How to balance work, family, and fitness with Art Trapotsis

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Having time to be excellent at work and spend time quality time with family is hard, throw in fitness and it can seem impossible. In his book, Everyday Athlete, Art Trapotsis shows us how to find that balance. 


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:26.310] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you doing?

[00:03:28.190] – Rachel

Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:03:30.150] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm doing pretty good. Of course, I'm getting ready to get on an airplane to travel back to the United States for four weeks or so. It's about four weeks to spend time with family, and then I'm going to take an actual vacation. This one actually by myself in Mexico, so I'll be gone for about five weeks. Traveling around and seeing family and doing this and that. But I did drop the tough mudder. It wasn't in the cards for me this time, and I've accepted that. But that just means I could spend more time with my mother.

[00:04:05.890] – Rachel


[00:04:07.210] – Allan


[00:04:08.950] – Rachel

Great. Trade off. Perfect.

[00:04:11.290] – Allan

How about you?

[00:04:12.620] – Rachel

Good. Same thing. I'm actually getting ready to get on a hydroplane myself. That's how we're going to get to Isle Royal in about a week or so, and we'll have eight days on the island, so I will be unplugged for about eight weeks. I'm looking forward to that.

[00:04:28.060] – Allan

Yeah, that's going to be exciting. You just mentioned before we got on the call the weather is changing a bit, and so plans are changing, and it's kind of evolving thing as you get going and imagine even being on the ground, you kind of have to have that concept of we need to be able to pivot when it's time to pivot and roll when it's time to roll.

[00:04:48.250] – Rachel

You have to be flexible. Some of the days that we're going to be out there might have longer hikes than others. We have a limited food supply. We're packing in what food we have, packing out all the trash. So, yeah, you got to be flexible and be ready for weather changes, landscape changes, animal changes. We don't know what to do.

[00:05:09.720] – Allan

Just remember, you only have to be able to outrun Mike. You don't have to be able to outrun the bank.

[00:05:15.430] – Rachel

So true.

[00:05:18.070] – Allan

Although he probably still runs a little bit faster than you.

[00:05:20.450] – Rachel

He is he's very speedy,

[00:05:22.400] – Allan

but he's got more meat on his bones. Go get it

[00:05:25.930] – Rachel

right? Yeah. Just looking forward to it.

[00:05:28.910] – Allan

Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Art?

[00:05:31.190] – Rachel



[00:06:11.210] – Allan

Art, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:13.640] – Art

Thank you so much for having me, Allan.

[00:06:15.590] – Allan

So your book is called The Everyday Athlete: How to Balance Work, Family and Fitness for Life. And there's a lot to unravel in that title for a book, and we're going to do some of that today. But this is a big thing. It's really hard for me to explain because I know I'm a coach and so by the time someone is coming to me, they've already somewhat hot committed, if you will, to say, I'm going to do something for my fitness, I'm going to do something. And they're listening to 40 plus Fitness. So we're somewhat there. But the whole balancing thing, a lot of us missed that.

[00:07:01.190] – Art

Yeah, I initially thought that there were three sort of separate buckets with work, family and friends and then fitness. But one theme that kept emerging when I was doing research for this book and interviewing people was that without fitness, it's really hard to succeed in the other two areas and to feel balanced. So fitness is sort of interconnected with everything else that we do in life. And we can't just think of it as a silo that we put on hiatus when we're focusing on work or family.

[00:07:33.150] – Allan

Yeah, I actually did that when I was younger. I think we all, a lot of us, fall into this trap. We get into our late twenty s and thirty s and we're like, okay, I'm putting in the hours and I'm getting promoted at work. And so it's almost like the more I pour of myself into my job, the better my career goes. And now you're competing with everyone else at work and you're winning those competitions because you're putting in the time. And so I ended up at 37 years old, sitting on the beach in Mexico, by all accounts fully successful. I'm a vice president of a Fortune 500 company and my life is wonderful. Except I know I had fallen out of a volleyball game the day before I went to play sand volleyball and it was four on four, it wasn't even twos. And I played one game and I subbed out. And I'm thinking to myself, I never would have subbed out in my entire life. I would have been the last guy to sub out. I would have done it just to let people play. But I would not have subbed out because I needed to.

[00:08:39.310] – Allan

But I did. So the next morning I'm sitting on the beach and I'm like, why am I so pathetic? I've got all this great stuff at work, but I didn't have it at home. I didn't have it in my health and fitness. And so it really was that disconnective balance that I was so one sided. And I fought that for eight years. I'm like, how do I rebalance? And it took me eight years to figure it out. And for me, what it was was this idea that everything that I had been successful at in my life, I committed to. And the only way I was going to find balance was if I equally committed to all three things.

[00:09:18.470] – Art

Did you feel unbalanced during those eight years?

[00:09:21.210] – Allan

I did. But I kept trying. You know. It was like this Yoyo thing where it was like gravity almost and I kind of equate it to I don't know. I've seen movies where two planets are coming together and you got the gravity going one direction and the gravity going the other direction. And I would start getting pulled one direction. And then all of a sudden work would be there. I'd turn to face work and I'm back the gravity well, yes. And another year later, yeah, I got another promotion. I worked so much harder, and then I write back being spit back out, like, wow, that didn't work. I'm still not fulfilled. And so, yeah, it was a really hard thing to do because it meant breaking a lot of who I was down and saying, okay, why am I the way I am? And then it meant breaking up relationships, it meant cutting back at work, and it meant finding the time to do those things and really just figuring it all out.

[00:10:21.800] – Art

Yeah. So I was a competitive cyclist earlier in my life, and when I got a real job, went into the real world, got married, started to have a family, and became less competitive. But I noticed that there were quite a few folks in my circle of friends that were still remaining competitive with cycling, and I was wondering how they were doing it. So I started to interview some local masters athletes to put on my blog. And as I spoke to more and more people, I became really fascinated because I was like, oh, there's quite a few folks who sort of figured out how to manage all three aspects of their life. And I started to weave together some common themes and create this book, The Everyday Athlete. And one of the big things that came out of it was time management. I mean, just learning to be flexible and taking advantage of available time when you get it to sneak and exercise whenever you can, even if it's just a 30 minutes run or weight lifting session. It doesn't have to be some massive two to four hour endurance ride, which is sort of the norm if you're a cyclist or any endurance world.

[00:11:39.230] – Art

So that was one of the themes that came out of the time management piece.

[00:11:42.830] – Allan

and that was definitely part of it. And to me, again, it was about the committing to the fact that I had to have that balance or I wasn't going to be complete. And then from there, everything just sort of started falling in line because once you truly commit to something, you have to do it. You don't have a choice anymore. And I knew I was at that point, I knew I knew I was. You said something earlier, though, that I think is really important, and it was that if you don't have fitness, it's maybe even impossible to really be fulfilled or balanced in those other areas. And for me, the biggest part of that is what exercise does for us, and not just physically for our bodies. Because I think people know, okay, well, if I exercise and burn more calories, that makes weight loss or weight control a lot easier. But really the special sauce with exercise is what exercise does for the brain. Could you talk a little bit about why that's so important? Because, again, if it's going to make everything else better, I'd like to know why.

[00:12:45.000] – Art

Well, there's a lot of data to support that. The fact that fitness in your life creates a ripple effect. So you go out for a 30 minute walk at lunch during your work day. You come back and you feel a bit more productive, and there are chemicals associated your brain that sort of stimulates more engagement at work with whatever it is you're doing. In the book, I referenced a book called Spark which talks about they perform some studies with students who had a break or perform physical fitness during the day. And those students were better students over the course of the year because they were just more engaged and they've learned better. So I sort of extrapolated on that and took that into the workplace.

[00:13:34.430] – Allan

Yes, you actually have programs at your workplace that people can exercise and take time off. And you're really flexible with all that because you know as an employer actually pays you for them to be that way.

[00:13:49.590] – Art

Yes, we installed we moved to a new facility about three years ago, and one of the layout pieces was, okay, we need to put a gym in here to make it as easy as possible for people to get some exercise. So we've got showers, we've got a gym. We created a wellness program with monthly activities that are totally voluntary. Nothing is forced upon anybody, but they're pretty fun. Just in a couple of months ago, we had our annual walking challenge where if you have a Fitbit or an iPhone or something, recorded your steps and it became sort of a little bit competitive. But it also was kind of fun because now you see people going out at lunch and getting in their steps and walking with their colleagues and recording it on the weekends, and all those folks just seem a bit more engaged when they get back to the office.

[00:14:40.520] – Allan

Yes, sometimes a little bit of competition can really spark some interest and get people doing a little bit more. That's awesome. Now you hit a concept in the book that one, I know it's going to resonate with Rachel kind of big because this is something she does. But you titled the book Everyday Athlete. And so we're not just talking about the person who's competitive or thinking about going masters, Olympian or something. This is just the person that wants to be able to hike on the weekends like something beautiful. They want to be able to ride their bike, play tennis again, or just do things, be a great grandmother, just that awesome person that keeps up with grandchildren at the zoo. Can you talk about the value of calling yourself an athlete?

[00:15:29.220] – Art

Yeah, I think that there are so many hurdles in the way of folks finding a way to get the fitness in their life. And I think and I propose this in the book, that if you think of yourself as an athlete, you're training for a 5K or 10K or a marathon or something. And if you just started to think of yourself as an athlete, then you start to adjust your behaviors a little bit. Oh, I think I'll go to sleep a little bit earlier tonight. Maybe I won't have that extra piece of cake. But also it becomes just more ingrained in your daily life. You think about your whole day with your meetings and your eating schedule and sleep schedule, like, oh, there's also a component there that involves me getting some exercise, and I need to do that because I'm an athlete. And I think getting over that hump of thinking yourself an athlete can really just make fitness more ingrained in how you are as a person.

[00:16:25.860] – Allan

Yes. The way I really ramped myself up was that my daughter was a CrossFit coach, level one CrossFit coach. And so I was looking back at her, she's 20 years old, and I'm thinking, that was me at 20 years old, I was an athlete. And then I'm thinking to myself, well, why wouldn't I be thinking of myself as an athlete today? Why would I be a spectator in my daughter's life going forward? And I wasn't comfortable to retire the cleats, if you will not done. I wanted more. So I said, okay, I'm going to train to do a tough mudder, and I'm going to do it with my daughter. And by committing to doing it with my daughter, it went well beyond that. I didn't want to just do it. I wanted to not hold her back. I wanted her to be able to run her race, and I want to be able to keep up with her. And I wanted us to finish that thing together, and I didn't want to be wrecked doing it. It was, okay, well, I have something now that I'm training for. And when I started the training, it's like, well, okay, I do have to feed the machine.

[00:17:30.290] – Allan

My body is a tool to do what I want to do. And if I do the right maintenance with it and I do the right training, it will respond, and it will reward me with a beautiful experience with my daughter. And it did that whole concept of I went back to being an athlete, and there are times I'll tell you, I still struggle with that because I can't do it all the time. I can't be that athlete all the time. Even LeBron James, he has an off season. And so in the book you talked a little bit about off seasons. We're not going to play basketball every day all year. We're going to have off seasons. Can you talk about why having off seasons is important?

[00:18:10.310] – Art

Yeah, I mean, there's a concept called periodisation where over the course of a year you slowly build up and develop what we call sort of base fitness. And as you approach your event, if you have an event in your calendar, you might convert some of that base fitness into more intense workouts. So you're kind of building the pyramid and the top of the pyramid is your event day. And when you reach the top, there's always a necessity to take a break. And if you have, let's say, two events during the course of the year, you want to filter in some rest time. It could be a week or two weeks. But eventually as you get around to, let's say, the winter season, if you're a cyclist, you might want to consider taking off a full month and just sort of not stopping exercise, but scaling back the volume, the intensity. And then that also resets your brain. Okay, I don't have to be on every single day of the week or every week to get workouts in. I can back up a little bit and it recharges you for the next season. So you don't have to go hard all year long at some point.

[00:19:20.620] – Allan

And I think that's really important. There's a balance to that. Like I said, that's what this book is really about. If you know, it's like, okay, well, Christmas time and Thanksgiving time is when I'm going to be spending time with family. And I don't want to be spending even though I could, I don't want to spend 4 hours every day training and not be able to drive over the house until 02:00 because that's when my training runs going to be done. Everybody's going to be there at noon and here I come straightening up at 02:00. And that's not really cool. So I'm taking that off season and saying it's okay. It's okay to relax, it's okay to enjoy these other things. And then that recovery that refresh it's across not just your body but your brain and everything. You can go into your next season, your on season, and start really pushing for higher and higher goals.

[00:20:10.730] – Art

Yeah, it's okay to give yourself a break and be gentle with yourself. You don't have to drive yourself into the ground all year. So you mentioned the holiday season and for me, like, that's the time where I sort of push aside some of those longer training sessions and focus more on the family piece and spending time with family during the holiday period.

[00:20:33.480] – Allan

Yeah, and family of the three, to me that's the hard one. Now I don't know why work, for some reason or another, was like I said, that little black hole that just sucked me away from everything else in life. But once I got back to the family part and I see it a lot with my clients. Particularly those that are the caretakers. And particularly when we're in this sandwich kind of generation of where someone's were still taking care of our children while we're taking care of our parents and that pull on us to be there for our family all the time just seems to be something that can kind of really derail the fitness and even sometimes our careers. How do we get around the family? Not like break up with the family, but how do we make that work when the family has such a huge draw on us?

[00:21:28.130] – Art

I think it starts with communication and basically expressing to your significant other and to your family members, like what you value and what's your priority to you. So if getting in the run on the weekend is really important to you, then you don't sit down and say, hey, honey, I want to go out and do a huge ride this weekend. I'll see you later. It's more like, hey, what does the family want to accomplish this weekend? We have some commitments here, some chores here. Can we carve out a little bit of time for me to go off for a run? And I think having that communication is so important because if it's not there, then the other department will always feel some sort of resentment or you're leaving them hanging with the rest of the family activities to organize and create. So the communication is like the first piece and there's a lot of little things we can do to improve communication, like having a family calendar and sort of sitting down and saying what I just said, where you look at the weekend, what do you want to accomplish and what do you want to do for fun and do you want to have the family dinner?

[00:22:39.590] – Art

So that is a really important piece in our household.

[00:22:43.170] – Allan

Yes. I think the way you put it in the book was really great was that you had little kids. This is not like you're talking about just send the teams off to spend time with their friends and you go do your run. This was okay. We've got little kids. One of them has got to go to this practice. One of them has got this game. And so it's like, okay, based on the times available, I'm going to have to get up and from six to nine I'm going to go do my ride or my run and get that done. So then I'm done and then I can take this one to the game. And then while we're at the game, you can take and do your run and then we meet back. And now we're together as a family having our dinner. And we made everything happen that needed to happen and we had the balance between us and the conversations between us and the trust that, yeah, she's going to follow through, I'm going to follow through because it's not just, I'm going to get my running. It's like, you know, I think I'm going to go play some golf with the guys.

[00:23:39.640] – Allan

I got a call. No, we commit. We do the right thing. And that communication and trust means that they're willing to give because you're willing to give. And in the end, if you're not taking care of yourself, then you're not really going to be 100% for your family. As we mentioned earlier, how key fitness is to all the other dynamics.

[00:24:00.120] – Art

And sometimes it isn't even about the other person. Let's say also going out for a run or getting in some fitness. It could be done wanting to disconnect by doing some gardening or meeting up with some friends for coffee. It's whatever it is that your significant other things of is like, disconnecting and re-energizing them. So I think it's just having a respect for whatever your partner feels like they need to do to stay balanced.

[00:24:28.290] – Allan

Yeah, my wife would be the I'm going to go spend some time with my friends kind of person. She's not going for a run, but I totally get you there. But yeah, we're different people, and we have different needs, and with the respect we have for each other, that we just we make it work. But I don't have the little kids. It's just the two of us, and our only little kid is Lula's, our bed and breakfast.

[00:24:51.590] – Art

Well, I'm just checking in that your partner has some time carved out for themselves, like, oh, do you need some time to disconnect and do what you would like to do?

[00:25:03.670] – Allan

Yeah. All right. It does. Understanding that and as I said before, I didn't have that balance, and I didn't have that skill because I think the communication between a significant other is a huge skill that a lot of us go into marriage without really ever having. We go into relationships without really having and or practicing. And once you kind of practice that skill, it's very powerful.

[00:25:29.530] – Art

Developing the emotional IQ.

[00:25:32.510] – Allan

That's it. Yeah, that's the word right there. Now, one thing I always recommend, and a lot of other people recommend, is do something you enjoy. So if your fitness doesn't have to be, okay, I got to get you in the gym, I've got to do three sets of eight on that leg press, and then we're going to move over to this machine, and we're going to do three sets, eight. For a lot of people, that's intimidating, scary, and they're not going to enjoy it. And if they're not going to enjoy it unless I'm there asking them to do the next set, they're not going to do it. So a lot of people encourage, just do something, enjoy. So it's like, take a group class, take a Zumba, go out and join a running club or a walking club or a biking club. Why is this group training? Why is that so valuable? What's the draw? And why are so many people interested? And why is it so much more fun, I guess would be the question is what are all these values that group classes do that we wouldn't do ourselves?

[00:26:30.170] – Art

Well, part of it has to do with the motivation piece. Sometimes it's just really challenging for you to get your own butt off the couch and then to go out and do that ride. But if you know that there's five or six people waiting on the coffee shop for you to also go for that ride, then it just gets you a little bit more of an edge to get out there and do that. And in our area where I live in our neighborhood, we have weekly group rides. There's something going on every day of the week and it's super motivating because, you know, on Monday, if it's a recovery day, there's a recovery ride. The folks around here are called the Muffin Ride because it meets up at a coffee shop after the Muffins. And I think that that's got a lot of folks in our area off the couch and motivated. And many of them have events on the calendar now where they're doing centuries 100 miles rides. And these are folks who were not engaged that level of athletic fitness just a few years ago. So the group ride or whatever group activities you want to do, it goes a long way from foundation.

[00:27:38.040] – Allan

Now, a lot of people will look at that and they'll say, oh, well, I'm going to go try to ride with people that are doing 100 miles races and more. And it's like, well, I physically can't do that right now, so if we're going to go do a training ride, see you, they're going to leave me in the dust. But you also mentioned a concept that you call the no drop mentality. And so occasionally some of the groups that you train with will use this or have this. Can you talk about what that is and how that could help someone who's maybe just a little intimidated to get started?

[00:28:12.450] – Art

Yes, the no drop ride. So when you get dropped on a ride, it means that you've fallen off the back of the group and basically have been left for dead and no one's waiting you and you're riding by yourself. So there's number rise throughout the week or the month where we announced a no drop ride. Words basically at the top of the hill, we'll wait for everyone to gather and you never felt like you're left behind. There's always someone looking out for you and it's at a pace that usually everybody can hold and it really lowers the barrier to entry because it's like, okay, let me show up as a no drop ride. I know I'm going to make it all the way home on this 25 to 30 miles loop, and I'm not going to be left to figure out how to get home. So with that, we've actually drawn in quite a few newbie cyclists and they've loved it. And over the years they've gotten better and they've gone on to some of the harder group rides that become very competitive. But I love the no drop rides. My favorite one to do, especially on Sundays.

[00:29:14.970] – Allan

Yeah, the concept, to me, it's two sided and the two sides, this one is as a group, I think it's just really great that you're having this inclusivity of saying we want to introduce more people to the sport, to this thing. And the way we do it is by making them feel more comfortable and more included. And I can tell you, in a gym environment, a lot of people feel intimidated. They walk in there and they see the big guys over by the free weights. They're kind of like, I'll just hang out over here by the treadmill, don't mind me. But the reality is a gym environment, most gym environments are no drop mentalities. The guys you see over there are those heavy weights. They're happy to see you there. They won't walk over and tell you and welcome you, but they're glad to see you there because by you paying a gym membership, you're helping pay for that equipment they're using too. And so most gyms are going to have a no drop mentality. They're not going to let you fail just and laugh at you. They're not going to do that. They want you to be successful.

[00:30:13.640] – Allan

They want you to be long term gym members just like them. And eventually you might be over in those free weight areas and they'll be glad to help you in any way they can. But then there's the other side of this equation, and that's the mindset that you bring to the game. I know if I got into a ride, I'm not keeping up with you. There's no way. And I don't mean that as a slight. What I mean is I can't lose my battle, my sport, by competing with you. I'm competing with myself at this point in my life. And so my comparison is to Allan yesterday. I want to be as good or better than the Allan I was yesterday. And it's not just in sports, it's just not fitness. It's family, it's work, it's everything else. What am I doing today to be better tomorrow? And so I think if you look at a no drop mentality, not only is important if a group has it and makes you feel comfortable, it's kind of building in yourself that I don't actually care if I get dropped. I'm not comparing myself to the best riders in this group.

[00:31:24.200] – Allan

And if I do get left behind, then I'll figure it out. But I'm going to come back and I'm going to get better and so at some point, I might be that good, but I'm not going to compare myself to them. I'm going to compare myself to who I was yesterday.

[00:31:38.690] – Art

There are so many folks that I've ridden with and went running with, and I was involved with triathlon over the years that started off very intimidated. Didn't want to put the spandex on the Lycra, but.

[00:31:57.390] – Allan

It just shows how great you look. Maybe you don't feel like you do. Yeah.

[00:32:03.160] – Art

No, but I think it takes someone to say, here, let's go for a short ride on the bike path. That's just get you comfortable on the bike or the run or even a swim. And then, hey, let's show up on the 20 miles no drop ride this weekend, and we'll go together. And over time and I've been doing this now for over 25 years, many of these folks are much stronger than I am now. And they just developed it's like their inner competitive cyclists came out, and now they're phenomenal athletes. So it's been a pretty fun process to do that.

[00:32:42.410] – Allan

Well, as we said earlier, I think everybody has an athlete in them. Our human body was built to be athletic, to hunt, to fish, to forage, to move, to play. We were built for this. And so it's there. It's just a function of bringing it out. And it starts with the mindset, it starts with the doing. And if you can find these groups and find the way to do the training where you feel comfortable, but then you push that comfort zone, then you get better. And I think that's one of the keys. And what I really liked about your book was it just kind of pulled that altogether to say, if you want this balance, it's within your grasp. And it's not just a concept of having it all, which I think is what a lot of people think balance is, but it's the understanding, the compensation with all of them to fit them together in a way that fits your lifestyle.

[00:33:38.130] – Art

Yeah. And also that it's a journey. You're not going to have balance every single day of the week. It's something that we're always moving towards. And even the folks that you think have life completely dialed in, they don't. They're always trying to figure it out.

[00:33:56.350] – Allan

But they're instagram famous.

[00:33:59.310] – Art

Exactly. So we're all in the same boat. I've interviewed over 100 folks through this book of all walks of life. And every single person I interviewed, no matter how successful they appear on the outside, or how successful they appear as far as athletic prowess, everyone struggles. Everyone. So I think if we can keep the fitness piece in our life, as we grow our families and build our careers, it will make us at least feel like we have life in check. And that's what my proposal is in the book.

[00:34:38.380] – Allan

Yeah. And I would say, being over 40, if you can reintroduce fitness into your life, it's going to enhance those other things just as well.

[00:34:48.730] – Art

I totally agree. There's quite a few folks who were competitive in high school, or maybe not even competitive. They just did some sort of sport in high school. Maybe they played in college. And then there was nothingness in their late 20s or even into their 30s. And then they feel like, okay, I need to get back into doing something. And when they do that, it's like a switch turns on and the rest of their life starts to fall in place.

[00:35:19.210] – Allan

And it's not even that you are an athlete when you were younger. Because I remember I was 29 when I ran an ultra 50 miles ultra. And I was standing in the morning meeting, and they have these briefing the day before briefing. And so we're sitting in the briefing room and I'm standing next to this really old guy. I mean, at the time I'm looking, I'm like, okay, he's ancient. He was 68 years old. So we started talking and I started looking around. I'm like, everybody here is way older than me. And like, what's going on? What bizarre world am I in? And he said, he says most people don't actually even ever start running until they're in their 40s. Most ultra athletes were not really necessarily even athletes when they were younger. They got into their forty s and running was a way for them to destress and get in shape. And then they just kept adding miles. And here we are lining up tomorrow for a 50 mile run. And I just thought that was so compelling. And then you see the results of the run. It was a twelve hour cut off.

[00:36:24.710] – Allan

There were 28 of us that started the run. I think 18 of us finished. And the guy who came in first was 29, and I was 29, and I came in next to last. And then when I finished, they're on the radio and there's one guy left and like, is he going to make cut off? They're like, it's going to be close. And then they said his name. And I'm like, that's that 68 year old guy. I was standing next to a briefing yesterday. So I'm standing at the finish line watching this guy finish this race. And so this is a guy who didn't start running until he was in his forty s. And here he is competing with himself, but competing in the 50 mile run. And he finished it just under time. And so at that point, I knew anything is possible. You can come back at any age and you can do this at any time. So it's not that you had to be an athlete. The athletes there, it's always been there. And it's just a function of pulling it out and using it now, using your fitness, because it's going to enhance everything.

[00:37:27.550] – Art

Well, one thing that I'm glad you just told that story. Because one thing that resonated with me in one of my first triathlons, I was maybe around 25 years old and there's a couple of older categories that started in a way behind us, about ten minutes behind us. And in any triathlon usually put your age on the cap. So with a marker you can see the age of the person. So here I am in the final leg of 5K, 25 years old and I'm going to a pretty good clip, maybe like a six minute mile pace or something. And up comes behind me is this gentleman and he's fast and he's blown by me. And I look at his cap, it says the number 47. I'm now 47. I see his number 47. I was like oh wow. He actually started like eight or ten minutes behind me. And the thing that resonated with me was when we got to the finish line, his wife was there and two of his kids were there. And I just thought this is amazing. And that's what really motivated me over all this time, my career and family, that you can keep doing this, you can keep doing it, still be competitive and have the whole thing.

[00:38:46.520] – Art

So that resonate me. And I just love that you kick my butt there.

[00:38:52.390] – Allan

Good, good. And hopefully he's still running, but hopefully he's still doing that.

[00:38:56.700] – Allan

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

[00:39:04.890] – Art

That's a great question. So number one, I think consistency, try to do something multiple times a week. I'm going to say at least five times a week. That's one thing. Number two, I'm gonna say this now because I have a lot more years of experience on my belt. Sleep. Sleep is so important because then you're ready to go the next day 100%. The third thing is having the ability to disconnect. And when I say disconnect, just disconnect from work, disconnect from your phone and just letting your mind sort of recharge. And you can do that in a form of meditation, reading a book. But I think that's really important to just overall wellness.

[00:39:53.410] – Allan

Thank you. I love those. Thank you. Art, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about your book Everyday Athlete, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:40:03.370] – Art

You could go to artrapotsis.com and you could also find me on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you search for the Everyday Athlete.

[00:40:15.490] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/553 and I'll have a link there for that book and for your website. So thank you Art. Thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:26.600] – Art

Thank you so much, Allan. It's a lot of fun.

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:36.350] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:40:37.990] – Rachel

Hey Allan. Art I think might be my new best friend. There's so many great things in your interview but the first thing I wanted to mention was a quote and I don't know if I got it exactly right in my notes, but I believe the quote was, without fitness, it's hard to succeed in the other areas of life. And I just wanted to take a minute to recognize how important it is to be healthy and to be fit in your day to day life. It's so important.

[00:41:07.130] – Allan

Yeah. I missed this myself. I got well into my career and I was in a sedentary job, so I had all the fitness I needed to be an accountant, but I didn't have the fitness to be the other things that I wanted to be in my life. And so as my health was declining, I recognize that my performance was going to decline during the longer days. And sitting at the desk all those days and all that, I was not at peak. I mean, I was doing enough, and it was enough to be where I was. But I think about what all the other things I could have accomplished in my life if I had the energy and the stamina and the capacity to do those other things, and I didn't, but I didn't even recognize it. It's kind of one of those things that you're sitting in this water and you don't really recognize the temperature of the water. I'm not going to say what that comes from, because people get mad every time I say it. No, I don't do that. But the whole point being is we lose sight of our own surroundings because we're so in it.

[00:42:19.230] – Allan

And so if you find yourself not thinking outside of your environment, you might think what's going through is normal. This is just what we all normally hurt. We all normally can't do things we all normally break, and that's not true. There's a big variation of the aging curve, and we get to make some decisions, and we get to make those decisions each day. But yeah, we won't perform as well if we don't take the time to train and get our body as strong as we can get it.

[00:42:51.100] – Speaker 3

Well, that's a really good point right there, Allan, is that when we're young, we have used on our side, and it seems like, being that I'm 51, I can look back and say that the younger people, including my younger self, we had energy to spare, we had some level of fitness to spare, and then as we age, that level of energy is not the same. I would always say if I could bottle the energy my kids had, I would make millions. But the fact is that as we age, things happen. And you guys discuss too, the balance, having balance between work and family life and fitness. If you think of those three things, those three major concepts, family, work and your health and fitness, it is hard to be an expert at everything all at the same time. But there comes a day where you really do have to focus on that health and fitness level, because if you're not healthy, it makes everything so much harder. Work becomes harder. Running around with your kids or grandkids is immensely harder, and then you're missing out on some really wonderful activities.

[00:44:02.580] – Allan

Yeah, it's really important.

[00:44:05.310] – Rachel

But the other thing, the reason why I really do love Art, and you mentioned it as you were talking, is that, yes, I do love calling my clients athletes. I love to think of myself as an athlete, even though I am not Olympic level. I'm not contention for anything super like an elite or professional athlete. But when you do think of yourself as an athlete, your perspective on everything changes. When I go out for a run in the morning, if I don't get enough sleep, I don't have quite as much fun in my run, or I can't go quite as far as I want. And if I'm training for a race, sleep becomes even more important. And the same thing is with my food. If I eat poorly over the weekend, I can't have my long run. It's just I don't do it quite as well, and it's not as enjoyable. So once you start thinking of yourself as an athlete, things do change.

[00:44:55.850] – Allan

Yeah. I spent so much of my early life kind of doing the flip flop of use the word early on when we were talking, before we came on as academic, thinking of yourself as an academic, or thinking yourself of this, and you tend to get this tunnel focus. At least I did. And so it was like, yeah, when I left high school when I was in high school, I was an athlete. That's all I thought of. I didn't think of high school as even an academic pursuit. It was something I had to do to be on the football field, the track, the tennis court. I did those things, but I was an athlete. That's why I was in high school. And then I got into junior college, and it was like, okay, well, now I have to be an academic, and I have to just be an academic. And so I was so focused on the academics that when I then had to make a pivot in my life, it was like, I've been working so hard in one area, I didn't want to do that anymore, and I pivoted all the way back to athletics.

[00:45:58.980] – Allan

In fact, the reason I went infantry in the military was they showed all these videos of all the things I was capable of doing. And when I passed the Azab, the score, my recruiter said, do anything. You can literally do anything in the army you want to do. And so I just told him, I said, Drop everything that says engineer, mechanic, anybody that fixes or does anything with their brain. Just turn that one off. They came up with field medic, arterial surveyor, which was math, and then infantry, and they showed the infantry guys, and they're all just running around all the time. And I'm like, that's what I want to do. For two years, quite literally, it was signing up and just saying, what can I do for two years to earn some money for college? And I did two years of infantry. And I'm not going to say it didn't use my brain power, but it didn't use it to the power of thinking of academics. It was, I'm learning everything I can about this field of study, which is how to kill people, but physically I was focused on being the brood, being the most physical person I could be.

[00:47:14.850] – Allan

And then I left out and went back to college. And in college, it was probably the only time I felt like I had balance because I was except for family, because I was got married and so I was basically at college lifting and then work, and there's rinse and repeat every day and there was no other time. So quite literally, yeah, I was taking a full load, working full time and getting in the gym 2 hours every day. That was my entire life. And so I've never until about now been in a position where I've said, okay, I can manage to balance. And so I understand the challenge of all of this. I'm fortunate now that the kids aren't home. So there's not that. There's my wife, my dogs. They are my home and my family right now. And then I'm going to go visit family. I'm beginning the research of where the gyms and all the towns that I'm going to be at. I know there's a YMCA in my mother's town, and it's like $5 a day to work out there. Maybe cheaper if I pay by the weeks off the sea. At least it was the last time I was able to work out.

[00:48:28.100] – Allan

The last couple of times I've been there, it was closed because of covid, but that's kind of where I'm looking at, what can I do to keep my fitness on track? And I'm realizing cardio might be a better option for me during this next month. I'll just have to look at it. But I'm more in a position now to have balance than I ever have been in my entire life. That's where I'm at. And not everybody can do that. But the closer you are to balance, the better all of this fits together so that you don't feel like you're losing anything, you don't feel like you're giving anything. It is a compromise and there are going to be points in time. As Art said, when you're training for something or there's a family thing or there's something going on at work, that you need to focus on a project, but you need to think about the after the project or after the thing, because you got to get back to more of that balance. And if you don't do that audit, that self audit, it's very easy to lose sight and find yourself again, very one sided.

[00:49:34.010] – Allan

I know I have a tendency toward that, so I'm going to spend a lot of time with family. For me, also, being an introvert, that energy is energy spent, but I still need to be able to focus on clients and focus on my health. And I know what's going to happen as soon as I come back to this island, my being a lone, fitness, going on long walks thing is going to happen.

[00:49:59.350] – Rachel


[00:49:59.850] – Allan

So I'm going to need that. So just looking at how I'm going to maintain balance, particularly during these changes, is really important. I think that's kind of a message I took away from that, for sure.

[00:50:10.170] – Rachel

And I think part of having that balance or finding that balance is also being flexible. I know that when my kids were younger, I would get them up for school, go do a quick run, make sure they got on the bus, and then I could finish the rest of my day. And just like you said, now that my kids are college age, I don't need to worry about whether or not they get on the bus. I can schedule my runs at any time. When you travel, you're going to find some time to do walks in the morning and enjoy the cities that you get to visit. And it's a lot of change, but you could still make that a priority wherever you are in life and whatever responsibilities you have, and it is really important to focus on that, because I like to tell my clients this, too. You can't pour from an empty cup. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people. And so if that means a quick ten minute walk or a ten minute run in the morning, you're going to feel energized, and you're going to feel a little less stressed and a little more happy, and you'll be able to be more patient as a parent or with a loved one.

[00:51:16.220] – Rachel

So it's just really important that you are flexible and try and squeeze in whatever fitness you can whenever you can.

[00:51:23.050] – Allan


[00:51:24.250] – Rachel


[00:51:24.840] – Allan

All right, well, since Rachel and I will both be traveling this next week, and she won't be able to carry the recording gear in her equipment because she just doesn't care that much weight, and she also wouldn't be able to connect to Zoom, there's probably that as well. But we're not going to be recording hello sections for the next two episodes. We're actually going to record our after show sections right now, so there's no reason for us to say three hellos when it's the same day, it's ten minutes apart. So I just realized we will skip the hello sections in the next two episodes, but we are going to record our afterthoughts for each of those two episodes in just a few minutes. So, Rachel, I'll talk to you in a few minutes, but everyone else, I will talk to you next week.

[00:52:12.450] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:52:13.460] – Allan

You too. Bye.


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Another episode you may enjoy


August 23, 2022

How to use food for an improved immune system with Dr. Donna Mazzola

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In her book, Immunity Food Fix, Dr. Donna Mazzola shows us how food can be a powerful tool for improving our immune system. On episode 552 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how food can either lead to chronic illness or lifelong health.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:45.550] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:47.220] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:49.410] – Allan

I'm better. Tammy's back from the US. And so I have some help here. Now, I had help, don't get me wrong. My staff we have are great. When there was only one of them, sometimes there was only me. The 18 hours days were just a little too much. And I'm glad that's over. I even told my wife, I said, look, if it gets to be too much, bring in somebody. Go ahead. Let's go ahead and spend a little bit of money so that you don't get as stressed out and beat up as I did. Skip meals. I sent myself to bed hungry some nights, and just because I didn't have the energy to cook. And so that was my week or two weeks, three weeks thing. I had staff for part of it, and then one of them was off completely, and then it's just four days a week. Three days a week. I didn't but I'm through it. And I just told her, don't beat yourself up the way I did, because that was not fair to me. It wouldn't be fair to her.

[00:03:53.390] – Rachel

Sure. Yeah. Well, gosh. Well, good luck, because you're fixing to leave. You're fixing to leave in another week or so.

[00:04:00.680] – Allan

Yeah, and that's kind of the point. As this is going live, I'm about ready to head up to the States for a while. And I told her, I said, don't live my life the way I lived my life. I learned, and it was wrong. We need to bring in help when we need help. And so even if it's just condensed shifts and asking someone, one of our staff that's supposed to be off, if they want to come in, give them a few extra hours, it'd be worth it.

[00:04:27.620] – Rachel

Well, that would be great.

[00:04:29.510] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:31.160] – Rachel

Good. You know, we're doing the countdown in a couple of weeks, we'll be doing our trip across the Isle Royal. So we're just kind of weighing our supplies, making sure we've got the food dehydrated and ready to go. And we're stocking the weather right now to make sure we pack appropriately. So, yeah, it's getting exciting.

[00:04:51.170] – Allan

Good. That is going to be a good event. Exciting event. Eight days in the wilderness

[00:04:58.970] – Rachel

eight days unplugged

[00:05:00.170] – Allan

and moving. This is not just sit and camp for eight days. No glamping for these folks. They're going to be out there in the wilderness.

[00:05:11.580] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:05:12.380] – Allan

Hoofing it every day.

[00:05:13.530] – Rachel

That's right. Looking forward to it. I can't wait.

[00:05:15.920] – Allan

What's your longest daily mileage that you need to be making? How does that work?

[00:05:22.130] – Rachel

I think we're hoping to average about four or 5 miles a day, but I think our longest day might have a seven-ish mile hike. We're trying not to do too much of that if we can manage it, but yeah. So it'll be reasonable.

[00:05:37.450] – Allan

Yes. It's an interesting trade off. Your pack is really full when you start because you have all that food you're carrying, and then at the end, you're fatigued. The pack weighs less. Do I want my long miles with a lighter packer? I want my long days with a heavier pack when I have more energy. That will be an interesting one.

[00:05:56.370] – Rachel

It will be. It will be quite the trade off.

[00:05:59.210] – Allan

All right, well, let us know how we're about four weeks away, but when you get back, we definitely want to want to hear how that went.

[00:06:07.690] – Rachel

For sure. Yeah, it'll be great. Thanks.

[00:06:09.900] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk to Dr. Mazzola?

[00:06:12.860] – Rachel


[00:06:13.800] – Allan

All right, let's go.


[00:07:21.500] – Allan

Dr. Mazzola. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:24.330] – Dr. Mazzola

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

[00:07:26.060] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, Immunity Food Fix: 100 Superfoods and Nutrition Hacks to Reverse Inflammation, Prevent Illness, and Boost Your Immunity. And one of the things I really enjoyed about the book is kind of the juxtaposition of a pharmacist telling us that food is the medicine, and the stuff that we might be getting at the pharmacy is just a patch to get us over symptoms. I really appreciate that being in the book because it's too easy to rely on pills, and it's not that hard to rely on food if you just take a little bit of time to educate yourself. And I think this book is a great resource for someone that's looking to do that.

[00:08:14.090] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, exactly. I appreciate that. I think that's my mantra is balancing nutrition and medicine, and medicine has a place in healing, and there's a lot of great medications out there that have helped and have extended lifespan. But food and nutrition is really at the brink of it. I mean, that's where we need to focus to prevent us from even getting to that point. But certainly you can reverse disease, and we've seen it happen time and time again when we change our diet and focus on those nutritional aspects. But I think where, as you stated, there is a gap is that foundational understanding and how nutrition fits into that.

[00:08:54.280] – Allan

Yeah. When I was way out of shape, way unhealthy, and not living the life I was supposed to live, I had high blood pressure, so I was on a pill. I had issues with my thyroid, so I was on a pill. I'm sitting there, I was 45, 46 years old, and I'm like, I've already got a medicine cabinet full of medications that I take every day. And so as I started fixing my food. My blood pressure came down, my thyroid picked up and started doing what it was supposed to do. And to me, it was so interesting that as I started eating right, my body responded by getting healthier.

[00:09:41.870] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah. All right, I say this in the book garbage in, garbage out. It's like a direct quote in there. And you're going to get out what you put in. If you feed up the right things and you nurture it, you do a plant. You feed a plant in the right things, and it's nourished and it grows and it's lively. You feed a plant garbage, it's going to die. And there's no difference between us and that plant. Let's just look at it that way. It's a good analogy for people.

[00:10:10.900] – Allan

Yeah. Now, most of us, if we're not paying attention to nutrition, we find ourselves eating the same stuff. It's the fast food. It's what you get in the middle of the grocery store when it's easy, the Hamburger Helper or the fixed meal that's already there ready to go. You just toss it in a microwave and two minutes later, you're eating that boiling hot apple, whatever it is.

[00:10:39.570] – Dr. Mazzola


[00:10:40.210] – Allan

And we call that a Standard American diet. What is fundamentally wrong with that? Why is that not really food? And what are the downstream effects that we're seeing from the sad standard American Diet?

[00:10:54.950] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah. I mean, the Standard American Diet, as we know, is a highly processed, nutrient depleted diet. And so when you think about the nutrients you need for your body to function, to operate at a cellular level right. Like, we want to go back down to the cell, and if it's broken at that point and we're not giving it what it needs, what is going to happen when it gets all the way up to the actual organism, which is you, and how these organisms are work together? They don't have the nutrients that they need to function in that way. Not to mention we bring in our gut into that and our gut microbiome and how we're destroying that by not also providing it the nutrients it needs, the food, if you will, from plant based foods that it needs to nourish the good bacteria in our gut. So Standard American Diet is ultimately a highly processed, high trans fat, high sugar, high gluten, high alcohol, processed corns, processed soy. Think about if you read any packaging. That's what's in all these packaged foods. And unfortunately, it's because of our lifestyle. So we call it the standard American diet.

[00:12:08.230] – Dr. Mazzola

But the American lifestyle requires that type of diet. Unfortunately, everyone's on the go, nobody has time. Making home cooked meals is not top of mind for people. They just need something convenient, something quick, and food is not necessarily a priority. And so as a result of that, and as a result of consuming these types of foods, we have a dysregulation in our immune system. We're releasing as a result, what's truly happening is you're consuming these foods and your body is responding to them as there's some type of invader. So it's like things that are not recognizable by the body, they're chemicals. I mean, we're consuming chemicals within our foods. And so as a result, you're getting this inflammatory response. So your immune system turns on as it's supposed to when it sees that there's a foreign invader in the body, something that's not supposed to be there. The problem is that we continue to consume this type of food and we never turn off our immune system. We constantly have this inflammatory response going on. And a lot of that is why we're seeing this uptick in autoimmune related diseases that are developing, or even just symptoms.

[00:13:25.830] – Dr. Mazzola

Like people don't even get a diagnosis. They just have these unexplained symptoms of like fatigue and brain fog. And it just the overall inflammatory type symptoms. And a lot of it comes down to the foods that they're eating when people switch their diet, get off of those foods and start consuming just whole foods. Like, we don't even have to make it complicated, just eat real food. And when they do that, that's where they see the change and suddenly their symptoms go away, as you have stated, like they're reversing some of their diseases. They're getting off medications and whatnot. But yeah, the standard American diet, the other big aspect of it to understand as a contributor, inflammation as well, is the ratio of omega six to omega three fatty acids that are consumed. And when you think about it, simply put, the omega three is your anti inflammatory. Omega six is inflammatory. Now, you do need some omega six. It's not all bad, right? But it's the ratio of it that we have to be looking at and where we evolved as human beings, we were at a one to one ratio and thinking about the Paleolithic diet where we've come now, it's like a 25 to one where we're consuming, right?

[00:14:36.430] – Dr. Mazzola

So it's much more inflammatory than it is anti inflammatory. And again, a lot of that is in the food that we're eating and that's leading to a lot of these inflammatory type conditions.

[00:14:46.800] – Allan

Yeah, the way I like to talk about real food is when you know it was alive, because it's really close to the state where it was alive. And it's something that if you left out on your counter for a week, it's probably not going to be edible. If it'll sit in your pantry. I think you even said this in the book. If your pantry is bigger than your refrigerator, you're probably eating much of the things that are in the Standard American diet. And it's interesting because some people will say, well, I must be sensitive to gluten because they eat the bread, but they're not sea lack. It's probably other stuff in the bread, preservatives other stuff. The fact that they basically broke down wheat to a powder. And now so finely processed, your body treats it like sugar. And then they put it back in there and they say, well, since we took all this niacin out of it, we're just going to put some more niacin back in to fortify it. And then we can even put the labeling on the bag. Fortified with vitamin B.

[00:15:49.450] – Dr. Mazzola

Terrible. Right.

[00:15:50.570] – Allan

It's only because they took it out in the first place to make it shelf stable. Yeah. And so I think that's some key things is real food is not shelf stable for a long period of time. Seeds and that will sit for a while, but for the most part, most of the things we call whole foods, they're going to spoil.

[00:16:09.610] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, exactly. And I think just thinking about another aspect of it, like we talk about processed foods, think about things like the emulsifiers, the stabilizers, the binders, the sweeteners, the flavorings, the dyes. Everything that's in all of that is causing that reaction in your body, that immune reaction to occur. Really? I refer to it as just this immune dysregulation that we're all suffering from. Like, everybody has inflammation. I mean, I told everybody, I'm like that's inflammation you're inflamed. And it's a result of our diet period.

[00:16:40.890] – Allan

Yeah. Now, your book and your book, you go through 100 foods. I think there were a whole hundred in the guides. But as you go through it, this was a great reintroduction to the variety of what's available to us in the world today. Of all the different colors of the rainbow, all these different foods that probably most of us don't really kind of branch out and maybe haven't even tried. Broccoli is very easy to get here. Cauliflowers, sometimes kale and some leafy greens are really plentiful, but there's a lot of them that were on your list that I won't ever be able to really get my hands on here. So when I go back to the United States, I'm scarfing that stuff down. I'm hitting Brussels sprouts on every menu because I just can't get them down here. Can you talk about plants, a plant based eating style and why plants are so good for us?

[00:17:41.870] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, absolutely. And I like to start by stating this is not me saying that against animal protein or anything in that way. So when I say plant based, I get a lot of people, like, backlash on that. And it's really focusing on whatever else you're eating is fun, like other sources of animals, whatever eggs, whatever it may be. But focusing on the fact that you should be eating at least nine to twelve serving of plant based foods in your diet daily, that's where I think I just want to make sure there's not that misunderstanding from people.

[00:18:17.540] – Allan

Well, and the other thing is with the meat is if you're getting the standard meat that we get in the grocery store, that's where that mismatch of omega three and omega six are really blown up. So if you get a nice marbled steak at the grocery store that was not cared for well, as an animal, their omega six is out the roof. You're not going to get to that one on one. It's just not going to happen. If you're eating a little bit more grass fed, humanely managed animals, then yes, they're going to have a higher omega three if you're eating wild animals. So something that was hunted and living in the wild and it wasn't living near something where it was eating something it wasn't supposed to, then it's going to have a really good omega three to omega six ratio. And then now it's manageable with plants and fish and meat to get that right mix. But I think that's one of the reasons why having more plants in our diet is never a bad idea. That's one. The other is I have yet to really find anyone who can overeat plants. It's really hard.

[00:19:31.250] – Allan

I tried going pescatarian and the truth was I was overeating the nuts and I was overeating the fruit. And so that did cause me to put on a little bit of weight. But if you're eating a variety of plants, if you're eating the rainbow, weight loss is just going to be a symptom of you getting healthy. Your body can't help it because you just can't eat enough plants to get fat.

[00:19:54.120] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, I would have to agree with that because plants, they're powerful. And I think where we focus on that is understanding that there are these phytonutrients in plants that are responsible for immune modulation, immune boosting, immune supporting properties all around for immune system, for your health, for your gut especially. Right. There's so much that we can get into, like apples. We talk about an apple day. Keeps the doctor away. That's the famous line. But why? Where did that come from? Right? What is the reasoning behind that? And just understanding that the pectin and fibers and how it can alter our immune system, how our gut responds to that pectin and nourishes, it, I mean, that's huge. So it's like, yeah, these little phrases we hear, there is meaning behind them and there's a reason for where they came from. But ultimately, when you think about plants, there's primary and there are secondary metabolites. And so the primary metabolites, essentially they're those substances that are used by the body, the carbohydrates, the proteins, the fats, et cetera, those are essential, obviously, but it's really the secondary metabolites that we are gaining the most benefit from. And when you think about a plant and when it's out there in the wild and growing, it has various phytochemicals and phytonutrients that protect it, right, protect it and stay alive.

[00:21:30.750] – Dr. Mazzola

Like antibacterial properties. Antiviral properties that are keeping the bugs and the other outside natural, I guess, invaders, if you will, from attacking it. And so they have their own protective mechanism. The beauty of that is when we consume that plant, we benefit from those phytonutrients. That's where those properties come alive, is when we're consuming it. And some people say, oh, I can get like, apple pectin in a supplement form. I can just take that. But it's not the same. So what we found and for some, when you look at some of the research, when they have extracted the actual phytonutrient out of a particular plant, they don't see the same response in a clinical study that they've done as they would if we ate the entire plant. And there's a reason for that. And it's when you consume the entire plant in its entirety that's the synergies that occur between, let's say, the stem and the leaf, all of it, the entire thing. And there's multiple phytonutrients in there. There's over 5000 phytonutrients. We haven't even discovered the majority of them. So we have a handful that we know of. But those federal nutrients work together in synergy to bring that benefit on.

[00:22:47.390] – Dr. Mazzola

Then when you start consuming variety of plants together in synergy, then it's just like a magical party that's occurring within your body, right? And so all of these phytonutrients are now working together, communicating with each other, and ultimately giving you those benefits, those immune modulating benefits, the gut health benefits that come from consuming that variety of plants. So that's why I say consumer variety, nine to twelve servings, but of a variety of colors. And you want to keep switching it up. I know you mentioned some people consume the same things, and we were talking about processed foods, right? They may eat the same, but it's the same for real food, right. So you don't only want to eat broccoli every single day. So there's a benefit to have that variety, to switch it up, to continue to bring on various phytonutrients from a variety of colors, as we say, eat the rainbow to gain those benefits.

[00:23:43.230] – Allan

Yeah. And one of the things I like about the book is very clearly you go through and say, okay, yeah, the reason that apples are good for the immune system is the pectin. And when you eat Brazil nuts and I'll tell you, you're not unique, I actually think that myself. When I hear the term brazil nut, I think selenium. So you said that in the book. I was like, I do that too. Just having a better understanding of what's in the food that you're eating kind of gives you an idea of how important it is to mix these. Because if you're just eating one type, yes, you're getting that benefit, but you're missing out on potentially a lot of other synergistic benefits that are going to help you. And just having that variety is going to really help you have kind of a good mix of foods that you eat and have that enjoyment of. We're going to have watermelon as dessert tonight, or we're going to have some of that papaya or oh, look, they've got persimmons available at the grocery store today. I'm going to go ahead and grab a couple of those.

[00:24:44.970] – Allan

And so you kind of see how knowing that these foods are there, and then when you see them in the grocery store, you might even have walked past them before. Like, I remember when I first discovered Dandelion, I was like, walking past the solid. I read something on Dandelion. I'm like, oh, my grocery store actually has dandelion. It's just all this leafy green stuff over on the side. And I started looking around at what was actually there. And then the health benefits around each of those Chickery what is it? Chard, Dandelion, all of them. It's just an opportunity for you to give your body something. And the way I like to say it is food is communication. It's a signal to your body. It's information to tell your body how to function better or worse, depending on your choices. And so choosing a good variety of plant based and good meats to put into your diet is basically going to be communicating to your body here you have everything you need to be healthy, so let's be healthy. And your body reacts and does exactly what you told it to do. Whereas if you're eating a standard American diet, your body thinks something terrible is going on, there's a huge immune response, and that leads to chronic disease.

[00:26:05.040] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, it's simple. I mean, like I said, you put in the bad stuff, you get a negative output, and your body is going to respond accordingly. The human body is brilliant. It's amazing. It's just how it functions, and it knows it's going to fight off what we're putting in. We weren't created in this way to be consuming these types of foods, right? We're meant to be consuming whole food, real food, right? Not stuff that's been sitting on a shelf. So, yeah, absolutely.

[00:26:33.730] – Dr. Mazzola

One thing I talk about in the book is to try to keep it simple, is to focus on the colors. And this is not like across the board, but just high level, trying to categorize each color into its benefit. You think about eating the rainbow and having a salad of various colors. You have red foods, like tomatoes, for instance, things you want to think, okay, this is anti-inflammatory. Orange. Like, if you have shredded carrots in there that's hormone regulating. We know that carrots have the ability to detox out that bad estrogen. I've shared this multiple times on my platform just to say if you're experiencing symptoms, estrogen dominance a week before your cycle, consuming raw carrots can actually help regulate that.

[00:27:22.930] – Dr. Mazzola

And like, the response that I've gone because people let me try it, it's a simple, it's not going to hurt. That's the beauty of the ability to use plants as medicine is it doesn't hurt anything. Focusing on yellow for digestion, green for detox, like you're talking about dandelions, Char, all of that. Right. All of those green kale. They're beneficial in liver and detoxing out the toxins that are in the body. We have our own internal detox system. We just have to support it. That's what's missing. And then, of course, antioxidants are that purple color. So thinking about those colors and what they do, you can look at your plate and ensure that there's a variety so that you're at least gaining some of those benefits to kind of balance out each process.

[00:28:07.550] – Allan

Yeah. Now, the next thing I want to talk about is nuts and seeds, because this is one area where I find I tend to eat the same kinds of seeds and the same kinds of nuts all the time because they're just easy to obtain. But I did order some Brazil nuts and have them shipped down here. At one point, I think I bought like 10lbs of Brazil nuts, and I ate it in about three weeks. But let's talk about nuts and seeds and why they're so valuable to our diet. And again, as part of eating more plants for these health benefits, nuts and seeds are a great way to get more of this in your diet.

[00:28:52.150] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah. So you think about a seed. A seed grows an entire plant. So that's how I try to simplify, even in the book, is when you think about the benefit of a seed, they are truly the superfood, because you can take a seed and grow an entire plant out of it, so it actually holds tons of nutrients concentrated in there and so absolutely consuming. And then, of course, the nuts are the fruit of the plant. So as a result of that so having the two of them is essential. And there are so many benefits that come from we just start with seeds. I know I talk about in the book, like even seeds for, again, going back to balancing hormones and what's been found there, and the ability to utilize flaxseed or pumpkin seeds at certain days in your cycle versus sunflower and sesame seeds at other days in order to kind of gain that balance in your hormones. It just speaks to how powerful they are and the benefits that exist within them. And there's a multitude, and people often ask, well, then, what seeds should I consume? Again, it goes through all the different benefits in the book, but I think you can incorporate all seeds in various ways.

[00:30:11.190] – Dr. Mazzola

And so for me personally, I probably eat them all. Flaxseeds are my egg alternative when I'm baking. Sesame and hemp are easily added to salads. It gives you added fiber, added protein, and a small amount. You can also add pumpkin seeds. So, I mean, you can't go wrong, right, with what you're consuming there. But yeah, ultimately they are the super food because they're so concentrated in the benefits that they can bring from a phytonutrient standpoint.

[00:30:45.550] – Allan

And one of the. Things I really like about nuts and seeds are they are the snack that if you want that something that's savory or salty and you find yourself on the chip aisle, these can be a great substitute. You won't miss your chips. Some roasted pumpkin seeds, some sunflower seeds, pistachios, other nuts. They're a great opportunity for you to get a lot of good phytonutrients because they have those too, and they've got healthy fats.

[00:31:16.870] – Dr. Mazzola

Right. And Protein.

[00:31:19.480] – Allan

Yeah. And protein. And they're going to give you kind of that salty, savory flavor if you spice them that way. And so they can make a great snack to get you off of the standard stuff you're going to buy in a grocery store.

[00:31:34.100] – Dr. Mazzola

Exactly right. So it's like the fat and protein content in them is going to create that satiety. But you're also benefiting in a lot of ways. I mean, they're so anti-inflammatory as well. We talk about Brazil nuts and selenium, but Brazil nuts are also extremely anti inflammatory as well. And so there's more to it than just the minerals, and that goes across the board for all of them. So I think that's critical. And as we talk about the omega three omega six ratios, these are your good fats in these nuts that you're consuming. And so that's a good way to ensure that you're getting the appropriate omega three fatty acids in your diet, as you said, as a great snack alternative.

[00:32:20.710] – Allan

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

[00:32:30.670] – Dr. Mazzola

So I'm going to move away from food for this answer because I think that's, to me, a no brainer, and I think some things that are not thought about, and I feel like we should put a lot more focus on them, especially with the American lifestyle, are movement, sleep and stress mitigation, that's what's killing us. Yes, our food, we need to change it. But if you can sleep 8 to 9 hours a day, if you have opportunity for breathing, exercise, meditation to mitigate stress, going for an afternoon walk in nature, whatever it may be, and then finding something you enjoy and moving for 30 minutes a day, people ask me, what's the best exercise for me? Should I do high intensity? It doesn't matter. Whatever you like. And if you like it, you're going to do it and just get at least 30 minutes of movement a day. And those are low hanging fruit to me. Like, for some people, it might seem like, oh, my God, I have to overhaul my whole diet. All right, well, then move 30 minutes, sleep eight to 9 hours, and have some type of stress mitigation. Start there, and you'll be on the right foot.

[00:33:35.650] – Allan

Great. Thank you. So what I like, again, about this book is you've really done a good job of defining these foods that we should have in our diet. Or should try to get into our diet eating the rainbow and not just, okay, here's 100 foods, so put them on your grocery list. This is why this food is good for you. This is what it gives you and this is the benefit you're going to see from it. So it's really good. If you want to get educated about some of these foods, this is a really good book to kind of really walk you through it in a very conversational way to understand your food better. And when you understand food better, you make better choices and your body's going to thank you.

Dr. Mazzola, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Immunity Food Fix, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:34:24.370] – Dr. Mazzola

Yeah, so they can number one, check out my website, drautoimmunegirl.com, and there you can find an entire page about the book to better understand what you're going to get out of it. Also, I have a blog on there. I have a newsletter. On social media, you can find me at drautoimmunegirl on Instagram and Facebook where I share regularly various nutrition hacks, what you can do. And it's all evidence-based. It's all backed by science referenced. Same with the book. We have over 150 references there, so it's nothing I'm making up and it's not opinion based. It's all factual and science.

[00:35:03.130] – Allan

Great. Doctor Mazzola, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:35:08.440] – Dr. Mazzola

Thank you. It's been my pleasure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:35:17.150] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:35:18.680] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was another great interview about food is medicine and garbage in, garbage out, all the things eat the rainbow, all the colors of food have that variety, all the things we need to hear on a periodic basis and things that I'm even guilty of doing. I get stuck in a rut. I get to eat the same foods over and over and then I wonder why I'm so fatigued or just not feeling great or whatever. It's just my choices.

[00:35:48.440] – Allan

Yeah, well, it's easy. And then one of the things that we always going to come and gravitate to is what is the easiest thing to do now? Our ancestors easy was what was in season. Sure. You couldn't store food for months and months and months or you couldn't have other people transporting it from around the world with the seasonal there. So we didn't have a lot of the foods except for certain seasons. So pumpkin and squash, those are fall nuts or fall berries are in the spring. So you start looking at when food would be available and not available. And even if we're moving around a good bit to kind of follow the food, if you will, there's a lot to be said for eating what's seasonal.

[00:36:36.890] – Rachel


[00:36:37.580] – Allan

And we don't do enough of that. And as a result, it becomes very easy to say, okay, I'm steak and potatoes, steak and potatoes, hamburger potatoes, hamburger, potatoes.

[00:36:51.170] – Rachel


[00:36:52.250] – Allan

And that just becomes what we eat. And it's like, okay, well, what other vegetables do you eat besides potatoes? It's like, well, I eat french fries. I eat mashed potatoes. Every once in a while.. But you kind of get the idea. It becomes very easy to kind of get into the I like these foods. They're simple, they're comfortable, they're cozy. But taking the time to have a variety in your diet is a challenge. But it's a challenge worth taking. And the kind of the beauty of this book is it will give you those ideas about which of the foods you should also be including. And I only say they're super foods because I don't think there's really such thing as a superfood. But they're called superfoods because they're not standard in the diet. Most of the time, the standard American diet doesn't have these. So you're saying, okay, I'm adding this food, and I'm having pomegranate, or I'm having a kee berry, or I'm having beets. And if those are not something that you eat on a regular basis, then what we're ending up with is it's a superfood, because the nutrients that were in that food, you're never getting otherwise.

[00:38:04.830] – Allan

And so having a good variety and understanding what's in the food is good. Like, we talked about Brazil nuts and selenium, I've known that you actually have to be careful with Brazil nuts because selenium can be dangerous if you get too much of it. So I ate a lot of Brazil nuts when I had them, but that's not something I would do all the time. It's just I managed to be able to get some down here, and I ate the crap out of them until they were gone. But I know that's not something I should do all the time because the selenium is good. I need it, but I don't need it all the time in the quantity I was eating it. So getting good variety, not thinking of any one food as special. All the food a whole rainbow all the way across are good, and she identifies, like, 100 of them in here. And so there's something that you're not getting. This is a good pick list for you to add some foods to your repertoire.

[00:39:05.670] – Rachel

I think that's a great idea because, like I said, I get stuck in a rut. I don't do a lot of the cooking in my house. Mike does, actually, most of the cooking. And my daughter even does a lot more cooking than I do because I get bored with the same recipe over and over again. But maybe flipping through the pages of her book or just browsing the produce area of the store a little bit longer, maybe I could pick out a new vegetable to try and have that highlighted in a couple of days worth of recipes for the week. But trying new things would be helpful for introducing that variety that I don't often do when I cook.

[00:39:41.990] – Allan

And a lot of us would go autopilot. We walk into the grocery store we always walk into, and we go right to the same place and pick up the same things. And we might say, oh, they've got fresh raspberries. I'll grab those. That might happen. But if you slow down when you're in the produce section and you go over where they have all that green stuff that's not just lettuce, there's all kinds of stuff over there like dandelion greens and mustard greens and greens, things like that. Things that you're not typically eating that you can add. And it's easy enough to go online today with the internet and just look up a recipe, okay, they've got dandelion greens and they've got collard greens. What's something I can make with those that I would enjoy? And then you just try it. And it takes effort, it takes the money. And to break through your channel the way you are kind of grooved, that takes effort. It's not something that just happened. So just making that point of slowing down when you're thinking about food and realizing it's nutrition, and when you have proper nutrition and you're getting enough protein and enough fat and all the things your body needs, it feels good.

[00:40:57.070] – Allan

And when your body feels like it's getting everything, it needs things to start working better. Your hunger signals and satiety signals work better. You stop eating when you're full because you're not needing something. You're not having all the urges that you may have been having for something. I need something salty, I need something sweet that tells you right there and maybe you don't need something salty or something sweet, but that's your body telling you for one reason or another, it's lacking in nutrition and not necessarily calories.

[00:41:28.930] – Rachel

And to look for the food that has the nutrients that you're needing. It was interesting how she went through the rainbow and was highlighting. Red foods are good for the antioxidants, and green foods are good for gut health and whatnot. I just forget about things like that when I'm staring at the produce in the grocery store. But I have those side effects. I do feel gut health every now and then. And I know I'm not eating a whole ton of greens right now, so maybe I need to hit the grocery store and pick up some greens.

[00:41:58.410] – Allan

Yeah, that would be a plan. And slow down and just walk around and see what they have there, because I think you'll be surprised with the variety. It just looks like a bunch of green stuff sitting there, and you're like, it's just all of it's just lettuce. And it's like, no, there's a lot of other stuff over there. And so just taking your time, getting a good variety of the foods, different colors, and then yeah, having a book like this or going through and at least understanding the nutritional value of some of these different foods that you don't get regularly, knowing that your body needs some of it and you're not having other foods that have it. It's like, okay, maybe I need to go ahead and get some more Brazil nuts, or maybe I need some oysters when I travel back to the United States. And I'm going to eat the crap out of oysters when I'm up there.

[00:42:47.710] – Rachel

Yeah. Get it when you can.

[00:42:49.230] – Allan

Yeah. And so that's kind of the concept. And unfortunately, our food companies, they try they iodize our salt, and it's bleached, terrible salt with iodine. And we need the iodine because we're not getting it from the other foods. And it's really because you can't get the foods anymore the way that we used to be able to, so now they have to supplement it. And so supplements, there's a time and place for them. But if you're eating the variety and you understand why she's calling this, why people would call these superfoods, it's because it's a nutrient that's not available in a lot of other foods in the quantities that you're able to get it from this food. So incorporating it in regularly is something that's going to make you feel better, function better, and lose weight, if that's what you're into doing.

[00:43:37.200] – Rachel

Sure. That sounds great. Sounds like a great book.

[00:43:39.760] – Allan

Yeah. All right. That's a pretty book, too. Lots of pictures of food. Eat before you go with it and start looking at your grocery store.

[00:43:52.570] – Rachel

Good point.

[00:43:53.840] – Allan

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

[00:43:57.080] – Rachel

Take care. See you.

[00:43:58.420] – Allan


[00:43:59.310] – Rachel



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Another episode you may enjoy


August 16, 2022

How to simplify your health with Dr. Lucas Ramirez

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In his book, Simplify Your Health, Dr. Lucas Ramirez and I discuss several easy ways you can drastically improve your health and we break through a few myths.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:25.750] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:03:27.770] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:29.980] – Allan

I am tired. But.

[00:03:33.490] – Rachel


[00:03:34.930] – Allan

Tammy took our granddaughter back to the States. And since we're on reduced hours for our staff and one of our staff is on her month long vacation holidays, they get paid vacation for one month. And we opted to not have them here for that month rather than just pay them a 13th month, which is what some people do. So that was me by myself this morning doing all of it. But I was late getting on this call because I was actually folding guest laundry. We have a laundry service that we do, and so guests turn in laundry, and I was like, okay, I got to get this done, got to get that done. So we make certain promises like wash, dried, and folded by dinner if you drop it off at breakfast time. So I do have a deadline. But also something pretty interesting happened. One of our guests was going out to a chocolate farm, and when I reached out to the guy who was running the chocolate farm to get information and my guests were just about to leave, he said, look, I got this animal that is hurt, and someone brought it to me, and I can't take care of it.

[00:04:34.900] – Allan

It's got problem with its jaw. And can you ask the taxi driver, the water taxi to bring the animal back? And I said, well, let me ask my guest, because they'll either be willing to do it or they won't. So I ask my guest and they were. So they brought the animal back in a box. It was a tyra, which is like a type of weasel tyrant thingy, just cute. But we got it back here, got it into the local rescue. They tried to do some surgical work on it. But not knowing the anatomy of a tyra, I don't know anybody that does, but they knew some people in David, which is a town about 5 hours drive from here. And so they got the animal to David. And I tried to get a catch up on what happened, but the guy that runs the rescue, he's got dengue, so he's out for the count. Dengue is not dissimilar from what you would deal with any other kind of virus or anything like that. So it's almost like the flu or as it's like a flu. Most people get over it fairly simply, but, yeah, he has dengue, so he's not answering his messages.

[00:05:48.410] – Allan

So I don't know exactly. But we do know that we got it somewhere where they can take care of it well. And it seems healthy. It just struggles a little bit with eating, but it can't eat. But it wouldn't be able to hunt for itself or do the things that it would need to in the wild. So it will have to be taken care of. But they told me it was a baby, but it was pretty much full grown. Now, when they're bringing you an animal you're like, well, I got to know what this is. So I started doing all the research on Tyra.

[00:06:18.650] – Rachel

How fun, man, that's so interesting. You guys have some really interesting wildlife there.

[00:06:24.430] – Allan

Yeah, Michigan has their fair share, too, but you've got snakes and turtles and frogs, and sometimes you don't have the frogs because there's a snake.

[00:06:36.830] – Rachel

Yes, we still have our snakes hanging around. Not too pleased.

[00:06:42.050] – Allan

Yeah, well, there's a cycle. There's a cycle.

[00:06:45.250] – Rachel

That is true.

[00:06:46.730] – Allan

So what's going on up there?

[00:06:48.650] – Rachel

Just enjoying the summer. It's going by way too fast. July went out, like, just too fast. So much going on, and I feel like August is going at the same rate. In a couple of weeks, we'll be on aisle royal, and then it will be September. So just trying to eat up as much as I can, just sunshine and get outside and do what I can when I can.

[00:07:10.530] – Allan

Yeah, well, good. All right. Are you ready to talk to Dr. Ramirez?

[00:07:14.660] – Rachel



[00:07:53.870] – Allan

Dr. Ramirez, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:57.170] – Dr. Ramirez

Allan, thank you for having me.

[00:07:58.660] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, Simplify Your Health: A Doctor's Practical Guide to a Healthier Life. And I can say two things, really right off the start is I like simple. I think everybody likes simple. We're always looking for simple and then practical, and your book delivers on both of those.

[00:08:18.660] – Dr. Ramirez

Thank you. I appreciate that.

[00:08:20.160] – Allan

Now, you had a quote, or it's just not a quote as you said it, but I'm going to quote you in the book just to kind of put this together, because I think this is really the crux of someone must understand what this book is all about. And you said, “by targeting a few simple lifestyle choices, one can make a world of difference in overall health by decreasing the risks of stroke, heart attacks, cancers, and more.” I think this is an approach that a lot of people are not familiar with. I mean, I think anyone that's listening to me is, but a lot of us wait until one of these things happens and then we get the care versus your book is saying, okay, we have an opportunity here to make sure these things actually don't ever happen.

[00:09:15.760] – Dr. Ramirez

Absolutely. I'm a stroke neurologist, and I can say first hand it's much better to prevent rather than to treat.

[00:09:22.510] – Allan

Yeah. Now, when we talk about staying healthy, because I think a lot of people look at their ancestors and they say, okay, well, my grandfather died of lung cancer, geo cancer kind of thing. My grandmother had a stroke when she was in her late 30s. This happened to that family. This happened to that family. Some of us just feel like our genetics are cursed. So how much control do we really have over these things?

[00:09:53.130] – Dr. Ramirez

Yeah, I'd say for the vast majority of us, we have a surprisingly a big amount of control. I mean, obviously, there's inevitability in life, at some point in life, we're going to get sick. That's life's journey, and like they say, there's only two guarantees, is taxes and death. But within that journey of life, there are some things we can definitely control. We can separate risk factors into two broad categories the non modifiable things we cannot control, and the modifiable the things we can control. Some examples of non modifiable are age. Obviously, somebody who's 90 is going to have more risks than somebody who's 30. And things like genetics are rare conditions that, unfortunately, is difficult to manage. For example, african americans have more chances of sickle cell disease. Caucasians have more chance of cystic fibrosis. These are realities of life. But outside of those small genetic variations, we have a lot of control over what we do in our lifestyle habits. For example, globally, 87% of strokes are due to modifiable risk factors. So these are things that we can change simply by adjusting our habits. And it's not just strokes. There's a lot of conditions that are due to modifiable risk factors.

[00:11:40.770] – Dr. Ramirez

Eight out of ten COPD deaths are due to smoking. About 90% of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. About 30% to 50% of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes, including not smoking, managing weight, and doing screenings. And in terms of accidental trauma, car accidents are major portions of accidental trauma, and about 40% are due to alcohol. So we can see that of these five top causes of death in the US. Many of them are preventable by lifestyle changes. And in terms of stroke, 80% can be prevented by targeting just five specific habits, and they are not smoking, managing high blood pressure, managing your weight, so avoiding obesity, eating well and exercising. And there's some data that these five underlying causes are actually, quote, the true causes of death in the US. It's pretty hard to find up to date data looking at the specific topic, but in 2005, there was a paper that looked at the, quote, true causes of death in the united states, and the leader was smoking, followed by high blood pressure, followed by overweight/obesity, then physical inactivity, and a combination of poor diet. So these are true causes, and they are modifiable causes that we can really adjust.

[00:13:10.890] – Dr. Ramirez

And I look at these things as the big five, the foundational principles of health. Everybody's house of health will be different, but you want to build a good foundation and then you can put your modify your own house on top of that.

[00:13:25.560] – Allan

Yeah. Now, you mention smoking a lot and if anybody's missed that memo, I mean, in the UK, they actually stayed on the side of the pack. Smoking kills. They don't play around with it. In Malaysia, they actually have pictures of babies, like black tar babies that have died in childbirth because of smoking. So it's pretty clear. And if you're smoking, that's the first thing. Just quit. Whatever you got to do to quit, make it happen, because this is probably the big one, smoking. The cancers associated with smoking kill almost half a million people a year in the United States alone. So this is a big one. But I think a lot of people will then say, well, these E-cigarettes, they have to be safer for me because there's not the tar and the chemicals, it's not burning something. And you talk about that a little bit in the book. Can you talk about why E-cigarettes might not be the savior we're looking for?

[00:14:24.610] – Dr. Ramirez

So it's a great discussion. Just like you said, it's a little different because you're not burning, you're lacking that combustion that we have with smoking and other forms of inhaled smoke. Now, despite lacking combustion, there are some negative effects that we're starting to see. Now, this is a relatively new product, so we don't have all the information, and it's going to take some time to see all the long term effects. We didn't see, or at least we didn't clarify the severe negative effects of smoking until the 1960s with the Surgeon General report. So it's going to take a while. But what we do know so far is that there are higher odds of strokes and heart attacks with Ecigarettes. Maybe it's related to impaired endothelial function, but we do know there are higher odds of strokes and heart attacks. There is an association with seizures and other neurological problems, and this I've seen personally in the ER. There is associations with chronic cough, phlegm, bronchitis, possible increased risk of some cancers like bladder and lung, but again, these are not completely solidified. For sure there is a really bad entity called Evaly the Ecigarette or vaping associated lung injury.

[00:15:38.290] – Dr. Ramirez

Now, the more robust data I've seen was back in 2020, where at that time, it was over 2700 people hospitalized and 60 confirmed deaths. And this was just as the pandemic was starting. So COVID, I think, kind of put this on the back burner. We do see in related to COVID, there's worse culvert outcomes than people who use e-cigarettes. And a lot of it may be related to nicotine itself in terms of some of these overall poor outcomes because of the association with nicotine and the potential promotion of cancer, metastases of plaque progression, some adverse effects of reproductive health, and of course, acute toxic effects and high amounts of nicotine, in severe cases, seizures, which again, with e cigarettes. I've personally seen this as well, but some of the substances within the e cigarette liquids, some of the vitamin E, and other things were thought to be the causative factors of this Evaly entity. And of course, it's addictive. That was the main reason on the explosion of ecigarettes, particularly amongst the youth. But thankfully, it seemed that after 2019, some of the rates of ecigarette use in the youth have decreased. But even in 2021, still 2 million high schoolers and middle schoolers were using e cigarettes.

[00:16:57.160] – Dr. Ramirez

And the problem there is that you're more likely if you use ecigarettes to smoke traditional cigarettes, seven times as likely to try cigarettes, and eight times as likely to be current cigarette smokers if you have a history of vaping. And the problem with that is, if you smoke as a teen, three out of four times, you're going to also smoke into adulthood. So that's just increasing the risk there, and so much so that in June of just this past year, FDA banned Jewel products, one of the big makers of ecigarettes.

[00:17:26.770] – Allan

Yeah, they have a big portion of that market. And I guess the thing is, the base point of this to take away is that e cigarettes are not necessarily safe. But you talk in the book about how and I know this is a strategy one of my friends used about how you can use these cigarettes as a kind of a bridge along with maybe gum and patches to get off of cigarettes.

[00:17:50.410] – Dr. Ramirez

So there's definitely some evidence that e cigarettes can increase the rate of smoking cessation, but there's also evidence that the majority who tried to quit using ecigarettes end up using both. So it's a little bit difficult. But what I can say is, if you have nicotine gum, nicotine patches, if you have other medications, probably better to do that rather than using e cigarettes, because it seems like e cigarettes are going to have some other potential side effects. But others will say if you had to choose e cigarettes or smoking, probably ecigarettes is safer, though ideally we would use alternative products.

[00:18:35.760] – Allan

Okay, now the other one that comes up a lot, and it's more and more because it's becoming legalized in a lot of our states, in the United States is marijuana. And it's interesting to me how many people think that marijuana is just completely safe. No one's ever died of it. No one's ever. And obviously, because it's been illegal for so long in the United States, this isn't something doctors could go out and just study. Well, let's study how safe it is. And look at people who are traditionally long term marijuana smokers. It's not like someone can show up for that study, because if they did, the DEA would be sitting right there around you up. So can you talk a little bit about marijuana and some of the data we have on how safe that might be.

[00:19:24.660] – Dr. Ramirez

Yeah, so I'll connected to a prior comment about lighting. So the combustion, combustion occurs anytime you kind of like a carbon containing product. It could be a tree part of forest fires, it can be coal when you barbecue, it can be tobacco with cigarettes, or it could be marijuana. And when you look at combustion, the smoke byproducts of combustion have toxic effects. And two specific chemicals within it are free radicals and particulate matter. I saw a piece of data that I really liked to bring to light. And in terms of particulate matter, when we look at air quality, the WHO rates good as less than 25 micrograms per meters cubed. So that's good air quality and hazardous is greater than 250. Now, if somebody is smoking and you are the back seat or a backseat passenger within the car, the particulate matter will exceed hazardous levels by 100 times. That's 2500 particular matter per micrograms per meter cube. That's 100 times hazardous levels. And that's if you're a passenger of somebody who is smoking in the car. So imagine if you're directly smoking, that's just a lot of particular matter. And free oxygen radicals, one could look at it as oxygen that we breathe is in o2.

[00:20:53.140] – Dr. Ramirez

You have protons, neutrons, and you have electrons that are typically paired. When they become unpaired, they become highly reactive. They are damaging, they are damaging to fat, to proteins, to DNA, and more. So, the combination of having free radicals and particular matter are damaging to arterial walls. They modify cholesterol, they cause secondary inflammation. And all this can lead to plaque build up. And if you have plaque build up in the heart, that's heart disease. Plaque build up in the neck or the brain, you can get elevated risk of strokes. Obviously, if you have damage to DNA, you have risks of cancer. And is there a great connection long term or early studies that correlate marijuana to these risks? As of now, there is nothing great to say with a guarantee. But similar to Ecigarettes, it's going to take time to see some of this data. But this is what we can say for now. One, marijuana in and of itself smoked is not healthy. That's just a misconception. But chemicals within it, if they're purified concentrated, can have beneficial effects. We do know that it helps for certain types of seizures. We know for Dravet syndrome, for Lennox Gaston syndrome, FDA has approved CBD specific CBD for the treatment of that.

[00:22:20.980] – Dr. Ramirez

It seems to have beneficial effects in pain management, for nausea and vomiting, especially if chemotherapy related, for spasms, for appetite and weight gain. And there's some interest in Parkinson's, interest in migraines that they're studying. But the delivery method is not smoked in these. They can be in pills, they can be vaporized, they can be powder, they can be nebulizers, but they're not smoked because you don't want that combustion by product. Now, clearly there's negative effects. There's emerging evidence of increased heart disease and stroke potentially related to inflammation of the blood vessels, which makes sense because of combustion. There's some association with chronic bronchitis respiratory symptoms unclear of asthma or lung cancer, but again, this may take time to solidify. Now, most profoundly, there are clear cognitive and psychological effects, and there's substantial data with temporal association between cannabis use and future psychosis. In general, roughly, we can say you have more than two times the risk of future psychotic disorder with use. It's worse when you're younger and worse with more frequent use. For example, daily use in general has a three times increased risk of psychotic disorders in the future. And higher potency THC increases it five times.

[00:23:42.120] – Dr. Ramirez

And there's other mood consequences such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive consequences. And there's even MRI evidence of atrophy in the hippocampus. And the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory of the brain. Now, with all this said, the reality is most adults are not going to develop these conditions with occasional use. But one thing I do clarify and reiterate is occasional and adults. Now, schizophrenia affects only about 1% of the population. So I would say only adults who are psychiatrically healthy, who use it occasionally and who use lower THC content unlikely to develop any of these side effects. But for somebody who has smoked before and they've had the effect of some type of psychotic issue thinking that cops were after them, or if they have a family member with schizophrenia or anybody who is young, I absolutely would worry about continuing to use. And obviously I would choose forms that are not smoking gummies, cookies, other type of forms.

[00:24:49.890] – Allan

Okay? Now, I want to shift focus to food because I actually think this is even though, again, we look at the data and we see, okay, it's smoking that's killing us the most from a practical perspective of what we can measure. Were you a smoker or not? Food is a little harder because we all have to eat, we can't cessate food. And you had a quote in the book that I think it's probably my favorite food quote ever because it's perfect. I couldn't even think of a way to improve this, but it's by Michael Poland and it says eat food, not too much, mostly plants. And that's kind of the approach you're taking in the book as you're talking about how we should eat and again, to avoid some of these diseases.

[00:25:36.010] – Dr. Ramirez

I love that quote as well. I read Michael Poland or two of Michael Poland's book, the Omnivore's Dilemma and the In Defense of Food, and I love this approach. It was simplified in an era where there are so many different diets and things can be confusing. And I think just simplifying it to build a foundation that again, one could build upon is the best way to approach it. So that quote has seven words and those seven words, I think, can really guide somebody in terms of how to eat. And just like you said, eat food. Not too much, mostly plants. And that translates to eat less processed foods, portion control, more fruits than vegetables. So we can talk about processing of foods. In general, highly processed foods have more calories, more sugars, more sodium, less protein, less fiber, less vitamins, less minerals. And aside from having the actual nutritional products that are less healthy, there is data correlating more highly processed foods to health outcomes. Eating more and high amounts of highly processed foods does increase your risk of heart disease or stroke and just higher risk of overall mortality. The second part of that is portion control.

[00:26:56.170] – Dr. Ramirez

The average daily calorie intake in the US in the year 2000 was about 300 calories higher than in the year 1985. And just mathematically, that's the equivalent of 31 lbs of excess calories. In general, just food portions have gone up. Plate sizes are bigger. The actual area of plate sizes are 44% bigger now. So Portion control is just one of the underlying recommendations. And lastly in that part is eat more fruits and vegetables, and only one in ten US. Adults get enough vegetables, two in ten adults get enough fruits. And both vegetables and fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, flavonoids, which there's over 5000 bioactive compounds there. They're nutrient dense. They have less calories, they're low in fat, they're high in fiber, and they're just products that are just extremely good for us, and we don't get enough of it. So rather than trying to get specific diets, just this overall concept of portion control, eat more fruits and vegetables and trying to have less processed foods is the underlying message of how one can kind of adjust their habits rather than dieting. And we can go into more data if we wish there too.

[00:28:14.420] – Allan

Yes. The core of it is this. You want to eat nutritionally dense food versus calorie dense food. And this succinctly puts you on that trail to avoid the diet traps and everything else. You just know, okay, is this real food? Do I know what a portion is? And am I not overeating it so I know I'm full? And then finally, yeah, just plants and some proteins. And what I found is that I can tell someone is you can't overeat fruits and vegetables. It's physically impossible. Try to eat 5oz of spinach. Just try make a salad with 5oz of spinach and try to eat it.

[00:29:00.400] – Dr. Ramirez


[00:29:01.020] – Allan

Sweating. You'll be sweating. I promise I do it. I do it all the time, but you'll be sweating. You can blend it and process it again. And then, yes, drink it down with other stuff, and it just seems to go really easy. And you can cook it down and eat it, and it seems to go really easy. But eating whole foods and paying attention to what you're putting in your mouth is really important. So I do appreciate this opportunity. And you went into the book. I don't really want to go deep into it because it's an important issue. And that's why I encourage people to get the book, is you do also talk about obesity, the connections to some of these diseases. And then, of course, we have the whole concept of how people feel about this word and the way things are. And I appreciate that discussion in the book. And so I encourage someone to get the book to go through that because I think it's really important. But I want to step out for just a minute because there's one area that you highlight in the book is maybe beyond the other things that we can control, that maybe is one of the more important ones that gets ignored because it has no outward symptoms until it does.

[00:30:08.450] – Allan

And that's our blood pressure.

[00:30:11.090] – Dr. Ramirez

Yes, for me, blood pressure is probably the easiest thing you can do and the most impactful thing you can do because it doesn't really require, let's say, running 5 miles a day. It requires sitting down, putting a cuff on your arm, noting if it's elevated or not and seeing your physician. And this is something that could completely change somebody's life. It's the leading contributor to preventable death in the world. In the US, it contributes to 500,000 deaths per year. It's the leading cause of stroke in the world. And it's not just stroke. It's the leading cause of brain bleeds. It's a leader and burst aneurysms of heart disease, of chronic kidney disease, of a subtype of dementia called vascular dementia, of heart failure, of atrial fibrillation, of much more. And the higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk. And it causes all these things because it has such potent effects on both the large and the small arteries. And the large arteries, it can lead to plaque formation. And in the small arteries of the body, it can lead to thickening of the small arteries. And in the large arteries, again, if it's in the heart, there's heart disease.

[00:31:24.920] – Dr. Ramirez

If it's in the neck and the brain, there's strokes in the small arteries. There's a lot of small arteries in the head that could also cause strokes and vascular dementia. But some of these small vessels are also present in the kidneys, and that leads to chronic kidney disease. You have increased resistance. So when the heart is pushing on the resistance, it can thicken, and you get left ventricular hypertrophy. You can get diastolic heart failure, you get remodeling of the heart, which could lead to atrial fibrillation. So it's just a lot of negative effects on it. But the good thing is that some of these effects in the arteries start really early in life. And one would say, why is that good? Well, if the fatty streaks start in our teens and we have an opportunity to prevent this very early on and try. To halt the progression early on before it causes damage. And the problem here is that about a third of young adults don't know they have high blood pressure. So by checking early, we can really prevent some of the devastating consequences that has long term. And just like you said, we don't have any external showing of high blood pressure.

[00:32:35.630] – Dr. Ramirez

It's silent because it has so many effects. It's deadly. And that's why the very famous kind of saying it's, the silent killer, exists. Now, if you have blood pressure, going to your physician treating you either medically or lifestyle changes drastically improves outcomes as well. By decreasing your pressures by five points, you decrease the risk of cardiovascular events by about 10%. So not just prevention, but treatment, if you have it, is paramount. And for anybody who may not know what's considered high, normal blood pressure is 120 over 80. Typically, they say high is 140 over 90. So target at 140 over 90. And below certain individuals, we aim for less than 130. But if you're seeing readings near the one forties or above, just reach out to your physician and see what plans you can make. I would emphasize I personally have a lot of patients who don't like medications despite having strokes. And I really try to tell them, don't fear medications if they are necessary. Yes, you want to change your lifestyle, and I would change your lifestyle while starting medications if that's what a physician recommends. And you can work your way off medications.

[00:33:53.170] – Dr. Ramirez

There's some data showing that with diet modification, like the Dash diet, managing weight and exercise, only about 15% of patients still need these blood pressure medications. So I would just think of it as the most important supplement you've ever had or needed in your life, and maybe you can come off of it.

[00:34:12.180] – Allan

Yeah. When I first started my reversal of my health, trying to get myself back together, yeah, I had high blood pressure, so my doctor put me on medication to get it down. You go into a doctor's office and they kind of expect an elevated blood pressure because you're in the doctor's office. So that's why they're going to say 140 over 90 is probably fine, because there's an expectation that when you go home and you're in a better environment, that your blood pressure drops. And what I can say is, if you're in a very stressful job and you have a very stressful life at home and other things are going on, it might not drop as much as you think it does. And so you're going to be happy to hear that I just put a blood pressure monitor in my Amazon cart, so the next time I check out, I'll have one of those. And you talk in the book, it's like, don't just wait till you do your annual check up. These are not expensive. I think my unit I went for a slightly higher price unit it was still, like, less than $60.

[00:35:13.250] – Allan

And it's there. Or you can walk into a drugstore or go over by the pharmacy. And Walmart, they typically have one of these little machines there. And I believe you said in the book that the differential of what they have is not significant. So you can kind of rely on that to see if there's at least a problem, if there's a trend, and know that you need to go talk to your doctor. But I completely agree with you. Take the medication until your lifestyle changes allow you to get off the medication, which is the path I took.

[00:35:43.250] – Dr. Ramirez

Good. And I'm thrilled to hear that you bought yourself one. That's the main thing. Just something so easy. We want to monitor themselves at home. So if I impacted one person, I'm happy.

[00:35:55.450] – Allan

Well, I'm 56 years old. So as you start looking at your health, you're like, I'm not invincible. I may have felt like I was invincible when I was in my 20s and maybe well into my 30s, but there's a point where you realize it's like, okay, data can be valuable. And this is a data point that, quite frankly, is easy to measure. It takes less than five minutes. You just sit down, you rest for about five minutes. You put the cuff on, it blows up, and then it shows you a number. If you don't like the number, sit there for another five minutes and do it again. But it's not like the scale. This is actually telling you how healthy you are.

[00:36:30.530] – Dr. Ramirez

Yeah. It's non invasive, it's quick, it's cheap. So I would tell everyone and anybody, get yourself a cuff or go to your local store and measure it there and just write down the trends and reach out to your physician if it's elevated. So this is extremely important. I would emphasize it to anybody. And I'm thrilled that you purchased one.

[00:36:52.210] – Allan

Yeah. And another thing that you had in the book that I think is really important is don't get the finger one or the wrist one is get the one that is a cuff and make sure that the cuff is the right size for your arm. I have a slightly larger arm, so the cuff I got goes up to 17 inches. So I'm safe for at least the next few months unless I decide to bulk up a little bit. And I'm not going to get my arm to 17 inches again. I'm pretty sure my age. But that said, make sure you're getting a good thing, and the book will give you some details on how to select. Make sure it's a cuff and make sure it's the right size. And there's a whole lot more in there.

[00:37:27.240] – Allan

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

[00:37:36.950] – Dr. Ramirez

So I think that's a great definition. I define it as kind of longevity, quality and the control of risk factors. If we just want to break it down to just solely three, obviously there's more. But three specific tactics, I would say one, nutritional changes. I don't endorse dieting, I endorse an overall change in how we look at what is on the plate in front of us. And like the quote we discussed, eat food, not too much, mostly plants that would go for smaller portions, eat more vegetables, less processing, water over other drinks, try to lessen the juices, soda, so water over drinks. Within the umbrella of nutrition, I would go for less alcohol. So alcohol in moderation if you already drank, but there's no need to drink if you don't do so already. And even within that we can say if financially one is able to try to add more organic products. There may be some benefit in organic products grown in better soil. So overall nutritional changes as one the second more physical activity. Find an activity you enjoy, one that you love, one that's not a job to try to do and build from there.

[00:38:56.500] – Dr. Ramirez

Even five minutes of moderate activity a day has health benefits. So just try to do it as much as you can, even if it's only a small amount, and work your way up to minimum goals. The minimum quote guidelines is 150 minutes a week. So 30 minutes, five times a week. Try to add some resistance, exercise at least two times a week, but find what you like. I like calisthetics, that's my base and then I build outside from there. For anybody who has some physical limitations, you can still be more active. Something as easy as walking as benefits. 6000 steps a day has been shown to have benefits, especially people over 65 years old. And even if Ambulation or walking is difficult on YouTube, there's plenty of exercise regimens for people who can't walk seated exercise regimen. So try to stay active as much as you can within your limitations. And I would try to add balance as well. That's something I included in the book since balance at training can reduce falls and falls as a leading cause of traumatic injuries in the elderly, leading cause of hip fractures leads to 800,000 hospitalizations a year.

[00:40:07.660] – Dr. Ramirez

So adding a little balance, especially as we age, can minimize the risks of falls and the health effects that come from it. So the first two nutritional changes, more activity. And the third, I would just use the broad saying of check your numbers. One, blood pressure. I think within that number, that's the key thing to know and two your BMI. So you're seeing where you land in the context of obesity. Are you healthy? Weight, are you overweight? Are you obese or above? I know BMI is not the perfect number, but it is one that does correlate well with adipose tissue and more importantly, with health outcomes. So check your numbers and within that discussion. Obesity is the second leading cause of stroke worldwide, one of the leading causes of preventable death. So it is a very important number to know right there with blood pressure.

[00:41:05.870] – Allan

Thank you for that. Now I want to close with one more thing. You said this is kind of your core message of the book, and I love this, “Longevity and quality can allow one to enjoy life and all the beautiful things it brings.”

So thank you for sharing that. Doctor, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Simplify Your Health, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:29.740] – Dr. Ramirez

Again, thank you for having me. I would have anybody go to Simplifyyourhealth.Live. There's more information on the book, where to get it. There are other links to some of my social media pages. I have become more active on Instagram based on recommendations of others. It's Dr.RamirezMD for Instagram and Twitter, and I give some health facts, some health tips, some quotes, and other things for benefits. But it would be simplifyyourhealth.Live for more information on the book, okay.

[00:42:05.310] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/551, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Ramirez, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:42:15.210] – Dr. Ramirez

Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:24.090] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:42:25.480] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, wow there's a lot of really great information in that interview, but let's start with the Simplify. Simplify Your Health. I love it. We make things so much harder than we really need to.

[00:42:37.230] – Allan

Yeah. That's why when I was looking at doing it, when I created the kind of a temperature check and I was looking for, okay, what are the things I know that work, and what are the things to try to put together something when you want to check in with yourself, what is the most valuable takeaway? And it isn't, okay, here's three areas your movement, your nutrition and your self care. And it's not sitting there saying, okay, what are five things I can do for all three of these to move the needle? It's like, what's one intention? Just one thing next week? And you kind of start with that. That's just the one thing. And what you find is once that one thing kind of becomes automatic for you, then yes, adding another one thing and then another one thing. And it's not just one plus one. I think that's what a lot of people think. That's just slow. No, each one of those is an exponential of the thing you did before. So if you've improved your nutrition this week and then next week you add additional movement, that's an exponential shift. That's not just a one plus one.

[00:43:43.170] – Allan

And so if we just realize that those simple one step, things that are the next big rock, then that's what's really going to move the needle for you. And it's going to get you where you want to go a lot faster than you thought you could.

[00:43:58.850] – Rachel

Oh, for sure. I also like too, for people to choose the thing that resonates the most with them. Some people can easily swap out a soda pop for water, and that could be their one thing. Or some people might be more comfortable going for a walk in the morning before work. You just need to choose the one thing that really resonates with you, something that you can stick with, something that you look forward to doing, and that would really give you the most traction to get that ball rolling.

[00:44:30.540] – Allan

Yeah, it will.

[00:44:33.510] – Rachel

And you guys spend some time talking about blood pressure. That's the one metric that I often overlook myself, because my blood pressure is always normal when I go to the doctor's office. But you're going to get yourself a blood pressure cuff?

[00:44:47.130] – Allan

Yeah, I've got it. It is actually on its way.

[00:44:51.700] – Rachel


[00:44:52.460] – Allan

Yeah. So I put it in my car, and it's kind of one of those things because I do live on an island, I try to order two or three or four things at one time, and then I do the Amazon ship it all together. So I'll wait an extra week kind of thing just to have less packing material, less weight as I pay by the pound for what they bring here. And so it's just trying to get them to put it all in one box and make it easy. So it shipped. And right now it's probably in Miami or somewhere in between. Here in Miami.

[00:45:25.320] – Rachel

Oh, good. Well, I'm glad you're getting that because I think that's probably one of the best metrics for heart health.

[00:45:31.950] – Allan

It is. Well, even brain health and all of it, because if your blood pressure and kidney, if your blood pressure is high, it's putting pressure on your kidneys, it's putting pressure on your brain, it's putting pressure on your heart. And so stroke and heart attack and kidney failure, they are directly related to you having high blood pressure. And as you said, it's the silent killer because you don't necessarily know when your blood pressure is elevated. And it's the one thing I can say that more than anything, walking away from my career lowered my blood pressure down to normal. I was having to take medication when I was working full time for a corporation, and the stress level, my blood pressure was always elevated, so I had to take medication to get it down to the normal range, and I could not get it down. Even after losing all the weight, even after getting myself really healthy and fit, my blood pressure was still elevated until I got laid off and I told my wife, I'm not going back. And my blood pressure dropped down to normal. And I've been to the doctor several times since then, and it's always normal when I walk into the doctor's office.

[00:46:49.910] – Rachel

Now, that's fantastic. I'm glad to hear that. I don't think that we really realize how detrimental stress can be on our bodies.

[00:46:59.970] – Allan

It can beat you up. And so just that self awareness. I had worked on nutrition, I had worked on movement, I had worked on sleep. I didn't set alarm. So I was getting plenty of sleep. I was eating well, I was moving well, but I couldn't get the stress done. And then I went through a period of time just before the layoff where I did like three or four episodes on stress because I wanted to read their books, my own stress.

[00:47:30.110] – Rachel

Sure, absolutely.

[00:47:31.580] – Allan

And they all had different spins on it. And yes, the breathing techniques helped a little, but that was a temporary fix, because as soon as the next fire, the next problem, the next phone call, even the next phone call, was enough to send my stress level up. And then, of course, I was laying people off and there was just all that turmoil of that. My stress levels were really high at that point for my health. The next big step, the next big rock. We talked about simplify, sounds like a big move, but that was figure out a way to not go back to corporate.

[00:48:12.660] – Rachel


[00:48:13.130] – Allan

And so, yeah, it was a big step, but it was the thing, it was the big rock. And until I could get the stress thing done and you know, some people have great resilience and they do great with stress, but I just found the older I got, the less resilient I was with stress. And that was just me. I'm fully put it out there. It's just stress beat me up more as I got older. And so I wasn't going to get healthier no matter what. No matter what.

[00:48:43.240] – Rachel

You checked all the other boxes, eating, exercise, sleep and all that, so I'm glad you were able to find a solution for that.

[00:48:50.390] – Allan


[00:48:51.870] – Rachel

And then you guys talked a lot about marijuana.

[00:48:54.930] – Allan

Yeah, I haven't covered that topic. And there have been some books that came out. I reached out to the authors, but I guess they were off getting high or something because they didn't respond because they're not really driven.

[00:49:12.370] – Rachel

They get back to you because I think it's in the emerging stages.

[00:49:17.230] – Allan

It is. I will say, based on the titles of the books that are out there, they're very pro marijuana. And I knew, of course, reading this book and he gets into it, that he was not going to be pro marijuana, and he's not there are uses for it, and they're studying for more uses for it. But he said the vast majority of people don't need to be smoking marijuana. It's not healthy. People say, well, it's healthier than I'm like, okay, so getting hit by a motorcycle is healthier than getting hit by a car. You can justify anything as healthier than because there's always something less healthy. And if you want to compare ourselves with something that's less healthy, same thing with e cigarettes. We know that they're not healthy, you know they're not healthy. And so maybe edibles are healthier than smoking it. And if that's the case, then tell the does not equate to healthy. And, you know, so that's just the takeaway from that. I have tried edibles and one of two things happens. I just go to sleep and then I feel like I wasted a whole lot of money on an end or I eat everything in the kitchen.

[00:50:45.070] – Allan

I mean everything. And so, yes, if I had cancer and needed something that would make me hungry, yeah, that would do it, because I'll eat everything in the kitchen and so it's not a substitute for anything and it wasn't enjoyable. And so from that perspective, I don't value it. And I know that some people use and they love it and they feel like it does the right things for them, but there's a health downside to it until you really acknowledge that you're fooling yourself.

[00:51:20.530] – Rachel

I think here in Michigan, it is legal both medicinally and recreationally. And I'm not sure how many states we have now that have approved it for either or. I'm not sure what the current state is.

[00:51:33.100] – Allan

It's a growing number, and I would say probably the majority of states now at least approve it for medical use. But let's just be honest. Doctors will write you prescription for anything you ask them for. So if you want medical marijuana recreationally, just get a doctor to write a script and you can go get it. So it's not like it's really controlled like that. Maybe in some states a little bit more so than others, but for the most part so the vast majority of people in the United States can either get marijuana legally as a recreational drug or as to a doctor. And then again, it's hard to get if you want it. You probably know the dealer guy down on the corner or wherever. It's not hard to find someone to give you this stuff if you want, but that's it. If you're looking at improving your health, yes, substitutions are a way, but not a permanent way to say I'm healthy because I do these things.

[00:52:38.390] – Rachel

Sure, I'd like to see more science come out on marijuana and the use. I'd actually like to see it be a good competitor to big pharma. I'd really like to see something different going on. We have some experience right now. My husband Mike has kidney cancer. He's taking some chemo drugs. And the side effects of these chemotherapies are just ridiculous. They're just ridiculous. If you've ever watched a commercial on TV for literally any medicine out there, the side effects are ridiculous. So I'd like to see if medical marijuana has a leg to stand on in alleviating some of these symptoms that people are experiencing as compared to the big pharma alternative?

[00:53:26.170] – Allan

Well, the odd thing is probably I remember this from when I was younger, is that they always called marijuana, like for glaucoma.

[00:53:33.170] – Rachel


[00:53:33.630] – Allan

And Dr. Ramirez says there's actually no evidence that it helps with glaucoma.

[00:53:39.610] – Rachel

I've not heard that. I don't know.

[00:53:41.680] – Allan

Yeah, but the whole point is they will, because more people are using it now and it's easier to get then scientists are more likely to study it. It is very hard to get a study approved when you're using a class one narcotic. It just is. They don't want this out there. They don't want people using it. And so getting it approved and getting it through the FDA, federal against the law, is just going to be really hard. And unless you have a really compelling hypothesis for it, it's just going to be hard. But that said, more people are going to be using it, there'll be more anecdotal evidence, and then with the anecdotal evidence, someone will say, okay, look, I run all these places here in California that sell this medical marijuana. I will fund the study for this and they fund the study. Now, will the FDA then approve it for that use? Maybe not. But if the study is done and it's done right, at least at that point, doctors have some form of evidence to know, okay, I can do a counter indication for the marijuana for this thing. And over time, the doctors will finally go to the FDA and say, hey, we're doing this because we legally can counter indicate a medication for somebody else.

[00:55:06.810] – Allan

And since this is medical marijuana in our state, we've been using it for this thing and it's working. And if the FDA does the right thing, but they're pretty close to pharma, but if they were to do the right thing, then they would say, okay, provide the evidence from the studies, do more studies, and we'll consider it. And at least at that point, you got a toe in the door.

[00:55:34.370] – Rachel

The one last thing I want to mention on marijuana is that I'm allergic to it. And I'm not the only one out there. And I see an allergist and we've talked about it. I have an EpiPen because I've had some really poor reactions being surrounded. I've never even used it outright. I've never smoked it or ate it. I don't even use hemp and I'm afraid to use CBD. I just don't want to be near it because I have such a terrible reaction. And I know I'm not the only person out there. So if anybody's going to use it, just be smart and keep it in your own home because I can't even smell it. I can't even walk by it.

[00:56:12.870] – Allan

Yeah, all right, well, Rachel, stay away from pot.

[00:56:19.010] – Rachel

You know I will. Yeah.

[00:56:21.870] – Allan

All right, well, you have a great week. We'll talk next week.

[00:56:24.700] – Rachel

Okay, take care. Thanks.

[00:56:26.340] – Allan

Okay, bye.

[00:56:27.360] – Rachel



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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 9, 2022

The 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

For many people, turning 40 marks a point where weight loss seems so much harder if not impossible. On this episode, I share the 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.070] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:03:23.410] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.750] – Allan

Well, a little good, a little bad. I have an injury oh, no, I've done something to injure my mid back. Most back injuries you hear is lower back tends to be a big thing for a lot of people, and the neck tends to be so this is kind of an unusual thing. I can't point to anything acute. I can't say I was doing this lift and I felt uncomfortable. I can't say anything odd was going on other than it happened during a time when I was running Lula's and Tammy was away, so I spent a lot of time sitting at her desk and not a lot of time walking around town doing the normal things that I do in a day because I'm usually everywhere in the gym. I'm out and about. I go grocery shopping. I do everything on foot. But for that week or so that she was gone, I didn't get up and move around as much. And I was sitting at the desk. I was doing my workouts. So I can't point to anyone thing, but it is pretty intense and I can't really twist or lift or do anything, and it's been like that for a few weeks, so I've given it a few weeks to say, okay, if this is a muscular issue, it will resolve itself with rest and good nutrition and more rest.

[00:04:43.880] – Rachel


[00:04:44.500] – Allan

It hasn't really resolved itself. And so the worst part is I'm just about a month away from the Mudder and I'm detraining. Instead of training at a time when you want to hit a peak, I'm in a detraining mode, and so it's not looking good for the mudder because the last thing I'm going to do at 56 years old is go out there and injure myself.

[00:05:07.920] – Rachel


[00:05:09.190] – Allan

I did the Spartan. In hindsight, I knew what I was doing. I knew why I was doing it, but I didn't win any money. There wasn't a new car at the end of the finish line. I did it and it hurt and I didn't injure myself anymore. But with the back injury, I am not comfortable that it wouldn't be worse. And so I'm not winning any money. No one is paying me any money to do this. No one's threatening me. No one's threatened my family. So there's no upside to doing it if there's the risk that I could hurt myself even more.

[00:05:51.580] – Allan

So I'm thinking I'm going to have to bow out of the Mudder. And it's disappointing. It is disappointing. But that's part of this journey is being true to yourself, and we're going to talk about checking in with yourself, listening and making the right decisions for yourself. And sometimes the right decision is not to push forward, but to pause and breathe and find that alternate route to better health and fitness.

[00:06:20.850] – Allan

And so I'm disappointed. I'm probably going to be pulling out of the Tough Mudder here in a little bit, and I'm sad that I won't be able to do it, but I got other things that are more important to me than getting muddy and maybe hurt.

[00:06:37.930] – Rachel

We've been in the same position, having to not start a race or defer it to another year or something. We've been through this for a while, and it's just better that you heal yourself and feel better and then you'll be able to tackle the next race stronger than today. So I hope you figure out what you could do for your back. I hope some more rest and maybe some PT might help. I don't know.

[00:07:02.940] – Allan

Yeah, there's a physical therapist here. I'm setting up an appointment with him just to look it over. He doesn't have any equipment or anything. And yes, I could go to the hospital and get an X-ray, a self-directed X-ray.

[00:07:18.590] – Rachel

Oh boy!

[00:07:18.590] – Allan

But yeah, there's not really an orthopedic sky here. So if I'm still hurting when I do go back to the States next month, I probably will set up an appointment with someone there to just really get a good thorough check over to try to see if we can figure out what it is. Because at that point, it would have been two months in that condition, and that's not muscular anymore. Something is more serious. So I'm hopeful it's not I'm hopeful that this was just a momentary something, and it's healing. It's just taking its time to do so.

[00:07:50.330] – Rachel


[00:07:51.510] – Allan

No, it is, but it doesn't mean I can't do things, and it doesn't mean that I can't continue to focus on sleep and stress management and nutrition and mobility and stretching and balance and cardio if I'm not tweaking it doing that. So I'm going to stay active, I'm going to get things done. It's just good. I won't be lifting tons of weight and throwing it over my head and running around like a wild animal.

[00:08:22.370] – Rachel

Good idea.

[00:08:24.350] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:08:25.800] – Rachel

Good. We just had a wonderful weekend. A lot of birthday celebrations, a lot of family time, a lot of traveling. So I'm a little bit tired today. And then poor Mike, he's flying to a job. He's got to work this week, so he's flying out of State. So he also had an early morning. He's probably sleeping on the plane. I hope to take a nap later.

[00:08:47.360] – Allan

There you go.

[00:08:47.920] – Rachel

It was a great weekend. We had a wonderful time with our family and some friends. So it was a good weekend. Worth being tired.

[00:08:55.550] – Allan

Yes. That social connection is so important, and it's often something we overlook until we get that dose. And they were kind of like, even though I'm exhausted, I needed that connection, I needed that social thing. I'm glad you all had a wonderful birthday.

[00:09:12.970] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:09:13.320] – Allan

And a wonderful weekend. And you want to talk about some of the weight loss hacks that I shared?

[00:09:18.710] – Rachel

Yes, I do.

[00:09:20.200] – Allan

Let's have that conversation.


So today I want to share with you seven weight loss hacks that I found useful for helping myself and my clients lose the weight they want to lose. I recently did kind of an outreach study to try to figure out what were some of the main issues that people are dealing with in regards to weight loss and getting healthy and came back with really kind of two clear winners.

The first one was about motivation. In some cases it was worded as being lazy. The second was time. And so these are the two biggest issues and I wanted to share with you some hacks that will help you deal with low motivation or just not having enough time. So here are my seven weight loss hacks.

Weight loss hack number one: Get momentum.

Okay, now you start by starting and with food. That means just buying better food, having the food close by. Starting means starting a walking program or just movement that you're capable of doing, even if it's just for five minutes a day. Now, I want you to think back to times when you've been successful. We do that because when we think back to the reasons that we struggle and the reasons that we succeed, it gives us some clear indicators that we can succeed when we put our minds to it.

And it gives us some things to look at avoiding as we go forward. So the summary for weight loss hack number one is get started. It's the hardest thing you'll do, but once you get there and you start feeling that momentum, the motivation will come.

Weight loss hack number two: Understand why you're doing what you're doing.

So often I see people walk into the weight room, and this is typically in January, and they don't really know what they're there to do. And as a result, they don't really do the things that would make them the most benefit. They actually avoid those things because they find them intimidating or they don't know why those things are so important. So things you're going to do if you start lifting weights, which I highly encourage, or doing some form of resistance training, you might actually gain a little bit of weight. If you do a little bit of research to figure out why nuts and fruit are better choice than maybe the packaged protein bar or the sports drink, these are all ways for you to understand the things that you're doing and why you should be doing them and the things that maybe you need to stop doing.

So do a little bit of research, ask some questions. The Facebook Group we have is a really good place to do that. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group that will take you to our Facebook group. And I'm always answering questions in there, so if you have a question about why something is or why people recommend a certain thing, just go ahead and ask. So the summary is this understanding what you're doing is going to make you more motivated to do it because you'll know why you're doing. So you'll be able to use not only the emotion of getting yourself in better shape or doing something, you can use the logic behind it. So both of those are powerful tools, particularly when they're put together, it's harder to say no to something that you know is really good for you. So take some time to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Don't just do something without understanding why.

Weight loss hack number three: Check in with yourself.

It's important for you to be aware of how you feel about certain things, particularly nutrition and movement, and then understand how good you feel when you're getting good nutrition and better movement.

The way you feel can hamper your ability to do things or keep you from doing things. But then once you start paying attention to how you feel when you do them, that's a very powerful feedback mechanism to tell you what's working and what's not. And when you find that emotionally, you're just not charged up to do something, start looking for the triggers that caused that. Were you stressed out? Were you tired? Did you not get good sleep? Did something happen in your life that caused you to be off of kilter? So paying attention and checking in with yourself regularly is going to give you those tools.

So, the summary for weight loss hack number three is that this is about mindset. And if you haven't figured that out, a lot of what I'm talking about is about mindset I would consider journaling. So you can really put your finger on the pulse of what's happening, how you feel, what's working, what's not. You can break habits by understanding those triggers. And if you're interested, I have a worksheet at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit. So if you find there's a certain bad habit that you keep doing and you just want to figure out what that trigger is, you can use this worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit, and that will walk you through the process of documenting what's going on with your habits, where those triggers are coming from, and what you might be doing about them. So again, weight loss hack number three, make sure you're checking in with yourself regularly.

Weight loss hack number four: Listen to your words.

Back in episode 546, we talked about words, Rachel and I did, and we tend to use words in our head that we would never use with other people, and we call ourselves things or say things to ourselves we would never say to other people. That's where when some people said they were lazy instead of saying they were unmotivated, those are different words. Lacking motivation is something, but saying you're lazy is quite a different thing. So if you're using the wrong words, try to catch yourself doing it so it goes back a little bit to weight loss hack number three checking in. But just pay attention to the words you're using and then look for ways to add more positive words and or affirmations. I'm going to share with you the affirmation that I use each morning. It's part of my morning ritual. I go through a series of things that I talk about to myself every morning as a part of my morning routine, morning meditation.

So here's my affirmation: “I now have the ability to release whatever held me back in the past and I'm now taking the necessary actions to achieve my goals.”

Now, that might not mean a whole lot to you, but basically this statement which I make a few times in the morning, each morning, really helps me set my intention for the day and know that my actions are there to serve my goals, not the other way around. So I have the actions that drive to goals and I make sure that I start the day with these positive statements about myself, about where I'm going, about what I can do. And I use those as kind of my leaping board in the morning to get a lot done during the day. So weight loss hack number four, listen to your words.

Weight loss hack number five: Prioritize you.

You can't afford to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list all the time. Your family needs you. Sure, your work needs you, life needs you. But you can't let that be everything. And when you're not able to be there for them, how's that going to feel? So we've got to do some things to take care of ourselves first. Now, everybody likes to throw out the put your mask on before you help other people.

I'll put it a whole other way. If you can't swim, you're not going to be saving many lives. Fall in the water. So teach yourself to swim. Get out there and start doing things that are good for you. It will increase your energy, it will increase your drive. But you've got to be a priority because if you don't make yourself a priority, you'll never make the time to do it. You need to set yourself up as your priority.

Make this important to you. Make it emotional. Have a good why and a good place you want to go, good vision, and that will give you the commitment. Once you start prioritizing yourself, you're going to be in a lot better shape to help others. So weight loss hack number five, prioritize yourself.

Weight loss hack number six: Get some skin in the game.

Free things feel like they're a great value. You can bookmark a YouTube video and have it for later. It cost you nothing. But do you do that workout again? And so even though it's free, you're not using it, it's not much value to you at all. Now, paying a little bit of money or some money gets you some skin in the game.

And what I found when I have a paid challenge versus a free challenge is compliance for my paid challenges goes up astronomically. People who pay for a challenge get about 80% compliance whereas people who don't pay, we're looking at closer to ten to 20%. Why is that? They've got some skin in the game.

And I'll give you an example for myself. When I was trying to start getting myself in shape, I had three gym memberships. I had a payroll deduction for my gym membership that was close to my work. Because they did that, they would pay part of your feet and do a payroll deduction for the rest. I had a direct debit for a second gym so that went directly against my checking account. Each month they billed me and then I own thousands of dollars worth of fitness equipment that I put into a storage shed that I paid rent on every month and I paid that rent with my credit card. So as I was going through and looking at my finances each month I could see each and every one of those deductions, each and every one of those payments. So I knew I was investing in my health and fitness and it really felt like I needed to use that investment as best I could.

So I got rid of all the excuses and I put some skin in the game and that really helped a lot. I saw them coming out, I saw the investment and I wanted to do better. So weight loss hack number six get some skin in the game. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. It's the best investment you can ever make.

Weight loss hack number seven: Accountability.

The best accountability you can have is being accountable to yourself. That's called intrinsic motivation and it's the strongest kind of motivation you can have. But not all of us are going to have full on intrinsic motivation all the time. Some of us are just not going to get there without some help. And many times we have saboteurs in our life that are holding us back and making it harder for us to get the things done and stay true to ourselves.

Now, when I talk about saboteurs, I want you to understand that there are some bad intention saboteurs and there are some goodihearted saboteurs.

So I'll talk about the bad intention ones first. They don't want you to change. Now that might be because your success makes them feel bad or your success might scare them. Okay? So sometimes a loved one doesn't want you to lose all that weight because then you're not the same as them. They don't want you to stop eating and doing the things that you used to do because it feels like it's changing them and their lives. Or they just don't want you to succeed at all because it makes them feel bad. Those are the kind of people that you need to get away from where you can. Obviously, some of them are going to be family. Deep, deep friends. But just recognize the saboteurs.

Now there are some good-hearted saboteurs out there too. And these are a little harder to find or understand what's going on. They seem very supportive and they want to guide you, but they're often either misinformed or under-informed about health and fitness. A perfect example of that is the folks that are like, you should just eat salads, take this diet pill, don't eat fat, you'll have a heart attack.

They were told a lesson a long time ago and they just can't get away from it. So you tell them you're going keto, and they're like, “Oh my God, you're going to have a heart attack. You can't eat bacon all the time. You have to eat vegetables and fruit and you have to get the grains in.”

They're going on old information, but it's their information. They think they're doing you a favor. They think they're saving you. They've seen someone else take that pill and lose weight, so they believe it will work for you. They're good-hearted, but they're still sabotaging the work that you're trying to do. So you need to be aware of your saboteurs and make life decisions on how you communicate with them and what you share with them so that you can do the right things for yourself.

Now, for most of us, our family is our why. And they don't want you to be sick and frail. They really don't. But they're also probably not the right people to hold you accountable and for the very reasons that they don't necessarily want to change their life. And if you're changing yours and it's going to impact theirs, they're not always going to be in your corner. Even though they want the best for you, they're not always going to be there.

So what I recommend doing is finding people that can keep you grounded. Find people that are more like what you want to be and start surrounding yourself with them. You can find these people at the gym. If you start going to the gym at a certain hour most days, you're going to see the same people in that gym that same hour most days. It's just how it works. I was 05:00am guy. Same three guys in the gym every morning at 05:00am and I was one of them.

You can meet someone on a Facebook Group. There's a lot of Facebook groups out there, but the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group is really one that's designed for support. It's not designed to brag about how fit we are. It's designed to support you and help you. You can post and ask for an accountability buddy there. So finding a buddy that's online that can keep you on track, keep you on task, can hold you accountable, can go a long way towards keeping you fit and happy and progressing.

Another one is find another friend that could already be a friend that also wants to get healthier and more fit and is committed to the task. They've got skin in the game, they've got the right mindset, they've gone through all these other things that we talked about and they're going to stick with you. They can be your walking buddy, they can meet you at the gym. You guys can just trade recipes or batch cook together on Sundays so you guys have healthy meals for the whole week or you can hire a coach.

Now most of my clients stick with me because they like the accountability. They like the way I go about it. Now they might like me a little, but it's really the accountability that keeps them on task and keeps them here. Now I've hired a coach in the past when I was training for Spartan, I had strength coach and I knew he'd be at the gym every morning at 5:00am. So there was no hitting the snooze, there was no calling out. I was at the gym every single morning at 5:00am. I think he hit the snooze on me a couple of times. But at any rate, I still got a good workout in. I was still motivated. I had that accountability. So I was still going to tell the coach, hey, you weren't there, but I got the workout and here's my recorded results.

So having someone to hold you accountable, whether it's someone in a Facebook Group, rather it's someone you meet at the gym, whether it's just another buddy that wants to get in shape or you hire a coach, get some accountability, you don't have to do this alone. So the summary of weight loss hack, number seven, accountability, is everybody's going to need help from time to time. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't be afraid to ask for accountability and find the right people to surround yourself with so you can be successful.

So I shared the seven weight loss hacks and you might have picked up on something. These are not really weight loss hacks. They'll work and they'll work for you, but you have to do the work. So these are not easy button things. There's no easy buttons in weight loss. You've got to find these tasks and these actions and these tactics and these habits and you implement them and you work on them and you keep pushing through. And if you need accountability, you find accountability. If you've got saboteurs in your life, you put them on mute or you go away from them.

If you're dealing with some mindset issues, the way you talk to yourself, the other things that are going on in your life, you have to pay attention to that. You have to check in with yourself, you have to pay attention. The answers are there. Now if any of this resonated with you, I'd love to hear what's holding you back and see if there's something we can do to help again, you can catch us at the group, the Facebook Group, 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group. It's a very supportive and helpful environment. I have weekly challenges, I share cool things. I find it's a good group and a lot of questions come up and we're answering those questions and we're helping people there and it's a great place to find yourself an accountability buddy or at least understand what's working for other people. Or you can email me directly. Allan@40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com. I'd love to hear from you. These weight loss hacks are not hacks, but they're action steps that you can incorporate that will help you be successful, help you stay motivated, and help you find the time to get healthy and fit.

Post Show/Recap

[00:27:15.930] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:27:17.370] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I really loved every single one of these 7 weight loss hacks, but I'd like to start chatting about number six with getting skin in the game. And I just loved how you pointed out that free is great and I love free. The Internet is wide, it's vast, and it's full of all sorts of videos and blogs and all sorts of data that we can use in our weight loss journey and fitness journeys, but we just don't we choose not to.

[00:27:46.310] – Allan

Yeah, someone will sit there and see this great workout on YouTube. It looks like fun and they bookmark it and then they never go back to it.

[00:27:55.990] – Speaker 2

Right. There's a gap between what we want to do and the action it takes to actually do it. There's a big gap there.

[00:28:04.870] – Allan

Yeah. So I would do these free challenges and to me that's the best example. Someone would sign up for a 28-day challenge and they're really excited about it. Now, one of the things, I try to deliver most of these with email campaigns because it does a couple of things. One is it's got an automated a little bit so it's in your mailbox. Okay. And then it gives you a direct connect to come right back to me if you have a question. So you literally respond to that email and it comes back to me.

[00:28:31.960] – Allan

But another thing that it does is it lets me see who's opening the emails and who's clicking the links. So why is that important? Because that is the way that I'm holding people accountable in the challenge. Now, do I email someone and say, hey, you did an open day three, what the heck is going on? No, I don't. I probably should, but I don't. But at least at that point, I have some information. So what I'm saying is, the data I have, after running dozens and dozens of challenges with thousands of people that have gone through these challenges, some of my challenges had as many as 300 people and I see the open rates.

[00:29:13.600] – Allan

And 100% opened the first email because that's how they got on the list. They had to confirm their email address and 100%. And then the emails go out, and by day three, we're already in the eighties.

[00:29:28.170] – Rachel


[00:29:28.960] – Allan

And by the end, if we're in the 20% range, that's awesome.

[00:29:34.650] – Rachel

Okay, incredible.

[00:29:36.870] – Allan

Now 20% of people opened the last email, which means 20% of people were still doing the challenge, they were still paying attention. So at least they open the email. Are they still keeping their sugar where they wanted to? Are they doing their squats? I don't know. Now, another thing I would do is I'd use the Facebook group as kind of some accountability. Tell me about your squats, tell me you're finished. And now some accountability, which is another one of the hacks that I talk about here. But what I found was if I charge a little bit of money, like $7, even $28, whatever, doesn't have to be a lot. The rate of people that do it goes up to 80%.

[00:30:14.490] – Rachel

That's incredible.

[00:30:15.810] – Allan

And it's $7, literally. I don't even know if that right now that would cover a drink at Starbucks. I mean, the way prices have gone up. The drink you used to drink is $7, and you would spend that on one latte thing, and that's what I'm asking for. And I get 80% of the people do the challenge. Now, obviously it's not 300 people that are signing up to the challenge now. It's a subset of those that'll pay.

[00:30:44.350] – Allan

So the basic gist is this if you're willing to spend a little bit of money to have the support and then also have the accountability,

[00:30:53.850] – Rachel

That's a good piece

[00:30:55.500] – Allan

Then that's what you're paying for. That's what I pay for. These challenges at $7 means that, you know, I'm sitting on the other side of that email paying attention. Who's opening them? How many people are opening them? Are they opening all of them, and when are they opening them? So I can kind of see, okay, I send out email number 16. Today is day 16 and people are opening day 16. Then I see someone just open day twelve. And I'm like, okay, well, maybe they stopped and they're starting back.

[00:31:24.670] – Allan

And then I see they don't open anymore. I'm like, okay, maybe that was just a mistake. The cursor was on twelve, day twelve email, they clicked on it, it looks like it was open. So again, I only say that because finding out what works for you is really important, and paying for some of these other things that happen, the accountability, the guidance and support, you can't overlook that.

[00:31:48.360] – Allan

The YouTube video doesn't mean it knows. Person knows. Like 1000 people watch my YouTube video, they don't know you, and they're not sending an email or something directly to you. And knowing that, because I see your name, I know the people participating, I see your names, I see your email addresses. Some of them are quite creative, and I love that. And so you're doing the challenge, and I know you're doing the challenge, and I see you opening the emails. And that makes me very happy as a coach to see people doing this and then to get the feedback back. This is really great. I've lost 3 pounds. I lost 6 pounds. Just in the 28 days of doing something as simple as cutting sugar. And I put the sugar challenge out there.

[00:32:32.090] – Allan

It's out there on my website right now. If you go to 40 Fitness, you can get in the Sugar Challenge. The Functional Fitness Challenge is out there, and I'm looking at putting a couple of the other ones that I've done before, reworking them, resetting them, and setting them out there for you to do at your own pace. But again, you do still have the accountability, you still do have the support. And yeah, you've got a little bit of skin in the game, but I think it's worth it if it's going to be something that keeps you on track.

[00:33:00.800] – Rachel

It's an investment if you're going to invest in this knowledge and this activity, plus having the support and the gentle nudges to do your squats or Sugar Challenge or whatever, you're going to do it, you're going to put it on your calendar and you're going to commit to it. So, yeah, I think having skin in the game is a pretty important weight loss hack.

[00:33:19.230] – Allan

Yeah. And then there's another one you wanted to talk about.

[00:33:23.520] – Rachel

Oh, the checking in weight loss hack. Number three, check in with yourself and how you're feeling about the nutrition you're choosing or the exercises you're choosing. I think this is really important because at least in my world, in the running world, some people think that running is the best cardio out there and that's how they're going to lose weight, but they don't like it. So if you don't like the activity, then why do it? And the same thing with choosing a diet. There's a lot of propaganda out there about the vegan or what we do is low carb or keto or carnivore. If you don't like to eat vegetables, then a vegan diet is not your choice. So I think giving it some thought about what you're doing, what you're choosing and why you're doing it is important.

[00:34:09.350] – Allan

Yeah. And again, these are all interrelated. So you literally just talked about one, two, and three.

[00:34:16.200] – Rachel

I think I did, yes.

[00:34:17.200] – Allan

With that one paragraph but …

[00:34:19.390] – Rachel


[00:34:20.470] – Allan

He core of it is this. There are going to be days when we feel really good and there's going to be days when we feel really bad. Like right now, I am training some live clients at the gym. And so I had a girl and she came in. She couldn't make the workout that was scheduled. It was a little group training, so she missed the workout. But I had written up her program. I told her to come in. She said, okay, one of my staff was there. You could spot her on some of the lifts and all that. So she was good. She did it. She wrote all these little notes to me how she was feeling and how it was going, just the same question she knew I would be asking her.

[00:34:51.560] – Rachel

If I was awesome.

[00:34:52.790] – Allan

And so then I get through and she says, you know, I came in for that workout. I felt really good and energetic and I did really well. I really pushed it myself. And I'm like that's. Great. And she says, Today I just don't feel that same energy level. And I said, that's fine. I said, you're aware you're not going to beat yourself up if you can't match that workout. But you do have the guidance and support. You have someone sitting here, you know, why you're doing this. She's going to Italy and she kind of wants to lighten up a little bit so there's a little bit of body fat and just kind of get a better, more athletic look to herself as she goes on this holiday in Italy.

[00:35:30.850] – Allan

And that's what her goals are. And so that's what we're working or toward. So she knows when I come in, I might be more challenged with this workout and I'm okay with that. If my energy level isn't here, I know why. And I know why this workout isn't as good as the last one. And I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm not lazy. I'm not all these other things. It's just where I am and what my body is capable of today.

[00:35:55.230] – Allan

And so what ends up happening is I'm in there and I'm putting weights on the bar and she's working out and she's doing a better workout this time than she was the time before. And it was all because she got her mind right first. Okay. And if you can get your mind ahead of reality, okay, here I am. I understand the world. I check in with myself. I know my energy level. I check in with the world. And 60 pounds weighs 60 pounds. Okay, same 60 pounds three days ago. It's still just 60 pounds.

[00:36:32.680] – Allan

And I've done it before. I know I can do it again.

[00:36:35.640] – Rachel

Yeah, that right there is powerful.

[00:36:37.950] – Allan

Yeah, that's the checking in that's rewarding yourself with the knowledge of what you're capable of and understanding that you're capable of so much more. So it's like she asked the question because they're new to some of these weightlifting and things. So they're getting into it and they're like, okay, I don't understand. I can bench press 60 pounds. And I'm squatting 60 pounds. Aren't I supposed to be squatting a lot more? And I'm like, yes, you are. And you're capable of doing it. And I've told you that about a half a dozen times over the last couple of weeks.

[00:37:10.980] – Allan

But I said here's what's going on. The squat is a much more complex exercise, meaning there's a lot more moving parts and you haven't mastered those yet. So we're not going to put a heavy load on a body that's not with good form, okay? That's the support and guidance and stuff I'm providing. Now, she could load 120 on that bar and easily squat it. Now she'd probably hurt herself by not doing it with good form. So we're easing into that. So the self awareness of I'm learning form, and once I learn the form, I can actually maximize the strength because I'll start actually using my glutes instead of my quads.

[00:37:51.980] – Allan

And then so again, back to which I said, you kind of went through all three of them. Two is understand why you're doing what you're doing. Why is Allan holding me at 60 pounds on the squat and I'm already at 60 pounds on the bench press? And the reality is I'm doing that on purpose because we don't want to get hurt. The form when the form comes. This lady, I told her when she started to do this quiet, I said, you could throw that bar through the ceiling. If you just use your glutes and the power that you have, you could easily just launch that thing through the roof. When you figure it out, when you fire those glutes at the bottom and you figure that out, you're going to see that weight just lighten up, like just melt, and you're going to be able to do a lot more.

[00:38:32.920] – Allan

So just realize that the investment in yourself, understanding what you're doing and why you're doing it and then checking in with yourself, I mean, those are all critical to doing it right, keeping yourself on path. But to me, the number one on all of these is you just have to get started.

[00:38:51.740] – Rachel


[00:38:52.610] – Allan

If you're not starting, you're not finishing.

[00:38:56.230] – Rachel


[00:38:56.870] – Allan

Okay. I know that's the hardest part, but it's that mindset of, oh, I have to do something.

[00:39:05.720] – Speaker 2

Please, just take that step and do something. I think sometimes we get paralyzed with fear because we don't know what to do or where to start. And then we get paralyzed with the vast internet and all the data that surrounds us, and we know even less where to go and what to start and what to do. But I think if you listen to yourself and try and figure out what your strengths are, then you can just branch out and try something.

[00:39:33.050] – Allan

Yeah. It's as simple as this. I had a client that she was really out of shape, I mean, really deep conditioned. And she said, Allan, I get winded walking to my car in the driveway. OK? That's where her conditioning was at that point in time. And I said, okay. I said, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to your car in the morning and I want you to do one lap around your car.

[00:40:00.310] – Allan

And she said, what's that going to do? I said, you're going to end up taking about 30 more steps than you took to get to your car. And I said, after a week, let's talk about it. And she's like, well, okay, I can do a lap around my car. I said, okay, now do two. Okay. Within a few weeks, she's walking around the neighborhood. She's dropping weight. Now, because she's moving, she's starting to look at nutrition differently. It really creates this environment of, oh, if I'm improving my health by walking, then I probably shouldn't be eating those Doritos for dinner. True story. It happens, but the math starts to hit in your head. It's like, oh, well, if I'm doing this, I should do that.

[00:40:48.170] – Allan

The crux of all of this is there are no hacks.

[00:40:51.350] – Rachel

No shortcuts.

[00:40:52.230] – Allan

Okay? You can hack a computer because it's a language, it's a functions. You can hack a human. You can sit there and say, hey, I'm from AT&T, and we're noticing there's a problem with your credit card bill. Could you give me your credit card number, your Pin code, and I need your Social Security number? And before you know it, people are hacked, and they're giving all that information. They're talking to the AT&T person because they've been having trouble with AT&T, and then they're like, oh, they're calling me to fix it. I'm going to give them all the information to fix it. You can be hacked.

[00:41:23.450] – Allan

Science cannot be hacked. And so weight loss and fitness and all that biology, it's chemistry, it can't be hacked. But your brain is a powerful function over the way the body works. And if you get your mindset right, then motivation, finding time, those vanish.

[00:41:52.370] – Rachel

Yeah. And you get committed, and you enjoy the change, and it just propels you further forward.

[00:42:00.710] – Allan

So if you don't take anything from all of this that we've talked about, here is one. Just get started, and all the rest of these things will start to make sense to you as you find yourself at a different point in the journey. But if you don't take the first step, you're not on the journey.

[00:42:20.210] – Rachel

Yeah, great advice.

[00:42:23.270] – Allan

All right, well, anything else, Rachel?

[00:42:25.580] – Rachel

No, this is fantastic.

[00:42:27.250] – Allan

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

[00:42:29.240] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:42:30.070] – Allan

You too.


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 2, 2022

Frequently asked weight loss questions

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Trying to lose weight when you're over 40 brings a whole new set of challenges. On episode 549 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Rachel and I answer the most frequently asked weight loss questions.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.070] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:22.360] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:24.790] – Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:03:26.300] – Rachel


[00:03:29.870] – Allan

If you kind of followed the news outside the United States, then you know that there's a lot of countries, particularly countries that have a large proportion of their people that are living right at or below the poverty line. And Panama is one where they have some individuals here that are really rich and there's a lot of individuals that are pretty much hand to mouth. What they make today, they eat today kind of people. And so with the way prices and inflation has been going up, it's making it really difficult for these folks. And so there's basically strikes/ protests going on around the country. And what that means is their favorite way to protest is to basically just shut down roads. So all across the country you have various industries that are completely going on strike. Transportation is one of the key ones. And then, yeah, they block all the roads. So what that means is that fuel, for example, isn't getting to this island because it can't get through the roadblocks. And what that means is that our power is run by generator. They're due to run out of power today. In fact, while we're recording this, my power might just go out.

[00:04:51.040] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:53.090] – Allan

But I do have a backup power. My computer is plugged in and charging, so I should be able to finish the podcast in the dark. But if it happens, it also means that people traveling around the country are getting stuck. So they get one place and then they run into a roadblock. And then before they can really turn around and come all the way back, there's another roadblock behind them and they're literally trapped on the road. It's making travel very difficult, making plan, anything. So Tammy is due to take our granddaughter back and it's like, well, I can't chance the bus because we might get stuck and spend a couple of days on the side of a highway with no services. She's concerned about that and so she's got to reconfigure her travel. They're going to have to fly to Panama City and hope that they can get to took them in the airport because that road has been blocked off a few times too. And then, yeah, I've got a trip in August, so I'm hopeful that they take care of some of this stuff and get some of these things out of the way.

[00:05:54.200] – Allan

But it is what it is. It's kind of tense, but it's not like burning down cities and stuff like that. That sometimes happens. So at least at this point, it's relatively peaceful. And yeah, there have been a few fist fights because if you're sitting on the road trying to get somewhere and you've been stuck for hours and there's just people just sitting on the road, it can kind of upset some people. So there have been some fights, fist fights and things like that, but nothing major so far. But I think as it gets going, it could blow up and be bigger. Wherever you are, be safe. It's not that this won't happen in the United States. So just realize take care of yourself, take care of your family, and the best thing you can do is take care of your health and make sure that you're in good shape that way because you just never know what's going to happen in the world for us. The Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting times. I'm there, baby.

[00:06:59.170] – Rachel

Yeah. That is very interesting. Well, I hope it gets to be a little more peaceful. I hope things resolve soon.

[00:07:06.240] – Allan

Yeah. Because the meat market where I buy most of my meat, she says she hasn't gotten a shipment. She doesn't know when she's going to get in the shipment. So we could easily run out of food on the island. In addition to running out of fuel, we capture our water. So it's been raining, so we're going to have water. But the food thing might actually start to be a problem for us. But I'm sure they'll figure something out.

[00:07:30.480] – Rachel

But my fingers are crossed.

[00:07:32.950] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:34.390] – Rachel

Good. For this early morning podcast, I had to get up a little bit earlier than normal, so I got to see the sunrise this morning and enjoyed a wonderful morning run and have a coffee sitting here with me while we chat today. And I'm just in a good place. It's going to be a good day.

[00:07:52.640] – Allan

Yes, it's going to be a good day. And the reason we're recording this early is we want to have a little extra time. And so we pushed our recording to a different day and then all of the conflicts and things that I had, this was the only time we could record. But this is a special episode because this is going to be one of our question and answer episodes and we want to have these more regularly. So if you have questions about anything, you can join us on our Facebook Group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. And in the group occasionally I will post for questions like I did this time.

And then you also, Rachel, you posted in your page, Strong Souls. Strong Souls?

[00:08:34.820] – Rachel

Yes, Strong Souls.

[00:08:36.770] – Allan

I don't know why I can't stick that in my head. I know it's you. When I see the post. I said, okay, that's Rachel.

Weight Loss Questions

[00:08:45.770] – Allan

This week we are going to discuss frequently asked weight loss questions. We had a few people that did submit some questions, and then some of the other questions that I put in here were questions that I get all the time from my clients or questions that I've seen regularly either on the group or just in other forums.

[00:09:05.630] – Allan

So I wanted to talk about those. So today we're going to talk about weight loss questions. Now, the first question comes from Melissa, and I believe Melissa is a client of yours and she's in your Strong Souls page group. She posted the question, what should be the number one thing to focus on? And she said macros, water, exercise. I'm going to add calories because a lot of people ask about whether they should do calories in, calories out and all of that. And you're not going to like the answer to this, Melissa, but the answer is it depends.

[00:09:43.150] – Rachel


[00:09:44.750] – Allan

it depends. I've seen people be extremely successful just by focusing on their calories. They do the calories in, the calories out, and the formula just seems to fall in place for them. They eat a little bit less, they lose some weight, and they feel good. So there's that. If you decide you want to try to do some macros based stuff like keto or low carb, then obviously now you're focused on the macros a little bit more. We all know that drinking enough water is important to stay hydrated and sometimes full. So you start feeling a little hungry, drink some water, you kind of lose that.

[00:10:27.980] – Allan

You get that fullness sensation and the hunger kind of goes away. So if it's binges and kind of urges and things like that, water can be a great tool. And then exercise. And we're going to talk a little bit more about exercise. There's another question on this later, a few questions on this later because we talk about exercise. But exercise should not be your weight loss plan. It seldom works. Yes, you're increasing your calorie usage, but there are reasons why sometimes your body still won't lose the weight. So exercise is important. It's important for a lot of reasons. It can be a tool, just a tool in your tool chest that makes losing weight a little easier. And mentally it probably helps a lot because I've noticed as I get people moving, they suddenly start paying a lot more attention to the other things that can make them healthy. They actually start eating better because it's kind of like, well, I went for that run this morning and now I'm in the drive thru at McDonald's. That feels kind of weird. And so you start maybe eating a little bit better, you start working out, you get more energy, and you have more energy now cooking, batch cooking, doing the things to have healthy food, putting a little bit energy, more energy into that you're able to.

[00:11:47.340] – Allan

So from my perspective, you have to pick a strategy that you know will work for you that can be focused on macros, that can be focused on calories. And then the water and the exercise are tools that you carry along with you regardless of the way you choose to do this, that then become ways that you can make sure that the weight loss is consistent. And yeah, if you find yourself plateauing, well, put a couple of hit workouts in your month and that might be just the thing to trigger it. But the other thing I'd caution is, I think sometimes when people do macros, they forget the calories count.

[00:12:24.430] – Rachel


[00:12:25.730] – Allan

And I've got lots of friends in this industry that are keto, and they've been keto for five years, six years, seven years, and they are still obese. And I can kind of tell them why they don't like the answer, but the answer is that they're overeating. Their macros are fine. Their body knows how to use the fat for energy. They're just eating too much and they're not moving enough.

[00:12:54.040] – Rachel


[00:12:56.030] – Allan

Both yeah. Go ahead.

[00:12:57.550] – Rachel

So that's where I was going to go, too, is one of the things I like to say, is, if you can measure it, you can monitor it. And with the apps nowadays, like Fitness Pal and there's a number of different food diary apps you can use, I think that we are not fully aware of how many calories we're eating and in what macros specifically, it's just easy for our mind to think, yeah, we're only having a half a cup or a quarter cup of nuts. When you really go down to measure it, you're eating a full cup or something or cereal or a glass of milk or whatever it is that you're eating. We just have this way of not really recognizing the true volume of what we're eating, and in that case, we're not really recognizing the true number of calories that we're eating. So that's what I would have suggested. If you can measure it, you can monitor it and then find your weak points. If you start measuring what foods you're eating and paying attention to any trends, you might notice that maybe you're having too many carbs in a day or too much fat in a day or too much of something else in a day, in which case, if you're eating too much of something, then you're lacking in something else.

[00:14:08.280] – Rachel

So it's really good to keep some sort of a food diary and observe any trends in your habits and see what you can do better.

[00:14:16.320] – Allan

Yeah. And just what you said. Your example of half a cup of nuts that then turns into a full cup of nuts, let's break that down. A serving of nuts is about 2oz. Ounce or 2oz. So you could be having anywhere from four to eight servings of nuts. And you look on there and it's like, oh, well, it's 160 calories for a serving of nuts. Well, guess what you just did. You ate 800 calories of nuts.

[00:14:44.090] – Rachel

I'm good at this. I know this trend very well because this is what I do. I'll measure my food, a quarter cup of nuts, and it looks like a little bit of a hill in the palm of my hand. I can fit this much ounces of nuts in my hand. And so then I put the measuring cup away and I start pouring the nuts in my hand, and the pile gets a little bigger and a little bigger. Oh, it's just a few more nuts. It's just a few extra calories, but it snowballs it can be a lot more calories, and it's just easy for our minds to kind of overlook that. So it's important to measure and monitor.

[00:15:18.390] – Allan

Yeah, because an almond is about 16 calories,

[00:15:22.610] – Rachel

so they add up really fast

[00:15:24.450] – Allan

really fast. A couple extra in there, and over time that's more calories. And so, again, they both matter. Your body is going to react to different foods, different ways. Certain things are going to be inflammatory for you. Inflammation causes you to weight more. Even though it's not fat, it causes some other problems. And you do retain water and all this stuff with inflammation. So you're going to weigh more. You just naturally are just having a balance to this and looking for what does work for you is going to be the key for this.

[00:15:59.810] – Rachel

You know, a good point on the inflammation. Right now it's the middle of summer and we should be chugging water like it's going out of style. We're sweating a lot. If we're working outside, we need to replace that. But if you're eating a lot of carbs and drinking a lot of water, you're going to feel a little bloated. You could see that scale change a little bit, and you just have to recognize that you're drinking a lot of water for a reason. It's important to have this in you, and it might cause a little inflammation. It might cause you to bloat up a little bit. And so just don't be so hard on yourself if you're going on a run like I did this morning, I sweated buckets, but I also drank a ton of water when I got home. And so if I step on the scale, it's not going to reflect what I'm really doing on a day to day basis.

[00:16:45.300] – Allan

Yeah, I typically ask my clients to weigh themselves first thing in the morning, get up, do your little potty break, and then step on the scale. And typically that's the lightest weight we're going to weigh that day because overnight we've kind of dehydrated a little bit. We haven't drink any water, we haven't eaten any food. And then if we just went to the bathroom, we've gotten rid a little bit.

[00:17:09.650] – Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:17:10.560] – Allan

Okay, now you weigh yourself, and then I also recommend that you not weigh yourself every day if you're someone who's going to kind of get yourself a little put back. Because what could happen is on day one, you lose a pound and you're really excited. That's a whole pound in a day, that's great. And then the next day you gain half a pound. The third day you gain a pound, and the fourth day you lose a pound. Now if you sat there and weighed yourself every day, you had a loss and then you had two gains. And for a lot of people that early in there, they're going to sit there and say, oh, my God, I'm gaining weight. I wanted to lose weight. And then what they do is if you weigh yourself out every four days, you've lost a pound and a half in four days, and that's good. You're targeting about a pound to a pound and a half, maybe 2 pounds in a week. You're three quarters of the way there, baby. You're there or three quarters of the way there for a max loss of 2 pounds. You've done really good, and you should be proud of that.

[00:18:16.420] – Allan

But if you let yourself get disgruntled or want to quit because the scale didn't go down every day, because guess what? It won't ever go down every day unless you just start cutting off body parts, if you're cutting off body parts, then absolutely, you can lose weight every single day until you can't. But that's kind of the whole part of this is to say, okay, I have to be reasonable about it. How does my mind work? And don't necessarily weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself for trends. Don't track your food every day if you don't feel like doing it, track it for trends one day and say, okay, I'm going to track what I'm eating. I'm going to weigh it. I'm going to look at it. I'm going to make sure that I got all my servings right. I've got my calories right. My fitness pal is great for that because it's a very big database. But some of the items on the database aren't 100% correct. They do need you to pay attention, because I couldn't tell you what 100 grams of steak looks like.

[00:19:19.820] – Rachel

Oh, gosh no.

[00:19:20.730] – Allan

but that's not what you pop up 100 grams of steak, and they make out like that's a serving. I'm like, okay, I look at steak by ounces, and I know that the palm of my hand, just the palm, is about a serving size of steak. So for dinner, I might sit down and have two servings of steak, and I know that's what I'm having, because about the size of two palms. If I'm going to have chicken, I know that's my full hand. Okay, fish my whole hand, 5oz. 4oz for steak, 4oz for pork. And when you start getting that down, you know what it looks like. You talked about the palm of your hand and the almonds. Yes, that's exactly what we're talking about. You start understanding what a serving is just because you spent a little time studying it, what it looks like. And so with some of my clients, instead of doing my fitness pal and tracking, I just say, send me photographs. Just take a picture of your meals and send them to me, and then if I see something, I'll say something. But for them, they'll think, okay, well, that was a serving of chicken.

[00:20:23.140] – Allan

I'm like, when you went to that restaurant, they gave you three servings of chicken. You thought that was one serving of potato. No, that was probably three servings of potato. And so you got to get that and understand that. But however you go about that, that's really important. So it does depend and you just have to find a way of eating that really works for you. And these other tools, get them in your tool chest and it will happen.

[00:20:50.910] – Rachel

Yes. Perfect.

[00:20:52.190] – Allan

All right. Now, the second question is kind of related. Is low carb better than low fat?

[00:20:59.260] – Rachel

That's a good one.

[00:21:00.600] – Allan

So I'm going to let you start on this, Rachel, because you do you and what you do works. So I want to hear your side of it first.

[00:21:09.160] – Rachel

Well, all of us are different, so again, I'll wave the flag of it depends on who you are, but for my personal opinion is that low carb is better than low fat. I think we need the healthy fats in our diets because they deliver so many important nutrients and energy that we don't get. But it's the carbs that I definitely keep an eye on, because not all carbs are good for you. And it's not just bread carbs that we think of, although those are the ones that we tend to overdose on, and I use that word specifically. We have cereal grains at breakfast and toast and sandwiches with giant submarine sandwich buns at lunch and then dinner rolls for dessert and cakes and things, cookies for desserts. We get so many carbs each and every single day and they all taste good, but they actually do nothing for us. There's very few nutrients in these types of products. So when I think of carbs, I think of the carbs that I'll get in the fibrous fruits and vegetables that I choose to eat. So my opinion is you just got to keep an eye on those carbs and just don't overdose on them.

[00:22:27.590] – Rachel

I'm not going to say everyone needs to go keto or any such thing, but I am saying again, if you measure it, you can monitor it. And I just think that we get way too many carbs in our day to day diet than we need. We can't use all the energy and then it just turns into fat later on.

[00:22:43.570] – Allan

Yes, I do also tend towards low carb with most people because what I found is you can feel satiated longer with fewer calories.

[00:22:55.310] – Rachel


[00:22:56.250] – Allan

But where I would caution on either of these is realize how smart the food industry is and when we start having these things like low fat, when low fat came out, all the products hit the market. Low fat, you walk into a grocery store now, sometimes it is hard to find full fat yogurt.

[00:23:16.630] – Rachel

It is. And I'm looking

[00:23:18.830] – Allan

and literally, you go to the milk place and it's like they'll have one little space for the whole milk and then skim milk and semi skimmed milk, low fat milk and all of that and all the other stuff where they're taking out the lactose so you'll find more milk that's not whole milk than milk. And so just be cautious that they do that. And then now with low carb, as that started, really kind of getting some traction, you're seeing the same thing. They're making products that are higher in fat and lower in basic carbs or a lot more fiber. So your net carbs are lower, which fiber is good, but a lot of what they're putting together is not food. And so it's easy to get trapped into the well, this is a keto friendly snack. This is a keto friendly meal. I go in there and there's a TV dinner, and it says keto man. And there's your toss it in microwave. It's processed stuff.

[00:24:21.240] – Rachel

It's still processed

[00:24:22.490] – Allan

and your body is not good. So the true answer is whole food. Now, rather, that has a lot more fat in it. It should have the right fats in it.

[00:24:34.430] – Allan

So you're trying to get your omega threes. You're trying to get the healthy fats from nuts and seeds and olives and avocados and those types of things, and you can find what works. The reason low fat is a diet thing at all is because fat has more calories than carbs, but it also has a higher energy requirement to use it. And it stays in your system longer, so you stay fuller longer. Protein has the same number of carbs calories as carbs, but it's going to stay, takes a lot more energy to burn it and use it. That's called the thermal effect of food. And it's going to stay in your system longer and you'll stay fuller longer. So a high fat, medium protein food stuff is going to take longer. You're going to burn more energy burning it than you would with carbs. Some carbs will hit your system like a sugar freight train.

[00:25:34.840] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:25:36.170] – Allan

And your blood sugar is going to spike up. You have all this energy. You're going to feel great, but you're not burning it. So what's going to happen immediately thereafter is your insulin is going to kick in. It's going to pull it out, it's going to put it where it puts it, which if you haven't burned it out of your muscle and liver, it's going to put it in fat for short term storage, it thinks. But we know it stays there a lot longer. And then you're going to sugar crash. And so you had that high carb, low fat breakfast. You had the juice, you had the cereal, and it's fortified. And it's fortified, so it's healthy. And then your blood sugar plummets at 10:00 and you find yourself snacking. And if you didn't bring a healthy snack to snack on you're at the vending machine or yeah, and then boom, another sugar rush. And then lunch comes and you can kind of see how this roller coaster of up and down with your blood sugar is not serving you at all.

[00:26:34.200] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:26:35.340] – Allan

Now, low fat makes it easier to be sustained for longer. When you get to where your body is comfortable burning a good amount of fat, it'll start looking at your body as food. I've got body fat here. I've got enough energy to last the rest of my life. I never have to eat again. And you might actually find that you're not as hungry and you forget to eat. I know that sounds weird in the culture, but you can forget about food. You cannot think about food. 24/7. But it does take understanding what real food is. And just because you go low carb does not mean you're not eating vegetables. Okay? And it does not mean you're not eating fruit. I want to put that out there. There are ways for you to include fruit in your diet and still be low carb or keto. There are ways for you to make sure you're getting adequate vegetables and a good variety of vegetables and the fiber and things that they bring. I just did an interview. It's going to air in a few weeks. When we talk about this, we talk about this very thing. Food is medicine and how having what we would call more of a plant based diet is actually better for you.

[00:27:48.200] – Allan

And guess what? You can be plant based and low carb.

[00:27:51.950] – Rachel

Well, you also mentioned real foods, real fruits, real vegetables, real protein sources, things that didn't come out of a box or a jar. And since you mentioned that, too, if you're eating like that, then you're also keeping an eye on sugars. And that, I think, is even more hideous than anything else, because if you're looking at a low fat or a low carb food or low calorie food, what they do is they put a ton of sugar in it, and there's probably 30, 40, 50 different names for the word sugar. And it just is hidden in all these foods. And you don't realize how much sugar you're getting throughout the day. And if you start reading labels and watching for how many sugars are in a product and not even added sugars are the worst, but just all of the different sugars that are in products, you would be so surprised how much sugar you're getting in a day. And that's probably worse than anything else.

[00:28:47.370] – Allan

Yeah, I'm running a sugar challenge. I set it up, kind of, to run Evergreen now. So if you want to take the Sugar Challenge, you can go to 40plusfitness.com/sugar. It's a low cost program. It's 28 days. It'll teach you how much sugar you're eating. It'll teach you why you don't want to be eating that much sugar. And I set goals for various levels of sugar. And it's interesting. People will come back and say, there's no way I can keep my sugar below 25 grams. And, like, people do it all the time, and they lose weight and they feel great. But the thing is, this is, you don't know how much you're eating, but the average person, I want you to think average person is eating 152 pounds of sugar per year

[00:29:38.460] – Rachel

and no one thinks that. And because it's hidden. It's hidden in all these foods. And you just don't think it's not just candy bars, it's not just ice cream, it's hidden, it's in pasta sauces and pizza sauces and just all the things that we add to our foods. It's ridiculous.

[00:29:56.130] – Allan

Yeah. So if you're interested in cutting your sugar back or paying attention to it, I think this is a really good challenge to take you through 28 days to get sugar out of your life, or at least get it down to a manageable level, and you're going to feel a lot better for it.

[00:30:11.730] – Rachel

I think that'll be great.

[00:30:13.230] – Allan

Okay, so the next question in our weight loss questions is what exercises are best for weight loss?

[00:30:20.330] – Rachel

That's a good one.

[00:30:21.310] – Allan

Okay. And I'm going to go ahead and push this one also over to you, Rachel.

[00:30:25.270] – Rachel

Really? You're not going to believe what I'm going to answer.

[00:30:27.810] – Allan

You're the runner. You're the runner.

[00:30:29.930] – Rachel


[00:30:30.720] – Allan

Come on, run those pounds off, lady.

[00:30:33.720] – Rachel

The best exercise, the absolute best exercise is the one you're going to do. Honestly, just find something that you love to do and start doing it. Walking, running, hiking, going to the gym, lifting, hit classes. If you're going to do it and stick to it, you have some consistency, then it's going to work for you. But everyone is different. Everyone has different preferences, everyone has different abilities. But there are some exercises that are probably better and more calorie burning than others. But honestly, if you're not going to go do it, then what good is it?

[00:31:08.870] – Allan

As I said in the first answer to the first question, it was, okay. Exercise should not be your strategy for weight loss to start with. Okay. You're not going to burn enough exercising to do any sizeable weight loss. I think a Snickers bar has, what, 350 calories?

[00:31:29.640] – Rachel


[00:31:30.160] – Allan

I'm guessing. Okay, if you eat a Snickers bar, you'll eat that Snickers bar in less than two or three minutes.

[00:31:35.740] – Rachel


[00:31:36.560] – Allan

In most cases, people are not savoring a Snickers bar, they're scarfing the Snickers bar. Okay. And you eat that Snickers bar, it's 350 calories. It will take you an hour of moderate exercise. So that whole fitness class, that whole hit class you did where you sweated your butt off for an hour, that's just the Snicker bar.

[00:31:57.040] – Rachel


[00:32:00.570] – Allan

Go ahead.

[00:32:01.520] – Rachel

What I like to say is you cannot run away from your diet. You can't. And as a runner, I'd rather run than do anything else every day, but I can't outrun the diet. It's just impossible.

[00:32:15.770] – Allan

And so, yeah, I agree with you on doing the exercises

[00:32:18.950] – Rachel

it's important.

[00:32:20.320] – Allan

Like to do, that's important. But also, I want you, as you start thinking about your overall health and fitness journey, to think about exercise as a different way. We use words like exercise, workout, that kind of stuff. I prefer to think of it in terms of training, and so it's trained to be who you want to be. So when you're 80 years old, do you want to be frail and weak? Do you want your bones to be brittle and weak? And I think for most of us, the answer would be no. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. Call me weird, but I want to be independent, and I want to live in a good, long, healthy life. So exercise is important for that, and that includes weight training. So I have strong muscles and dense bones, and so I think resistance training needs to be in there. I think having stamina work, which can include running, biking, hiking, classes, all of that is great for building stamina. And then you can also work on other things like balance and mobility and agility and other things for what you enjoy in life.

[00:33:33.920] – Allan

Now, exercise does burn calories, so it can be a tool that will help. And what I've also found and I said this before, was when people start exercising, they start paying attention. When they start paying attention, they start eating better, they start trying to get better sleep. They try to work on stress management. And in many cases, exercise becomes a part of their stress management process. I used to love not love, but if I got really stressed out at work or really angry at work happening a lot, I would throw around really heavy weights in the gym. It's like suddenly I'm going beast mode in the gym because I need to get that negative energy out of my body. And I'm not talking to anybody. I'm just in there. Okay, I got the bar loaded. Deadlifts. Kill it. I can put 20 more on there because I'm just that mad. And the thing about exercise that I also want to caution is sometimes exercise can be counterproductive to weight loss. When I was training for marathons, I ate more, and I didn't realize how much more I was eating. And I was eating runner food, which at the time was pasta.

[00:34:52.280] – Rachel

Oh, boy.

[00:34:52.980] – Allan

So I was the pasta theme. I was eating pasta every day, carb up and be able to run further and faster and all that. And I would put on weights. I'd start training, I'd be about 185 pounds, and then boom. By the time I was running the marathon, I'm over 195. They have a category for that called Clydesdales. So, yeah, I'm standing there with all these skinny people about to do a marathon, and they're all looking at me like, dude, you don't need to be doing this. You need to be doing something with of course you're lifting weights, your body might retain water, you're going to put on muscle. And so all those things will say, maybe you're not going to lose weight because of your exercising. But if your training is important enough for what you want to be, the weight loss will come. And that's the other side of it. Exercising, stress management, sleep, those are ways to manage your health. And a healthy body realizes it doesn't need the body fat anymore. There's nothing scary going on. If you're feeding your body the standard American diet, you're sending out a constant signal, we're going to die.

[00:36:00.710] – Allan

We're eating poison because there's nothing else to eat. And there is. It's all over the round, the outside of the grocery store. When you start putting whole food in there and you're doing these other things, your body starts feeling healthy. And then it says, you know what, I don't need to hold on to this extra bit of body fat. I can safely let it go. Okay.

[00:36:22.610] – Rachel

The other thing is, ads are made in the kitchen, right? We've all heard this, and it is important. And as far as if your focus is on weight loss, the kitchen is where you want to start. But exercise enhances that weight loss. If you're out there moving and have an active lifestyle, you are going to shed a few more calories maybe than what you're taking in. But it's something that it goes hand in hand. You've got to watch and do the other. The other thing with exercise, specifically with running, like I like to do, and most of my clients are athletes, are runners, we learn really quickly what not to eat really quickly. The stomach ailments that runners get are really fun. And so you learn, like you mentioned the drive thru at McDonald's or something. If you go for a run after having that, you might end up with heartburn, you might end up with the runners tracks. I think again, you start to realize, well, this food isn't serving me. It's not helping me not only in the weight loss health realm, but it's also not helping me be better at the exercise that I'm choosing.

[00:37:27.720] – Rachel

Running, lifting weights. I'm sure you've been in the gym feeling, oh, I probably shouldn't have had that for lunch, as you're trying to lift the weight, I think the two things go very well hand in hand.

[00:37:39.110] – Allan

Yeah, I prefer to exercise faster, so typically if I'm doing anything I didn't eat that day, or like, I'm going to do the tough mudder, I'm going to have a breakfast. I start the tough mudder at ten, so I'm probably going to get up a little early and I'll go have a breakfast. And it'll probably be what I normally eat, lots of eggs. So I'll have some eggs for breakfast and depending on where I am, maybe bacon with that. But for the most part, it's just going to be eggs. And so it'll be the weird guy who walks in and says, okay, I want five to six eggs and then I'll eat them all. But then I'll digest them, and they won't be in my stomach. They'll probably be somewhere around my small intestine or large intestine before I start the run. And it's something I eat every day, almost every day. So I know my body tolerates it. And then I'll do my tough mudder. I won't eat during the Tough Mudder because I don't have to. I don't have to feel it that way. But I know, and it's somewhat happening now, is that I'm not losing weight because I'm training for a Tough Mudder.

[00:38:46.910] – Allan

I wanted to lose weight. I started trying to lose weight, and I did lose some. I lost a bit, but I haven't hit my goal. And now I'm realizing I may not. And I'm okay with that because I know that I'm in a condition to be able to complete the Tough Mudder, and that was the goal. So it's setting your mind and understanding that if you have these competing things, you have to take a step back. And I would never prioritize weight loss over fitness. I would never prioritize weight loss over health.

[00:39:26.190] – Rachel

Perfect. It's important.

[00:39:29.550] – Allan

All right, the next question is, I haven't changed my diet, but I stopped losing weight. Why?

[00:39:36.930] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Are we at a plateau?

[00:39:40.710] – Allan

We may be at a plateau. I think some people call the plateau way early. Well, if you're weighing yourself every day and you go two days without losing weight, I'm at a plateau. What am I going to do? Now, the way I like to think of plateaus is this, if what you're doing is good for you, good for your health, and it may not be like a plateau. It may just be a ledge on the side of the mountain. So you've been climbing this mountain and doing really well and feeling really good about what you did, and now you get up onto a ledge, and it's flat or maybe even feels like it's going sloping down a little bit. Well, if you stop there and say, I'm not climbing anymore, then you're not going up the mountain anymore either. So you have to walk across that ledge. You got to spend some time there until you get to the point of the mountain where you can start climbing again.

[00:40:40.290] – Rachel


[00:40:40.980] – Allan

Okay. So you're doing the right things, and sometimes just all you need to do is just hang in there, keep moving forward, keep eating the way you're eating, keep training the way you're training, keep doing the things you've been doing for your health, and then your body will get past this set point, past this plateau. I can tell you that's for a lot of people, it's really hard. Well, it is, because you just don't see that progress, which is why I'm also a big fan of not just measuring weight loss as a metric, measuring other things, like your waist circumference, your hip circumference, looking at your blood work. I mean, if your A1C is dropping and you're no longer prediabetic or diabetic when the doctor is saying, I can take you off of your blood pressure medicine, or I can lower the amount of medication that you're taking for blood pressure, that's a huge win, okay? And if you can fit in a smaller dress size, even though you weigh the same big win, who cares, right?

[00:41:43.680] – Rachel


[00:41:45.030] – Allan

So there is that and then there are other things you can do to jump set this. Okay? So the plateau is important for one core reason, and this is why your body likes consistency. Your body wants to stay the same, same is safe. Change is scary, and we feel that way about everything else we do. Our body feels the same way. So you'll notice that your heart rate resting heart rate stays about the same. Unless you train up, it'll change a bit. Your blood PH stays the same. It's in a certain range. Your body temperature stays in a certain range. Those are healthy ranges. Your body wants to keep your blood sugar within a safe range. And so your body is constantly fighting to make those things happen. And all these processes throughout this very complex system, multiple systems on top of systems, is going to cause your body from time to time to want to stop losing weight, just like it would stop everything else. It wants to stay the same. So you're going to have these set points that are going to happen. Everybody has them, everybody hits them. And then just for one reason or another, the scale does not want to budge.

[00:43:08.260] – Allan

Now, what we didn't realize is we also had set points on the way up, and some of those we blew right past, and some of those we saved. Someone will tell me, for five years, I stayed at 230 pounds and they were like, then it's like someone hit a switch and I'm at 269 and gaining, I got to do something. I'm like, yeah, okay, so you had a set point and you broke that set point and now you're at another set point going up. This is a great time to say, okay, let's go back down. But there's a set point. So you have to start working your way down and you might get back down to that 230 and find, yeah, that's another set point I'm going to struggle to get past. So just recognize those are normal. Your body's not angry?

[00:43:51.750] – Rachel

No. I think that we hit a lot of plateaus, like you had mentioned, because we don't give what we're doing enough time to work. We're not very patient people and we want to see overnight success. So first sit in, like you said, sitting, and do what you're doing for a while and see if results come after that. But then when we do hit a plateau again, or we're not making any progress, maybe it's time to switch it up. Maybe it's time to do something different. Reevaluate remeasure what you're doing food wise and exercise wise and really dive deep into what you're doing to see what can you do to change. And I do want to point out, too, that a lot of people decide that this is a good time to cut calories, and cutting calories may not be the answer.

[00:44:39.600] – Allan

Yeah, I agree with you. I think it's really important to kind of reiterate one of the things you said. This is a good time to start measuring. And what you may find is you've let some carbs slip in there, you didn't really realize what was happening, and now your body's acting like it's in maintenance and it's running in maintenance. It's not wanting to lose that weight. So that's really important. This is a good time to get the scale out, get the measuring cups out for a few days, pay attention to what you're eating and what your portion sizes are and kind of rebate yourself. So then the next step would be yes. What tools and what things have I used that have done this for me in the past? So some people it can be. I'm going to implement an additional hit class this week, and I'll do that for the next three or four weeks and see if that helps me break this plateau. It could be unless you mentioned water. It could be. Okay, I'm really not drinking enough water. I'm going to start drinking a little bit more water and see how I feel.

[00:45:42.690] – Allan

And then again with the measuring, if you find okay, yeah. Let some carbs in there. Tap them back down. Get them back down. Increase your fiber intake. Increase your protein intake. Good, too. You might need to lower your fat intake. So you might have your macros nailed down, and you're in ketosis, and you're still not losing weight. As I mentioned, I have friends that have been doing keto for years and still obese. Start thinking about what the food you're eating is. They like to make those keto pizzas and the keto pies and the keto cakes and all that, and those are regular things they're eating. Almond flour is still a processed food. Okay? And while it's not going to give you the insulin spike and the sugar spike and all of that, your body is still digesting it and using it. It's there. And so you just got to think about how whole food am I? And am I doing the right thing? Am I eating enough vegetables? Am I getting enough protein? And if the fat's out there and just you're eating a ton of fat, your body doesn't really need to burn body fat because you're doing that.

[00:46:51.990] – Allan

It could be that you cut back on a macro like fat, and maybe you bump up your protein a little bit, and that could be the change that makes it happen. But it's normal to be at that point, and you need to sit in it, and you need to walk across that ledge. You got to get back to the mountain climbing. You're still moving forward, and that's the other side. If you know what you're doing is good for you, you're still moving forward, even if you don't see it on the scale. So keep doing what you're doing and then reevaluate to see if you need to do something perfect.

[00:47:27.290] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:47:28.420] – Allan

All right. And we have one more question, and this comes from Hope in our Facebook group. How do you lose weight around the mid section? And I hear similar questions like this. How do I lose weight in my hips or my neck or my arms? Like the behind the arms, the tricep area, they got the wings and that type of thing. So Rachel I'll let you kind of jump on this one a little bit.

[00:47:54.350] – Rachel

Yeah. I wish I had the answer. That question probably make a million bucks off of that. But fat doesn't come off that way when you're eating well and exercising a lot, it just sheds evenly all over your body. So you really can't target one specific area with weight loss, but you can target specific areas in the gym with weight training.

[00:48:19.650] – Allan

Yeah, you're absolutely right. We can't really target this, but we can look at what are some reasons that this happens, particularly for women. So for men, it's a natural thing for us to store body fat around our body, but then it'll predominantly be in the stomach area as we're gaining weight that we really don't need. So once we start getting past the healthy BMI, the body fat is likely to accumulate in the stomach. And I'll say if you eat a lot of bread, you drink a lot of beer and maybe even some other alcohols, that's where it's going to want to store that fat. So a lot of it can be the foods and the drinks that you're choosing to put in your mouth that could be causing the fat to be there. Other issue, and this is where it more affects women. Is it's hormones baby. Hormones are going to tell your body where to store fat. So when you're young and your estrogen was awesome and your progesterone was awesome, your body said, well, stored in the butt and stored in the boobs, because that's what guys like. That's going to help us procreate and get their attention.

[00:49:34.750] – Allan

And that's where our body would tend to store that fat. As our estrogen goes lower, as our progesterone goes lower, our body says, well, you're more like a man now. I'm sorry. That's what it says. And so it's going to start wanting to store the fat more in the mid section. So if you're in perimenopause, some women and I'm not proposing this at all. I'm not diagnosing at all. Okay. I'm not a doctor. But some women will go on hormone replacement therapy. And that does help them not put as much fat in their mid section because. Again. The hormone replacement is telling them they're a younger woman and so they can replace the hormones safely if they work with your doctor. There's a particular window when it's really safe to do this and other times it's not. And you may have some other medical issues where it's not right for you, but that's one way that you can look at this problem and say, okay, I can delay the problem or prevent the problem there. The other thing is just realizing that you're going to lose the weight in the mid section when the body is ready to get rid of that weight.

[00:50:39.070] – Allan

Again, hormones, so you can cut your calories, you can do everything else to lose weight. The mid section should go down over time. Now you might find I lose the body. Like me, I lose body fat, my face, my arms and my legs first. The mid section will be darn last to benefit. Regardless of what I do, I'm going to have that in the middle all the way until I get down to really low body fat. So I just know that's where it's going to be and there's not really anything I can do about it. It's a visceral fat. So even going into a plastic surgeon and saying, hey, look at this, they're like, can't help you there. I could do a tummy tuck, but I can't really pull that fat out of there because it's all around the liver and we really don't want to play with the liver. So short of surgery, short of hormone replacement, it's really just about trying to get yourself healthy. Not drinking beer, not eating certain carbs that are going to cause body fat gain. And that, over time should shrink your midsection. But there's really no way to spot lose outside of surgery.

[00:51:59.940] – Allan

And again, if it's a mid section fat, then most likely even surgery won't really do you any big good. And no one should think surgery is an answer to a problem like weight loss. Again, there are people that need bariatric surgery and things like that, that's fine. If it's something you need to do for your health, by all means do it. But as far as just trying to lose the body fat in the mid section, just do healthy stuff and your body will drop it as it needs to.

[00:52:32.920] – Rachel

Yes, for sure.

[00:52:34.210] – Allan

All right, so that's the end of our weight loss questions. Rachel, I appreciate your time today going through this with me. I really appreciate your take on most of these, all of them actually. Anyway. Okay. So if you have additional weight loss questions, go to our group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. You can ask your questions there. Rachel and I, we pretty much live on that page.

[00:53:04.030] – Rachel

Yes, we're there.

[00:53:05.300] – Allan

If you post something on there, you're going to get an answer from us. And if you're struggling with something and even if it's not weight loss. We're talking about weight loss questions today. But if you have exercise questions, if you have running questions, if you have lifting questions, if you have sleep questions, stress management questions, anything to deal with health and fitness and over 40 years old, we want to have you in the group, and we want to add those questions out there. And if we get a good collection of questions in other areas, we'll have another episode like this.

[00:53:36.700] – Rachel


[00:53:37.160] – Allan

And share your questions, and we'll answer them in more detail then.

[00:53:40.540] – Rachel

That would be fun.

Post Show/Recap

[00:53:41.730] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, it's great to see you again today. This early. Finish up your coffee.

[00:53:46.850] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:53:47.270] – Allan

You've already done your run, so you're going to have an awesome day.

[00:53:50.340] – Rachel

It's going to be an awesome day.

[00:53:51.840] – Allan

All right, so you, too, have an awesome day, and we'll talk to you next week.

[00:53:56.520] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:53:57.350] – Allan

You, too. Bye

[00:53:58.390] – Rachel



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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


July 26, 2022

Supporting your lymphatic system for better health with Dr. Loretta Friedman

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In her book, Lymph-Link, Dr. Loretta Friedman shows us how important it is to manage our often neglected lymphatic system to improve our health.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:25.150] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:03:26.370] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:28.110] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How about you?

[00:03:30.560] – Rachel

Good. Very good. Mike and I went backpacking again the other weekend and increasing the weight in our packs and testing equipment again. And we had a good outing. So we're getting closer and closer to Isle Royal and getting closer and closer to finalizing our list of things we need to bring.

[00:03:47.600] – Allan

Yeah, that's got to be a lot of fun to try to figure all that out, particularly when you're doing it on test runs so you're not out there figuring it out.

[00:03:55.580] – Rachel

Right? Yes, for sure. So how are things with you?

[00:04:00.250] – Allan

Just trying to keep everything moving and doing, obviously, to the gym. When they built the building, there was a few things that they could have done differently. So the back patio on the house, the apartment above us, they didn't build that like it was going to be the roof of another building. So they built it like they would build a deck so it was okay for water to flow through it. Problem is that's my roof. And so the water runs through it.

[00:04:33.230] – Rachel

That's not good.

[00:04:34.480] – Allan

We get a big heavy rainfall and the wind coming in from the south, and there's a ton of water coming into the gym through the ceiling, which is basically sheetrock wet sheet rock is not cool. So then they decide they want to build a stairwell because they're building some of their apartments. They got to move the stairwell that they have, and they want to build another one. So I had this air conditioner installed, and they come back and say, well, we need to move that air conditioner because it's in our way to build this stairs. And I'm kind of like, how much of this stuff did you not know before you started building? And then I was talking to the air conditioner guy. He's like, yeah, they just called me up on Saturday. They were already drywalling and going on. They said, maybe we ought to have the air conditioner guy come out before we build this thing, just to see where he needs to put the air conditioners and stuff like that, because he's doing the air conditioners, too. And he's like, they had no idea. And so he was out there trying to say, well, now we're going to have to drill through this wall and drill through that wall.

[00:05:39.730] – Allan

Things that they wouldn't have had to do, they now have to do because they got too far into their building. It's Panama. It's a third world country. You just kind of have to shake stuff like that off. But it's a lot of work when you want you're worried about your gym collapse, the roof ceiling collapsing, particularly if someone was in the gym when it was happening. And then you got all that equipment in there, which most of it is made out of iron and metal. It rusts. It's just been this thing. And so they moved my air conditioner two days ago, three days ago, and there's just a little bit it's almost like there's always construction going on inside my gym. I know the members are kind of like, will you please, for the love of God, finish building this gym? We open in March, and here we are well into July, and we still aren't open. We are open, but there's always workmen and then there's always sawdust and something happening here, something happened in there. So it's going to be good. If they can I think they're going to get that thing done upstairs.

[00:06:50.000] – Allan

When they do, then I can make sure my ceiling is done right, because they have to redo that. And then after that's done, then I can paint my gosh and all that. So it seems like it's going to be a constant work in process, at least for a couple more months. But yeah, that's just one job, one thing. I still got this online personal training. I still got the podcast, I've still got Lula's running Lula's and Tammy is about to head back to the States for another two and a half weeks, coming up here a little bit later in the month. So when she leaves, it's like I can't leave Lula's in the middle of the day sometimes, but I've got clients, so it's just going to be very interesting how I manage running a bed and breakfast and a gym that is basically 0.6 miles away from each other. And I have no automobile, so I have to walk or ride a bike, though. So if I have to be at one place, I have to be there. And then it's going to take me eleven minutes, roughly, give or take, for me to get back to the other place and back and forth.

[00:08:00.990] – Rachel

My gosh.

[00:08:02.170] – Allan

I'll do it. But it's kind of one of the things that I need to get as much done now on other things so that I'm not running crazy during that two and a half, three weeks. And I can't get podcast guests. They're like, sure. They send me a copy of the book and like, okay, here's the link. Book it, nothing. Crickets and I message them again, hey, go ahead and book it so we can get this recorded so that we have an episode. Crickets and so I'm like, okay, well and then once I'll reach out and their books aren't coming out until late August, and one guy, I think, October. And so you're like, okay, that's great. I'll get that interview done, but that doesn't really help me till October. And I've got some episodes that we need to be working on to get next week. Not October. Not August. Anyway, so yeah, just a lot of moving parts in my life right now.

[00:08:57.690] – Rachel

No kidding. Are you able to squeeze in time for your tough mudder coming up?

[00:09:02.320] – Allan

Yeah, I'm sleeping a little less.

[00:09:06.870] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, that's not good.

[00:09:09.120] – Allan

It's not, but it's just kind of one of those things is saying there are this many hours in a day, and the only way I can squeeze something in and really make it meaningful is to add hours to my day. So I am sleeping a little bit less, and I'll do that until I'm ready for this time, and then I'll do the tough mudder and enjoy myself for a little while and then go back to my normal schedule of sleeping, but also tammy will be back here, and so that'll make it a little easier for me. So as I said, I'm really pushing hard right now, and I want to get my clients in the door and all that because there's a week that I want to take off in September, and I don't really want to have a whole lot of clients that I'm having to work with at that point, particularly not towards the front end of their six weeks. So if you're interested in my be fit for task program, go ahead and get on my calendar now for a discussion, because there will be a point here in the next few weeks where I'll say, okay, here's where my six weeks lines up, and I'm going to stop taking clients, and that's just going to be the way it's going to work.

[00:10:15.000] – Allan

And last year I said I was going to take a couple of weeks off. It turned into a couple of months. So I don't know that it wouldn't happen that way again this year. So if you're interested in the program, at least reach out to me right now. Let's get you on a call. Let's talk about what it is. And maybe this isn't the right time for you to start, but at least you'll know what's there and we can plan on doing something when I get back from the US. And my tough mudder and family and vacation and all that. So if you're interested in it, hit me up.

[00:10:45.980] – Rachel

Sounds great.

[00:10:46.910] – Allan

All right. You ready to have this conversation with Dr. Loretta?

[00:10:49.780] – Rachel



[00:11:23.710] – Allan

Dr. Loretta. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:26.790] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you, Allan.

[00:11:28.060] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, Lymph Link: Solving the Mysteries of Inflammation, Toxicity, and Breast Health Issues. And I think this is a really timely episode. We've talked about the lymph system and the importance of movement to make sure that the system operates properly, and we'll get into that again a little bit later. But inflammation and toxicity are epidemic in not only our country, but around the world every day. I think I read a statistic, 5000 new chemicals are introduced to the world and all our government can really tell us is right now we think they're safe. We don't have enough data to say they're unsafe and we don't know the downstream effect of those toxins. But we already know some of the toxins were exposed to every day in our everyday life are already causing us some significant health issues. So I really appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation today.

[00:12:24.910] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you. Me too.

[00:12:27.490] – Allan

So the lymphatic system is kind of an interesting system to me. How it works, what it does. What exactly is this system? Why is it important? Because it's sort of ignored. Everybody knows. OK, well, cardiovascular system, heart disease, we had covid. People are talking about lung health and breathing. So we know these other things can kill us, but the lymph system can kill us too.

[00:12:54.440] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, the limp system is extremely important and as you said, it's mostly ignored. That's one of the things that I'm very much trying to change. The lymphatic system is what gets produced from your immune system. When you have a sprained ankle and your ankle swells up like an orange or a grapefruit, that's all lymphatic fluid. If you get a cut or you get an illness, it's the lymph that goes to that area to try to mitigate any further damage from recurring. And that's the body's innate intelligence. You know what I mean? It does that automatically. The interesting thing is lymphatic system doesn't have, unlike the heart, lymphatic system doesn't have a pump. There is no mechanical, internal mechanical moving this fluid except for your muscles. Okay. Movement every time you take a step, every time you get up and sit down, that is what moves the fluid throughout our body and hopefully through the ducks so they can be removed.

[00:14:02.570] – Allan

We're using that. But beyond the swelling, beyond the immune system, what exactly is this fluid for? It's okay. Obviously we swell and most of us then hurt our ankle. Our doctor's going to probably tell us to use RICE, which is the rest, ice, elevate and compression. Yeah. And so we're going to compress this. We're going to put ice on it. We're going to try to get the swelling down. Seems like we're fighting the lymph while the lymph is trying to fight for us. But what is actually that lymph there for other than protecting?

[00:14:40.560] – Dr. Loretta

That's it exactly. The lymph is there to prevent further damage from occurring to whatever the injured area is. Like the people who got sick from covid. All right. The lymphatic, the immune system did exactly what it was supposed to do. It made lymph to send to the lungs to fight the virus and to prevent the virus from getting worse for having any further hold on the person who is sick. The problem is that because of toxic, I believe because of toxicity, the fluid got into their lungs and they couldn't get out. Okay. And they literally drowned in their own fluid. But the lymph system is designed as a protective system for us, and it will hinder further damage from recurring or an infection from spreading that kind of mitigation.

[00:15:37.620] – Allan

Okay, now you talk a little bit about the toxins, and I want to dive into some of the bigger ones later. But the lymph system is also a really important system as far as us getting toxins out of our body, right?

[00:15:51.190] – Dr. Loretta

Yes. The lymphatic system, again, is supposed to move freely throughout the body. What happens is our exposure to toxicity in the world the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat, unfortunately, all have toxicity in them, and sometimes the liver can't get rid of all this toxicity. Okay. And toxins attach themselves to the lymphatic fluid. It's this fluid that's walking around and moving around like water. And the toxins are free radicals, and they're looking to attach themselves to something, and the lymphatic fluid is that something, and the toxins start traveling through the body along with the lymphatic fluid. So if you get an injury or you have some trauma to your body, the lymph fluid goes to that area, and toxins stagnate and block the fluid from retreating. So normally, let's say that ankle should heal up in four to six weeks. You may still have swelling and inflammation in that lower leg. Six to ten weeks later, that's now, lymphedema, that is not supposed to be like that, but the fluid becomes stuck because of toxicity and stagnation caused by the toxins.

[00:17:21.690] – Allan

Okay. So I understand that from an injury perspective, we're going to have some swelling. That's an expected thing. And I've turned ankles many times over the years and dealt with major swelling at times. But other people suffer from lymphedema when they're going through other situations, like diabetes or just other fluid issues in their body where there's just tremendous amount of swelling in their legs, and it's quite painful. Can we talk about treating that pain? Because I think we're a pain medication nation. Everybody wants to pop a pill to solve pain problems, but that might not always be the best answer for this.

[00:18:06.270] – Dr. Loretta

No, absolutely not. The heaviness and the tightness and the fullness and the lumbering that people have in their limbs from the lymphedema is what's creating a lot of discomfort. Unfortunately, prescription pain medications don't really help that much. They don't change the situation at all. And it may take the edge off for a slight period of time, but it still comes back. That's the problem. I utilize a three part lightweight with an oscillating frequency to remove lymph fluid from the body. This is a pleasant treatment. Basically, you just sort of lie down and I move electrostatic charge over the area of involvement, and it creates a sympathetic response. That sympathetic response squeezes the lymphatic fluid.

[00:19:07.000] – Dr. Loretta

Okay. And then squeezing the lymph vessels. It moves the lymphatic fluid, and it also helps to remove toxicity from the body. There's an oscillating frequency that literally chop, chop, chops the toxins right off the lymph fluid so they can be dumped into the ducks. One of the problems with lymph massage is that it can remove some of the circumference. You know what I mean? It might be able to make a big leg a little bit smaller or big arm a little bit thinner. But the problem is that underlying heaviness and fullness and tightness is still there that they can't get rid of. And they also can't remove toxicity from the body with just moving the fluid from point A to point B. It has to be directed into the ducts very specifically. And that's what I do. People get relieved very quickly, especially from those under like symptoms, as I explain.

[00:20:05.190] – Allan

Yeah. Now, sometimes we don't even realize that this is a lymphatic system problem. You talk about pain in the jaw or pain in the back or something like that, and I think many of us understand it. We've heard that could potentially be inflammation, but this is actually the underlying cause. Right.

[00:20:25.920] – Dr. Loretta

It doesn't matter what the disease looks like or what the symptoms are. It all starts with an inflammatory process in the body. All of it. Doesn't matter what you call it. It all starts with inflammation. So, yeah, inflammation is, again, one of those things that we're so used to it, you know what I mean? It's like you're always bumping into something, like you said, sprain an ankle or smack something. And look at swollen hurts. It's red, so people ignore it. What I see, what I think is very interesting is I've been seeing more what I call systemic lymphedema, where people are swollen all over, just all over, their arms, their chest, their legs, their backs, just whole body fluidity. And sometimes they're walking around with 10 lbs of fluid in them. That is you want to call it water weight, but it's not. It's really lymphatic weight. Again, inflammation is key to health.

[00:21:40.990] – Allan

These toxins then can clog up the system, gum up the system and cause the problems, because, like you said, they're connecting to the lymph fluid that would normally be flowing around that gums thing. I can imagine that this way. I could say it is in my perspective, it gums things up.

[00:21:57.060] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:21:58.340] – Allan

And you get the swelling. Can we talk about some of the big players, some of these big exposures? Because I'm always a fan of preventative. So if you know these things are in your life and you can stop introducing them, then that's the better answer than the treatment. Obviously, most of us are already somewhat inflamed, if not completely inflamed, like I said, systemic inflammation. But can you talk about some of those big players?

[00:22:24.370] – Dr. Loretta

Well, first of all, you have PVCs, okay? So plastics are huge pesticides like things like roundup. Okay, we know that roundup has been causing breast cancer and lymphoma for 20 years, and yet it's still on the market. The senate was having a talk last week about, like, a fosse because it's dangerous, and every park, every playground, every golf course uses it. So you think that you're taking your baby to the park to walk around on the nice green grass, and the baby's got no shoes on. Baby sits down and puts his foot in its mouth. Well, there you go. Okay, so we're all exposed to this stuff. There's all kinds of endocrine disruptors that are out there, but it's in everything. That's the problem. You can't run, and you can't hide from it anymore. There are 68 distinct cancers that were caused by the twin towers collapse of 911, 68 distinct cancers that they've been able to track back to all that toxicity and people working on the pile for months at a time. So this is real. This is not some fantasy or, like, maybe a nice thing to do or a good thing to do.

[00:23:57.460] – Dr. Loretta

People need to take this seriously. People need to start testing themselves for toxicity before something happens.

[00:24:04.930] – Allan

Yeah, I mean, in the book, I think you did a really good job, as you went through these, of saying, okay, here are some of the products that you may not expect would have these things cleaners, make up, different things. I do know that the environmental working group.org, they have an app you can actually screen. You can just do a picture of the barcode on the products that you're using to kind of get an idea of what might be in some of these products that we're using to try to at least somewhat reduce your exposure. Because if you're getting it in your air, you're getting it in your water, you're getting it in your food, you're getting it in your cleaners, you're getting it on the skin care and health care products that you're using. You're just really battering your system. And that's what makes the system, the lymphatic system so important, is if it's not functioning well, we're not getting rid of those toxins as effectively as we need to.

[00:25:05.680] – Dr. Loretta

And people are getting sick. That's the thing. People don't feel well. And because the lymphatic system is so pervasive in our bodies, the symptoms are subtle. You know, headaches, eczema, digestive problems, poor sleep, there could be lots and lots of small little things that add up to, you know what? This is all toxicity, and it doesn't matter what the doctors keep throwing medications at them, and they're not getting better. Nothing is changing because it's toxic. They don't feel good. Low energy. The spells are in the toilet. And like I said, people need to start recognizing this and acknowledging yeah.

[00:25:50.500] – Allan

And to me, that's one of the reasons why fatigue is probably the symptom that is reported the most. It has to be because every single disease, every single illness out there, that one of the first symptoms, is fatigue. As you go through, and you're thinking about, well, how do I fix this? Well, fatigue is not going to help you fix this. We talked about some treatments and things we can do, which can help but to stay healthy as much as you can avoid these toxins. But then the next step is, and we mentioned it before, or you mentioned it before, was that the only way to move this Lymphatic system, to get things flowing through your system properly, is for your skeletal muscles to contract and then basically release. And so your muscles then become the pumps. And therefore, the only way that that happens is movement. And we could call it exercise, we could call it training, we could call it whatever we want to. But I think everybody knows movement is a big part of staying healthy and fit. You mentioned in the book some techniques and things like rebounding and fast walking and things like that, because you kind of talk about some of the movement patterns, things that would help, really help move Lymph and help someone stay healthy and clean up a little bit faster.

[00:27:16.650] – Dr. Loretta

It's possible if they're able to do sort of calisthenic type moves, because you want to go up against gravity a little bit, you want that little bit of force against you to help squeeze the Lymphatic flu. So, calisthenics. I love the rebounder. Some people fall off, they have to be careful, but it's a good way to exercise.

[00:27:42.470] – Allan

But the good thing about a rebounder is it's going to take all of that stress of landing if you land and you have joint issues, or just if you're carrying a little extra body weight and you just don't feel comfortable jumping and leaving the ground and landing back on the ground. If you're not comfortable with that, a rebounder can really be a good way for you to get that bounce and get things moving.

[00:28:08.410] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, I love to be bound. People can do yoga. Yoga is very good. A lot of flexibility, a lot of movement. Like you said, fast walking is a good idea. Breathing, breath work is very important. You really need to keep your breathing going. It also helps to move lung fluid if you're limited as to what kind of physical activity you can do. And hot and cold showers. If you want to alternate contrast therapy, start out heat, always end with cold. And that also helps to contract the muscles. Again, if you're not able to do some physical activity, you can do it with your feet and your legs in the shower.

[00:28:59.240] – Allan

Yeah. And so most of us with office jobs, we're sitting for eight to 10 hours and just not moving much during the day. That lymph is just sitting still. If you're sitting still, it's sitting still. So people talk about getting up for five minutes every 25 minutes or getting up five minutes, even five minutes every hour is going to be so much more beneficial than just grinding through and getting your job done in that 8 hours because again, it's helping you keep your body healthy.

[00:29:32.690] – Allan

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

[00:29:43.910] – Dr. Loretta

my philosophy is I work with working people. So you need to make things manageable. Okay? So you need people who are happy or optimistic. They want a better future for themselves. They want better health. And I can't think of the third one. I'm sorry.

[00:30:07.010] – Allan

That's all right. Those are important. And I think sometimes it's easy to overlook what optimism and joy and kind of the hope look into the future of knowing. Okay, and I've said this before, but if you can take another breath you can do something positive for your health and fitness. So it's just that knowing you have a future and expecting a future and then living the life now that you need to do so you can have the best future that you can possibly have. So those two were really important. Don't poopoo if there were only two.

[00:30:41.440] – Allan

Now, the book again is called Lymph-Link. And I'll tell you, beyond just really giving some good information about what the Lymphatic system is and how we can do some different things to make sure that we're staying healthy and the things we can avoid to also stay healthy, there are also some recipes and I'm really interested in trying that apple chicken that looks really good. So I will definitely be doing that soon, I'm certain. So Dr. Loretta, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:31:16.360] – Dr. Loretta

You can go to Synergy with an S, health Associates also with an s.com, that's the website. You can order the book. There's a link right there where you can order the book. You can also go to Amazon and order it lymph link on Amazon. I think we're the best seller new release book, something like that. And you can certainly I think it's going to be in Barnes and Noble and I'm not sure about the other brick and mortar type of places, but Synergy Health Associates is probably the best way.

[00:31:52.000] – Allan

Okay, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/548 and I'll be sure to have a link there to all of that. And again, congratulations on making a best seller list.

Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:07.920] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:16.950] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:32:18.340] – Rachel

Hey Allan. That was a really interesting conversation. The Lymphatic system is something that most people don't think about. We're always concerned about our heart health, our cholesterol, but the Lymphatic system is pretty important.

[00:32:31.470] – Allan

It is a very important component of our immune system. And it's kind of funny. How our immune system kind of gets this third class citizenship in our body. We don't think about it until it fails us. You get sick and then you go into the doctor and you notice they're probing around your neck and they say, oh, your lymph glands are a little swollen here. Your lymph nodes are a little swollen. But what they're telling you is that you have some kind of infection. It's a viral or a bacterial infection, but that's one of the core symptoms, is that those things start swelling up, and it just means you've got a lot of stuff to get out of your system, and your body is fighting to do that. But there's some such simple things to just keep ourselves, keep that system healthy. And it comes down to doing the lifestyle things that we should already be doing. One is trying to limit the amount of toxins and bad stuff that's in our body in the first place. If the liver doesn't have to clean it up, kidneys don't have to clean it up, and it doesn't have to go into the lymph to be removed.

[00:33:35.850] – Allan

That's one thing, is figure out where your toxins are coming from and try to eliminate them and where you can, and then understanding of your body and what it does. So if you end up with too much toxins in your system, your liver has this really ingenious way of kind of shirking its duties, if you will. It's still going to do what it's got to do, but if it sees that it's like getting a little overloaded, it will just start storing that stuff in your fat cells, particularly the fat around your liver, the fatty liver and the gut. We all have that's where it's storing that stuff. So if you get into a weight loss program, particularly something like Keto, or you go into low carb or some fasting and you start losing body fat relatively quickly, all that stuff is hitting your system again really fast. And at that point, you're not adding fat. So the liver has to process it, the kidneys have to process it. And that's when it's really important to focus on the lymphatic system to get that stuff out. You're going to feel like crap. And a lot of people think that's the Keto flu part, and most of the time it's not.

[00:34:41.090] – Allan

It's just those toxins. You're going to have a headache, you don't feel good. Your energy level is a little low, and what you want to be doing is making sure that you stay hydrated. Because all body fluids, if you're dehydrated all body fluids kind of reduce their liquid form so they get a little bit more viscous. If you want. Your blood does it, your lymph does it, and you might notice you don't sweat as much. If you're dehydrated a lot of your systems that rely on moisture, they're not going to function very well. Your brain doesn't function very well. And then so staying hydrated, but then also moving because there's no pump. There's no pump like a heart or lungs. That muscle that makes that happen. The muscle that makes Lymph move through your body is skeletal muscle. And so walking, running, hiking, resistance training, rebounding, a lot of people enjoy the rebounding. That will all help. And then you can try other techniques like the dry brushing your skin. That's supposed to help, but to me, just go for a walk.

[00:35:52.890] – Rachel

Yeah, that's an easier thing to do. Just head outside for a little while, get a little fresh air and move your body. It's important.

[00:36:00.010] – Allan

Yeah. And this is part of the reason. It's part of your body's overall functioning to stay healthy. And if you're moving and doing the right things with your Lymphatic system is going to work well, you're going to be getting those toxins out of your body more timely, quickly. And that's just better. Less exposure is better.

[00:36:21.160] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure. Oh my gosh, chemicals are everywhere. This summer, my daughter and I are looking for a sunscreen that has fewer chemicals in it. Just the zinc oxide type things that aren't readily absorbed into your skin. And it's not easy finding some replacements for the usual products that we have.

[00:36:40.880] – Allan

Yeah, not at standard stores. No. You almost have to order that stuff specialty online to get something that's better for us and better for the environment.

[00:36:52.480] – Rachel

Yeah, but it's well worth it for sure. In the long run.

[00:36:55.080] – Allan

It is. We do these things and then we don't think about it. But if you're really trying to improve your health overall, it's easy. Yes, you pay a little bit more, but you buy better stuff. And there's all kinds of tools. The Environmental Working Group has their app that you just shoot the barcode and it tells you what the rating is. The body wash that I use is actually pretty good. It's rated yellow only because it talks about allergies that might be in my body wash, but it doesn't bother me. It's not a problem for me. But if I sat there and flashed on something I was going to use as a cleaner or use on my body or use if I had hair, then I would pay a little bit more attention to those things and see if there's not an alternative product. It's a little thing. The furniture, we buy it off gasses and so just lots of opportunity. And I've done an episode before on toxins and on each Show Notes, for each episode I do put another show that's important for or at least similar to what we were talking about.

[00:38:15.320] – Allan

So it kind of carries on the topic and I'll make that episode part of what this one's going to point to. So if you're interested in learning more about that, diving deeper into that, there'll be a Show notes link. If you go to the show notes, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/547, and that will take you to the show notes. And then at the very, almost the very bottom of the show notes, you'll find where I've linked to another episode, and I'll make sure that episode is about toxins. So if you're interested in that topic, you'll be able to find that there.

[00:38:47.680] – Rachel

That's great. That would be super helpful.

[00:38:50.010] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, anything else you want to go over today?

[00:38:52.610] – Rachel

No, this is great. Thank you.

[00:38:54.310] – Allan

Okay, I'll see you next week.

[00:38:55.970] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:38:56.810] – Allan

You, too.


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

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to be more human with Tony Riddle

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

As we age, most of us lose a lot of functional fitness that makes humans apex predators. This happens for many reasons, but it isn't something you have to accept. You can learn to move better and as our guest, Tony Riddle titled his new book, Be More Human.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:29.590] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things going? 

[00:03:31.850] – Rachel

Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:33.670] – Allan

I'm doing good. I recently finished my coursework for the Precision Nutrition Level One and waiting for my certificate to come in. I set up on monthly payments, so it's kind of one of those things where because it's not cheap, but they offered monthly payments, I'm like, okay, I'll do monthly payments. And considering how long it usually takes people to get through that course, they said, okay, expect it to take three or four months, and you have to get about that many payments in before they'll even let you say that you're certified. So I think I have to wait until the end of this month. It's already July to wait till the end of this month, and I make a payment on the 29th. And so a couple of weeks from now, when this goes live, I'll get that payment in, and they should send me my certificate, and then I'll be precision Nutrition Level One certified.

[00:04:33.620] – Rachel

Nice. Congratulations.

[00:04:35.290] – Allan

Thank you.

[00:04:36.140] – Rachel

What did you think about the class? Did you learn anything interesting or anything?

[00:04:40.600] – Allan

I did. For a lot of people, when they're thinking about this, they think about, I don't want to log everything I eat, and it's so hard to track this, or, oh, they want me to do away with this or do away with that. And Precision Nutrition is a lot more holistic things I've said. So it kind of fits my model of thought is one, eat whole food.

[00:05:08.230] – Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:05:11.870] – Allan

Eat whole food. And then just take some time to start understanding portion sizes.

[00:05:17.330] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, that's a good one.

[00:05:20.030] – Allan

And then it's sleep and making sure that you're staying hydrated. And those are the kind of the four core principles of it. And guess what you don't have to do when you understand portion sizes? You're getting adequate sleep, you're staying hydrated, and you're eating real food. You don't have to track calories. You don't have to really worry about tracking macros, because guess what? You can't overeat whole food.

[00:05:49.010] – Rachel

Oh, cool.

[00:05:50.040] – Allan

Think about it.

[00:05:51.030] – Rachel


[00:05:51.380] – Allan

If I said, okay, here's what you got chicken or beef or fish as a protein, and maybe you want to do vegan or vegetarians, like, so you get your protein together, and you get your vegetables and fruits together and then try to overeat it.

[00:06:06.030] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:06:07.050] – Allan

Try just try to overeat meat. Okay.

[00:06:13.950] – Allan

I'm really trying to cut a little bit more weight to get ready for the tough mudder, which is going to be in another month and a half from when this goes live. And so I've started really trying to get myself into ketosis and pushing through on that. And right now I'm going through something where anything I eat that has carbs in it pops me down, and I'm like, I'm right on that line. It's like, right over the line or right under the line. And I wouldn't be too terribly troubled about it other than I'm not cutting body fat right now, because I drop out of ketosis when I eat any carbs at all. So I'm actually, at least for the last 48 hours, full carnivore.

[00:06:58.930] – Rachel


[00:07:00.090] – Allan

And I can tell you so I had steak for breakfast. I had eggs for lunch. I say breakfast, I ate it like noon, but I had my breakfast at noon. It was steak. I had eggs for lunch, which was about 3:30, and then for dinner at about six, I had another steak. So I'm talking about eating maybe about a pound a steak. So a big 16 ounce steak and then three eggs is what I had for lunch. So kind of a light lunch and then another steak. So I ate about another pound of steak for dinner, and I couldn't eat anymore. I got some leftover steak here. I'm like, well, I don't want to go to waste, so I'll wrap it up and save it for tomorrow. I could not have eaten any more than I ate. And if I added up the calories, I'm pretty sure I was really low on calories. I mean, because a pound of steak, I don't know. But 2 lbs of steak and three eggs, you guys can look it up and kind of figure out how many calories I had that day. That's all I ate. And I stayed satiated full all day long.

[00:08:06.310] – Rachel

I would imagine that sounds fulfilling. Wow.

[00:08:10.200] – Allan

Whereas I could eat a whole loaf of bread without even batting an eye, literally buy a whole load of French bread and just sit there and eat it, and then I'd be hungry ten minutes later, 2 hours later, I'd be starving. So you look at the nutritional density of your food, and that's really kind of where the fundamental difference comes in. Whole food is nutritionally dense, and you get full before that, whereas a lot of other foods that are processed or even somewhat slightly mildly processed, they're just more calorie dense. And that's where the weight gain comes from.

[00:08:48.200] – Rachel

because they're just not satiating, they just don't fill you up.

[00:08:51.340] – Allan

So that's kind of some of the core principles between precision nutrition and there's a huge component of behavioral change. A lot of what they're talking about is how we build habits, how we change behaviors. And so that's kind of the secret sauce to the precision nutrition process. It's not just telling you what to eat or naughty. It's basically saying, beyond that, we have to build these habits. We have to build these things. And they don't just happen. You don't just decide. So there's a big behavioral component of making sure that happens, and within it is like they break it down. It's like sometimes you're dealing with elite athletes that want to really hit a physique target or something like that. So it gets very specific into some of the things that you would deal with, with someone who needs to lose a lot of weight versus someone who's really just trying to cut another 3 lbs without losing any body muscle mass and stuff like that. So there's a lot of that in there, too. It's kind of what I would say outside of my core demo. Most of us are not trying to win physique contests, but that said, it's a really good certification.

[00:10:07.070] – Allan

So anyone that is certified out there, I would look at precision nutrition as a way of understanding the nutrition aspects of personal training and then being able to offer that as a more holistic service.

[00:10:18.890] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. Sounds like a great class.

[00:10:21.990] – Allan

So what's up there?

[00:10:23.620] – Rachel

Good. You know, summertime brings some really fun stuff. Right now, we've got two massive mulberry trees on our property that are dropping mulberries like crazy. It's ridiculous. They're all over the ground. And my dogs love it. They get a free snack every time they go outside, but it also brings in other animals. And I just saw red fox the other day. So the little fox family living somewhere in our wooded subdivision is coming to snack on the mulberries that are on our property, and it's been a real treat.

[00:10:54.940] – Allan

Now, the thing about foxes, we see these cute, cuddly little pictures of foxes, and we see the pictures, and we see the cartoons, and they seem like they're just these lovable little animals.

[00:11:07.950] – Rachel

They're adorable.

[00:11:08.870] – Allan

They're adorable. But some of them are really, like, not adorable. So you could get a good fox or a bad fox, but they're dangerous. They're wild.

[00:11:16.450] – Rachel

They are.

[00:11:17.260] – Allan

And they could go after your dog. They could go after you. So, yeah, you got to mind your Ps and Qs when you walk. Okay?

[00:11:25.960] – Rachel

Yeah, I keep an eye on my dogs, and I do let them out, and I'm always looking first before I let them out just to make sure there's nobody in our yard. With fox, we've had deer run through. We've had groundhogs coming through as well. So we've got a whole fun menagerie of wildlife in our property.

[00:11:46.040] – Allan

But it's like Noah's Ark.

[00:11:47.750] – Rachel

It is. It really is. Yes. But it is always fun. It's fun to see.

[00:11:53.610] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk to Tony Riddle?

[00:11:56.790] – Rachel



[00:12:22.930] – Allan

Tony. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:12:25.390] – Tony

Thanks, Allan. Great to be here, man. Thanks for the invite.

[00:12:28.770] – Allan

Your book is called Be More Human, which I love. Be More Human: How to Transform Your Lifestyle for Optimum Health, Happiness and Vitality. And I think one of the reasons that your title and this book resonated so much with me is a lot of what I've done to improve my own health and Fitness has included a lot of the things that are in his book, including we moved to a small island, Caribbean island off the coast of Panama. And so while I do live in a town, I'm very close to the jungle, and I'm closer to nature and everything than I've ever been in my whole adult life. I can literally go out and be in places and not see a person walking for over an hour. And it's

[00:13:16.880] – Tony

just kind of a dream.

[00:13:18.020] – Allan

It is special, I know, but a lot of this in the book doesn't require you to travel thousands of miles and move into the jungle to experience a lot of the benefits that I get being here. And so I want to talk a lot about this, what's in the book here, because I think this is a really special way to get healthier, connect with the Earth.

[00:13:47.770] – Allan

You say that you're be more human, but I'm like, be who you're supposed to be. Be the person you want me to be.

[00:13:55.390] – Tony

Yeah, you're human. What the universe uniquely assigned you to be. Get into the understanding of that, what your own human potential is, or purpose, we could even call that. And I think we get so distracted from that in our everyday environment because we're simply not getting our needs met within those environments. And that's largely what the book is about. It's not about demonizing the urban environment or the lifestyles in the city or the city itself. It's trying to dismantle, deconstruct those ways of living that aren't serving us and then reconnect into ways of living that enable us to thrive in any environment. That's the point. To become the connected, empowered being that we entered with. We're all in a tiny, wild, connected, empowered beings. It's what we land with. And over time, unfortunately, we get pulled off the path. But really, for me, it's about every day should still be a get, a need and most fundamental needs that then enable us to thrive and really tune into, well, what's this human's potential here? How do I be more human?

[00:15:08.590] – Allan

And I like the way you put it in the book, because it really puts it in a really good context, is that we create our own human zoo. And then you introduce the term rewilding, which you see a lot of people are going to initially kind of have a cringe moment when they think about going back to the Stone Age, living in caves or maybe tents with stone tools. Can you go a little bit more into what this rewilding getting out of our human zoo is all about and why it's so important?

[00:15:45.730] – Tony

Yeah, when I first started this kind of path, there was this language of zoo human versus wild human. And first of all, it's a bit of an insult to call someone a zoo human. And at the same breath, we can't really connect to being what a wild human is, and even indigenous cultures don't want to be perceived as being wild right there. But again, looking at the indigenous template of what it is to be, there's some incredible kind of moments where I've had these deep insights in nature because it's taken me to unplug myself from the urban environment to really tune in to how sophisticated it all is, right? And, you know, if you look at indigenous cultures, how incredibly wise and understanding those cultures are to that landscape of which they're custodians, really, we could look at the what is it, the study I brought up in, there like, four to 5% of the world's population is indigenous, and yet look after 80% of the world's biodiversity. So then it's like, well, what is it that we're doing then, if that's 4%? And so firstly, there's the biodiversity. There's the question of that. What is it that we're doing within the environment?

[00:16:59.740] – Tony

Is it because we're so separate from it? So I guess that's where I'd go with the wild understanding of it, that we are part of nature, not separate of it. We're interconnected in that sense. And then the zoo human in my mind is the fact that we've become disconnected and unplugged from it and that we see ourselves separate. So there's the ego versus eco conversation. So a lot of the work for me is disconnecting from an ecosystem and reconnecting to an ecosystem, again, not by demonizing the urban environment or the environments of which we choose to live in. It's the habits, perhaps, that are in those environments. So we could be looking at movement, perhaps, what does movement looks like in nature? That would be a wild or organic way of moving versus what does it look like in the human zoo? What does it look like in our everyday urban setting? So we could even put movement down to let's look at one study of the Hadza, for instance, to give us an example of cultures that have been living the same way for tens of thousands of years. The Hadza are just as sedentary as we are.

[00:18:11.500] – Tony

As in they sit for ten and a half hours a day, as in we sit for ten and a half hours a day. But there's something very different. Well, we have a chair, whereas they're sitting practices of floor sitting. Therefore, there are multiple different rest positions we can be choosing on the ground, which ultimately will lead to one primary position, which is a squat. And that squat position enables me to recognize the same body weight on my feet in the base of support of my feet to which I would stand. So squatting is the same weight, same areas of the feet that I load when I'm standing. But it's a rest position. And we see squatting as kind of an exercise protocol or strength conditioning protocol, but ultimately, beneath it, there's a rest position that we can communicate, be around the fire, eat, poop give birth in, right? And if we then look at the chair, perhaps in that conversation, or the sofa, where we may spend ten and a half hours of our day committed to, in a way, it compromises or is the saboteur of the way that we stand. So suddenly we find ourselves locked in the hips or stagnation occurring in the hips.

[00:19:27.850] – Tony

Then the pelvis and the lumber become incredibly unstable because the hip joints aren't mobile enough. So the core element, the core we love talking about, becomes unstable. The mid back becomes compromised, our chest starts to collapse, our head position starts to shoot forward and all those postural changes aren't conducive with standing and we spend a large portion of our day in that position. So that could just be well, that could be a zoo posture versus a wild posture. And in terms of wild, I would say what is it to be this wild, connected, empowered being? Well, it could just be just simply the way we move through a landscape or interact with it. How upright we are, how open we are. Is our posture connected and our joints working how they should be? Are our feet connected how they should be? Are they? Nourishing. The behaviors of the ankle, the knee, the hip stabilizing, the lower back, we could then put sleep in that box because we all love the topic of sleep, right? And there are so many studies in what would be the human zoo or the human laboratory even, because most of the studies are in the laboratory which help us understand what we need.

[00:20:37.540] – Tony

8 hours sleep a day. We must get 8 hours sleep a day. And to the point people are stressed about getting 8 hours sleep a day because they've heard the news that if you don't receive 8 hours sleep, then you have a sleep debt or you'll have a number of symptoms based on the fact you haven't accumulated over 8 hours. And they are diabetes, obesity, inflammation. And yet, when you look at these indigenous cultures, there's a great study in the book again, Professor Siegel from university in California, he looks at three different geographic locations or three independent tribes. So different geographic locations, independent tribes, hadza are in there again and they all have the same time asleep. It's like 5.7 to 7.1 hour, no 8 hours at all. But no one is asleep for 8 hours or 5.7 to 7.1 hour in a solid state. It's this sleep wake cycle. And if you strip it back and think, well, that makes sense, right? Because in nature can be quite hostile. If it's been the same sleep or the same environment they've been inhabiting for tens of thousands of years, then that might have been hostile if they were all asleep for 8 hours.

[00:21:57.870] – Tony

So in that time, would we be here today? Would those cultures be here today in those hostile environments? If they went to the land of nod for 8 hours. So in that sleep wake cycle, what they're doing is they're waking, they're tending to fire because you have to have a fire, they're fixing tools, they are even known to smoke party or whatever it is. But when they break away from the study and they look at the hatza, for instance, and they assess for 220 hours, they study them, 33 members of that one tribe, 220 hours, they only ever sleep for 18 minutes together. They're all doing this all different sleep wake cycles. So where is the obesity, the chronic inflammation, the obesity? It's not there. They're in incredible shape. And if some of the studies, when you look at them, because we have this idea about longevity, that they're only living till their 40s, some of these tribes know they can live beyond 70. That's not the case when we look at it. It's quite an interesting model to unpack just looking at how does it look in nature and how does it look in the environments of which we're inhabiting and then what is it that's different?

[00:23:14.390] – Tony

So what is different in that sleep habitat? It's like lighting, right? There's no turn the light on to create sunrise at sunset. So we know then that through the studies around melatonin and light pollution and blue light spectrum, they've become the saboteur of melatonin which is this incredible hormone that we only really associate with sleep, but it has antioxidant properties, anti inflammatory. It's also the main regulatory system of our digestive system around Glenn, Glenn and Leptin which then regulate whether I've had too much food wherever I need to eat, right? And then insulin, right? So there's this link to pancreas and the insulin. So then we have a inflammation, diabetes and obesity all in a conversation around melatonin and lighting all of a sudden. So is it the 8 hours sleep or is it the environment of which we're choosing to so then my question is how do we rewild that environment? And that's the context of rewilding a zoo or zoo environment as simple as the bedroom. We could look at that one environment if we're looking to spend 8 hours in it. So what can we do? We could change the lighting. You can now bring in circadian lighting which offers the same biological darkness which is like starlight, moonlight and firelight.

[00:24:35.540] – Tony

So it brings in amber tones and anything they suggest between 60 and 600 hundred lux will inhibit a blue spiritual light or will inhibit melatonin. Then what else is different? The temperature. There's also studies that suggest that if the temperature could also be a saboteur of melatonin so it's about getting the temperature down in the evening. So if you think of it again about being in the outdoor environment, if you've ever camped, you know that once the sun goes down, it gets cooler at night. So we know this cooling down of temperature too. And then there's something else which is the materials that perhaps we're breathing in and out in that environment. So in nature, again, it's an organic experience. So we're only ever really inhaling, or let's call it consuming through everything, our ears and nose, our senses, our taste, everything organic. So how do we make that expression more organic? And it's probably one of the points in the book. Everything else is free, really, the points I put in the book. But this is one where you stuff out of that bedroom environment to replace it with more organic material that might be the bedding or things like breathing.

[00:25:43.810] – Tony

We can change breathing mechanics. We now know that for nasal breathing there's a change of relationship between parasympathetic and sympathetic and then the information that we receive, right? So we all have one of these now that's quite bright on my phone. There's some fantastic studies around just fields of vision. So that's quite bright for that alone the light will inhibit melatonin. It's the suppressor of that we recognize that now, the saboteur of that, but also the fact that the visual state is so concentrated and that's associated more sympathetic, which is like fight and flight, whereas an open visual field is more associated with parasympathetic. So you have one condition where we're staring at a blue light which will suppress melatonin. The second one we end up with really hypervisual state, which is sympathetic fight and flight before sleep. The next one is then dopamine because we're typing and swiping, which again isn't conducive with sleep. And studies suggest that up to 400% melatonin from just typing and swiping. And then it can just be the information we were receiving. So is the information up regulating? Am I perhaps the difference between the fire and the indigenous tribes around the fire is perhaps romance, comedy, imparting wisdom, whereas this can be quite toxic and we've even normalized emotional bullying over social media, right?

[00:27:08.240] – Tony

It's okay to drop this comment and that's incredibly abusive to one person that they might receive before sleep. Or it could be a movie you're watching which is incredibly violent. That would be the equivalent of being around the fire with your tribe in this really down regulated state and being invaded or something, right? Or in a moment a predator comes in. So then you switch to what would be fight and flight, right? That would be a reaction to it. But we have that in our possession the whole time. So when you see it like that and you understand, it's much easier to think, okay, I get it now. It's not really about the length of sleep. The length of sleep is almost symptom relief. It's a symptom. What's the cause? It could even be the bedroom of which you're sleeping in could be the cause of the very conditions that are leading you to suppress melatonin are leading to inflammatory disease, diabetes and obesity. Just simple factors like that. And we can address it relief or we can look at the cause and the cause change the environment.

[00:28:17.150] – Tony

Now, one of the things that's fascinating about you is you're an endurance runner and your runs barefooted. And I can tell you the other day it was raining and I had wore because I was planning to meet my wife out and I had wore my leather boat shoes, brand new leather boat shoes and I didn't have an umbrella. And I was like, okay, I can't walk home in these. I'm going to have to walk home barefoot. And so I put them in a plastic bag and I put them in another bag and then I started walking home barefoot. And when stepping in a puddle, when you can't see the bottom is a little kind of scary but sharp rocks. I seem to be able to find every single sharp rock between two points. How does someone get into barefoot running and do it in a way where they're not hurting themselves? Like I said, I think you can condition your foot and obviously it gets stronger. I know that because I spent a lot of time walking around barefoot. But to me, running barefoot is a little scary.

[00:29:17.590] – Tony

Yeah, I mean, there's a mind aspect to it, right, as well as obviously the physiological. But there's also a technique. I think we sometimes neglect the technique, but there's a study in the book from University of Liverpool, which is Chris Dart, and they look to the strength side the physiological changes that can occur by people returning just back to barefoot footwear, like Vivo Barefoot, for instance. In this particular study was Vivo Barefoot and within six months they'd improve 60% foot strength and 40% balance just by returning that. So if we think of that being the foundation of your superstructure so the first phase could be well, you could change to more minimal footwear. That's one step because then you're still getting the shape of the foot because ultimately you want to look at what's the shape of a foot versus the shoes that I'm wearing. So if you were to take a piece of paper, draw around your foot on the paper and you'd find the toe area like the foot, this area is much use. My dirty feet wide and the heel is much more narrow, right? Whereas if you then grab your footwear and you draw around it you might find that the toe box is actually much more narrow.

[00:30:29.550] – Tony

It's aesthetic so it's more aesthetically pleasing. But it's, again, the saboteur to how that foot is designed and to move and nourish the rest of your posture and the way that we move above it. So if the shape of the foot is compromised there's 26 bones, 33 articulation joint actions like 100 muscle, tendon, ligaments, 29 muscles. And then it's made up of tendon ligaments and then there's 200,000 receptors, like receptors like the equivalent of your hands that reside in a foot. I mean, it's. Phenomenal engineering, but that then feeds and nourishes how your joints and behaviors are above it to make you more efficient and minimize the risk of injury. But let's say Alan decides I'm going to take my shoes off, I'm going to walk over a hard surface which has hard stones on it. If I was to ask you to jump up and down barefoot on a really hard surface, what gives, Alan? Is it you or is it the hard surface?

[00:31:32.390] – Allan

I'm going to have to it's not going anywhere.

[00:31:35.450] – Tony

Not going anywhere. Or we'd be hitting hard on hard and one of those surfaces will have to break. Right? So what happens is that if you were to jump up and down on a compliant, really soft surface, we become can, more stiff and more rigid because the surface is doing this. So come 1969, it was normalized all of a sudden to wear more rubber. And then we have more rubber, but we also have a narrow toe box. So we create a narrow shape for the toes to go into. Then we put rubber underneath it with a heel, which raises it and pushes the foot into the footbed even more. So we create a stiff, rigid foot which becomes narrow in the toe box. And the whole point of that super wide foot is not just the loading points, leverage and pivoting. There's specific actions that have to occur in the foot that are based on leverage and balance. And this ability to even grip with the foot, when the foot becomes incredibly stiff and rigid in that shape, when you try and return back to walking over a stony path, you're then going back to that hitting hard on hard and stiff on stiff.

[00:32:42.830] – Tony

And it can feel like.. Until you would have to learn how to break the foot up. So again, going back into one way is to return back to minimalist barefoot footwear. So you can start to allow the foot to open up. There's a minimum layer between you and the earth. It's zero. Drop your feel stuff underneath you, but you won't be getting so much that which creates more tension. The more of that response, the more rigid intent you get, adding to more hard on hard expression. And the other thing I've put some practices in the book is to rewild the feet, which are practice like toga we call it like yoga for your feet. And that's then about opening the feet up and getting more expression into them and ultimately softening them so they can become the compliance over the stiff surfaces. And then eventually what happens, the more and more familiar you normalize it. And what you find is that you become more sensory aware, more sensitive. And I don't mean sensitive in that ah ah ah, I mean sensitive. I really learn that you'll learn how to become, again, soft when you need to be, stiff when you need to be.

[00:33:59.350] – Tony

We have the most sophisticated suspension systems within us. That's the point. And that's why those 26 bones, 33 articulations, 200,000 receptors are there and over 100 muscles, tendons ligaments or 29 muscles and the rest tendons, ligaments that make that 100 up. That's why it's there. But it's there also because it feeds and nourishes all the other mechanics above it. So that's where I'd go with feet. But then you then have well, the chair, so the chair will then the seat is sitting for ten and a half hours, then compromises the posture above it. So it's like a two pronged thing. Running for me is not just barefoot. Running isn't just about feet, it's about getting the appropriate posture and becoming much more upright and aware of that posture. And the whole point there is that our head should be up above, but we lead with the heart. The chest is the lead segment, not the head. The moment the head goes forward from typing, swiping and couching and slouching, I call it, what would happen is when you're running so that if your head is far forward of you, you have to have your foot further out in front of you, otherwise you'd simply fall over.

[00:35:08.880] – Tony

Imagine you're upright like this and we're running along. The moment the head drifts forward, you'd have to put your foot further out, otherwise you'll fall over. So the head would get to a point of tipping point. But if we can become much more upright, you can get to the point where your feet are pretty much landing underneath you and it means there's a lot less contact time. So you just catch the ground beneath you. And the idea is that leading from your heart and keeping your head up, we're literally just falling in this direction and you just keep pulling your feet softly from underneath you. And pulling is a great term, I understand that from a genius called Nicholas Romanoff who developed the Pose Method. And this idea that we think we have to push when we run and ultimately if you just keep doing this, you just pull your feet from the ground. And the idea is by pulling, you're not driving your feet down or pushing, you're trying to pick them up. And I would pick them up with sensitivity again like this, softening and you don't need to worry about putting them down, it will just happen naturally, just pick up.

[00:36:08.100] – Tony

So if you keep your head up, your chest up bead with the heart, nasal breathing also helps because again, the study suggests that there is through nitric oxide that we inhale through the nose it's stimulated will benefit vasodilation and bronchial dilation if we'll become more efficient with our lungs of breathing and we can lower our heart rate and our blood pressure just by nasal breathing. There's also 42% less vapor loss by nasal breathing, which is mind blowing, especially for me, for an endurance athlete. But it keeps us in that calm state. Again, so I think with breathing we can be relaxed with the right posture, we can deal with the forces appropriately. We're not creating longer levers or loading areas of the feet. We're not designed to load. And just by either wearing minimal footwear or allowing the feet to understand what's beneath them, again, it helps feed our movement brain to make the right calculations on what muscles, tendons and actions should be applied for that one locomotive pattern. And I say that one because walking is the same. It's like walking with an upright posture down regulated through breaths, less striding, actually trying to keep your feet underneath you, but thinking about rolling through the feet and becoming visually aware of the environment as well.

[00:37:27.860] – Tony

Because we bring the head down, the head starts to chase and we create longer levers. Otherwise again, we'd be falling over. And the less contact time, the more efficient. Again, because it requires less muscle action, you're on the ground for less time, basically posture, relaxation and the timings and the rhythms of that.

[00:37:53.340] – Allan

And the key takeaways I get from this, again, being over 40 actually over 50 now is balance, because falls become a big deal, particularly as we get over 60. So anything you can do to improve your balance, which this will do, is good. And as you mentioned, being more efficient means you're going to be capable of going faster and doing more work. So when you're out training, you're going to get more done and you're going to see better improvements because your efficiency and your capacity to do more, because your heart rate isn't racing as high, because you're not in that fight or flight state. So there's lots unpacked there that makes this really interesting. Now the other thing, and people won't know this, listening to a podcast, but you're sitting on the floor. And so sitting on the floor, it's one of the things if you hand a kid a book or a toy, immediately they're going to run over and they're going to sit on the floor. And then somewhere along their lives, probably around great school age, we start beating that out of them and then eventually they're going to be on couches and chairs just like the rest of us.

[00:38:56.440] – Allan

I found that sitting on the floor, when you're with a kid, it changes the whole relationship with that child. And I build relationships with my granddaughter. Initially she was terrified of me and I built a relationship by walking over and sitting on the floor and starting a Sponge Bob cartoon on my computer. And she came over and sat next to me and we watched SpongeBob for about an hour. And my ability to be able to sit on the floor for that amount of time, I shifted, I moved. You can't really just sit. You got different postures you have to do because your body is just naturally going to tell you to do that, which is actually part of the value. In there, you had actually like, I think, six different ways of sitting that you want to shift between. And I think actually, in my opinion, a lot of those just naturally happen. But can you talk about sitting and having a floor sitting and having a floor sitting practice?

[00:39:52.130] – Tony

Yeah, we've been a ground living floor sitting family for, I think, since lower. And really they're our eldest, so they're 13 and twelve to about 10 13 and ten. It's about around about nine years, I guess now eight or nine years. I used to have a Pilates studio and big practice, like six practitioners and people would rock up at the studio, they take their compromising, narrow toe box compliance shoes off, put them in the rack, and they would have no doubt been driving to the plate. Studio sitting would then come in and jump on the Reformers and the Cadillacs and try and dismantle all the harm that was being caused, the symptom relief from the environment, the cause, which was the footwear in the chair, because they've been sitting for ten odd hours. So I had this kind of eureka moments would pop off. It's like, wow, okay, this is like so what does that look like? Again, it came really through the barefoot running and understanding that, well, there's a natural running posture. Where do we see that? With indigenous cultures against natural running posture. It can be seen there. And again, these incredible tribes, running tribes are running the same.

[00:41:06.460] – Tony

They all look the same when they're running and have the same posture. What's different? Again, there's no footwear and there's no chair involved. That's how they've managed to maintain the same posture. What are the sitting postures look like? But it works out. You can strip it back. And you may see this as you've alluded to with kids. You see them sitting on the ground, you'll see them transition from one shape to another. And those rest positions that are in the book, there are six different series, a series of each. So there's a squatting series, a side sitting series, a long sitting series, and so on a kneeling series, each one of those rest positions is like a prerequisite or will complement the way we stand. Because that's ultimately what we used as a baby to toddler, to young adults to stand up. Right. And then what happened is at some stage a chair was pushed underneath us and then we start to sit in a chair for longer periods of time in a classroom environment with a hierarchical system, with a teacher at the front. And we're told to sit still and be quiet. And we may have had an hour then to go out and play.

[00:42:12.410] – Tony

And then that hour became lunch break and then play became PE physical education, which then involves stretching and doing all the stuff. But before the chair kid, you don't see any children, any toddlers stretching. They're just incredibly fluid and this ability to move on the ground. And what we've noticed through ground sitting and being a floor sitting families is our kids. That's how they've remained. We unschooled as well. There's no school in that conversation. So the only time we're sitting, it's unavoidable. It could be in a car or a plane or train or occasional cinema, but other than that, it's ground sitting. And their postures are incredible, right? Their framework is incredible. Their athleticism has remained incredible. They haven't had to relearn how to once they stand up from a chair. So again, I think it's understanding that there's beneath our upright, wild, empowered posture, there are these sitting postures and those sitting postures help nourish, that upright posture.

[00:43:17.710] – Allan

I love that concept of a sitting family and the reasons I think back to how much money I have spent on couches and chairs over the course of my life.

[00:43:32.870] – Tony

We use bolsters and stuff like that because you still want to create like a dining expense. Our dining room table is a low table and we have ground sitting, like little bowls, like yoga cushions and stuff like that on the ground. People come, they still have some experience as a dining experience that's not going to work for everyone. So my advice is always that look at the everyday environment. Can I spend less time on the couch? Can I set a timer and maybe kneel or squat? And you do get signals, and for some at the beginning it will be uncomfortable, but it's playing with the edges of that discomfort. Until some of those postures become a little more comfortable, they won't become so comfortable that you'll spend ten and a half hours like you could in a chair. Because nature's way is you'll get signals to tell you to move. And the beauty of that is there's a chemical metabolic cost for movement taking your everyday work. If you work from home, put your laptop down like, I'm on this call, I'm on the ground, I've been side sitting and I've been sitting crosslegged, I've been kneeling and I've been squatting already, all on a call.

[00:44:39.840] – Tony

And we're like 40 minutes in. I just have, whilst having a conversation, 40 minutes of mobility and strength work that ultimately is going to help me remain mobile in my hips and strong in my core, keep my head and chest upright, which then has an overlap in the way that I stand, I walk and I run as a 47 year old endurance athlete. Is that important? 100%. And we're all endurance athletes. That's the point. Underneath it, we are. Right? That's where we're at. And unfortunately, some of the habits within habitats aren't enabling that. And if you want to become more efficient, minimize the risk of injury, then get on the ground and just get back into understanding how those behaviors are on the ground and how that will then feed into how your posture will thrive. And there's a guy yehudi in my book, I mentioned to him, he's like 82 now. And he first came wanting to learn how to walk. And he had this stooped posture from working and collapsed in the chest and stiff in the hips and stiffing the ankles, and over time went through toga rewilding feet, rewilding footwear, vivo, barefoot, got him on the ground, ground sitting.

[00:46:00.170] – Tony

And then later on in time, the reason it turned out he wanted to learn how to walk because he wanted to climb Everest to base camp, everest base camp with his wife for his 50th anniversary. But his commute now looks like this. He walks to the tube in barefoot footwear. The tube is our underground train. He then gets on the underground and mostly people will go, do you want to seat? Because he's like 80. But no, I'm okay. And so here he hang off the bars above, so it hang on to the rails above while the train is moving. So he gets grip strength in, he opens his chest up, enables his whole respiratory system by enabling that upper posture through hanging. And then when the train stops or even squats whilst people get on, when the train goes again, the doors closed, he surf. So he's now balancing whilst not holding on to anything and surfing the train. And that just again, it proves that it's never too late, even Allan, because sometimes we look at this, we are past that. I'm never going to be able to sit back on the ground again.

[00:47:03.560] – Tony

Here we are, a dude in his 80s. That's what he's doing. And that's his practice. And he also works from home and he has a standing desk. And he also has a sitting desk. But he also has a lot of his practice on the ground that will help dismantle and deconstruct some of the poor qualities that come from sitting in a chair. But also enhance the way that he stands at his standing desk and will improve the posture of which he chooses to stand. Because standing tap desks get a lot of praise. But if I'm not posturally aware and I still have inefficiencies in movement within the ankle and the hip and I'm not flexible or upright in the mid back, which comes through sitting in a chair, then that's just as detrimental to stand with poor posture as it is sitting with it.

[00:47:50.510] – Allan

Now, one of the other areas of movement that I want to get into because I think this is another area where we kind of move from child to adult and we start casting away the things that we did. That was that quote. When I was a child, I played as a child and play as adults. Okay, I play tennis or maybe play basketball. But as you got in the book, I started thinking because you said this, it's like those sports that we play, they're usually unilateral or they're front and back or there's some aspect to them, where it's repetitive movement that we're doing. And while it's movement, which is great, I'm never going to poopoo movement at all. It's not really building us to be a better human. Can you talk about how we should play, how play would be if we got out of our zoo?

[00:48:46.090] – Tony

Yes, very specialized, the way that we observe those sports. Right. They're very specialist. And underneath it all, we're all generalist movers. So again, in the book I've put a study by Peter Gray. He wrote a fantastic book, Free to Learn, and we're an unschooling family. So it's around homeschooling and unschooling. But within it, again, three independent tribes, three different geographic locations. And he asked ten leading anthropologists, what does childhood look like in nature? And firstly, their responses. They're the most well adjusted, well rounded individuals they've ever met, which we refer our colonial minds like savages or whatever, comes to the most well rounded, well adjusted. And that's not from a lens of cultural appropriation. It's cultural appreciation. It's like, wow, okay, what's different? And children are playing from infancy through to their teenage years and they are left to play without adult intervention, without the adult supervision. So it's from infancy through to teenage years, all different ages, playing and mixing together. And they play at being everything. So they've played being the plants, the rocks, the animals. They've played at being the adults. Foraging, hunting, tracking, fire, building shelter, building. It's all in there.

[00:50:10.340] – Tony

So that the idea is that they walk into adulthood and still what would be a playful state of mind? And in adulthood we could then question, well, are those tribes that we're talking about operating with a playful state of mind? And when asking Bruce Perry, who I interview, and he's again mentioned in the book and from what said is that this Pen and tribe that he spent some time with in the Benjelli tribes is that these tribes are moving through a landscape in this meditative state, in a real parasympathetic state. What we call like flow state, they're in it. And flow state I refer to is just being placed. It's just an extension of that. And then the ability to move your physicality in that environment. Because if you're playing at being everything, you are, everything, you'll be the animals within that environment. We have this amazing ability to impersonate any animal, yet we have difficulty even moving with our own locomotive patterns. And there is this understanding how does it compare through childhood to what it would look like in nature? And so again, we enter a school system where we're very playful and we have play as the background within that, where we're moving around on a playground, a playground.

[00:51:33.300] – Tony

And we're expressing, but it's still supervised by adults. And there's now fear involved with that, that children might fall off something or hurt something. So we then start to worry about perhaps being sued. So then we change even how high kids can climb and practice climbing or jumping or balancing. And these are the fundamentals, like balance, climbing, jumping, lifting, throwing, defending, running, swimming, right? They are generalist movements. And even the imagine the amazing skills of foraging where you're down on the ground and Lowgate walking and grabbing things or have to crawl under something or over something or balance up in something or climb something. That's a generalist mover. And kids have that. If you actually let your kids just thrive in an environment, you'll be amazed at their capacity to move. But yet we go into a classroom environment where that's stripped back and we're told to sit. We then get into a PE physical education that's very specialist. And the specialist lens means that it doesn't often suit every child. We also have the age, massive age differences. So the eldest in the year versus the youngest in the year, who's going to be picked, who's going to be strongest and who's going to come away feeling inadequate.

[00:52:55.050] – Tony

The youngest kids, the bigger kids, are much stronger. They're taller. They're picked by whoever's in charge of that class. Then we have things like footwear. Again, like the basketball studies, like basketball footwear. Think of the forces that are involved in basketball. It's very playful, basketball. It's a really great practice. It would become even greater if we looked at foot function because those basketball boots we're talking about getting incredibly narrow in the toe box. The performance and behavior of the feet is compromised. That means the knee has to be the lower back. So if we then brought in that Professor Chris Dort study and said, well, what if we didn't put compromising footwear on those children to begin with and they maintained 60% of that foot strength and their balance, what potential would be there? Or we could say, what potential has been lost by wearing compromising footwear over time and then putting specialist sports through these young bodies that are, again, as you suggest, right, it's in the book. It's this understanding that they're very linear, those practices, like pushing, pulling one plane. Whereas actually, when you look at play, it's multi direction. And there's something else phenomenal that I observe through it and observing my kids.

[00:54:20.070] – Tony

It's through that tribal experience of the kids are being everything. It means that you can step outside your experience. So even if you get stuck, we get stuck, right? People get stuck in depression or could be mental health, for instance. But if you don't lose your playful state of mind, you can imagine yourself in a different position. You can play out being something else. So whereas in nature it might be I don't know, whatever we're playing out in a natural experience versus what we might be playing out in the human zoo might be Harry Potter, Dobby or all these characters. At least there's an opportunity to imagine yourself outside of that. So there's other things that empathy, compassion, that can be delivered through that. I had a big workshop it was with a yoga community and it's called Yoga Connects and I was asked to take a class at the festival and there's a large number of yogis came in and I said firstly we're going to just roll your maps up. Put them away. Take your footwear off and we will just come into the space and we walk around the space and meander around the space.

[00:55:29.550] – Tony

I said, Well, I'm not going to teach you yoga, I'm not a yogi, but I'm going to teach you something about connection and it's going to come through play. And all of a sudden I had these yogis in the room brushing shoulders and then bouncing off one another. Next body part, next body part. Then mirroring one other's movements, then dancing head to head, looking into one another's eyes and then mimicking each other as if they're working in a mirror. And suddenly what can become even in yoga, which is the same planes on one map, performing the same movements over and over religiously, suddenly the expression changed. This amazing vocabulary of movement started to unravel in a very short window of time. Because it's like Play hydration we call it, you can suddenly start to reconnect to something we've become quite divorced from.

[00:56:15.710] – Allan

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

[00:56:26.570] – Tony

So that trifecta for me is breath work. Looking at different modalities of breath that helped me change my state, my state of mind, my being, my very being. And that might be from nasal breathing to tempos of breath. Simple practice on the hour, every hour could be simply 4 seconds up through the nose, 6 seconds out. I call it a rebooting breath so that the day doesn't get away or the experience doesn't get away with me. I can stay in check and I can keep bringing it back to the breath. It's incredible powerful. It drops us into a more restful state and just enables us to stay more present and be present in the moment. The other one of course, is nature immersion. The study suggests just 20 minutes in a natural setting. It could even be the park really. But the more natural or more biodiverse, the better the emotional state would be. I would suggest just 20 minutes is enough to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and the more diverse, like forest, you start to get things like phytincides, which are the compounds that plants like terpenes are almost like aromatherapy that's given off by plants and they're antifungal and antibacterial.

[00:57:41.580] – Tony

And when we inhale that, our body starts to produce natural killer cells which help them fight things like viruses and even tumors, right? So we have lower in heart rate, blood pressure and amazing kind of ability to improve our immune system just by being in nature. So that's breath work. I would say nature immersion and then movement. Just finding those opportunities become more of an opportunist. Go back into that playful state of mind of how you might move, get out of the chair, get onto the ground, start moving around. Think of that as a mobility practice. If you work from home, you have an amazing opportunity to move more within that environment. Just we're so conditioned to think we have to sit and do the work. And that might also mean on the commute, can I run down the stairs instead of getting the lift? Or the escalator? Can I balance on curbstones or something? Just think of that. And along with nature immersion, we could say that nature immersion also involves cold immersion, like cold water therapy and getting into cold water. And that also has an ability to completely change our section altered State of Mind.

[00:58:45.360] – Tony

In two minutes, you're done. And you can literally maybe not be like the person getting in the water, but you'll be in love with the person getting out. It can really change things in a very short window of time. So they are my three, really. I call it Tony's trifecta.

[00:59:00.650] – Allan

Tony's trifecta. Love that.

[00:59:07.170] – Allan

All right, well, Tony, if someone wanted to get in touch with you or learn more about the book, Be More Human, where would you like for them to go?

[00:59:17.910] – Tony

You can hit my website, which is www.tonyriddle.com. I'm also known on Instagram as @thenaturallifestylist, and there's lots on there. So in the link bio there, you'll be able to find links to my book, up and coming workshops, upcoming retreats and experiences. I have a big retreat going in, in end of August, which is a rewilding retreat. So it's on an incredible estate. It's an opportunity to not just rewild movement, but also be involved in the landscape there and have that experience so that Tony Trifecta is in full there. It's a great place for that. And also have a look out for the 100 Human Experience, which is a weekend events that I hold with 100 people. We have 100 people come and there's breath work, movement, cold immersion, ice baths, ecstatic dance, cacao ceremony. It's like a really just an incredible experience. So all of that can be found, really, either on the website or on my Instagram account. They're good places to head, really. There's a number of tutorials there. And if you're interested in the barefoot stuff, there's a documentary. We just wrote one best documentary for the British Independent Film Festival.

[01:00:34.150] – Tony

It's called One Man 2 Feet Three Peaks. And that's up on YouTube. There's some great stuff there. That's a record that I broke running the three biggest peaks, highest peaks in the UK. And normally the idea is you drive between them. I decided to run the whole distance and I covered the mountains barefoot as well. So it was breaking a men's running record, but also breaking it being barefoot, which is quite something.

[01:01:01.710] – Allan

It is. Thank you, Tony. I'll make sure to have those links on the show notes for this episode. Tony, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Post Show/Recap

[01:01:17.350] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[01:01:19.090] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a really interesting interview, and I really like the term rewilding. Yes. I'm not so sure. I'm a big fan of his wild human or zoo human.

[01:01:34.130] – Allan

I like that. I actually think that is well, because we don't want our kids to get dirty. They stick their hands in the dirt and we want to wipe it off. We don't want to get dirty. A lot of us don't. We want clean. We want sanitary. We're concerned about all this stuff. Hand sanitizer, avoiding everything concrete, this, rubber that, gloves, masks, all of it. We do so much to separate ourselves from our environment. Sunglasses. Something as simple as sunglasses is separating you from the sun. And so, yeah, I get it. If you're walking on Pensacola Beach, it's so bright white with the sun.

[01:02:32.430] – Allan

You can be blind for 20 minutes until your eyes adjust. I get it. But we do so much to separate ourselves from our environment, and that's frankly unnatural.

[01:02:45.330] – Rachel

Well, that's why I like the term we re wilding so that we do take an extra step into nature, which I love. I'm always outside running on the trails and checking out what is all out there. But the other part of the conversation was, you've said this in the past, too. We look at our ancestors, hunter gatherers. They were active. They weren't lounging on sofas and lazy boys like we are today. But also, you brought in the child aspect of it, looking at what our children are doing. They're just running around playing without even thinking about whether their watch just saying they're productive or not. They're just out there enjoying what they're doing.

[01:03:25.790] – Allan

Right. And the whole time we were on the conversation, tony was basically sitting on the floor. He had a lower desk, and so I could tell he was sitting on the floor. He was kneeling. He would move his leg. He would shift side to side as he was talking. You can't tell that's happening when you're listening to it. But the whole time he was sitting on the floor. And as a result of our interview, which I think ran almost an hour, he was moving, and that's positive movement. But all that said, we don't get down enough. We don't get up, and we don't get down. We're in chairs, we're in couches. We spend our office hours in a desk. We might be lucky enough to have an adjustable desk or something like that where we can at least stand part of the day. And that's better is good. It doesn't have to be perfect.

[01:04:24.510] – Rachel

Yeah, but it was interesting. I didn't even think about having a sitting on the floor type desk, like you just said, he was doing in his interview. We don't get down on the floor very often unless we drop something and have to kneel down to find it.

[01:04:46.270] – Allan

You have the people that joke about, well, I don't get on the floor anymore unless I have a plan on how to get up.

[01:04:52.810] – Rachel

Right? Yeah, it's so true.

[01:04:55.230] – Allan

And we can joke about it, but the reality is that's functional movement and let's say you wanted to go camping. Well, what are you doing? You're squatting, you're getting down. You're starting a fire, because you can't start a fire standing up. You're getting in and out of your tent, which, unless you are kind of really doing something special, you don't walk into your tent. You get on your hands and knees and you crawl. You're not sleeping on a pillow top bed. You now have, at best, a blow up, but a lot of times not the best you could do is make sure you don't have a rock or a root under your lower back to the right spot to lay. And then you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You're crawling back out of the tent and walking around. And so it's just these things that we say, okay, I would love to be able to do this, I'd love to be able to do that. I want to be able to carry my own kayak. I want to be able to go camping and enjoy myself. There's movement patterns that you're going to be doing that you should make a part of your regular life.

[01:05:59.780] – Allan

So when you're camping, this is not an unusual thing. This is a part of your lifestyle. It's the way you intended to live when you go camping, when you do these other things. Yeah, if you're on the floor and you're sitting for an extended period of time doing something, it could even be watching a television show, you're sitting there and your watch is not going to tell you, oh, you move this many squirms in that many ways, and your watch isn't going to do that. There's no metric for it other than you notice that it just gets more natural. It feels better. There's not these grunts and groans or pains or aches. You're building mobility from the very fact that you're on the floor and your body is forcing you to squirm around because you can't just sit. You're going to want to move your leg to the side. You're going to want to shift the other leg. You're going to move from one butt cheek to the other butt cheek. And then maybe you want to go ahead and get up into a kneeling position. And while you're in the kneeling position, instead of both knees on the ground, you want one knee on the ground.

[01:07:07.920] – Allan

And then you're just moving around through these ranges of motion. And that's one of the things he has in the book, is he literally has those laid out of. Okay, this is a set. This is a set. This is a set. And so you can say, I'm going to spend some time in a kneeling position, I'm going to spend some time in a sitting position. I'm going to spend some time in a squatting position. Because if you get your mobility right, the squat, as he mentioned, is a rest position. I know that sounds really weird, but without having your butt sitting on something other than maybe your heels, that should be a resting position. But we've kind of beat that out of ourselves with decades of sitting. We're not able to do that. You can look at videos and see if you've ever been to particularly Asia, but mostly across Asia and somewhat in Africa. I've seen this where literally, yeah, they squat down almost, butt to grass. And that's a resting position. They're just sitting there now. They're also most of the time when I see them doing that, they're smoking.

[01:08:14.490] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[01:08:15.720] – Allan

But which we'll talk about in a few weeks with Dr. Romero. But that's the whole point though. That's their resting position. So instead of just standing around or sitting in a chair, they just plop down and they're in a very comfortable rest position because the joints are now all the pressures off the muscles and the joints. You're just in a natural lay there, sit there position.

[01:08:38.250] – Rachel


[01:08:38.700] – Allan

Yeah. There's a lot of little things we can do, and this book has some really good guidelines of how you can get started rewilding yourself. But to me, it's really just about finding function. It's about getting back to what, you know should be your natural approach.

[01:08:56.310] – Rachel

That sounds great. Interesting conversation.

[01:09:00.270] – Allan

I was pleasantly surprised with the book and with Tony because knowing some of his friends, I was expecting a totally different book from the be more human aspect of that. But no, it was a great book. And if you're concerned about mobility, flexibility, strength, all those functional fitness things we talk about right now, this is one of the best books you can buy to become more functionally fit.

[01:09:26.280] – Rachel

That sounds great.

[01:09:27.610] – Allan

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

[01:09:30.170] – Rachel

Great, thanks. Take care.

[01:09:31.930] – Allan

Okay, you too. Bye.

[01:09:33.410] – Rachel



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