista (05:09):
Yes. I am a huge, huge fan of body weight exercises for so many reasons. Like you said, one of the main reasons is that you can really do them anywhere. So if you're traveling, if you're sick at home, if you're, you know, in a park outside, you can still work out and really, really get an effective workout that way. Another thing that I really love about body weight type training is that you can really scale it to make it either much easier if you're starting at beginner level or much harder if you're more advanced. And so you look at something like a basic pushup, it seems pretty simple, but a lot of people, I'm sure you know, can't do a proper pushup. So The way to work at that, if you break it down into steps. So the way I like to do is with the hands elevated push up because you can really gauge that progress. You start out on something higher, like a wall or a counter top, work your way down eventually to the floor. And now if that gets too easy, then there's so many ways to make it more challenging. You can work for the one arm push up, you can do explosive variations. Bodyweight training is just so cool because there are always ways to bump up the level or to break it down if you need to build up more strength in order to get that full exercise.

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Allan (06:42):
Yeah, I was, you know, I trained various people even though we're all over the age of 40, I have some that are relatively fit and some that are just getting started. And so yes, the counter at the countertop, the countertop pushup is kind of a staple for me for most people that are just getting started, make sure you're wearing skid resistant shoes cause the tile floor can get slippery. But yeah, the countertop is an excellent way for you to start getting stronger in the chest and get that pushup. Whereas then I have other folks that are a little bit more athletic and been doing this a bit longer and you know the dive bomber, which you demonstrate in the book, you know, I'm like here, here's a pushup. This is going to be hard. And they'd do it. They'd go do it in the workout and the next time I hear from him it's like, Oh God never had me do that again please. And of course it's in the next workout cause that's what a family wants to hear. But it's with body weight and you just, all you've really done is taken your body weight and by changing the leverage and changing things up, you've made it much more difficult or much easier depending on what a trainee needs, which you need.

Krista (07:46):

Allan (07:47):
And then I think one of the other ones you talked about this a little bit in the book is that you know, with body weight, the likelihood of you actually hurting yourself is lower.

Krista (07:55):
It's so true because you don't have heavy weight around. And I'm going to drop something on your foot. You're not going to do some crazy thing with the overhead squat and tweak your shoulders. There's so much less likelihood of injury or body weight training. It's very cool. And it's super functional. So usually what I see with people who start training body weight exercises more there, their whole body starts to work together better. And so any nagging injuries and stuff, they might just go away, which is amazing.

Allan (08:30):
Yeah. And that is probably what I would say it'd be my favorite part of body weight exercises is almost every one of them that you would be doing theirs. There's a functional aspect to your life. So if we're talking about, you know, body weight squats will we squat sit every day and the ability to have that leg strength to do that is very, very important. And because we don't have a huge load on our shoulders, particularly early on, you know, with just doing body weight squats, you know, we're less likely to hurt our knees because again, if we're doing the squat poorly, we won't be able to do it very well with body weight. But if we put load on there, then the likelihood of injuring ourself is so much higher.

Krista (09:09):
It's so true. It makes me cringe every time I go on a gym and someone's doing heavy squat and their squat form is so bad. I just want to help them get them to do body weight squats. But people don't, people don't always know about the things to do.

Allan (09:26):
Yeah. And, and you know, with, with the gym that I run, you know, I actually have to go say something. I used to when I was training, when I was training, he was training people in up and I was like, if they're not my client and you know, I'm not going to butt in that I'm doing my workout. They're doing theirs and I'm just watching them from the side of my eyes so that they don't kill themselves. But it's okay. I gotta be ready to go grab a weight if someone starts to fall. But other than that, I'm going to ignore them. But now running a gym, it's like I see someone, I was like, I need to go. I need to go talk to this person. We'll have a little conversation. They may or may not listen to me, but you know, I just don't, I don't want someone to get hurt. So, but body weight exercises are kind of cool thing about them is it's very difficult to hurt yourself. The progressions there.

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Allan (12:29):
I'd like to talk about progression. I talked about, you know, two kinds of extremes: the counter push-ups versus the dive bomber is two different levels, but there are lots of different ways that you can make these exercises more progressive.

Krista (12:43):
So many ways. So if you, like I said, if you can do the basic kind of full version of what you think of the exercise, then you can start, there's a couple of ways to make it more challenging. You can work at unilaterally so you can take a bit bodyweight spot. Well instead of going down on two legs, do a one legged squat or pistol squat and that will make it significantly harder. So that's one way. And from there, you know, you don't typically go from that body weight squats straight to the pistol squat, you do the progressions of the pistol squat to help build up that strength. Or you can add, apply a metric aspect to this. So that means jumping, explosiveness, all that. It's going to make it much more challenging. And see the typical athletes, when you think of track athletes and basketball players and they're doing all that stuff, they're not doing heavy weights. They're doing a lot of body weight training, a lot of plyometrics training to build up, you know, maximum strength and explosiveness. So this stuff really works.

Allan (13:51):
Yeah, and another one I like to use a lot is tempo. You know if you using, you know, one of the cool things about plyometrics is you're applying power and it does build explosive power. But if you really want to see how strong you are, particularly when we're talking about body weights, slow down, can you slow down the movement where there's no momentum and you're having to hold yourself under that tension for a longer period of time. It gets a lot harder.

Krista (14:20):
Yeah. Like to actually, one of the ways that I love to help people build up strength for things like pull-ups is those really slow negatives. They're brutal, but they really weren't. And you can do that with so many different things if you know,

Allan (14:34):
once you've gotten yourself to a point. Absolutely. I mean, so you want to have some base level and then once you start really trying to work the pull ups and then yeah, then doing the negatives is really good because you're kind of at that point, if you're close to being able to do the pull-ups, you kind of reached almost, I'm not gonna say an intermediate, but you're at a higher level of training because you've been doing some other pulling movements. So I really do like how you take someone through each of these progressions to help them build out their strength until they're able to do the exercise properly.

Krista (15:05):
Yeah. And it's also helpful for your mindset. A lot of people look at something like a pull-up if they've never been able to do it before and they just can't even picture themselves doing it. It seems so hard and impossible. But if you just break it down into these little steps and then every time, you know, every couple of weeks or so, depending on how fast you're making progress, you bump it up just a little bit more. It just becomes so much more doable in your mind. And it just helps people like really accomplish big scary seeming things that they never would've have done if they were to just go towards that higher level thing to begin with.

Allan (15:50):
Yeah. Now in the book you also get into, HIIT training, which is high intensity interval training. Can you talk about some of the benefits of HIIT what it is and how it helps us?

Krista (16:02):
Yeah, so HIIT training, it's a style of train that basically your training or working as hard as he possibly can for a very short amount of time and then you rest. And so there a differnt kind of intervals that you've been set up. I tend to like doing like 30 seconds, anywhere between 10 seconds or 30 seconds. Yes. And what you thinking about during a HIIT workout is essentially, I like to tell people like, think about it. Like you're sprinting during that work period. You really want to give it your absolute all. You want to feel like you're not really holding back. And the, one of the huge benefits of HITT training is like very short. So a lot of people think that they need, you know, 45 minutes to an hour to get in a good workout. Especially like a cardio workout. The HIIT training, for like 12 minutes and people to try them.

Krista (17:05):
If they're really pushing themselves and their at the level that they are able to push themselves that hard. You know, they walk away just like spent afterwards and that's the, that's what a good HIIT workout does. And the type of like you can add so many types of different exercises for this, for HIIT workouts. But one of the things like I like said, do jump roping exercises or like we're talking about plyometric exercises, burpees, things like that where you really feel like you can just push really hard during that workout and yeah, it's kinda, it's going to really, really help your overall stamina helps your VO two max. It was all these scientific studies that show that a HIIT workout, between 10 and 20 minutes, has the same cardio benefits as a moderate intensity workout. That's more like 45 minutes or so. Or a HIIT workout might actually have more benefits, which is super cool.

Allan (18:10):
Yeah. For the record, I do have a jump ropes at my gym. So little bitty gym, but I do, I did buy some jump ropes. And so you know, a couple of different things that you said there that I want to emphasize because you know, a lot of people misconstrue just interval training with HIIT training. And I think that that's kind of, you know, when I hear someone say, yeah, I did a 45 minute HIIT training, I'm like you can't do a 45 minute HIIT training. He's wiped. And so I think, you know, one is the intensity. And the way I like to describe it is imagine you're walking through the woods with your baby granddaughter and your arms, and you see a bear and you have to run from that bear.

Allan (18:59):
And if your work sessions, 30 seconds, if you stop, if you slow down, that bear is going to get you and your grandbaby. So you're going to run with every bit of energy that you have, like there's nowhere else for you to go, nothing else for you to worry about. You're just going to run as hard as you possibly can. That's that intensity. There's a set period of time and then you're gonna have a recovery, you know, so now that you've read the bear stopped chasing you and you're walking through the woods when your rest is over, if it's 10 seconds or 30 seconds or whatever your rest interval is, oops, there's another bear take off. And typically for most people, you know, six, eight, maybe, maybe 10 of these rounds. It was about all the work you really need at that point. You're not recovering and you're just spent.

Allan (19:44):
And I think if you're really doing HIIT right, it is, it's very short. It's very intense. And then it's done. And you know, one of the, one of the styles that I want to talk about this in just a second, is a style called Tabata. And that quite literally can be done in four minutes. And it's really, really cool. But there are all these different intervals that you can set of how you want to go about doing the work, doing the recovery and training yourself to, cause it's working, your cardiovascular, whatever work you're doing, you're getting some work. There it balance or endurance or strength cause I've seen all kinds of different exercises that can be done in the form of HIIT.

Allan (20:25):
But I would caution if you're going to do HIIT training, do it with body weight. Don't, don't try HIIT training with equipment. You know, sometimes I've seen people try to do things like some barbell movements and things like that and the form just breaks down and the likelihood of hurting yourself does too. So you do not need equipment. This is a HIIT, should be a body weight training period. And that's just how I feel about it. And that's also very important. And then the other point is, and I'd like to talk a little bit about this is the recovery, because it is so intense that for most of us it's not something we want to do every day.

Krista (21:03):
Yeah. For, for most people, you know, even two or three times a week is corny. I definitely try and recommend it at least twice a week and you could do it, you know, anywhere up to four times him to week would be ideal or if you're at a really high level, but you really don't even need that.

Allan (21:22):
And so to me it's just making sure that you're giving your body the opportunity to fully recover before you try to do this again and you'll know it, you'll know if you're not doing it because your performance won't be nearly what it was before you are doing jump rope and you know, you realize, okay, I can basically, do you know whether you're doing the double unders or the singles, if you're counting, you'll start to realize, okay, the first interval I did this many, and then the second interval was a little ass and then a little less and a little less, but you come into that next workout. If you haven't really recovered, you're not hitting those same numbers. So pay attention to your recovery and you can get a lot of benefit out of HIIT.

Krista (22:01):
Yeah. And that's, I mean, that's one of the reasons, one of many reasons, I really encourage people to track their reps. And as annoying as it can be to count during an interval. You'll know whether you're not recovered, whether you're feeling sluggish that they, and you'll know whether you're making progress or not. So if, you know, the first week you sit there and you're only able to do six, burpees in 30 seconds, and then a few weeks later you're able to do eight. That's awesome. But you wouldn't know that unless you turned it.

Allan (22:32):
Yeah, absolutely. Now, I mentioned earlier about Tabatas, I love Tabatas because they answer the question, well, I just really don't have that much time. Tabata solves that problem. can you talk about what it's about is the kind of the origin story and then just, you know, it's the structure and some basic examples of, of how we can use that structure.

Krista (22:56):
Yeah. So Tabata was developed by, you know that persons name, they are good friends. His name, he was, he's from Japan, I'm blanking on the his name.

Allan (23:04):
Yeah I blank on his name all the time too. Don't ask me. The Japanese guy.

Krista (23:12):
Yeah, it's definitely super cool. Anyway, he found that this specific structure where it's 10 seconds reps and 20 seconds work. So for eight rounds is incredibly effective. But the key is with those 20 seconds, like think of it like I liked your bear analogy. You have to go as hard as you possibly can for this to be effective. You can't just breeze through tabata workout and think that it's going to give you great results. You have to go super, super hard. And so like you said, with the interval workouts or HIIT workouts, body weight training is perfect for that. So it's classic bottle workout is sprinting. 20 seconds sprints, 10 seconds rest, eight rounds and like believe me you will be. You can also do it with various other body weight exercises, jump roping, burpees, all those types of fun things. It's not super fun, its really hard, but it's four minutes and you're literally done. So they're amazing.

Allan (24:26):
Yeah. I've, I've structured workouts with using the Tabata and you know, it's like just something as simple as the body weight squat and I've seen, you know, people that I've been training and if I'm doing a group training, I'll tell someone if you're really, really fit and you want to make this kind of exciting, add little plyometric jump at the end. So you do jump squats if you're really, really, if you're, if you're less so than, than just just do the body weight squats, but just keep moving, keep moving. And invariably, after about round four, we start finding out who you know, was really what they thought. And anyone that started with jump squats is typically typically, slowing down and now just doing squats, body weight squats, and they get a great workout. And that's why they were hugely fit.

Allan (25:09):
But it's again, the intensity of this and the short recovery periods, it's just something that's really, really gonna tax you. And there's one you had in the book that I really liked, an example of a way to adapt to a tabata because the original Tabata basically had four set exercises that you have to go through and we've adapted that now using different exercises. But the burpee mountain climber, is one good example you gave him. Could you explain how we can, we can basically do a Tabata using the burpee and the mountain climber as the exercises.

Krista (25:39):
I don't know if that one in the book was the tabata, was it the alternate with the rest?

Allan (25:45):
Yeah, you alternate. Yeah. You alternate. It was not the rest. The mountain climber was not the rest. It's just, yeah, it was just an alternating of the two exercises.

Krista (25:52):
So all you're going to do with that one is start with 20 seconds of burpees, take your 10 seconds of rest and then 20 seconds of mountain climbers. And so you're going to end up going four of each and it's gonna feel a little brutal, but it's going to be really, really effective. And the other cool thing that I think about this type of training is it never gets any easier no matter how fit you get. It will never be easy because of it is, it just means you're not pushing yourself hard enough. So it's a way to constantly improve and progressing as an athlete.

Allan (26:29):
And as you mentioned earlier, if you're counting your reps, then at the end, you know, okay, when I first started doing this burpee mountain climber Tabata, you know, I was maybe doing six, like I said, maybe in the 20 seconds, maybe four burpees, and maybe eight mountain climbers and now, you know, I noticed when I started, I'm actually getting the sixth one and you know, or the 12th one in and then I'm still doing more at the end because my stamina has improved so much. So yeah, it is something that, you know, when you're, when you're training and even training with someone else. So if you've got someone else you're training with and there maybe you're maybe more fit than they are or they're a lot more fit than you are, it doesn't matter because you're, you're in your own battle, you're in your own head and soon enough you're not paying attention to anybody. But just trying to catch your breath.

Krista (27:17):
Yeah. You don't care what the other persons doing.

Allan (27:20):
Not at all. Yes.

Krista (27:24):
People of all levels can train together, its great.

Allan (27:27):
And I think that's what's really cool. You know, like I said, we all train together or we can train at home. And we're using our body weight and we're using the benefits of HIIT training to basically come away with being better athletes. And by athlete as we mentioned earlier, its just being able to perform better in everything we want to do.

Krista (27:45):

Allan (27:46):
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Krista (27:55):
I liked that definition of wellness. I mean I guess my obvious first answer is movement. So move a little every single day and you know, do some sort of workout on a regular basis. Whether it's you just try to figure out what works for you. So if you start out with a couple of HIIT workouts a week and then maybe do some slower body weight movements and walks the other days, whatever it is, just really make sure that movement is built into your life cause it's going to make everything better.

Krista (28:29):
And another thing that I really highly recommend, especially for people who maybe be struggling with anxiety or overwhelm or things like that, is paying attention to breathing. So I really like this style of breathing called box breathing. And that's essentially where you're breathing in through your diaphragm and out with an exhale for you can start with an inhale, a four and an exhale, a four. Do it for five minutes or something. You don't have to do it for very long. And it's gonna really help calm the anxiety, calm your nerves, reset your nervous system. It's a great thing to start your day with. I highly recommend it for people who haven't tried it. It feels a little weird at first, especially the diaphragm style breathing because it's like you're breathing through your stomach more than your chest, but it makes a big difference.

Krista (29:32):
The other thing that I recommend is kind of, I consider wellness but to always be learning something. So whether that's learning a physical skill or you know, training for something like a tough Mudder, or taking an online class of something that you've always wanted to learn, reading a cool new book that you're excited about. Having something like that going on at all times. It's really great for your mental health and all of this is great for your physical health too. So all of the physical, mental well being. So it's in my mind it's all connected.

Allan (30:16):
Great. The book is called the 12 Minute Athlete. And what I really like about it is that it is bodyweight. It is something you can do at home. You've put the progressions there. They're images. And I can say this, I train, I train a lot of blind individuals with my online training. In fact, they now a large percentage of my clients are vision impaired and you do a really good job of explaining each exercise, each movement along with the images, but just the explanation itself is really, really good to learn each of these exercises and their progressions. If someone wanted to learn more about you and more about the book, Krista, where would you like for me to send them?

Krista (30:55):
You can find 12-Minute Athlete pretty much by searching anywhere these days, which is great, but you can go to 12minuteathlete.com or an app or at 12-minute athlete on social media, the book you can find on any online retailer, Amazon, all those good places. So it's pretty easy to find now.

Allan (31:17):
Okay, well you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/435 and I'll be sure to have links there. Krista, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Krista (31:27):
Thank you so much for having me. This was awesome.

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Another episode you may enjoy


May 18, 2020

Self-care for men with Garrett Munce

Men don't always do the necessary self-care until there is a problem. In his book, Self-Care for Men: How to Look Good and Feel Great, Garrett Munce shows us how we can look and feel years younger.

This episode of 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Let's Get Checked. Use code Allan20 and get 20% Off!


Allan (01:06):
Garrett, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Garrett (01:08):
Hey, how are you?

Allan (01:09):
Doing all right. I'm doing all right. Getting by, I guess sad. I'll just, I'll just put that out there. You know, your book is called Self Care for Men, How to Look Good and Feel Great. And you know, as we've kind of gone through this last, bit of time, the virus and locking ourselves away and not interacting as much. I find that I'm not shaving as often. I'm not doing a lot of things as often. And yeah, so this is a good time for this book to be coming out for me. I mean, it's just something I hadn't really spent much time thinking about until your book brought it to my attention. So I'm glad we're going to have this opportunity to talk about your book.

Garrett (01:49):
Me too. Thank you for having me.

Allan (01:51):
Now the first question and you know, I have my own opinions on some of this, but why, why do we find it so hard as men to do some of these self care things?

Garrett (02:02):
Well, I think ultimately it comes down to a lot of generations of marketing. I mean, you know, so many of the things that we think about when we, when the word self care comes up are we've been told for many, many years that these are feminine things to do, right? Like so I'm talking about things like taking a bath, going to a spa, you know, interacting with skincare, all of that kind of stuff has for some reason been kind of skewed throughout the years as feminine pursuits. But I think that it also has to do with the fact that men are kind of raised oftentimes to be, you know, to, you know, not show emotion, not admit that they have emotion. And you know, it goes back to that kind of strong silent type kind of stereotype. And I think the reality is that men have feelings, men have emotions they need, they have stress and things that kind of fall under the self care umbrella can really help with that. And ultimately it doesn't, you know, I think self care in itself is a very misleading term because so much of that kind of the wellness machine has adopted self care as kind of a blanket term for a lot of “relapsing” things. But self care is really anything that can make you feel better. Right. So I think men in many ways are already doing things that can be considered self care, but they might not even know it yet.

Allan (03:45):
Yeah. And you know me, as I kind of looked at it, I thought, you know, I tend to not solve a problem until I know there's a problem. So like if you know, I don't take care of my feet, wintertime comes along, they get dry, invariably they crack and so there's pain and so then I'll, I'll, I'll deal with that pain. But it's not something that I consciously would think about caring for my feet on a day to day basis.

Garrett (04:09):
Yeah. I think that, you know, one of the differences between women and men is that I think women have grown up kind of understanding the importance of prevention. And you know, it goes into a lot of things that goes into health. It goes into aging, it goes into skincare, it goes into grooming. And I think a lot of men are like you and I, you know, like they start doing something when they first see the problem, right? So they might start noticing wrinkles around their eyes and that's when they start using eye cream. Or like you said, the, you know, your feet, when they start hurting then you start doing something about it. But you know, I think that a lot of self care is not, you know, that's what kind of what I was kind of saying before about how you know, you might already be doing some things but you, but men can oftentimes benefit from reframing how they think about stuff. So like, you know, the, I think one of the big things about self care, especially when it comes to things like, you know, skincare or grooming specifically is, you know, you're not doing it to solve a problem per se. You're doing it for the benefit that you get from the process and less of like, you know, pursuing like an end goal.

Allan (05:28):
Yeah. I kind of equate it, you even said this in the book a little bit. We do, we do these things. We lift weights or we go running. We try to lose a little bit of weight before we get to the summertime. So we look better with a shirt off. We're doing things, we're just not as proactive as women tend to be with some of these things.

Garrett (05:49):
Yeah. And you know, I think that like what, you know, what you said, you had, you said something completely correct, which is like, you know, one of the things that men are already doing oftentimes is exercising. Right. But most men are doing that because, Oh, I want to look good. I want to, you know, have some muscles. I want to look great on the beach this summer. All of that kind of stuff. And that's part of it. Of course, you know, exercise does make you look better. But you know, I think coming up something like exercise from a self care perspective is all about kind of switching your mentality. So it's like I'm exercising because of how it makes me feel. I feel better, I have more energy, I sleep better, I am a little bit happier. All of all of those, you know, reasons are great self care reasons to do things like exercise. And they're, you know, they're real. It's, it's been proven that, you know, when you do exercise, you, you release endorphins, you sleep better you know, all of that kind of stuff. So it's not, it's not necessarily, that's kind of going back to the whole like end goal thing. I mean ideally we would exercise because we want to right, not because we feel like we have to. And I think that's an important shift that we can make from a self care perspective.

Allan (07:17):
Yeah. Now, one of the core reasons I think a lot of people do get into this and you mentioned a little bit was we start to, we start to see our age, particularly on our face but pretty much everywhere. But the face tends to be kind of one of us first things you wake up in the morning and start noticing, you know, wrinkle here, something there. What can men do to look and feel younger?

Garrett (07:38):
I mean, when it comes to your face specifically, I mean I think that when guys start to see wrinkles, that's when they start thinking about anti-aging. But one thing that I've noticed lately is a lot of, you know, men are starting to interact with this younger and younger. And the thing is that it's basically impossible to completely reverse wrinkles just from products. But some of the things that are really beneficial are, you know, wearing sunscreen every single day. That's a huge thing for men of all of every age. I mean, sunscreen is not only the most important anti-aging product we could possibly use, but it also prevents, you know, skin cancer and sun damage. So that's a really important thing. I think every single dermatologist would recommend daily sunscreen, no matter if you're going outside or not. You know, things like vitamin C can be really good because they're antioxidants and they have been shown to really prevent aging, using eye creams are really great.

Garrett (08:48):
A lot of times most men notice the first signs of aging around their eyes. So using eye cream at night, you know, maybe in the morning can really help kind of prevent further for their wrinkles. And you know, honestly just like using a, you know, daily moisturizer, those are really when when your skin is dry, it looks older and it has a harder time kind of rebuilding itself. So I think a lot of men, especially older men, don't necessarily think about wearing something like a moisturizer every day, but they really should.

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Allan (11:47):
Now a lot of the things that we would do for self care, like you had said earlier, we are doing them, we just haven't really put them in the category of self care. And one that was really important, I'm glad you covered in the book is improving our sleep. If someone wanted to go through a practice and start doing some things to improve their sleep, what would you recommend?

Garrett (12:06):
I mean that's the sleep is a really, really important thing and I'm not going to say that I am like the best sleeper. I think we all have issues around sleep. And I do notice, I think you're right. Sleep is a really important thing, not just for from a self care but from a health and wellness perspective. I mean one of the biggest buzzwords right now is sleep hygiene. And I just think that has to do a lot with how you kind of set yourself up for success when it comes to sleep. You kind of think about it as kind of like your, your nighttime routine, just like you would, you know, brush your teeth, wash your face, you would start kind of setting yourself up for success when it comes to sleep. So some of the things mentioned in the book that are kind of blanket things that you can do.

Garrett (12:57):
You can kind of tweak these based on what you kind of find works for you. But some of the classic things are, you know, shutting off your phone about two hours before bedtime. Blue screen light from screens, has been shown to kind of stimulate your brain more. So people that are on their phones or like watching TV right up to bedtime tend to have a harder time falling asleep. Other things like, you know, stopping caffeine earlier in the day. I just read something recently that said up to nine hours before bedtime. I don't know how true that is, but I, you know, I find that if I have caffeine later in the afternoon, I have a really hard time sleeping. So I've been making a conscious effort to do that. You know, one of the biggest things is light.

Garrett (13:49):
I think people underestimate how much light pollution impacts their kind of sleep cycle. I know a lot of people use kind of blackout curtains. They'll do their best to kind of block out all of the natural light. Especially if like you live in a city where it never really gets truly dark. I'm in Brooklyn right now and it's really hard to really find a like truly dark place. But you know, that's a really important thing. And then also keeping your bedroom cool. I mean I know that a lot of people like to kind of be cozy and you know, have a warmer room, but you know when you're sleeping, your body temperature lowers. And so some, you know, studies have shown that if you kind of keep your room cooler, it helps your body cool down and reach those kinds of deeper levels of sleep quicker.

Allan (14:48):
Now, a lot of the things that you talk about in the book far as self care, baths, skincare, you know working with your face and things like that, these are things that we can build into that sleep hygiene or our evening ritual as you will, to kind of get our body ready to go to sleep. So kind of a double hit in some cases with these if you pair them together and can work them right.

Garrett (15:12):
Definitely. I mean, I think there's a few studies out there more from a psychological standpoint that if you kind of cultivate you know, nighttime routine, not just from a sleep hygiene standpoint, but you know, if, you know, for instance, if you brought in, you know, you brush your teeth, you wash your face, you use like a specific, nighttime moisturizer, you might do, you know, put something in like your hair overnight. You kind of start training your mind to know that once you start those steps, you're leading up to sleep. And so one of the things too is if you kind of cultivate this nighttime skincare grooming regimen, it can actually, subconsciously start winding your body down. And also, you know, those things feel good. They really relaxe you. Like putting a lotion on at night that it just, it's just straight up feels good. So it's gonna start chilling you out. It's going to start relaxing you slightly. And then that just kind of primes your brain for great sleep at night.

Allan (16:24):
Now, another area that you went into in the book, and I'm glad you did, is about getting outside and doing things like forest bathing or earthing. Could you spend a little bit of time talking about those?

Garrett (16:35):
Yeah. You know, that's something that I really love too, and it's, it's hard for me to do myself because of where I live. But, you know, there are, you know, forest bathing and boasting and all of those things. There've been kind of buzzy in the wellness world for some, some years now. But there is actual science behind it. I mean, people think that, Oh, it's, you know, it's just getting outside. I, I already do that. I'm always outside when I'm, you know, walking the dog or I'm doing this thing. But it is different because it basically depends, I mean, these Japanese studies about forest bathing are so, are so cool because they basically show that plants and trees produce these things called fights inside, which is basically protective oils that plants use to kind of protect themselves from infection, disease and all that.

Garrett (17:34):
But they actually have a very measurable effect on our immune system and brain. They're kind of emitted in the air. So these molecules, when you're walking around plants and in the forest they were like breathing them. And so one of the comments of forest bathing is kind of going into nature with no intention oftentimes where, you know, we're hiking, we're walking, we're running, we're doing all this stuff, which is great, but we're kind of doing, we're outside with another purpose. So one of the things about forest bathing that I find so cool is that you're going there just to be, right? So you're going out in the forest, or the park or wherever you are, and you're really just spending time there. You're not like trying to get to the next point. You're not trying to reach the top of the mountain. You're not trying to run 15 miles. Like you're just there. Right. And that's really where you've got most of the benefits of, you know, something like forest bathing because you're, you're slowing your body down, you're letting it kind of interact with all of the things around you, like these flights, insides and all that stuff. So you're really getting more benefit from it if you're kind of going there with the intention of actually just, you know, walking or sitting or with just, you know, just to be there in general.

Allan (19:11):
Now could you talk a little bit about earthing, cause that's a slightly different topic. It's similar but it's a little bit different.

Garrett (19:18):
Yeah, I think earthing is cool. I mean it's really, it's hard for me to do in a city setting, right? But I think if anyone has like a backyard or somewhere that they can just take, you know, take their shoes off and walk around with bare feet or just stand with their feet. It's been shown it has kind of like a, you know, how electrical current or circuits need grounding to, you know, for them to work. It has a very similar effect on our bodies because our bodies have, you know, electricity, they have circuits, they have things. We have constant things, you know, running through our, our nerves in our body. And so energetically it will kind of ground everything and it kind of creates this connection to the earth that as modern humans, we don't typically have because were I was wearing shoes where, you know, we may not even wear, you know, we may not even have like a bare feet in our own homes. And so that can be a very kind of important connection to make every so often with, with the, you know, the ground with nature and it's really just, you know, you could go out to your backyard and take, you know, take your shoes off and just stand there. You don't have to, you know, be in this special place that can, it's just a matter of getting that direct skin to earth connection.

Allan (20:49):
Yeah. When I was growing up, one of the things that hit me fairly, fairly early in my adult life was a receding hairline. And by receding, I mean just going away. So I went with it. I just said, okay, if that's the direction we're going, then I'm just going to go with it. And fortunately I look okay. I think I look okay. With a shaved head. I started shaving my head before it was really all that popular. In fact, I don't know that I saw many bald headed men under the age of 60 back when I started shaving my head. But you have a section of book, you kind of get into hair loss and some things we can do if we don't want to go that route or we don't feel like we have the head to have a shaved head. Can you talk about hair loss, and some things we can do to, to keep that from happening?

Garrett (21:35):
Definitely. I mean within grooming men being a men's grooming, hair loss is the number one concern for all men. I mean basically think about it, if you're losing your hair, you're not really sure what's happening. It's really stressful. And so that's why something like hair loss can really benefit from like a, you know, self like targeted self care practice because it can not only help actually reduce the hair loss itself, but it can also like, you know, make it less stressful. So I mean ultimately we know that most male hair loss, which happens to almost two thirds of, of men by the time that they're 35 is, you know, it is genetic. So there's not a whole lot you can do to change your genetics. I mean, listen, that's the golden, the golden rule would be like you didn't have to go with it, right?

Garrett (22:32):
But I think that understanding what's happening on as soon as it starts to happen can really make a huge difference. I mean like, like you said, one of the options certainly to just shave it all off and just go with that, which I really applaud you for doing that. Because that's not easy for lots of, of, of guys to do, right? We're so attached to our hair, we really put lots of stock and how our hair looks and how full it is and all that stuff. So taking that leap is definitely one of the more extreme things that you can do. But other than that, you know, I think the number one thing that I would always say is to always ask someone, you know a professional because they have options that you might not have access to and they're really experienced in understanding what is causing your hair loss.

Garrett (23:31):
I mean, obviously genetics are really, are a huge factor, but there are other things like diet, stress, sleep can even, you know, lack of sleep can even cause it. Lifestyle choices, pollution, there's a whole plethora of things that can contribute to hair loss. I mean, and then they might recommend kind of treatment plan that has various elements to it. One of the classics is obviously Rogaine and Propecia, which are, they've been kind of the most scientifically proven. However, a lot of guys now are really kind of not into those two medicines because they do have lots of possible side effects, one of which is, like lower libido. So a lot of times younger guys don't necessarily want to start on that super early. And then, you know, there's more natural supplements these days. There's one called anyway,anyway.

Allan (24:37):
You talked about biotin in the book.

Garrett (24:39):
Yeah. Oh yeah. So biotin is like a naturally occurring substance that actually makes up part of what hair is made from. So things like biotin has been shown they won't really regrow hair. I mean, it is impossible. Once hair follicles die, it's impossible to bring them back to life, but they're, you know, it will strengthen your existing hair and kind of make it stronger and build up those follicles and you know, hair shocks so that they're slightly stronger. And some people say that they're less likely to fall out if they're, you know, rooted better in that, in that skin. Some other things too, I mean, diet is obviously a huge part of it. I mean, a lot of guys don't want to hear about things like diet and sleep because they want something that will fix it pretty quick and things, you know, changing your diet and your kind of lifestyle habits can take a really long time.

Garrett (25:43):
You know, there are some really cool kind of newer scientific treatments, one of which is PRP. Which stands for platelet rich plasma. That's not something that you can do yourself, but certain providers, certain doctors will be able to do that. And people in the hair loss world are really excited by the results that they're seeing. Basically what it is is they draw blood, they spin it in a machine that will extract the like plasma from your own blood and that's, it's basically like growth factors, right? So then they'll take that plasma and they'll re inject it in to your scalp. And what that does is if you think of your scalp as the garden and you think of your hair as the plants, the PRP is kind of like fertilizer. So it will help kind of stimulate growth in those dormant hair follicles that might not be producing hair at the moment but haven't completely died off yet. And you know the numbers and the studies coming out are really positive so that, you know, that's a more extreme example of something that you could do. But for men that are really concerned with it, it's definitely worth looking into.

Allan (27:13):
Garrett, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fitest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Garrett (27:21):
I think that one of the things that everyone can do is slow down. And whether that means, you know, trying to get a little bit more sleep, trying to start a meditation practice, trying to, you know, change your diet and eat slower and eat healthier, I mean, we're living in this world that really prizes constant momentum and constant work and you know, more, more and more and more. Right? But I think to really kind of attack stress from a self care angle, you need to have at least some time during the day that you slow down. You know, given the current, the last few months here, it's like we're all kind of being forced to do that, which I think is not necessarily a bad thing. And it's about learning how to kind of have some time to yourself and just be without any sort of distraction.

Garrett (28:26):
I think another one would be to talk about your, you know, to think about what you're doing for your physical body. I'm not just talking about internally, but I'm thinking externally too. I think we really, you know, men specifically tend to neglect our bodies in a pretty major way. So I think a lot of those things could be, you know, starting like an exercise practice if you don't have one. It could be changing what you do to exercise and do something that is more focused on self care then losing weight or getting muscle, you know it could be, you know, stretching. It could be yoga, it could be all, you know, anything like that. The other thing too is I'm a big fan of skincare and haircare and all of those things for the sake of it and not, like I said earlier to so you know, to reverse wrinkles or make myself look better. You know, I get a lot of pleasure personally from, you know, doing face masks or taking a bath or going to a spa or things like that. And I think to really think about self care as a, I'm doing this for the benefit of just doing it, right.? So I think starting some sort of skin care routine or starting some sort of like regular hair care regimen could be really beneficial for a lot of guys who don't already have that in their lives.

Allan (30:00):
Yeah, we're you know, we're in probably one of the most stressful toxic worlds I could possibly imagine at this point. And this is just a good time I think for people to really take a step back and look for ways that they can care for themselves better, particularly men. And so the book is very timely, Self Care for Men, because you have a lot of ideas in there. Some of them don't necessarily attach to self-care straight off the bat getting a tattoo or as you said, like taking a bath. But in the end it is, it is all about looking and feeling our best.

Garrett if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book. Where would you like me to send them?

Garrett (30:43):
My Instagram is probably the best way to reach me. My Instagram is just Garrett Munce. And there's links there to my website, which is garrettmunce.com the book is available on Amazon and Barnes and noble and target and a few other retailers across the country. You can find all of that and so on my Instagram.

Allan (31:09):
okay, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/434 and I'll be sure to have links there. So Garrett, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Garrett (31:19):
Thank you so much for having me. This was awesome.


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Another episode you may enjoy


May 11, 2020

Keto-green 16 with Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca blends the benefits of the Ketogenic diet and eating alkaline foods in her new book, Keto-Green 16.


This episode of 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Let's Get Checked. Use code Allan20 and get 20% Off!

Allan (01:45):
Dr. Cabeca, welcome to 40+ Fitness. Again.

Dr. Cabeca (01:48):
Great to be here with you, Allan.

Allan (01:50):
I'm pretty excited to have you here because you know when, when keto first came out, people started calling it the bacon diet and of course all the people that were on keto were like, yeah, you get to eat bacon, isn't that great. But it's not a bacon diet and your book, Keto Green 16 I think really is a good guideline for how you can eat keto and eat healthy at the same time.

Dr. Cabeca (02:15):
Yes. And the intention was that through my experience going keto and then really struggling and going keto crazy as I like to say, was finding a really healthy way to do it because really getting keto in the healthiest way possible after, during perimenopause and well beyond is essential, is essential for women.

Allan (02:37):
Yeah. And I think that's one of the things that is kind of a differentiator out there is whenever something like this comes up, be paleo or keto or even vegan, we like to batch everybody together and say, this is the diet, this is how you need to eat and keto is very much that way too. It said, okay, you eat this amount of fat, you eat this amount of carbs, you eat this amount of protein, go. And it really didn't give anybody any guidelines on how to get proper nutrition.

Dr. Cabeca (03:04):
Right. Exactly. And one of the things I've done is, create a keto calculator, especially again for women. Women have to do keto differently than men Allan. And it's important to understand that because men have 10 times as much testosterone as women. But looking at our healthy fats and the kind of fats we eat, but always balancing it with high quality protein and lots of fiber from low carbohydrate greens that just, that's a shift. There's so many physiologic and chemical reasons for the shift. But for me it was game changing. And this was, gosh, way back when I was 48 and I was hitting what I like to call my second menopause because I was diagnosed with menopause at age 39. I have not had an easy medical, personal life, but at age 39 diagnosed with early menopause and then reversed it to go on and have a baby at age 41 and then at 48 experiencing these really harsh symptoms of weight gain despite not doing anything different. That weight gain, despite not doing anything different. Man, it is a complaint that patients would come in and tell me about. And until I experienced it myself humbly, I admit this to you, Allan, is that, you know, I was like really sure. How could that be possible? Right? But that happened to me,

Allan (04:26):
right? And I think that's one of the kind of the misnomers out there. I guess myths out there is that, Oh, if you're, if you're gaining weight, you must have obviously be eating more. But the reality is that's not necessarily true in many cases. It just means that some of our key hormones are out of balance and we're not managing those well. But The keto green diet that you have, it can really help us manage these hormones in the book you identify and the 13 key weight loss hormones. And I would love to go back through those cause I think most of them I've talked about at one point or another on the podcast, but it'd be really nice to just kind of have them like wrapped in a bow right here. Could you take just a few minutes to go over what I call it, the weight loss hormones?

Dr. Cabeca (05:08):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think like, you know, we just go over, these hormones work intricately individually and so they're so interconnected. They are so interconnected and we start with cortisol, and so really call it the weight gain hormone versus a weight loss hormone. But it is when we get cortisol and balance that can really help trim us down. But cortisol being our, it's the hormone of precedence right now during our stressful times and our stressful situation that we're in right now. And this is the stress hormone that increases glucose in our body because we need more fuel when we're stressed to survive, thrive, Brian move. And also it is, you know, whether it's a physical stress or mental stress or perceived stress, that inreases, increases cortisol and that will also cause weight gain. Cortisol will affect our thyroid and will affect our decrease our progesterone or neuroprotective hormone.

Dr. Cabeca (06:10):
So we can have more emotional swings during this time, more moodiness. And it can also be when cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down and that's one of the other hormones. Now oxytocin is one of my favorite hormones. It is the love connection hormone bonding hormone. It's the hormone we experience in abundance with orgasm, with pleasure, with laughter, with play. And it is a powerful alkalinizing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative hormone. We've looked at studies and older population looking at oxytocin on muscle cell growth and increased oxytocin, increases muscle cell regeneration, which we need, especially as we're getting older. So that hormone oxytocin, it's really important to understand. And in my first book, the Hormone Facts, I spent a whole, I spent a lot of time discussing the interrelationship between cortisol and oxytocin. And it's worth mentioning now, Allan, because in this stress time we're often, we're increasing cortisol, which also breaks down willpower.

Dr. Cabeca (07:27):
So if we're experiencing cravings or I've had some clients who have relapsed and we have this discussion was like, look, this is a function of the physiology of what you're experiencing. So let's, you know, right back on, let's create the practices and principles that are going to keep us healthy, sane, and on course during this time. So it, you know, it's really that big, it's really a big deal. And when cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down. It's kind of like the Seesaw. Cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down. And so we feel more disconnected, less enthusiasm. And you know, we're really struggling already. Our healthcare providers are really struggling with burnout. And so add on the added stressors, we're experiencing that even more. But when cortisol is up for a longer time period, and this is really important, is that cortisol is up for a long time period an area in our brain are basically is saying, okay, shut down, you're frying me out.

Dr. Cabeca (08:28):
So cortisol goes low and oxytocin goes low at the same time and we get into this dangerous disconnect, this dangerous cortisol. So I went oxytocin, slow burnout. It's the physiology of divorce, it's the physiology of burnout, it's the physiology of trauma and PTSD for a long period of time. And you know, and so it's often what I see very much in my clients who've experienced trauma or PTSD. I see this physiologic condition and oxytocin though as far as when it comes tying it back into weight loss hormone, we know when we fall in love, like we're not hungry, we lose weight, we feel better. That's oxytocin and we want to keep that stronger. And so the next hormone that I talk about in my book is insulin. The more insulin sensitive we become, the more resilient we become. And this is needed now more than ever.

Dr. Cabeca (09:27):
Blue coasts can affect your immune system negatively. Too much sugar in your system. Yeah, and insulin. As we become more insulin resistant, that also negatively affects our immune system, but the more insulin sensitive we become through going Kito, Keto Green and intermittent fasting and extended fasting. That impact that again increases insulin resistance. What I've seen in my clients in that following my new book, the keto green 16 plan I've seen in in just as little as one month a woman at 50 year old woman's hemoglobin A1C go down from 60 to 5.4. 6.0 sorry, 6.0 to 5.4 in just one month, which is huge because if we move a point like a 0.1 if we move that work static, she went down six points in just one month so..

Allan (10:28):
And so she's no longer diabetic.

Dr. Cabeca (10:30):
She is no longer pre-diabetic. This is exactly right. Exactly right and just one month and so what a shift and the lower hemoglobin A1C, the less inflammation in our body, a gold target number for hemoglobin C is 5.0 and again a huge marker of insulin. So in Keto Green 16 we've really come a long way and to creating this in, you know, this increasing insulin sensitivity and the more insulin sensitive we are, the less hungry we are too, the more willpower we have, the less inflammation we have.

Allan (11:05):
And that's because our body's able to pull our own body fat to basically give us the energy to do the things we're doing. We don't necessarily need that sugar for fuel to do it.

Dr. Cabeca (11:15):
Right. Right.

Allan (11:17):
Now you also talk about the other sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can you talk a little bit about those?

Dr. Cabeca (11:25):
Yeah, it's estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. These are really well known as our reproductive hormones, our sex steroids, such as estrogen and testosterone specifically. But these are all involved and these are the hormones that we think about predominantly when we're thinking about reproduction. And as a gynecologist and obstetrician, these are hormones that I spent, and their pathways, I spent years studying. But this is where it kinda, you know, when I think about when it goes back to it, you know, cortisol, insulin and oxytocin are the major hormones and these kind of in under those. And so with all of these hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and DHEA, they all have a role in our metabolism and are, you know, they either they help to build us up, especially testosterone and DHEA, our more androgenic hormones and DHEA being pro- hormone that is needed to make testosterone and estrogen. So, and DHEA is a hormone that is depleted in times of stress, in favor of producing cortisol. So when we need to make cortisol, we're going to make cortisol over DHEA.

Allan (12:38):
Yeah. Because we don't need to reproduce. If we're, if we're running for our lives, then we're not thinking about offspring at that point in time.

Dr. Cabeca (12:45):
Exactly. Our body is conserving our reproductive potential. It's conserving everything to go towards the production of cortisol. And cortisol also will cause the depletion of progesterone because cortisol is made a derived from progesterone. So as we make cortisol, this very important progesterone is one of our mother hormones, not as it only, it's in men and women pro. It's comes from the words pro life essentially pro gestation, pro pregnancy, pro life. And progesterone is a neuroprotective hormone in both men and women. There have been many studies with progesterone in traumatic brain injury. Initial studies were done at my Alma mater, at Emory university in the ICU and the intensive care unit at Emory's, the neuro intensive care unit and looked at giving IV progesterone in clients with traumatic brain injury. And what the preliminary research showed is that when given bioidentical progesterone, patients who had traumatic brain injury fared much better. It's really fascinating on this aspect. This is a little tangent, but you don't mind Allan, do you?

Allan (14:00):
Not at all. Not at all. I'm always out to learn something new.

Dr. Cabeca (14:04):
Well it's so fascinating about this experience with pedestrian is that when they noted that women who were pre-menstrual had and had a traumatic brain injury, fared better than others who were not. So that's where the original research, a very observant clinician, made the observation and that led to the study of progesterone as a resuscitative measure, essentially in traumatic brain injury, both men and women. And from there, there's so much research on progesterone. We are in the infancy. I have no doubt that progesterone will be used and more highly recommended in the perimenopause menopause time period as well as a little bit for men. As we get older, for neuroprotective ability. It also boost our immune system supports TH2 immunity. So I just thought that was a fascinating point about progesterone in the brain.

Allan (15:04):
It is. It is.

Dr. Cabeca (15:06):
And so, so that's, that's pretty much that. And then when I talk about other hormones in the book, it's also the hormones of Thai tea and hunger. So leptin and Ghrelin are two other hormones that I talk about and we can be them resistant. I mean leptin resistant. So just like with insulin, like we never satisfied there in that song. Have you seen the musical Holton?

Allan (15:31):
I'm sorry I haven't, no, I'm not a big, I'm not a big musical guy.

New Speaker (15:38):
Oh my gosh, you've gotta listen to this musical. The music is bull and actually the producer perform for the white house for a bog, you know, and, and it's been, see, so it is, it just spending way, there's a song that I will never be satisfied that that's leptin resistance. That's leptin resistance. So that feeling of never actually like, okay, I've eaten. Why am I hungry again?

Dr. Cabeca (16:05):
I'm never feeling satisfied. And that's kind of where leptin resistance comes in too. And then Ghrelin is our hunger hormone. When we start fasting, we can get really, really hungry and we know we're not going to die, right? We know that we're not going to die. We can go a long time without food. We can really go months without food, not without water. But we can go months without food. And Ghrelin hormone though when you're fasting peaks at day two of your fasting. So just like anything else, when we start doing more of the intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting, note that that is like increasing Ghrelin sensitivity so to speak is a muscle. Like anything else that we're going to exercise, we are going to work to build up to do longer and longer fast. But day two, Ghrelin this hunger hormone is peaking, making us think that we're going to die because we're, we're so hungry.

Dr. Cabeca (16:55):
Just take some deep breaths, drink plenty of water and, do you know that will go away by day three you're like, Oh man, I continue fasting for quite awhile. So that's that Ghrelin hunger hormone. Okay.

Allan (17:09):
And then you also in the book, I think you talked about adiponectin?

Dr. Cabeca (17:14):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I left adiponectin now. I love adiponectin. This is really fascinating. I really just began to learn, I think there's so much to learn about adiponectin, but just like our sex hormones, adiponectin decreases as we age. There is an internal clock somewhere that manages adiponectin secretion because I think this is the reason why we gained weight as we're getting older without doing anything different. I mean there's a combination, but adiponectin to play right into this. This has to relate to our metabolism. And the higher adiponectin is the higher our metabolism is. So intermittent fasting can, and getting Keto Green, getting into ketosis in a healthy way can really help improve levels of adiponectin to we're actually increasing our metabolism.

Allan (18:05):
Now, one of the things about the Keto Green 16 is that it's an alkaline style of eating. Can you explain why that's important.

Dr. Cabeca (18:15):
Yes. Well, you know, it goes back to kind of my story. As I turned 48 and I was gaining weight without doing anything different, I knew, and I had been well over 240 pounds in the past. I've lost 80 pounds, kept it off for nearly that decade and just started gaining weight and anyone who's lost a significant amount of weight and starts gaining weight, often you feel like, Oh my gosh, when is this ever gonna stop? Like, I'll be 300 pounds before this weight gain stops because I, nothing I'm doing is causing and I'm not, you know, I'm like, I'm not going through Starbucks. I'm not going through Dunkin donuts. I'm not doing anything different than what I've been doing. And it's very frustrating. It has to do a lot with these hormones. And also again, the stress hormone, the stress hormones as well.

Dr. Cabeca (19:03):
But I went straight keto. I'm like, okay, I've used this for my patients with neurologic symptoms and basically a modified form for my patients on candida protocols and, or who have had chronic yeast infections. And so I just really restrict carbs, increasing fats and protein. And within a few short days, I was feeling very, you know, it's not keto flu. It was really, I call it keto crazy. I was irritable, agitated on edge, and I was a single mom of teenagers. There's no way that I or my daughters could survive me going keto. And I was very interested. I'm a scientist. I was a scientist for the us Navy before I went to medical school, I studied metabolism and I worked in research and metabolism and I was like, well, what is going on here? Really what is going on here? And so I started doing what I asked all my patients to do when I detox them.

Dr. Cabeca (20:00):
And as part of like a principle for like another vital sign is to check urine pH. And as I was checking my urine pH, I was acidic as the pH paper would read. And this is something everyone listening really should do. It tells us so much about our body, how we're nourishing our body and how we're controlling our stress. Cause lo and behold, the more stressed we are, the more acidic our urine pH is. So it's not just about what I, what we eat. But you know, I did not study that. I observed it. So as I was, you know, as I've recognized how acidic I was, I added in all these very low carbohydrate greens based on science for hormone balance. So the dark leafy, the charred, the collard, the kale, the beet cranes, and then the cruciferous vegetables. This is part of my Keto Green, 16. 16 key foods, scientifically studied and shown to help with hormone balance.

Dr. Cabeca (21:00):
And so, you know, the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and cauliflower. Oh my gosh cauliflower mash. So good. Yes. And so incorporated these in. But I also noted that on the mornings I walked on the beach or did my gratitude journaling and had my prayer time. My urine pH was more alkaline all day. So I recognized quickly like, okay, well what's the connection here? And that's where I found out that cortisol create by increasing hydrogen ion secretion across the renal tubules, it creates an acidic urine pH. So here we can use urine pH as a vital sign for how, we're affecting ourselves basically epigenetically even. So just that concept of how we are interacting with our environment, not just with what we eat, but with how we think about how we're living, how we're perceived, perceiving life, how we're appreciating each other and how that affects our physiology.

Dr. Cabeca (22:06):
So the alkaline piece, I started shifting, getting more of the greens and becoming more alkaline and then pushing into ketosis. And that was like a light bulb moment because I felt so clear that, you know, the keto crazy went completely away. I felt like what I call energized enlightenment. I felt a higher connection to God. I felt just the sense of peace and calm and nothing in my external environment had changed, still had teenagers. Still was a single mom raising kids, solely supporting my family. But my peace and biblically we talk about the peace that surpasses all understanding the peace, which surpasses all understanding. I have a glimpse of that for the first time. And the first time I would say, yeah, basically a decade since I lost my son, I experienced this peace and profoundly so I also got my memory back cause from stress and you know, acidity.

Dr. Cabeca (23:07):
I had brain fog and was thinking I felt like this early signs of dementia and as so many of my patients would come in and say this to me, right. But, like they were experiencing these symptoms. So that's this combination of getting an alkaline urine pH, getting more alkalinizes in your body, using it from the nutritional and lifestyle approach and getting into ketosis, getting into ketosis. Oh my gosh. That combination, energized, enlightenment, clarity. I could never have written a book, let alone two. And you know, I probably, you know, and even run my business. I just want to say exponential from near broke to a very, very purposeful and profitable business.

Allan (23:54):
Yeah. And, and I'll also attest if you're, you know, writing a book is not an easy task in and of itself, but doing that while you're also running a business and doing the kids and everything else and trying to keep it all together that is a huge, huge thing.

Dr. Cabeca (24:12):
Oh, I second that too. And I know you're writing a book right now too. I mean, it is a challenge. Kudos to you. Because for 10 years, for over a decade, I wanted to write a book. I never was able to get a page done. And this state of being and this clarity is just hugely transformative. And which is what we need. And especially for women. That's my area. Women are my area of focus and my priority, sorry Allan and all you men who are listening, but when women are better, you guys are better too. You know that.

Allan (24:44):
True story. True story and I think the other thing that I'd like to mention is the foods that you're talking about, the leafy greens and the cruciferous and you also in the book you talk about some of the fermented foods as well. All of those are feeding your gut, which is a big, huge, I mean, it's a huge part of our immune system. So in addition to the clarity and the other things that are going well for you being in this keto alkaline state, you're also making sure that you're giving your body what it needs to protect us.

Dr. Cabeca (25:19):
Absolutely. Absolutely. It comes down to the micro nutrients over the macro nutrients.

Allan (25:25):
Now this diet, I mean, I again, I look at keto and I say, okay, you can't, I don't like to call keto diet because in effect it's, it's, it's more than that if you, if you want to stay this way. I mean, if you want some short term results, yes you can get it. But in the book you talk about 16 days and I see that as a kind of a bite size start where we're going to really learn some things about our eating and our health and our body. Can you talk about why you said 16 what's, what's the key there to 16 days.

Dr. Cabeca (25:55):
Sweet 16. I love that number. 16 candles. All girls. All girls.

Allan (26:03):
Well girls. Okay. Okay. All girls. Okay. There you go.

Dr. Cabeca (26:07):
All girls, one son. Yeah. And and so the 16 has a lot of, like I was thinking about what number would really characterize this plan the best and how quickly can we get results. Right. And also something that's different. So we don't have like patterns of your 14 day or 21 day, so 16 is different. But also from a numeral logic perspective, it's a time of new beginnings. Really. It's time of like claiming your own strengths. And you know, for me it just resonated in a really way that in 16 days, you know, what's the shortest amount of time? Cause we always hear 21 days to change a habit. But I didn't buy that. So I went to the research and I also played around with all different types of programs and lacks of programs. And in 16 days we can get really tremendous results. And so that's my 16.

Allan (27:05):
Yeah, and, and I completely agree. If you, if you get past two weeks eating keto and at that point you're keto, somewhat fat adapted, your body's starting to use body fat for energy. You're giving your body that the micronutrients that needs to do the style of eating here. Basically, yes, you're going to start seeing the initial results for this. And most people that I've worked with that go into keto and myself, when I go in and out of ketosis, when I go into ketosis, I'm almost guaranteed to lose five pounds the first week. And then by the 16th day I've probably lost anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds if, if I'm really on it and doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So I agree with you. I think you can see some tremendous results in just the 16 days. In the book you get into keto, clean and keto dirty. Could you take just a moment to get into those two concepts?

Dr. Cabeca (28:02):
Well, yes. So when we, as you started this podcast with, you know, the concept of when we think about keto, keto dirty eating bacon, bacon and butter and processed foods and processed cheeses, it certainly will get us into ketosis, but it's not providing our bodies the micronutrients that we need to thrive on. Yes. Can we survive? Sure. But will we thrive, no. And so that's what I call keto, dirty. So there's again, so, so many ways to be keto right? We'll go into ketosis by eating nothing. Right. That's fascinating. We'll go into ketosis by eating nothing but with keto I say Keto Green, keto, dirty versus keto clean, which clean eating healthy food, ideally free range, wild caught, fresh, organic, grown in your backyard. Now I don't know about you, but I'm growing a garden and it is keto. So keto clean is Keto Green and that's the concept of a really balanced, nourishing approach to keto.

Allan (29:03):
Yeah. Now you define those other way. I saw you list them in the book, I think you called them the 16 sexy, slim younger foods. Could you take just a minute to kind of go through those really quickly?

Dr. Cabeca (29:14):
Yes. Yeah. Happy to. So the 16 foods that really can help support our bodies. Definitely the, I'm a fan, it's an omnivore diet, but in Keto Green 16, I also have a 16 day vegan plan. So substituting out my first three foods, which are B for bison, chicken and fish substitute and got out for black beans, white beans and chickpeas in my vegan plan or Tempe or tofu can always be a non-GMO, can always be substituted. So B or bison, chicken, fish are the key protein sources. And for healthy fat we're looking at our oils. So as another ingredient, for example, our olive oils or nuts or seeds, oils are fine, but olive oil in particular has so many great oleic acid is good for our heart. It's good for our flexibility or blood vessels. So I incorporate that in there as well as healthy fats from avocados.

Dr. Cabeca (30:12):
Avocados get a special place in my heart. They're just amazing. They go from making a hearty sandwich to like a key lime pie dessert. I should share my key lime pie avocado recipe. It's really amazing. And so, you know, avocado put into your smoothie just makes it so creamy and delicious is seriously a super food. So, and then nuts and seeds, so nuts specifically that I recommend are Brazil nuts cause they're rich in selenium or pinoli nuts, which are high in fat and fiber. But zero, low, very lowest carbs. And it's just a really delicious nut, and so the certain nuts are available, but also then the cruciferous vegetables and then the dark leafy greens and they each get their own category because I really like the incorporation of a variety of foods. And then we have some citrus lime or lemon as another key ingredient.

Dr. Cabeca (31:12):
And I'm missing, and then of course the alliums for sulfation such, so allium such as onions and garlic and the different groups to understand the reasoning for my composition of my recipes as well as choosing these foods. I wanted to cover every pathway for our body to helpfully detoxify our hormones. And so again, whether we're getting hormones exogenously through like hormones we're taking or Xeno estrogens from, even pesticides, herbicides, plastics, parabens and cosmetics and stuff that we're detoxifying them as safely as possible and efficiently as possible. So the food groups I chose were to help with these detoxification pathways, methylation, sulfation and glucuronidation. So that's the, the bulk of the 16 sexy, slim and younger foods.

Allan (32:12):
And you do, you have recipes in the book, you have a full meal plan. So it's, it's all out there laid out for us. And again, the vegan version as well. So it's not like you have to go through and decide that you're going to eat the beef and the chicken and the fish if you prefer. You approach us from a vegan perspective, which I think is a new relatively new concept when we start talking about keto. Is that they don't seem like they get along, but you can in fact be keto and vegan.

Dr. Cabeca (32:39):
Yeah, you can. And it's, it's really good periodically to lay off the, you know, animal meats, I say at least once or twice a year. I mean, we can all do that, you know, and its just to give your body and a chance to rest and increase the fiber to help with Kalanick health and that can make a big difference too, to do periodic fasting from meat in general.

Allan (33:04):
Well, there you go with that. There you go with that F word again. And I just want to explain why you have another F word in the book. So you do talk about fasting, but you also talk about feasting.

Dr. Cabeca (33:14):

Allan (33:15):
Because we don't just fast or we don't just eat keto. You do have periods of time when you kind of, I guess for lack of a better word, the way we would say it in the bodybuilding or the exercise field is, is that you basically carb load or you actually do bring in more carbs for a period of time. Can you, can you talk about that process?

Dr. Cabeca (33:33):
Yeah, that's essential. It's essential. That's what bodybuilders know, right? The importance of carb loading, but also metabolic flexibility and that's the reason we feast metabolic flexibility. Plus I'm a natural glutton. I love my feasting. I love it.

Allan (33:52):
Now you are a big fan also of measuring, so measuring your glucose, measuring your ketones and as you mentioned earlier, your pH. You talk a little bit about that measurement and how we should go about that, particularly during these 16 days.

Dr. Cabeca (34:05):
Yeah. You know if anyone has access to get the freestyle Libra prescribed by their physician, it should be over the counter, but it's not, it's a continuous monitor that goes in your arm. It's like a patch basically that sticks on your arm. It has a small filament that goes into the tissue and stays there for two weeks. But that's a way to continuously monitor your blood sugar. I wore that, I've worn that basically on and off for the past year, almost continuously for measuring the food and the food choices and the menu combinations and my plan for Keto Green 16. And it's so fascinating to see how, what increases your blood sugar and what doesn't. So in the keto world, you'll often hear, we'll have a cup of coffee while I had, you know, also in where, you know, I knew that coffee was impairing me from weight loss.

Dr. Cabeca (34:58):
It was creating a plateau and I struggled with it. Cause every time I would take my coffee break, I would easily lose three to four pounds in a week. And I was like, how does that make sense? Coffee has no calories. But yes, in some of us it increases and most of us it increases cortisol, which will then increase glucose. So that was by theory. But when I started wearing this patch, Allan, I saw my blood sugar in the morning just drinking a cup of coffee. And even if I was reading or whatever, but just to drinking a cup of coffee, my blood sugar was going up 20 to 30 points, easy in the morning. Isn't that fascinating?

Allan (35:32):
You're right and it's taxing your insulin because now your pancreas has to pump out a bunch of insulin to say, Hey, let's fix this problem. So the brain doesn't freak out because you know, no one wants to get mom mad. So we gotta clean up this mess. And yeah, so you, you're not losing any body fat at that point. And it's actually probably then putting you back into a point where now you're, your blood sugar drops too fast because you didn't actually eat anything. And then now you're wanting to, you know, now you're hungry now, now you're hangry. You're wanting to actually add that sugar. So yeah, I could see that being a big trigger for folks to know. And so measuring your blood glucose, measuring your ketones, measuring your pH will give you kind of the, the general scope of knowing that you're on track with this.

Dr. Cabeca (36:19):
Yeah, it absolutely will, and you know, I'm a big fan of exactly what gets measured, gets managed. And so periodically, you know, weighing and definitely measuring urine pH and ketones to start is essential to discover what's working for you and what's not working for you and personalizing your nutritional and lifestyle plan.

Allan (36:44):
Yeah. And you actually have on your site, I think you have, you sell some strips that you can measure your pH and your ketones all at the same time.

Dr. Cabeca (36:54):
Yeah, I made them, I had them manufactured for me because I didn't like having two separate strips. And what's really unique about these, then I found out because ketones and pH, that's an acid and a base. They were running into each other. So I had to put a blank strip in between, blank pad. So on one strip you can measure both your urine ketones and your urine pH.

Allan (37:14):
Okay, good, good. Now I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Dr. Cabeca (37:24):
You know, we just talking about test don't guess, and I'm going to tell you that especially now in times of increased stress is really getting control of our mental and personal mental atmosphere by testing, testing, urine, pH. I mean, it's just easy to do. It's so enlightening. So that's number one. And number two is that second part is gaining control of our mental atmosphere. Where we direct our thoughts is where we go physiologically. So shifting that to being the healthiest, most brilliant, sexiest selves we can be is key for resilience and managing cortisol and increasing oxytocin. So that's key. And the third part is regarding a strategy or tactics to get and stay well is it's, you know, so many, but you know, I'm trying to debate between sleep and, and movement. And I would just say movement, movement, flexibility on a regular basis, working out, dancing, exercising, getting up and moving together is so critically important. And especially now as the first couple of weeks of quarantine, I was like, I was, you know, definitely not moving so much. And now I've made it a principal to get on my walking desk treadmill to get outside when I can and to really make sure that in my life and in my children's life, we are moving and moving together.

Allan (38:55):
Cool. Well, Dr. Cabeca, thank you so much for being on the podcast. If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book and all the things that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Cabeca (39:06):
Ooh, I would love them too. I would love them to, so come to my, DrAnna.com. That's my website. And there's lots of good information plus the book bonuses and information you can get Keto Green 16 anywhere books are sold. But one thing that I do encourage also is creating this healthy community. So join me on my Instagram page and in Facebook where I have my, keto green community and it's just likeminded people working through this together.

Allan (39:37):
Okay. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/433 and I'll be sure to have links there. So Dr. Cabeca, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Cabeca (39:48):
I'm honored. Thank you for having me.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Body by starfleet with Robb Pearlman

Robb Pearlman makes exercise fun by giving you a fitness program in his book, Star Trek: Body by Starfleet.


Allan (00:59):
Robb, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Robb (01:02):
Thanks so much, Allan.

Allan (01:03):
You know when I saw your book Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide, I had to get you on the show. There's just no way. I'm a science fiction fan, I would not say as far as fanatic, you know, I'm not the convention or I'm not the, and the person that's going to collect a lot of things. Uh, but I really, really do enjoy just sitting down and watching something like star Trek. Because it kind of, it expands my mind. It makes me think things differently as you kind of go through these stories. Uh, and it just gives them so much creative opportunity that I just, I really enjoy science fiction. So when you kind of pair up, uh, that with, you know, my love for fitness and like, okay, yeah, this is, this is really, really cool.

Robb (01:42):
It's like two great tastes that taste great together for you.

Allan (01:44):
And they do, you know, this is, yeah, this is not two great things you put together and tastes like crap. This, this actually works, you know? And so, uh, as I got into the book, uh, you know, basically it was just really cool. You obviously you used the series, and kind of put that all together to say, you know, how do I get myself fit? What are some exercises I can do? You often paired them up with a character sure. Or characters, from the series just to really make it fun. And then, you know, the artwork, you got a guy that was doing some art for you to draw these exercises out. So there's, there's visual interpretations of what it would look like, which is also really, really good.

Robb (02:25):
Yeah. The artists whose name is Jason Kaiser did an amazing, amazing job illustrating all of the different steps for all the exercises.

Allan (02:32):
Okay. So, you know, I guess I'll come off with the first question and, I kind of have an idea, but, I wanted to hear from you. Why is fitness important to members of Starfleet?

Robb (02:43):
You know, I think with any, any organization, regardless of the size, you're only as strong as your quote unquote weakest member. You know, Starfleet has always had each other's backs, whether it's in the dominion war or any other large scale conflict or just on the bridge of, uh, of the enterprise. Everyone is all rooting for each other. It's, you know, they're not gonna leave anybody behind. So part of that is being as physically fit as you can. I mean, obviously there are people who have different fitness levels who are differently abled, but at least everyone tries their hardest to pull their own weight.

Allan (03:17):
Yeah. And you're not the red shirt that's gonna disappear after the first three minutes of the episode. You know, you're, you're meant to be on this earth for a long, long time. And so being fit for task I think is really, really important. And that's what you kind of saw. Uh, most of the, most of the characters on there were, we're generally fit. There were some characters typically on the wrong side of the things that weren't all that fit. They were, they were effectively like a military style unit. We did things, we went by rank. And so, you know, yeah, fitness has always been an important thing for the military.

Allan (03:53):
Anything you want to do in life, you're going to need the fitness do so. So I'm excited to kind of get into some of the things that we can do as, uh, we are members of our own Starfleet. Our body is our spaceship and what can we do to make it as fit as possible?

Robb (04:08):
Thats very philosophical. I like it!

Allan (04:11):
Well, we're just flying through space. Right. And it's boldly go. And I think a lot of people when I hear the term workout or you know, they hear train or they hear exercise easy to get overwhelmed and I like how you approach this and thinking this is not something that you have to go to a full service, big box gym to have all the different implements because you know, of course everywhere else and you know, and then Starfleet they had access to, you know, try quarters and all these other tools and gadgets and phasers and tractors and all this stuff. We don't have to have that much to do what you're having us do in this workout or these exercise.

Robb (04:54):
Yeah, no, not really. I mean it definitely helps if you've got standard gravity. You know when I started working out, I was extraordinarily intimidated and I didn't like working out. And quite honestly, it's still not my favorite thing in the world, but I noticed that if I was able to have fun with it, if I was able to “engage” pun sort of intended with the people around me or even just sort of internally I was, the workouts were going faster, they were a little bit easier. My mind was a little bit occupied. You know, when I was consulting with Chris Tutela, who was my trainer on the book, I wanted to make sure that the vast majority of these exercises, we're accessible for people of all different fitness levels and especially for people who didn't necessarily have a gym membership. So I think probably 80 85% of these exercises are just body weight. And then, as you progress, there's ways to increase the strength level on things. You can incorporate dumbbells or resistance bands or you know, some moderate pieces of equipment like benches and things like that. But for the most part it's, it's really bodyweight and very accessible for people of all different fitness levels.

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Allan (06:19):
Yeah. I liked the way that you scaled these, you know, you can go from being an incent to a Lieutenant, to a captain on some of these exercises. So there is a progressive model here for many of them. And there are a lot of them are pretty much compound movements. Good focus on core, a lot of cardiovascular work. Yeah. Good balance of exercises. And you know, as I kind of went through it, I'm like, you know, this, this is going to cover everything. And these are, some of these are, I wouldn't say redundant, they're just different ways to approach, kind of the same thing. But you can piece these together if someone were going to go through, like, you know, they get it and there's all these different exercises and you know, there's some Spock stuff. There's Tribbles, there's O'Hare

Robb (07:03):
You know you stayed away from a lot of the captains, but you got into Riker and some of the other first lieutenants he got, he got into a lot of it. You know, there wasn't a lot of, I want to work out like captain Kirk or you know. But you know you got into them. There's a lot of exercises, a lot of opportunity for us to do. And I liked what you said. It's important. It's fun. Yeah, there's a way to go about this. It's not a go do all of them or here's a workout, kill yourself. You've set this up very, very holistically for us. Can you kind of talk how someone should go through the book and use it as a tool?

Robb (07:35):
Yeah, I think to your first point, I try to pair up the exercises, all of which are actual real exercises with characters or situations that felt organic to it. I didn't necessarily want to shoehorn in a character just to have them in the book. So Rikers leg extensions made sense because you're sort of mimicking the, the very unique way that Ryker sat in his chair or you know, Tillys sprints. makes sense because there were a couple of scenes of Tilly sprinting around discovery. The book is organized with stretches and warmups and conditioning, then powering up your warp core and exercises for your upper body, lower body. And we ended it with special exercises for non humanoid species because even a Horton needs to work out every once in a while. So I always recommend that everyone start with the stretchers and the warmups regardless of what you're doing.

Robb (08:31):
And you don't have to do all of them. These are just sort of simple movements just to get your body ready and get your blood pumping a little bit. And then we didn't want to make this a one size fits all book. So we wanted people to consult with their own trainers, consult with their own doctors, really think about their individual needs and goals and fitness levels and sort of pick and choose which upper body core and lower body exercises they want it to do. There's about 30 or 35 exercises and we certainly don't want everyone to do every exercise all the time. That would be a little bit much. But you know, sort of pick and choose. And then you can sort of gradually build on that for half an hour or an hour. You know, the conditioning workouts are really supplemental to the upper body, lower body and core. So if you wanted to do conditioning's on, let's say Tuesdays and Thursdays and then work your upper body on Mondays or lower body on Tuesdays, we really wanted to give something for everybody and a little bit of a smorgasbord for people to choose from.

Allan (09:35):
Yeah. And each exercise in addition to the picture that kind of displaying it, you go through a very cool way of explaining how to do each exercise. You know, your starting position and then the movement pattern. Uh, so it's real fun. And again, I've said that several times. I think that's it. If anyone, if you like Star Trek even remotely like Star Trek and you're looking for, uh, some exercises you can do just about anywhere, which, you know, I don't usually talk about the timing of us recording, but we are, uh, we are right now in a lockdown. I had to close my gym. And so everybody that was going to the gym now doesn't have access to that. But this is something you can do on your own and you can do it still complying with the distancing that you need because you can do it in your living room, you can go out and you know, if it's a sidewalk or a set of stairs and around you, you can go up those. So there's a lot of variety here and a lot of opportunity. Like I said, for you to stay active during a time when it's probably going to be pretty good to get away from the press and think about something fun like this. So really, like I said, it's, it's a cool little setup. I like the way it's, everything's structured. Yeah. I might have to have you explain how some of those non-humanoid weight exercises work because I had a hard time, hard time visualizing some of them, but for the most part all of them are really easy to follow. You go through it. Each movement's well-described. So again, pretty, pretty cool little book.

Robb (11:00):
Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I want it to get people laughing while they were doing squats. So, for the casual Star Trek fan, there's plenty to enjoy. But I also inserted lots of different Easter eggs within some of the exercises for the real hardcore people to get to.

Allan (11:17):
Well I like I said, not exactly hardcore, but I got a lot of them and I thought, okay, this is this again, this is a fun, fun book. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fitest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Robb (11:34):
You know, I think for me at least, they're mostly mental, you know, making the decision to embark on a fitness routine. That was key for me. It was feeling lethargic and tired and not very healthy and my clothes were fitting a little weird and just didn't feel mentally on my game and I just decided I'm going to make a change. So I started going to this gym, so that was step one for me. Step two was being consistent and keeping at it and know I was, I'm not a morning workout person, I'm just not that awake enough for it. So my workouts have always been after work in the evenings. And you know, sometimes the commute home isn't very good, but I made a promise to myself just to get off that bus and do what I needed to do and then get to the gym and do it. And remembering that that hour or an hour and a half at the gym was just for me. And that I was, I was working toward a goal and you know.

New Speaker (12:36):
I think third for me, there has always been remembering why I started this in the first place. It wasn't to be the thinnest or the most muscular or the past is, it was just to make positive choices and positive changes in my life, which could then effect change for me, but then change for everybody else too. And I think I tried to make it clear in the book that this isn't about being the fastest or the skinniest or the best basketball player. It's just about making those small little changes that could lead to bigger changes and bigger changes and have a ripple effect on that.

Allan (13:14):
I really liked those. Robb, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Body by Starfleet a fitness guide. Yeah. Where would you like for me to send them?

Robb (13:24):
I think the best place is just my website. It's Robbperlman.com and there you'll see Body by Starfleet, the other Star Trek books I've written and a bunch of the other books I've written as well.

Allan (13:38):
and you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/432 and I'll be sure to have a link there. So Rob, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness and live long and prosper.

Robb (13:50):
Thank you. Allan talk to you soon.


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Another episode you may enjoy


April 27, 2020

Setting your nutrition cruise control

Today we discuss the easiest way to stay on your eating plan by setting your nutrition cruise control.


Today's episode is called setting your nutrition cruise control. I chose this topic because cruise control very much aligns with the roadmap prospects of the way that I did in The Wellness Roadmap. And that process is all about helping you get healthy and get fit and, and be happy with the lifestyle that you've set for yourself. And the easiest way to do that is when you can make things automatic, like setting your cruise control. So as you might guess, setting a cruise control is very much like building habits. And so we currently have our eating habits. And if you're like most people, you probably have about maybe a dozen different foods that you eat on almost a regular basis. So we have our regular foods, we have our regular treats, we have the things that we do, and we're all fairly consistent at that.

At least most people are. If you're, if you're eating a wider variety than that, then that's probably good for you. But in a general sense, most of us have those GoTo foods that we have on a day, in, day out basis. And a lot of times those are based on convenience. And so in setting the cruise control, we're going to do a few things to kind of break that down. And this is effectively what I'll call a three-tier plan. So there's a, there's three things that you're going to do here, that are going to basically set you up to have your cruise control set. Okay? The first is that I want you to start logging your food. And I know that's cumbersome, but to take that weight and measure the food, measure the cups, measure, do all that measuring and then logging all that.

I know that takes a lot of time. It's very difficult at times. But taking the time to do that over a week or two is going to give you a good idea of what your core foods are, how much you're eating. It's going to give you a lot of data on the macros that you're getting on the calories that you're eating. And, and in some cases the micro nutrients that you're getting or not getting. Okay? So based on that information, you now know who, what your core foods are and you can choose that and stick to a lot of the core foods that you know are good for you. And then move away from some of those foods that are not so good for you. So that's kind of stage one is to take some time. You don't have to make any drastic changes to your eating, you just start logging it.

And that does include measuring the food. So you're going to have to measure if you know, volume or weight. It does include writing it all down or putting it into an app like My Fitness Pal. So now you have the data, what's your core eating has like over the course of those two weeks. Okay. The next thing you're going to want to do is, is come up with a plan. So this is stage two of this. We set a plan and in that plan the best way and what I found the most effective way of getting things that you need done and making sure that you're ready to move forward, with your eating in, in a cruise control fashion is to make it as convenient as possible by doing bulk cooking. And so what I will typically do when I want to do the batch cooking or the bulk cooking is I will cook like three meals, three or four meals on a Sunday, and I'll cook enough that I have basically, I would say four meals of each of those four meals.

So that's, that's 16 meals that are basically preparing at one time. And so I'm using the slow cooker. You might want to use an Instapot, you know, that can help you get things done a lot quicker. I use the grill sometimes and I'm making a sauce or doing some things on the stovetop. And so it's, it's a, it's a pretty active day. It's pretty busy. But you get a lot of food cooked, put it in containers, and then I put the bulk of those in my freezer. I'll put like the next three days worth of food in my refrigerator. Um, and I'm good to go. Um, at that point now I have my entire week pretty much planned out and if every Sunday I prepare different types of foods over time and going to have a pretty good variety of different types of foods ready to go, frozen.

And boom, there you go. It's very convenient and it really saves you a lot of time because you're doing all that cooking at one time, all at the same time. So it really is effective. And time-effective if you're crunched for time. And one of the other advantages I've found of bulk cooking is I don't have to go to the grocery store as often because I used to have to go to the grocery store about every third day just to make sure I had fresh produce in house. But now when I'm doing like a make it a marinara and I'm used, I saw her that I've got several containers of marinara sauce, I've made a bone broth and I've got several containers of that. Um, I've taken the other vegetables that I would put into a dish and I make that dish and then I freeze the dish.

So I don't have to worry about going out and getting fresh vegetables all the time because most of my meals are already prepared. So I might go to the grocery store once a week now and that's when I do my bulk buying. I also buy some produce and I'm good to go. Okay. So bulk cooking is, is kind of the second stage of this. It's very, very important because doing that really does allow you to be on cruise control. It's, it's what's convenient. It's what's there.

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Okay. And then the third stage of this is where you now go into your pantry in your freezer and refrigerator, and you start looking for those foods that are not helping you reach your goal. If your goal is weight loss and you've got a tub of ice cream in your freezer, you know that type of ice cream is not going to help you.

Now, you may still want to enjoy it and you looked at your, your logging and you say, okay, well that's only adding X number of calories, X grams of fat, X grams of sugar, and you're okay with that, then cool. That works into your plan. But if you're the kind of person like me who might go in there and eat the whole tub at one sitting, that's not gonna fit your plant. So going in and taking the time to understand those foods that weren't serving you and getting them out of your house now is a good time to do this. So you've done the book shopping, you've got some good foods for you. You're not be worried about being hungry, toss out those other foods, donate them to a shelter, something you know, just you don't need them in your house. So taking the time to clear out your pantry.

And then when you do your shopping, just stick to your list and, and stay on plants. So from the cruise control perspective, we log, so we know what our existence is, our speed, our current speed, we know what we're doing. Then we go through and we make a plan and we start batch cooking. So we're putting those foods into circulation that we want to eat. And then we're taking the third stage and we're getting rid of the foods that we no longer want to eat. So the bag of chips, the popcorn, M&Ms, whatever you have in your pantry, that you know is your go to for stress or something that's going to take you off of plan, you need to get rid of that stuff. So if you'll take those three stages, you've set a really good cruise control.

And now the final bit of this that I want to get into because you have to also think about those times when a traffic gets thicker or there's construction or there's a detour, you're obviously not going to be able to leave your cruise control on and just flow through it. It just doesn't work like that. So when there's time that, you know, maybe family is planning a dinner out or it's the holidays are coming up and you're going to be going to a family meal, um, or potluck, if we're here for her, we're to do those again. Um, you know, thing things are going to come up that you know are going to break your, your plan, they're going to get you off of your cruise control and that's okay. But you want to start setting rules for yourself and you want to start thinking through each of those types of detours before it's time to go.

So if we're talking about a dinner out, doing a little bit of research on their menu, knowing that, okay, if I, if I go this route, um, that I would normally have gone, then this is what that's gonna mean. And if I look at their menu online and see I could eat this other thing, like maybe instead of eating the, um, the casserole dish with all the cheese than the fat and the sugar, all this stuff that I would normally eat in a meal, I opt to go for the chicken and a salad and maybe some broccoli or I say, okay, I'm going to go and I'm into the fish. That's a baked fish. Yeah, there'll be a little bit of rice, but that's Ocala half of it and let the rest go. So you can kind of have these plans to go into a, the situation you turn off the cruise control, you go into the situation and then the next day you turn that cruise control back on.

And because you've done the bulk cooking because you made it convenient, it's easy for you to switch right back into things because it's right there for you. Um, you're not falling off, you're taking a detour and usually for a good reason, do it and then be ready to come right back on plan. And that's where, again, the bulk cooking and having that stuff ready, making things convenient, having the other stuff that you shouldn't be eating out of mind, out of pantry is going to set you up to do a lot better.

So, if you have any questions about how to set your nutrition cruise control, please send me an email, allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. I'd love to go over that with you can talk about other strategies to help you get on track. If you have any questions, just send me an email, allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. Thank you.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Lies my doctor told me with Dr Ken Berry

In his book, Lies My Doctor Told Me, Dr. Ken Berry explores areas where your doctor might be misleading you.


Allan (02:12):
Dr. Barry, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Berry (02:15):
Hey Allan, thanks so much for having me.

Allan (02:17):
You know, I've read your book, Lies My Doctor Told Me, I've heard you speak a few times about it as well, and I follow you on social media. So I'm really familiar with your messaging and your approach, which I think is really comfortable. You're a down-home kinda guy. And this book was written in that same kind of style that I would expect from you. This is a, you know, here's some things to think about. Here's some things to do. And I really like the approach you took with this book. Thank you. Now the title, Lies My doctor Told Me, it's a compelling title. It's, you know, it's out there. It's like, okay, well why would my doctor lie to me? Or, you know, is my doctor really lying me? What's going on there? You know, why, why do our doctors had it wrong?

Dr. Berry (03:03):
Well, if you go to get a haircut and your barber tells you, you know, you should eat more whole grains, then your barber has no fiduciary duty to your health, to your nutrition. He just has to cut your hair well. Right? And so that would just be a myth or misconception or a misstatement. But when someone is taking notes to do no harm and who has taken it upon themselves to drape the stethoscope over their shoulder, I believe they should be held to a higher standard. I believe that they should go over and above and go out of their way to actually know about the care and feeding of the human animal. And that's why I chose to use the word lie instead of myth because it's actually, it's legally a lie if your doctor gives you bad medical advice.

Dr. Berry (03:56):
That's legally looked upon in the eyes of the law as a criminal act. And that's why I chose to use that word. Even though the first publisher I thought about going with did not like that. He wanted me to change that. And that's why I initially self-published the book and then Victor Bell publishing later was happy to put out a second edition. But that's why I use that word and I understand strong language. But I think at this stage of the game, at this stage of metabolic disease where it's actually more common in the United States to have at least some of the precursors of metabolic syndrome, thats not. It's actually more common to be overweight or obese or morbidly obese than it is to have a normal body mass index. I think the time for kid gloves and, and syrupy sweet messages are over. I think it's time to be real and be honest and call things what they are.

Allan (04:51):
Yeah. You know, I was an auditor in a previous life and when I first came through, they didn't want to use the word fraud because they felt it was too out there. So we use the term irregularities and after things got bad with the WorldCom and all that kind of stuff, there was this fundamental switch where we said, no, we actually have to start using the word fraud because people are not paying attention. They think in irregularities where someone just made a mistake and we're like, no, and irregularities where someone actually did something wrong, yeah, on purpose. So let's call it fraud. Now my doctor, when I go to him and he tells me I need to get rid of the egg yolk because that's got cholesterol and it's bad for me, still believes that in his heart of hearts that I don't need the dietary cholesterol.

Allan (05:35):
So in a, in a sense as I'm talking to them, it is, it is a lie. Okay. It's a liable mission or a lie of just him not getting the education. Now doctors, they're responsible to go get CPE or I don't know what you guys call it, continuing education units, as a public account I had to do that. I had to do at least 40 hours a week, a year as well. Personal trainer, I have to go for about four days of training. Pick what training I do, why, why are doctors not looking at this crisis of obesity and saying I might want to go to a few things that are going to help me answer these questions and why my patients are getting sicker.

Dr. Berry (06:15):
Probably the main reason that your doctor thinks that he's doing an okay job is because we're taught in medical school and residency as physicians that all patients are noncompliant. And so when he tells you, you know, you need to avoid the egg yolks and eat lots of whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables, he doesn't think you're actually doing that. He thinks you're laying on the couch eating honey buns and Doritos. That's just the physician mindset. We don't think that patients actually follow our advice, although we're duty bound to give advice. And so I really think positions, they should start falling into two camps. And I think both of both camps are perfectly moral and ethical. And so camp one would be a doctor who's just not interested in nutrition, who doesn't care what I owed her about it. That doctor should just tell patients, look, I don't know anything about human nutrition. All I know how to do is prescribe the medicine and order tests, and order, you know, diagnostic imaging exams.

Dr. Berry (07:17):
I don't know anything about what you should and shouldn't eat. I mean, look at me, I'm 20 pounds overweight, you know, I'm pre diabetic, obviously, I don't know. So if a doctor prefaced any conversation about health and nutrition with that, that'd be perfectly moral and honest because patients look up to their doctor and they expect that their doctor knows. And I think that's a reasonable expectation that your doctor should know about the proper care and feeding of of human beings. And so if you're a doctor and you're listening to this and you're like, I just don't care about nutrition, I don't care if ketos right or again, I don't care, then tell your patient that. Disclose that at the beginning of the interview so that if you do give nutrition advice in the future, they'll know, Oh Hey, this guy doesn't even care about that.

Dr. Berry (08:03):
He's not going to eat. Bro. This is probably wrong. But if you don't put out a disclaimer like that as a doctor, then your patient, there's a bit of blind belief because when it all comes down to it, the patient either has to believe you or not. And if their health is at risk they're going to believe a trusted health expert, which is what a doctor's considered to be. And so the second school of doctors should be doctors who are actively reading and researching and looking and studying about human nutrition because obviously the reason that we're all overweight and metabolically ill is not because we're laying around. I mean there's actually research that shows that we're just as active now as we were in the 18 hundreds back in the 18 hundreds there was no obesity. I mean, you'd have to search all over town to find the one guy who's overweight back then.

Dr. Berry (08:58):
So you can't say it's like an activity. Some people want to blame it on food additives, some people want to blame it on jet fuel in the water. You know, there's all these, these scapegoats. But in the end it's the food we're eating. That's what it is. And the doctor needs to be knowledgeable about that or shut up about that.

Allan (09:14):
Yeah, it was interesting. My doctor, I really liked him, but he had a nutritionist on staff so he would just say, you know, we're gonna look at your blood work and this and this, but here's a nutritionist to talk to you about the nutrition side of this.

Dr. Berry (09:29):
Yeah, that's much more ethical and much more consistent to just admit, I don't know a damn thing about nutrition. I'm going to send you to a nutritionist. Hopefully they do cause that should be the message because often they do not.

Allan (09:41):
Well, he's still put a little bit of tidbits in there. Like, you know, the egg yolk thing. And so he had his own kind of methodology is on approach. His own thought process that was actually in conflict with what his nutritionist was saying, but at the same time I had the information presented to me and I felt like that was a pretty good deal. So if we don't feel comfortable getting that information, we need to, we need to stick it out ourselves or find a better doctor.

Dr. Berry (10:05):

Allan (10:06):
You know, over the years, you know, things will come up and then they'll rise back up, they'll go back down. And so kind of the two, I'm going to call themwarring sides because it almost is tribal is you have one camp and then I'm calling both of these Olympic elimination diets. That's kind of how I look at them. One is the vegan and the other side is the carnival.

Dr. Berry (10:28):

Allan (10:28):
And both of them, you know, they'll put science out there and say, this is why our diets right. Can you kind of just walk us through, I know you're a little bit more over to the carnivore side of this conversation. So that's why I wanted to have you on here. Cause I just had a vegan on a few weeks ago. And so I wanted to kind of bring this in and say, okay, let's talk about what the science is really telling us.

Dr. Berry (10:49):
Yes. And so I think that a real whole food vegan diet is better then the standard American diet. And so, but now if the vegan or vegetarian diet you're talking about is including lots of processed whole grains and lots of industrial vegetable seed oils and lots of sugar where they're added sugar or natural sugar, then it can be almost as bad as the standard American diet.

Dr. Berry (11:17):
I think that since the beginning of humanity as a species, we have eaten as much fatty meat as we can get our hands on. This is a, this is documented in the paleo anthropological record without doubt. We're able to go back and look at bones, whether they're 10 years old or a hundred thousand years old and look at the bones and the teeth. And we can actually do something called stable isotope analysis. And we can look at the carbon, the nitrogen in the strontium and other elemental analysis. And we can tell without doubt what these people ate. That's not up for debate. And so if being vegan says that we've always eaten a plant based diet and we, we've eaten animals if we were starving or had to, that's exactly backwards. And the anthropological record is very, very clear on that. That's really not up for debate at all.

Dr. Berry (12:11):
If you ask any paleoanthropologists, they'll tell you, we ate as much fatty meat we can get our hands on only we ate vegie but when we wanted to or when we had to. And so is a vegan diet less inflammatory than the standard American diet? Yes, absolutely. Can someone switched from the standard American diet to a vegan diet and improve their health markers are less than inflammation? Absolutely. No doubt about it. But the problem with the vegan diet is they always compare their results to somebody eating the standard American diet. And so that would kind of be like somebody, you know, comparing crack addicts to marijuana addicts. Yeah. Marijuana is a little less bad, but that doesn't make, it good at least for most people. Does that make sense?

Allan (13:00):
Yeah absolutely.

Dr. Berry (13:01):
I think the problem is with their paradigm. I think vegans are very earnest and honest and I think they fully believe what they're saying and I do think there are benefits of removing all the added sugars and the soft drinks and all the grains and all of the highly processed highly inflammatory industrial seed oils from your diet.

Dr. Berry (13:23):
Huge benefits from that. And so vegan may be where you land up. But I don't think you're going to find optimal health there. I think you're going to find health improvement, but unless you continue to move along the nutrition spectrum until you add enough fatty meat to your diet, enough liver, enough bone marrow, enough things like that to get all of the vital nutrition that a human body needs, and the human mind, you're just not going to have optimal health. And indeed we've seen in the last few years, many high level vegans come out and say, you know, I had to add some salmon back to my diet or I had to add eggs back to my diet because although some things were doing well, I just might, mentally I wasn't doing well or energy wise, I wasn't doing well. And you've seen that multiple, multiple times, but I haven't seen many high level fatty meat, heavy Kito influencers or carnival influencer say, you know, I had to add some kale back into my diet too. I just wasn't feeling good. You just don't say that.

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Allan (14:25):
Yeah. You know, every time I see a study, they love throwing out the cancer word. Vegans really love that when they're talking cause they're like, read meat's going to give you cancer. But every time I've seen a study that even goes close to that, it says, you know, red meat and processed meat, they have to pair those together. They don't ever kind of segregate those out to see that one might be a confounder of the other. And then they'll go into the, well, when you cook your meat on a grill. Your doing this thing to it. So there's this, this battle there of do we include red meat in our diet? Is it bad for us?

Dr. Berry (15:04):
Yeah. And I actually have a chapter in the book about red meat and about processed meat. All of the nutrition data that's been collected, all the nutritional research that's been done is based on food frequency questionnaires, which I'm sure you and many of your followers are familiar with. And so you would go and ask a person, how many cups of ribs have you eaten in the last six weeks? How many, how many pounds of brisket have you eaten? And so the average person who survied in these studies is not a carnivore, right? Allan? So they're not just, so when they hamburger, they're not just eating hamburgers. When they eat a hot dog, they're not just eating hot dogs and nothing else. They're also eating the ketchup and the bun that's from just highly processed wheat, they're eating the French fries, which is pure starch fried in the inflammatory industrial seed oils.

Dr. Berry (15:56):
They're eating all of the accompaniments of that hamburger because there's not many people like me who would just go to Wendy's and order six hamburger patties and put some mustard on them and that'd be their meal. Most people in these surveys are not doing that, and so you cannot tease out, okay, yeah, this person ate more meat, but what that really meant was that person was going to Wendy's or McDonald's more and getting the super Whopper jumbo supersize meal and drinking a 40 ounce Coke or diet Coke with that little piece of meat that they were eating. That doesn't prove anything about meat. Does that make sense? I mean, that question is totally cloudy and there's no way to tease that out.

Dr. Berry (16:37):
The only way to ever do this is to just take 50 people and put them on just a pure carnivore diet and 50 people and put them on a pure vegan diet and then 50 more and let them eat just whatever the hell and then follow those people for 10 years or 15 years. That's the only way this question's ever going to be settled. And I doubt seriously anybody really wants to do that study. The carnivores don't have, we don't have the millions of dollars needed to put on that kind of study. The vegans, I guarantee you don't want to put on that study because they're afraid of what the results will show and that's why you don't see that type of study done by Harvard school of public health or any of the others huge plant based nutrition authorities. They're never going to do that study,

Allan (17:19):
Which then puts us in this, in this paradigm of okay, there are people who've been carnival or for a number of years. There are people who have been vegan for a number of years and if we start paying attention to their health health outcomes, that should give us at least some data and then we can do the experiment ourselves. If we feel comfortable that we're not doing something to harm ourselves, you know, we don't want to run out there and start a way of eating when we start watching other people, you know. And one of the things you brought up earlier, which I think is really, really important is ah, fueling our brain are actually building our brain. The brain is not made out of plant matter.

Dr. Berry (18:01):
Right, not at all. It's made out of pure fat, cholesterol and some collagen to hold it all together. I mean, the brain is a, is a fatty organ and the brain uses 20 to 25% of your total energy each day, even though it's very small in comparison to other huge organs like your liver and your muscles and your skin. But so much of mental disease comes from diet. So much of suffering, so much of fatigue, so much of mental fog, forgetfulness, early onset symptoms of dementia. All of this stuff is coming from the diet. And one of the Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations just published a kind of an alert saying, Hey guys, to doctors, the incidents of dementia in 30 and 40 year olds is up 300% over the last few years.

Dr. Berry (18:56):
Could you guys maybe look into that and see what's going on? Cause you know, Blue Cross is a huge health insurer and they're looking at this like there's no way we're going to be able, I mean if this becomes common for people in their forties and fifties to be disabled with dementia, everybody's going to go broke. And so you might want to look into this. So what went from being a very rare thing a hundred years ago? You know, great grandmother might have a little bit of forgetfulness, but there were not 30 something and 40 something year old people running around with Alzheimer's dementia a hundred years ago. That just did not happen. So even if you went back and ate what I just called the a hundred year diet, literally went back and found a couple of cookbooks from 1920 and ate only what was in those you would do better then you would do with the standard American diet.

Dr. Berry (19:45):
We've really got to wake up or we're going to be faced with not only a personal health crisis, both mental and physical, but a nationwide in a worldwide just health catastrophe where there is no amount of money that's going to help keep people well. It's just, it's going to all fall apart if we don't start feeding the human animal the proper human diet. That has to happen at some point or the problem will become unsolvable.

Allan (20:14):
Yeah. You know, it is something that, you put your head around this idea that what you put in your mouth is a building block for what your body is going to be made out of.

Dr. Berry (20:26):

Allan (20:26):
And if you're not getting well, we obviously know if we don't give ourselves adequate nutrition then we start seeing those deficiencies and that usually manifests in some form of problem for us. But there's this kind of thing going on in the background, particularly like with building our brain, with building our bones, with building our muscles with building all of us. If we're not putting the right material there, we're making ourselves out of fluff.

Dr. Berry (20:50):
Exactly. If I took you Allan and I locked you in my barn, and this is a common analogy I use, and I fed you nothing but ribeye, steak and beef liver and that's and water and salt and that literally is all I gave you. Fresh meat, fresh liver and water and salt. You understand you could live in my barn for decades and you would not develop any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. And I'm happy to talk about vitamin C if you want to because there've been carnivores for 20/25 years whose skin and teeth look amazing. They don't have scurvy. And so there's more to the vitamin C story, then you have to eat lots of fruits.

Dr. Berry (21:30):
But if I took a, took you again in an alternate life and locked you in my barn and fed you nothing but plants and on either one of these diets you can't have supplements. You can only eat food. So you could have any plant from anywhere in the world, from the, from Australia to Panama to the Himalayan mountains, any berry, any herbs, any roots you wanted. It wouldn't be many months if not maybe a year. You would start to develop serious fatty acid deficiencies and serious amino acid deficiencies. You would start to get sick, you would suffer and you would die early from eating that diet that was restricted of the vitamins and minerals that you can only find in meat, in any meaningful quantity. And so again, that's another research study that will never be done. We're never going to lock 50 people in our barn and feed them carnivores and 50 and feed them vegan cause it's very unethical to lock people in your barn first and foremost, you can't do That.

Allan (22:26):
Well, If you have a gym in there. And I get Netflix, I'm probably good to come.

Dr. Berry (22:31):
Yeah. If you had a gym and wifi. Exactly.

Allan (22:36):
Well, you know, one of the things, I was interviewing one week, one vegan and one of the concepts he came up with is because I on the one side, you're like, well, you're not getting B12 you supplement with, and he's in his response was, well, carnivores have to supplement with statins.

Dr. Berry (22:52):
No. Yeah, there is n such thing is a Staten deficiency. Statin medications are one of the most dangerous medications that a doctor can prescribe. And I'm not saying there's never an instance where a statin might have more benefit than harm, but 99% of the time a statin drug, and this is Levacor, Zocor, Crestor, and there's a couple of new ones, 99% of the time they do more harm than good. If you take your statin faithfully for 20 years, you might add three days to your life. In the process of that, you've lowered your testosterone, you've raised your blood sugar, you've raised your levels of inflammation, you've increased your muscle fatigue, your muscle aches and pains. Your life has gotten worse. Just the, just kind of your wellbeing measurement has gotten worse. You've lowered your testosterone, which is uniformly bad. You raised your blood sugar, which is uniformly bad. And really, the only way that the statins work is with an antiinflammatory effect that they also appear to have, which is well known in the literature. It has nothing to do with load lowering, total cholesterol. That's not how they give you those three extra days of life that you got for paying 20 years worth of copays.

Allan (24:12):
Yeah, I don't, my cholesterol naturally runs kinda on the high end. And so that, you know, when those scares come out, you know, my doctor sees my cholesterol, he's, he's always kinda trying to push me in that direction and I just, I just always kind of pull back and say, you know, I've tried them. I don't like how I feel on them. They mess with my muscles. He says, well, we'll just try a different one. I'm like, no, I'm not going there anymore. I've seen enough. I don't believe that's going to be, I don't believe my cholesterol numbers is really a big deal because my high cholesterol relative to my total cholesterol is actually really, really good. My high cholesterol relative to my triglycerides, really, really good. So those ratios to me are what I want to see versus just this big number.

Allan (24:55):
Now doctors in their standard of care are probably still going to have that conversation with you. And you have to talk to your doctor and realize, you know, there are some things that you could probably do to lower it, but it's a building block for testosterone. It, statins, also don't they affect the CoQ10, which damages the heart?

Dr. Berry (25:13):

Allan (25:13):
So if you're going to be on a statin you probably gonna want to supplement with COQ 10, just to make sure.

Dr. Berry (25:19):

Allan (25:20):
So you know, like you said, there's not an absolute for any one of us to say that we wouldn't benefit from it, but it's just something that you're putting a foreign substance in your body and it's causing some other side effects and you have to weigh that and let that pay.

Dr. Berry (25:36):
And just the, the vegan argument of, well, those people are going to develop a statin deficiency. A statin is a patented molecule that's made in the factory. And so you understand their mindset a little bit. They're like, either you're going to have to take supplements made in a factory or you're going to have to take a statin made in a factory. What about a hundred thousand years ago? I mean, how did we get by? How did, how did we prosper and flourish? I mean, we became the alpha species on this planet a long time before people started advocating just eating plants or started advocating patented fake molecules like Lipitor, Zocor or Crestor.

Allan (26:16):
I agree. Another thing that we do now that we didn't do then, we avoid the sun. We slather on sunscreen because we don't want to get the skin cancer. But we need sunshine.

Dr. Berry (26:33):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I have a chapter in the book about that sun lights and getting a healthy tan is in no way a risk factor for skin cancer. Absolutely not. The research done on this is just laughable. It's embarrassing that when, I mean dermatologists are some of the smartest doctors out there. In med school, you had to have almost a perfect 4.0 to even be considered for a dermatology residency, so these people started out, they were the cream of the cream in medical school and now just to say something as dumb as stay out of the sun or you'll get skin cancer. It's just, it's ludicrous. A lot of the research done on that was done on donated foreskins, so when a little baby boy is circumcised. They would do little research studies on that. Looking for markers that they decided were markers of a precancerous condition.

Dr. Berry (27:31):
The little foreskins didn't develop skin cancer. That's not what happened. They just had this marker that marker go up a little bit when exposed to UV radiation. And so they decided that meant that it's going to cause skin cancer. I mean all, there's just so many things I talk about in the book that just make this a ridiculous lie that doctors tell patients the sun protectors, the blockers, the SPF, what is it, up to 250 now SPF two 50 or something, I don't know. These things are full of, some of them are full of very worrisome chemicals that if you put the size of these on your small child, you can actually detect these chemicals in your child's bloodstream minutes later. There's a study published just recently about that. You're going to slash your child's ability to make vitamin D if you slather this sunscreen on them.

Dr. Berry (28:21):
Maybe exposed them to chemicals that are not good for them. And I definitely don't want your child to get a sunburn. Absolutely not. Because first of all, it hurts and pain is a feedback that we have developed to show, yeah, that's dumb. Don't do that anymore. But getting a healthy tan, getting your vitamin D from the sun, and who knows what else we get from the sun Allan. Because basically back in the late sixties and early seventies when it became the trope, Oh, skin sun exposure causes skin cancer. Just imagine if you'd been a young researcher at Harvard and you'd went to your chairman said, Hey, I want to do a study. I think that we probably use the sun for other things besides just making vitamin D. I'd love to expose people to UV radiation and see what that does to other levels in their body. Do you understand you would have been kicked out of the chairman's office and probably released from your duties?

Dr. Berry (29:13):
It was just, it's an studyable at this point in the, in the higher institutions of learning because it's considered central science that the sun causes cancer, but nothing can be further from the truth and so many of the carnivores play in the sun in their loine cloth every day in their skin looks amazing. They don't have skin cancer. Actually. People who work at the equator, and this is not dark skin people, this is even light-skinned people. They have less melanoma, which is the worst skin cancer, than people who are fully clothed and live in Norway. So you can't say, you just can't say that sun exposure causes cancer. It's a dumb thing to say. And I in the, in the chapter in the book actually give people the email address for the two largest dermatological societies. And I said, email them and ask them, send me the research study that shows that sun exposure increases my risk of cancer. And so many people have messaged me and said, you know, I didn't get anything or I got the foreskin study, which doesn't prove anything. And so literally that's what it's based on.

Allan (30:17):
Yeah. I had dr Dallas Harwich on not long ago, and one of the things that he kind of gets into is that, you know, we talk about light exposure at night being a problem for our sleep, but he proposes that getting out into the sun, getting out into open air, blue skies, on a regular basis during the day is actually very important for us to maintain a good solid circadian rhythm.

Dr. Berry (30:42):

Allan (30:42):
You know, and so that in and of itself is just saying you need to be outside getting some of that light exposure to set everything in place for you to get a good night's sleep, for you to build your hormones and all the good stuff that happens to us when we go through really good sleep cycles. So that's even another thing, is get outside and do some things. Now what I've found is, is yeah, if you go out there the first day and you stay out for six hours in the sun, you're going to get a sunburn. But if you get some exposure and pull back, get some exposure and pull back, you tan and you get used to that exposure and it's like, like a muscle. You just build a capacity to be out in the sun longer and longer and not burn.

Dr. Berry (31:25):
And I'll tell you something very interesting, Allan, that I've noticed in my own personal health journey. And then hundreds of other people have said, you know, that same thing happened to me. I thought I was crazy, but maybe not. Back when I was just eating just the standard American inflammatory diet, I couldn't stay out in the direct sun on a beach at, at the latitude of, you know, Florida, Tampa Bay, Panama city. If I stayed out for 10 minutes, one minute longer, I was going to get a sunburn and I almost could not build up, I couldn't build the extra melanin and build up the tolerance. So the sun and I was the guy who would tell my phone, hey, wake me up in 10 minutes. And then I would go play with the kids for 10 minutes and then I had to go get to the umbrella or the rest of the vacation would be ruined because I'd be crybabying about my sunburn.

Dr. Berry (32:12):
As I converted to paleo and then to real whole food Tito, I'm not a big keto product fan. I want you to eat real whole one ingredient foods. I noticed that I could stay in the sun longer without burning. I noticed that I tan better and I'm like, maybe it's all of the bright green colors, all the beta carotene or something in the vegetables, but back, what's it been 15 months now when I, did that first carnivore month challenge on my Facebook group and said, Hey guys, let's see nothing of fatty meat for a month and see what happens. When I started the carnivore diet, I can stay out in the sun five times longer now without burning. I can develop a radiant tan and I just, I thought I was permanently fish belly color. I didn't think I can tan back in the day. Now I can develop a good healthy tan. It's much harder for me to burn in the sun now than it was 10 years ago.

Dr. Berry (33:12):
And when I started, when I said that on a podcast, I had multiple people reach out to me who were eating fatty, fatty meat, heavy keto or carnivores, and say, yes, 100% that happened to me too. And so now my current theory is, is that basically every cell in your skin has a cell membrane, right? And if you're eating enough fatty meats to build that cell membrane out of good cholesterol and good fatty acids, then that sale is actually able to function better than a sale that's built out of canola oil and all the other inflammatory crap that we eat. And I've noticed that personally and have had hundreds of other people verify, yep, I had the same thing happen to me. And indeed, if you look at most carnivores, they're always very tan and it looks like that their son is just much more able to use the powerful tool of sunlight to actually optimize their health instead of burning them.

Allan (34:10):
There's, there's one other thing I wanted to talk to you about before you have to go. I was sitting there with this guy. I mean we were talking and of course it comes up who I am and what I do. I own a gym and I do fitness stuff and so that's going to be where the conversation, 99% of the time it's going to go when I'm sitting down with someone and he said, you know, you said I was exercising and I lost all that weight and then I stopped exercising and I've gained it all back and he says, I need to get back to exercising. So I'll lose that weight. And you know, I put up my hand and I said, its what you're putting in your mouth, exercise. And you talk about this in the book. Can you go into a little bit more detail there?

Dr. Berry (34:50):
Yeah. Exercise. I think exercise is like sunlight, Allan. I think it does hundreds of beneficial things for the human body and the human mind. It's a powerful, powerful tool that we should all use regularly. But if you are overweight, obese or morbidly obese, exercise is a terrible method for losing fat. And that's been born out in multiple huge studies, the women's health initiative study, like calorie restricted for a long period of time. And so calorie restriction can either be from burning more or from eating less. So either way that's you're supposed to wind up with a calorie deficit. That's how weight loss is supposed to happen. And indeed, if I lock in that barn of mine Allan, and I starve you, you're definitely going to lose weight. But it's not going to be just fat.

Dr. Berry (35:44):
You can also lose muscle mass. You're going to lose cartilage density, you're going to lose fast or density, you're going to lose bone density. But nobody wants that. When, when we all say, when every one of us say, I want to lose some weight, what we actually meant to say was I want to lose some of this stored energy, some of this fat. That's what I want to lose. To do that, you have to change your diet. And I applaud you for being a gym owner and saying, Hey, Bubba, exercising aint going to help you lose fat. You go fix your diet to lose the fat. Now if you want to increase your endurance and you want to increase your your muscle, then yeah, get the gym. But if you're just trying to lose fat, step one is always, always, always without exception, fix your diet. That's how you lose the fat and how you lose most of the inflammation.

Allan (36:31):
Yeah and I'll tell him then the next step is whole foods. You know, just, just whole food. I don't know many people who eat a whole food diet that really have a weight problem.

Dr. Berry (36:42):
Exactly right. And that's, and you see this often in the vegans, especially now not in the vegetarians are eating lots of whole grains and lots of processed crap. But in a true whole food vegan, they're just not obese. Now they may still be pre diabetic or type two diabetic. They may still be quite inflamed, but they're skinny. And that's because you just can't eat enough whole foods to get fat. It's just, it's very, very difficult to do that. You have to eat to discomfort in order to do that, but eating processed foods, Oh, it's very easy to eat and put on too much fat.

Allan (37:16):
Absolutely. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and well?

Dr. Berry (37:27):
You got to fix your diet first and foremost. If you're not prepared to eat a proper human diet, then just forget all the rest of it and go watch TV. I don't know what to tell you, but when you're ready to actually achieve good health, then you've got to fix your diet. Number one. That's 90% of the battle is fixing your diet .and whether that is an OVO lacto pescatarian ketogenic diet or whether that is a 100% fatty red meat carnivore diet, I consider all those to be on the spectrum of what I call the proper human diet. That's number one. Number two, then you work on your lifestyle. You work on getting that morning sun, you work on getting your bedroom exactly perfect so that you can get the best sleep of your life. You start working out whether that's going for a walk or whether that's trying to beat your PR on the, on the deadlift, the lifestyle's number two. And then number three plus or minus maybe a few supplements if you're up in, you know, I recommend almost everybody over 40 should probably take a little coenzyme QT and unless they're a carnival workers, you're, you're to get plenty of that.

Dr. Berry (38:35):
Especially if you're a nose to tail carnivore. But most people probably need some coenzyme QT after the age of 40 a lot of people who live at the Northern latitudes probably need some vitamin D. but, so a lot of people want to start. Alan was step three. Oh, let me buy a bunch of supplements. Yeah. Waste of time. Waste of money. A lot of people want to start with step two, let me join the gym. Let me, cause I feel like if I'm paying that monthly fee that will make me…no, no, that's, that's, you're just, that's not ever gonna happen. Step one, every single time is fix your damn food. Eat only real whole one ingredient foods. If it has more than three ingredients on the package, don't even pick it up. And really, if it has a package, don't pick it up.

Dr. Berry (39:22):
That's not real food. That's a food like product that a big food corporation has manufactured to get your five bucks. That's all that is. Okay. And I've been saying for a few years now, I don't, I think that the food, big food manufacturing is going to crater. There's gonna be tons of bankruptcies because there is no real whole food ketogenic product that you can stock on a store shelf that's going to, that you can make in China and ship in a container ship that's going to be shelf stable for two years. Real food don't act like that. And everybody in the keto and carnivores space right now are, they're just trying their best to come up with a keto product or a carnival product. But every single time they do it has to be processed. It has to have extra crap added to it and it's even got a very short, short half life, which means it's still real food or it's turned into a Franken food like product that's just they're after your money.

Allan (40:21):
Yeah, I would, I would just put my money into something like Maria Emmerich's keto cookbooks or something like that.

Dr. Berry (40:30):
Start raising chicken, start raising cows that there'll be some money to make in that, but there won't be billions and billions of dollars to be made in that, and that's what everybody's looking for is a product that can scale up and make $1 billion. It's just not going to happen in the keto carnivores space because we real food here. We don't want your products.

Allan (40:50):
Yeah, I completely agree with you. So thank you doctor. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, Lies My Doctor Told Me, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Berry (41:02):
Lies My Doctor Told Me, is available as a paperback, as a Kindle and Audible wherever fine books are sold. I have a little YouTube channel that I've got I think over 270 videos that you can watch for nothing that's absolutely free to watch them all.

Dr. Berry (41:19):
If you just go to YouTube and search for Dr. Berry, you should find me. Dr. Berry Keto, Dr. Berry Carnivore, Dr. Berry, thyroid, testosterone. I talk about all this stuff on the YouTube channel, even toenail fungus. That's one of my biggest videos is how to reverse and cure toenail fungus and never get it again. And that video has been viewed over 2 million times, so it must be, there must be some truth in it. I've got a Facebook page where my wife, Nisha and I, we go live every Monday night. So this is, we're doing this on a Monday, so it's 7 PM central. We go live and talk about the latest news articles and the latest silliness in the news and in the media. And then we all answered a bunch of people's questions. I'm also on Instagram. I'm on Twitter. I'm even on Tik Toc Allan cause I'm trying to go grab those young kids before they develop metabolic syndrome.

Allan (42:09):
That's perfect. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/430 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Barry, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Berry (42:20):
It was a pleasure. Allan, I'll be back anytime you need me.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Walk your way to better with Joyce Shulman

Joyce Shulman is the Cofounder and CEO of Macaroni Kid and 99 Walks and she strongly believes that walking is the key to improving your lifestyle. Today we're going to discuss her new book, Walk Your Way to Better.


Allan (02:48):
Joyce, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Joyce (02:50):
Thanks Allan. I'm thrilled to be here with you.

Allan (02:53):
Now. I am a huge fan of walking. I think it is one of the most underutilized ways of serving our body. And I say that that way because we're going to get into depth of walking is not just a fitness thing. And I really liked your approach to that. The name of your book is Walk Your Way to Better. And you know, as I was reading through the title I was like, Oh better. You know? And so you know, the words are in your head, health and all and wellness and fitness. And so I think there's a reason you stopped right there after the word better and didn't put the rest of it there.

Joyce (03:32):
Absolutely. So I agree with you. Walking is so simple and so incredibly powerful and I just don't think that we recognize or give it the emphasis that we should. So walking has been shown to improve your mind, your mood, and your body in really, really profound ways. So as you say, it's not just your physical, it's your mental and your emotional.

Allan (04:00):
You know, as you look at things like the blue zones that they're doing studies on and you kind of think about ancestral health and the way people were before we had access to cars and bikes and planes and motorcycles and everything else. We used to have to walk to do most of the things. We walk to go get our water, we would walk to go forage, we'd walk to hunt and we may even migrate. And so there were days of walking to get to a better area for hunting and gathering and doing things. We don't do as much walking now as we did that.

Joyce (04:35):
Absolutely. And I believe, and there are a whole lot of people that agree with me, we were just not meant to sit as long and as much as we're sitting, we're built to move.

Allan (04:47):
Yeah. And you were an attorney at one point. I was an accountant.

Joyce (04:51):
We sat a lot. Right?

Allan (04:54):
Sorry you didn't like accounting. But you know, it's just as we think about that, it's like, yeah, we take these jobs because they're going to give us what we need to take care of our families. But then at the same time, we're not necessarily taking care of ourselves, therefore we're not in a position to always take care of our families. That's kind of a bad, bad paradox to be in.

Joyce (05:16):
Exactly right.

Allan (05:18):
So why is walking so valuable?

Joyce (05:21):
So there's boatloads of research on walking on all of the benefits of walking. So I'll just hit sort of some of the top lines when you talk about walking. And I'm gonna leave the body and physical to last because, while it's super important, it's not even where I want to start. So walking has been proven to have a really great impact on your mood. It's been shown to be a valuable tool in combating depression and warding off depression. It's been shown to have an immediate impact on boosting and improving your mood and mindset. So great for your mind. Great for your mood and then for your mind walking has been shown to improve your decision-making ability, help give you energy. And there's a really interesting study that shows that a regular walking practice literally makes your brain bigger. And then just a couple of years ago, fascinating research out of Stanford University shows that a walk can improve your creativity, your ability to create new ideas and have fresh thoughts by up to 60%. It's incredibly powerful.

Allan (06:35):
Yeah. I know you said in the book you were talking about jobs and some of the other people we would think were these great minds and thinkers. They used walking as their creativity space.

Joyce (06:45):
Absolutely. Uh, Aristotle, Socrates, Benjamin Franklin was a big Walker. Darwin was a big Walker. Uh, so people who are under the kind of pressure to constantly be creating new ideas, processing new ideas, innovating. It's the most effective way you can do that.

Allan (07:08):
And then there are the physical aspects.

Joyce (07:11):
Yup. So a regular walking practice has been shown to reduce your risk of dementia, diabetes, osteoporosis, several types of cancers. There's one study that shows that a regular walking practice can add up to seven years to your life.

Allan (07:28):
That's huge. That's huge.

Joyce (07:30):
It's incredible.

Allan (07:31):
You know, I've seen a study before that said, if you just, you walk just five to 10 minutes after a meal, it helps you regulate your blood sugar.

Joyce (07:40):
We're meant to move. We are not meant to finish a big meal and sit in front of the television or in front of social media. We're just not.

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Allan (07:49):
And then beyond that, you had a, I mean, I've seen this other stat out there, well at least another aspect that you've talked about, how walking should kind of get rid of those emotional toxins. It also helps us get rid of physical toxins. Our lymphatic system is, it doesn't have its own pump system. It relies on our muscles or skeletal muscles to actually cause that lymph to move around. And that's flushing toxins out of our body. So if we're sitting still, we're letting ourselves get toxic.

Joyce (08:17):
And you know what's so interesting to me when you look at the last many years, remember the days when people would go in for surgery and then they would be told by their doctors to rest, right? Lie around. And all of that has changed. Practically, regardless of what the nature of the surgery is, as soon as they can get people up and walking, even little bits, they're getting them moving.

Allan (08:44):
Yeah. I had a friend recently, uh, he had a hip replacement and within a day they want him up walking on that hip, you know, just the thought of having them sawing through the bone, applying this metal apparatus, you know, this metal apparatus to your body. And then the next day they're not like, just lay there for six weeks and heal. They're like, nope, you have to be moving.

Joyce (09:05):
Right. And, and 20, 30 years ago they would've had that guy in bed for days.

Allan (09:17):
Yeah, or the wheelchair rest of his life. Yeah. So, you know, walking is something that we must do. It's not should, I mean, we've got to get past the should, the walking is a must. But when you start this conversation of, okay, we've got to walk, and then someone sits there and says, well you know, this is a very busy week for me. I've got to pull an extra shift, I had to you know, I took on extra training time. I've got extra the interviews and things to do this week. I've got, you know, of course my, my other regular stuff that's going on, you know, and I've got to read these three books. And so you kind of pile those and then you say, well where am I going to fit the time to do this walking? Why, why do we have difficulty with that, whereas if you said, okay, you need to take your kid to little league practice, that's a non negotiable. We just, we just do it, but we don't take the time for self care. Why? Why is that?

Joyce (10:10):
You know, there are so many reasons that keep us from taking good care of ourselves. And the first is something that you mentioned just a couple of minutes ago, which is around this paradox of us feeling like we have to do for other people and not take care of ourselves. The paradox of that is if we don't take care of ourselves, we are not capable of taking the best care of the people we love. So that's kind of counterintuitive you want to do for other people and you think that that's the way to do the best you can. The second is we're all just too busy. We have filled our plates to overflowing and we need to take some responsibility and some ownership around that and it's something that I'm working on personally to really try to grab hold of my calendar on a day to day basis and be sure that I am not filling it with things that are just making me busy. Busy is like a badge of honor now. Right. When you say to, when you see somebody you haven't seen for a while and you say to them, how are you the knee jerk? Everybody says, Oh, I'm so busy. And I think the last piece of it, especially for women is we're still being sent the message that taking care of ourselves is selfish and I just think we have to continue to work to try to change that message and change that paradigm.

Allan (11:33):
Yeah, I'm reading the Daily Stoic now. I went, I went through all of that last year. I was really proud of myself for doing that because it was, I've had this book for over three years and each year I get to a certain point and then I stop and I lose it. Last year was the first year I made it through the entire year and I'm reading through it again this year. It's called the Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, And the funny thing is yesterday's lesson was to not be busy. To be aware of where you're spending your time and what is a a true obligation and what are those things that we just put on ourselves out of guilt and other means. And that's what I really liked about the structure of your book as you break it into 99 walks in each walk is not just a let's get out and walk today and that's your goal.

Allan (12:17):
And then tell me how it went. You're really diving into mindset and one of the things that you got into there that I'd like to kind of get into after you tell me about the structure, the 99 walks and why you put it that way was the making of time, you know, you actually have one of the walks where it's dedicated specifically to making time for this self care. So can you talk through the walks of how you put this together and how this is helpful. And then, you know, some of these that are lessons that you think are pretty valuable for us to go as we're, as we're looking at having a walking practice.

Joyce (12:50):
Absolutely. So the book, as you say, is broken into 99 short sections. Thought starters, research stories, all designed to give people something to contemplate, to think about, to percolate on. One of the things that I see in my own life and in the lives of my friends and the people I talk to all the time is there is a lot of really interesting information and content out there. And I think we're getting better at identifying it and reading it, but I don't think we're giving our selves the chance to really absorb and process it. And because I know how powerful walking is for the way your mind works and the way your mood improves. And of course all the physical, I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if I can share 99 things that I think are important for people to think about and encourage them to then take a couple of minutes to give themselves the chance to percolate and really absorb those messages. So that's, that's my goal. That's my hope.

Allan (13:52):
Well, I think you've accomplished that. That's why I was saying, you know, that's why I brought up the book, the Daily Stoic is because that's kind of my daily sit down, have something to ponder and then I'll meditate on it. I haven't turned that into a walking practice. But you got me, you got me really thinking about that. That's maybe that's how I go about this. But this is a similar structure of here's your daily lesson, give it some thought. And I really like a lot of the things that you get into. Like I said, finding time and then I actually, I quoted a quote out of you. Let me, let me look it up real quick. I've got it. I put it on my Facebook page because, my Facebook group, because I, it was kinda one of those things as I was reading it, I'm like, somebody needs to hear this today. I know someone needs to hear this today. And it was, you deserve your dreams. You deserve your dreams. And so that was one of the lessons as you're kind of going through is have big dreams and then realize you deserve them and should still be working toward them.

Joyce (14:51):
You just can never give up. You can't abandon your dreams, you can't abandon your sense of self. But I do want to talk for a minute. Let's circle back and talk a little bit about, making time.

Allan (15:04):

Joyce (15:04):
Can we dig into that a little bit?

Allan (15:06):
Absolutely. Please.

Joyce (15:07):
So I do talk about that a fair bit in the book in a couple of different contexts, even because we are all so busy that we think we don't have time and a lot of people refer to it as finding time. How am I going to find time for the things that are important? And the first thing I always say to people is, it's not about finding time, it's about making time. It's about saying, this is important for me, therefore it's important for my family. If you need that to encourage you to actually take those steps forward and then you have to make the time.

Joyce (15:44):
So one of the stories I tell, and I won't, I don't want to belabor it, but my daughter was doing gymnastics and I would go and she really wanted me to watch her entire class. And I thought, this is being a good mom. I'm going to sit and I'm going to watch it. I'm going to support her. And then at some point I realized she was sort of performing for me. And that's not what that experience was about for her. That's not what I wanted that experience to be for her. So I started taking 30 minutes and going for a walk. So I would drop her off, get her settled, leave and go take my walk, come back and watch the last 15 minutes and all of a sudden I found 30 minutes in my day, twice a week.

Allan (16:23):
Yes, I've heard, I've heard of moms doing that, you know, taking their child to soccer practice and then just walking around the field.

Joyce (16:28):
You don't have to watch them.

Allan (16:33):
They're awesome. But yeah. And I think one of the keys of what you put forward there, is about the prioritization. You know, what are those things that we are doing that really aren't serving us. You know, sitting there watching really wasn't serving you or your daughter, whereas you going for the walk, you're going to come back at the end of her practice with so much more energy. She's going to be energized because of what she did. You're going to be energized for what she did and then the drive home is a much, I think probably it was a much more joyful experience.

Joyce (17:08):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Because to your point earlier, you are better able to show up for the people you love when you are in a better space, when you are taking care of yourself.

Allan (17:19):
And that's one of the things I really like about the 99 Walks in each one is you're going through a, you're sharing a lot of personal stories yourself and your stories included and it's really just kind of one of those times for you to wrap your mind around something, kind of let go, be mindful of what you're doing. Go out there with some intention and solve some problems and as you said in the book, there might only be a couple dozen of these that really resonate. There might be some that just completely don't apply. You know, as a guy reading the book, I was like, well, you know, a lot of these lessons, if I just read them out, right, wouldn't necessarily apply to me. But if I think about what the underlying purpose of that discussion is about, it applies to all of us at some point.

Joyce (18:03):
For sure. We're all suffering from decision fatigue, even if we don't know it. We all need to be mindful of the people we're surrounding ourselves with. We all have to be intentional about how we're spending our time so much.

Allan (18:20):
Now you've, you've put together this organization, it's called 99 Walks and it's, I went to the website. It's actually really cool. You're doing monthly challenges. You're building community. In a lot of sense. It's, it's more than getting people to walk more. I mean that's, it's awesome, but it's about connection. It's about eliminating some of that isolation and loneliness. We have, you know, you might have a thousand friends on Facebook or Instagram, but you still can feel very lonely. Can you talk about what your organization 99 Walks is doing and how it, how it's, how it's put together and how it's benefited you.

Joyce (18:55):
Yeah, you're so right about the loneliness piece. We have some proprietary research that 73% of American women experience loneliness and that dovetails with some national research around both women and men who put that number right about 70% so there really is a loneliness crisis going on, a very quiet crisis going on in this country because people don't want to talk about that. People don't want to raise their hand and say I am lonely because it makes you feel bad. It's something people are super self conscious about. But the reality is most people are wrestling with that. So I thought if we can create community and encourage people to get out and move in what is this incredibly simple but effective and powerful way. Just by lacing up your sneakers and walking out the door, we could really start to effectuate change. So 99 Walks is a movement to get, we are very focused on women in 99 Walks. So our mission is to get a million women walking. And we do that with a wonderful walk tracker and these monthly challenges. And we reward our members with what we call wearable inspiration, which is a tangible reminder of the goals that you have accomplished at the end of the month. Uh, and building this very powerful, supportive and wonderful community. And along the way we're trying to educate people as well.

Allan (20:26):
Yeah. And I think that's one of the key things here is this is about being, you know, kind of a healthier, better, happier person. Not because you're out there, you know, speed walking for three hours. But you're just getting out and you're in a community, rather you're walking particularly with people around you in your local area or you know, virtually by having friends online that you know, are going through similar things. It's just getting out for that, you know, that 5, 10, 15 maybe 30 minutes each day as a part of, or at least several times during the month as you set your goals to just trying to do that for yourself. That self care that we struggle with.

Joyce (21:04):
It's always, and you know this from the fitness world, it always starts with the mindset and the mood because when people start moving, you don't see physical changes or physical benefits for some period of time if that's your goal. But if you are really tapped in and paying attention to how you feel and how your brain is working, you'll realize that you feel better from day one of getting yourself moving. I assume you've seen this with clients and with other people, right?

Allan (21:34):
Oh yeah. Yeah. I have some clients here that prior to working with me had like zero exercise at all. You know they might walk around a little bit here over around town, but really not a lot. Um, and you get them into a program and the first day they're just, you know, they're just dad on their feet. They're struggling to do any of the exercises and then you're, you're sitting with them, you know, a month later, yeah, they're pumping out reps, you know, they're not getting winded. They're, they're smiling while they're doing some of the work. They're joking while we're going through some of the exercises and um, you know, so there is this kind of boost and it's not just a physical thing. It's really this emotional, they leave feeling better, not just about themselves, but just feeling better in general. There's a, just a wellness that comes out of movement. It's just really hard to explain until you've experienced it.

Joyce (22:28):
Exactly. That's exactly it. And then with 99 Walks, my hope is that we can encourage people who, who haven't had that feeling, who don't know how much better they can feel simply by moving their body and connecting with other people.

Allan (22:44):
And so start with the first walk. Just get that first one done? But by the time you get the 99 Walks in, I do believe that they're going to see some exceptional change in their lives from a mental perspective and a physical perspective. I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Joyce (23:06):
Oh just three.

Allan (23:08):
We have to start somewhere and then we can add on later. But yeah, just three please.

Joyce (23:12):
Yeah, the first, and forgive me cause I'm repeating or I'm repeating myself and I'm repeating what we've been talking about, but it's being willing to invest in yourself and that means investing the time and making your wellness in that broad definition a priority. And the second I think is being willing to do the work. One of the things that I've come to really accept in my life over the last many years of hard work is that everything takes work. Whether it's happiness, people think that happiness is a destination and you can get there and you can just hang out. But the truth is happiness takes ongoing, consistent work to do the things that lead to happiness. Fitness, wellness, those things take work. It's a lot easier to pick up the fast food than it is to go home and wash the kale. It just takes work. And the third is, and this is really important, is surrounding yourself with people who are like minded in that way. I have a section in the book called people are like bananas, which is one of my favorite expressions, but it goes to the fact that you will inevitably take on some of the characteristics of the people with whom you surround yourself. So if you are surrounding yourself with people who don't take care of themselves with people who are not happy with people who don't prioritize wellness, you're going to take on some of those characteristics to your own detriment. Well, thank you Joyce.

Allan (24:50):
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book and what you're doing over at 99 Walks, where would you like me to send them?

Joyce (24:58):
Well, the book is available on Amazon so you can just head over to Amazon and search, Walk Your Way to Better. I am available on social media and all the channels that Joyce R Shullman, and to learn more about 99 Walks and our movement, you can find us online 99walks.fit and the 99 Walks app is available both Amazon and Android.

Allan (25:20):
So they can get the book, they can contact a local friend and say, Hey friend, I bought you a copy too. We're going to do this. And when they get their book they can, they can start their 99 Walks. So Joyce, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness. Uh, if you guys want to get the links, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/429. So Joyce again, sorry. Thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

Joyce (25:43):
Absolutely. My pleasure. Allan, thanks so much.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 8, 2020

The 4 Season Solution with Dallas Hartwig

Dallas Hartwig, the co-creator of Whole30, presents us with a compelling way to maintain our health and fitness with The 4 Seasons Solution.


Allan (03:24):
Dallas, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dallas (03:26):
Thank you so much for having me.

Allan (03:28):
It's just an honor for me to have you on the show. It's a, you're someone I've really wanted to get in touch with for a while. And when I, when I got your book, The Four Seasons Solution and I started reading through it, I was like, this is profound. This because I had sort of already taken the nutrition thing to a kind of a seasonal idea thinking through ancestral eating and you know, my Northern European family would not have been eating papayas in December. And so I would typically do, and I, I kind of coin the phrase seasonal ketosis cause that's a natural place that I found myself at now. I did it backwards because I like football season and beer and hanging out with my friends. And so I kinda, I kind of switched it up, but I have to admit, I have found myself very much where you talk about in the book and that kind of this perpetual summer, which we're going to talk about. So I really did resonate with the message that you have in the book. And I think the folks, anyone that's going to read your book is going to as well.

Dallas (04:30):

Allan (04:32):
So now part of what you have in the book and you talk about are these rhythms and you know, we, we can talk about circadian rhythms, we can talk about the rhythms that happen over the course of seasons. Cause everybody, particularly in the Northeast and the North is going to experience some form of seasons in the Southeast they'll call it 10 seasons, rain hot, a little bit more rain hot. And then you know, a little bit more rain. But down here in Panama, you know, we really only have rainy and hot and so we don't have the longer, shorter days and things like that. So it's a little harder to kind of go into the whole that, but there are those rhythms and I think most, most people that are listening to this are going to kind of resonate with that idea that there's, Oh yeah, there's these seasons and there's different things that we do and should be doing longer days, shorter days.

Allan (05:22):
And then there's the seasons of life. And so you kind of use that concept as you go through this to build, for lack of a better word, as I went into reading it and thinking through as a helix, our life as we go forward going through these series of rhythms. But we've got to get in sync with those rhythms if we really want to be well. So can you kind of talk through those different rhythms that we should be paying attention to and how they're going to benefit us for wellness.

Dallas (05:50):
For sure. And you know, that's both, a simple question and a really complex question. I, it's one of the things that I'm most interested in is patterns. And what I started to identify over the last 6 to 10 years is a sort of recurring fractal pattern of expansion and contraction that occurs on a daily rhythm. Actually, there are shorter rhythms call trading rhythms and we're familiar with REM cycles when we're sleeping. So there's a very sort of rhythm. There's the very obvious daily rhythm or circadian rhythm. There's also the same expansion-contraction cycle over the course of a year. And then we have this expansion-contraction cycle over the course of a lifetime. And there are so many fascinating comparisons between all those different cycles of what happens for us experientially, motivationally, emotionally, physiologically, metabolically. There are so many comparisons there and that fascinates me.

Dallas (06:44):
And what I started to do was layer in and sort of glean some of the patterns that are already encoded into our DNA. These are biological principles that have always governed the way we live that govern basically all life on earth is governed by these different cycles. And the circadian rhythm is a really obvious one across the course of the day. We have light, we have dark, we have sunrise, we have sunset, we have bright midday light. Like all of these things send physiological signals to our bodies and they affect our neurochemistry, they affect our metabolism, they affect our alertness, they affect our motivation, they affect our pleasure responses to things. And so it changes this. There's this entire, like I sort of envision this almost sort of pulsing, throbbing sort of amoeba shaped thing. Like we are constantly in motion in all of these different ways.

Dallas (07:41):
And what I seek to do in this book, and is giving some simple structure and organization to that. And that is basically just observing the natural patterns that are already there in nature. So I talk about rhythms with what we eat. I talk about rhythms with the light dark cycle, including sleep, but not limited to sleep. I talk about rhythms and oscillations in that same expansion contraction cycle in the way that we move across the course of a day across the course of a year and across the course of a lifetime. And I talk about connection, and I think that's one of the things that is overlooked in a lot of discussions about health and wellness is the sense of connection, not just to other people. That's kind of the obvious one. There's a large and growing conversation about social isolation and loneliness and that the social, emotional unhealth cost of loneliness, but that's not the entire story of connection.

Dallas (08:31):
So we also have this opportunity to connect deeply with ourselves, connect deeply with a sense of place and belonging and home and sort of mother earth. And then we have this sense of connection to a larger purpose, sense of contribution to something larger than ourselves, which is also correlated with some of the happiest and most long lived people on earth. So it's complex in that there are multiple moving pieces in this expansion contraction cycle. But it's also incredibly simple because what it does is allows us to get back in touch with our intuitive rhythms that are present in our bodies already. And we've just learned to ignore them or we've never learned to listen to them in the first place. So that the closer we get to aligning with these natural rhythms, the easier decisions get, the easier we make healthy decisions because it's just what we want to do intuitively.

Dallas (09:25):
So one of the major problems with the modern world is that we have largely eliminated those rhythms. We've flattened everything. So it's made, we've made everything like a light switch. It's off or it's on, it's go or it's stop and all of these things, we're at work or we're not, we are exercising or we're sedentary and this, it's very binary and polarized. And one of the things that argue for in this book is that across all of these different domains of living, we should be much more like a sign wave than a right angle or a straight line because there are no straight lines and right angles in nature. They're all curvaceous and beautiful and cyclical. So that's the, that's the sort of, that's the sort of conceptual background. And then the book gets much more, specific into each of those areas and, and kind of how, in my recommendations of how to actually implement those different things.

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Allan (10:20):
Yeah. I think, you know, intuitively, we kind of know these things. If we do shift work, someone who does shift work, you know, there's plenty of science out there to say that they, they struggle with their health and wellness because the shift work interferes with their normal circadian sleep rhythm. They don't know when to be awake and when to be asleep. And yeah it really impacts their health overall. And so it's that when we break one of these, I'm not going to say a rule, but just a natural rhythm of, of how we should probably be living our lives, how we've lived our lives for millennia. It's, it really does take a toll on our bodies. Now I want to kind of start because I think that the easiest way to think about this beyond the, of course the circadian rhythm is kind of an easy one to do, but most people think that relates to sleep and you believe it's relates to all of it, but I want to talk about particularly the four seasons of the year because like I said, it was fascinating to me.

Allan (11:17):
I thought of it from a nutrition perspective of okay, my ancestors would not have had access to this food, therefore it probably shouldn't be eating that food during this time of the year. I need to have a winter, I need to have a time of famine where I'm predominantly eating meat and fat and that's my food products because that's all that's available. And there's going to be a period of time when I'm eating leafy greens and then there's going to be blueberry season where I'm just going to go crazy eating the blueberries. So it was easy for me to conceptualize this from a, from a food perspective, but you take it across all four of those dynamics, the food, the movements, the sleep and then of course the relationships both with ourselves and with others. Can you kind of walk through the four seasons and kind of give us an idea of how over the course of four seasons that would impact each of those four pillars of health and then why we find ourselves today kind of stuck in this summer. Because we've had this linear, like you said, we've smoothed everything out and we just happen to smooth it out at a time when we love, which is that dopamine summer.

Dallas (12:20):
Totally. Totally. So I mentioned expansion, contraction cycle. So there is kind of the two sides of the coin there and I grouped the four seasons into two and two. So spring and summer tend to be all about expansion. They tend to be about stimulation and fun and novelty and excitement and exploration and hard work and stress and all of that is totally okay. Like that's a natural rhythm. So it's akin to kind of morning and mid-day and the experience of a, like the sort of the titillation of early spring when we're like, let's go do some work in the garden or clean the garage. Like that sort of spontaneous motivation to do things or to start a new exercise program or to go on a trip or like the draw towards new exciting things is driven by dopamine and then the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol, which help us adapt to that stress and maximize our sort of performance under stress.

Dallas (13:20):
And that's all good stuff. And I think that sometimes we make the mistake of sort of idealizing some other metobolic processes or neuro transmitters or motivational experiences and then demonizing others. And what I'm saying here is that actually all of these things have important functions because if we didn't have some of those motivational experiences to go try new things, go places, meet new people, we would stay at home and probably starve to death because we didn't have that spontaneous motivation to kind of go out and explore. So those are all really important things. So spring and summer are the expansion phase. Fall and winter are the contraction phase. It's the balancing point. And fall and winter are about slowing down, restoring and recovering from the stressful spring and summer. It is about coming home and reconnection and being grateful and being generous and knowing our place.

Dallas (14:16):
And it's all of the ideas that are really kind of epitomizes by American Thanksgiving. This sense of like gratitude and connection and generosity that are such hallmarks of fall. And then winter then is this experience of deep healing and restoration and contraction and what's wrong into like the most intimate parts of yourself and most intimate connections with people. It's not, it's kind of the opposite of the summer barbecues and block parties. It is sitting around the fireplace with your closest circle and all of those things are important. There's not, there's no good or bad here. What there is is this expansion and contraction cycle that works beautifully when it's in balance and works really poorly when it's out of balance. So fall and winter then are symbolized by the neurotransmitters of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin as well known for its role in mood, in pleasure, in feeling a sense of contentment and connection and belonging.

Dallas (15:16):
And it's a very, it's a very peaceful, Placid, satisfied experience. And of course melatonin being the sort of darkness hormone, so to speak, is all about getting us into that very deep contracted, restorative phase of sleep or in the case of deep winter, a very kind of therapeutic experience. The problem is that back at the Dawn of agriculture, roughly 10 or 12,000 years ago, and as we started to kind of get civilization going and ownership societies and economics and urbanization, the whole thing sort of started to shift from being hunter gatherers in sort of integrated into their local environment to start to take control of the environment at first through agriculture and stabilizing the food supply. But then through, you know, later through the industrial revolution with artificial light, we started to kind of really craft the environment around us and that's where we went off course. Really kind of starting back at the agricultural revolution and then later through the industrial and technological revolutions.

Dallas (16:17):
Because what we did is we got stuck in this summer mode, this mode of success, of hard work, of accumulating resources of like go, go always on excitement and fun and expansion. And we got stuck there because it's good for civilization, it's good for the human species as a whole in that expansive mode. And of course you look at the population of humans on earth. We have done plenty of expansion, but it is out of balance. And what the challenge there, and I explained this in the book, but part of the challenge is that it's so fun and exciting to experience the dopamine and adrenaline and cortisol components of life. The excitement and the pleasure and the reward aspects of it. It's very difficult to tear ourselves away from that to have the corresponding contraction experiences. So I write in the book that we are stuck in a chronic summer and if you think about having the feeling you have at the end of summertime and let's say at the, in the Northern hemisphere sort of at the end of August and early September, you're like, Oh, I'm so tired.

Dallas (17:25):
I can't wait for the days to start to get shorter and they start to cool down and maybe the kids go back to school and like things start to kind of settle in and get a little bit saner because we're so tired. And that same sensation is the one that a lot of us have like deep in our bones over the course of years. And decades because we're living in a chronic summer. And the reason that's a major problem is because the behaviors in the summertime, if they are out over again years or decades, those chronic summer behaviors produce chronic disease outcomes. So all of this gets tied together as we can not only prevent and reverse chronic disease by stepping out of that chronic summer situation, but we can actually make all of the rich, beautiful human experiences better by reintroduced saying a balanced oscillating system.

Allan (18:15):
Yeah, and I think that's kind of the key of it is it's exciting. We're out there, we're doing stuff in particular as we start talking about sleep. I think food people get, it's like we have access to some foods all year round. And so we're, we're eating that all the time. We're getting all that sugar, all that, you know, the blueberries are there every day, every season I get and I'm everyday and if I keep doing that, my body's not getting that retraction, that contraction, that should be getting later. But with sleep kind of thing is an annual visits, the badge of honor that I only sleep five hours a night and do this stuff. You know what, I've got all these things, these, these responsibilities that, you know, put the kids to bed and then I've got to catch up with this and then I got to do that.

Allan (18:57):
And then I'm so wound up, well I guess I'll just go ahead and watch Netflix for an hour or so or four or six. And then I got to catch up on Facebook because totally all my friends that have been up until two o'clock in the morning, they're also posting now. So that's coming through and, we're one, we're giving ourselves all this artificial light, which wouldn't exist. We're not going with the natural cycle. And I think that's one of the, to me, that's where the, like the aha moment with what you were going into when you went through and said, when your book, you had your other book, which is, it starts with food. But in this book you said, you know, maybe sleep is easier, a better place to really think about this. And I'm agreeing with you here, if you sleep more when it's darker longer, that's probably how our ancestors did it for millennia, and it's probably a good life lesson for us. So can you kind of just talk about why sleep is so important to us and how we can use the seasons as a kind of a flag for us of better sleep and better health?

Dallas (19:55):
Certainly. There's this principle of evolutionary mismatch, which might not be a familiar term, but the concept is familiar and you've already spoken to it in that in our ancient past and the way that our bodies have evolved, we, our bodies expect oscillation. We expect certain types of kind of environmental conditions. And the modern world, the way we've constructed is extremely new to our physiology. We haven't had time evolutionarily speaking, to adapt to that. So we have a mismatch between what our physiology expects and what our environment provides us or what we provide ourselves through the modern environment. And that same principle. So you've spoken to food and said, okay, we can actually solve a ton of the problems with food by eating what is locally and seasonally available. And that's a beautiful elegant solution to food is literally just doing that one simple thing is eating what's available to you locally and seasonally.

Dallas (20:49):
And of course that takes into account what your local geography is. And in Panama you've got a different and certainly much smaller amplitude or smaller oscillations season to season, but there's a small change. It's of course much larger at higher and lower latitudes respectively, higher latitudes, North and South, North and South of the equator. And there's another principle that's akin to that with sleep, which is basically you should track or your sleeping patterns should be reasonably close to the sunrise and sunset times wherever you live. And that doesn't mean that in, you know, the Northern United States that you'd go to bed at 5:00 PM, you know, in the winter time because the sun goes down that early. But the closer you can track that this is like a beautiful, simple kind of heuristic or or sort of shortcut.

Dallas (21:38):
The closer you are to that, the better your health and wellness is going to be across the board. And that's true for a number of reasons. The single largest one is that our physiology is incredibly dependent on the light dark cycle. And that's something that has been, that I and many other researchers, have really underappreciated in years and decades past. And as we start to understand how significantly our metabolism is affected by that light dark cycle, we can start to identify the downstream consequences of mismatching, what's going on outside and the natural rhythms that are there with what we are with the environments we are providing with artificial light. And especially to your point, the sort of staying up late, which is basically a summertime behavior, right? Where the kind of long days, short nights, and what we basically have is a chronic shortage of sleep, but it's not just shortage of sleep, it's actually a deficiency of time spent in darkness.

Dallas (22:36):
So I kind of reframe that in the book where it's not just that people need to get more sleep and needs to go to bed earlier and whatever. They also need to spend more time in relative darkness. So there's this principle of mismatch that shows up in the realm of sleep because we, not only do we not have enough time spent in darkness and including sleeping, we also don't have enough exposure to bright, natural light. So, so much of our physiology is dictated by exposure to bright light because that is one of the triggers for our metabolism to say, Oh, I should be awake. Our nervous system gets regulated by that. And we have these, what we call clocks, these, these genetically encoded mechanisms within almost all of the cells and all of our bodies that have a roughly 24 hour rhythm, but they are made more accurate and more consistent by exposure to bright light.

Dallas (23:28):
So bright light early in the morning really helps to kind of reset and coordinate all of those clocks so that as we advance through the day, we have a more coordinated system. And as we get into the hours after sunset or approaching sunset, we are, we have coordinated clocks within our bodies such that we can start to wind down more naturally. And that requires that we avoid the artificial light after sunset. And that means dimming the lights at home. That means avoiding the computer and tablet and smartphone screens that have a lot of that blue light. Because if you think about blue light, especially when it's quite bright, blue light is effectively the signal that it is mid day. And this is sort of blue sky environment. Blue light tells your brain you should be alert, you should be active and you should have this sort of stress hormones on board so that you can perform maximally.

Dallas (24:20):
So this the experience of summer of having lots of sun, lots of light and lots of stress that goes along with all of that gets stretched over into the evening hours when we have artificial light that we get from all of these screens, so it's quite a well known recommendation at this point that we should be avoiding blue light in the evenings, especially in the hour or two before bed. I'll maybe extend that even farther and say the longer you get after or the longer you are awake after sunset and the more blue light you were exposed to after sunset, wherever you are, the more problems you are likely to have with your circadian rhythm. So it just hearkens back to this really simple and elegant solution. You should actually just follow the natural rhythm with a light dark cycle to the extent that you are able, just like you would follow what is present for you in food with local and seasonal foods. These, all of these, these really simple guidelines of like, this is how we go back and this is how we undo some of that evolutionary mismatch to improve our health overall.

Allan (25:23):
Yeah. I did some personal experiments to just kind of see what my sleep cycles were. You know, you wear wearable devices and things like that. About a year or so. And yeah, I'm right on the sleep cycle of 90 minutes. And I was going through that and I would say, okay. What I found was, yeah, in, in the summertime I, I felt okay with just sometimes four, but usually five sleep cycles. And then when it's the longer winters, and this really hit me when I would travel up to Calgary from Arkansas. And Arkansas, I'd go up to Calgary in July and it's, it's daylight at eight o'clock at night. And I'm like, ah, I just want to go to bed, but what am I supposed to do?

Allan (26:14):
You know? And so that would really mess with me. That would mess with me as much as traveling to Europe for sure. It really threw me off that there was that much difference in the length of a day and when the sun was out, when it wasn't. And so I recognize that my, my body had, was adaptive to the seasons and to the sun. And you know, obviously everybody knows about jet lag, but these were this kind of experiences of I sleep longer in the winter just naturally because I never set an alarm. I always go to bed early enough that I never have to set an alarm. I go through my sleep cycles and when I get through a sleep cycle, if it's after, you know, if I know I have to be up at seven, if it's after five o'clock I just get up. Cause I know 90 minute sleep cycles not going to work, I will, I'll sleep through the alarm if I even set one, which I typically don't. So I just kind of had these natural, okay I'm gonna I need to get five, sometimes six. Then in the winter I always found it was almost always going to be that extra sleep cycle, which you know, is just kind of one of those learning opportunities I gave myself by going to bed earlier. So I gave up a lot of Netflix watching for the sake of science and my health and that's where I found myself.

Dallas (27:23):
Yeah, well I love that you've already taken on so many of these experiments and just sort of naturally gravitate towards something that's very much in alignment with the entire model that I put forward in the book. Because what you, what I hear you saying is you have gotten better at trusting your own body's instincts and intuitions and, and not just like, like hearing them and trusting and acting on them in a way that drifts naturally over time to a much more harmonious and effortless place. I mean, the fact that you can go to bed and just sort of wake up without an alarm really speaks to the, the rested state that you're in when you do wake up. And I think that's extraordinary and beautiful. So I applaud you for doing those experiments.

Allan (28:05):
Yeah, but let my wife wake me up when I'm not like, my whole brain is off. I'm like, wait, where am I? What's going on? And it's like, Oh, we gotta we gotta go. And I'm like, Oh, I need one more sleep cycle. But okay, yes, I'm up. But, so yeah, I've done a lot of that myself cause it's, you know, when you're doing a podcast and doing the health and fitness and you know, this is my thing now, I make that a priority to, to experiment. And I think everyone should do these experiments. And what's really cool about your book is that you give us a lot of experiments. There's a lot in here that we can't get into all of it. But I did want to cover one more thing before we really get going. And because I do interview a lot of people and I'm fairly agnostic with what people eat.

Allan (28:51):
You're gonna eat the way you're going to eat and it's either going to serve you or it's not. So you need to do those experiments because experiments are good for you. But one of the things, like I said, I really liked about your book was that it just kind of broke through all of that and it said there's gonna be periods of the year that you would just naturally be a vegan because it's the blueberries are there, the vegetables and fruits are there and they're in abundance and you're going to be just doing that. You're still going to get your protein and do your thing. So I do want to get into the protein aspects cause I think that's another huge thing. But then you say, okay, when we get around to the winter time there's not any more blueberries, there's not as many leafy greens though our diet would naturally have changed. So you kind of break through the diet tribalism cause it gets very tribal.

Dallas (29:42):
Absolutely. Well, and I think, you know, one of the points I make in the book and I'll make here as well, is that one of the reasons why we have such sort of fractured tribal perspectives on nutritionist because this science is extremely inconsistent in its conclusions. You can find a you know, a research paper that says people should eat only meat. You can find a research paper that says research paper that says people should be vegan, they should be extremely low fat, they should be high fat, low carb and everywhere in between. We look at Mediterranean diets and paleo diets and ketogenic diets. Like there's all of these different things that are really often in quite sort of conflict with each other, but yet there's research to support all of them. And I view that like you, I mean I have a, a broad evolutionary template that says the things that are most likely going to nourish us well are the things that have been around for the longest.

Dallas (30:37):
So it goes back to the meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds and naturally occurring fat sources, which from a conceptual standpoint, it looks like a quote unquote paleo diet. But I'm less concerned with what is technically paleolithic and more concerned with like, does this make me healthier? And the beautiful thing that is written into, and not because I wrote it in, but because it's in all of us, and this is to your point, the beautiful thing it's written into our physiology is the ability to adapt to many different nutritional inputs. And so what we have in the research is evidence that we can adapt in positive ways to a low fat, high vegetable kind of plant based or vegetarian diet. We can also adapt to a meat and fat-based low carbohydrate or even kenogenic dietary approach. We can adapt to something that is more moderate, like a sort of meat and vegetables, paleo approach.

Dallas (31:36):
We can adapt to something like a Mediterranean diet that is rich in many different types of micronutrients. But there's a lot of commonality in all of these things. And so what I look for is patterns and commonality. And what I see in commonality is that the nutritional research that across the board, the nutritional principles that make people healthier include whole food sources, adequate dietary protein, plenty of nutrient-dense plant matter and some variation across the course of time. And one of the weaknesses of nutritional research is that they're typically difficult to control short term studies. And so we can come to all sorts of different conclusions with these different dietary approaches. I think there's an opportunity to recognize that the human omnivore is so amazingly adaptable to all these different inputs that we have a seasonal opportunity to implement and gain the benefits of many of these approaches.

Dallas (32:35):
So for example, a springtime diet that is rich in tender greens and healthy fat sources like avocado and olive oil and rich in foods like poultry and seafood would look a lot like a Mediterranean diet. A summer diet of a wide variety of vegetables and starts your roots and fruit, especially fruit in the kind of mid and late summer and is lighter on the kind of meat and fat approach. Looks a lot like a sort of plant based diet that still does include some whole, some complete protein sources, but it looks a lot more like that sort of, you know, what is what we now describe as plant-based. A fall diet might look like a paleo type diet that is again still based on whole foods that has both meat and vegetables present in wide amounts. So there's an amazing opportunity there to gain all those benefits to not have to become really zealous and dogmatic about our nutritional approaches and also still to have all of the health producing benefits of these different dietary approaches.

Dallas (33:38):
So I think that's fascinating because it explains all of the nutritional, the conflicting nutritional information and it just sort of takes away the charge from the diet wars and says, actually here's what works, here's what we know and here's what basically everyone in the nutritional realm would agree on. And that's why I like someone like Michael Paulin, such a sane, moderate research and kind of research based and grounded approach. Like eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Like that's such a beautiful synopsis of that. And I really support simple solutions. So, I think that's a fun way to kind of take some of the charge and the confrontation out of discussions around nutrition.

Allan (34:22):
Yeah. Because if you eat that you're, you're not just going to die. But now I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Dallas (34:37):
Ooh, that's such a great question. So I think, I like simple ones. So here's one in the realm of nutrition which is start moving towards eating foods that are, that are available locally and seasonally. And that in the summertime is really easy because there's a wide range of things, you know, going to your local farmer's market is a great way to do that. In the winter time, especially in the higher latitudes, that gets a lot more restrictive. So it might be more challenging there to be limiting some of the more processed foods and especially carbohydrate sources and introducing, and maybe you have to learn how to cook some new things. But the thing, there's also a real adaptive metabolic benefit to restricting carbohydrate to getting a really rich protein source and a lot of healthy dietary fats each meal because we have all of the instance insulin sensitizing and anti-inflammatory effects of that approach as well.

Dallas (35:30):
So there's lots of great stuff there, but it's literally just eat what's available locally. There is the, just tag us in there. Try to do all of your eating during the daylight hours. So not the lights, not the hours when you have the lights on at home, but during the daylight hours because that starts to introduce a natural compressed feeding window or we talk about narrow like early or late feeding window. We talk about intermittent fasting and I think that's a really elegant way to just provide some natural oscillation there. So in the summertime there's very long windows of time when you'd be eating in the winter, they're much, they're much narrower. And then around movement I haven't talked to much about movement so far, but if you are not currently doing a some kind of resistance training, functional fitness training, something that is based that is the anchor for a strong resilient body.

Dallas (36:21):
Introduce that now and lots of times we take, we take people who are somewhat sedentary or who kind of are underactive and we overemphasize the cardio metabolic or the cardiovascular fitness training and we underemphasize getting good joint mobility and having good strength because building strong muscles and bone density and joints that can tolerate very functional ranges of movement is highly correlated with the ability to maintain independence into our later years. So that's one of those things that is an anchor in my program. And I think the last thing I'll say, and again circling back to connection, most of us spend lots of time in easy, shallow, stimulating, fun, light conversations either with coworkers or people on social media or friends. We don't tend to do a much as much of that contractive fall type, deep vulnerable, intimate kind of open, present, grateful grounded communication.

Dallas (37:24):
That would be more like fall. So I would encourage you, whether it's with your partner or spouse or with some of your closest friends your family or children or parents invest in that experience and it's unfamiliar and it's scary and we don't quite know how to do it. And especially for us men, it feels awkward because our fathers didn't probably didn't do very much of that and it might not be viewed as sort of masculine, but really human beings need connection. And I think in general, if this is a safe stereotype, I think men are particularly isolated because society has taught us that we need to be strong and invulnerable and tough and we take care of ourselves. And usually it means it's hard for us to open up about what's going on for us, psycho emotionally, how we are feeling or what we're feeling, what we're experiencing. So this is my support for and suggestion that we do a lot more of that men and women across the board. But I think for us, men, it's a particularly difficult and scary and unfamiliar thing because it wasn't modeled to us in earlier generations. So those are my three.

Allan (38:32):
Great Dallas, thank you. This book, like I said, it really is an awesome book and I, I am going to be going back into it time and time again because there's so many lessons in there. We, we just, we just scratched the surface your, your concepts on anchors and how we're going to do this pivot. How we make it fit into practically fit into getting out of our summers and getting into the lifestyle that's gonna work for us. Again, there's so much there that's not just theoretical, but it's totally practical, really deep, good book. I appreciate the opportunity to read it. I really appreciate the time you've given us to the show. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?

Dallas (39:16):
They could go to dallashartwig.com. I'm active on Instagram, primarily has social media, which is @DallasHardwig. I've got a mailing list and the book is available on Amazon and Barnes, noble and everywhere else books are sold.

Allan (39:32):
All right. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/428 and I'll be sure to have links there, but do make sure you get this book. This is one of the best health and fitness books I've read in a long, long time. So Dallas, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Dallas (39:47):
Thank you so much for having me


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Another episode you may enjoy


March 30, 2020

Aging brilliantly with Dr. Patricia Selassie

Nobody wants to get old, but we have to face facts that we will. On episode 427 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Dr. Patricia Selassie shows us the art of Aging Brilliantly.


Allan (02:33):
Dr. Selassie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Selassie (02:36):
Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be on your podcast Allan.

Allan (02:40):
Well, I am eager to talk about your book because I loved, loved, loved the title when I saw it on Amazon coming out soon, and I was like, okay, I got to get this. I got to get her on here. The book is called Aging Brilliantly: How to Eat, Move, Rest, and Socialize Your Way to Long Life. And in that book, I think you do a really good job of just kind of taking us through some of the basic fundamental things that we should be doing to keep ourselves healthy and in doing so, aging better.

Dr. Selassie (03:09):
Absolutely. Yeah. It's back to the basics, you know, I think that that's always going to be the foundation.

Allan (03:16):
And the way I kind of get into it when I'm talking to clients is I'm like, let's look for the big rocks. You know? And it's, I think everybody pretty much knows I could eat better, I could move more, I could rest better and I can socialize more. So it's a, it's kind of this natural go-to. Can you kind of go through those four pillars and just kind of talk about what each one means to us and how we should be mindful and focused on each one?

Dr. Selassie (03:41):
Yeah, absolutely. And even though these are just the basics, I just want to say that the basics are heavily backed up. By research, I mean there's been tons of science and clinical studies showing that these four pillars are really important for aging brilliantly. So eating, I mean, you know, right now I think that everybody is really kind of gets excited about the latest trends, you know? And if you've been in the health field for a while, you understand that these ideas change. Like I think maybe 10 years ago or not even that long ago, everybody was like all excited about the paleo diet and eating bacon and now everybody's all excited about the plant-based diet, but if you're around 20 years ago, the plant-based diet is really just the vegan diet, but despite all the trends, no matter if you're like I'm gluten-free or I'm paleo, which is not a trend for some people, but no matter what diet you're on, the most important thing I think is really that you get some of the fundamentals that you see in all diets, which is going to be healthy plants.

Dr. Selassie (04:47):
No matter what type of diet you are on, you want to make sure you're including plants. And good fats are really important and I know that there was a time when everybody was eating fat-free and now we've got to like get with the times because when I fat-free is just not the way to go. There's been the most research done on the Mediterranean diet and I think it's a very adaptable diet for lots of people. Whether you have gluten sensitivities or you don't want to eat animal products or you can't, you know, you don't do well on dairy. There's always food available for people and ways to make it more tailored towards you. And the Mediterranean diet shortly is just pretty much lots of plants. You want to have nuts and seeds and oils, a little bit of fish, a little bit of protein.

Dr. Selassie (05:38):
And that's the basic pillar of, and there's definitely more details in the book. Moving is really important. I think that we all understand now that we live a very sedentary life. Most of us are working at a cubicle. We're not even standing. And studies show that even a little bit of moving, so I think a lot of people get intimidated because they think like, Oh, I've got to start that CrossFit now. You know, or I got to, you know, New Year's is here, so I got to start my exercise regime. But a lot of the studies are showing just even three minutes every hour makes a huge difference in your health and aging well. So moving and moving every chance you get.

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Dr. Selassie (06:19):
Resting is really important. People do not prioritize sleep. In fact, I live here in Brooklyn, New York, and people I think glorify like, Oh, I can get by on four hours or I only need six hours.

But it's really about if you want to age brilliantly, you've really got to prioritize rest and rest is sleeping, is associated with everything. Better body types or healthier body sizes, less stress on the brain, better performance at work and for school, for children. So rest is really important and I don't think it gets focused on as much. And then the last thing is socialization. Whenever you have people that you are loving around you, whether it's like your true flesh plant family or friends, which are like family that you choose. And also purpose, like serving people in the world, making the world a better place, those people tend to age longer. You know, there, there's a reason for them to kind of hang around. And so they do.

Allan (07:23):
Yeah, you based a lot of this off of Buettner's work, The Blue Zones. And so this is a brilliant piece of work. And I, I did have Dr. John Day on the show and he found a small city in a small town village actually in China that was kind of remote and found a lot of these same things. You know, the way they eat, the way they move, the way they rest, the way they socialize was just kind of their natural day to day life, which was a lot more reminiscent of how we were in 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s. And then automobiles and transportation of food and industrialization of our food kind of put us on this path of moving kind of away from that. And I think that's why we're seeing a lot of the issues that we're seeing today is because we're just not really applying these four pillars in our life on a daily basis.

Dr. Selassie (08:19):
No. And just like you mentioned industrialization of food and agriculture, there's also things that we've introduced in our lives that were not there in the 18 hundreds like smartphones and electricity and computers and things like that that are sort of keeping us attached to the desk, you know, so and getting us off our natural rhythms. You know, we can be looking at a smartphone way into the wee hours of the night and then realize later it's, Oh my gosh, it's 2:30 AM. I hear that a lot. So we forget about that. We're human and we have natural, you know, natural basic needs that we need to make sure we're incorporating into our life.

Allan (09:01):
Yes. Now the Mediterranean diet you mentioned, and I think this is really, really important because you know, like you said, there's, a lot of push and most of them, the way I turned them as their elimination diets, when you, when you kind of break down a vegan diet or a carnivore diet or paleo diet or keto. All of these diets are basically focusing on one type of food or deemphasizing the other foods. And saying, okay, you shouldn't eat this and you can eat really crap food and be a vegan. You eat really crap food and be a carnivore. Interestingly enough, you know, if you're not paying attention because you know, it drives me nuts when I'm like, Oh I'm just going to eat bacon for 30 days. And I'm like, okay, you'll lose some weight cause you'll get tired of eating bacon. But beyond that, is that, is that really going to help you age well?

Allan (09:53):
Is that really gonna give you the nutrition that your body needs to be healthy and maybe losing weight is something that's kind of important to you. The doctors told you you need to do that and if this helps you do that, that's great. But you have to go back to something that's generally sustainable. And that's the one thing that kind of comes out in the science over and over again is that the Mediterranean diet is effectively one of those diets that you can stick to. Uh, because people did eat that way and have eaten that way for centuries. Now that the interesting thing about the Mediterranean diet that I think is misinterpreted, this doesn't mean go eat at the olive garden every day. It's slightly different. Now you, you, you briefly touched on, on the Mediterranean diet. Could we dive just a little bit deeper into kind of the background for, you know, these folks are living longer and they're getting a lot of heart, healthy, natural ingredients. Can you kind of talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Selassie (10:50):
Yeah, sure. And I just want to comment on what you're saying that a lot of people you hear about these amazing results that they get on, they get from like, Oh, I went on the this X diet. Like the keto diet is a great example and you're right, it's pretty much eliminating products that might not be so great for us, like things made from flour, which doesn't really have a lot of life in it. And suddenly, they lose a lot of weight, but it is honestly a hard diet to sustain. And the Mediterranean diet is a diet that's very easy for most people to sustain. It's just a matter of making sure you include, it's very inclusive. You've got to include a lot of these foods. So I think that the foundation, like I said, is plants. There's a lot of, you know, all kinds of plants.

Dr. Selassie (11:36):
I mean, you know, you've got your leafy greens, you want your foods from cruciferous family, like the broccoli and the cauliflower and the chards. And you know, other foods like that have been shown in some of these blue zones to really be healthy for us. Tomatoes and eggplants and things like fava beans and all kinds of beans. Lots of these cultures that, that live where they've got people living to a hundred are eating lots of beans and all different kinds. Black beans in Nicaragua and fava beans around the Mediterranean, and even soybeans in Japan. So, that's really important. There's lots of olive oil used in the Mediterranean Diet and I think all of what all is in general have very healthy properties for us. They're very strong antioxidants. They even have even has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, or at least the olive leaves.

Dr. Selassie (12:37):
And the fat is really a sustainable oil. Like it helps us. It's a sustainable oil and it also helps us as humans to sustain our blood sugars. It helps balance out our blood sugars. And it's a really good fat You just want to make sure you don't cook on high heat. You know, there's, are there things like grass-fed butter for example, is considered a good fat. And also from close to around the Mediterranean. Meat, you know, an animal protein is also consumed but not in that, not these big pound quarter-pound burgers. You know, it's more like it's part of the meal that includes many other food. Also even sardines and fish and even eggs, but in smaller amounts. But it is included in the diet. Lots of spices I think are really important. And yeah, I think that you're right, when we think of the Mediterranean diet, we might just think, Oh, this means pizza, you know, around Italy or lots of flour products. But there are, you know, there are, there is so much processing and the American idea of a pasta is a little bit different than how it is in the Mediterranean. They're served much smaller proportions and there's a variety of other foods and variety is really the key.

Allan (13:59):
Yeah. And one of the other things that I will say about most of the countries that are around the Mediterranean area is they, they eat differently than we do. And what I mean by that is a meal is an event. They, they don't go, they don't go to dinner and eat and scarf down a pizza and then go watch Netflix. They meet up, they start socializing and they might have a beer, but they're going to sit down and they're just going to start socializing. And then there'll be kind of a, you know, some olives will be put out. So maybe some cheese, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They'll sit there and nibble and then, you know, the main course will come out and you know, they'll work through that. But they're spending most of their time talking and showing and listening and getting along and socializing and de-stressing from the day.

Allan (14:47):
And then they might have a glass of wine, maybe two, but usually just a glass. And then they might have a light refreshing fruit or something for dessert and then boom, they're done. I mean that's their meal. But that meal took two hours, maybe two and a half because it's a part of their social environment building. So it's not, you know, the meal is not just to scarf down enough food to feel full. It's, it's intended to be a part of a social structure. So I think when you look at the four pillars, we don't often think of how related each and every one of these are. We have to eat to move, we should socialize while we're eating. And if we're using our time with friends and family in the right way, it reduces stress and just makes us feel more inclusive. So the Mediterranean diet to me is a little bit more than even just a diet. It's a lifestyle.

Dr. Selassie (15:36):
Yeah, I totally agree. Like, you know, putting your fork down in between bites, you're in parasympathetic mode, which is the kind of rest and digest mode you're practicing. That's actually what I call in my private practice, proper food hygiene. You know, you're like, you're resting you're not like answering emails on a computer while you're chewing, you're, you're actually looking at your friends and families in the eye or listening to what they have their day when exactly right. It's part of socialization. It's not these big portions of food that we all get quiet and dive into and talk with our mouth full. It's kind of like a much slower pace and the portions are smaller and there's rest in between.

Allan (16:20):
So yeah. It's an event and I think that's what I really liked about when I'm at the times I've been over in Mediterranean countries with people that are from that area is that they just, they approach everything a little bit differently. It's a little bit like that over here in Panama, but not, not quite to the extent of what I saw in Spain, in Italy. But, um, one of the areas that I really want to get into because it's part of the reason that I am in Panama is just stress. And in the book you did a good job of talking about what stress does to our brain. Could you take a little bit of time to talk about that relationship and what's going on?

Dr. Selassie (16:53):
Yeah. So I just mentioned it. There's, there's two different modes in our body. You can be in sympathetic mode, which is really fight or flight or parasympathetic mode, which is rest and digest. And in this day and age, most of us are in sympathetic mode, sympathetic mode. Our bodies were designed to shuttle between the two. I talk about like how you're most, you're supposed to mostly be in parasympathetic mode where you're like walking around, living your life with your family and then like a predator might jump in your way. And I'm talking about like thousands and thousands of years ago. And your, your design, when you see that predator to either run that's the flight or fight, fight the predator. But these days there's no predator. What there is our bills, an angry boss, a coworker that's hard to deal with, even work projects that have to get completed.

Dr. Selassie (17:50):
Commute's, terrible communities that people have to endure. And so a lot of the times our bodies are in a constant sympathetic mode. And what happens is you constantly stimulate your brain that way, and it sends signals to what's called the amygdala. And your amygdala is important for, it then sends signals to the hypothalamus, which is another part of your brain that basically sends messages all over. And if you're amygdala gets overused or over kind of overstimulated, then it gets bigger and bigger. And this is something that you don't want. You don't want an enlarged amygdala. You want, you know, it's sort of like when you, when you, you use your biceps over and over again, you get a bigger bicep. But that's something you do want with an amygdala you don't because now you're a McDilla is overstimulated and it sends these cascades to your body of all these stress hormones that happen.

Dr. Selassie (18:46):
And so furthermore, the frontal cortex of your brain as it receives some of these stress signals get shrunken. So you have such a thing called age-related cognitive decline. And that's basically, you know, when you start forgetting names of people, even people that are close to you or you can't remember that vocabulary word or you walk into a room and you forget why you walked in there, can't remember where you put your keys. Now this is a sign that your brain is pretty much starting to age, but I think a lot of it is really can be delayed if we were to kind of stop stressing out, take time to take care of ourselves and give our brains a little bit of a break. You know. And then again, all the pillars are intertwined. So like sleep is a really important time for your brain to regenerate. You're not regenerating or restoring when you're at work in your cubicle or washing the dishes, you're really restoring your brain when you're resting.

Allan (19:45):
Yeah, that's during one of the stages of sleep, that's when your body's actually flushing out the brain and cleaning it, which is are the restorative part of sleep. If we're not getting good sleep cycles or enough of them, we're not taking care of our brain. Now you touched on something and I think this is also really, really important because it's, it's so hard for people to do this and I'm just, I'm going to stereotype a little bit, but I don't mean in a bad way. It is. I think women have always been the caretakers of people and as a result, you know, so they're taking care of the children, they're taking care of the home, they're taking care of and they a lot of times it's very, very difficult to take that step back. I know as a personal trainer sometimes I just get so tied up into, you know, my business and taking care of the people I'm working with that sometimes I also don't do this and it's, it's called self care. And in the book you share some restorative self care ideas. Can you, can you kind of go through a few of those, what you think are some good ones for us to consider?

Dr. Selassie (20:43):
Yeah, I totally relate to that. I mean, you know, I'm a woman. I have five children, I have a private practice and a lot of times, and I talk about this in the book, that I get caught up in, Oh, I don't have time to prep a meal. I don't have time to, you know, drink a glass of water right now and be running to the bathroom. I have these children to take care of, I have my patients. I have, but let guess what I mean, if you don't take care of yourself, all of that, you will lose all of that, you know? So you've got to prioritize yourself and it doesn't mean that you have to stop everything and like move to Panama. Though that is really good. I would highly recommend that. But if you can't manage that right now, I mean there's a couple little tips that you can do.

Dr. Selassie (21:29):
Like for example, water is so important. You could savor a big glass of water. That's something that I do first thing in the morning before anybody else gets up is I make sure I drink certain amount of ounces of water and I savor it. And I really think about how this is, you know, hydrating me and giving me life. There's other things that you can do to just squeeze in a little self care, like a bath versus a shower. It might take you maybe 10, 15 minutes more, but it can, you know, your muscles under the hot water, it really, it really, let's go, you know what I mean? And then if you put some magnesium salts in there, you're adding some nutrients that can help relax your muscles. And it's alone time. It's me time. It's like there's nobody that can really bother you.

Dr. Selassie (22:16):
You can lock yourself up in the bathroom. Going out in nature, I think is a huge one. Even, you know, like I live in a city, so I'm either in my office or in the subway or in a car or in a building. But even just going out to a park, you know, a green space. And even just for three minutes, 3 to 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be long. Of course the more time you can spend in nature, the better. But our bodies need that. Our bodies are used to seeing plants and getting energy from live things. So that's also a really quick thing that you could do. Like literally just leave your building for a minute, look at some trees. Taking a nap, that's always my favorite one. Like there's nothing like you could be going, going, going and exhausted and you're really not getting much done.

Dr. Selassie (23:02):
But sometimes then that might be all you need. I talked about savoring a glass of water they can, there could be savoring a glass of herbal tea. I mean there's just, there's just so many things. Reading something inspiring I think is really important. One I really love is connecting with an old friend. I've had some amazing, fantastic conversations with people. Just pick one randomly that I haven't maybe talked to in a couple of years and just say, Hey, what's up? There's something really special about connecting with someone and it doesn't mean that, Oh gosh, I haven't spoken to John for two years, it's going to be an hour on the phone. It might just be, you know, 5/10 minute like I'm thinking about you just sending you some love, some good energy, you know, so connection is another one.

Allan (23:48):
Yeah. Now this can sound like a lot and I think when people are looking to change, they're like, Oh, I got to do all these things. I gotta do all these things and I for one I don't, I don't even have enough time to do the things I'm already doing. My to do list just grows every day and I keep pushing things off and pushing things off. And so this just feels, sometimes it feels like there's, there's more there to do. And I would say probably not, but it's really hard for a lot of people to just bridge that gap. Now in the book you talk about setting an intention. And I like, you know, in every chapter as you go through, you have a self assessment set of questions for someone to just kind of answer a few questions really easy, get a score. And then based on that kind of a general idea of how well they're doing on those things. So by the time they get to this sudden intentions part, they should have a pretty good idea where they're weakest, where they're strongest. And what are some of the questions that they answered that they didn't get the score that they thought they should've gotten. Can you talk about setting an intention and what are the steps? What are some things that people would want to consider as they're thinking about doing these things? Because I think you're right, setting the intention is really the key to getting anything done.

Dr. Selassie (25:03):
Yeah, I mean I, I totally get it. Like my things to do list seems to be getting longer and longer too, every single day. And the thing is though, if you want to age brilliantly, you're going to have to, that might have to be sort of a goal that you're going to attain. Otherwise you're basically receive what I call a certain future, which is just can it be aging? You know what I mean? If you don't take a step here or there, you're just basically going to be aging rapidly instead of aging slowly. So you know, that's the thing as you've got to take some time to sort of assess what's going on. I think the self assessments help you to do that and kind of see what areas of your life that would really make a bigger impact for you. So the smallest shift with the bigger impact is really where you start and after you do all the assessments, you'll kind of, you'll, that will kind of come through.

Dr. Selassie (26:00):
You'll kind of see like, wow, sleep is really a big thing that I've never prioritized. Maybe that's an, and I like to sleep. So maybe that might be an area that I really work on. And you want to kind of even look at yourself like where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see yourself in 10 years or 20 years? Or like I would say that like if you're in your 50s now, you know, where do you want to see yourself in two decades? Do you want to see yourself active? Do you want to see yourself like doing and enjoying all the things you love? Do you see yourself with grandchildren? Do you see yourself playing tennis or you want to kind of project in the future and what will understand now? What will it take to get there? If you see yourself tennis in two decades, so like let's say you're in your mid fifties now and your mid seventies like what would that really mean?

Dr. Selassie (26:50):
That would really mean like preserving your joints, you know, keeping your joints active, you know, taking care of your physical body. If it's really just like seeing and being around your grandchildren, you know, maybe something like diet is going to be more important. You know, you can talk about that. You can think about your diet, you can set some intentions, you can think about your grandchildren and what you want them to see you doing. And I really believe in writing things down because when we kind of think about our intentions or we imagine that's really important, but when you write it down, it's sort of like you're writing a contract to yourself and it's sort of becoming manifested through words. So I really encourage people to get what I call a super agers journal. I'm a big fan of journaling and started. Sort of set these intentions down and, and write down what it is that you see yourself doing and how you can, you know, what are some baby steps or little tiny 1% shifts that you can take to get towards that?

Allan (27:50):
Yeah, I think a lot of people miss out on just how powerful small movements can be, particularly at first, you know, it's like as you're making a snowball, you start out with just a handful of snow and that handful of snow is easy enough for you to grab. And then as you start rolling that down the Hill, it's going to get bigger and bigger. And so just starting with something small over time can have some really great impact in your life.

Dr. Selassie (28:14):
Yeah, totally. I think that as a mom with five children, I can get really lazy and I can be like, you know, ask my daughters, go in the kitchen and fetch this for your mother or run upstairs and turn the thermostat down. But I started to really realize like I am, it's almost like I'm sitting on a throne and pointing and telling my staff what to do, but that's not going to keep me alive and around to see my grandchildren. So I make the extra effort to go up the stairs and put away the laundry or stand up when I'm seeing patients stand up every hour. These days, we've got so many little gadgets on our watches, on our smartphones that can remind us to do that and standing up. I mean, that can be something that can really impair someone as they get older is just standing up from sitting. So you've got to use your, you've got to use your joints, and even just standing up can make such a huge difference. You're actually pumping, there's no blood supply into your hip joint or your knee joint. And so pumping in the nutrition right directly into the knee joint by movement is really the best way to do that.

Allan (29:19):
Yes, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Dr. Selassie (29:30):
Well I think that one is definitely being active with your friends and family, especially like you mentioned, the women who sometimes start to really focus you know, where the time they're in their mid fifties they're really focused on their career. They're really focused on their family and they forget about their girlfriends. So I think that really enlarging your circle, social circle is really important and it doesn't have to be a huge social circle, but you want to always kind of be stepping out. So I think that that's one strategy, whether it's like having tea with a new person, maybe it's even somebody that could be a possible business colleague, but maybe you're going to go out and like ask about who they are and what's their family like and kind of include socialization into your life. Just a little bit more. Prioritizing sleep I think is one of my favorite ones and I think if you go to bed before rather than sleep in, you're going to, there's more of a likelihood that you'll get those sleep cycles in. Your, the sleep that you get before midnight is actually really important because I get more of those cycles and we're diurnal human beings.

Dr. Selassie (30:40):
We're not nocturnal like rats. So trying to go to bed early I think is another great strategy. You know, just go, just do it. Just put yourself in bed. A third one is kind of, you know, one that I think is really great is kind of go into your local farmer's market or getting, ordering one of these CSA shares online or are there so many different local agriculture, organic agriculture boxes that you can get and just trying a new vegetable, just like seeing it, kind of discovering it and cooking it. Just seeing what you can make out of it and enjoy it.

Allan (31:17):
Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book Aging Brilliantly, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Selassie (31:26):
So my website is doctorselassie.com and the doctor is spelled out, so it's simply D O C T O R S E L A S S I E. and you can read all about me. I have a private practice here in Brooklyn, but I do see people via zoom or Skype or on the phone and there's, you'll see my book, but my book is basically on pre-order at Amazon right now. So you can just also find it on Amazon. Dr. Salassie aging brilliantly.

Allan (31:57):
Okay. Well. This is going to be episode 427 so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/427 and I'll be sure to have a link to Dr. Selassie's page and to the book there.

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

Dr. Selassie (32:13):
I loved being here. Thank you so much Alan. Thanks for the good work that you're doing for all of us over 40


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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Melissa Cardinali
– Bill Gioftsidis– Leigh Tanner– Tim Alexander
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian– Wendy Selman

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


When your doctor tells you to lose weight and exercise more with Kristen Carter

Many of us have had that talk with our doctor. You know the talk when they tell you to lose some weight and exercise more. But they seldom tell you how to do that. Kristen Carter comes on to tell you how to get start as we discuss her book, Lose Weight? Exercise More? I Don't Think So! 



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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Melissa Cardinali
– Bill Gioftsidis– Leigh Tanner– Tim Alexander
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian– Wendy Selman

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 16, 2020

The 9 keys to being fit over 40

It can feel like an insurmountable effort to get and stay fit when you're over 40. In this episode, I share 9 keys to getting you and keeping you fit.


Hello and welcome to today's podcast. I am so glad you're here. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today we're going to talk about 9 keys to being fit after 40. You know, there's a lot of folks out there that you'll see and they, they seem really, really fit and they're over 40. You know, you have to ask yourself, what are these people doing that's allowing them to accomplish this? I was having a conversation with a guy at the gym, you know, we're both over 40. He's an excellent shape. He does the CrossFit style type workouts. And so I was, I was just asking him about it and what he was doing in his training and where he was getting his training materials from. They're always varied, different workouts.

And, he enjoys doing them and that's cool. And he's really good at it and he enjoys it and it's a different kind of fit than I am. I'm more of this strong, slow, I can carry heavy stuff. I can do all the things I want to do. And so we have a different mindset of what fitness is. And we get to talking about that a little bit because he was thinking he might want to get into competition. Now if you're not familiar with the CrossFit competitions, they're quite intense. Uh, and I was explaining to them, I said, you know, the last time I saw one of the, uh, the big ones, uh, the guys that were over 40, the masters level athletes, they were just in tremendous shape. I mean, the things they were doing was just actually quite insane. And we even got into that, why are they doing all of these insane things, over the age of 40, over the age of 50, that, you know, I would say even 20 years ago, no one would've dreamed someone over that age would be doing things.

And we see this every day and I do like sharing these in the Facebook group. If you're not a member, you should go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I share all kinds of information, and if I see a 72-year-old woman doing a deadlift that's over her body weight. Yeah, I'm going to probably share that because it's pretty cool. But there's different looks and feels to fitness and I said it in the book, The Wellness Roadmap, and I'll say it again. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about you being fit to task. So I think that's the first key for you to pick up on as we kind of go through this whole view of fitness is that fitness is not a look. A fit grandmother is someone who's able to be a great grandmother to her children.

She's able to do the things that they want to do. She's able to get out and be with them. She's able to provide for them. She's able to be the person she needs to be, that's her fitness. For someone like my friend Glen who wants to compete in CrossFit games, he is going to push himself a lot harder and that might not be entirely healthy, which is another whole other conversation we could be having. Being fit doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. And that's why I call it wellness of having all three. So fitness is not necessarily a look, it's a way you feel, the way you're able to do the things you want to do. And to this point, I am there and will I always be there? I don't know. You know, like I said, I want to be the a hundred guy who is 105 who can wipe his own butt.

I want to be independent. I want to be able to take care of and help my family and my wife. I don't want to be dependent on others. And so my fitness regime is based around those things. So one of the big things when I go into fitness is do no harm. So as I'm lifting, I'm trying to make sure that I'm not hurting myself. I'm only making myself stronger or maintaining strength in certain areas. The other work that I do is about just trying to avoid injury and staying fit. So that's one thing. People who are fit are doing, they're not evaluating themselves relative to other people. They're not trying to compete against their 20 year old selves. They're doing what's necessary to be fit to task. The second thing is they have a focus. It's very easy for people to get into a kind of a routine, a habit, or they show up at the gym or they do their morning thing.

They do their run, they do their, maybe there's some lifting, but they just are kind of putting it all together. They walk into a gym or they walk into a workout either doing the same exact thing they do almost every time, or they come into the gym and they really don't have a plan at all. You'll see a lot of this now, it's a lot more common to go into a gym and see that half the people are sitting there looking at their phones. Now, if they're looking at their phones because they're trying to figure out what their next set is, or they've got a timer, then that's cool. But most of the time we know that's not what they're doing. They're texting their friend, they're doing this. Real fitness is going to come from application. It's going to come from being engaged in what you're doing.

Your muscles will improve better if you're focused on the movements that you're doing. So if you are a runner looking and feeling about your form and making sure that it's not breaking down versus just a mindless run, you're going to do better in fitness if you're focused on the form and the feel and the things that are going on in your body then if you're listening to a podcast or doing something else, listening to music. Sometimes that lack of focus is preventing you from reaching a level of fitness that you're interested in reaching. You know, when I go in the gym to work out, I actually like to go in there and when there's no one else there because otherwise my full introvertness comes out. And, you know, I don't talk to anybody during my workout. I don't like to talk to people during my sets.

I don't like to talk to people during my breaks. I don't like to talk at all during that time when I'm lifting. If I'm in there lifting, I'm lifting. So I actually go into my gym when no one else is there and do my own lifting. That allows me to have just complete focus on task. I don't have to do anything else. So that's the second key, focus. The third key is intensity. If you're not pushing yourself and being intense and purposeful and it's a little bit different than focus. Focus is staying engaged in what you're doing. The intensity means that while you're doing work, there's some effort to it. There's some, there's some push to it. You're finding that that line of discomfort, you're going outside of your comfort zone. So people who are really building good fitness are always right at the edge.

So there's an intensity to the work they're doing. Now they don't always stay at that edge and we'll talk a little bit about that. Then the next point. But they do have that edge, you know, they're the ones that are actually going to be very kind of happy about having a PR. Now when we talk about PR, that's a personal record. It doesn't have to be something huge and massive. But cutting 10 seconds off of your one mile walk can be great. That means you maybe, you extended your gate a little bit, you extended your speed, your pace, taking a different route and going up a, a route that has a Hill that makes that walk a little bit more difficult. There's an intensity to that purpose. So finding that opportunity to incorporate intensity into your work is going to make things a lot better when I'm working out with clients.

Now, you know, I'll get them in there and I'll add more weight and I'll be kind of pushing them while they're doing it. You know, a lot of folks they'll get in and it's hard. And they'll want to stop right at that line where it starts getting uncomfortable. And that's actually where some of the best stuff is happening. So having a little bit of intensity in the work you're doing is really, really important. The fourth point is balance. When you go into a work deal that you're going to do a workout, just, just recognizing that your, your body is an organism that can break. And it is an organism that needs to recover and rest and it's an organism that's capable of a lot of different things. But if you go in and do the same work, the same type of work all the time, you're not going to have balance in your fitness.

So if you're just going out and doing running, that's great. If you love cardiovascular training, perfect. If cardiovascular or stamina is something that's very, very important to you as a, what's your fitness should mean, perfect. But you still need to be working on those other things. You need be working on strength. You need to be working on balance. You need to be working on your mobility and flexibility. Those are very important as well. And if you're not putting balance into your fitness regime, you're getting very one sided. And that's, that's an opportunity for injury. And also means you're probably not going to be as fit as you could be because you really weren't focused on the other aspects of training. One really good way to make sure that you're getting balance is for you to kind of look at periodization. And what I mean by that is where you'll take time to say, okay, this is my running season and then I'm not going to run during my off season and give my body a time to recover.

All professional athletes do that. They have their season when they're on and they're working really, really hard. They play their season and then after their season's over, they have a recovery period. They have a time when they're doing something else. They're probably working on repairing injuries or probably working on, you know, mobility and flexibility. They're training other aspects of what they do. Not necessarily that directly in relationship to the athletic event that they're involved in. So making sure that you have balance in your training is also very important. Okay the next one, which I guess is number five is going to be patients. You've gotta be patient in this game for fitness. Our bodies will respond to stimulus. If you stimulate a muscle and you give it adequate nutrition and adequate rest, it will get stronger. But you've got to have the patients to know that that's not necessarily going to happen in a linear fashion and it won't always go up and it won't always be large increments.

You know, one of the, one of the difficulties in running a gym and working with people is that, you know, at first they're using smaller dumbbells and that's, you know, okay, cool. It makes sense. But the difference between say a five and an eight is significant in percentage wise. It doesn't seem like a lot that extra three pounds, but when you look at it from a, what you can do with five pounds versus what you can do with eight, it's a pretty big jump. And even when you get up to weights, like we're dealing with, uh, you know, 10 and 15 and 20, those are still huge, huge jumps in volume of work. And so it's really hard. A lot of times for new trainees or trainings that haven't been around to recognize that those jumps from 15 to 20 are huge and to have the patience to keep working through.

And sometimes you're not necessarily gonna get all the reps you want to get, but just kind of working through that process of saying, I'm going to get there. Maybe you're doing a body weight squat and you'd really like to start adding some resistance. Have the patients to really get the form down on the body weight squat, have the patients to get your strength up and to keep your form. And once you've built that strength, once you've built that mind body connection, that neuromuscular connection and your body's moving the way it's supposed to, all that's going to happen. But you have to have the patience to work through this process and then recognize again, strength gains, speed gains, distance gains, all the gains that you would see in the fitness game are not linear. You're not going to get better in a linear fashion.

There's going to be really great periods of time when things are going really good. There's going to be times when things level out. And that's just the normal state of the human body. We never function in a straight line. You don't lose weight and straight line, you don't get stronger in a straight line. None of that works that way. It's always going to be kind of up and down. You want to look at basic trends and you want to be smart about it. So have the patients. The next item is also very important as part of the three P's that I talk about in the book. The Wellness Roadmap. It's the persistence and consistency. So a lot of people will come in the gym, uh, in January, you know, new year's resolutions and they'll hop on that treadmill and they'll go for 45 minutes.

They're exhausted, they go to work, they come back the next day, they come back the next day, they come back the next day. Well, there are about three weeks in and they really haven't seen a move on the scale. You know, they give themselves an excuse to skip a day and they skip that day. And then by skipping that day, they didn't maybe skip the next day. And so they're, they're not persistent. They're not consistent, so they're not going to see improvement because they really haven't done anything long enough to give their body the stimulus to say, Oh, I'm a runner, or Oh, I need to be ready to do this energy output each day and manage that. All our people will go in and they'll lift weights and they'll get delayed onset muscle soreness. We call that Dom's for short. They'll get DOMS, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And that'll be enough for a lot of people to just quit.

They'll say, Oh, I don't like the pain, that hurt. Or worst case, you get a small injury, little tweak to a hamstring or you know, your shoulder starting to feel a little wonky. And rather than having the persistence and consistency to work around that injury, you know, you still can work your legs if you have a trouble with your shoulder, you can still probably work your back and maybe your arms, maybe your chest, but you don't, you know, you can work around a lot of these things if you're smart about it, but you still have to stick in there and do the work. Even if it's a situation where, okay, yeah, you kinda tweaked your shoulder or you're feeling a little bit sore in the elbow, maybe we avoid the weights for a period of time when we focused on a different modality.

Maybe it's time for you to do some high intensity interval training with a little more sprint work. We can do that on the exercise bike. We can do that on the elliptical. And we do that for a few weeks to kind of build some stamina while we're waiting for the elbow to recover. But that's persistence and that's consistency. That's still showing up for your fitness and you have to do that or you're not going to be fit over 40. Number seven is the third P in that I have in the wellness roadmap and that's progression. We want to make sure that what we're doing is adding value and there's going to be a point when your body gets to a given strength and you can go do a given weight. I see this in circuit training a lot. People will go up to the circuit training machines and they're always on the third peg for this machine, the fourth peg for that machine and the first peg for this one and the seventh peg for this machine.

And they go around and they set their pegs in the same hole every single time they do that machine. That's great that they're getting the exercise. I'm really happy to see them in the gym working, but the majority of the people that are doing this aren't getting any stronger in the initial peg hole that they put themselves in is not going to be the level of fitness that they really want. They're going through the motions. I don't mean any disrespect for this, but we used to call these Barbie workouts and that's where you'd see the young girls come in and they'd pick up the three pound weights and start doing curls. Number one, biceps of smallest muscle you could possibly want to work for any duration, and because they're not going to do much value for you. And number two, the amount of weight then resistance they were using wasn't going to do anything.

And their concern was that they were going to get big and bulky, not gonna happen, not gonna happen for a woman. And definitely probably not even going to happen for a man over the age of 40, unless you really put in some intense work and focus on muscle building. It's not easy for us to gain muscle over the age of 40. So don't be afraid that you're going to get bulky, uh, put some progression in there. Get stronger. This is only going to help you as you get older if you're working on runs, be smart about how you do your long runs in your short runs. So that you're building a slow progression to get yourself ready for the running season. I use the term gentle nudges and I mean that your progressions should be these normal little small increments. As I said earlier, we're talking about smaller dumbbells that can actually be very difficult to do.

So it's a function of recognizing I do some sets at 20, maybe I drop back to my fifteens for my second and third set. That's cool. You're still giving yourself those gentle nudges to allow your body to get stronger. If you're doing your runs, you're looking at adding some volume to a run, but never adding much more than 10%. Uh, that's kind of a rule of thumb. Your long runs should never be more than 10% more than any other time that you were doing. And we kind of use that in bodybuilding, weightlifting resistance training as well. But in a general sense, you want these gentle nudges that are going to allow your body to have the stimulus that it needs to get stronger. A gentle nudge of progression tells your body, Hey, there's more requirement here. We're going to have to work harder next time and your body responds positively to that by getting stronger.

The eighth one is recovery, and this is one that's really hard for a lot of people. More is not better. You know, I have a workout program that I do with some group trainings and we do a full body workout twice a week, and invariably every time I talk to somebody about twice a week, they're like, Oh, well I should do this program on the days I'm not training with you. No, you should not do this program. This is a strength program that requires the stimulus, the nutrition, and then of course, the recovery. The recovery is as important, if not more important than the work. If you could imagine that you did a whole bunch of work, say you were setting a foundation for a home and you spent all this time laying the concrete and you didn't let the concrete set before you started building on top of it, obviously your foundation is not going to be there because you didn't allow it to set.

And so when you're working, you're building muscle, you're cutting muscle down. You need to give it time to recover and to rebuild. So recovery time is very, very important overall across your workouts, making sure that you do the work and you have the recovery time. Two other functions of recovery are as you're doing work, recognizing that there's times when breaks are important. We see this in high intensity interval training where there is a break period that's allowing your body to basically recover a little bit. We see this in resistance training where we'll do a set and then we'll have a little rest period. It could be for a minute, two minutes. It's really just time to let your energy systems reset and be ready to give you maximum output for the next set. So those little bits of recovery.

And then the final one I want to talk about is sleep. Sleep is hugely important to balancing your hormones, making sure you're giving your body what it wants. Most of the good stuff that happens in our body happens when we're asleep. Our brain refreshes, our body refreshes. All these things are really, really good for us. So recovery and sleep, hugely important if you want to remain fit. If you push yourself and you don't allow yourself to recover, you're going to start dealing with cortisol problems. You're gonna start dealing with other things and you're not going to reach your fitness goals. You're just not. Recovery is as important as the work. And then you see, we just had, uh, seven points that were all built around work. And I'm giving you the one recovery, but want to be very clear. Recovery is hugely, hugely important. It's as important as those others. You have to make sure you're doing the work, but you have to make sure that you're getting the recovery your body needs. So listen to your body. Uh, never should it tell you to quit, quit, and never come back. But if it's telling you you need an extra day, if its telling you you need a little bit extra sleep, the sleep, the recovery are important. So listen to your body when that's what you're hearing.

So the final point is to wellness. As I mentioned before, a lot of people will really push fitness goals and they'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhealthy. They'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhappy. If you find yourself in the gym comparing yourself to other people, you're never going to be happy with that result. You just aren't, we, we are all built on our bell curve. There's going to be a percentage of us that are outliers. You know, I see it on Facebook all the time. You know, these guys going out there and bench pressing 450 pounds, they're older than me and you know, if I sat there and said, “Oh, I have to be bench pressing 450 pounds.” I would never make it. I'll never bench press 450 pounds. I know physically it's probably outside the means of what I ever was capable of doing. But even if I took the time to do the training, I'm pretty sure soon as I found someone who is doing 450 like me and I got past 450, there'd be someone else doing 500. And so the comparisons to other people are really going to break down your happiness. And so I want you to start comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday or last year. Those are better comparisons. Maintaining your strength as we get older is a win.

We're dealing with sarcopenia, we're dealing with osteopenia. Uh, we are losing strength every single year unless we're doing something to prevent that. So if you are maintaining or getting stronger in your lifts, that's a huge, huge plus. If you're getting better times on your runs or at least maintaining your runs, that's a win. There's a natural aging curve. And if we're doing things to break down that, that aging curve, that's a fitness win and we should be very happy about that. So don't compare yourself with others. Compare yourself with who you are, who you know you should be. And then as far as the health aspects of it, you should never let your push to fitness break down your push to health. They're both equally important. They're all happiness, health and fitness, all three legs of a stool. And we have to have all of them in equal proportion or just not going to be whole.

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We're not going to be well. So don't let fitness overrule those other two. You need to make sure there's balance in your life as well as balance in your work. So as you'd go through the process here, I'm going to recap just a little bit, but you know the keys to being fit after 40, they're not hard. It's just a function of saying you've got to do the work, you've got to get the recovery and you got to make sure it fits within the paradigm of who you are as a person.

So going through them really quickly. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about being fit to tasks and case in point being 105 and being able to wipe my own butt. That's a good look for me cause I don't want to be the guy who needs help going to the restroom, but I'm not going to look like maybe someone else that you would say was fit. I'm going to be fit for task.

Second is focus. When you do work, focus on the muscles you're working. Focus on the form of what you're doing that's going to help you prevent injuries. That's going to help you get better results. The mind muscle is a huge, huge proponent of making sure that you're building fitness as fast as possible.

Intensity. You need to work hard, you need to make sure you're pushing yourself in a way that when you're doing the work, you're really engaged in that work and you're getting the most out of that work. So focusing on what you're there to do, making sure that you're engaged in it. And then the third one is intensity. You know, this, this is fitness is a push. It's taking you outside of your comfort zone. So there should be some intensity to what you're doing. It's great to do some casual walking here and there. That's great for overall health. It's great for potentially weight loss and other goals that you might have. But slow walking without really putting some intensity to it is not going to improve your fitness. It's going to just basically allow you to age on a standard aging curve.

The third is balance. You know, don't just train one dimensional. Don't just say I'm a strength person, which I could very easily say, I've got to do some balance work. I've got to do some stamina work and I've got to kind of keep those in balance to meet the goals of what I think I should be as, as a fit person. Okay.

The next is patience. Fitness does not just happen and it's not something that you're going to always have. There'll be an injury if you injure yourself, you need to be patient about the recovery. You need to be patient about the time it takes. You need to be doing the, the physical therapy that's necessary and not going out there and immediately trying to get back into the workouts you were doing. Have the patience to listen to your body and do what's right for you.

The next is persistence and consistency. We have to keep showing up. We have to keep working. We can't rest on past. You know, this is not a situation where we, we built up a nest egg that we can now live off for the rest of our lives. Fitness doesn't just stay with us. We have to keep paying in so we have to keep showing up and we have to keep doing the work. Uh, progression. Uh, if we're not progressing, if we're not pushing ourselves toward progression, we're very likely more to regress. That's the aging curve. So making sure you're working towards progression is very important.

The eighth, again, is recovery. And I can't stress this enough if you're working hard, if you're doing the focus, if you're doing the intensity, you're doing all these things you need. Also let your body recover when it's time to recover. So being smart about recovery is really, really important. And then the final is don't let fitness over. Well overdue wellness. Wellness is health, happiness, and fitness. So you want to have all three in your life, so take time for all of them and don't let fitness push you out of those other two.

before you get outta here, I wanted to take just a moment to invite you to our Facebook Group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group we have weekly challenges. I share all kinds of information there. It's sort of like a way to keep conversation that we have on this podcast going, so if you'll go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group you can join the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group and be a part of a like-minded community. We help each other get where we want to be. We celebrate our wins. We have a good time. I hope you'll come join us. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group.


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Another episode you may enjoy


March 9, 2020

High fiber keto with Naomi Whittel

One of the complaints about the ketogenic diet is that it lacks fiber. Naomi Whittel has solved that with her new book, High Fiber Keto.


Allan (01:05):
Naomi, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Naomi (01:08):
I am so excited to be here with you. Thank you. Thank you.

Allan (01:11):
Your book High Fiber Keto. Okay. First, you know, fiber and keto in the same book title right next to each other. Actually getting along, uh, a 22 day science-based plan to fix your metabolism, lose weight, and balance your hormones. So when I heard this book was out there, and like I said, keto and fiber in the same title and right up to each other and they're not fighting, they're actually getting along in this book. So I don't want to give all of the plot away, but, uh, you know, I just thought that was a very interesting concept and I was really eager to dig into the book and I'm glad I did because I learned quite a bit.

Naomi (01:45):
I'm so glad to hear that. You know, it's, um, to me, first and foremost, keto is something that I've been passionate about personally for about two and a half years. So I've been in a ketogenic nutritional ketosis state for about two and a half years. I've come out of it a couple of times, but most of that time I've been there. But I was born in Switzerland. I was born on a biodynamic farm and so whole foods and, um, clean, nutritious vegetables, meats, dairy, fruits, all of the things. And I've eaten a lot of grain over my life. Um, all of it started with this premise of whole food. And I, I really appreciate the philosophy of the concept that look, not one size fits all and it also depends a lot of times on our age. So I'm 46 years old. Nutritional ketosis is perfect for my body because I'm like 75% of the U S population, which says that they are carb or experiences Carb intolerance may not recognize that that's really what's happening, but they're carb intolerant.

Naomi (02:59):
Growing up in Europe, my mother's French eating baguettes every single morning, having a carb centric diet. It took me many years to get to the place where my autoimmune system was like, okay, I'm done. I can't take any more of this abundance of glucose. You know, my insulin was all over the map. My blood sugar was all over the map. And look, I was eating healthy foods, but it was the time in my life. And so I'm excited to sort of bring what fundamentally I believe is important for all of us. And that's fiber and what fiber does in our body, like 90% of Americans are deficient in their fiber. And then when you take, you know, there's soluble and there's insoluble fiber, some of the fibers that are out there, the soluble fibers have different types of fibers, like things like inulin that literally create the prebiotics that feed your whole microbiome. So your probiotics in your body love certain foods. And those happen to be a lot of these amazing fibers that connect with the nutritional ketosis.

Allan (04:18):
And I want to jump ahead to that. I want to talk about fiber because I think you're right. It's one of the big arguments when you go in and say, okay, I'm going to do this keto diet. And they're like, Oh well you won't get any fiber in your diet and therefore that's bad. But I know, and they're right, there's a lot of science out there that tells you that fiber is beneficial to your heart, but you got to get it from the right sources. So in the book you had the five fiber facts, could you kind of go through those facts and kind of walk us through, because one, I think it's going to show us how important fiber is in our bodies and then two, it's going to kinda dispel some of the myths of why Keto and fiber are not really against each other and they can actually work together.

Naomi (05:01):
Yeah. You know, I'll just give you a little bit of background and then we'll get into the five facts around fiber. What I would say with the five fiber facts is that when you're getting into nutritional ketosis, when you getting into nutritional ketosis, what usually happens is your body naturally in trying to sort of meet the 65 to 75% of the fat needs that you have, your body naturally just gravitates towards what's almost like a little bit easier and more simple. And so over time, what I was finding for myself in my own body is while I had always consumed a ton of fiber, I wasn't getting enough fiber when I started keto. So the five fiber facts were really like where I fell and started hurting my own health because I wasn't getting fiber. And then recognizing, okay, how do I bring these carbohydrates into my body in a way that's not going to take me out of nutritional ketosis?

Naomi (06:07):
Because by the way, I feel amazing in nutritional ketosis. So I would say the very first thing that anyone needs to think about when it comes to these fiber facts is that if you're eating things like cruciferous vegetables, you and I are both really big fans of them. What are they? Things like a broccoli, things like, you know, the, the most delicious cauliflowers. I mean there's cabbages. Like there's so many different, uh, Brussels sprouts. I had a ton of Brussels sprouts last night. So this family of vegetables do more than just bring in the good fibers. They have so many health benefits. I mean, we could go through the sciences. It's completely mind blowing as we know it. They also activate autophagy in our body. And my first book, Glow 15 is all about the ways that we can naturally activate within our system what we have. And activating a autophagy is our natural detox system.

Naomi (07:12):
We know that the cruciferous vegetables help to naturally detoxify our body. And so in order to have this optimal health, we have to make sure that we're really bringing in the right amount of fiber. So most people need somewhere between 25 and 35 grams of fiber. But because fiber's a carbohydrate, and in my view of nutritional ketosis, I try to keep my carbohydrates to about 50 grams a day. I don't play with net carbs or I don't or you know, the, I just say 50 grams of carbohydrates. So then I'm looking at fiber as part of those carbohydrates. And fiber obviously is utilized in the body in a very different way than other carbohydrates, right? It's not going to spike the insulin, it's not going to create the blood sugar issues. So it's, it's pretty exciting to sort of think about how that can work in the body.

Naomi (08:13):
So fiber helps to balance our blood sugar and we know that this balancing act that fiber does is just one of the sort of benefits of fiber. And what I found when I brought the two together, Keto and fiber was that the ketogenic diet also helps to balance blood sugar. So you take the two and you have like a 10 X effect, so that's a really powerful thing. Again, next one. Satiety. Nutritional ketosis helps us to feel satisfied and for me one of the best benefits was being able to take control of my mind again. We have like 60,000 plus thoughts in an average day. How many of those thoughts do we spend craving some sort of sugar or some sort of food or whatever it may be. When you get into nutritional ketosis and your body's able to really use your own body fat as your fuel instead of using sugar glucose as a fuel, you become satiated, your mind is able to focus on many other things because you're not an on this hamster wheel.

Naomi (09:31):
Well, fiber also really helps us to say sheet, which again helps us to not have those cravings. So it becomes like this virtuous cycle of positivity for our health and our wellbeing. So it helps with satiety and it helps with cravings. And the beauty of fiber rich foods, you know I have artichokes on the front of my book is a fiber dense food is a nutrient dense food. The whole food aspect of fiber rich foods is so powerful. So you get like a pack of all of that, which I love very much. And you know the artichoke is a great source of fiber. It's got about, on average a mid sized artichoke has about 10 grams of fiber. It's also got all of the important electrolytes. So one of the big issues that we have when we are deficient in fiber, which again about 90% of Americans are deficient in fiber, is we also become deficient in magnesium.

Naomi (10:37):
And we know that magnesium is this core mineral that we need for recovery when we exercise. We need it for over 300 reactions in our body. And yet it's not only about it not being in the soil like it used to be, it's also because all of our crops are being sprayed heavily. So even if you're eating organic, you're still not getting the levels of magnesium that your body needs. And then you take it a step further. If you're not eating fiber when you're doing nutritional ketosis, it makes it even more difficult. And magnesium is so critically important for anyone who's doing keto. It doesn't matter what diet you're doing, it's going to be super critical. But the electrolytes that you need to take when you're doing nutritional ketosis are more so than if you're on more of a carb centric diet. So the last thing that I would just say sort of as, as the five areas of focus with fiber is the fiber helps with our digestion. It helps to improve our digestion, it helps to increase the amount of butyrate that we're producing. And butyrate, as we know, is how our ketones are produced. And ketones are the energy source. You know, Dr. Dominic D'Agostino considers them like the fourth macronutrient. Um, there's a lot of research that we're going to see around ketones and what ketones do for our brain, what they do for our different organs. But the beauty of fiber is it works synergistically, truly with nutritional ketosis and within our digestive system it also helps with the production of butyrate.

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Allan (12:18):
So some of the core things that came out of that, then I want to kind of just reiterate here is one, you're getting your fiber from whole foods. This is not something where they say, okay, here's a cereal that has all this high fiber stuff, but we're still talking about real food. The other thing is, you know, for most people you can get in and stay in nutritional ketosis with 50 grams of carbs per day, particularly if a large percentage of those is coming from fiber. So if you're targeting that 25 or 30 or 35 grams of fiber and you're measuring your ketones, what you'll find is that you'll be able to get into ketosis. There's other people that will just, they'll cut out carbs entirely. They'll get down well below 20, maybe down to zero or 10 or something like that.

Allan (13:03):
And they find themselves in ketosis pretty quickly. But then they're not getting their magnesium. They're not getting their sodium, they're not getting their potassium. So they're having to supplement with those things. Whereas if they're eating a nutritionally dense fiber rich diet, that is also ketogenic they're less likely to be deficient in those minerals are going to be getting the nutrition they need. And so it's kind of like you said, it's the best of both worlds because you're going to get to eat your Brussels sprouts too. And I love Brussels sprouts by the way. We just can't find them on this Island. And often enough, every time I see him, I snatch them up. Uh, I had my wife, my wife went to David, which is a town about five hours away from here. And I told her she asked what do you want?

Allan (13:45):
I'm like cauliflower, all the cauliflower you can buy. Cause we can get rice cauliflower. But they charge like for like 16 ounces of it, they charge like seven, eight bucks. And so I was like, buy some cauliflower. So it's, you know, for $3 you buy head, she'll buy me three heads of cauliflower for nine bucks. So I made a bunch of cauliflower rice. Yes. And so you know that's kind of the cool thing about all this is that when you're giving your body what it needs it starts operating better. Your thought clarity, everything else is going better. You had a concept in the book that I just thought was awesome because I tried to tell people, you know, don't, don't feel like you have to kill yourself on a treadmill every day to get weight loss and also realize that, you know, sitting around doing nothing is also probably not the answer as well. You want to get yourself into a good basic protocol of movement and everything else. So you're finding kind of an optimal space for lifestyle. You mean the term you used in the book for that was dream metabolic engine. Take a few minutes to get into that concept because I really liked this concept.

Naomi (14:52):
Yeah. I love this concept. I'm very excited to share it with all of you. So as a woman in her mid forties, I'm always looking for ways to optimize my health. My biology, I have four children. I'm a founder and entrepreneur, you know, and an author so my time is so limited. And I also, you know, I know, but it feels like we all know what it feels like to have a body that's like really working with us and for us. And so I'm always striving to give my body what it needs at this time. And it's not static, right? We talked about different diets for different people. And I am not a dogmatic person. I've never believed like right now for my body, nutritional ketosis is what keeps giving and it's been two and a half years. But it doesn't mean in a couple of years that I'll be in a place where I can transform what it is that I'm eating.

Naomi (15:57):
It's the same thing with exercise and it all comes to, and like mindset is, is another example of it and how we leap and how much regenerative sleep we need. Um, but it all comes back to this idea of our metabolism. So just like, I fell in love with understanding how all we needed to do was activate autophagy in our body auto meaning self phagy meaning to eat as like the Greek definition of autophagy self eating, and that we could activate autophagy through the cruciferous vegetables, through different types of exercise, through a nutritional ketosis, through intermittent fasting, through, you know, tapping into your circadian rhythm, so when you sleep, you're really regenerating. I fell in love with metabolism in that same way and it was after I had interviewed over 80 experts. I did this docu series called the Real Skinny on Fat and the real skinny on fat really looks at, you know, everything around what went wrong.

Naomi (17:07):
Why did we here in the United States go from in the 50s having a 10% obesity rate and having a high fat diet to really getting to a place where there were a couple of events that occurred. Um, Eisenhower had a big heart attack. The president had a heart attack. The conclusion from his medical experts was that saturated fat was an enemy. And, um, you know, in Panama how much coconut is enjoyed and how much saturated good fat is enjoyed there. And so our country in the United States went to a place where everything became low fat, no fat. And now if we look at what has resulted from that, about 60% of our country is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is a thing. It didn't even exist, you know, 50 years ago. And so for me personally, when I learned all of this information and I tried to think of how can I most easily affect my health, where I can enjoy my life and not have to spend, you know, 20 hours a week just trying to put the pieces together from this book or that book or whatever it might be, I felt that our metabolism was really the answer.

Naomi (18:26):
So our heart has a metabolic rate, you know, our brain, we have a whole body metabolism just like there's whole food. And so getting your metabolism to really work with you in the same way that autophagy can is, is essentially the premise of this book. It's the passion behind this book. And so a metabolic engine that's the stream is based on a couple of different principles. It's based on the idea first and foremost that the number on the scale is not the number that you should be thinking about. Right? The number on the scale is just a number. What you really need to be thinking about is the ratio and the ratio between the amount of lean muscle that your body has and is producing and the amount of body fat. And so for any woman, like when you hear that throw away the scale, we're going to get in the gym or we're going to learn about NEAT, which is non exercise activity thermogenesis, or we're going to, you know, increase our cardiovascular activity, whatever it may be, we're going to focus on strengthening and building our muscles and that's going to improve our metabolism so that we can live our most beautiful and healthy life. It's like a very empowering thought. So that's one of the principles around metabolic health.

Allan (20:03):
Yeah. So kind of from that, what we're basically saying is when you get to a good metabolic state, you're going to be lean, you're going to have plenty of energy. And you know, you're basically going to be able to live a very good energetic cause, you know, obviously, and you've said this in the book, energy is life. When we talk about feeling really good, uh, and those days when, when just like everything's happening for us and it's like our energy levels up and where it all comes back to it. I woke up, I rested well, um, I was refreshed, I got good nutrition and my energy was great and I had a great workout and I'm ready to attack day. So I think that's what we're really getting to here is when that stuff starts for you more and more and more, that's you getting leaner. So yeah, the scale is going to probably go down for most of us that are overweight, but that's not the end number. That's a piece of data in all the other data that you can be looking at because there's also, you know, they'll look at BMI, they'll look at waist to hip ratios and there's, there's some value in each piece of that data. But that's just kind of an outlying symptom of the metabolism being primed for you to have the energy and just really feel good.

Naomi (21:17):
yeah. And, and there's other very simple ways to optimize your metabolism. I mean, if you are not doing nutritional ketosis, okay, but start your day. If you're not someone who's sensitive to carbohydrates, but you make sure that you start your day with fat first, carbs last, that's going to support your metabolism. If you want to do an intermittent fast until noon in the day and you stop eating at 8:00 PM, that's going to support your metabolism as well. And we know, you know, to your point, this sense of energy and how our metabolic health really energizes our entire wellbeing, all of our organs. It's pretty phenomenal. There are so many misconceptions about our metabolism. You know, we always think a fast metabolism is what we need. But it's really an optimized metabolism. There are times in our life when our metabolism will slow down and that's appropriate.

Naomi (22:19):
There are foods that we can eat that can help to optimize it. So in the first chapter of high-fiber keto, it's all about metabolism and really starting to understand it from a fundamental level. And we built this assessment that you can do. I built it with a metabolic world renowned expert, and it's about, I think it's about 50 questions, but at the end of it, it's going to tell you what the true age of your metabolism is today. So I'm 46 I want my metabolism to be younger than my chronological age. And if it happens to be older, that's okay too. You can learn the simple steps that you need to take. Like for example, for a woman in their forties you know, us thinking about balancing our hormones. Well, it's something we need to be thinking about all along. But once you get into your forties your progesterone has gone down.

Naomi (23:20):
You know, your estrogen is starting to go down. Your testosterone could be at a very low level. Like that's really the time period when you know these sex hormones are going down. Most women hit menopause by the time they're 51 so understanding how your metabolism is affected by your thyroid and balancing your hormones and eating right for your body at this point in your life is critical. And maybe, you know , I firmly believe in um, in, in taking bioidentical hormones and it's not just about this idea of, okay, I'm going to have more energy or my skin's going to be better. It's also for example, like let's just take testosterone when we're in our forties and for most women it's really going down significantly. It affects our joints, it affects the way our body feels, it affects our ability to make good decisions and to even make decisions. So balancing the hormones and understanding how metabolism can have such a big part of that through the different exercises is really just so key.

Allan (24:31):
Now, one of the concepts that you've got into the book that I think it was again, another great thing to have in this book. There's so many little things buried in there. So we're talking just about the surface of this. And so this book is something that you can go through and I think read five times and you're going to pull something good out of it each and every time. Cause there was all these little tidbits woven in there. But, um, you made a, I think from an advice perspective, a mistake that a lot of people make is they will step in and they'll say, okay, I'm going to go on this elimination diet. They call keto. I'm going to get rid of all my carbs. Uh, and then I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to quit coffee. I'm gonna quit smoking and I'm going to start running five miles a day.

Allan (25:11):
And, um, I'm gonna make sure I call my mom at least once a week. You know, they try to change so many things at one time. Uh, and in particular it's the diet and exercise. And I want to kind of specifically get into, because so many people will go, you know, when, when it was new year's Eve, it's like, okay, tomorrow I'm in the gym and I'm also going on this diet. Uh, and their bodies are really not equipped to deal with that much change. So you introduced a concept in the book, you called me time. Ah, and, and I think I really liked that. It's kind of this gentle understanding that movement is still key, but it's not that you have to go spend, you know, an hour on the elliptical Monday through Friday. Can you talk about me time?

Naomi (25:57):
Absolutely. So me time is all about what stands for sort of like the metabolic edge time. So again, it's giving your chance yourself a chance to optimize and not have to like grind. I'm a firm believer that what makes us happy will also make us healthy. And that's, you know, fundamental and philosophical in my world. And I also firmly believe that every day is a new day and it's a daily renewal. So when we wake up in the morning, it's a fresh day. And what we do today is going to impact the way the day is experienced. So from the nutrition that we take, the movement that we do, the foods that we eat, the mindset that we have, this is a daily renewal and we have to constantly be renewing. Um, and it's also a very positive thought and me time goes right into that. So what I did with high fiber keto is I started with those 80 interviews that I did for the Real Skinny on Fat for the docu series.

Naomi (27:01):
Then I myself got into nutritional ketosis and went through all of the challenges. And about a year and a half after I was in nutritional ketosis is what I said, I want to get this concept of metabolic health out there into the world. Like this whole body metabolism concept. And I know that people will benefit tremendously because metabolic syndrome is such a big issue and most people don't even fully understand what it is and that it's affecting their health or that they may have two of the five, you know, or three of the different five factors around metabolic syndrome. So I was really, really passionate about that. But what I wanted to do is I wanted to do a clinical study to prove out the concept of keto and fiber. And so I did a clinical study at Jacksonville University and I did it only on women, not because we didn't want it also to work for men.

Naomi (28:04):
But because there's so much of a lack of science on women right now, we need more science on women in order to understand, because we're different obviously than men and our hormones play a big part in the way that we live in the health that we have. And so we studied these 25 women and the professors, the experts, the PhDs that created this study with me, what they said is that when a body is getting into nutritional ketosis, it doesn't matter if it's an athlete, it doesn't matter if it's my great grandmother, it doesn't matter if it's my eight year old son who by the way does keto. Um, and he does it, you know, to prevent seizures and he's done it for quite some time. It doesn't matter who you are, when your body is adjusting from using sugar as your fuel source to becoming a body fat burner, you need to focus entirely on that.

Naomi (29:07):
So the program that we did was 22 days and every single participant benefited. And so I thought, okay, we're going to put together an exercise program, but I was absolutely mistaken and the professors told me we're going to put together a movement program. And this movement program is all about NEAT, which is a new area of science. Meat is an acronym for, as I mentioned before, non exercise activity thermogenesis. And this a way that we can just simply move around. I'm going to give you some examples every day and actually burn up to 500 calories. So right now as we're doing this podcast together, I'm standing up, my body is activated, my glutes are activated, my core is activated and I'm, I'm moving my hands around a lot because that's my nature. Anyone who likes to Twitch or tap their knee, keep up the good work, right?

Naomi (30:11):
If your mother said, don't do that, don't, you know, bang your fingers on the table or whatever. All of that is NEAT. All of that is activating your metabolism and it's, and it's helping to burn these calories and it's a form of movement that's really useful. So in the book we show you a very simple plan of adding up to 7,500 steps a day. So you're going to get to that place. You're going to never sit for more than 30 minutes at any point, right? Like I want you just to get up and move around. You're going to engage in, you know, tapping your fingers, shaking your hands, moving around, just this physical movement, wherever, whenever, if it's, you know, we always here park your car away from the grocery store, do more walking. Growing up in Europe, we didn't really use cars in the same way.

Naomi (31:04):
And you know, for you in Panama you have more of a luxury of being on your feet more than we do here in the U S you know, it's, it's more difficult, but there's lots and lots of ways. I mean, even simply using a manual toothbrush like a couple of times a week or just doing physical things and then trying to get outside as much as possible because movement outside is so beneficial to your overall wellbeing. And I consider all that really great. So I don't want you to be exercising when you start this program in the 22 days while you're allowing your body to get into nutritional ketosis. Instead, I want you to be doing this, you know, me time or this metabolic edge time to really activate thermogenesis naturally with movement.

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Allan (31:54):
Yeah. So this is not a time to start. If you're going to start a nutrition program, focus on that. You still need movement, your body needs movement. Even if it's just something as simple as like you said, walking around, standing when you were sitting for awhile, tapping hands, uh, doing a little dance while you're brushing your teeth, whatever it is. Um, enjoying that time of movement. Our bodies were designed to move. In fact, our lymphatic system, uh, which is responsible for moving toxins out of our body, which if you're burning body fat, there's toxins being released in your body right now is a really good time for your lymphatic system to be optimized and movement optimizes your lymphatic system. So this is really good. And so it's not the time to start an exercise program, but what's going to happen is once you get into ketosis and your energy level starts optimizing, you're almost naturally going to want to start moving more.

Allan (32:46):
And so it's going to kind of be this self-fulfilling prophecy. As your metabolism gets better, you want to move more. As you move more, your metabolism gets better. And it just, it just builds on itself. So just recognize the exercise will come, the exercise program will come because you'll just have so much energy. At some point you'd be like, I've got to do something with this. Um, so that's going to come. But another thing that I really liked to do, you said it was 22 days for your program, which was, you know, I think it's a really good opportunity for someone to see if something is going to work for them. Too many people quit keto in the first week and say, no, it's unsustainable. If you make it through these 22 days, which you make pretty simple because you tell us exactly what to eat, what to do each day, but you don't just start with day one. Its like, you know, go in and eat all the carbohydrates in my house and run in and start this thing. You kind of have this little prefix prep period to get ready to get started and then the 22 days. Could you kind of just walk us through the program that gives someone an idea of how this all works?

Naomi (33:43):
Yeah. You know, changing our mindset is like the most difficult thing ever, right? I've been doing this for two and a half years. I grew up enjoying whole fats. I never ate low fat or no fat and I still have to work on my mindset because you know, nutritional ketosis is only enjoyed by a very small fraction of the population. And look, there are parts of the world, like when I'm in Alaska, the Inuits have been doing it for a very, very long time. And when I sat down and spoke with a number of the women over there and I said, okay, tell me about your favorite foods. Where do you get your energy from? They were talking about things like blubber, like whale blubber and a lot of the foods that they eat from the ocean, um, and all of the fats. And they never look at coffee as an energy source for them.

Naomi (34:38):
They always look at fat as it, but, but for most of us, education and learning and hearing this counter to what you may be hearing in the media is a challenge in and of itself. So the setup before you get into this is first helping to work with the mindset because otherwise, you know, it's like you'll self sabotage and then you'll be frustrated and you won't get the kind of results that your body wants to give you. Um, so I go into this concept of, you know, making sure that what's in your home, the foods in your fridge and your pantry are the right ones. Getting the mindset going, understanding that the first pitfall that most people experience is from a lack of hydration or, or going from, you know, having all of the hydration that's found in a carbohydrate to the lesser hydration that's found in a fat.

Naomi (35:40):
And so many people get keto flu. And how do you prevent that? So how do you get enough of the, let's say the green gel waters from cucumbers and celery and a lot of the vegetables that can penetrate more deeply into the cells than just a glass of regular water. We talk a lot about hydration in that. In that early part, I speak a lot about obviously the electrolytes and how important they are because that that change is a really big deal early on and then we get into exactly what the participants did in the clinical study and I try very, very hard to make this the most simple step by step guide. We have over 80 delicious recipes. I went back to like comfort foods to make these recipes so that your mind wasn't like, Oh my gosh, I don't want to eat these odd things that I've never heard of.

Naomi (36:37):
No. Like we have peanut butter and jelly fat bombs, we have all this good stuff. So just trying to simplify it so that when you get into the 22 days, you're going to be like the participants, you're going to benefit. Every single one of them had benefits to their health. Like some people, they lost as much as 9.7 pounds of body fat, seven pounds of weight. Um, everybody improved their blood sugar levels. Everybody you know, made changes around their circumference of their waist. Not everybody in the 22 days got into nutritional ketosis. Only 60% of them did. But everybody benefited. So you may be like the other 40%, it may take you a bit more time and I show you exactly how to go there and how to do it naturally and easily.

Allan (37:29):
Yeah. And that's what, this is a very gentle program to get you there. It's not the drastic, drop yourself to know carbs and go through all this heck, if you will for the first seven days with the keto flu and then you come out the other side feeling great. This is more of a gentle, we're going to lower our carbs to a steady state, which for a lot of people, 50 grams is, it's still, it's still a move. And so the preficts kind of gets you in the right mindset, gets you moving, and then you start going and then 22 days you see the effects of what this can do for you. And yes, there are recipes, really eager to try that Gouda cheese sandwiches that you had in there. That's on the repertoire. As soon as I can find some almond flour, I might not have it shipped in. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Naomi (38:24):
You're asking me my top three. I just, first of all, I love what you just said. Um, three strategies I think to stay well and to be happy. Number one is getting into understanding how much sleep and regenerative sleep you need every night. So learning what your sleep cycle is. That's a really important strategy. So once I discovered that my sleep cycle was 90 minutes, I knew that I needed five sleep cycles to feel my best. And so seven and a half hours was better than eight hours. And so that's my number one strategy. Another strategy, and it's, and it's here in the book, is all about hydration, right? I think most of us believe, okay, I have to drink eight glasses of water to be hydrated or whatever. We know that you need to be urinating six times a day in order to be flushing through and really being hydrated and what are the ways that we can get hydrated.

Naomi (39:25):
I spoke a little bit about gel water. I'm really passionate about deep hydration at a cellular level. Because when we don't have that and as we get into our forties and beyond our ceramides, you know, the lipid I layer that sort of protects our body. It's like the mortar between bricks, it starts to break down on our skin and so our skin starts to leak moisture, it starts to leak that hydration. And so I'm a really, really big fan of understanding all things hydration and I think that's a huge piece. And then of course understanding what's right for your body, what type of foods are going to energize you and make you happy and healthy and being able to be flexible enough so that you don't put yourself into a box and then four years later your doctor's like, I cannot believe you've been eating these foods because your blood levels show this. Then you're deficient in that. So it's really about flexibility and constantly customizing your life for you.

Allan (40:35):
Thank you for that. Naomi, if someone wanted to learn more about the book, it's called High Fiber Keto. Learn more about what you're doing. Where would you like for me to send them?

Naomi (40:45):
They can go to highfiberketo.com we have a website, Naomi Whittel. I have a YouTube channel and we've got tons of videos showing, you know the recipes and different activities within the book. All of my social platforms. And then our website is just naomiwhittel.com.

Allan (41:03):
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/424 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Naomi, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Naomi (41:13):
Allan, thank you so much for having me. I love being here with you.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 2, 2020

Your body in balance with Dr. Neal Barnard

In his new book, Your body in Balance, Dr. Neal Barnard shares how we can manage our hormones using food and movement to get and stay healthy.


Allan (01:10):
Dr. Barnard, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Barnard (01:13):
Thank you. Great to be with you today.

Allan (01:14):
You know, it's interesting. You have so many books out and, I guess it's a little bit embarrassing. I've been in this industry, doing this podcast for over four years and I don't know how I've missed you all these years. It's kind of interesting, but this book that we're going to talk about today, Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food Hormones and Health is actually pretty good. I really enjoyed the read.

Dr. Barnard (01:37):
Pretty good? It's groundbreaking.

Allan (01:42):
Well it is, it is. There's a lot in there. It's a very deep book. And particularly what I like about the layout and I know you kind of said something at the beginning of the book of you can read it this way, but you probably still want to read it cover to cover. So I was a cover to cover guy. I will say, you know, there were sections of it that I thought, okay, this, this is cool and I understand this and I know that and okay, that makes sense. And then, Oh, I didn't know this. So it is a good book because it brought out a lot of things that I didn't know. And it related a lot of, I guess, basic illnesses we go through. Many of them kind of come from the same problem and it's the quality of our food.

Dr. Barnard (02:23):
That's right. And to be really specific, many people have all kinds of symptoms that they had no idea it related to their hormones being out of control and hormones are messengers. So the ovaries make estrogens and the estrogens go to the uterus and they get it ready for pregnancy or the testes make testosterone. And so that goes to your, to a man's brain and makes him want to run for president. Kidding. But, uh, the hormones affect our bodies in many, many ways. And if you are unaware, you may be unaware of it, but a young girl has menstrual cramps or endometriosis or a couple has infertility and he never realized that their hormones were out of balance. And more importantly, they didn't realize that their hormones were knocked out of balance by what they were eating for breakfast. And so the point of your body in balance is to say, here's how the hormones are working.

Dr. Barnard (03:12):
Here's the reason why you're depressed or why your blood sugar is high. Here are the hormones that relate. Here's how to pick foods to get you back into balance. And what you said is right that there are certain themes that come through over and over and over again. Cheese is terrible from the standpoint of your hormone balance. Uh, animal products in general are not good and plant products are better. And so we go through it, tell people to, to really get back into balance and to be able to reclaim your health as a just an amazing thing.

Allan (03:42):
Yeah, and I'm a huge proponent of, of people going out and saying, okay, let's, let's look at the science. Let's look at what's there and then let's listen to our bodies. If we're not healthy, what we've been doing isn't working and there's not really going to be a pill that the doctor can give us that's going to compensate for eating the wrong way for years and years and years.

Dr. Barnard (04:05):
Unfortunately, that's what medications are trying to do, but they don't do a particularly good job. Um, with regard to diabetes, which is now the hormone that's not working is insulin. Insulin is a hormone. It's made in the pancreas that goes to your cells and it acts like a key to try to let sugar get into the cell because sugar or glucose is the name of it. It's job is to give energy to your, to your muscles and, and to the rest of you. And insulin is a key that loves the sugar in the cell. But if it's, if it's not working, you end up with high blood sugar and diabetes. So our research team developed a better diet for diabetes that turned out to be 300% better than the best current diet. We were funded by the U S government to do it, and it works really very well, but it's a completely different view of diabetes.

Dr. Barnard (04:58):
We now understand that the reason that insulin isn't working is because fat has built up inside the cell. And as long as there's a lot of particles of just grease, fat, lipid inside your muscle cells, the insulin can't work well and you end up with diabetes. But the beauty of this is if you get that fat out of your diet, it tends to come out of your cells and diabetes improves. And in some cases diabetes just goes away, which is something that previously people thought was not possible. So our goal here, choose the foods, get the hormones in balance, and let your health recover.

Allan (05:34):
Yeah. And it's following, you're following a similar vein that I've, I've had with many doctors that I've had on the show and we talk about, okay, you've got to eliminate some foods because they're just not doing your body well. And so when I look at the vegan diet, and from my perspective, again, I'm not vegan, but I look at it and say, you do need to, a lot of your diet has to be somewhat plant-based. You shouldn't go completely carnivore. And vegan is an approach. It's, to me, it's an elimination diet and it's an approach to where you can actually learn what your body performs very well with. And so I just, you know, as we go through, when we talk about elimination diets, in either case, I think it's very important for you to understand the nutritional basis behind what you're doing. And so, uh, I'm not going to be the person that throws a stone and says you can't get your protein if you're a vegan. Cause that's a false statement. You can't get proper protein. But there are some things you have to be aware of that you're not going to get initially out of a vegan diet. And you have to work around that.

Dr. Barnard (06:40):
That's right. You won't get ecoli. You won't get salmonella. You're not gonna get any cholesterol. I'm teasing a little bit, but the animal products are really unhealthy for us in so many ways. They provide a lot of things we don't want. I mentioned infectious bacteria and parasites and all that kind of stuff, but they have cholesterol, they have a lot of saturated fat. Dairy products have estrogens in them that came from a cow. You have absolutely no need for any of that stuff. And a plant based diet is dramatically healthier than animal based diet. But what you said is true. You want to plan it. Do you want to make sure that it's the best it can be?

Allan (07:17):
And so for someone that's going to go pure vegan, uh, they're going to have to recognize that B12 is an element of that diet that isn't there? They're going to have to supplement for that.

Dr. Barnard (07:27):
Easy to do.

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Dr. Barnard (07:28):
And the same thing with a carnivore, when they go out and decide they want to do carnivore as an elimination style, I would just get completely opposite spectrum of what you're talking about. But they're, they're going to need fiber. They're not necessarily getting the fiber they need properly. So on either side of these, there's just a little bit of thought that I think has to go to any kind of elimination diet.

Dr. Barnard (07:48):
Well, there's, there's much more to it. If a person's on a carnivore diet, they need to consider the fact that they're at high risk for colorectal cancer. They're at high risk for cardiovascular disease. They're probably at higher risk for Alzheimer's but the jury is still a little bit out there. We are not designed physiologically to be eating, uh, animal products and we, and we don't do well when we, when we make them the center of our plate.

Allan (08:13):
Okay. I do want to ask that question because that was something that's in my mind trying to figure this out because you know, it's funny, there's this meme going around the internet right now that says, you know, we used to think that people were idiots because of a lack of access to knowledge. And now with the internet we have access to all knowledge and it really hasn't solved the problem. That's kind of the joke of it. You can have complete access to information and still not know the answers to things. There's so much information out there, so much conflicting information that's often difficult to parse it out. And so we typically like to put paradigms together, you know, like calories in, calories out. It's just an easy little way of thinking about food and energy expenditure. But another one that's out there that's pretty common, and I actually kind of believe a little bit of it's true, is the ancestral eating.

Allan (09:02):
And granted that, I know my ancestors did eat plant matter as a part of their regular diet. But if you live in Northern Europe, you can't, you can't survive as a vegan year-round because the is just not going to be there.

Dr. Barnard (09:17):
You mean today or you mean?

Allan (09:19):
Well, I mean, yeah, I don't mean today. Today, I've got you know, Safeway or what are they? I forget what they call their grocery stores over there. Sansbury's or whatever. So yeah, there's grocery stores everywhere and so you just get your groceries and they're shipped in from Mexico or Chile or Spain or wherever. But in the general sense of our evolution of us coming through, um, there were periods of time when we would not have access to plant matter at all.

Dr. Barnard (09:46):
Okay. So your, your, uh, your, uh, ancestors were in Europe. What was specifically where,

Allan (09:52):
uh, it would have been in, uh, Ireland, up into Norway, all the way over to, uh, what would be I guess Western Russia area? All of them. Yeah. Almost nothing. Almost nothing South of that. If, if 23 and Me, uh, it was actually right about that. Uh, there's almost nothing else. Yeah.

Dr. Barnard (10:12):
Okay. Um, go back in time. Where did they come from? Where did, where did they migrate from to get there?

Allan (10:18):
Uh, most of them migrated up from closer to the equator.

Dr. Barnard (10:21):
Uh, which Continent?

Allan (10:22):
uh, Africa. From what I understand.

Dr. Barnard (10:25):
Okay. Uh, what can you eat in anF in Ecuadorian Africa?

Allan (10:28):
Oh, tons. There's the equitorial region would have been flush with fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Barnard (10:34):
So a natural diet for you would be lots of fruits and vegetables and plant based foods.

Allan (10:41):
I don't know. I mean potentially, yes.

Dr. Barnard (10:44):
And your ancestors had the same bad judgment that my ancestors had, which is to leave that wonderful, uh, equatorial environment and to go to a Northern climate. Mine ended up in North Dakota. Um, and so, uh, our healthy a healthy diet for us, if we look at it, we are in the biological group of great apes, which is chimpanzees and gorillas and orangutans and Bonobos. And they are mostly or exclusively a herbivorous and, and that's the diet they were still good, good with. And, and it's amazing what happens when you kind of take a lesson from that and use it. Um, the thing that actually caused me to write this book, Your Body and Balance was that a phone call from a young woman who was eating all the wrong things. She had terrible mess, Joel cramps. And who would think that menstrual cramps would have anything to do with, with what you ate?

Dr. Barnard (11:34):
Um, she called me up and she just said, I can't get out of bed. This happens to be every month for about one day. I've got a business trip tomorrow. What do I do? I said, let me give you some painkillers to get you through today and tomorrow. But then I suggested to her a diet change that I don't think any doctor would ever have suggested for cramps. I said, how about this? No animal products for you at all the next month and keep oils really, really low. And it absolutely cured her, her cramps. She thought, what is, you know, how could this be? So I did a randomized clinical trial of that same prescription in a large group of women who had had cramps. And it, it works. It's very effective. What she didn't know was that your body has a system for eliminating excess estrogens.

Dr. Barnard (12:20):
And it depends on fiber. And if you have lots of fiber in your diet, which comes only from plants, you eliminate the excess estrogens. If you don't eliminate them, they cause the uterus to go through more vial changes every month. And you feel terrible if you eat a lot of fatty foods, meat, dairy products and so forth, you get too much estrogen in your body as well, not from those foods, but your body's response to the fat by making estrogen apparently. And if you eat cheese, cheese has estrogen in it that came from the cow. Nobody explained this to her. Her own doctor never told her this. But my point is that we in nature we would have had a very high fiber, very low fat diet, uh, with no ice cream in it. So we wouldn't be getting estrogens from a cow and it returned to a more healthful diet is, um, is amazing what it will do in balancing the body.

Allan (13:11):
Yeah. And I do agree with you there. Um, wholeheartedly. I think the, uh, the emphasis we have on our, um, food in the Western diet of milk and cheese is really kind of off the reservation there. We're, um, we're a milk and cheese eating nation for one reason or another.

Dr. Barnard (13:30):
Yeah. And it's, and it's bad in every way. I have an now by point of disclaimer. Um, I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. Uh, I come from my extended family raised cattle. They're all good, decent people, but I have to say to raise cattle for dairy or for me, this is obviously the cattle don't enjoy it. It ends up being a fatal experience for them. Um, and the environment doesn't enjoy it because they're belching methane all day long and your coronary arteries aren't too cool about it either. Um, so it's, it's a good idea to break away from that even though that's, that's the way most all of us were raised initially, unfortunately.

Allan (14:05):
Now, do you think that there's significant difference, um, because one of the things you said in the book was, you know, obviously for, for giving them the hormones and they're getting pregnant every cycle that they're eligible to be pregnant because they want to maximize the, you know, the yield, uh, off of their cows. And so that's, that's part of the problem. Do you think there are more sustainable ways that you know you could raise cattle that would not cause as much problem or is it just inherent in any access to any food that's a milk or cheese regardless of whether it's a properly raised animal or not?

Dr. Barnard (14:42):
Well, if you want to get cheese just to state the obvious, cows aren't going to give you any cheese or milk or anything. Well, they don't give it. People take it. The way this has done is you take your left hand and put a big glove on it, up to your shoulder and insert it into the cows rectum. This is what happens on every glass of milk came from this source through the rectal wall. You can feel the uterus and you hold it steady in your left hand grip. You then take your right hand and load up a very long syringes looks like a knitting needle and you jam it through the cervix and you impregnate the animal. The reason that this is done is that if the animal has not been pregnant, she's not gonna make milk.

Dr. Barnard (15:18):
Her pregnancy is about nine months. Uh, at the end of that time, she will give birth. The male calf is slaughtered, uh, for veal. The female calf is taken away because you don't want her to drink the milk because if you did, you would, you wouldn't have anything for you. So you, you're, you're now just taking that milk that is supposed to be for her baby. And so now you're asking me, well, how do I do this humanely? How do you artificially inseminate a cow humanely? How do you take away their calves humanely? How do you kill her humanely when she's not productive anymore? These are fantasies that we have. And for me as a doctor, I'm not an ethicist, I'm a doctor. What I see is all of the things that come as a result of that, which is the estrogens in the milk are affecting your body. The lactose sugar in the milk breaks down to produce galactose, which is toxic to the ovaries. There's no good side to it apart from the fact that culturally we've come to accept it as normal.

Allan (16:14):
Okay. All right. We don't want to know how the sausage is made. I guess is the answer. Yeah.

Dr. Barnard (16:19):
Well you know and I wouldn't say this if I hadn't been on the other side for half my life. I mean I have personally driven cattle to slaughter. As a child, I had a 20 gauge shotgun and I went out with my dad and we killed all the, anything that moved out of Canada into North Dakota. So I understand all that, but there comes a time when you understand what it does to your body, what you're doing to the planet, what you're doing to animals. We used to have the idea that animals were resources. I think that's a mistake. I think we need to think of them as people are not people, but they're beings who are sharing this planet with us. And to the extent that we can leave them alone, I think that's a good thing.

Allan (16:55):
Okay. Um, now you had a very interesting perspective on fish oil and I remember that that part of the book, I was just, it was, I was a fascinating read to kind of go through it. Do you mind taking some time to talk about why fish oil and fish might not be a good idea?

Dr. Barnard (17:11):
Well, I have to say science is still marching forward on this, but you might be referring to the connections with prostate cancer. This was totally unexpected. You know, people have tried to make money by selling fish oil supplements. They don't work particularly well for or at all for protecting the heart. And that was kind of what had been hoped for. But in these studies, it turned out that men consuming the fish oil capsules would have a higher risk of prostate cancer. And at first that was thought to just be a statistical fluke.

Dr. Barnard (17:44):
But it shows up over and over and over again, including researchers who are trying to disprove. So we still don't know the mechanism for it, but we just see this. So the question is, should, should people avoid it? And I think the answer is yes. Now with that said, Let's say a person wants to boost their omega-3 content and um, they, what you can do if you wish is you can, you can get a blood test. Um, there are companies, there's one called Omega quant. As in quantifying your Omega three Omega quant will send you a card. It costs maybe $50, $60 and you put a drop of blood on it, you send it back, they'll tell you if you're low in Omega three or not. And if you're not, you can maybe stop worrying about it. Perhaps if you are, you can decide if you want to take the risk of supplementing with Omega three. If you do, there are, luckily there are vegan Omega threes available. They're there. They're exactly DHA and EPA just like a fish, although they don't smell like a fish, they don't have mercury in them or whatever. And they're okay, but the safety of them is still uncertain, uh, because of the prostate cancer risk.

Allan (18:52):
Okay. Now I hear about this more and more as you know, obviously now I'm in my fifties and so, you know, I've got friends in my fifties and sixties and so the conversation around a bioidentical hormone replacement seems to be kind of a regular recurring conversation amongst my friends and kind of out in the industry. I think it's becoming much, much more mainstream than it ever was. And a lot more people are looking to it to either help them deal with menopause or as, as men just kind of feel a little bit more viral and, and you know, in many cases to try to address other problems like ED, you don't think that's such a good idea though.

Dr. Barnard (19:31):
Yeah, I have to say I'm concerned about, and the reasons and actually it's, it's not that there's anything unusual about the bioidentical hormones. They, uh, or, or I should say that if they're formulated correctly, they might be an exact match for yours. What I'm concerned about is that yours are dangerous. Um, where we see this very clearly as in women, a woman has estrodiol, which is a hormone in her bloodstream that diminishes at menopause and she may have hot flashes or whatever. And she goes to the doctor who says, let me, let me give you a prescription for Premarin. And she goes online and discovers that Premarin comes from a horse and it's a mixture of, of estrogen, some of which aren't, aren't human estrogens at all. And, and she learns that Premarin, the name comes from pregnant mare's urine and that all seems gross.

Dr. Barnard (20:20):
So she goes back to the doctor and says, what do you got? And there are hormones that are actually not horse derived, not animal derived at all. And they are a match for your own hormones. But then you discover that your own hormones, if they're in too high of a quantity, will increase your risk of breast cancer. Uh, so for post-menopausal breast cancer is directly related to the amount of estrogen in a womans blood. And so she's supplementing her natural hormones with extra hormones, her risk of various cancers likely to be higher. So that's where we are. And, um, my concern is, is that even if they are identical to yours they're still problematic.

Allan (20:59):
Okay. And I think one of the other concepts that was in the book that I thought was really important because it's, I think it's missed more times than it should, is if, if a man suffering with ED, that's a big red flag that something bigger is going on in his body.

Dr. Barnard (21:13):
Oh my goodness. Um, this is, I'm glad you asked that. And just about every primary care clinic and in America and everywhere else, um, guys go into the doctor's office and they say, you know, I'm having trouble and the doctor writes amount of prescription for Viagra and I would, he goes, if this is a smart doctor, he will drop his pen, race out the door and grab the patient before he is gone down the elevator and say, I forgot to tell you something and escort the patient back in the office and give him a short speech. Which is the reason that you have erectile dysfunction is that you've got narrowed arteries. Uh, the reason for erectile dysfunction in the vast majority of older men is atherosclerosis. The arteries are narrowed by a lifetime of eating animal products.

Dr. Barnard (22:04):
Fatty foods may be ,smoking, might contribute, diabetes can contribute, and the erectile dysfunction occurs because a man's private parts are a hydraulic system that needs good blood supply to work. And if he doesn't get good blood flow, uh, he's nothing's going to happen. So, um, as his arteries are narrowing from his meaty cheesy, greasy diet, the blood supply to his private parts is shut off. But what the doctor was concerned about is that he has the same atherosclerosis in his heart and the same probably in the arteries to his brain. And he has to explain to him that within the next five years, you are at high risk for a heart attack or stroke men with erectile dysfunction, it is now viewed pretty universally by cardiologists. Erectile dysfunction is the Canary in the coal mine. It's a sign that you've got artery narrowings that ultimately are likely to kill you. So take your viagra if you want to, but start a healthy completely vegan diet and your arteries will open up again and uh, in to a degree in the vast majority of people. And that may mean that your artery or your a heart attack never happens and your stroke never happens. And your erectile dysfunction can go away as well too, which we see all the time.

Allan (23:21):
Yeah, and I think that's really important is, uh, a lot of general practitioners might, might just miss that signal. Uh, pull out the scripts, let you leave for the blue pill and, and think we're all good. But this is, this is a big warning flag for you to keep on the, on the mass to know, okay, there's something bigger going on here and then I've got to make some changes to make sure I'm still around to enjoy those little blue pills. If, if I continue to need them.

Dr. Barnard (23:46):
Well and you may not continue to need them. For a doctor to write a Viagra prescription for a man with an erectile dysfunction, without talking with him about his atherosclerosis and without referring him to a dietician to give him a healthy vegan diet. That's the equivalent of seeing a smoker in your clinic and prescribing some laws and just to help him with his cough. You have to say at some point the smoking is going to kill you. And unfortunately, the doctors still haven't really quite gotten that message. And uh, many of them have cardiologists really understand this, but primary care docs are in some cases they're there, they're not there yet and they really need to be.

Allan (24:23):
Now, one other thing obviously is a personal trainer. This is near and dear to my heart. That continued to come up was the need for exercise that it helps us in so many different ways. Can you, could you give us a little bit of insight into exercise? Why it's helping with so many of these issues, and exactly what's going on in our body that is helping us heal.

Dr. Barnard (24:44):
Yeah. Exercise is, is um, it's a funny thing. Um, and even I think it's been a bit misunderstood. Um, early on in your body and balance. I talk about fertility and there have been say, distance runners, women who are no longer opulate, um, because they're running so much and so people started to think, Oh, don't run so much if you want to be fertile, take it easy, dah, dah, dah. But then other research has shown that the more vigorously women exercise, the higher their fertility. And the way we put it together is that there's nothing wrong with the exercise. Having your muscles move is a good thing where people run into trouble is if they're not keeping up with themselves with their diet and they're losing so much body fat that they are now out of hormone balance in the other direction. That's when the infertility comes in. Um, so exercise is fine. In fact, the more vigorous exercise, a woman who has the higher fertility, as long as she doesn't lose body fat and exercise of course plays a role in, in many, many other things. It's good for brain health. It appears to reverse brain shrinkage. Um, it helps with weight loss a little bit, not, not nearly as much as the diet changes will, but it's part of a healthy diet. I'm part of a healthy lifestyle. I mean.

Allan (26:00):
Yeah. And I think that's cool. The cool thing about it, you know, you referenced Ornish's study, uh, where he had not just eating a vegan diet, but other lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and exercising and the Australian study that you reference also talked about the fact that they, they got them into exercising and that helped with the weight loss. Uh, cause it's just kinda like, just little kick in the butt, right past of what you're doing with your food, uh, that can help you reach that weight loss goal a bit faster. And with the weight loss, a lot of these conditions that you talk about in the book, you know, like diabetes, like infertility and some of those other things, those, those tend to ferret themselves out. If we're forgiving our body what it needs.

Dr. Barnard (26:44):
They really can. No, I do want to say a word for people who are unable to exercise, let's say their joints aren't really shot or they have say retinal problems that are extremely fragile at the moment or they've got massive obesity and they're really having trouble. You could still benefit enormously from the diet changes alone even without a lot of exercise. And the reason we know that is in our research studies, if we're trying to test diets, we ask people not to modify their exercise regimens cause that would be a confounder. Um, so we know that the diet alone works well, but, but adding exercise to it is a really good thing. Plus I have to say, um, if you're out, uh, running a 5K, you can't eat a bowl of ice cream while you're doing it. So it's got lots of other benefits.

Allan (27:30):
Yeah. But they'll figure out a way to drink it. Little goo packets or something. I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Dr. Barnard (27:45):
Well, I'm going to suggest, first of all, you want to follow a healthy diet, which I'm going to say is a low fat, completely plant based diet. It is a good thing to get an a good activity and sleep cycle. So that means do get, give your muscles, have a reason to live, exercise them, but don't forget to stop and sleep at night. So to give yourself the ability to rest so your bed, your best the next day. But the third thing I think is the most important and that's to share what you know with other people because they are at risk for all kinds of problems because they don't have the knowledge that you have. And if you understand how foods and exercise can protect your health, share that information with other people, share it with your loved ones in turn because you are now their role model. They'll keep you on the straight and narrow the next time you have some kind of temptation. So that'll help everybody.

Allan (28:36):
Yeah. And this book has a lot of that information. It's well-researched, it's well supported. Um, so Dr. Bernard thank you so much. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, your Body in Balance, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Barnard (28:50):
Oh well thank you for asking. Our website is PCRM.org that stands for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (pcrm.org) and you'll see me, Neal Barnard to all of our social media and our organization that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is there too.

Allan (29:07):
Okay, well you can go to 40plusfitness podcast.com/423 and I'll be sure to have that link there. So Dr. Bernard, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Barnard (29:17):
Nice talking to you today. Thank you.


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Another episode you may enjoy


February 24, 2020

Avoiding and Dealing with Viruses

Today I want to talk about viruses because it seems to be a big bad year for that with Coronavirus going around the world really has some people shaken up and two different types of the flu that apparently are going through this year. So I thought this was a good time to have this conversation.


If you've been a listener of the podcast for any time at all, you probably know that I'd moved to Bocas Del Toro, Panama and I now call this home. We've been here just over a year, well in bogus where I live. There's a very social expat community, most of whom are my age or older and it's fairly common for us to meet up with friends for dinner and be joined by new friends. As you can imagine when they find out that I'm a podcast host and a health coach the questions on health and fitness start and the stark reality of the aging curve hits me again and again. The weight gain, the aches and pains, the chronic diseases for most of us getting older sucks but it doesn't have to. If you're ready to make a change, it's time for you to join. 40 plus fitness online group training.

I'm reopening up 10 slots for the 14 day free trial and I mentioned this in a past podcast, but then afterwards realized I had not actually opened up the sign it signup page. I'll call it a senior moment. I forgot to take it out of draft mode. Well I fixed that and now I'm gonna go ahead and extend the free trial until February 29th or until the 10 openings are taken. This trial will show you that online personal training is for you. Basically I'm able to do some things as an online personal trainer that I would never be able to do in the gym. In the gym. You see your trainer for about two to three hours a week, usually maximum.

But in this case with online training, I'm in your phone. I'm an app on your phone. I'm on the weekly group conference calls. I'm in the Facebook group. I'm just a message away. So you have a coach available to you pretty much 24 seven to get you the answers, to push you, to help you, to hold you accountable, to be your partner in helping you get healthy and fit with the app. I can track your workouts, we can track your nutrition, we can set up daily actions that you use to become healthier by building the habits and eliminating bad habits that are holding you back. So if you're ready to check it out again, it's a no obligation, 14 day free trial. Get in, see what we're all about. If it's not for you, then then go. I mean get it, but I believe it is and I want you to check it out. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/trial.

Try it out. We spend a lot of time talking about mindset. We spend a lot of time talking about nutrition and we obviously, because I'm a weightlifter, we talk a lot of time about getting in the gym or working out from home to get the best fitness that you can get for yourself. So again, if you're interested in changing your aging curve, you're interested in being younger than you are, the best way to do it is with good nutrition, good exercise. And I'm there to help. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/trial and check it out today.

So today I want to talk about viruses because it seems to be a big bad year for that with Coronavirus going around the world really has some people shaken up and two different types of the flu that apparently are going through this year. So I thought this was a good time to have this conversation. Maybe even a little late. I probably had a push doing shows like this more towards November. But it, it has been a particularly bad year. So I wanted to talk about this, but before I get into it, I do want to put out that disclaimer. I am not a doctor. What we're talking about here is not medical advice. It's merely educational and entertaining, hopefully. So you can understand different ways to take care of yourself. Most of the things that I'm talking about here are probably things you actually already know, but it's just a good reminder to have this out there.

As I mentioned, there've been quite a few outbreaks this year and most of them have been viruses that are spread through the contact with the virus and then contact with your mouth or your eyes. Okay. And it's typically with our hands. So we're grabbing something, we're touching something, we're shaking someone's hand. Cause I think that's why the fist bump has become a lot more popular lately. So we're trying to save ourselves there, but just recognize that it typically means that something's coming contact with our hands. And then we've touched our face or our eyes in particular to spread this disease. So the first answer for dealing with or avoiding the dividers is have good hand hygiene. You know, you should be washing your hands regularly with soap and warm soap and water, warm water and soap and, and just basically making sure you get a good, good wash of your hands.

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Too often we don't take the time to wash our hands regularly but during this time when you know, these viruses are around, this is the time of year to really, really focus on keeping your hands clean and keeping them out of harm's way. I also am a big believer during this season of hand sanitizer. Again, anything else that's going to keep your hands clean is going to help. I'll tell you a story. I was actually in Hong Kong when the SARS virus came out and it was interesting because one of the guys I was traveling to Hong Kong with, he was from Singapore. He was really, really terrified of the SARS virus. He did not want to go to Hong Kong. But you know, we had to go for this business trip. So we get there and the disease at the time was somewhat consolidated in an area called Calloun.

And you know, we were, we were not near Calhoun when we went for the visit. But then one ladies that was working there was really excited because she had found this great restaurant that she wanted to show us and it happened to be in Calhoun. So we actually took the subway to Calhoun. And in an Asian subway personal space is not a thing. They press up against you crowded really like startings and these in these cars, it's really kinda crazy. I'm a bit of an introvert, so when I've got tons of people around me like that, it's a, it's a little disconcerting, but I put my hands in my pocket so I wasn't touching the surfaces. Rode the subway over, had a nice dinner and rode the subway back. No problem. Again, it's really all about keeping your hands clean and keeping them away from your face.

You know, I see people wearing masks and, and that can be good if you're especially susceptible to disease, which as we get older, our immune system gets a little weaker. As we are young babies, obviously immune systems are what they are. They haven't gotten enough things to really be immune to anything. So there are times when you might want to take extra precautions. Wear gloves wear masks. But for the most part, you could still touch your eyes. It's really in my mind, keep your hands clean. If your hands are clean, you're very, you're less likely to spread this disease to yourself. The second is to manage your immunity. Now most years flu shots are a gas and then the other, they're doing a substance of, they're trying to figure out what the virus is going to look like this particular year.

They're trying to find a way to help us get through this season. So a lot of times these are hit or miss. But obviously, if you know you're going to be around people with impaired immune systems or you're going to be exposed particularly a lot then it's probably a good idea to go ahead and get one. But there are other things that you can do to help support your own immunity. The first one I'm gonna talk about is nutrition. If you're not eating good nutrition, whole food nutrition you're not giving your gut what it needs to keep you healthy. The gut contains most of our immune system, obviously not when we're talking about these types of viruses, but making sure that you're getting good nutritious food is going to support your immune system and make sure that you're in the best shape you can be.

Because a lot of times we're probably exposed to these viruses and we just don't get them because our immune system fights them off. A lot of these others, you know, now can say we won't get a disease won't get one of these viruses. But just recognizing that the stronger your immune system is, the better off you are. And diet is a big, big part of that. Exercise is also a very, very big part of keeping a strong immune system. Now the first thing to recognize is also that stress exercise is a stressor. So if you're putting your body through excessive exercise, you may actually be weakening your immune system. So this is probably not the time to be in the gym for hours working on a treadmill, just killing yourself. But recognizing that if you go through the process of exercising and keeping your body healthy that's going to help your immune system.

And then finally anything you can do to reduce stress. Anything we do that stresses ourselves the adrenals, everything that's going on in our bodies that is suppressing our immune system. Predominantly because right there when you're running from the bear, the stress you're not, your body's not worried about fighting other defenders away. It's worried about the Bayer. So your immune system gets suppressed when you're highly stressed. So anything you can do for stress reduction is going to help you. You help your immune system remains strong. So kind of recapping the immune system part, you know, diet, exercise and stress management and just getting good rest are all going to be very, very important to make sure that you're as healthy as you possibly can, which is a good way of supporting your immunity. All that set all the precautions we can do.

Obviously people are going to come to work with these diseases. In some cases they won't even necessarily know they have them depending on incubation period and the infection period of a particular virus. But if you happen to get sick my advice is to stay at home, manage your illness, get well, and then get on with your life. You know, this is a point where you want to go to the gym but just, just don't. You know, there's all these talks about you can work out and yes, you probably can work out but you're at the gym, you're touching things and you're, you're sneezing or you're coughing and therefore you're spreading this other people coming into the gym, you know, they're, they're likely to get it. And so you just are basically spreading it to everybody else. I know a lot of times workplaces won't less necessarily let you skip work, but trying to stay away from people trying to let this, this period of infection go away will allow you to deal with the virus.

And in fact, dealing with this virus needs to be your number one priority at this point in time, not your PR lift or this other thing you want to try to do with your health and fitness. Getting well from this virus is your priority at that point in time. Also listen to your body. I did have a friend when the H1N virus (I think is what it was called) came out. And he was just 30 years old. He got it and he actually passed away because he stayed home and got sicker and sicker. And by the time he went to the doctor, he was already facing some significant organ failure problems. And so recognizing that if you're not getting better over the course of a few days you need to go seek medical attention. They can, they need to help support your body during that period of time while your body's fighting the virus, but just listen to your body and try to stay away from people and get through this period of time.

Now if someone else in your household ends up with the flu or with one of these viruses you need to change your lifestyle. You know, well, my wife gets ill. I don't sleep in the bed with her when I get ill, I don't sleep in the bed with her. We go to different bedrooms and or I'll sleep in the living room if I need to stay away from people so that I'm not getting them infected. There's a particular period of time when I'm going to be infectious where she can get this virus and I don't want to get that or she has it that I could get this virus. So we change up our lifestyle a little bit for a few days until this period's over. And at that point practice very detailed hygiene issues where I'm washing my hands regularly, I'm using the hand sanitizer.

If I have to carry soup into her, I carry the soup in, I grab her other stuff out. Anytime I'm doing that, as soon as I get through, I'm washing my hands, I'm cleaning my hands with the hand sanitizer and just making sure that I'm, I'm really doubling down on my hygiene practices. So those are kind of some of the core things. Just understanding how these viruses are spread. They can, you know, viruses can live on surfaces for a good long period of time from hours to days depending on the virus. So understanding how these viruses are spread and it's typically going to be through your hands and touching other surfaces where the viruses are at. The harder the surface, the more likely it is to have a contact of a virus. So again, washing your hands, good hygiene practices are going to be kind of your first line of defense.

Managing and having a strong immunity is going to help if you're getting good nutrition getting proper exercise, dealing with stress and getting proper rest you're giving your body the best chance to fight these infections. And then again, recognizing where the disease as, if it's happening to you, trying to avoid spreading it. The more people you spread it to, the more they're likely to spread it to others. And then also if you know someone who has it just kinda managing your lifestyle, managing your hygiene during that period of time so that again, you're not getting it. So I hope this has been helpful. Again, I am not a doctor and I really was just sharing some of this information because I know it's kinda top of mind as we have the coronavirus and the flus out there. As, as we go through and go forward, I'm sure you know, the learn more about these viruses and hopefully, they'll be able to do some things to keep it from spreading. Much further, but it's really gonna come down to what you do for yourself. That's gonna make the most difference in your life. So I do hope you found this helpful.

Before you run off, I wanted to remind you about the 14 day free trial for 40+ Fitness Online Personal Training. It's 14 days, let you kick the tires and see if online personal training can work for you. It's worked for thousands and thousands of other people. I use it with my clients to get great success and I want you to try it to go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/trial and try out 40 plus fitness online personal training.


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